Phillipine President Clarifies His 'America Has Lost' Remarks

Phillipine President Rodrigo Duterte has made some controversial remarks in recent weeks. In September, he called President Obama a "son of a whore." He then raised eyebrows when he said the Phillipines would not be taking part in military drills with the U.S. earlier this month. In Beijing, China on Thursday, he said matter-of-factly that he is cutting off military and economic ties to the United States.

"America has lost now. I've realigned myself in your ideological flow," he told business leaders in Beijing on Thursday. "And maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world: China, Philippines and Russia. It's the only way."

After these biting remarks, the Obama administration immediately responded. They have not received any such requests from Duterte, Deputy White House Press Secretary Eric Schultz told reporters on Thursday.

Now, Duterte is walking back his comments. He claims he did not mean total separation from the U.S. He just wants a more independent foreign policy so the Phillipines can pursue a stronger relationship with China. He cannot cut economic ties to America, he ensured the press.

"It is not severance of ties. When you say severance of ties, you cut diplomatic relations. I cannot do that," the Philippine leader told reporters at a midnight news conference in his southern home city of Davao.

"It's in the best interest of my countrymen to maintain that relationship."

Clinton Foundation: Hillary Personally Negotiated $12 Million Pay Day From Morocco's King

Why was Hillary Clinton still entertaining a lucrative face-to-face meeting with Morocco's king on behalf of the Clinton Foundation, even after she'd announced her presidential run last year?  Because there was a lot of money at stake, hacked Wikileaks emails reveal. Fox News' Ed Henry reports:

Just hours after Hillary Clinton dodged a question at the final presidential debate about charges of "pay to play" at the Clinton Foundation, a new batch of WikiLeaks emails surfaced with stunning charges that the candidate herself was at the center of negotiating a $12 million commitment from King Mohammed VI of Morocco. One of the more remarkable parts of the charge is that the allegation came from Clinton's loyal aide, Huma Abedin, who described the connection in a January 2015 email exchange with two top advisers to the candidate, John Podesta and Robby Mook. Abedin wrote that "this was HRC's idea" for her to speak at a meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in Morocco in May 2015 as an explicit condition for the $12 million commitment from the king. "She created this mess and she knows it," Abedin wrote to Podesta and Mook. The "mess" refers in part to the fact that the three Clinton advisers were discussing the possibility of the former secretary of state pulling out of speaking at the May 2015 event because it was happening one month after the official launch of her presidential campaign and could raise more questions about her role at the foundation.

In January 2015, Mook indicated Clinton was still considering whether to attend the event, even though her advisers clearly seemed to be concerned about the appearance of such heavy involvement in the foundation amid questions about its fundraising. With the subject line, "FYI CGI Africa," Mook sent an email to Podesta and Abedin on January 18, 2015. "Came up on our call with HRC," wrote Mook. "John flagged the same issues we discussed, Huma. HRC said she's sitll(sic)considering." Abedin wrote back later that day, and suggested the King would be furious if Clinton pulled out of the event. "Just to give you some context, the condition upon which the Moroccans agreed to host the meeting was her participation," Abedin wrote. "If hrc was not part if(sic) it, meeting was a non-starter." Abedin added that CGI had not even come up with the idea to hold the event in Morocco, instead it was generated by Clinton herself. "This was HRC's idea, our office approached the Moroccans and they 100 percent believe they are doing this at her request," wrote Abedin. "The King has personally committed approx $12 million both for the endowment and to support the meeting."...While Clinton was secretary of state, her department in 2011 charged that the Moroccan government was behind "arbitrary arrests and corruption in all branches of government."

The King of Morocco set up an elaborate visit for Hillary Clinton, apparently at her suggestion, and agreed to contribute $12 million to the foundation.  Given his country's blemished corruption record -- according to Clinton's State Department -- what did the monarch believe he might receive in exchange for his generosity, one wonders?  Surely something was worth $12 million to him, and it couldn't have been her mere presence.  (In another questionable episode, the ISIS-funding Qatari regime offered a $1 million "birthday gift" to Bill Clinton, asking for five minutes of face time with the former president to present the check.  This extreme generosity cannot realistically be viewed as purely altruistic).  At Wednesday's debate, Mrs. Clinton side-stepped questions about pay-for-play allegations surrounding the Clinton Foundation -- whose high level donors have received preferential treatment in terms of access to Sec. Clinton, coveted invitationscontracts, and even appointments.  It was one giant conflict of interest.  She boasted of the organization's strong charity-to-overhead cost ratio, as well as its strong ratings from charity watchdogs.  What she failed to mention was that the foundation's finances have looked much more profligate and wasteful in the recent past, and that the foundation was on a charity watch list -- getting removed under heavy political pressure in 2015.  Mrs. Clinton has egregiously mischaracterized the level of transparency with which her family ran the organization while she was Secretary of State, during which time she repeatedly violated her ethics agreement with the Obama administration.  Oh, and here's another curious little tidbit from new Wikileaks documents.  I share Democrats' alarm about Russia clearly attempting to influence our election, but granting and setting those concerns aside, how can the Clinton campaign explain this?

