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FOXNEWS hosts on stage for president…


CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. — Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro joined President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump pauses Missouri campaign rally after woman collapses Fox News hosts join Trump on stage at Missouri campaign rally Nate Silver in final midterm projections: ‘Democrats need a couple of things to go wrong’ to lose the House MORE onstage at his final campaign rally of the midterms, singing the president’s praises and urging attendees to vote Republican.

“I have a few people that are right out here, and they’re very special,” Trump said, teasing their appearances. “They’ve done an incredible job for us. They’ve been with us from the beginning, also.”

Trump, who has a well-known penchant for Fox News programming, proceeded to call Hannity onstage, even though the Fox News host tweeted earlier in the day that he “will not be on stage campaigning with the President.”

While Hannity and Pirro are vocal Trump supporters and frequently speak to him, it’s unusual for cable news anchors to give candidate-style speeches at campaign rallies. 

On stage, Hannity promptly decried the press in attendance as “fake news,” and echoed the president’s mantra of “promises made, promises kept.”

Shortly before taking the stage, Trump spoke with Hannity during his 9 p.m. show. The two men talked about Trump’s campaign efforts, and commiserated over the country’s immigration laws.

Hannity lamented that Trump missed his opening monologue while he was traveling, but the president reassured him that was not the case.

“I saw it on the plane,” Trump said. “I never miss your opening monologue. I would never do that.”

As Trump took the stage, Hannity high-fived White House communications director and former Fox News executive Bill Shine, who was observing the event from the wings of the arena.

Trump also called on his “friend,” Pirro, to take the stage, introducing her as “Justice Jeanine.”

“If you like the America that [Trump] is making now, you’ve got to make sure you get out there tomorrow if you haven’t voted yet,” Pirro, host of “Justice with Jeanine,” implored the crowd.

Another Fox News host, “Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade, last month said he mistakenly donated roughly $600 to the Trump campaign. Keith Olbermann, an outspoken liberal, was suspended by MSNBC in 2010 for donating to Democratic candidates. 

Trump’s rally in Missouri was his last of three campaign stops on Monday as he sought to boost GOP Senate candidates prior to Election Day.

At each event, Trump introduced prominent surrogates who whipped the crowd into a frenzy.

Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpFox News hosts join Trump on stage at Missouri campaign rally Hillicon Valley: Supreme Court declines to hear net neutrality challenge | How the midterms will affect the cyber agenda | Facebook rejects controversial Trump ad | Gab back online Trump’s closing argument frames midterms as a referendum on his White House MORE, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayFox News hosts join Trump on stage at Missouri campaign rally Sanders, Conway appear at Trump rally Trump’s closing argument frames midterms as a referendum on his White House MORE appeared at multiple rallies, including in Missouri, and conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh also introduced the president in Missouri.



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For trans candidate, fight on many levels in Vermont…






BENNINGTON, Vt. — One day recently, Christine Hallquist walked into the Two Brews Cafe, a homey, quirky coffee shop in this sleepy college town, and sat down at a pair of dark oak tables with a dozen local activists.

They were trying to get a measure of this political neophyte who is mounting a seemingly long-shot campaign for governor. She seemed to share so many of their values, but was she serious about this? Should they go out and work for her?

For Lesley Jacobson, a retired high school teacher who especially likes Hallquist’s Medicare for all pledge, one thing especially bothered her. She looked Hallquist in the eye and said one word: signs.

“There’s nothing here. No signs,” Jacobson said. “You wouldn’t know there’s an election on.”

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Hallquist, a Democrat, sheepishly informed Jacobson that the campaign had more or less run out of signs, and one reason for that may be who she is, the first openly transgender gubernatorial nominee from either major party. Her distinctive blue signs are being pilfered all over the state — 150 had just gone missing in Brattleboro — and she doesn’t think it’s because they’re considered collector’s items.

She has also received death threats, so her campaign doesn’t put her daily schedule out in advance, which doesn’t help a fledgling politician who remains largely unknown to so many voters.

Hallquist is surely fighting prejudice and ignorance in some quarters as she barnstorms across the Green Mountain State. But she’s also fighting low name-recognition, political inexperience, and the sheer power of incumbency as she tries to knock off first-term Republican Governor Phil Scott.

