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Nearly two weeks after Donald Trump won the 2016 Presidential Election — and month before the Electoral College is set to vote, making the results permanent — a new movement wants to audit the November 8 vote, to investigate whether Trump won the election fair and square, or whether error and even fraud may have placed him in the White House.

One element of the vote audit movement is a Change.org online petition calling for election officials to “double-check the electronic results by conducting a ‘risk-limiting’ audit of the presidential election in every state that uses paper ballots.”

Even a United States Senator, South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham, has called for a congressional investigation into possible election tampering, particularly by Russian intelligence agencies.

Audit Vote, #AuditTheVote, Was election rigged, Donald Trump wins election, Russian election hack, vote fraud

A vote-counting computer used to tabulate ballots in the 2016 presidential election.

The petition started by the Verified Voting Foundation seeks 75,000 signatures which will be forwarded to Secretaries of State, election officials, and state governors. As of Sunday morning, November 20, the petition had received 65,199 supporters.

“The FBI determined some months ago that hacking, originating from Russia, was having an influence on our electoral process,” the petition states. “These hackers interfered with our presidential election through attempted and successful penetration of email and voter registration databases, among other systems. This created fear, uncertainty, and doubt about the safety of our electoral processes.”

In fact, it was not only the FBI but the National Security Agency itself — the intelligence bureau responsible for America’s online and digital spying and counter-espionage efforts — which detected attempts to tip the United States election by what NSA chief Michael Rogers called “a nation state,” as seen in the excerpted interview with Rogers in the video below.

“This was not something that was done casually, this was not something that was done by chance,” Rogers said in the Wall Street Journal interview. “This was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily.”

While Russian ties to hacked emails from the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee that were subsequently released online by the document-dumping site WikiLeaks were confirmed by U.S. intelligence agencies as well as independent investigators weeks before the election, hackers connected to the Russian government are also known to have broken into a voter registration system in Illinois.

The Russian hackers also entered at least one other state’s voter database — and in theory could have penetrated many more which have yet to be detected. Once inside, the hackers could have altered voter information to create fake registrations and alter voting patterns.

Audit Vote, #AuditTheVote, Was election rigged, Donald Trump wins election, Russian election hack, vote fraud

Russian President Vladimir Putin, suspected of engineering manipulation of the presidential election that tipped the vote to Donald Trump.

According to Alexandra Chalupa, a consultant to the DNC investigating the Russian hacks, told the Gothamist news site that in Pennsylvania, especially, the voting results appeared strange, with between 50 and 75 percent of provisional ballots rejected. Even more alarming, “a large number of voters who voted for a Republican president and senator, but voted for Democrats down the rest of the ballot.”

“That’s not usually the pattern,” Chalupa said.

Trump ended up beating Clinton in Pennsylvania by a mere 57,588 votes — less than one percentage point — winning the state’s crucial 20 electoral votes, despite the fact that Pennsylvania had voted for the Democrat in six consecutive presidential elections.

A new Twitter hashtag, #AuditTheVote, appeared on Saturday, and one of the hashtag creators, Melinda Byerley, explained that the purpose was to collect public information and data that could either verify or disprove claims of election tampering and fraud.

“This is not about (Hillary Clinton) or (Donald Trump),” Byerley wrote. “This is about national sovereignty and a potential foreign breach of our voting system. “America is a beacon to the world for free and fair elections. Our ability to remain a superpower rests on the trust the world has in us.”

Author:  Jonathan Vankin

Source:  http://www.inquisitr.com/

Categorized in News & Politics

CALIFORNIA: The tech giant Google has announced that starting today (8 November), it will display the 2016 presidential election results directly on Google Search.

The information on election results will be available in 30 different languages and will be out as soon as polls close. The tech giant also said that YouTube will live-stream election result coverage from various news organisations such as NBC, PBS, Bloomberg and more. The live-streaming coverage will begin at 7pm ET on 8 November (12am GMT, 9 November).

election-video

Google VP of engineering Shashi Thakur said, “Starting when the polls close on Election Day, you will be able to find U.S. election results integrated right into your Google searches in over 30 languages around the world. You’ll also be able to see detailed updates and results of the Presidential, Senatorial, Congressional, Gubernatorial races as well as state-level referenda and ballot propositions.”

Thakur said that in comparison to the 2012 elections, Google has noted a 233% rise in traffic for “how to vote”. Additionally, people in the “battleground states” such as Philadelphia, Ohio, North Carolina and Florida have been “actively searching” for “where to vote,” indicating a high voter interest and possible turnout in 2016 presidential elections.

Source:  arynews.tv

Categorized in Search Engine

Stay informed on election day.

As soon as the polls close on Tuesday, Nov. 8,Google GOOG 1.26%  will display continuously updated election results through its search engine the company said. The search giant plans to show up-to-the-minute information detailing the progress of multiple U.S. election day races and other referenda to anyone who queries for “election results.”

Google said it would deliver the updates every 30 seconds in more than 30 different languages, according to a blog post by Shashi Thakur, vice president of engineering on the Google search team. Included in the briefings are the presidential, senatorial, congressional, and gubernatorial races, as well as other ballots throughout the U.S.

Here’s a glimpse of what the search tool should look like, per the blog post:

election-video

The rundown includes real-time statistics on the matchup between Hillary Clinton, the Democratic contender for the White House, and Donald Trump, the Republican candidate. Alongside details of the tug-of-war for the executive office are key numbers concerning open legislative seats, battleground states, and the top two political parties (blue for Democrats, red for Republicans).