Political campaigns are legally barred from any coordination with SuperPACs.  Via CBS News, I'll leave you with this delightful flashback video of Hillary admonishing her underlings at State to be vigilant about, er, cybersecurity:

Photo credit: PBS

Flashback Friday: Here's President George H. W. Bush's Letter To President Bill Clinton On His First Day On The Job

A letter written by President George H. W. Bush to President Bill Clinton on his first day as president is going viral as a reminder of a time when civility seemed to exist in politics. Bush wrote the letter to Clinton to encourage him and wish him well in his new job.

Jan 20, 1993

Dear Bill,

When I walked into this office just now I felt the same sense of wonder and respect that I felt four years ago. I know you will feel that, too.

I wish you great happiness here. I never felt the loneliness some Presidents have described.

There will be very tough times, made even more difficult by criticism you may not think is fair. I’m not a very good one to give advice; but just don’t let the critics discourage you or push you off course.

You will be our President when you read this note. I wish you well. I wish your family well.

Your success now is our country’s success. I am rooting hard for you.

Good luck-


Those were the days, weren't they?

Bill Clinton Destroys "Old White Gray-Haired" Americans, Says Immigrants Keep America Young

Bill Clinton acknowledged Friday during a campaign speech for his wife that there have been millions of Americans left behind as the the world advances on its ultra-progressive path.  What he failed to do is mention any shift in pace or remorse for the harm that such liberal policies cause.

“We know that there are whole areas of America that have been left out and left behind,” Clinton acknowledged.  “But so has coal country, and most of them are supporting [Hillary’s] opponent because they’ve been told that President Obama and those of us who think something has to be done about climate change are responsible for the loss of those jobs.”

Clinton said that anger does not solve the problems America faces.  He also said that illegal immigrants are keeping America young.

“Even in our own lives, there are reasons to be angry. But answers work better. There are always reasons to be frustrated. But empowerment is the only answer... They’re against immigration reform when that’s the only thing that we got keeping us young right now. Our first-generation Americans."

He said that old gray-haired white guys should be worried about who is going to pay for Social Security and Medicare.

“All these old gray-haired white guys, how do they think our Social Security is going to be paid out and our Medicare is going to get funded?,” Clinton stated.  “We need you. We all need this. Everybody has got a legitimate beef. Sometimes the things that happen are unfair and unjust…What are you going to do about it and how are you going to feel about it?”

“We’ve got to be a tomorrow country again. Can’t do it without a mind,” he said, and a “heart well turned.”

The Clinton's continue to show their disdain for white people throughout America, especially old white males.  

Watch Live: Clinton Speaks in Cleveland

ICYMI: Howard Dean Was Not Prepared To Discuss Quid Pro Quo Allegations At State, FBI...At All

While this week has been dominated by the last presidential debate, Wikileaks, discussing whether locker room talk actually exists, you probably missed former DNC chairman Howard Dean’s trainwreck interview with MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts, who asked him how the Clinton campaign will get ahead of the rather unsettling accusation that there was an alleged quid pro quo offer between the FBI and the State Department. Both State and the FBI have stringently denied that any such arrangement occurred, though it was mentioned in the latest batch of the FBI’s notes on the investigation into Clinton’s email server that were released this week.

The notes indicate that the Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy offered a quid pro quo concerning reclassifying some of Clinton’s emails in return for more FBI agents being allowed to enter forbidden countries. Howard Dean seemed to think that these FBI notes and Wikileaks were the same, spouting off the talking point that these were fake, and that the Russians leaked it. It’s mere innuendo from the mind of someone’s imagination, according to Dean.

Roberts reminded him that this wasn’t the Russians who indicated this, but the FBI.

“No, no sir this is not Wikileaks,” said Roberts before mentioning the FBI, and the allegation that Kennedy tried to influence the investigation.

“This makes no sense to me at all. This sounds like late in the campaign tricks that are meaningless,” replied Dean.

Roberts then said that Trump would be likely to bring this up during the third and final debate, asking (again) Dean how the Clinton campaign would respond. Dean said that Clinton should just keep doing what she’s doing with her past scandals, which is to deny, deny, and deny some more. Granted, some accusation, like Vince Foster’s suicide, is a bit far-fetched, but there is some glaring ethical issues concerning the sale of Uranium One to the Russian state corporation Rosatom, which the Committee on Foreign Investment signed off on; Clinton is one of the principals on that committee.

To make a long story short, the chairman of Uranium One used his own family charity to donate more that $2 million to the Clinton Foundation, while a bank selling Uranium One futures paid Bill Clinton $500,000 for a paid speech, while this sale was in negotiations. The approval of the sale made the Russians one of the world’s largest uranium producers; Uranium One had mining interests in the U.S.

Dean was just not prepared for this interview, which showed when he seemed to think that the FBI notes were Wikileaks documents. Any allegation of quid pro quo, especially with the Clintons, whether it’s true or not, is news. The fact that this was even discussed (based on these notes) is unsettling. Moreover, Dean, or any Democrat, wouldn’t have said that these allegations are meaningless if a Republican were in the crosshairs.

Here's the relevant portion of that note,courtesy of The Washington Free Beacon/Politico:

In an exchange that included redacted names, the interview notes state that “[REDACTED] received a call from [REDACTED] of the International Operations Division (IOD) of the FBI, who ‘pressured’ him to change the classified email to unclassified. [REDACTED] indicated he had been contacted by PATRICK KENNEDY, Undersecretary of State, who had asked his assistance in altering the email’s classification in exchange for a ‘quid pro quo.’”

