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Trump on Putin's criticism of Hillary Clinton and Democrats: 'So true!'

President-elect Donald Trump tweeted his agreement with Vladimir Putin on Friday evening, after the Russian president said top Democrats were humiliating themselves by blaming their election loss on alleged Russian hacking. "Vladimir Putin said today about Hillary and Dems: 'In my opinion, it is humiliating. One must be able to lose with dignity.' So true!" Trump tweeted.

Putin had criticized Clinton and the Democrats at a press conference on Friday, claiming that the allegations of Russian interference during the election was an "affront to their own dignity."

"They are losing on all fronts and looking for scapegoats on whom to lay the blame," Putin said. "It is important to know how to lose gracefully."

It wasn't the first time on Friday that Trump gushed over remarks made by Putin. Earlier, Trump released a statement saying he received a "very nice letter" from the Russian president, adding that Putin's "thoughts are so correct."

The letter, dated Dec. 15, offered Putin's "warmest Christmas and New Year greetings" and stressed the importance of US-Russia relations in "ensuring stability and security of the modern world."

Putin continued: "I hope that after you assume the position of the president of the United States of America we will be able — by acting in a constructive and pragmatic manner — to take real steps to restore the framework of bilateral cooperation in different areas as well as bring out level of collaboration on the international scene to a qualitatively new level."




Majority Want Monday’s Electoral College Vote Postponed In Wake Of Russia Scandal: New Poll

A majority of American voters favor delaying the December 19th Electoral College vote until electors can be fully briefed on Russian interference in the election, according to a new poll conducted by YouGov.

The survey, sponsored by the progressive advocacy group Avaaz, found 52 percent of people supportive of stalling the vote, set to take place Monday.

A surprisingly high number of people ― 46 percent ― were also willing to support so-called “faithless electors,” the name given members of the Electoral College who spurn the vote of their home state and vote for a different candidate instead.

Trump opponents have been pressuring electors to break with their state’s voters, and a law firm has even offered pro bono, confidential legal advice to any elector curious about his or her options. Avaaz has collected thousands of signatures on a petition calling for the vote to be delayed.

Donald Trump won a fairly wide Electoral College victory on Election Day, but Hillary Clinton is on pace to beat him in the popular vote by some three million. In a sign of how divided the country is, however, more than 1 in 4 Republicans believe that Trump in fact bested Clinton in the popular vote. That belief may stem from a false claim Trump himself made on Twitter, when he said that he would have won the popular vote had millions of people not voted illegally. That came after a separate claim from Trump, that he could have won the popular vote if he wanted to, by campaigning in highly populated states like California and New York.

Some states mandate that electors vote the way their state instructs, but the the 10th Circuit Court ruled late on Friday that such laws are unconstitutional. The court covers the region of Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, Utah, and Wyoming.

Only one elector has publicly said he will be breaking from Trump.



Bombshell Secret CIA Report Says Russia Aimed To Steal White House For Trump

A shocking secret CIA assessment has concluded that Russia interfered with the U.S. presidential election expressly to help Donald Trump win, according to an exclusive report Friday by The Washington Post.

Until now, intelligence sources have indicated that Russian hacking throughout the campaign that repeatedly exposed information overwhelmingly embarrassing for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was an effort to undermine Americans’ faith in their government.

Now the intelligence community has concluded that Russia was clearly after a Trump victory and manipulated information to that end, according to sources who spoke to the newspaper.

“It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,” a senior U.S. official briefed on the CIA assessment told The Washington Post. “That’s the consensus view.” 

The Trump camp has dismissed the report — along with the credibility of the U.S. intelligence community. “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” said a statement by the Trump transition team. “The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s time to move on and ‘Make America great again.’”

It’s no surprise Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted Trump in the White House. Trump praised the former KGB leader throughout the presidential campaign. He even called Putin a “more effective leader” than President Barack Obama.

Leaked information through hacking operations traced by U.S. intelligence to Russia was eerily silent on Trump and the Republican Party throughout the presidential campaign. Yet the same operations exposed troves of secret, sometimes embarrassing, personal communication involving Clinton and internal planning by the Democratic National Committee. 

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia hacked the Republican National Committee but chose not to release the information, according to a report in the New York Times late Friday.

In addition, intelligence officials discovered breaches by Russian government-linked hackers into the voter registration databases of at least two states.