Although this is not the first time that Google has offered informational tools during an election, this year marks a notable increase in the company’s efforts to meet consumer demand as more people turn to the web—and increasingly their smartphones—for news. Google said that it had seen traffic for the search term “how to vote” more than triple in the past four years, up 233% from 2012.

In addition to the political précis that will appear on election day (above), Google has already debuted tools detailing how to registerhow and where to vote, and info on who is running—including an election-themed Google Doodle.

Google said that YouTube, its video division, would stream live coverage from a number of news outlets as well, including NBC, PBS, MTV, Bloomberg, Telemundo, and The Young Turks starting at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday. “From the ballot box to tomorrow’s late-night returns, we hope Google’s tools help guide you through Election Day in a simple, clear and informative way,” Thakur said.

Source: fortune.com

Categorized in Search Engine

Can you feel the tension among your family and friends and the country at large? With the touchline in sight and fingernails chewed raw, there could be more twists and turns before the end of polling day. So if you want to keep up to date with the very latest US election news, here’s how Google, Twitter, Facebook can help you do that.

US Election News

How to track US election news

Whoever wins, whether that be Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, modern technology will make sure you never miss a word. So if you’re an avid social media user and have an iPhone or another kind of smartphone, you can keep updated. Here’s what each information provider is doing to keep you with them.

facebook us election news

Facebook being patriotic

According to Facebook during this divisive campaign, it has encouraged more than 2 million people to vote. This was accomplished via the social network’s Get Ready for Election Day page, which Mark Zuckerberg is apparently very proud of. In fact, not only does the page help people register to vote and keep them updated with US election news, it also provides a vote planner made specifically for each user, meaning that person can print it off and take it to the polling station when they vote.

twitter us election news

Twitter #Election2016

Twitter’s open nature allows you to see tweets from all over the USA, which is great, and the same goes for keeping up to date with US election news. If you don’t already know, the official #hashtags are #Ele4ctionDay and #Election2016; both have their own polling emoji.

 

However, Twitter has done its own thing this time around and encouraged people to vote. A lot of the work done by Twitter can be seen at the account @gov. While this on its own does not keep you directly updated with what’s going on in the US elections, you can send a tweet to the account asking about US election news.

google us election news

Google results

Google has taken the unprecedented step of embedding US election news into its search results. This means that whether you want the information or not, it will be there, in more than 30 languages. According to Google, it has seen a rise of more than 233% in use of the phrase “how to vote” typed into the search engine. This is what prompted it to take a more direct informative approach. The numbers seen for the 2016 election have been far higher than it recorded in the 2012 victory by Barack Obama.

Additional help given for those looking for US election news can be found at Google’s voter registration page and the Google Trends Election Hub.

And there you have three ways you can keep up with US election news now and on the day of. We advise you to go and take a look at each service and decide which one best suits your needs. As with everything in life, each has their pros and cons, but ultimately they are there to be helpful and non-partisan.

Source: valuewalk.com

Categorized in News & Politics

Washington: On Wednesday, Americans will awake from a nightmare. Donald Trump will not be their president.

But relief will be short-lived. It will be more a "ha, ha, gotcha" moment appropriate to a lingering Halloween mood; because Trump is likely to be a sore loser, ready to inflict serial new nightmares on the US before he's done with politics.

What's all this based on? The losing part is a gut feel, supplemented by the late polling and high turnout numbers in early voting, especially on a Latino surge that is especially ominous for Trump.

And those nightmares to come? That's based on what I suspect will be Trump's inability to walk away from the crater of his campaign, without attempting to make it into something else – remember his claim that he always makes success from failure?

Even before FBI chief James Comey reversed away from his bizarre intervention in the campaign, which was a body blow to Hillary Clinton, national polls had begun edging back to the Democrat, as were the local polls in swing states. A Gallup poll out just a week before election day was most telling – after 16 months of intense exposure, Trump had failed to convince 67 per cent of registered voters that he had the personality and leadership qualities for the White House.

As a man with a need to be acting a role, but who doesn't seem to know his real self, Trump will be desperate for an immediate new gig and a new spotlight after Tuesday's vote.

The Trump that greets America on Wednesday, actually, he's more likely to be snarling, will not be the slightly less objectionable candidate on view in the last week of the campaign – that guy was a product of the fact that he was up because Clinton was down; and his advisers were keeping him dosed up on political tranquilisers.

That being the case, there's no guarantee that an angry Trump will tend to what ought to be his first essential duty as a losing candidate – to make clear to his many supporters who have threatened various stages of uprising if he is defeated, that violence is not an acceptable response.

A dog urinates on a graffiti of Donald Trump at a laneway in Melbourne.

The American electoral process doesn't anoint the loser in a presidential race as a Westminster-style, leader of the opposition.

But with his "I-alone…" bravura amped up by a campaign that seemingly started in a fit of pique, Americans are likely to find themselves living through a sequel to The Apprentice, in which Trump has director's prerogative to designate himself as he likes.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by three percentage points among likely voters ...

Some of the anti-leadership qualities that he will bring to bear in that self-appointed office are – selfishness, a lack of discipline, vindictiveness, intellectual sloth, mendacity, greed, bigotry, misogyny and racism.

We've heard that in contemplating defeat, he's been mulling a new "super PAC", with vengeance as its core mission.

In defeat, Trump will have much to get even about.

This is a man who went all the way to the hallowed ground of Gettysburg , ostensibly to make a campaign-saving speech on good governance, but was unable to resist the indulgence of devoting a big chunk of his speech to how he was going to get even with the dozen women who complained of him sexually abusing them.