Odd News: Kyrgyzstan Has Misplaced Its Constitution

Some weird news for your Friday afternoon: the country of Kyrgyzstan seemingly has no idea as to where the physical copy of its constitution is located. In what appears to be a classic case of multiple parties saying, "wait, I thought you had it," nobody has any clue about where the original constitution is.

Kyrgyzstan wrote its constitution in June 2010, and realized it was missing on October 19. According to The Independent, some have suggested that this whole situation is an elaborate ruse to distract people from the current political mess in the country.

Justice Minister Jyldyz Mambetalieva said her office had a copy of the 2010 constitution, but that the original is held by the presidential administration.

Moldakun Abdyldayev, the presidential administration’s liaison to parliament, contradicted her.

He said: “We assumed that it was with the Justice Ministry. Now the minister is confirming that there is no original. That raises the question: where is the original?”

There is also the possibility that there isn't a master copy of the constitution. The text of the document was published in newspapers throughout Kyrgyzstan and was the subject of a referendum, so at least there's some sort of record as to the country's governing document.

And no, Nic Cage is not believed to be a suspect in the document's disappearance.

ISIS Launches Counter-Offensive in the Iraqi City of Kirkuk

Early on Friday morning, ISIS launched a major counter-offensive on the city of Kirkuk in retaliation for Iraqi and Kurdish forces assault around Mosul that started earlier this week in Iraq.

The Islamic State's assault on Kirkuk, which lies in an oil- producing region, killed 18 members of the security forces and workers at a power station outside the city, including two Iranians, according to Reuters.

Hours after the initial assault, witnesses in Kirkuk said gunfire and explosions could still be heard and ISIS fighters were walking through the downtown district.

District police chief Brig Gen Sarhad Qadir said that suicide bombers had attacked three police buildings and the headquarters of a political party.

"All of the militants who attacked the police emergency building and the old building of the Kirkuk police directorate have been killed but a number of other militants are still in Dumez district," he said.

ISIS also cut the road between the city and the power station 20 miles to the north.

"Because of the ongoing Mosul offensive, they may want to create a situation where forces would be withdrawn from there and the focus shifted to Kirkuk," Mr Karim told Kurdish news agency Rudaw.  "Also because they are being defeated in Mosul, they want to boost their morale with these kinds of actions."

Watch Live: Trump Speaks in Johnstown

Clinton Campaign: Let's Not Overdo the Tributes to "The Four Guys" Killed in Benghazi

WikiLeaks released another batch of Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta's emails on Thursday. If you search "Benghazi," you'll find her staff editing a draft of her opening statement to the Select Committee on Benghazi hearing almost a year ago today. Her staff is mostly pleased with the wording, but they have a few issues with it. In particular, Clinton's political consultant Mandy Grunwald questions why Clinton is mentioning the "four guys" who were killed on the night of the raid. To do so, Grunwald worried, may be "overdoing" it.

Those four brave men, in case you didn't know, are Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods. Clinton ultimately kept it in the final version of her opening statement.

In another message in the email chain, one other staffer casually talks about the number of Americans killed by while serving in their diplomatic posts overseas.

Can we get some more numbers into the early “diplomacy is dangerous” discussion? Sixty-six American diplomatic personnel and over a hundred contractors and locally employed staff killed since the 1970’s (or whatever the numbers are). I recognize we have some numbers on page 3 (Beirut bombing, 1998 attacks).

Yeah, whatever they are.

Her team also went back and forth trying to decide whether or not to use the line about "the backs of dead Americans," wondering if they should keep it in to stir moral outrage.

Ben Stein Brings “Bueller” Back in Awesome New GOP Ad

Ben Stein has reprised his role as Ferris Bueller’s mundane economics teacher in a new Iowa ad attacking Chuck Grassley’s Democratic challenger, Patty Judge.

In the short clip, Stein, who is a longtime Republican, repeatedly calls out “Judge” to no avail. The ad points out how Judge has basically been a no-show to her responsibilities. This was contrasted to Grassley’s high attendance record.

The ad could not be more hilarious. Here’s to hoping it gives Grassley another term in the U.S. Senate.

Several Major Websites Go Down In DDOS Attack

On Friday, many popular sites on the internet--Spotify, Twitter, Reddit, Amazon, and dozens of others--were temporarily shut down due to a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on servers hosted by Dyn, a host utilized by many major websites.

Domain Name Servers (DNS) act as the Internet’s phone book. Basically, they facilitate your request to go to a certain webpage and make sure you are taken to the right place. If the DNS provider that handles requests for Twitter is down, well, good luck getting to Twitter. Some websites are coming back for some users, but it doesn’t look like the problem is fully resolved.

Dyn posted this update on its website: “Starting at 11:10 UTC on October 21th-Friday 2016 we began monitoring and mitigating a DDoS attack against our Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure. Some customers may experience increased DNS query latency and delayed zone propagation during this time. Updates will be posted as information becomes available.”

