Poll: Trump Continues To Be Within Striking Distance Of Clinton Nationally

Republican nominee Donald Trump had a disastrous post-convention cycle. But ever since the Associated Press released their analysis of Hillary’s State Department calendar thus far, showing that more than half of her nongovernmental meetings were with donors to the Clinton Foundation—the narrative of intrigue and unethical dealings that seem to follow the power couple was rehashed. Clinton dropped seven points in three days over Trump. Hillary remains in the lead by five, but still within striking distance of the Republican nominee, who has pivoted towards more disciplined messaging, hammering Clinton over her alleged paid access accusations emanating from the nonprofit.

He also headed down to Louisiana to assess the flood damage, while Democrats remained lethargic in responding to the worst disaster since Hurricane Sandy. Now, a new Morning Consult poll shows that Clinton’s lead over Trump has been halved in a week (via The Hill):

Clinton leads Trump by 3 points, 43 percent to 40 percent, in a head-to-head match-up in the Morning Consult poll released Sunday morning.

One week ago, Clinton led Trump by 6 points, 44 percent to 38 percent.

Voters view both candidates unfavorably, pollsters found, with 58 percent holding a negative view of Trump and 57 percent saying the same about Clinton.

The Real Clear Politics average has Trump trailing by six, which isn’t terrible. At the same time, he’s weak in some traditional Republican states—and he’s fairing poorly with Clinton in the swing states. Right now, if the election were held today, Clinton would easily clinch the 270 electoral votes needed to win. Yet, Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight added that we’re in the third quarter of this election cycle. And Clinton shouldn’t be counting on living in government housing again just yet. Then again, both candidates are especially weak and flawed this cycle, making cobbling new voters a difficult obstacle:

After mixed evidence before, it’s become clearer, at least according to our forecast models, that Donald Trump has regained some ground on her. Clinton’s national lead in our polls-only forecast has gone from a peak of about 8.5 percentage points two weeks ago to 6.5 percentage points as of Sunday evening — that is, a 2-point gain for Trump over two weeks. Correspondingly, Trump’s chances of winning the election have improved from a low of 11 percent to 19 percent.

[…]

It’s nice to have a model at times like these, instead of just throwing up your hands (or worse, cherry-picking polls to suit your case). And that model, as I said, shows Trump as having gained about 2 points over two weeks. If Trump keeps gaining 1 percentage point a week, he’ll beat Clinton by a couple of percentage points on Nov. 8. Hence, Clinton should probably not be picking out the White House drapes just yet.

Continued gains may not be so easy for Trump, however. He’s still at only 37 or 38 percent in national polls that include third-party candidates. That might seem like an easy number to improve upon, but his favorability rating is only about 35 percent, meaning that he’s already relying on support from a few voters who don’t like him but may vote for him to prevent a Clinton presidency.

Clinton also has some work to do. She’s at about 43 percent in national polls and in polls of key swing states — not enough to clinch victory, even if 6 to 10 percent of the vote eventually goes to third-party candidates, as appears increasingly likely. She’ll need to persuade a few undecided voters toward her side or get some of those third-party voters — more of whom have Clinton than Trump as their second choice — to turn out for her.

[…]

This election, at least for the time being, presents something of the opposite case. It isn’t all that close — Clinton is up by around 6 percentage points as best as we can figure, a larger lead than Obama had at almost any point in 2012 or until the very end of the 2008 campaign. But it’s August, and the number of undecided voters is high, and so the outcome remains fairly uncertain. Furthermore, while the state polls are fairly good for Clinton right now, we don’t know how they’ll react if the race tightens further. We’re going on three weeks without a live-caller poll in Pennsylvania, for example.

Coincidentally or not, the Clinton campaign was more proactive last week. It pushed back quite aggressively at an Associated Press story about donations to the Clinton Foundation. And it instigated a fight with Trump over his connections with what Clinton called “the emerging racist ideology known as the alt-right.” Clinton remains in a strong overall position, but she shouldn’t be playing prevent defense yet; we’re still in the equivalent of the third quarter.

Right, it’s the third quarter, which means there can be zero room to engage in disastrous public relations scenarios. As I’ve said before, the fact that Clinton is only ahead by less than ten points is a testament to her weakness as a candidate. It says more about her than him. For all intents and purposes, Clinton should be trouncing Clinton by over ten points. She’s can’t deliver those critical blows; she hamstrung by her baggage.

New Black Panther Leader: "We are Being Pimped by Democrats... Truly Examine Donald Trump"

The leader of the New Black Panther Party in Houston, Texas is calling for African-Americans to deeply question their relationship with Democratic Party and then "truly examine" Donald Trump's outreach to the black community.  

Red the full transcript of Mr. Quannel X here:

Donald Trump last week went to Milwaukee because of the rioting behind the police shooting of a young African-American male by a black officer and the city was being burned down in certain parts of the black community by protesters so Donald Trump decided to go to Milwaukee and speak about the conditions of America and why he felt black people should vote for him. He even went on to lay out reasons why he felt we should.