That's what you get with Trump – asked about great feelings in life, his response was "I love getting even…if you don't get even, you're just a schmuck."

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds up a Donald Trump mask during a campaign speech on Monday.

In defeat, Trump will have much to get even about.

Losing spectacularly before the eyes of the nation and the world will be a severe psychological blow, probably prompting a "wounded animal" or "cunning rat" response – or a mix of the two. The fall from would-be leader of the Western world to feather duster will take a considerable adjustment.

The former secretary of state was leading Trump by about 45 per cent to 42 per cent in the popular vote.

The former secretary of state was leading Trump by about 45 per cent to 42 per cent in the popular vote. Photo: AP

Already Trump has refused to commit to accepting the election outcome, despite his efforts to qualify his refusal by throwing in the word "reasonable". He will challenge the outcome at the slightest opportunity, for these reasons:

  • Trump didn't invest all that campaign energy in claiming the election was rigged against him just to prove that he could be a victim of the rigging, without attempting to capitalise on that victimhood
  • Presenting himself as a victim in challenging the outcome would serve as a platform on which Loser Trump would build his post election political career
  • Any challenge would help to cast doubt on the legitimacy of a Clinton presidency and pose more questions about her mandate

Trump must win North Carolina to have a realistic chance of winning the White House.

Much of Trump's "it's rigged" argument is based on the Democratic Party's control in predominantly black communities in Pennsylvania – that's where he's demanding that his supporters mount vote 'watching" operations.

Politico magazine sets out a troubling scenario: "Suppose on Election Night, Pennsylvania's secretary of state announces that Clinton has won the state, and with it the presidency, but Trump says, 'Prove it.' The secretary of state responds, 'That's what the machines tell us'. Trump responds, 'Well, how do I know that the machines weren't hacked?' What is the secretary of state supposed to say then?

Donald Trump arrives to speak to a campaign rally on Monday in Raleigh, North Carolina.

"So who will resolve the conflict if Trump loses Pennsylvania and insists on seeing proof, and the state can't provide it? The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, despite being dominated by Democrats? The US Supreme Court, despite being hamstrung by a vacancy and thus at risk of a 4-4 split? Congress, paralysed by partisan gridlock?"

The extent to which the GOP establishment backs any trump challenge will be the first post-election measure of how seriously the GOP establishment will be in fighting to regain control of the Republican Party.

A natural segue from a Trump challenge to the result would be for him to assume a leader-of-the-opposition role, to become a freewheeling face and voice of all opposition to the Clinton presidency – its existence and all that she might do.

When Trump was not running his "rigged" argument in the last days of the campaign, he was crying "constitutional crisis" – warning of back-to-back congressional committees investigating Clinton and likely efforts to impeach her.

Loser Trump will be deeply conflicted – wait for the Twitter storm.

On the one hand he's not the kind of guy to hang around after he's taken a beating.

As we've learnt in this campaign, he'll take the business losses he's inflicted on others and claim them as a billion-dollar tax write-off for himself; he doesn't pony up half of what he's promised for his own campaign; and he'll scam his own charity foundation

So if there's no money to be made, why keep skin in the game?

An option that reportedly is being seriously massaged at Trump Tower is a media operation that would leverage Trump's vote, his millions of Twitter followers and his supporter's email list, who conceivably could be cajoled into paying subscriptions for cable or internet-based programs packaged around Trump, his policies and his family.

The campaign is already doing a crude version of what Trump TV might look like on its Facebook page. But a long term TV operation would be predicated on cannibalising existing TV audiences, especially that of Fox News, which would not happen without the Murdochs putting up a fight.

Any TV operation will be dictated by myriad variables – the extent to which Trump controls it; the extent to which his brand is damaged by an election defeat; who ponies up the probable hundreds of millions in investment and start-up costs; and the extent to which it absorbs all or part of the internet-based Breitbart News established by Steve Bannon, who is chief executive of Trump's presidential campaign.

On the other hand, Trump is the kind of guy who wants to keep fighting, who says that the best feeling in life is getting even; and who, some argue, would prefer the arm-to-arm combat of perpetual campaigning over the enormity of decision-making in the Oval Office.

For now, at least, Trump owns the Republican Party. With millions of primary and general election votes in the bank, his hostile take-over is complete and it's up to the GOP establishment to wrestle it back – if it can.

That prospective political terrain suits Trump's bullying style, notwithstanding his self-billing as a "deal-maker". The nature of the party's post-poll implosion will be more akin to the primaries in which Trump was more comfortable, making his pitch to party diehards than to the breadth of the general electorate.

But in pitching to white voters, Trump is up against a demographic brick wall – it's an electoral sector that shrinks at each election, as Hispanics numbers in particular grow and, in the face of GOP candidates like Trump, become more likely Democratic voters.

In an internal struggle, or in the event of a party break-up, Trump would pick up white supremacists and neo-Nazis and maybe, for a time at least, Christian Evangelicals. But all are demographic groups that are on the wrong side of that demographic wall.

The party risks finding itself as gridlocked as the congress.

The party that traditionally was capable of compromise has abandoned even the pretense of comity – if Republicans were not going to let a black president have his way, what chance a woman who already has been promised gridlock and chaos induced by endless committee investigations?

In Congress, check progress on Obama Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland – in the old days, he'd at least have been given a confirmation hearing; these days, GOP senators simply refuse to discuss it.

In the Republican party, check progress on climate change – in the course of the primaries there was at least the semblance of a debate; these days Trump prevails, telling the world it's a Chinese hoax.