The attack was first reported before 9:00 a.m. ET, and was resolved around 9:45 a.m. ET. It is unknown who--or what--was behind the attack.

Smart Power: Cash-Flush Iran Steps Up Funding to Radical Group Attacking US Ships

Behold, the latest machinations of our newly-enriched "peace partners" or whatever, who -- as President Obama himself anticipated -- have been putting their sanctions relief windfall from the nuclear agreement to prompt use, stepping up support to terrorists and anti-American militias. Their world-leading state sponsorship of terrorism is "undiminished" since the Obama administration bypassed Congress and struck an agreement with the Al Qaeda-harboring regime, under which Tehran receives tens of billions of dollars in exchange for a temporary, loophole-filled pause of their previously-illegal nuclear program.  Contra Tim Kaine, the agreement does not even remotely "end" Iran's nuclear ambitions.  Just the opposite, in fact.  So with their coffers replenished, Iran is doing what Iran does -- via Reuters:

Iran has stepped up weapons transfers to the Houthis, the militia fighting the Saudi-backed government in Yemen, U.S., Western and Iranian officials tell Reuters, a development that threatens to prolong and intensify the 19-month-old war. The increased pace of transfers in recent months, which officials said include missiles and small arms, could exacerbate a security headache for the United States, which last week struck Houthi targets with cruise missiles in retaliation for failed missile attacks on a U.S. Navy destroyer. Much of the recent smuggling activity has been through Oman, which neighbors Yemen, including via overland routes that take advantage of porous borders between the two countries, the officials said...That raises a further quandary for Washington, which views the tiny Gulf state as a strategic interlocutor and ally in the conflict-ridden region. A senior U.S. administration official said that Washington had informed Oman of its concerns, without specifying when...The Iran-allied Houthis gained a trove of weapons when whole divisions allied to former Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh sided with them at the start of the war last year. But Saudi Arabia and Yemen’s exiled government say they also receive substantial amounts of weapons and ammunition from Iran. Tehran views the Houthis as the legitimate authority in Yemen, but denies it supplies them with weapons.

Yemen, you may recall, was touted by Obama as a success story in the region. Oops.  As the Reuters story mentions, not only are the Iranians increasing their global meddling, they're arming a group that is firing missiles  at American ships, prompting retaliatory strikes.  If you're keeping track of this brilliant 'smart power' diplomatic stroke, the US government forked over billions to a known sponsor of terror, which then...sponsored terror, transferring weapons to a militia that is now attacking American warships.  Take a bow, Mr. President.  And Madame Secretary, who laid the groundwork for the reckless nuclear accord -- which she still supports, despite a broad bipartisan consensus against it.  Meanwhile, Iran continues to flex its muscles in Iraq, helping to fill the power vacuum left over by the Obama/Clinton foolishly hasty, politically-motivated withdrawal from that country (where Iranian bombs have killed hundreds of US servicemen, it must be noted).  Things have gotten so bad with ISIS that Obama has quietly redeployed thousands of Americans to Iraq, though the administration insists they are in a non-combat role.  Tell that to the US soldier who was killed by an enemy IED just this week near Mosul.  And in case you missed Cortney's post earlier in the week, the Iranian government is demanding more ransom payments in exchange for the release of additional US hostages, more of whom Iran has inevitably seized since the last cash-for-hostages scheme.  The Washington Post's editorial board took notice of Iran's conduct vis-a-vis hostage-taking and ransom-demanding, scolding the Obama administration:

More and bitter evidence of [enduring tensions] came Tuesday, when Tehran announced that two American citizens and a permanent U.S. resident had been sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of “cooperating with the hostile U.S. government.” ... The government of Hassan Rouhani, which negotiated the nuclear deal with the Obama administration, is often portrayed as opposed to this de facto hostage-taking. If so, the government appears powerless to prevent it. Instead, officials complain about the relatively slow return of Western investment and trade following the lifting of United Nations sanctions, even as some of those who promote the opening are unjustly imprisoned. Iranian foreign policy, too, remains unchanged. The regime has dispatched thousands of fighters to Syria to prop up the regime of Bashar al-Assad and is using Shiite militias to extend its influence across Iraq. It is encouraging Russia’s new bid for influence in the Middle East while doing its best to drive out the United States...Though it was officially part of a separate claims settlement, the Obama administration’s delivery of $400 million in cash to the Iranian regime at the time of the release of Mr. Rezaian and other prisoners may have whetted the appetites of Tehran’s jailers.

"May have."  Cute.  Iran is a malignant actor running roughshod over a weak American president who is obsessed with protecting the legacy of the terrible nuclear deal he struck, at virtually any cost. His administration paid one massive ransom to Iran to buy back some imprisoned Americans (the "official" story is a laughable pretext), and now -- surprise! -- Tehran is back at that well, asking for more. And why wouldn't they? Obama has offered concession after concession, even after the lopsided accord was finalized -- including lifting sanctions on key banks closely tied to Iran's illegal ballistic missile program. The regime is getting everything it wants, including, it seems, the ability to purchase new airplanes from US companies. A comprehensive, humiliating, dangerous rout.  And by the way, Mr. President:  No, Israel does not support the Iran deal.