Her campaign got some bad news last month when a Vermont Public Radio/Vermont PBS poll showed that only 28 percent of likely voters say they’ll back her. Scott came in at 42 percent. More worrisome for Hallquist is that Scott was drawing 26 percent of Democrats. Virtually no Republicans said they’ll vote for Hallquist.

Hallquist’s staff say their internal polling shows a much tighter race. And the VPR/VPBS poll suggested it’s not just Hallquist who faces an uphill battle: All of Vermont’s incumbent statewide officeholders had comfortable leads as their campaigns headed into the final week.

If Hallquist, 62, is worried about the polls, she isn’t showing it. Instead, she’s out there every day, all day, fully aware that, as a newcomer to politics, she has to earn every vote, and that with some 28 percent of the electorate undecided, it’s all in play.

Her campaign has attracted a lot of national and international attention. When out-of-state journalists ask her what it’s like to be standing on the cusp of history, Hallquist can’t resist tweaking them, saying she realizes no one’s knocked off an incumbent governor in Vermont since 1962.

Hallquist campaigned in Montpelier on Sunday.

Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Hallquist campaigned in Montpelier on Sunday.

Hallquist is wary of labels, seeing herself not as a transgender gubernatorial nominee as much as a gubernatorial nominee who happens to be transgender. And while she holds progressive views on health care, climate change, and income inequality, she’d rather be known as a pragmatist. She is more policy wonk than standard-bearer. But she proudly wears her heart on her sleeve.

“Medicare for all, ending homelessness, that’s not being progressive,” she said. “That’s called being a civilized society.”

Scott, for his part, has not made Hallquist’s gender an issue and has condemned those who have made threats against her. Scott’s supporters like to point out that Hallquist voted for him two years ago.

‘November 9th, 2016. I woke up out of my comfortable coma. I marched. But I realized that’s not enough. That’s why I’m running.’

— Christine Hallquist, Vermont gubernatorial candidate, on being spurred into action by the election of President Trump 

Hallquist shrugged that off. “Everybody makes mistakes,” she cracked.

A native of upstate New York, Hallquist was initially known as David and moved to Vermont at 20 when her father relocated to Burlington for work. Trained as an electrical engineer, she served as CEO of the Vermont Electric Cooperative for a decade, known for her innovative approaches to energy policy. She publicly transitioned in gender in 2015, and within a year had something of a political epiphany as powerful as the personal epiphany that led her to live openly as a woman.

“November 9th, 2016,” she said, referring to the day after Donald Trump was elected president. “I woke up out of my comfortable coma. I marched. But I realized that’s not enough. That’s why I’m running.”

The Trump administration’s recent initiative to define someone’s gender as determined at birth and solely by anatomy shocked but did not surprise Hallquist.

“He’s coming after my folks now,” she said. “If I do nothing else, I will make Donald Trump uncomfortable.”

Trump remains wildly unpopular in Vermont, and Hallquist has tried to link Scott to the president. Scott scoffs at that, saying he has not been afraid to criticize Trump’s more outlandish rhetoric and actions. Polling, meanwhile, suggests that Scott has lost support not with Democrats so much as Republicans, largely over his support for gun control.

Hallquist says her gender rarely comes up on the campaign trail. She says voters are interested in issues like health care and the cost of housing, not with the one that has garnered so much attention outside of Vermont.

Barnstorming the state briefly took a back seat to brainstorming at Two Brews with the assembled activists.

Hallquist outlined her belief that optimizing the electrical grid is the key to solving climate change, and her contention that the biggest issue facing Vermonters as it loses population and struggles to keep young people is connectivity.

Living in Hyde Park, in northern, remote Lamoille County, Hallquist doesn’t have broadband.

“In the 1960s, it was electricity. Today, it’s connectivity,” she said. “The digital divide increases poverty and flight to the cities.”

To get her chance to replace a substandard connectivity infrastructure, she has had to throw herself into campaigning. Her longtime friend and driver, Brenda Churchill, is transgender, easygoing, and a good conversationalist, which comes in handy, given how much time they spend in the car. They tool around in an orange Jeep, crisscrossing the nation’s second least-populous state, where there are not only 623,960 people, but, it sometimes seems, 623,960 opinions.