If the GOP emerges from the election intact, it will only do so by dramatically rewriting its policies, to accommodate the Trump supporters. For decades it had screwed them on economic and industry policy while throwing them unwinnable policies that didn't carry a dollar price – abortion, same-sex marriage, religious freedom.

That policy turf will be conceded reluctantly. But before the GOP gets to that internal brawl, which some insiders are casting as a "civil war", the establishment can be expected to heap blame for the election defeat on Trump and his campaign. But as Trump had demonstrated, he has become adept at whipping up rank-and-file anger at the party's leaders.

"That is the existential threat to the party," Tim Miller, a former Jeb Bush staffer and a fierce critic of Trump, told Vox. "Some candidates and elected officials will want to go down the Trump path, in ways that viscerally turn off young voters and minorities, because there would be short-term gain. And if that faction wins out, the party is going to die."

Conservative commentator Peter Wehner is at the barricades already, writing in The New York Times: "The forces that propelled Trump's rise need to be confronted and defeated. It won't be easy, given that tens of millions of Americans will vote for him and believe deeply in him. But if these forces are not defeated, what happened this year will be replicated in one form or another, and the Republican Party will continue to inflict great harm on our republic".

Unclear in all of this is whether Trump has the stamina or the inclination.

His options for remaining in politics amount to continual presidential campaigning – and for what?

He caught the GOP napping when he sought the 2016 nomination. But is the party likely to let him barnstorm his way through another primaries season, to steal the 2020 nomination? And if the electorate has opted for Clinton in 2016, what chance does he have of being preferred over in the next go-round?

The risk for the GOP is that it's working class and some of its middle class voters will break away – either to a new Trump-led party or to a reformed Democratic Party, from whence a good number of them came in the Nixon and Reagan years.

It took confiscation of Trump's Twitter account to make Trump focus in the last week of the campaign. What'll they have to do to make him pay attention next week – take away his Tic Tacs?

Source: smh.com.au

Categorized in News & Politics

Americans are heading to the polls to choose a new president after one of the most rancorous election campaigns the country has seen.

Voting gets under way in earnest on the East Coast from 06:00 EST (11:00 GMT), though some villages in New Hampshire have already polled.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump criss-crossed America in a hectic last-minute campaign push for votes.

Results should begin emerging late on Tuesday night, US time, from 04:00 GMT.

Both candidates have held rallies in the battleground states of North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Mrs Clinton urged voters to back a "hopeful, inclusive, big-hearted America" while Mr Trump told supporters they had a "magnificent chance to beat the corrupt system".

Polls give Democrat Mrs Clinton a four-point lead over Republican Mr Trump.

A record number of Americans - more than 46 million - have voted early by post or at polling stations.

There are signs of a high turnout among Hispanic voters, which is believed to favour Mrs Clinton.

The rivals held the final rallies of their campaigns after midnight - Mr Trump in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Mrs Clinton in Raleigh, North Carolina.

"Today the American working class is going to strike back, finally," said Mr Trump, pledging to reverse job losses.

Earlier, in New Hampshire, he told supporters: "We are just one day away from the change you've been waiting for all your life.

"Together we will make America wealthy again, we will make America strong again, we will make America safe again and we will make America great again."

Mrs Clinton told her audience that they did not "have to accept a dark and divisive vision of America".

She looked forward to "a fairer, stronger, better America. An America where we build bridges, not walls. And where we prove conclusively that love trumps hate".

Election day follows a bitter campaign during which the candidates have traded insults and become mired in a series of scandals.

At a star-studded event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mrs Clinton was joined on stage by celebrities Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi as well as her husband Bill, President Obama and his wife Michelle.

Earlier Mrs Clinton said in a radio interview that if she won she would call Mr Trump and hoped he would play a "constructive role" in helping to bring the country together.

At his rally in Scranton in the same state, Mr Trump insisted the momentum was with his campaign.

The businessman described Mrs Clinton as the "most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency", referring to an FBI investigation into Mrs Clinton's use of a private email server while she was serving as secretary of state between 2009 and 2013.

On Sunday Mrs Clinton's campaign received a boost when the FBI said newly discovered emails sent by an aide showed no evidence of criminality.

Election day voting began just after midnight in the small New Hampshire village of Dixville Notch, where seven votes were cast - four for Mrs Clinton, two for Mr Trump and one for the libertarian Gary Johnson.

Results are expected some time after 23:00 EST (04:00 GMT on Wednesday) once voting ends on the West Coast. State projections will not be available until polling ends - in most states between 19:00 EST (24:00 GMT) and 20:00 EST (01:00 GMT).

Americans are also voting for Congress. All of the House of Representatives - currently Republican controlled - is up for grabs, and a third of seats in the Senate, which is also in Republican hands.

US election: The essentials

Meanwhile Mr Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway sought to allay international anxiety about the Republican candidate in a BBC interview on Monday.

She said criticism from abroad "does not reflect why Donald Trump is running and who he would be on the global stage".

French President Francois Hollande has said the billionaire made him "want to retch".

It follows a series of sex assault allegations made against Mr Trump, which he denies, and the emergence of a recording of him making obscene remarks about women.

Mr Trump has also been accused of stoking xenophobic sentiment after vowing to ban Muslims from entering the US, describing Mexicans as "rapists" and saying he would build a wall along the US southern border to stop illegal immigration.

Source : bbc

Categorized in News & Politics

Many think the value of the dollar will initially sink against the currencies of developed countries such as the UK, Japan and Switzerland if Trump edges the contest.

The mighty US dollar has been gradually strengthening against most other currencies since May 2016.