Former RNC Chair Isn't Voting For Donald Trump--Or Hillary Clinton

Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele, who led the RNC from 2009 until 2011, will not be voting for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in the upcoming election. Steele said this at a dinner honoring Mother Jones on its 40th anniversary. Steele said that he thought Trump's campaign gave voice to a "racist underbelly" in the United States, and thus, he won't be supporting it.

Steele also said the debates made him feel physically ill.

From BuzzFeed:

“I will not be voting for Clinton,” Steele told a dinner in honor of the 40th anniversary of the progressive magazine Mother Jones in San Francisco Friday. “I will not be voting for Trump either.”

Steele, a former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, said that Trump has “captured that racist underbelly, that frustration, that angry underbelly of American life and gave voice to that.”

“I was damn near puking during the debates,” Steele said, adding that he believes Trump only represents 30% of the Republican Party.

Current RNC Chair Reince Priebus has continued to support Donald Trump as Election Day grows near.

Republican Senator Wants to Get on With SCOTUS Nomination Before It's Too Late

Sensing a Hillary Clinton presidency is inevitable at this point, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is urging his colleagues to forward the Supreme Court nomination process before she enters the White House. President Obama's choice in Merrick Garland would be far better than any liberal justice Clinton requests, he argues.

"I said if we were in a position like we were in in '96 and we pretty much knew the outcome that we ought to move forward. But I think we passed that awhile ago," Flake said. "If Hillary Clinton is president-elect then we should move forward with hearings in the lame duck. That's what I'm encouraging my colleagues to do."

Yet, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is refusing to hold a vote. 

The Supreme Court is a significant factor in this year’s election. It was the very first thing the presidential nominees discussed at the debate in Las Vegas this week. Their visions for the court could not be more opposite. Donald Trump talked about appointing pro-life justices who will rule through a conservative bent, while Hillary Clinton spoke of the need to defend Roe v. Wade.

While Garland is not exactly a conservative hero (gun rights activists has some serious concerns) he is more middle-of-the-road than other potential candidates expected to be appointed by a Democrat. Should the GOP just take their chances with him?

Poll: Paul Ryan's Approval Collapses, More GOP Voters Say Trump Best Represents Their View Of The Party

Justin wrote about the hostile reception to Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan from Trump supporters at a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Chants of “Paul Ryan sucks” were shouted, but is this an isolated incident? That is, is this just a representation of Trump supporters from the local area? No—not really. The latest polling shows that support for Ryan has collapsed, sinking 28 points…in a week. The YouGov poll had some interesting points concerning Ryan, Trump, and the brewing tensions that seem bound to erupt in civil war once this election is over.

Allahpundit noted that Ryan is experiencing the Ted Cruz treatment from his own side by refusing to campaign with Trump, though he hasn’t yanked his endorsement, which rightfully leaves some people wondering why this late in the game would anyone just stop supporting Trump. For starters, the Access Hollywood tape isn’t a deal breaker with many Republican voters, but it is one with almost a quarter of independents, who Trump needs to win over in order to win this election. Another interesting find in the crosstabs about Ryan is that most Republicans, despite their increasing dislike of him, view him as the leader of the GOP, not Trump:

You would expect a majority of Republicans to say Trump when we’re a month out from Election Day. Nope — it’s Ryan, narrowly, which reflects either the deep ideological ambivalence on the right to the nominee or a growing resignation that Trump’s going to lose and Ryan will be the leader of the party the day after. Interestingly, pluralities of Dems and independents also say Ryan, not Trump, is the leader of the party. That’s especially odd among Democrats since you’d think they’d want to spread the idea that the very unpopular Trump is the face of the GOP, not the mildly unpopular Ryan. Maybe that’s the result of Hillary Clinton having spent the last three months telling the country that Trump doesn’t represent mainstream Republicans, a talking point that’s driven other Democrats nuts since it lets Republicans downballot off the hook for Trump’s worst excesses. If the GOP hangs onto the Senate, that’ll partly explain why.

Well, just a second, how can it be that Ryan is viewed as the leader of the GOP, but most Republicans think that Trump’s views best represent their own vision of the party? In fact, a new Bloomberg poll had Gov. Mike Pence as the person GOP voters want to see as the face of the party, followed by Trump, and then Sen. Ted Cruz. Ryan is fourth on that list:

When asked in the latest Bloomberg Politics poll who should be the face of the party nationally in the event of a Hillary Clinton victory, likely voters who are or lean Republican splintered down a list of five options.

A plurality, 27 percent, picked vice presidential nominee Mike Pence. Trump got 24 percent, ahead of Texas Senator Ted Cruz at 19 percent, House Speaker Paul Ryan at 15 percent, and Ohio Governor John Kasich at 10 percent.


When asked which leader better represents their view what the Republican Party should stand for, 51 percent of likely voters who are or lean Republican picked Trump, while 33 percent picked Ryan and 15 percent said they weren’t sure.

What is clear in these data is that a large segment of Trump supporters are all-in with the candidate. They see him as capable of delivering on the promise of a greater nation. That said, just 38 percent of them say they will stay loyal and follow his future endeavors if he does not win,” said pollster J. Ann Selzer, who oversaw the survey ahead of the final debate Wednesday. “If he were to lose, our data suggest his standing would diminish.”