Let me say this to the brothers and sisters who listened and watched that speech. We may not like the vessel that said what he said, but I ask us to truly examine what he said, because it is a fact that for 54 years, we have been voting for the Democratic party like no other race in America. And they have not given us the same loyalty and love that we have given them. We as black people have to reexamine the relationship where we are being pimped like prostitutes, and they’re the big pimps pimping us politically, promising us everything and we get nothing in return.

We gotta step back now as black people and say, we’ve gotta look at all the parties and vote our best interests.

He spoke directly to black people. And I want to say and encourage the brothers and sisters. Barack Obama, our president, served two terms. The first black president ever. But did our condition get better? Did financially, politically, academically, with education in our community, did things get better? Are our young people working more than what is was before he came into office? The condition got worse. So now we as black people have to do and remember what the honorable Elijah Mohammed said. No politician can save the black community; we’ve gotta do it ourselves.

America’s in trouble. And I want to say to black and white people, only a fool fights in a burning house. This house is on fire.

Anthony Weiner Deletes Twitter After More Sexting Pictures Emerge

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) has deleted his Twitter account after a new round of sexting photos were published in the New York Post. The article hit the internet late Sunday night, and Weiner's account had vanished by early Monday morning.

One of the pictures published in the article shows an underwear-clad Weiner laying in bed next to his son, prompting disgust, outrage, and concern. Many were wondering if these new images (and the fact that their toddler-aged son was involved) meant that his wife, Huma Abedin, would kick him to the curb once and for all. Abedin is Hillary Clinton's top aide.

Weiner was forced to resign from the House of Representatives in 2011 following his accidental tweet of an explicit picture of himself. Since then, Weiner has repeatedly found himself in sexting scandals as he attempts to rebuild a career in politics. He claimed to have undergone therapy in 2012. He ran for mayor of New York City in 2013, but that bid was effectively derailed when it was revealed that Weiner had continued his sexcapades under the pseudonym "Carlos Danger."

Perhaps it's for the best that Weiner's Twitter days appear to be over.

A Team From The United States Won The Little League World Series For The First Time In Five Years

A team from Endwell, New York became the first American team to win the Little League World Series since 2011. The Maine-Endwell Little League team, representing the Mid-Atlantic region, defeated a team from Seoul, South Korea by a score of 2-1 in Sunday's Little League World Series final, capping off a 24-0 perfect season.

The game was an intense one, with South Korea limiting Maine-Endwell hitless until the fourth inning. The deciding run was scored in the fourth inning, and pitcher Ryan Horlost was able to keep his cool and hold on to the lead for the final two innings.

President Obama tweeted his congratulations to the team, saying that he was proud of them for their undefeated season as well as for showing good sportsmanship throughout the tournament.

The last American team to win the Little League World Series was Ocean View Little League, from Huntington Beach, California. Several of the players from that team gathered to watch the 2016 championship game together. The last team from New York to capture the Little League World Series crown was the Mid-Island Little League from Staten Island, New York, in 1964.

Congratulations to Maine-Endwell Little League!

Trump to Give Big Speech on Illegal Immigration This Week

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, who campaigned in the primary as a hardliner on illegal immigration, has been under fire for a week after saying he's "softening" his stance on the issue. 

"There could certainly be a softening because we're not looking to hurt people," Trump said in an interview with Fox News last week, going back on his pledge of a deportation force to solve the problem of 11 million people being in the United States illegally. "We have some great, great people in this country. But we’re going to follow the laws of this country and what people don’t realize. We have very, very strong laws."

Last Thursday Trump planned to give a comprehensive speech on the issue from Colorado, which was cancelled. His speech has been rescheduled to Wednesday from Arizona. 

Trump has been endorsed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former Governor Jan Brewer, who are both known for their tough stances on illegal immigration in the border state. His latest shift on illegal immigration to a status quo and amnesty policy position has earned him criticism from even his most ardent supporters like Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin. 

Merkel: The EU Must Not Refuse Muslim Migrants

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaking to a German television station, said that members of the EU should not be able to refuse Muslim refugees into their countries. Merkel said that there should be a quota system of sorts to ensure that refugees are distributed "fairly" among members of the EU.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said it is "unacceptable" for European Union member states to refuse to accept Muslim refugees.

Ms Merkel called for quotas to divide refugees fairly between EU nations in a television interview.

“What I continue to think is wrong is that some say 'we generally don't want Muslims in our country, regardless of whether there's a humanitarian need or not,'” she told German channel ARD.

Currently, European Union laws state that refugees can be placed in the first "safe" country they arrive in, which means that countries like Greece would receive a large amount of people by virtue of its location. Several EU states, such as Slovakia and Hungary, have said point blank that they do not want to accept refugees. Hungary is planning a large border wall as well.

Meanwhile in Sweden, asylum seekers are withdrawing their applications to stay in the country at record rates after the nation began offering applicants money to return to their home countries.

Polling suggests that Merkel may not be elected for a fourth term.

