Saturday, November 5, 2016

Watch Bruce Springsteen Explain Why Donald Trump Is 'Going to Lose'

Bruce Springsteen called Donald Trump a "flagrant, toxic narcissist" intent on destroying the democratic process in a new interview with Channel 4 News. "The trouble at the moment is you have Donald Trump, who is talking about rigged elections ... He has a feeling he's going to lose now, which of course he is going to lose."

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"He knows he's going to lose," said Springsteen. "And he's such a flagrant, toxic narcissist that he wants to take down the entire democratic system with him if he goes. If he could reflect on these things … but he's such a non-reflective person. 

And he simply has no sense of decency, no sense of responsibility about him."
Springsteen added that Trump's recent statements about "rigged elections" are "very dangerous" and an "attack on the entire democratic process."He does have a lot of people's ears ... I don't think he's going to go quietly, gently into the good night. I think he's going to make as big a mess as he can. And I don't know what that's going to mean, but we'll find out shortly."

The singer recently criticized Trump in a Rolling Stone interview, calling the Republican a "moron." 
"The whole thing is tragic," he said. "Without overstating it, it's a tragedy for our democracy. When you start talking about elections being rigged, you're pushing people beyond democratic governance. And it's a very, very dangerous thing to do. 

Once you let those genies out of the bottle, they don't go back in so easy, if they go back in at all. The ideas he's moving to the mainstream are all very dangerous ideas – white nationalism and the alt-right movement. The outrageous things that he's done – not immediately disavowing David Duke? These are things that are obviously beyond the pale for any previous political candidate. It would sink your candidacy immediately."


A High Probability Of Hillary Clinton Winning Doesn’t Mean It Will Be A Blowout

The HuffPost presidential forecast gives Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton a 98 percent chance of winning the general election on Tuesday. That means we’re pretty darn certain that ― barring some major catastrophe, scandal or nearly every single poll being wrong ― Clinton will be elected.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean Clinton will win in a landslide. It’s still a close race in several states; Clinton could win with as few as 273 electoral votes. Or she could blow the race out and win 341 or more. The high win probability doesn’t choose between those scenarios ― it just means that the model shows Clinton below 270 is very unlikely.

In simple terms, here’s how the model does that: We take all the polls entered into the HuffPost Pollster database in each state and calculate a trendline to estimate what they say in the aggregate. Unlike the Pollster charts, which stop on the current date, the forecast model keeps running to Nov. 8 (although there’s not much difference four days out). And then we bump up the uncertainty in the model to account for the undecided proportions in the polls.

Once we have a probability of each candidate winning in each state, we simulate the election 10 million times: The computer randomly draws a number between 0 and 100 that represents Clinton’s vote share in that state for that election simulation. If the number is below her probability of a win in that state (e.g., the number is 52 and she has a 60 percent probability of winning), that counts as a win for her and she’s awarded that state’s electoral votes. The random numbers are correlated across states since we know state outcomes are correlated.

The electoral votes are tallied once all states are assigned, and the candidate with more than 270 is the winner. The computer repeats that process across all states 10 million times, and the percentage of times Clinton wins more than 270 electoral votes in those 10 million simulations is the probability of her winning the election.

So the 98 percent chance of a Clinton win is not a 98 percent chance that she wins by a certain number of electoral votes ― it’s the percent chance that she wins more than 270 electoral votes. It’s less important that Clinton wins each individual state than it is that she wins enough states in this type of model.

That’s why the HuffPost model is so certain of a Clinton win, even though several states are still close. Ohio, for one, is right on a razor’s edge ― it’s changing directions practically every time the model runs. Clinton is neck-and-neck with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as they vie for the state’s 18 electoral votes. Trump needs those to win. Clinton does not.

In fact, Clinton has 302 electoral votes in just the states in which she’s 90 percent or more likely to win. That includes Michigan, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Colorado, Florida and New Hampshire. That’s because polls in those states have shown consistent trends toward Clinton ― and nothing in the last week has been definitive enough to change those trends.