This is mainly because the American economy has been performing relatively well (compared with much of Europe and Japan), with employment growing quite strongly.

This momentum has increased expectations of another interest rate hike by the American central bank, the Federal Reserve, which has supported the value of the currency.

Yet the dollar index, which measures the value of the greenback against a basket of global currencies, has slipped slightly in the past week.

This coincides with a tightening of the polls and the higher implied possibility of a Donald Trump victory.

So what will happen to the greenback after the result of the election is announced?

We look below at the two scenarios.

Hillary Clinton wins….

A victory for the experienced Democrat politician is expected to prompt a dollar rally.

Since she was cleared by the FBI of wrongdoing in relation to her emails at the weekend the dollar has already strengthened. 

This trend is expected to continue if Clinton wins the White House.

Notwithstanding her tacking to the left on economic policy in her Presidential campaign to gain the votes of disaffected Americans, few expect any economic policy shocks from Clinton.

Donald Trump wins…

Here the impact is vastly more uncertain – both in the short-term and medium term. 

Many analysts think the value of the dollar will initially sink against the currencies of developed countries such as the UK, Japan and Switzerland if Trump edges the contest.

It will also probably fall against the euro, the second most important global currency.

But some think the dollar could strengthen against developing nation currencies – such as the Mexican peso –  due to anticipation that Trump will push through new protectionist trade policies, which will damage their economies.

There might well also be serious volatility in the dollar if Trump prevails because so little is known about his likely economic policy or who his economic advisers would be.

Signals of major domestic tax cuts or big spending pledges in the following weeks and months could have large impacts on the value of the greenback – but, rather like Trump himself, it is very hard to say in which direction the dollar would move.

Source : independent

Categorized in News & Politics

Who is winning the vote right now - and who will win out come election day? Will we see President Donald Trump or President Hillary Clinton? Based on data from RealClearPolitics, here are our latest predictions and an estimate of the final electoral college result.

Will Hillary Clinton win?

Clinton has been ahead almost continuously in the Telegraph's poll of polls, which takes an average of the last five published on RealClearPolitics.

US presidential poll trackerAverage of the last five polls, based on a four-way raceTrumpClintonMar '16May '16Jul '16Sep '16Nov '163540455055Wednesday, Feb 3, 2016

Will Donald Trump win?

The presidential campaign has seen Donald Trump, once a Republican outsider, close the gap on Clinton before falling back after a series of controversies.

Trump has briefly pulled ahead a couple of times - first on 19 May. His polling threatened to consistently overtake Clinton in September, but fell back after a series of allegations.

How does the presidential election work?

Each of the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, has a set number of electoral college votes to award a candidate, based on the number of members of Congress it has. This is roughly in line with population. Except in Maine and Nebraska, votes are on a winner-takes-all basis.

This system matters, as the popular vote is less important than the electoral college vote. Clinton's campaign should be buoyed by big Democratic states such as New York, New Jersey, Illinois and California, and these populous states could lead her to victory with their large number of electoral college votes.

The states to watch

Swing states – states that often switch between Democrat and Republican in different elections – are also important.States like Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia have the power to swing the election. So far, neither Trump nor Clinton has a significant lead in these crucial states.

How could demographics impact the US election?

Age, race, gender and education are all big dividing points in the presidential race, with polling showing that men and whites are backing Trump while women and ethnic minorities support Clinton.

Race has always been a huge dividing line in the US election, and the clash between Trump and Clinton is no different. Just 17 per cent of Hispanics and three per cent of black people back Trump, according to recent polling.

This could prove significant in this election. For example, Hispanics account for more than a fifth of the population in four key swing states.

Education is another big demographic division in the race - and there's a reason why Trump said he "loved the poorly educated".

Among high school graduates or those with a lower level of education, Trump has the backing of 44% - compared to the 36% who support Clinton.

This could prove significant in the swing states of Georgia and Nevada, which both have a high proportion of people failing to graduate from high school.

We've mapped out each candidate's road to the White House hereand you can keep up with what to look out for in the US Senate and House of Representatives elections with our handy guide.

Source : telegraph

Categorized in News & Politics

Bryan Cranston, Miley Cyrus and others may be headed overseas if they don’t get their way on Election Day

It's not uncommon for people to joke/threaten about leaving the U.S. if the "wrong" person becomes president. But Donald Trump has Hollywood in such a froth that loads of celebrities are now talking about pulling up stakes. Here's a small collection of them, ranging from silly jokes to serious plans.

Lena Dunham has been one of the most active celebrity Clinton supporters out there, but she saysshe'll move to Canadaif Trump wins: "I know a lovely place in Vancouver, and I can get my work done from there."

While promoting "The Hateful Eight,"Samuel L. Jacksontold Jimmy Kimmelthat in the wake of a Trump victory he would "move my black ass to South Africa."

Trump's Super Tuesday victory in the primaries leftMiley Cyrusdistraught. She hasn't said where she'll go, but promised onInstagramthat "I am moving if this is my president! I don't say things I don't mean!"

Cherhas a history of feuding with Trump even before he announced his candidacy and has been often asked about what she thinks about his attempts to become President.Chertweetedthat if he wins she will "move to Jupiter."

IfCherdoes get a SpaceX flight to another planet, she might haveJon Stewartas her window-seat buddy, as he joked to People Magazine that he “would consider getting in a rocket and going to another planet, because clearly this planet’s gone bonkers.”

Even before Trump officially got nominated, she promised on The View thatshe would leavefor Canada if any Republican got elected: "I literally bought my ticket, I swear."