Watch: Hillary Clinton's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

Yes, it’s a video from the Republican National Committee, but it doesn’t negate the fact that Hillary Clinton had a disaster of a week. The Associated Press’ story showing that more than half of the people she met with outside of government were Clinton Foundation donors, which was followed by Hillary supporters saying that the former first lady needs to change the way she manages her Foundation ties.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump went to Louisiana to assess the damage from the recent flooding, the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy. Clinton decided to fundraise with Cher. There were 15,000 more emails the FBI found that Clinton didn’t turn over, which the former secretary of state joked about on the late night shows. Former Obama adviser David Axelrod said this isn’t something to be cavalier about.

Also, the power couple announced that they would not be taking any more donations from corporate or foreign interests should Hillary win the presidential election. Everyone was asking why now? Shouldn’t this have been enacted when she became secretary of state? As the media discussed what appears to be a purely political move (I know, shocker, right?) on behalf of the Clinton campaign, Hillary fundraised with Magic Johnson.

As for Clinton’s aversion to take questions from the press, even deploying sweets, like chocolate, to shut them up, we’re left with a “stay tuned” regarding future press conferences; a rather transparent way of saying it’s not happening. Ironic, since Hillary Clinton is anything but transparent.

Good work, RNC war room.

Jill Stein Releases Statement on Harambe

Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein released a statement on the three-month anniversary of the death of Harambe the gorilla. Harambe was killed by zookeepers at the Cincinnati Zoo after a child wandered into his enclosure, and has since become an internet phenomenon of sorts. In the statement, Stein said that the United States should give legal rights to non-human primates.

The killing of Harambe at the Cincinnati Zoo highlights the need to adopt stronger legal protections for the rights of animals.

Other countries, especially in Europe, have begun to provide legal rights and protected status to primates as living beings. Non human primates should have the legal right to live freely or, when necessary, in sanctuaries only for medical rehabilitation or ecological assistance for endangered species.

Harambe was killed by a zoo which raises revenues by selling tickets to see captive animals, including primates. While good emergency staff training might have prevented such a catastrophic outcome, the Green Party believes that captivity for such entertainment is ethically wrong and fundamentally exploitive and should be illegal.

A recent poll of Texas' voters taken by Public Policy Polling had Stein tied with Harambe in the state. The Cincinnati Zoo recently requested that people stop making and sharing Harambe memes, to which people responded with by making more Harambe jokes. The zoo eventually deleted its Twitter account.

It's curious that despite Stein's insistence that non-human primates have legal rights, she fully supports the right to abort an unborn human.

Spike In Gun Ownership? Poll Shows 44 Percent Of All Homes Have A Gun

The Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard crunched some the new numbers on gun politics from Pew Research and found that almost half the country has a gun in the home. Pew found that 44 percent of all homes have guns, while 51 percent do not. It bucks the trend of other polls, namely CBS News, which found that the percentage of gun ownership hovered in the mid-30s.

Yes, anti-gun liberals will point out that the majority of households don’t have guns. Yet, the same survey found that 52 percent of Americans prioritize protecting gun rights over new means to control ownership. Moreover, it’s a constitutional right. It’s part of the Bill of Rights, which is immune to public opinion and for good reason.

Widening gap among supporters of presidential candidates in gun priorities
AugustGuns_Methodology

By this logic of rights being put on a graduated scale based on opinion polls (or levels of participation) to decide whether it should be kept of discarded, the right to peaceful assembly should be on the chopping block since no one really exercises it.

But getting back to the numbers, the Pew survey also found majority support for most of the Left’s anti-gun agenda. Eighty-one percent support background checks for private and gun show sales; 52 percent support an assault weapons ban; 50 percent back a ban on high-capacity magazines; and 71 percent back a ban on those on terror watch lists from buying guns.

Public’s views of gun policy proposals

It may be popular. It doesn’t make it right. The assault weapons ban had zero impact reducing gun violence. Private sales between non-family members are incredibly low to the point where it’s mere window dressing if you're in the gun control camp (like most of their policies); most private transfers are between family members. Bans on high-capacity magazines don’t stop mass shootings—and using secret government lists, of which there is no due process and the criteria for getting on that list is unknown, to deprive an American of their Second Amendment rights is arguably unconstitutional. You lose your gun rights after being convicted of a crime, not based on mere suspicion. There is one area where there could be common ground; 76 percent oppose those who are mentally ill from buying guns. I couldn’t agree more depending on the illness. There is a huge difference between a paranoid schizophrenic and someone with Asperger’s. The legal minefield of making this an efficient system, which disease should prohibit someone from owning guns, and the various privacy issues is worthy of a long debate. Democrats don’t want to have it.

Another interesting nugget in the data rests with Millennials. The proposals banning so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazine couldn’t break 50 percent support with this overwhelmingly liberal voting block.