Some states could continue to close in. New Hampshire is one of those, and Florida is often an electoral conundrum. Most forecast models show a less rosy picture in Florida ― and FiveThirtyEight shows it going for Trump. But that’s based on their poll-weighting structures and adjustments that move a 45.7 to 44.1 Clinton lead to a 48.3 to 48.0 Trump lead. HuffPost Pollster’s estimate of a 2-point lead is within a reasonable range of FiveThirtyEight’s unadjusted numbers. And our model gives Clinton a pretty certain win in Florida because of the consistency of that lead over time.

Without Florida and New Hampshire, Clinton drops to 269 electoral votes ― but North Carolina is also right on the edge of the 90 percent probability mark, and would give Clinton 15 electoral votes to put her over the top. And she’s leading in Nevada right now too. It’s unlikely that she loses all of those states.

The other nightmare scenarios revolve around Clinton losing in states where she has never actually trailed in the HuffPost Pollster aggregates. Those states are Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. So of course our model has no reason to think there will be disasters in those states.

Putting all of that together, the model estimates that Clinton is most likely to land at 341 electoral votes ― but it could be as low as 271 or as high as 374. There’s only a 5 percent chance she gets exactly 341, and less than a 1 percent chance she lands at 374 or 271. That means there’s a lot of uncertainty about exactly how much Clinton will win by ― even though there’s a lot of certainty that she will win.


It Sure Looks Like FBI Renegades Are Trying To Swing The Presidential Election

Three days before a historic election, a disturbing twist has emerged: the possibility that agents in the country’s preeminent investigative service are attempting to swing the outcome.

Reuters reported on Thursday that FBI Director James Comey wrote his unprecedented letter to Congress last week in part because he feared his own employees might leak word of the Hillary Clinton email investigation to the press. Two sources told Reuters that investigators in the FBI’s New York field office are “known to be hostile” to Clinton. On Thursday, The Guardian reported its sources described the FBI as a “Trumpland,” where agents have “deep antipathy” toward Clinton.

Those reports follow a whirlwind week of leaks from the FBI that appear intended to cast a shadow over Clinton.

On Sunday, The Wall Street Journal reported that FBI investigators had looked into the Clinton Foundation and were frustrated that senior law enforcement officials and career anti-corruption prosecutors were not impressed by the results. So frustrated, it seems, that details of their investigation ended up in a news report less than 10 days before Election Day.

The leaks continued days later. A story in the Journal on Wednesday revealed more information about the investigation.

Fox News reported on Wednesday that FBI sources said that the Clinton Foundation case is moving toward “likely an indictment.” The story was widely refuted by other media organizations. (Fox anchor Bret Baier apologized for the report on Friday, calling it a “mistake.”)

On Friday, Donald Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani, who claims deep connections to the FBI, admitted that the Trump campaign knew about the FBI’s review of additional emails before Comey’s letter. “I thought it was going to be about three or four weeks ago,” he said of the FBI director’s announcement. Hours later, Giuliani backpedaled and said he knew nothing of FBI leaks.

The leaks would be alarming under any circumstances. The Department of Justice typically does not comment on ongoing probes. “Except in exceptional circumstances, the department will not even acknowledge the existence of an investigation,” former Attorney General Eric Holder wrote on Sunday. For such leaks to occur so close to an election is a further breach of DOJ guidance, which advises officials with questions “regarding the timing of charges or overt investigative steps near the time of a primary or general election” to contact the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division.

While judging the seriousness of an investigation by anonymous leaks may be a fool’s errand, the case against the Clinton Foundation does not appear to be strong. According to The New York Times, a key source for the investigation was the book Clinton Cash, which was funded by a group co-founded by Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart executive chairman who is now Trump’s campaign CEO.