Hallquist prides herself on being good on policy, but has had to push herself to engage with the people and communities she would need to represent as governor.

After reading about a 30-year-old mother who died of an opioid overdose, Hallquist attended the funeral in Burlington.

“Maddie, the young woman who died, had a 4-year-old son. I cried the whole time, because Maddie reminded me so much of one of my daughters,” Hallquist said. “I came out of that funeral changed.”

She’s a quick learner. Within days of hearing it from supporters, her campaign signs were all over Bennington and Brattleboro.

Hallquist was standing on a traffic island recently outside a shopping plaza in Springfield with a group of Democrat candidates, taking part in a Vermont campaign staple: the honk and wave.

About an hour into the exercise, the assembled group looked to their left, up the hill that is Route 106, otherwise known as River Street. A man on a bicycle was racing down the hill at breakneck speed and narrowly missed getting hit by a car as he braked hard and jumped off his bike at the traffic island.

The man, the sort Vermonters charitably describe as a character, launched into a diatribe about drivers refusing to share the road with bicyclists, before announcing that fossil fuels “have killed more Americans than Osama bin Laden.”

Without another word, the man climbed back on his bike and pedaled away.

Christine Hallquist watched the man’s image fade in the late afternoon light, shrugged, and deadpanned, “Well, I wouldn’t have put it that way, but he wasn’t wrong on the issues.”

Kevin Cullen can be reached at cullen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeCullen.



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Republicans brace for wipeout in gov races…


The ranks of Republican governors are poised to thin after this year’s midterm elections, and some party strategists are bracing for major Democratic gains even in some of the most conservative states in the country.

Voters in 36 states will elect governors on Tuesday, including 26 states where Republicans currently hold the top job. Democrats are defending nine seats, and both sides are fighting over Alaska, where independent Gov. Bill Walker dropped his reelection bid late last month.

Virtually all of the most contested races are being fought on Republican turf.

Democrats are overwhelmingly likely to pick up governorships in Illinois, where Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) is running a long-shot bid for reelection, and New Mexico, where Gov. Susana Martinez (R) faces term limits.

Polls also show Democratic nominees ahead in open seat races in Michigan, Maine and Florida; of the 33 public surveys taken in Florida since the Aug. 28 primary, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) has led former Rep. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisElection Countdown: Trump frames midterm as referendum on presidency | Senate seats most likely to flip | Huge turnout raises Dem hopes | Controversy over Trump ad | Weather forecast has storm headed to key states | DOJ to monitor voting in 19 states Florida races could be decided by Puerto Rican voters Rains risk dampening turnout in East Coast, Midwest MORE (R) in 32.

In Nevada, Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak (D) is running even with or just ahead of Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R).

Two high-profile races in which Republican governors are retiring, in Ohio and Georgia, remain virtual toss-ups. Former Attorney General Richard CordrayRichard Adams CordrayThe Hill’s Morning Report — What if the polls are wrong? John Legend to campaign in Ohio Sunday Election Day: An hour-by-hour viewer’s guide MORE (D) is tied with current Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) in Ohio, and former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D) is locked in an increasingly contentious battle with Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) in Georgia.

Democrats are even running close to Republicans in Kansas and South Dakota, two deep-red states. The party’s nominees are narrowly trailing or tied with Republican candidates in Oklahoma, New Hampshire and Alaska.

“These are all replays of 2014 races, which were such a low watermark for Democrats,” said Thad Kousser, a political scientist who studies state politics at the University of California-San Diego. “The Democrats probably can’t do any worse than Democrats did in the 2014 election.”

Republicans were virtually certain to give back some states to Democrats, given the zenith they reached after the 2014 elections. Republicans hold 33 of 50 governorships, the most the party has ever held.

“Polling shows that Democrats could have a good night, but there’s no clear evidence of a blue wave,” said Jon Thompson, a spokesman for the Republican Governors Association. “Republicans’ record fundraising and strong candidate recruitment gives the party a high chance of victory in numerous races.”

But with so many seats in play, this year’s contests may mark a dramatic realignment — right before the next round of reapportionment and redistricting commences after the 2020 census. Democrats who were locked out of so many redistricting processes following the 2010 census appear suddenly poised to seize back seats at the table in many states.

