Trump Pulls Off Biggest Upset in U.S. History

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters as he takes the stage for a campaign event in Dallas, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Donald Trump is going to be the next president of the United States.

The billionaire businessman who never before held elected office shocked America and the world, defeating Hillary Clinton in an extraordinary rebuke to the nation’s political class after an ugly and divisive race that will go down as the most stunning upset in American history.

Trump did so decisively, stomping across the electoral map with wins in the four biggest battlegrounds of Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania. He defied the polls and pundits after a scorched-earth campaign against Clinton, the Republican establishment, and basic decorum, toppling the blue wall of states that Clinton had supposedly constructed to keep the White House in Democratic hands.

The nation, the markets and the world stood stunned, wondering what would come next. The Dow Futures sank as much as 750 points. The Mexico peso plunged.

“It is time for us to come together as one united people,” Trump said in a victory speech, following a concession call from Clinton at nearly 3 a.m. Eastern. “It’s time.”

Trump led an unseen rebellion of working-class voters, most of them white and so disgusted by a stalled status quo that they voted for a candidate promising dramatic change, even as Trump set disapproval records for a winning candidate. He also tapped into ethnic antagonism, vowing strict immigration controls, a ban on Muslims and a deportation force, promising an era of restoration.

“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” Trump declared.

Clinton had been heavily favored to win. She led national polls and in most battleground states heading into the election. Her allies were so confident that a supportive super PAC had actually redirected millions to other races.

But Trump had been underestimated from the first day of his candidacy, when he descended the gilded escalators of Trump Tower to bash Mexican immigrants as “rapists.” He went on to dispatch 16 rivals in the Republican primary before mounting a vicious campaign against Clinton in which he paraded her husband’s infidelities, repeatedly called her corrupt and questioned whether she could govern as a woman.

For 17 months, the reality television showman mesmerized the public with his unvarnished tweets, constant television presence and raucous mass rallies. His full-throttle grip on the national imagination enriched the news media and eroded standards of political civility.

It made him a hero to his fans. And they voted in droves. …

Click here to read the full article from Politico

What Donald Trump Has Achieved for America Already

Donald TrumpGRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — The conventional wisdom is that the 2016 election has seen politics hit new lows. And in some ways — the rhetoric of the candidates, the partisan behavior of the media — it has.

But it has also seen the beginning of a democratic renewal — thanks to Donald Trump. And that remains true whether you are voting against him, or voting for him simply to reject Hillary Clinton.

Trump did more than break the stranglehold of the Republican establishment. Were that all he had accomplished, it would have been admirable enough. But he did something more: he reached out to Americans who had been forgotten by the political process and gave them a reason to care.

Think about the fact that Trump chose to hold the final rally of his campaign in Michigan. Not just as a stunt, either: the most recent poll, which came out just hours before Trump boarded his plane for Grand Rapids, shows Trump ahead by 2 points in the state.

Democrats spent the day campaigning here. They know the danger is real.

Trump is taking the biggest gamble of recent political memory, and reaching out to the very core of the traditional Democratic base in the hope of flipping a blue state. For the first time since Ronald Reagan, a Republican is courting the vote of the American worker.

Trump is not just attempting a win, but a realignment — and perhaps one long overdue.

The result, once the dust settles, is likely to be a more active, lively, and engaged political process — one where the views and concerns of working, law-abiding Americans are no longer shunted aside.

Bernie Sanders could not achieve that because he wanted to fight for them, but not to win for them. Trump wants both.

Well before the votes are counted, it is safe to proclaim: today is a new day in American politics.

There is something intrinsically great about this nation’s ability to save itself, and Trump has helped it begin that process. And just in time, too — for the challenges that lie ahead are as big as any we have yet overcome.

In 24 hours, we will know if he will be the one to lead us through.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

This piece was originally published by Breitbart.com/California

What Will the California Propositions Cost You?

MoneyAll statewide ballot measures receive an analysis from the Department of Finance and the Legislative Analyst’s Office as to the fiscal effects of the initiatives. That got me wondering what it would cost Californians if in the unlikely event an unrestrained electorate decided to vote Yes on all 17 measures.

Truth be told, it is more likely that the voters reject a larger share of the ballot measures. In fact, throughout the state’s history, two out of three initiatives that make the ballot fail. Still it is interesting to know what we could be facing if the unusual happens. After all, the Cubs won the World Series, so you never know if something unexpected happens. Maybe voters will vote yes on all. It wouldn’t be unprecedented. On the 1911 special election ballot, 22 out of 23 measures passed.