Sizeable gender differences in support of bans on assault weapons, large clips

Sweden Is Now Paying Migrants to Leave

Sweden has seen over 4,500 asylum seekers withdraw their applications to remain in the country this year, a new record. This is double the number of people who withdrew their applications during the first eight months of 2015. Potential migrants are leaving Sweden after the country passed new, stricter regulations on immigration and offered monetary payouts to people who voluntarily returned to their home countries.

Sweden was once considered a "utopia" for people seeking asylum due to the country's welcoming attitudes and sizable benefits programs. This is no longer the case.

From The Independent:

The situation has changed so much the number of people from Iraq who cancelled their asylum applications in 2016 (1,366) is actually greater than the number of new claims from Iraqi asylum seekers (1,243).

A similar trend can be seen among Afghans. Statistics show only 18 per cent of Afghans are likely to have their asylum applications approved, so many are choosing to leave of their own accord. In all, 500 people from Afghanistan have withdrawn their applications so far in 2016.

“The climate here in Sweden has toughened considerably. That leads to a new kind of decision,” added Ms Ränner.

Sweden took in 160,000 migrants in 2015, and only about 500 of them have secured jobs.

DOJ: Firing Migrant Workers Wth Expired Employment Forms Is Discrimination

Mariana Barillas dug this up at The Washington Examiner. Apparently, it’s discriminatory to fire migrant workers with expired papers. Moreover, Barillas added that the Department of Justice feels that to ask migrant workers for more work authorization forms could constitute a violation of a provision within the Immigration and Nationality Act that says employers cannot give excessive demands:

The Justice Department released a video this week encouraging companies not to terminate immigrants after their employment authorization expires, and indicated that doing so is a form of discrimination.

[…]

The video then tells viewers that the federal government has extended employment authorization by six months for people from El Salvador with Temporary Protected Status, a benefit designed to help foreign nationals who are considered unable to safely return to their home.

The Justice Department claims requesting additional work-authorization documents from these workers may violate a provision in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) designed to protect individuals from excessive employer demands based on their nationality.

That’s fine for El Salvador, but in general, it’s discrimination to terminate someone whose work papers have expired? The DOJ seems to be getting really creative regarding expanding what is discrimination in order to prevent companies from sending migrant workers home. Moreover, how is asking for more authorization forms for better verification an excessive burden? Shocking? Not really given what this presidency has done with immigration through executive orders, which are in legal limbo right now.

Indonesian Priest Knifed By Would-Be Suicide Bomber During Mass

A would-be suicide bomber carrying a hand-drawn ISIS flag stormed a church on the Indonesian island of Sumatra knifed a priest mid-Mass on Sunday and then attempted to blow himself up. 

Fr. Albert Pandiangan, a priest at St. Joseph's Church in the city of Medan, was stabbed in the left arm during the attack. The bomber then attempted to detonate a device in his backpack, but the bomb failed to fully explode and he only injured himself. He was then detained by parishioners.

The priest was taken to a hospital and is expected to recover. The Medan police have characterized the attack as an act of terrorism.

Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country, and Catholics compose only about three percent of the total population.

Police do not believe that the man acted alone, and are still investigating the incident.

Last month in France, Fr. Jacques Hamel was murdered by an ISIS sympathizer while celebrating Mass.

NFL Quarterback Remains Seated During National Anthem, Says Country Oppresses Black People

Is this an act of disgrace or freedom of expression? The national anthem is a staple of sporting events, but one NFL quarterback decided to remain seated during the Star-Spangled Banner. Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers decided that the was going to sit because he was “not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color."

Fox News Insider added that Kaepernick, who is biracial, isn’t worried about backlash, given that he’s fighting Blaine Gabbert for the starting quarterback position:

This is not something that I am going to run by anybody," he said. "I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed ... If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right."

Of course, this is hyperbole. We’re not apartheid South Africa. Yet, we’re a nation that encourages diverse opinions, even abysmal ones (unless you’re a pro-safe space progressive). The 49ers released a statement over the controversy:

“The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”

I tend to agree. Yes, Kaepernick has the right to remain seated (and be disrespectful), though he should prepare for a backlash. For starters, he’s earning millions of dollars a year. The social justice warrior character that wants portray fighting for the supposed oppressed people of America seems a tad disingenuous. It’s probably going to elicit more eye rolls than nods of approval. So, by all means Kaepernick, do what you think is right–just don’t whine when a deluge of angry Americans flood your social media accounts.

At the same time, it could be worse. In Greenville, South Carolina, a school district actually banned American flags at football games.

Debate amongst yourselves.

Perfect Timing: Rest Of Clinton State Department Calendar Won't Be Released Until After The Election

So, Hillary Clinton's State Department calendar won’t be fully released until after the election. The Associated Press reported on this development yesterday. They added that about half of the calendar has been released in accordance with a federal court order. On August 23, AP wrote that more than half of the people Hillary met with outside of government, while serving as secretary of state, were Clinton Foundation donors. It rehashed the ethics allegations regarding cash for access that have plagued the Clinton Foundation and the former first lady's presidential campaign.