Public integrity prosecutors were reportedly not persuaded by the FBI’s findings. “There’s no there there. It’s a nothing burger with a side of hot air. There is no case to prosecute,” said Tim Weiner, author of Enemies, the definitive history of the FBI. Investigators’ “efforts to find criminality in the conduct of Hillary Clinton have come up thus far with nothing and agents don’t like it went investigations don’t pay off,” he said.

While Comey’s decision to write to Congress less than two weeks before the election was misguided and unnerving, it’s the possibility of a revenge-seeking shadow element within the agency that is much more troubling. That these investigators may have forced Comey’s hand suggests that they constitute a threat that will outlast the election. Even if Clinton wins, she will oversee an FBI employing at least a small number of agents who appear to have meddled in an election. The rot will persist.

The FBI’s history is littered with unsavory acts ― from blackmailing Martin Luther King Jr. to eavesdropping on at least 12 Supreme Court justices. The decision by some of its agents to intervene in the most high-stakes election in generations joins that odious list. In a campaign that has seen the steady erosion of longstanding political norms, this is one of the most unsettling developments yet.

Ryan Grim contributed reporting.

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

You Probably Aren't Doing 10 Of The Best Plyometric Exercises

Nothing screams "celebration" quite like jumping around with excitement. And we here at The Huffington Post are literally jumping for joy in celebration of the company's 10th birthday. We decided to throw some fitness clothes into the mix and make a workout of it!

Here are 10 of our favorite plyometric exercises that never fail to help us work up a serious sweat and make us feel like we've accomplished the impossible. These moves not only work every muscle from head to toe, but also burn major calories both during and after a session due to their use of high-intensity interval training. All you need to jump right into this workout is a sturdy box or an exercise bench, a weighted fitness ball and your favorite pair of sneakers.

Check out these effective plyometric moves you're probably not doing, and then tell us which exercise makes you feel most like celebrating in the comments below.

Step 1: Place a sturdy box or exercise bench directly in front of you. Take a test step-up to make sure you can clear the edge without tripping, and measure the distance between the surface and your body that you'll need for the jump.
Step 2: With feet in line with the hips, sink into a squat, keeping the knees behind the toes and reaching your arms low and back for leverage.
Step 3: Swing your arms forward and propel out of the squat position as you jump your feet on top of the box or bench. Once you've landed, sink into another squat, holding your hands in front of your for balance.
Step 4: Slowly step down back down to the floor, one foot at a time, to the starting position to complete one rep.

Step 1: Using the box or bench one last time, stand behind it like you did with the first exercise. Place your right foot on top of the surface near the edge to make sure your leg forms a right angle from your standing position. Adjust accordingly.
Step 2: With the right ball of the foot touching (but not resting) on the surface, jump as you switch feet, landing with the left ball of the foot touching the surface.
Step 3: Switch back to the right foot to complete one rep. Continue alternating feet with a jump in between each switch, all the while remaining light on the toes for additional agility.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Snowden Explains How The Government

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden sat down for an interview with comedian John Oliver nearly two years after he leaked classified documents about U.S. government surveillance programs and fled to Russia to escape prosecution."I do miss my country. I do miss my home. I do miss my family," Snowden said.

Oliver, the host of HBO's "Last Week Tonight," encouraged Snowden to explain bulk surveillance in colloquial terms so the general public could better understand it. He showed Snowden a video of Americans who were concerned that the government improperly intercepted nude photos, or "dick pics," as part of its mass surveillance programs."The good news is that there's no program named the 'dick pic' program. The bad news. they are still collecting everybody's information, including your dick pics," Snowden said while stifling a chuckle.

"If you have your email somewhere like Gmail hosted on a server overseas or transferred overseas or anytime it crosses outside the borders of the United States, your junk ends up in the database," Snowden added.Snowden then went on to explain the "PRISM" program, which collects data from tech companies like Google, Facebook, Apple and others.

"PRISM is how they pull your junk out of Google, with Google's involvement," he said. "I guess I never thought about putting it in the context of your junk."So should Americans stop taking photos of their private parts and sending them online?