Links to hackers and the Russian government were detected by U.S. intelligence earlier this year. But Trump dismissed a Russian hand in the operations. He again this week blasted the intelligence findings, even before the latest assessment emerged, as politically motivated and not based on hard evidence.

“I don’t believe it. I don’t believe [Russia] interfered,” Trump told Time magazine in his “Person of the Year” interview released Wednesday.

“That became a laughing point, not a talking point,” he added. “Any time I do something, they say, ‘Oh, Russia interfered.’”

The hacking, he said, “could be Russia, it could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey.”

Yet at one point during the campaign in July, he appeared to appeal to Russia for hacking help, saying: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing” from Clinton’s email servers. The seeming request for a foreign government to breach U.S. internet security sparked a storm of controversy, and Trump later insisted he was only being “sarcastic.”

In a September intelligence briefing, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reportedly expressed suspicion about Russian links to campaign hacking. He hasn’t commented on The Washington Post’s report on the latest CIA information.

The chilling assessment that it’s “quite clear” Russia’s goal was to get Trump elected was shared with key senators last week in a Capital Hill briefing, the Post reported. CIA officials cited a mounting body of evidence from several sources. Intelligence agencies have identified specific individuals with connections to the Russian government who are believed to have provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails, according to The Washington Post.

Obama has ordered a “full review” of Russian hacking in the campaign following pressure from Congress, the White House announced Friday. He expects to receive an intelligence report on any election interference before he leaves office. Congress will also be briefed on the report.

“We’ve seen in 2008, and this last election system, malicious cyber-activity,” Obama’s counterterrorism and homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco, told reporters. “We may be crossing a new threshold, and it is incumbent upon us to take stock of that, to review, to conduct some after-action, to understand what has happened and to impart those lessons learned.” 




Opinion: Here’s the verdict on that ‘terrible’ Obama economy

I had thought we’d wait until Jan. 20 to draw the line under the “Obama economy.”But seeing as Trumpists are already claiming credit for good economic news since the election, such as the rise in the stock market, I guess we can do it now. And the picture is pretty clear.

That “terrible” Obama economy? That picture of U.S. economic and industrial decline? That image of malaise and an economy that is no longer “great” and “doesn’t win anymore” and “doesn’t make anything anymore”?

It’s total nonsense.

There’s no point in trying to have a rational argument — or even talking facts — to angry people who shout “libtard!” at their opponents and cite Infowars or Sean Hannity as sources.

But for all those who didn’t vote for Trump — and that’s about 70% of adult U.S. citizens when considering the eligible population — here are the facts. I’ve compared the third quarter of 2008 — just before Obama’s election — with the third quarter of 2016. (I’ve included links to the data, although Trump’s tinfoil army, most of whom wouldn’t know an actual source if it hit them over the head, will just cry conspiracy theory, as usual.)

The Obama Economy
  Third-quarter 2008 Third-quarter 2016 Verdict
Gross domestic product (2009 dollars) $14.892 trillion $16.713 trillion Up 12%
30-year mortgage loan rate 6.46% 3.54% Nearly halved
Nonfarm payrolls 136.3 million 145.0 million Up 8.7 million
Uninsured (health) 45 million 27 million Down 18 million
Exports (2009 dollars) $1.766 trillion $2.163 trillion Up 22%
Un- and under-employed rate (U6) 11.8% 9.5% Down 20%
Median household income $50,303 $57,929 Up 15%
Manufacturing output per worker (2009 dollars) $382,977 $436,776 Up 14%
Dow Jones Industrial Average 9,319 18,332 Nearly doubled

Not bad. Especially as we were just plunging into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Of course, this isn’t all about the president (or Congress, for that matter). Growth mainly comes from the private sector — from entrepreneurs and workers. But presidents and governments play a role. They can foster an environment in which growth occurs. Or they can screw things up. If people blame President Obama for bad economic news, then they do really need to give him some credit for the good.

I’ll confess: When I first ran these numbers, I was surprised. I hadn’t realized they would be this positive. I guess I’ve been listening to the doom-and-gloom merchants too much.

But here’s a prediction: At the first sign of trouble next year, President Trump and his cheerleaders, like Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones, will say it’s the fault of that “terrible” Obama economy that he inherited.




Analysis: How Exit Polling Missed the Mark on Asian Americans

In the wake of an election that astounded most Americans, there is a lot of 'splainin' to do.