Natasha Lyonne might not leave the country, but whenasked by Starzwhere she might go, she said she might check herself into a mental hospital.

George Lopez toldTMZthat he would move south of the border if Trump won, and that other Latinos would come with him: "If he wins, he won't have to worry about immigration; we'll all go back."

Al Sharptonsaid in Februarythat he had "reserved his ticket" to leave if Trump won and that he would support anyone necessary to beat him.

"House of Cards" star Neve Campbell is a natural-born Canadian citizen, so for her moving to another country is easy, and she's said she'sready to do it.

Chelsea Handler toldKelly Ripaon "Live!" that her plans to move aren't just words. She has already bought a house in Spain and is ready to go if necessary.

Barbra Streisand has been hitting the campaign trail hard for Hillary, but she too is ready to abandon ship if her campaign fails. She said she would decide between moving to Australia and Canada if Trump takes office.

In the final days of the campaign,Bryan Cranstonadded his name to the exodus list: "I would definitely move. ... It's not real to me that that would happen. I hope to God it won't."

But some threats to leave America are a bit more tongue-in-cheek. Take Spike Lee, who vowed to respond to a Trump victory by "moving back to the republic of Brooklyn."

Source : thewrap

Categorized in News & Politics

On economic matters, would Hillary Clinton mirror her husband Bill's centrist outlook, or follow along the lines of Obama's more liberal initiatives? Clearly, she'd be different from Bernie Sanders.

This story was originally published in January. With Election Day almost here, it's worth taking another look at what the U.S. economy may look like under a President Clinton. Also, check out our Hillary Clinton Stock Portfolio, which we'll be tracking until November 8. The introduction and sections below on Wall Street regulation, taxes and corporations have been updated.

When it comes to matters of Wall Street regulation, taxes, trade and boosting wages, what would Hillary Clinton do?

Would she mirror her husband Bill, who embraced former Goldman Sachs executive Robert Rubin's vision to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act, deregulate the telecom industry and sign the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which exempted credit-default swaps from government oversight? 

Or would she follow in the footsteps of President Barack Obama, who signed the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act and created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on the way to raising taxes on the country's highest earners for the first time since the late-1990s?

Clinton's detractors warn that she'll cave in to the same bankers who hosted her lucrative speeches before their members. The former secretary of state's unwillingness to make those speeches public bolstered Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign during primary season, giving ample fodder to a movement that has won sizable support for efforts to reshape the country's banking system.

The former New York senator has sought to deflect warnings that she is loathe to upset Wall Street by touting her support for Dodd-Frank and measures such as strengthening the Volcker Rule, which imposes a "risk fee" on banks that make speculative bets with funds from their own accounts. She's also said she would seek to pass the "Buffett Rule," which would close tax loopholes by establishing a higher minimum rate for those in the highest income bracket.

Clinton appears to want to appeal to middle-class voters with retirement savings accounts as well as consumer advocates who warn that the Democratic Party has a history of Wall Street appeasement that rivals that of the Republicans.

"If she is thinking about a policy issue, she's going to want to hear from the business side, the consumer side, the labor side, and in that regard, her positions may not be starkly black-and-white," said Tracy Sefl, a Democratic strategist and former Clinton campaign staffer. "She likes to bring together multiple voices."

Here's how Clinton plans to deal with the overarching issues affecting the country's economy -- and what effects her actions will have (assuming she's able to push her agenda through Congress):

Wall Street Regulation

During the primaries, Sanders was relentless in calling for the breakup of the country's largest banks. Clinton, on the other hand, has taken a more nuanced approach. While Sanders has said he'd reinstate Glass-Steagall within his first year in office, Clinton has countered that more must be done to regulate hedge funds and other entities within the so-called "shadow banking" system. 

Since clinching her party's nomination, Clinton's focus has turned away from the Democratic primary and is now on Donald Trump and the Republicans. It's a change of course that will allow Clinton to emphasize that while she wants to expand Dodd-Frank, Trump and the rest of the Republican field wants to repeal it.

Coming just seven years after unemployment spiked to 17% in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, Clinton clearly wants to run on a platform of tougher Wall Street enforcement. And for good reason. Some 67% of the U.S. populace wants a president who favors stricter regulation of financial institutions, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted in October 2015. Even Republicans to the tune of 58% said they want a candidate willing to toughen Wall Street oversight.

"It's no surprise that people who were hurt by the crisis want to be protected from Wall Street," Dennis Kelleher, president of Better Markets, a non-profit organization that lobbies for strict enforcement of Dodd-Frank, said in a phone interview from Washington. "Given the hostility of the American people toward financial institutions, no one can get elected, saying they're going to side with Wall Street."

 

And that puts Clinton in a tight position. Her opponents have on numerous occasions called for Clinton to make public the transcripts of her paid speeches to many of the country's largest financial institutions. The New York Times editorial board in February wrote Clinton should "show voters those transcripts," and GOP operatives are reportedly searching high and low for indications of what she might have said. Clinton has said she will release the transcripts if and when everyone else in the race follows suit on all of their speeches, but suspicions are high that Clinton doesn't want those speeches made public for fear they would reveal a politician eager to please bankers.

For her part, Clinton has steadfastly insisted that being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to speak to financial firms doesn't preclude her from supporting Dodd-Frank or the Consumer Protection Act, the cornerstone of Obama's financial reforms. In a Feb. 11 debate with Sanders, Clinton said she would seek to re-insert regulations that Republicans took out of the bill in exchange for passage.

First and foremost was a bank tax to help pay to implement the law. Second was the so-called Volcker Rule, aimed at discouraging banks from making risky investments.