In trying to calculate the cost of ballot measures, even the experts at Finance and LAO have trouble. You’ll find the words “uncertain” and “unknown” and “depends” scattered about the fiscal effect sections attached to many of the propositions.

Some measures are easy to tabulate. The Proposition 51 school bond will cost $17.6 billion to pay the principal and interest, or $500 million a year for 35 years. The legislative transparency initiative, Proposition 54 will require a couple of million start up money for recording equipment and an on-going additional million for staff and storage of videos.

The tax measures can also be tagged with numbers, although Proposition 55’s take calculated between $4 and $9 billion depends on the economy. Proposition 56’s tobacco tax is expected to bring in $1.3 to $1.6 billion at first. However, a drop off is predicted when consumers react negatively to the additional tax on smoking products.

The marijuana legalization measure, Proposition 64, comes with a tax and the fiscal effect could be a billion dollars to the state and more to local governments that apply a local tax to cannabis. There are also regulatory and health service costs associated with legalizing marijuana along with the potential for cost savings with fewer incarcerations.

Proposition 61 dedicated to placing a spending cap on drug costs is specifically designed to save the state money. But hold on a second, say the fiscal watchdogs. Uncertainty is a watchword here. According to the fiscal analysis, “drug manufacturers would likely take actions that mitigate the impact of the measure.” The fiscal effects of this measure were officially summed up as “unknown.”

Also, pretty much unknown is the fiscal effect of Propositions 52 and 53. Prop. 52, the hospital fees for Medi-Cal matched by Federal money received its “uncertain” designation because there was no telling if the legislature would continue this fee on its own. Prop. 53, requiring a vote on revenue bonds, also was labeled “unknown” because not many projects would qualify as needing $2 billion in revenue bonds. If that were the case, the analysis suggested there would be ways around the $2 billion standard by breaking projects into smaller parts.

Increased court and law enforcement costs could run into the tens of millions of dollars under the new gun and ammo regulations offered by Proposition 63.

Elimination of the death penalty could reduce costs to the state about $150 million. However, one of those “depends” is applied to Proposition 62 — the dollars could be higher or lower depending on a number of factors such as whether the change in law would affect the murder rate and the need for prison construction.

Meanwhile, the counter measure to allow death penalty cases to limit appeals, Prop. 66, also got an “uncertain” price tag depending on how the state dealt with issues such as availability of attorneys, complexity of legal challenges and more.

Gov. Brown’s Proposition 57 parole changes could see net state savings by reducing the state’s prison population. However, county costs are projected to increase because more former prisoners will be supervised on parole and other factors, an estimated few million dollars increase annually.

The condom regulations of Proposition 60 would likely reduce tax revenue according to analysts because the adult film industry might pack up and leave the state. If not, new fees required of film producers would likely cover enforcement costs.

The referendum on banning plastic bags would have little effect on revenues, while its companion measure, Proposition 65 would increase state revenues by diverting the cost of carry out backs from grocers to a state fund.

The last two measures to discuss were not initiatives but put on the ballot by legislators. Proposition 58 would make changes to the English immersion education laws and Proposition 59 would advise elected officials to work to overturn the Citizens United court case. Here the legislators earn kudos for having little the fiscal effects. The English-only reform fiscal effect is considered minor. The prize goes to Prop 59 in which the fiscal effect summary reads in full: “This measure would have no direct fiscal effect on state and local governments.” No uncertainties here.

My intention was to go through the fiscal effect calculations and come up with a number after additions and subtractions if all the measures passed to see what taxpayers could be on the hook for or what state and local governments would take in. However, given all the “uncertainties,” “unknowns” and “it depends,” it is impossible to calculate.

Knowing the fiscal effects of the ballot measures seem to fall in line with Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s oft quoted line about the Affordable Care Act: “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it.”

Or in this instance—what it costs.

This piece was originally published by Fox and Hounds Daily

Nearly 100 Ballots Found Outside California Man’s Home

California resident Jerry Mosna found 83 unused 2016 voter ballots at his home over the weekend — each ballot had a different name but were all addressed to his neighbor’s two-bedroom apartment — causing concern and serious suspicion of voter fraud.

“I think this is spooky,” Mosna said, according to Fox News. “All the different names, none we recognize, all at one address.”

ballots-voteMosna and his wife Madalena attempted to turn the ballots over to Los Angeles police, but they eventually found their way to the Los Angeles County Registrar’s office.