Here are some especially intriguing numbers: According to the National Election Pool (NEP) exit polls sponsored by the major media outlets, 65 percent of Asian Americans voted for Hillary Clinton and 29 percent voted for the victor, Donald Trump. The figures on Latinos are identical: 65 percent and 29 percent.

The result of the National Election Pool exit poll for the Asian-American community.

If these numbers are accurate, Donald Trump had another magic trick up his sleeve beyond his astonishing triumph in the election. These numbers tell us that Trump outperformed Mitt Romney among Asian Americans and Latinos.

ate who bullied and bruised for a fight with Latinos and Asian Americans. Pertaining to Asian Americans, Trump promised to deport America's undocumented immigrants (1.45 million of whom are from Asia), disputed the constitutionality of birthright citizenship, bandied around the idea of a categorical ban on Muslim immigrants (the Asia-Pacific region accounts for 62 percent of the world's Muslims), launched a Twitter tirade against Pakistani-American Gold Star parents Khizr and Ghazala Khan, signaled his willingness to enter into a trade war with China, casually intimated that South Korea and Japan might nuclearize themselves. Not to mention Trump's disparaging comments on the 50-plus percent of the electorate who have never had a President of their gender in the White House.

If these numbers seem hard to reckon, that is with good reason.

Results from two polls that interviewed early voters and registered voters who were "certain to vote" just days before Election Day tell a radically different story. According to the Asian American Election Eve poll, Asian Americans favored Clinton over Trump by a 75 percent to 19 percent margin and the Latino Election Eve poll finds that Latinos favored Clinton to Trump by a 79 percent to 18 percent margin. These numbers tell a frankly more believable story that both Asian Americans and Latinos exceeded their already high Democratic vote share in the 2012 election. (For accurate estimates of the Asian American and Latino vote share in 2012 to compare against these 2016 numbers, see here and here.)

In a year in which the credibility of poll results has been widely questioned, one might reasonably ask: Why are these numbers more believable?

Volunteers from Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) conduct exit polling in 2000.

Volunteers from Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) conducted exit polling of Asian-American voters in 2000. Courtesy Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)

First, there are some long-standing reasons to question the accuracy of national exit polls when it comes to their Asian-American and Latino numbers. Chief among these is that when national exit polls sample precincts and polling locations, they do so to accurately predict the election outcome, and not to accurately predict how particular segments of the electorate vote. Warren Mitofsky, arguably the godfather of exit polling, acknowledged in a 2005 self-assessment that exit polls are "not designed to yield very reliable estimates of the characteristics of small, geographically clustered demographic groups." Groups like Asian Americans and Latinos, that is.

RELATED: Experts: Polls Can Get Latino, Asian American Vote Wrong

More importantly, there are known best-practices for getting reliable estimates of voters like Latinos and Asian Americans, and the NEP exit polls fail to follow those practices while the Asian American Election Eve and Latino Election Eve polls follow them sedulously.

 Why the Latino and Asian American vote matters 10:15

Focusing just on Asian Americans, here are three keys to doing it right. You have to know:

1. Who to ask. Samples are designed to be representative of a "target population." For the NEP exit polls, that target population is all voters. For the Asian American Election Eve poll, the target is Asian American voters.

2. How to ask. According to the American Community Survey, two-thirds of the Asian American population are foreign-born, three-quarters speak a non-English language at home, and one-third are limited English proficient (LEP). The NEP exit polls only interview respondents in English; the Asian American Election Eve poll interviewed in English, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. And research shows that interview language can make a big difference in what you learn about a population of interest.

3. What to ask. Survey responses are notoriously sensitive to how you ask questions and the order in which those questions are asked. The art of question wording and question order is especially important when interviewing a culturally, ethnically, and linguistically diverse group like Asian Americans — again, something that NEP exit polls are not attentive to and the Asian American Election Eve poll is.

Preliminary results of @aaldef's 2016 exit poll of 14,400 Asian American voters on 


To be fair, there are other differences between the NEP exit poll and the Asian American and Latino "eve" polls. Yet these do not fundamentally alter this fact: Surveys designed from soup to nuts to accurately gauge Asian-American and Latino votes are much likelier to achieve just that. In a year full of twists and turns, Asian Americans and Latinos in overwhelming numbers repudiated the candidacy of the election's unexpected victor, Donald Trump.




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