Trump’s sliding popularity among party faithful may be another sign that his leadership would be less than welcome, especially since it already pales in comparison to the last nominee.

In the latest Bloomberg Politics poll, Trump’s favorability rating was 76 percent among likely voters who are or lean Republican, down from 81 percent in late September. Mitt Romney, the Republican Party’s last nominee, was seen favorably by 91 percent in a Bloomberg poll in September 2012.

Still, I doubt that the Trump wing of the GOP will disband overnight. If Trump should lose, the Never Trump wing and the establishment will begin with the “I told you so” antics, which is ridiculous. We don’t need that post-November 8th. What the party needs is a long, detailed, and painful discussion on reconstruction—and the Trump crowd will have to be part of it. On one hand, Paul Ryan is sinking in favorability, but is viewed as the leader of the party. Trump appears to be sinking in favorability, though his is much higher than Ryan’s, but is not considered the leader of the GOP. Yet, a majority of Republican voters feels that he best represents their views of the party. It’s a rather tribal look at the party, one that seems primed to see hostilities break out, especially if Trump loses in November.

The Al Smith Dinner Highlights

If you watched the Al Smith Dinner Thursday night, you would have seen a night of fun laughs and witty humor. However, some of the jokes got a bit awkward for Clinton and Trump - who have run a pretty rough campaign thus far.

Here are some of the highlights from the two candidates:

Trump: “And even tonight, with all of the heated back and forth, between my opponent and me at the debate last night, we have proven that we can actually be civil to each other. In fact, just before taking the dais, Hillary accidentally bumped into me and she very civilly said, ‘Pardon me.’ And I very politely replied, ‘Let me talk to you about that after I get into office.’”

Trump: "You know, last night, I called Hillary a 'nasty woman,' but this stuff is all relative. After listening to Hillary rattle on and on and on, I don’t think so badly of Rosie O’Donnell anymore. In fact, I’m actually starting to like Rosie a lot.”

Trump: “You know, the president told me to stop whining, but I really have to say, the media is even more biased this year than ever before — ever. You want the proof? Michelle Obama gives a speech and everyone loves it — it’s fantastic. They think she’s absolutely great. My wife, Melania, gives the exact same speech — and people get on her case.And I don’t get it. I don’t know why.”

Clinton: “It’s a special honor to be here with Your Eminence. Now I know, Your Eminence, you were criticized for inviting both Donald and me here tonight, and you responded by saying “If I only sat down with those who were saints, I’d be taking all my meals alone. Now, just to be clear, I think the Cardinal is saying I’m not eligible for sainthood. But getting through these three debates with Donald has to count as a miracle.”

Clinton: “People look at the Statue of Liberty and they see a proud symbol of our history as a nation of immigrants, a beacon of hope for people around the world. Donald looks at the Statue of Liberty and sees a ‘four.’ Maybe a ‘five’ if she loses the torch and tablet and changes her hair. You know, come to think of it, you know what would be a good number for a woman? Forty-five.”

Clinton: “Now, you notice there is no teleprompter here tonight, which is probably smart, because maybe you saw Donald dismantle his prompter the other day. And I get that. They’re hard to keep up with, and I’m sure it’s even harder when you’re translating from the original Russian.”

Clinton:” It is great, also, to see Mayor Bloomberg here. It’s a shame he’s not speaking tonight. I’m curious to hear what a billionaire has to say.”

Watch Live: Donald Trump Speaks in Fletcher

Clinton Promptly Ends Press Conference When Asked About Project Veritas Videos

Hillary Clinton appeared to get very uncomfortable when asked by reporters about the recently released Project Veritas videos showing DNC operatives engaging in voter fraud and inciting violence at Donald Trump rallies.

“You know, I know nothing about this,” she told reporters on her campaign plane. “I can’t deal with every one of his conspiracy theories, but I hope you all have something to eat and something to drink on the way back to New York! Thank you.” 

Surprise: A New Email Scandal Lie Emerges From Hillary Testimony

Now that the final debate is more fully in the rearview mirror, let's revisit the scandal Mrs. Clinton barely discussed in Las Vegas.  She'll hide behind the "does not recall" obfuscations she offered to Judicial Watch under oath, but let's consider the context and the source: This is just another lie from a compulsive liar, lying about her national security-endangering email scandal for which nobody has been held accountable -- to the reported chagrin of the career FBI agents and DOJ lawyers who worked the case.  Via the Washington Examinerhere we go again:

Responding to a set of questions under oath last week, Clinton said through her lawyer that she did not recall discussing her server with Bryan Pagliano, the IT aide whose immunity deal was the first to emerge publicly from the year-long FBI probe. "Secretary Clinton states that she does not recall having communications with Bryan Pagliano concerning or relating to the management, preservation, deletion, or destruction of any emails in her email account," Clinton testified through her lawyer, David Kendall, after raising objections to the question. But emails provided to conservative-leaning Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act show Clinton included Pagliano in discussions about her Blackberry, iPad and server when her network experienced problems in 2012..."Let me take a look at the server to see if it offers any insight," Pagliano wrote in an email to Clinton after she complained to him and Cooper of the "troubles" plaguing her Blackberry. The new records were among the roughly 15,000 emails FBI agents turned over to the State Department at the conclusion of their investigation.