The nonprofit has been criticized for being a place for the wealthy and well connected to cash in their favors with the power couple, usually after offering a sizable donation to their nonprofit. Now, it seems as if Team Hillary has dodged a bullet regarding more potential allegations of ethically questionable rendezvous between the former secretary of state and donors until December 30:

The AP's lawyers late Friday formally asked the State Department to hasten that effort so that the department could provide all Clinton's minute-by-minute schedules by Oct. 15. The agency did not immediately respond.

The schedules drew new attention this week after the AP analyzed the ones released so far. The news agency found that more than half the people outside the government who met or spoke by telephone with Clinton while she was secretary of state had given money — either personally or through companies or groups — to the Clinton Foundation. The AP's analysis focused on people with private interests and excluded her meetings or calls with U.S. federal employees or foreign government representatives.

The AP's reporting was based on official calendars covering Clinton's entire term plus the more-detailed daily schedules covering roughly half her time as secretary of state. The AP first asked for Clinton's calendars in 2010 and again in 2013. It then sued the State Department in federal court to obtain the detailed schedules, and the department so far has provided about half of them under court order.

[…]

The State Department is now estimating there are about 2,700 pages of schedules left. Under its process, it is reviewing and censoring them page-by-page to remove personal details such as private phone numbers or email addresses. In some cases it has censored names of people who met privately with Clinton or the subjects they discussed.

It’s a snowball effect that needed to be stopped for the Clinton campaign. These apparent ethical questions between Clinton, the Foundation, her time at State, and donors appears to be impacting her with voters concerning trust, which might explain why she hasn't been able to deliver deathblows to Donald Trump. Jonathan Swan of the The Hill also listed seven ways where the Clinton Foundation has failed to meet its benchmarks concerning transparency. Here’s a summary:

  1. The Clinton Health Access Initiative failed to disclose its donors on a yearly basis.
  2. The Health Access Initiative also didn’t submit foreign donations for State Department review
  3. Remember that $500,000 donation from the Algerian government? That wasn’t disclosed either.
  4. The rather disconcerting $2.35 million donation from the chairman of Uranium One who was negotiating a change in ownership with the Russian state corporation Rosatom. It included the Russians taking ownership of uranium mining sites in the U.S. Given the strategic interest, Clinton’s State Department had to be one of the government agencies to sign off on the sale, which they did. Bill got $500,000 from a Russian bank selling Uranium One stock options as well.
  5. The Clinton Foundation was late disclosing the millions the power couple made in speaking fees.
  6. They haven’t disclosed how much money was transferred from a Canadian charity
  7. Oh, and the exact donor amounts, and dates of when those donations were made, remain unknown.

So, yeah, if I were a Clinton operative, I wouldn’t want any more Clinton Foundation/State Department scheduling conflicts falling into the hands of the press…until after the election.

Christie Wants To Make New Jersey ‘Shall Issue’ On Concealed Carry Permits

New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie hasn’t been the strongest Second Amendment supporter. In fact, some of his positions have been terrible. During his brief 2016 presidential campaign, he told The Des Moines Register that he supports denying gun purchases to those on terror watch lists. He signed a state-based law back in 2013. It sounds fine, until you see that it really deprives innocent Americans of their gun rights without due process. These lists are secretive, flawed, and unconstitutional. They should not be used as a compliment to our National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). After all, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and the last Sen. Ted Kennedy were on these lists. They would be deprived of their Second Amendment rights, but I digress.

With Christie out of the presidential game, and nixed at being chosen as Trump’s vice presidential candidate, the governor is preparing for his swan song. It appears that part of that act is to try and make New Jersey more gun-friendly by turning it into a “shall issue” state and vetoing a slate of gun control bills from the legislature (via NJ.com):

The right to own a gun is a fundamental one enumerated in the Constitution," Christie said in a statement. "I continue to oppose the relentless campaign by the Democratic legislature to make New Jersey as inhospitable as possible to lawful gun ownership and sales."

Christie said he wants to make New Jersey a "shall-issue" state for concealed carry firearms, where authorities who issue gun licenses grant them in most cases.

One of the bills Christie conditionally voted (S2165/A3689) was a companion piece to a resolution lawmakers passed in June to stop regulations the governor's administration introduced to make it easier for residents to get concealed carry permits in the state

The bill sought to more strictly define the "justifiable need" residents must show to obtain a permit to carry a handgun in New Jersey.

Under the nixed bill, those applying for a permit would have to demonstrate "the urgent necessity for self-protection, as evidenced by specific threats or previous attacks which demonstrate a special danger to the applicant's life that cannot be avoided by means other than by issuance of a permit to carry."

Also, Christie sent back a bill to the Legislature that its sponsors said would have spurred development of personalized handguns.

The bill (A1426) would have loosened an existing state law that is said to have stifled the exact thing it was designed to encourage: so-called smart guns. Existing law requires that only personalized handguns be offered for sale three years after they are properly vetted and on the market. The aim of the law was to stem accidental shootings and "child proof" the weapons.

Bill sponsors hoped the revised mandate requiring only that retailers offer at least one model for sale would clear the way for development of smart guns.