"This would be a sensible, moderate way to address banks taking risks," Jeffrey Frankel, macro-economics professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, said in a phone interview from Cambridge, Mass. "Republicans have consistently tried to limit funding on the enforcement agencies, both the Consumer Protection Bureau and existing ones. These are steps to raise a little money for enforcement and tax the riskier activities of the big banks."

Clinton has also proposed levying a "graduated risk fee every year on the liabilities of banks with more than $50 billion in assets, and other financial institutions that are designed by regulators for enhanced oversight." Those fees, Clinton says, would be scaled "higher for firms with greater amounts of debt and riskier, short-term forms of debt." Clinton likens it to a deterrent, a rainy day fund. 

She would also seek legislation to hold executives accountable by extending the statute of limitations for major financial crimes to 10 years from 5 years, and requiring that executives lose bonus pay when a bank pays a fine related to their bad decisions. Additionally, Clinton has also called for addressing executive compensation schemes that Kelleher says "induce and incentivize recklessness."

Unlike Sanders, though, Clinton doesn't support restoring Glass-Steagall, which was passed in 1936 in the throes of the Depression to separate commercial banking from investment banking. She insists that even if Glass-Steagall hadn't been repealed, Lehman Brothers, AIG and Bear Stearns, among others, wouldn't have been prevented from making risky bets.

Rather than focusing on Glass-Steagall, Clinton counters that a different kind of regulatory framework is needed to monitor hedge funds and other non-bank institutions, adding that Dodd-Frank could be used to break up banks, if that's what was required.

Nonetheless, a group of 170 economists who support Bernie Sanders' more aggressive plans to regulate Wall Street signed a letter arguing that Clinton's plan doesn't sufficiently reduce risk in the financial system, leaving the government vulnerable to institutions deemed too big to fail.

"Sanders overstates the banking part of finance, and Clinton overstates the shadow banking part of finance," Kelleher said. "Clinton has to continue to talk about importance of regulating the shadow banking system but she needs to also address the too big to fail banks on Wall Street. They're both right but they both have more work to do."

Remaking the U.S. Tax Code

This is a biggie, and strikes at the heart of the conflicting world views of the two major parties.

To highlight her differences with the Republican candidates, Clinton has been emphasizing in campaign speeches that as president she would seek to close the so-called "carried interest loophole." In effect, the provision allows money managers and hedge fund operators to treat fees on their clients' investments as capital gains, which are taxed at a maximum rate of 23.8% rather than the 39.6% rate applied to ordinary income.

Closing the loophole, and raising taxes on short-term capital gains, are being pitched as concrete steps aimed addressing income inequality, an issue resonating with both Democrats and Republicans.

 

The carried interest loophole allows "individuals making more than $450 million a year on average are taxed at a lower rate than teachers making around $50,000 on average," wrote Morris Pearl, former managing director of Black Rock, the asset management firm. "There is no more striking example of the cost of corruption than tax loopholes that benefit the 1%."

Congress considered doing away with the carried interest loophole back in 2012 when Rep. Dave Camp, a Republican who chaired the Ways & Means Committee, proposed a sweeping tax reform plan that included treating carried interest as regular income. Yet even as the House approved such a measure, it died in the Senate.

Along these same lines, Clinton in January announced a plan to levy a 4% "surcharge" on people earning more than $5 million, generating about $150 billion over 10 years. That's not going to retire the national debt, but it does send a message at a time when her Democratic rival Sanders is gathering strength from progressives insisting that government take substantive actions to address income inequality.

Essentially, if you're super-rich or make most of your money investing, your taxes will probably go up under a President Clinton. 

Raising taxes on the wealthy doesn't necessarily hurt the economy, said Michael Lind, a senior fellow at New America, a Washington-based think tank. Tax rates on the highest wage earners was higher before the 1980s when the economy was growing faster, he said.

"The real question is the 'dead-weight loss' of tax avoidance, tax evasion because rich people have the resources as well as the incentives to avoid paying taxes," Lind said in a phone interview. "That's a loss to the economy, and has a very real impact on raising the deficit."

To lower the federal deficit, it will likely be necessary for the next president to widen the tax burden for those earning less than $250,000 through increases in sales or consumption taxes, he added. This is not part of Clinton's plan.

Critics of Clinton's tax plan say that higher investing taxes -- that are already too high -- will hurt economic growth by disincentivizing investment. Legendary investor Warren Buffett, a Clinton supporter, has said, however, that higher taxes on investing won't stop the rich from doing so

According to the Tax Foundation's analysis, Clinton's plan would raise tax revenue by $498 billion over the next decade on a static basis. However, when taking into account what it says would be a dip in economic output incurred by the plan, it would end up collecting $191 billion.

U.S. Corporations, Trade and Foreign Policy

While U.S. corporations may differ with Clinton on taxes, she proved her worth as secretary of state in negotiating free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

Yet it was in Mexico where Clinton may have forged her most significant achievement when she helped to negotiate an agreement with Mexico and its state-run oil and natural gas company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) to open drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico. The agreement, made on behalf of U.S. energy companies, was hashed out in December 2013 with the signing of the U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Agreement, which established a framework to allow U.S. companies to work with Pemex to develop oil reserves that straddle the underwater boundary between the two countries.

The agreement was approved by Congress, signed by Obama and hailed as a landmark achievement by the American Petroleum Institute.

Working for the Obama administration, Clinton also helped to lay the groundwork for the Trans-Pacific Partnership even as she has changed her position on the trade treaty as a presidential candidate. The sweeping agreement, negotiated in closed meetings with 11 Pacific Rim nations, lays out myriad rules to lower import tariffs. 