Her testimony was that she "does not recall" ever communicating with Bryan Pagliano, the IT tech who set up and operated her bootleg, unsecureimproper server.  That doesn't pass the smell test on its face.  She never communicated with the guy who was running this scheme for her?  Buying that story requires a "willful suspension of disbelief," as Clinton once said in a nasty partisan confrontation with David Petraeus (approximately 1,000 official emails with whom her team wrongfully deleted and withheld from the State Department, about which Clinton then lied).  Beyond the smell test, these newly-released emails identify at least one instance in which Clinton personally emailed Pagliano, seeking assistance when her system was on the fritz (relatedly, you may remember that during a separate bout of server technical difficulties, the State Department actually disabled its official system's virtual defenses in order to try to accommodate her issue).  Sec. Clinton reached out to Pagliano for help, and he replied that he was working on the issue.  Does anyone believe this was the only time the two interacted?  It's a safe bet that she can't recall that either.  Meanwhile, experts are casting doubts on former State Department official Patrick Kennedy's tale about why he was in touch with an FBI official about email classifications, which he insists was not a quid pro quo offer:

A top former Justice Department privacy officer on Wednesday called it “extremely unlikely” that a senior U.S. diplomat would normally discuss the nuances of classification levels of one of Hillary Clinton’s emails about Benghazi with the deputy assistant director of the FBI’s international operations bureau. Patrick Kennedy, the State Department’s under secretary of management, was accused this week of offering a possible quid pro quo with the FBI in May 2015 to regarding the classification of an email about the 2012 attack on a diplomatic compound in northern Libya. In exchange for keeping the email unclassified, FBI documents released this week suggested, the State Department would agree to host more FBI agents in Iraq...the Justice Department’s former information and privacy director, Dan Metcalfe, on Wednesday said it was “extremely unlikely” that the Kennedy would seek advice on this particular classification issue from now-retired FBI agent Brian McCauley, who at the time was the bureau’s deputy assistant director for international operations. Instead, Metcalfe suggested, Kennedy likely called [McCauley] knowing the FBI wanted more agents in Iraq, but had been stymied in the past.

In other words, Kennedy's attempted machinations were basically exactly that they looked like: A political effort to protect Hillary Clinton, via mutual backscratching.  Nice try, Patrick -- who seems to feature prominently in Hillary scandals with curious frequency. Former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy, whom we've quoted on various elements of this scandal, opines that the apparently attempted quid pro quo arrangement may be suspicious, but doesn't amount to bribery.  He builds the case that the criminality lies elsewhere. A Wall Street Journal editorial published this week details how the stench around this element of Hillary's email scandal continues to get more noxious:

The latest FBI document release on Monday contains interviews with officials revealing that in spring 2015 Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy contacted an FBI official to coax the FBI to downgrade from classified to unclassified a Benghazi-related email that had sat on Mrs. Clinton’s server. At the time Mrs. Clinton was still insisting she’d never transmitted classified information...Democrats claim this is all nothing more than State employees engaging in the usual “interagency dispute” over classification—which has been Mrs. Clinton’s defense from the start. But there is nothing usual about the State department calling in “shadow” lawyers to handle emails, intimidating FOIA staff or proposing deals with FBI officials to deep-six documents in State basements. These are the actions of bureaucrats and political appointees seeking to hide from the public the mishandling of sensitive information by the Democratic nominee for President...Speaking of the White House, the latest WikiLeaks release contains an email from Clinton aide Phillipe Reines to campaign staffers in March 2015. Mr. Reines is responding to a New York Times headline, “Obama Says He Didn’t Know Hillary Clinton Was Using Private Email Address.” “One of us should connect with the WH just so they know that the email will show his statement to not make sense,” he wrote. This is the latest evidence that Mr. Obama was aware of, and corresponded with, Mrs. Clinton on her private email server."

Obama new about it, then denied he knew about it -- a lie that even surprised Clinton's aides, according to hacked emails. Perhaps he was the "VERY VIP" individual whose identity and/or email address Hillary's assistant IT manager sought to strip off of emails in advance of their release. In any case, all of this simple fuels the overwhelming public sentiment that Mrs. Clinton is dishonest and untrustworthy. In this week's  Quinnipiac poll, a 49 percent plurality called Hillary unfit to be president -- a terrible number for a woman who's campaigning on her experience and qualifications. Fortunately for Democrats, her opponent is the man they were rooting for in the GOP primary, and whose "unfit" rating in that same poll was an unelectable (38/58).  Last but not least, even if Clinton had sworn that she'd never conversed with Pagliano about the management of her secret server, without any "recollection" fudging, would that have mattered?  Probably not.  Remember, Clinton appears to have lied to the FBI about violating protocols by using personal computers in the secure areas (SCIF's) of her residences:

That contradiction resulted in...absolutely nothing.  Just like everything else she's done.  Being a Clinton means never, ever being held accountable.  

Clinton Campaign's Urgent Memo: Hillary Needs to Sit Down With Black Reporters "Fast"

Hillary Clinton's campaign knew their candidate was struggling with the black community last summer. She had a brief meeting with Black Lives Matter activists that was awkward at best. Instead of discussing solutions with the young people, she merely appeared to be arguing with them and pointing fingers at them for preventing progress where racial relations are concerned. Clinton's team appeared to realize how unflattering this meeting would be to her image. Immediately following that contentious meeting, her Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri emailed with Karen Finney, a political consultant, noting the need to set Clinton up in an interview with a black reporter - stat. Who other than WikiLeaks made the discovery.