Of course, NJ Democrats slammed Christie for pandering to gun rights groups. Yet, if there’s any criticism on the Right, it’s that this is a hopeless crusade aimed at trying to rebuild his conservative bona fides before he’s shown the exit. It’s window dressing. There’s no way New Jersey liberals are going to back his bid to loosen the state’s horrendous gun laws. It’s just not going to happen. There’s no way enough Democrats are going to risk their credibility with their voters over the lame duck governor. On the Right, why even take this little PR stunt seriously for a man who literally torpedoed his own integrity by throwing his lot in with Donald Trump. Christie had been very critical of Trump in the primaries. His endorsement was self-serving, and this gun push is no different.

Last Note: Probably should've mentioned briefly the difference between shall issue and may issue carry states. Shall issue means if the applicant has submitted the related forms properly and passed the required background check, that person must be issued a permit. In Virginia, it's usually within 45 days, though depending on the county, it could arrive much sooner. May issue carry states are typically heavily Democratic and anti-gun, like New Jersey, New York, and California. In this case, the overseeing authority for the carry permit process can deny the applicant a permit for arbitrary reasons, even if they've successfully passed a background check. Fox Business' John Stossel tried to get a concealed carry permit in New York. It was an arduous process that took almost nine months and he ended up being denied a permit.  

Meet Comic Book Legend Chuck Dixon (Adapted “Clinton Cash: Graphic Novel”)

Chuck Dixon is the lead adapter of the new #1 bestselling graphic novel in the country, Clinton Cash: A Graphic Novel, based on Peter Schweizer’sbestselling Clinton Cash (2015) book that is credited for alerting the public about The Clinton Foundation “Pay-for-Play” scandal. Dixon is a well-known comic book writer and artist and did groundbreaking work with popular comic characters including Batman and The Punisher.

Dixon is also credited for creating the Batman nemesis character Bane, who was featured in the third Christopher Nolan Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises.

In the interview, Dixon discusses how he went from writing about Batman to the Clintons, the state of comic books, movies, and TV shows in the country, and how the PC culture is making comic books more political and incendiary

Listen to our exclusive author interview with Chuck Dixon below!

Nosedive: Clinton Drops Seven Points In Three Days

When you combine Hillary Clinton’s lack of appeal with her alleged ethically questionable dealings regarding paid access at the Clinton Foundation, you’re going to take a hit in the polls. In fact, in the past three days, Clinton has dropped seven points against Donald Trump. Nationally, she still leads by five, but that’s still within striking distance of the Republican nominee. That says more about her than Trump.

Both are widely unpopular standard bearers for their respective political parties, but Clinton just seems incapable of breaking 50 percent. There is some silver linings for the Clinton campaign. They’re still leading in key swing states. And if the election were held today, she would handily cobble together enough electoral votes to win. Still, it shows that Hillary’s standing in the polls might be very tenuous, with one bad document dump away from massive erosion in support (via The Hill):

Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump has narrowed to 5 points, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Friday.

Clinton, the Democratic nominee, registers 41 percent support among likely voters, while Trump, her GOP counterpart, claims 36 percent. Twenty-three percent said they wouldn’t vote or would pick another candidate.

The same poll on Tuesday showed Clinton leading by 12 points. She was up by 8 points in last Friday's Reuters/Ipsos poll.

For Trump, this is good news. It shows that the possible ethics issues that surround the Clintons like hungry sharks resonates with American voters. While it’s good that Trump has been hammering them over the shady dealings of their family foundation, it's what he should’ve been doing for months. He should focus his attacks here. Don’t attack Gold Star families. Enough with the attacks on a judge’s ethnicity—and saying that he can’t do his job effectively because of it.

Just focus on attacking Clinton, the fact that voters don’t trust her, and her dismal record in the foreign policy department. Say how this will be a third Obama term, but one that will be marked with an all-out assault on our Second Amendment rights. Hit her on trade. There’s plenty of ammunition to use against Hillary Clinton. And I would suggest setting up extended campaign tours through Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Missouri. Yes, there’s been a nosedive for Clinton in the national polls, but things are tight in some traditionally Republican states. It’s what you get with a weak candidate, though Trump is the Right’s best chance of defeating Hillary in November.

No Gov. Rauner, More Gun Control Won’t Help In Combating Chicago’s Shooting Plague

It happened again. It was another bloody weekend for Chicago. The figures were in on August 22; seven dead, with another 47 wounded in shooting across the city. On August 23, four people were killed with another 13 wounded in shootings. Since Thursday morning, one person is dead, with 10 others wounded. This butcher’s bill is bound to go higher as we approach Sunday evening. So, of course, the lawmakers in Illinois think that what Chicago needs is more gun control. Right now, the Windy City is on track to have a 500-homicide year (via CNN):

Gov. Bruce Rauner approved a law on Tuesday that imposes a stiff penalty on anyone without a gun-owner identification card who brings a gun into the state of Illinois to sell.