Republicans remain optimistic that they can snag at least one victory, in Alaska. Walker endorsed the Democratic nominee, former Sen. Mark BegichMark Peter BegichOne reform would have kept Alaska’s governor from quitting the race Hillary Clinton issues endorsements in key governor races Alaska governor Walker suspends reelection campaign MORE, but his name will still appear on the ballot on Tuesday.

And Republicans have shots at picking up two states helmed by Democratic governors where voters are tired of ongoing budget and pension crises. Polls show businessman Bob Stefanowski (R) running close to progressive hero Ned Lamont (D) in Connecticut, and state Rep. Knute Buehler (R) mounting a strong challenge to Gov. Kate Brown (D) in Oregon.

Governors’ races tend to break differently than do House or Senate contests, which are largely fought on national issues. While Democrats running for governor have focused their campaigns on health care and protecting those with pre-existing conditions, those candidates have also talked about infrastructure and education spending, issues that resonate on a state level if not at the national level.

That different landscape leads to historical anomalies. Both Oregon, which has not elected a Republican governor since 1982, and South Dakota, where no Democrat has won since 1974, are in play this year. 

At the same time, Republican governors are cruising to reelection in deep-blue states like Massachusetts, Maryland and Vermont.

But history shows that even governors’ races are susceptible to a national electorate’s mood: In a Republican president’s first midterm, the president’s party tends to lose an average of five governorships.

Republicans were confident at the beginning of the election cycle that their party would be on defense in deep-red territory President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump pauses Missouri campaign rally after woman collapses Fox News hosts join Trump on stage at Missouri campaign rally Nate Silver in final midterm projections: ‘Democrats need a couple of things to go wrong’ to lose the House MORE had won by wide margins in 2016. But the combination of weak candidates, like Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) or DeSantis in Florida, and Democratic rising stars like Whitmer in Michigan or state Senate Minority Leader Billie Sutton (D) in South Dakota, has changed the landscape.

President Trump’s anemic approval rating is also causing a drag in some states. Trump has rallied with or raised money for gubernatorial candidates like Kobach, DeSantis and Rep. Kristi NoemKristi Lynn NoemThe Hill’s Morning Report — What if the polls are wrong? Poll: Republican Noem has 3-point lead in South Dakota gubernatorial race Election Countdown: Bomb threats raise new fears about political violence | Texas race becomes ground zero in health care fight | Florida tests Trump’s influence | Racial animus moves to forefront in midterm battle | Trump to rally in Wisconsin tonight MORE (R-S.D.), but some Democratic candidates are pitching themselves to voters as the calm counterweights to the Trump-sewn chaos in Washington.

“The irony of this election may be that Donald Trump is saving the Democratic Party in the states,” Kousser said.



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BREXIT DEADLINE LOOMS…



BREXIT DEADLINE LOOMS...

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FEDS: El Chapo's sons now running his drug empire…


Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman “El Chapo” Loera may be going on trial tomorrow in Brooklyn federal court, but the billion dollar cartel he founded is still flourishing under the direction of his two favorite sons.

“… The defendant’s sons remain in charge of his vast drug trafficking empire,” reads a recent letter from the US Attorneys preparing to try Guzman’s case.

The Oct. 28 communication to Federal Judge Brian Cogan goes on to deliver a dire warning regarding the safety of any witnesses. who testify against the drug lord at the trial: “There is no doubt that the defendant and his cartel have the capability, the resources and the will to harm cooperating witnesses and their families, even after they have been relocated.”

Brothers Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Salazar and Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar have been running their father’s drug empire with an iron hand while he has been in hiding and in prison in Mexico and after his extradition last year to the US.

“The brothers have engaged in significant violence,” said a former Drug Enforcement Administration source. “They have ambushed military people and they still have the resources to affect witnesses.”

Ivan and Alfredo are said to be the drug lord’s favorite sons, the ones he personally groomed to take over the family business. They were born to his first wife María Alejandrina Salazar Hernández, whom Guzman married in 1977 in a small ceremony in a rural town in the state of Sinaloa, in northwestern Mexico. The couple had three children, but another son, Cesar, was killed six years ago.