Unfortunately for Clinton, the optics did not improve in the following months. In January of this year, Clinton sat down with Ebony Magazine, but the conversation partly focused on how the candidate was appearing to pander to the black community. Clinton admitted she was guilty of pandering, jokingly or not, in a radio interview a few months later.

Unfortunately for her campaign, the Clintons' uneasy relationship with Black Lives Matter did not end in August 2015. In April, her husband accused activists of defending criminals.  In August, a Black Lives Matter leader directly accused the Clintons of using them for their own political goals. 

Clinton has received the endorsement of some prominent black leaders, such as Rev. Jesse Jackson, and her polling with the demographic is not exactly concerning. But, will this newly surfaced WikiLeaks email frustrate African-American voters to the point where they'll stay home? 

The Real Winner of Wednesday's Debate? Fox News

Wednesday’s final debate was the third most watched presidential match ever, with 71.6 million viewers. And Fox News walked away the real winner. Not only was Fox News’ Chris Wallace praised for his “sterling performance” as moderator, but the network surpassed all the others—cable or broadcast—with 11.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.

ABC came out ahead for broadcast networks with 10.9 million viewers.

What a Shame: Election Overshadows 100th Anniversary of Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood, an organization that performs over 300,000 abortions every year but disguises itself as a "women's health" provider, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this month. 

Thanks to the presidential election, you may not have heard about it. 

Planned Parenthood's attempt to stoke enthusiasm has largely gone unnoticed. Last weekend, they tried to start a trend entitled #100YearsStrong. It only trended once, and for a short period of time. In fact, many tweeters were pro-lifers who were trolling the campaign, using it as an opportunity to remind people about Planned Parenthood's radical abortion agenda.

Abby Johnson, founder of the pro-life group And Then There Were None, offered a statement on the embarrassing failure of a tweetfest.

"Over and over again, we see Planned Parenthood desperately attempting to remain relevant among younger populations. But the bottom line is that young people are rejecting Planned Parenthood and their deceptive marketing. Planned Parenthood's primary base of support is from post-menopausal women who don't even have Twitter or Instagram accounts. Not to mention the sheer lack of tact in them celebrating their "birthday", when they have taken birthdays away from millions of unborn human beings." 

Of course, the Democratic nominee and her running mate choose to ignore these sobering statistics. Both Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine tweeted their praise for the organization on its anniversary. 

Clinton has also promised to uphold abortion rights on the Supreme Court. As Guy noted, she is "fanatically consistent" on this issue. At Wednesday night's Vegas debate, the Democratic nominee defended her support of partial-birth abortion, although most Americans are against the procedure at such a late state in a woman's pregnancy.

The Stream is hosting its own campaign, #100ForLife, asking contributors to share any stories they may have about their decisions to reject abortion. 

As a reminder.

Did WikiLeaks Just Issue a Warning to Tim Kaine, Donna Brazile?

WikiLeaks has issued what seems to be a warning to vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine and Donna Brazile, the interim chair for the DNC.

In a tweet Thursday evening, Wikileaks said they “have a surprise in store” for the two Democrats.

Brazile has made headlines a few times thus far from the leaked emails. First when the DNC was hacked over the summer leading to Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation, more recently when she seemed to give an exact debate question to the Clinton campaign.

Kaine, for his part, has remained largely untouched by the leaked emails.

Trump's Al Smith Dinner Speech Gets Too Political, Draws Boos

We knew it was going to be awkward. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were tasked with sitting just one seat apart from each other at the Al Smith dinner in New York City just 24 hours after their third and final presidential debate. The annual event was created to benefit Catholic charities.

The dinner started great. The chairman of the event, Alfred E. Smith IV, had a contagious sense of humor and noted that this year's dinner broke a fundraising record. It was smiles all around. When he handed the microphone off to Donald Trump, the GOP nominee started off with some seriously funny jabs. He threw some harmless jokes Clinton's way, noting this must be the biggest crowd she's drawn all year. Trump's home run moment, though, was when he snuck in a jab at his wife Melania for her RNC speech, parts of which turned out to be copied from an old Michelle Obama speech. That joke, he said, was bound to get him in trouble when he gets home. 

But, the laughter and applause turned to boos when his speech got a bit too political for the religious crowd. He called Clinton "crooked," brought up her email scandal and suggested that she was pretending to like Catholics by being there tonight. It all seemed a little too controversial for what was supposed to be a lighthearted evening.

Social media users noted that was an unfortunate first for the Al Smith dinner.

When Clinton went up to the podium, she said she was surprised Trump agreed to a "peaceful transition," poking fun at his continual argument the election is "rigged." She also included her own bit of self-deprecating humor, noting she took a break from her napping schedule to be there.

Despite the obvious tension, at one point Trump and Clinton did manage to shake hands - a feat for which the host noted Cardinal Dolan should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

The crowd's loudest applause seemed to come when the speakers noted the election will be over very soon.