That crime is now a felony that carries a prison sentence of four to 20 years, or up to 30 years for repeat offenders, according to a spokeswoman for Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno, one of the bill's sponsors.

Before this new law was passed, gun owners caught for the first time without the proper ID were charged with a misdemeanor and got less than a year. Repeat offenders would get up to 5 years.

The governor and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin made it clear that the law is aimed at reducing crime in Chicago. Durkin said that 425 people have been murdered with guns in Chicago so far this year, and another 2,320 have been wounded. The guns in about 60% of those crimes were purchased out of state, he said.

The law is meant to cut down on straw purchasers who buy guns in states with loose laws and drive them into cities with tough gun control laws, like Chicago and New York, for resale. This flow of guns is known as the Iron Pipeline.

Chicago already is one of the most anti-gun cities in the country. The city’s stringent gun control laws proved to be (shocker) ineffective against gang violence and curbing the horrific string of shootings that plague the city. More penalties for gun owner identification cards, a law that is already absurd since we shouldn’t need ID to exercise our constitutional rights, isn’t going to curb anything. Criminals are still going to get their guns. Innocent people will still die. And liberals are going to look up at the sky and wonder why. Gun control doesn’t work. Expanding gun rights, especially concealed carry rights, have an impact in deterring crime. Maybe Chicago can loosen up in their permit process? That’s a tall order. Nothing will change unless this Democratic bastion is broken up—and that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

Warning: Italian General Calls for European Army After Brexit

According to one retired Italian general, the years of Great Britain "sabotaging" any attempt to form a united European army are over after the decision to leave the European Union in June.  

Gen. Vincenzo Camporini, former head of the Italian general staff ,was one of four European military officials who formed a working group in 1999 to map out a European army, a plan known as the Helsinki Headline Goal. 

He explained to Defense News about the years of frustration trying to bring British leaders on board with the idea.

“The UK always opposed funding increases, and three quarters of the agency’s budget is absorbed by salaries, leaving it as a body whose scope is survival,” he said. “It was clear that after its early enthusiasm, UK sentiment for EU defense cooled.” 

But now, Camporini is ready to take the next step and is looking for potential members.

“The British attitude was an excuse for other — some people hid behind the UK. Now the excuse is no longer there; who is ready to go forward? I believe the Germans are willing, although I have doubts about France because of its nuclear deterrent. Will that be shared? It is a very delicate political issue.”

Pressure for a united European army has increased over the past few weeks.  Hungary's prime minister urged the European Union on Friday to make security a priority and build an army of its own.

"We must give priority to security and so let's start setting up a joint European army," Prime Minister Viktor Orban said.

Dem Rep: Zika Threat May Help Rid Abortion Stigma

The Zika virus, which broke out in South America and eventually made its way to Miami, Florida and elsewhere in the United States, is especially dangerous for women who are pregnant, as it can cause children to be born with a disorder called microcephaly. Yet, one Democrat has insensitively suggested that the virus may help erase the stigma of late-term abortion.

“Maybe the Zika epidemic and its implications for pregnant women will help us shine a light on the exactly tragic situation in which you have these abortions,” said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), co-chairman of the House Pro-Choice Caucus.

When asked if they support abortions after 20 weeks, most Americans say no. Yet, with the threat of Zika, some wonder whether the polls are likely to change. 

Some of Degette’s colleagues are to blame for the stonewalling of important anti-Zika funding earlier this summer. Senate Democrats blocked the GOP-led bill that would have provided $1.1 billion to the cause because it prevented access to contraception for women who may have been affected by the virus.

The pro-life movement has acknowledged Zika is a tragedy, but it doesn't change how they feel about every unborn baby's right to life. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) urged mothers infected with the virus to choose life. Carol Tobias, the president of the National Right to Life, agrees.

“I would certainly hope that our country would not turn to the mindset that we kill a baby because there is or may be a disability,” she said. “This isn’t going to change anything that we’re doing.”

Social Justice Warriors Predictably Freak Out Over University Of Chicago's 'No Safe Space' Policy

Christine wrote about this yesterday, but the administrators at the University of Chicago are my new heroes. They straight up told the class of 2020 that there will be no safe spaces, no trigger warnings, no uninviting of speakers because some people are averse to diverse opinions. It’s a refreshing sign to see this higher education institution disembowel the political correctness culture in their sphere, though it has infested our college campuses. Well, to no one’s surprise, the social justice warriors’ blood pressure went through the roof when the news broke. Emily Zanotti of Heat Street had more on these precious liberals losing their hair over UoC declaring that they’re for academic freedom. What horrible people, right?

One student told DNA Info that the administration was asking students to “check their compassion and their experiences at the door.” Another, the head of the campus sexual assault survivors network, said that this was simply the latest failure by the college to cater to interest groups.

“The administration has a huge problem with transparency, and they have been slow to address issues related to sexual violence, disability injustice, police discrimination and many more,” she said.

Vox posted an op-ed accusing the college of “exercising power” over its students, calling trigger warnings “pedagogical imperatives.” The piece also defended students who shouted down or ousted controversial speakers from other campuses, saying that they “challenge” academic professors and “hold us accountable” for their institutional biases.