Last month, Alfredo, 32, who is also known by his underworld monikers “Alfredillo” and “Jags” was added to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 10 Most Wanted List. Alfredo was indicted for drug trafficking in Illinois in 2009. The reward for information leading to his capture was recently increased to $5 million.

“Why haven’t the sons been whacked yet?” said a federal law enforcement source who did not want to be identified. “It means they are very much in control. “But unlike their father, who believed in keeping a low profile, they are not in hiding and they love to show off.”

In fact, like their young stepmother and Guzman’s third wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, Alfredo and his older brother Ivan lead a flashy, entitled lifestyle in Mexico. Social media accounts linked to Guzman’s current wife, Coronel Aispuro, 29, recently showed her posing at a lavish Barbie-themed birthday party for her twin daughters in Sinaloa. Other photos show her toting expensive designer handbags and posing in skimpy bikinis on the beach.

“The whole family still controls a significant criminal network and has access to huge funds,” a former DEA agent told The Post.

In addition to Hernandez and Coronel Aispuro, Guzman was also married to Griselda Lopez Perez. He wed her in the 1980s and the couple had four children — Edgar, Joaquin, Ovidio and Griselda Guadalupe. In addition to his wives, Guzman has had several girlfriends, including Estela Pena, who initially rejected him. He later kidnapped her and forced her into a relationship.

Another woman, Zulema Hernandez, was his lover at the Puente Grande maximum security prison in Guadalajara. She was eventually killed by Guzman’s rivals, Los Zetas. Her remains were found in the trunk of a car, the letter “Z” carved into her breasts and back.

Guzman, who is believed to be 61 years old, has 15 children, according to published reports.

“At least 15 kids,” said the federal source. “There may be more.”

Mexico's top drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted after his extradition from Mexico.
Mexico’s top drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is escorted after his extradition from Mexico.REUTERS

Mexican authorities have yet to confiscate Guzman’s assets, and the family has access to hundreds of millions in the proceeds of drug smuggling, the federal source told The Post.

For their part, Ivan and Alfredo make no secret of the cash they control, and regularly show up at the hottest bars and high-end shopping centers in Guadalajara, the federal source told The Post.

Until recently, they have also maintained social media accounts on Instagram and Twitter that show them flaunting their vast wealth. Photos show stacks of US dollars, Gucci wallets, expensive Swiss watches, pet tigers, and a gold-plated AK-47 propped against the dashboard of a Ferrari. There are also photos of them partying with leggy women in bikinis and driving souped-up Audi Spyders that retail for more than $220,000.

“The inventory is millions of dollars — Lamborghinis, Maseratis, multiple BMWs, Mercedes … Porsches,” said Patrick Curran, a DEA special agent who testified at a 2016 trial of one of the cartel’s associates.

‘The whole family still controls a significant criminal network and has access to huge funds.’

“They travel in armored cars but they don’t have an entourage of bodyguards,” the federal source told The Post. “They seem unafraid.”

This despite the murderous battles for underworld dominance among Mexican cartels, especially since Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes — known as El Mencho — and his Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion or Jalisco New Generation began gaining ground as the leading drug trafficking force since Guzman’s extradition to the US.

A former cop, who once shot down an army helicopter and brought Mexico to an armed standstill, El Mencho is currently the world’s most wanted drug trafficker. A bounty, financed by the US and Mexico, promises more than $6.5 million for information leading to his capture.

In addition to Cesar, another of Guzman’s sons, Édgar Guzmán López, 22, was killed in a gunfight in the parking lot of a shopping center in Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state. After the killing, police found more than 500 bullet casings from AK-47 rifles in the parking lot.

Two years ago, gunmen associated with the Jalisco cartel kidnapped Aflredo and five Sinaloa cartel associates at a tony beach resort restaurant in Puerto Vallarta. He was held for about a week, and then released, ostensibly on orders from Guzman who threatened from his Mexican jail cell to go after the families of the leaders of the Jalisco Nueva Generacion, the federal source told The Post.

Since the kidnapping, the brothers increasingly like to travel by private plane, the source said. At one time, they assembled a fleet of airplanes for the Sinaloa cartel to rival AeroMexico, court papers say. The planes were also used to transport drugs.

“It was a huge enterprise,” said the federal source. “They had something like 30 pilots and 30 airplane mechanics on their payroll.”

From 2006 to 2015, Mexican authorities seized a total of 599 planes from the Sinaloa cartel that flew among a network of nearly 5,000 clandestine airstrips, according to the daily El Universal.

“Typically, a cartel or a drug-trafficking organization would employ small aircraft … to facilitate the movement of their product … or themselves,” said Curran during the 2016 trial of Sinaloa cartel middleman Jorge Martin Torres, who pled guilty to money-laundering. “High-level cartel members are typically fugitives. They can’t travel via commercial aircraft like you or I could, or by other legitimate means.”

According to Mexican authorities, Alfredo, who they described as “one of the main leaders of the Sinaloa cartel,” was in charge of buying the aircraft, mainly in midwestern US states through an American associate in order to avoid suspicion. Only Americans or permanent residents are allowed to buy aircraft in this country, according to Federal Aviation Administration regulations.

Alfredo has also been in charge of the cartel’s vast real estate holdings in Mexico, and oversees most of the cartel’s shipments of drugs to the US.

“Alfredo and Ivan remain valid and real threats, and they will be watching this trial closely to see who rats out their dad,” said the former DEA agent.



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Another Kavanaugh accuser admits to fabricating rape story…



Another Kavanaugh accuser admits to fabricating rape story...

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Pete Davidson ripped: 'I know he lost his eye in war — or whatever'…


“I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war, or whatever,” the cast member said during a segment on Weekend Update.

During an appearance on the Weekend Update segment of this week’s Saturday Night Live, cast member Pete Davidson spoke about the upcoming midterm elections and offered his “first impressions” of several candidates. Davidson’s comments about Republican candidate for Congress Dan Crenshaw — a former Navy SEAL who lost an eye to an IED blast while serving in Afghanistan in 2012 — has drawn criticism. 

“You may be surprised to hear he’s a congressional candidate in Texas and not a hitman in a porno movie,” Davidson said, laughing. “I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war, or whatever. Whatever.”

Crenshaw’s website describes the events of his injury: “On Dan’s third deployment in 2012, his life changed forever. After six months of combat operations, Dan was hit by an IED blast during a mission in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was evacuated and awoke from his medically induced coma learning that his right eye had been destroyed in the blast and his left eye was still present, but badly damaged.

Davidson’s segment, which he introduced as a look at “gross” candidates during this election, focused primarily on Republicans. After his comments about Crenshaw, he made a few remarks about New York governor Andrew Cuomo to “look fair.” 

The comments about Crenshaw quickly received criticism online, with many users pointing out that Crenshaw is a veteran who lost his eye serving his country. 

On Sunday, the National Republican Congressional Committee demanded an apology from Davidson and SNL.

“Getting dumped by your pop star girlfriend is no excuse for lashing out at a decorated war hero who lost his eye serving our country,” NRCC spokesman Jack Pandol said in a statement. “Pete Davidson and NBC should immediately apologize to Dan, and to the millions of veterans and military families who tune in every weekend – because they’re not laughing.” 

During the segment, Davidson also mocked himself. “I shouldn’t be making fun of how anyone looks, I look like I make vape juice in a bathtub,” he said. “I look like a Dr. Seuss character went to prison.” The comedian then went on to address his recent breakup with singer Ariana Grande.

Davidson, NBC and SNL were contacted for comments but did not immediately respond.



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GOODWIN: Both media and Trump have responsibility to tone it down…


With Tuesday’s election touted as the most important in modern memory, morning-after scenarios run the gamut of possibilities. President Trump will be vindicated by a GOP sweep, weakened by a split decision or endangered if Democrats win both houses of Congress.

Yet none of those outcomes will necessarily improve the hostile political climate, and it’s more likely the rage and violence will grow, whatever the results. Thus, America will wake up Wednesday facing more of the same or worse.

It’s a disheartening prospect, which is why I’m hoping for something of a miracle. The one I have in mind would be good for all Americans, regardless of political allegiance.

It is that The New York Times temper its jihad against Trump and adopt a more balanced coverage in its news pages. Cue the laughter, but there are sound reasons for the paper to change course.