“We are carefully reviewing our records and gathering information to fully identify what took place,” the office of the Registrar reportedly said in a statement. “Our preliminary assessment is that this appears to be an isolated situation related to a system error that occurred causing duplicate ballots to be issued to an address entered for a single voter. We are working directly with the system vendor to ensure the issue is addressed and to identify any similar occurrences.”

Brenda Duran, a spokeswoman for the office of the Registrar, said the U.S. Postal Service “has indicated that they returned all of the improperly addressed ballots to our office.”

U.S. Postal Service spokesman Richard Maher said, according to Fox News, that his office has seen “relatively few” similar incidences like the one Mr. and Mrs. Mosna reported.

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @jeromeehudson.

This piece was originally published by Breitbart.com/California

Obama’s Hearing

Obama hearing

Gary McCoy, Cagle Cartoons

CA Teachers Brace for Impact on Election Day

The expensive race for California superintendent of public instruction may have the biggest education impact of any election Tuesday.

Regardless of its outcome, the race will send shockwaves across the country and set the national tone for how strong unionized teachers remain in an era of rapid change for public education.

The showdown is between incumbent superintendent Tom Torlakson and challenger Marshall Tuck, both Democrats. Torlakson easily won the primary over the summer, taking 46 percent of the vote to Tuck’s 29 percent (California uses a nonpartisan primary in which the top two candidates advance to the general election, regardless of party). Since then, however, the gap has narrowed tremendously, and the final outcome is completely uncertain. The final polls prior to Election Day show the candidates tied with 28 percent support each, while an incredible 44 percent of voters are undecided.

Torlakson is a pro-union Democrat, an individual representing the symbiotic relationship between Democrats and organized labor that has existed since before the World War II. A former science teacher, Torlakson spent years in California’s State Assembly and Senate, where he helped boost funding for after-school programs and low-performing schools by billions of dollars. As the state’s top education official, he has helped lead the legal battle against the Vergara v. California decision that gutted California’s tenure law and other generous job security protections that have made it excruciatingly difficult and costly for teachers in the state to be fired. He opposes using standardized test scores to evaluate teachers, is skeptical of charter schooling, and favors traditional union goals such as reducing class sizes.

Tuck, on the other hand, represents every trend in the Democratic Party that teachers fear. Unlike Torlakson, Tuck has never been a public school teacher, and his primary experience is as an administrator for various charter school efforts. He supports the Vergara court ruling, wants to tie teacher pay to performance and has pledged to shake up California schools that he says have grown too comfortable with poor performances on standardized tests. More broadly, he embodies a new movement in the Democratic Party, one willing to question whether the interests of teacher unions and students perfectly coincide. A win by Tuck would be an electoral vindication for Democrats who take up the mantle of aggressive school reform rather than the pro-union status quo.

Tuck also represents the growing role of business leaders in influencing educational policy. His campaign has been substantially helped by the generosity of a few big donors from the business world. Billionaire Eli Broad, the founder of SunAmerica and a major proponent of education reform, has given him at least a million dollars. Other big donors include former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, Silicon Valley investor Arthur Rock, and Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton. Among teachers, distrust for the intentions of these current and former moguls runs high, with many arguing the money comes not from altruism but rather from a desire to expand the operations of for-profit standardized testing companies, charter schools, and technology firms.

Tuck’s business ties have been furiously attacked, with one ad from the American Federation of Teachers labeling him a “Wall Street banker” (he worked in finance for a short period after college) and saying he would “turn our schools over to for-profit corporations.”

Tuck may have Wall Street on his side, but teachers have ensured he has no money advantage. The 325,000-member California Teachers Association and several other labor groups groups backing Torlakson have spent nearly $14 million to support his candidacy directly, along with another $7 million on issue ads that reflect positively on him. They’ve also spent close to $3 million on ads attacking Tuck. Altogether, spending in the race has surpassed $30 million, more than any other race in the state and among the most expensive non-gubernatorial state elections in the country’s history.

In this deep blue state, the final outcome of the race will be a critical bellwether about the state of education reform in the United States. For decades, teachers unions have provided Democratic candidates with money and volunteer muscle, helping them to win office and in return being rewarded with the strong pensions, benefits and job protections that offset relatively low salaries. Should Torlakson hang on, it will show that the public education establishment, despite all the attacks upon it from reformers, remain a tremendous force to be reckoned with and a potential kingmaker in Democratic politics. Should Tuck triumph, however, it will represent an overthrow of the old order, a changing of the guard that could last for years.

This piece was originally published at The Daily Caller News Foundation

The Finish — And Start — of Election Season

Election Day

Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant