​Obama to host Trump at White House

A triumphant Donald Trump heads to the White House Thursday for talks with President Barack Obama on securing a smooth transition of power and steading nerves after an election that shocked the world.

Anger over the Trump win spilled out on the streets of cities from New York to Los Angeles late Wednesday as chanting protesters lit bonfires and snarled traffic. In one case an orange-headed Trump head was burned in effigy.

Forty-eight hours after Trump’s upset win, the 70-year-old president-elect and Obama will meet in the Oval Office for what could be an awkward meeting as the president-elect looks ahead to the January 20 inauguration.

Trump has questioned whether Obama was born in the United States — a suggestion laden with deep racial overtones — and the Democratic commander-in-chief has described the celebrity businessman as “uniquely unqualified” to be president.

But the last day has seen efforts to bring this deeply divided country together after a brutal two-year battle for the White House that at times appeared more tribal than partisan.

Vanquished Democratic rival Hillary Clinton fought back the bitter disappointment of not becoming America’s first female president to urge Americans to give Trump a chance, at least from the outset.

“We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead,” she said in a concession speech.

Obama, addressing disconsolate staff in the White House Rose Garden, played down the extraordinary Trump win, painting it as democracy being its messy self.

“Sometimes you lose an argument,” he said, adding that all Americans would now be “rooting” for Trump’s success.

“We are Americans first. We’re patriots first. We all want what’s best for this country,” Obama said as staff wiped away tears and pondered whether his administration’s eight years of toil had come to naught.

In the battle for the soul of America, those who helped elect America’s first black president now appear to be in retreat.

Both Obama and Clinton issued a faint but definite warning that Trump must respect institutions and the rule of law if a modicum of goodwill is to hold.

In remarks that would once have seemed unthinkable, the president of the world’s foremost democracy and military power subtly urged his successor to respect the 240-year-old system of governance and its institutions.

“The country,” Obama said “needs a sense of unity, a sense of inclusion, a respect for our institutions, our way of life, rule of law, and a respect for each other.”

White House spokesman Josh Earnest demurred when asked whether Trump would respect the rule of law.

His tone “would seem to suggest that certain basic principles of our democracy are likely to be upheld.”

– Brave new world –

“Likely” is unlikely clear enough for Washington’s partners who see the entire global political order, which hinges on Washington’s moral and military leadership, as cast into doubt.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared to take on the mantle of champion of liberal values and “leader of the free world,” an epithet usually reserved for American presidents.

She warned that “close cooperation” between the two countries must be based on shared democratic values, and reminded Trump of the global responsibility he carries.

“On the basis of these values, I offer close cooperation to the future president of the United States of America, Donald Trump.”

Europe, already beset by financial and social crises and internal divisions, now faces existential questions about its own security. Trump has questioned the US-led NATO’s key collective defense guarantee.

The leaders of America’s closest hemispheric partners, Canada and Mexico, quickly made clear their willingness to work with the new president, offering a message of continuity and stability with their giant neighbor.

Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto reached out to the president-elect, agreeing to a meeting.

– ‘Redemption, not recrimination’ –

The Republican Party leadership, too, embraced their newfound champion.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, who had distanced himself from Trump in the final month of the campaign, pledged to “hit the ground running” and work with him on conservative legislation.

But Ryan also called for healing, saying the bitterly contested race must be followed by a period “of redemption, not a time of recrimination.”

Likewise, Trump called for national reconciliation after Clinton conceded defeat in a result that virtually no poll had dreamed of predicting.

He told a crowd of jubilant supporters early Wednesday in New York “it is time for America to bind the wounds of division” as he pledged to work with Democrats in office.

On Wednesday Trump huddled at Trump Tower in New York with a group of advisers, planning the transition to running the world’s largest economy when he takes office on January 20.

During a bitter campaign that tugged at America’s democratic fabric, the tycoon pledged to deport illegal immigrants, ban Muslims from the country and tear up free-trade deals.

Trump’s campaign message was embraced by a large section of America’s white majority, grown increasingly disgruntled by the scope of social and economic change under Obama.

But it was passionately rejected by Clinton supporters.

Thousands of protesters — in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Portland and other cities — rallied late Wednesday to express shock and anger over Trump’s election. They vowed to oppose divisive views they say helped the Republican billionaire win the White House.

In Washington, several hundred gathered in front of the White House for a candlelight vigil on a damp, chilly evening, criticizing what they called Trump’s racism, sexism and xenophobia, and carrying signs reading “We have a voice!” and “Education for all!”

Some of the most enthusiastic support for Trump came from far-right and nationalist politicians in Europe such as French opposition figure Marine Le Pen, Matteo Salvini of Italy’s Northern League and British euroskeptic Nigel Farage.

Russia’s autocratic leader Vladimir Putin said he wanted to rebuild “full-fledged relations” with the United States, as he warmly congratulated the president-elect.

Source: Vanguard

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​”Obama chases Clinton”

American Notes

Not what you’re thinking, folks. Obama is not chasing Hillary Clinton, he’s chasing Bill’s high job approval record during Bill Clinton’s second term. Just recently, the American people gave Obama a 54% job approval rating, the second highest in the second term of a modern-day American president. Guess who has the highest rating at this time of his second term?

No, not Ronald Reagan, he and Obama are tied at 54 percent. Heck no, not George W. Bush, his unpopular war in Iraq dumped his approval rating deep in the toilet at this time of his second term. It’s Bill Clinton? Yes! Hillary’s husband, despite all the Monica Lewinsky’s scandal, had a 57 percent approval rating, the highest in recent memory.

Despite Obama’s soaring popularity, Donald Trump says he is the worst American president in history. Trump probably doesn’t realize that most Americans don’t really care about anything he says about Obama.

First, he lied that he could prove that Obama was not born in America, hence was ineligible to be American president. Now, he says Obama is the founder of ISIS. (Say what?) That’s what Vice President Joe Biden would call a bunch of malarkey !

These are some of the things that make even Republicans worry about Trump’s mental health. Now that Obama and Bill Clinton are campaigning for Hillary, any surprise she is leading Trump in every national poll since the Democrat convention?

Now they are five

If you thought Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were the only presidential candidates in the U.S. elections, think again. They are now five. Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party), Jill Stein (Green Party) and just this week former CIA operative Evan McMullin declared to run as an Independent candidate. Besides Hillary and Trump, the other three have one major hurdle: Any candidate below 15 percent in the national poll cannot participate in any of the debates scheduled for presidential candidates. And without that national exposure, their campaign is as good as dead.

Police Targeting African Americans

Remember the disturbing images of protests and riots in Fergusson in the state of Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland? While not condoning riots and violence, it is now proven that those black people and others who joined them in the protests against police discriminatory brutality were not crazy after all. Just this week, the Department of Justice confirmed what black people and civil rights activists have been saying all along.

After a year-long investigation, the Department of Justice concluded among other things that Baltimore police officers made repeated stops in poor black neighborhoods and used dubious reasons to unlawfully arrest blacks. Imagine this: Although 63 percent of Baltimore residents are African American, they account for 84 percent of those routinely stopped by police.

Also, between 2010 and 2015, African Americans make up a whopping 95 percent of the 410 residents stopped at least 10 times by the police. Wait, there’s more: During that five-year span, Baltimore police officers stopped 34 African American residents 20 times and seven African Americans were stopped 30 times or more. Meanwhile, nobody from another race was stopped more than 12 times.

As if those were not bad enough, officers publicly (and unconstitutionally) strip-searched African Americans, including those who were not under arrest. Officers routinely and unreasonably used excessive force against residents, some of which resulted in deaths, including the death of Freddie Gray, which ignited the protests and riots in Baltimore. Wow! With this kind of “indictment” of American police, what do you say of the Nigerian police?

The $400 cup of coffee

Just imagine an exchange rate at N380 to $1, then multiply by 400. That amounts to about N152,000. If you were driving in the state of New Jersey, that’s what you would have to cough out if a bill before the New Jersey House passes. Well, one legislator is sponsoring a bill against additional distraction while driving, specifically those who try to open their beverage or mix cream in their coffee.

If the bill is approved, that violation could cost first-time offenders between $200 to $400 and between $400 to $600 for second time offenders. A third offence could result in the suspension of the offender’s driver’s license. Remember, the state already has laws against texting while driving and other distractions, such as reading newspapers or opening maps. But the fines for those violations pale compared to what the state legislator is proposing.

Trump Not Running to Win

Call me crazy if you want, but I am convinced that Donald Trump does not really want to win the U.S. Presidential Election. Not that he wouldn’t like to win, but frankly, I think he is scared at the prospect of winning and is doing everything to help Hillary win. He repeatedly stirs up controversy that takes the focus off his campaign message and then he and his surrogates spend the next couple of days defending or clarifying his remarks. Imagine the Trumpster already is preparing his supporters for a potential defeat by saying the November 8 election will be rigged even before the first presidential debate is held.

After losing about five days fending off the firestorm that sparked off his remarks against the wife of the American soldier who died in combat, he gave his big address on his economic plan. The very next day he caused another controversy with his remarks that seemed to suggest that he was calling for gun owners to find a way to stop Hillary Clinton. As that was still brewing, he called Hillary the devil and Obama the founder of ISIS, with Hillary as the co-founder. On Thursday, Trump told CNBC network that he will not change his style or tactics and if for some reason he doesn’t win the election he will go ahead and have a nice vacation.

So why is Trump running if he does not want to win? My take is that if Trump is hoping to lose gallantly to Hillary Clinton and then move on to expand his business empire. I foresee Trump TV network, something that can give him the kind of international influence he so desires, crowned with the kind of unlimited, criticism-free control the White House cannot provide.

What do you think?

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  4. Source: Vanguard