First, imagine the impact. If the Times, the leader of the media resistance, reverted to its traditional standards of fairness, the national press corps would follow, just as they followed the Gray Lady in unleashing vitriol against Trump.

In a heartbeat, the political temperature would cool if this president were treated with the same respect and fairness accorded his predecessor. That, in turn, would put the onus on Trump to use more care and precision instead of just calling “fake news the enemy of the people.”

My hope for change hangs on several recent events. Admittedly, the threads are slim, but here they are.

A piece last week by Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg had elements of a reconsideration embedded in its usual criticism. Under the headline, “Trump’s Attacks on the News Media are Working,” he conceded that reporters’ intense focus on every tweet and word is a failure and said, “The president has succeeded in casting journalists as the prim foils on his never-ending reality show.”

In a lament over the inability to counter the president’s strategy, Rutenberg concluded by writing: “At this rate, a solution may come sometime in Mr. Trump’s third term.”

The obvious partisanship aside, the significance of the column is that Rutenberg often voices the thinking of Times brass. Recall that his column in August of 2016 signaled the collapse of standards when he said Trump was too dangerous to be president.

Weeks later, top editor Dean Baquet told an interviewer that Rutenberg’s column “nailed” his own thinking, adding that Trump “challenged our language,” and “will have changed journalism.”

Regarding the struggle for fairness, Baquet said “Trump has ended that struggle … We now say stuff. We fact-check him. We write it more powerfully that [what he says is] false.”

About that time, virtually every news article became an anti-Trump opinion and the paper started calling him a “liar,” an unprecedented assumption about motive and intent. To my knowledge, no other politician, criminal or foreign leader has been so labeled, certainly not Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, or even Vladimir Putin.

Now, more than two years later, the paper seems to be looking for a white flag — or should be. The war against Trump was a historic mistake that has failed and backfired — while damaging the nation.

A story from Politico about its latest poll put it this way: A majority of voters think Trump “has done more to divide the country than unite it since he took office — but that the national news media are even worse.”

The survey found that 30 percent of respondents said Trump is doing more to unite the country, compared with 56 percent who said he is dividing it. But 64 percent said the media was dividing the country, with just 17 percent crediting the press with uniting America.

In a Washington Post/ABC poll, the public blamed the media and Trump almost equally for sparking political violence.

Meanwhile, studies show consistently that 90 percent of news coverage of Trump is negative. In effect, the media’s onslaught has damaged Trump, but also their own credibility and helped to polarize America.

These findings are a damning indictment of everyone involved. If violence grows out of extremely bitter divisions — and most people believe it does — then the media and the Democrats, along with Trump, have a responsibility to tone it down.

To be clear, this is not a plea for sweet harmony or a wish to silence legitimate differences. Disagreements are inevitable and even desirable under our republic, but there must be universal agreement that we’ve gone too far.

Something has to give, because the nation has reached a dangerous stalemate, with allegiances split perfectly down the middle. The synagogue slaughter in Pittsburgh should serve as a lesson to both sides about the unintended consequences.

The warning signs are flashing — ignoring them is not an option.

Trump on the clock

Patrick Stephen Tierney
Patrick Stephen TierneyGabriella Bass

“I was always a Trump supporter, from the day he came down that escalator. I said to the guys, Trump is going to beat them all, and I never changed that view.”

That’s how Steve Tierney describes the process that led to his towering show of affection. The idea took shape when, after the election, a man approached him at an antique store and, noticing his NRA hat, shook his hand and said, “We were all so lucky.”

That phrase arcs over the presidential seal on the creation Tierney calls “The Trump Clock.” Nearly 18 months in the making, it is a cornucopia of hand-cut oak and maple wood, metal, gilding, paint and various figures, all paying homage to Trump’s life and ancestry.

At the bottom is a replica of the president’s boyhood home in Queens, and Trump Tower is at the top. In between are the Empire State building, the late Twin Towers and the White House. There are eagles, Lady Justice, a Native American and two red carnations for Melania Trump.

The structure stands more than 12 feet tall and weighs about 500 pounds.

Tierney came from Ireland when he was 18, and he and his wife have four sons and an adopted daughter from China. He built his labor of love at the auto-body shop he runs near Gaelic Park in The Bronx.