"You shouldn't change your behavior because of a government agency somewhere that's doing the wrong thing," Snowden said. "If you sacrifice your values because you're afraid, you don't care about those values very much." CORRECTION: A previous version of this story quoted Snowden as saying PRISM collects data without Google's involvement. He said that Google is involved in the process.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Blames DHS Standoff On Senate Democrats Boehner Defends Netanyahu

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) still isn't ruling out the possibility of a shutdown at the Department of Homeland Security.Boehner said Sunday on Fox News that he was "certainly" willing to let the funding for the Department of Homeland Security lapse, and that Senate Democrats would be to blame if a deal wasn't reached.

A House bill that would fund the department until the end of the current budget year has been blocked by Senate Democrats because it would also limit President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. Many Republicans, meanwhile, say they won't support a funding bill that doesn't include those limits."The Constitution makes it pretty clear that the House has to do its work and the Senate has to do theirs. The House has acted to fund the department and to stop the president's overreach when it comes to immigration and his executive orders," Boehner told Fox's Chris Wallace.

The DHS is expected to run out of funding Feb. 27 unless Congress takes action."Here's the bottom line: the deadline is less than two weeks from now," Wallace said. "And the fact is that you and Congress are going to be out on recess for the next week. Can you promise the American people with the terror threat only growing that you're not going to allow funding for the Department of Homeland Security to run out?"

"The House has acted. We've done our job," Boehner replied. "Senate Democrats are the ones putting us in this precarious position. It's up to Senate Democrats to get their act together."Boehner also defended his decision to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress without first consulting the White House, a decision many Democrats have slammed as a breach of protocol. A number of Democratic lawmakers have announced plans to skip the speech, or called for it to be postponed.

"We have every right to do what we did. I wanted the prime minister to come here," Boehner said.Boehner made the invitation without telling the Obama administration because he "wanted to make sure that there was no interference," he said. "There's no secret here in Washington about the animosity that this White House has for Prime Minister Netanyahu. I frankly didn't want them getting in the way and quashing what I thought was a real opportunity."A recent HuffPost/YouGov poll found that Americans thought the invitation was inappropriate, but that many still want their own representative to attend Netanyahu's speech.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

States Where The Middle Class Is Dying: 24/7 Wall St.

The American economy is by many measures well on the road to full recovery. The national unemployment rate was 6.2% in 2013, down from 9.3% in 2009; U.S. gross domestic product grew 5% in the third quarter of 2014; and the S&P 500 recently reached its all time high. And yet the middle class, which historically was the driver of economic growth, is falling behind. The average income among middle class families shrank by 4.3% between 2009 and 2013, while incomes among the wealthiest 20% of American households grew by 0.4%.

Based on average pre-tax income earned by the third quintile, or the middle 20% of earners in each state, middle class incomes in California declined the most in the country. Incomes among middle class Californian households fell by nearly 7% between 2009 and 2013, while income among the state’s fifth quintile, or the top 20% of state earners, grew by 1.3%. Based on an analysis of household incomes among America’s middle class, these are the states where the middle class is suffering the most.

Much of the income growth among the highest earning households is likely due to stock market gains. As Thomas Piketty argues in his book, “Capital in the 21st Century,” income inequality results from a higher return on capital — money used to make more money in the stock market or other revenue-generating assets — than wage and GDP growth. With the rich holding a disproportionate share of money in the stock market, their incomes have recovered much faster than those of middle class workers.

In all 10 of the states on this list, the share of total income earned by the bottom 80% of households fell between 2009 and 2013 and was redistributed to the highest quintile. The top 20% of U.S. households held more than 51% of total income in 2013, up 1.14 percentage points from 2009. Even among top earners, income was not evenly distributed. Over that five-year period, the top 5% of households accounted for nearly 75% of income gains in the top 20% of earners.

Income from capital gains may partly explain why the income distribution has skewed towards the rich in recent years. “We have seen the stock market recover quite well for many Americans who do have access to the market and who are investors,” Valenti said. Meanwhile, average workers do not.