Yet trade treaties have proven to be political liabilities as many Americans believe they send jobs overseas, and Clinton was quick to distance herself from the TPP, which Congressional leaders have said isn't likely to be considered until after the November elections, despite President Obama's emphatic support of the agreement. 

In an interview with PBS, Clinton said that she was "worried about currency manipulation not being part of the agreement. We've lost American jobs to the manipulations that countries, particularly in Asia, have engaged in." Her flip-flop on TPP, however, has opened her to criticism from both Sanders and Republican candidates.

The same can be said of her support for authoritarian regimes such as Hosni Mubarak's Egypt and military coup that ousted Honduras's democratically elected president Manual Zelaya. Both cases reflect the historic economic underpinning of U.S. foreign policy: to open markets for U.S. corporations.

While supportive of U.S. corporations doing business abroad, Clinton has been critical of efforts by some companies to skirt U.S. taxes by executing mergers with non-U.S. entities. Paradoxically, that's a position she shares with GOP frontrunner Trump, who has condemned the use of so-called tax inversion deals.

In November, Trump sided with Clinton when she slammed New York-based Pfizer Inc. for attempting to execute a $150 billion merger with Ireland's Allergan PLC in order to change its headquarters, thereby leaving "U.S. taxpayers holding the bag." The sides scrapped the deal in light of new rules from the Treasury Department aimed at squashing it. (The Obama administration has been especially aggressivein its handling of inversions and deal-making.)

But despite the current rhetoric, Clinton is likely to continue to support free trade, which is widely considered to be good for the economy

"She is positioning herself as Obama's heir on issues such as trade," said Kyle Kondik, managing editor of politics website Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, in an interview from Charlottesville, Va. "Yes, she did flip on the Trans-Pacific partnership but that's likely to be settled before she would enter office."

Clinton has taken a harder line on drug pricing, which could have a major impact on the pharmaceutical industry. Clinton rolled out a plan to lower prescription drug costs in September 2015 and announced additional initiatives in September of this year, including the establishment of a dedicated consumer oversight panel to protect consumers from aggressive price hikes. Her plan may very well lower prices, but it could also rock pharmaceutical companies. 

Wages and Jobs

On the campaign trail, Clinton has increasingly described herself as "progressive," an indication that she wants to position herself to the left of where she might have been in the past.

That past included serving on the board of directors at Walmart for six years (1986-92) at a time when the company's worker relations were infamous, and helping to build strategy for an Arkansas governor who rode the centrist Democratic Leadership Council's push for free trade, tough-on-crime policies and welfare reform straight to the White House.

The DLC, of course, closed its doors back in 2011, a clear sign that the party has moved left.

And now Clinton wants to show that she has moved left as well, especially on issues of union organizing, immigration and raising the minimum wage, Kondik added. 

"We can expect a high level of continuity with Obama's policies if she's elected," Kondik said. "While she has tried to move to left a little bit to satisfy the more populist wing of the part, I don't think she is naturally more liberal on economic issues than Obama is, she might actually be less but she's moved to where the party is, which has become more liberal over time."

At the top of that list is wage stagnation, a direct product of income inequality, which is arguably a product of a tax code with elements that Democrats have called regressive. As James Surowiecki wrote recently in the New York Review of Books "the top 1% of earners take home more than 20% of the income, and their share has more than doubled in the last 35 years. Over that same period, wages and household incomes have risen only slightly."

Forcing employers to raise salaries probably begins with raising the federal minimum wage. Since 2009, that's been $7.25 an hour. Clinton has proposed a $12 minimum wage target nationally but has also been supportive of the labor-led fight for $15, saying that the $15 target should be implemented where allowed regionally. When pushed by Sanders at an April debate, she said she would sign a bill setting the federal minimum wage at $15 and later clarified her stance that such a bill would have to have certain stipulations in it.

Whether or not raising the minimum wage would hurt the economy is a source of much debate -- and policy papers -- from competing think tanks, industry lobbyists and labor unions. Yet accepting that some change and displacement would occur, raising the minimum wage may actually be a net longer-term positive for the economy, argues New America's Lind.

 

"Obviously, businesses that would be unable to pay a higher minimum, whatever it is, would suffer," Lind said. "But having a minimum wage that drives low-wage businesses out of existence arguably is a good thing, as it can force businesses to invest in technology rather than labor, which is a good thing from the point of view of overall national productivity."

Reality With Republicans Controlling Congress

To get any of these proposals enacted, Clinton would likely have to barter with a House of Representatives that likely will remain in Republican hands (although Trump at the top of the GOP ticket might change that). Assuming that Clinton is elected president and the Democrats fair poorly in mid-term elections, which is customary, Clinton runs the risk of being the first Democratic president to serve without ever having her party control the House.

As a result, raising the minimum wage or increasing taxes on higher earners would probably require a grand bargain with Republicans that might have to include lowering the corporate tax rate.

"Because the political situation will probably be much like it is now, her ability to pass landmark legislation would be blocked," Kondick said. "If you thought Obama's relationship with the House was bad, I don't see why Clinton's would be better. We could be looking at more stalemate.

Whether such an impasse could be broken would depend on one party gaining significant momentum coming out the election in November. Ultimately, though, Clinton's ability to move her economic agenda will rest on how she decides to govern. Will it be through the centrist positions of her husband's administration, the liberal doctrines of Barack Obama or the populism of Bernie Sanders?

 

Only Hillary knows.

Source : thestreet

Categorized in Others
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