The New Republic whined that the University of Chicago was “attacking academic freedom” by telling students to think more critically about shutting down speakers and shutting off conversation.

Zanotti also found some tremendous tweets from this meltdown:

Well, a) yes, you have the right to be offensive; b) It’s not the Milton Friedman Institute For Screwing The Third World; it’s the Hugo Chavez Institute—and they’ve thoroughly and brutally screwed over Venezuela; c) it’s conservatives that have been the victims of your precious political correctness agenda, so dear wee lads—they're going to be able to express themselves without having the fear of torches and pitchforks showing up outside their dormitory.

I hope the university of Chicago stands their ground. I hope they don’t cave, and I hope other liberal institutions smash this incorrigible anti-American (and anti-intellectual), progressive agenda to dust. Liberals and conservatives can express themselves without fear of harassment. That’s not controversial. The whole world thinks your safe space nonsense is a joke. Moreover, the fact that you feel like a no safe space policy is going to create a scene akin to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima is also utterly laughable.

Yes, liberals will remain the dominant force on campus, or at least until the alumni start paying taxes and get jobs, but conservative at UoC can feel somewhat better I guess that an administration won’t be kowtowing to a rather vicious anti-free speech agenda.

I wish you well in your studies, freshman. 

Maine Governor Apologizes After Leaving Profanity-Laced Voicemail

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) has apologized after leaving a profanity-laced voicemail to State Representative Drew Gattine (D-Westbrook).

LePage, who said things that aren't exactly suitable for publication on this website, also said he wished he could duel Gattine.

The governor apologized for his actions and said that he was not happy with being called a racist, and decided to use the worst possible language to express his displeasure.

Get Your Tissues: Little Boy Sent to School With Army of Hugs After Police Officer Father Was Killed on Duty

I don't have the details about where this amazing act of kindness took place, but it will bring tears to your eyes. 

For the first time, a police officer killed in the line of duty this year didn't have the chance to send his little boy off to school. His fellow officers weren't going to let that little boy start school alone and a dozen of them showed up on the first day of school this week to send him off to a new year with an "army of hugs."

Get your tissues:

Illinois Considering New Law Concerning Pokemon Go

Illinois is considering "Pidgey's Law," which would fine developers of location-based games who do not remove virtual sites from their games when requested. "Pidgey's Law," which is named after a very common Pokemon found nearly everywhere throughout the game, was proposed after a Pokemon Go developer Niantic placed a Pokestop at the Loyola Dunes Restoration Site. The Pokestop's presence has resulted in more people visiting the area, which puts endangered wildlife at risk. Despite numerous requests to remove the Pokestop from the game, nothing has happened just yet.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Cassidy said a couple hundred requests to have the Loyola Dunes Pokéstop removed have been filed in the last month, including requests from her office, the Chicago Park District, members of the Loyola Dunes Restoration Group and concerned Pokémon Go players. But they say Niantic has yet to act on any of those requests.

Phillip Davis, a member of the Loyola Dunes Restoration group who has filed several of those requests, said he is frustrated that he has not been able to talk to Niantic about the Pokéstop. But he is hopeful that the legislation could spark action.

“It’s hard to imagine that actual legislation like this won’t get the attention of people at Niantic and put them in a position to do something,” he said.

Niantic offers a form to request for a Pokestop to be removed if the location is deemed inappropriate. Pokemon Go used data from the game Ingress to create the various Pokestops and gyms, which is how locations such as the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Memorial and individual tombstones wound up as locations in the game. People have also had their personal homes be designated as a gym or Pokestop, causing minor annoyance.

While I wrote the other day about how Milwaukee County is attempting to get a permit from Niantic, this is a little different. The Pokestop is located in an area that isn't normally trafficked by people. If they've asked for the Pokestop to be removed, it should be removed.

Former Canadian Prime Minister Resigns His Parliament Seat

It was a quiet ending for Stephen Harper. After living a life of politics for forty years in Canada, the former prime minister resigned his Calgary House of Commons seat via social media on Friday. This concludes the political career of a Conservative Party member who served as prime minister of Canada for nearly a decade.

Harper’s party lost the majority to the Liberal Party in last October’s election. Liberal candidates won 184 seats to the Conservative’s 99 seats – a decisive victory and well beyond the 170 needed to be in the majority.

In the wake of Harper’s loss, Justin Trudeau has since become the new prime minister of Canada. Unfortunately, the 44 year old PM seems to have people’s attention because of his looks more than his actual policy positions. He has become an idolized figure within the American media.

Since transitioning into the opposition party, Harper had adopted a very low profile – only appearing in the House of Commons for votes. It was long expected he would leave his seat after the election loss. Harper had already stepped down from his leadership position in the Conservative Party, but wanted to be present as his party moved into opposition status.

His political career may be over, but Stephen Harper has big plans in mind for the future. He will be entering the private sector once he launches his global consulting business.