A cancer survivor, he counts himself lucky. As a student in Ireland, a teacher told him, “Someday, the whole world will see your art.” He’s hoping this piece proves the prophecy and ends up in the White House.

“I always figure he needs a lift,” Tierney says affectionately of the president. “The liberals have goodness in their hearts, but they’ve gone a little crazy.”

Mayor Putz draws the no-fault lines

Saturday’s Post had a surgically smart report on Mayor de Blasio’s habit of blaming others for everything that goes wrong. City Hall Bureau Chief Yoav Gonen cited six examples this year alone where the mayor pronounced himself “not happy” with aides — as if he’s an innocent bystander.

The list included a memorial ceremony where The Putz forgot to mention the names of the eight people killed in a terror attack. How can that be somebody else’s fault?



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MYSTERY: Rare East Asia Duck In Central Park Pond…


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A rare duck is going viral online after finding a new home in New York City.

dsc01252 mandarin duck close up Rare Mandarin Duck Makes A Splash In Central Park

(credit: Pat Dubren)

The Mandarin duck, known for its multicolored feathers and hot pink bill, is native to East Asia. The big question: Why is it here, in the middle of Manhattan?

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A Mandarin Duck at Central Park New York City
(credit: Dennis Newsham @TouristPicsNYC)

Photographer Dennis Newsham can’t get enough of the duck.

“I took a couple hundred [pictures] because it’s a rare bird and I was trying to get some action shots, and I got some of it flying,” Newsham said.

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A Mandarin Duck and Wood Duck at Central Park New York City
(credit: Dennis Newsham @TouristPicsNYC)

The Harlem man isn’t the only one flocking to the park to get a glimpse.

The bird was first spotted on Oct. 10th and videotaped in a now viral video.

Since then, New Yorkers and tourists are swarming to the pond in the southeast corner of the park near 59th and Fifth.

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(credit: Pat Dubren)

“It’s just an incredible gift to New York,” said bird watcher Yovanna Davinci.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to see a beautiful animal,” said Michelle Ashkin, co-director of education at the Wild Bird Fund.

The reason why the bird is causing such a buzz? It’s native to East Asia. It shouldn’t be in the middle of Manhattan.

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(credit: Pat Dubren)

“It’s just enjoying some sunlight and taking it easy,” said bird watcher Dave Barrett.

Barrett says it’s one of the most colorful ducks you can find.

“It’s beautiful. That’s the thing that is getting people’s imaginations fired… It’s the most beautiful duck, probably in the world,” Barrett said.

Barrett says he’s checked with every zoo in the city, and none are missing a duck. It leads the bird watching community to believe it was a domestic pet, which is illegal in New York City.

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(credit: Pat Dubren)

“It might have got away or someone might have got tired of it and dumped it,” Barrett said.

It also may have flown here from a neighboring town.

Whatever the reason, it’s here. And it’s no chicken. This duck isn’t afraid to take on New York.

Bird experts say they don’t think the duck will migrate for the winter, but it should survive here in New York.

The city doesn’t plan on removing the duck unless it appears to be unhealthy or in danger.

Right now, neither seem to be the case.



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Cops: Woman wore giant dog's head costume during Houston convenience store robbery…


NOVEMBER 2–A Texas woman wearing an oversized dog’s head costume yesterday robbed a Houston convenience before leading cops on a vehicle chase that ended with her arrest, police report.

According to investigators, Colleen Dickens, a 30-year-old mother of two, robbed a Stripes store of cigarettes and $10 in cash Thursday morning. She then fled the scene in an auto, but was quickly apprehended by police officers.

After a short chase, Dickens emerged from her car wearing a large dog’s head. Police seized the furry costume part (seen above) as evidence.

Dickens was named yesterday in criminal complaints charging her with robbery and using a motor vehicle to evade arrest or detention, both felonies. Dickens, a Houston resident, is being held in the Harris County jail in lieu of $12,500 bail.

Since she kept trying to spit on jailers, Dickens was photographed as a corrections officer held a towel over her mouth.

In addition to the dog’s head, Dickens was also wearing a pair of wings (which did not aid in her flight from law enforcement). (2 pages)



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