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VA secretary dismisses Trump POW remarks as ‘politics’ and denies

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Asked by CNN’s Dana Bash whether it was acceptable for Trump in 2015 to question whether the late Arizona Sen. John McCain, a Navy veteran who was held as a prisoner of war for more than five years during the Vietnam War, was a war hero and make other comments that denigrated American service members who were captured during war, Wilkie said: “Well, it’s politics.”
“It’s the heat of a campaign. I judge a man by his actions, and the actions have been beneficial for veterans all across this country in ways that we have not seen since the end of World War II. And I would also say the same for the United States military,” he said on “State of the Union.” “I was the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness. I watched this President sign letters of condolences to those who have fallen in Afghanistan and Iraq. I was on the the frontlines then, so I’m judging the President by what he’s done as president.”
Wilkie told Bash that he “absolutely” believed McCain was a war hero.
The Veterans Affairs secretary on Sunday added his voice to the chorus of administration officials denying Trump has been disrespectful toward the military following reports that Trump make disparaging comments about fallen US troops.
“Absolutely not,” Wilkie said when asked if he had ever heard the President make such comments. “And I would be offended too if I thought it was true.”
A former senior administration official confirmed to CNN on Saturday that Trump referred to fallen US service members in crude and derogatory terms at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in France during a November 2018 trip to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
The former official, who declined to be named, largely confirmed reporting from Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic magazine last week, which cited sources who said Trump rejected the idea of a cemetery visit and proceeded to refer to the fallen soldiers as “losers” and “suckers.” The magazine also reported that Trump didn’t want to attend a ceremony at the cemetery because he was concerned that the rain would dishevel his hair.
The New York Times, Washington Post, Fox News and the Associated Press have corroborated parts of The Atlantic’s reporting.
Trump has forcefully denied the report in The Atlantic and on Thursday called it “a disgraceful situation.”
“To think that I would make statements negative to our military when nobody has done what I’ve done, with the budgets and the military budget. We’re getting pay raises for the military. It is a disgraceful situation, by a magazine that is a terrible magazine, I don’t read it,” Trump told reporters after returning from a rally in Pennsylvania.
The President has also pushed back on reporting that he insulted McCain, admitting he “was never a fan,” but insisting he “still respected him.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told “Fox News Sunday” that “this President supports the military in an unbelievable way.”
“I think this President has enormous respect for the military and for the generals,” he said Sunday.
That statement is belied somewhat by the President’s own words. He trashed his former chief of staff John Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, on Friday, and he has similarly disparaged his onetime Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis.
Still, Mnuchin insisted he’s been with Trump at Arlington National Cemetery and at a World War II anniversary and has only seen the President show respect toward US veterans.
He declined to weigh in on the President’s demand that Fox News fire a reporter who confirmed parts of the Atlantic article, saying he wasn’t following that story.

Source: – CNN

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In US, Attention to Politics Shows Typical Election Year Surge – Gallup Poll

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Story Highlights

  • Percentage of Americans following news on national politics is back to 2008 high
  • Democrats are following national political news more closely than Republicans are
  • Older Americans are most likely to follow news on national politics “very closely”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Less than two months from the presidential election, 42% of Americans say they follow news about national politics “very closely,” similar to the 39% to 43% who paid this close attention in each of the prior three presidential election years since 2008. Today’s level is a bit higher than in 2004, when 36% followed national political news very closely. Attention was far lower in 1996, at 27%.

Line graph. Rate of those following news about elections closely typically rises prior to election. The current rate matches 2008 record high of 42%.

Since 2006, about a third of U.S. adults have closely followed political news in non-election years. That figure ticks up sharply in presidential election years, only to recede the following year. While Americans’ attention didn’t fall much in the first year after President Donald Trump was elected, it did dwindle to 32% by 2019, only to spike 10 percentage points this year.

In addition to the 42% of Americans saying they follow national political news very closely in the Aug. 31-Sept. 13 poll, 38% say they follow it “somewhat closely,” 14% “not too closely” and 6% “not at all.”

Partisans Most Attentive to Political News

Partisan differences in attention to news have not been large in presidential election years, but to the extent there is a difference — as in 2008 and 2012 — Republicans have been the ones more likely to pay close attention. By contrast, today, Democrats are now slightly more likely than Republicans to say they are following news about national politics very closely (51% vs. 45%, respectively).

In line with prior election year polls, independents are significantly less attentive than either major party group, with about a third (34%) saying they are following news on national politics very closely.

Line graph. The percentage of Americans paying very close attention to national political news, by political affiliation. 51% of Democrats now say they are paying very close attention to national political news, compared with 45% of Republicans and 34% of independents. Unlike previous election cycles, Democrats now most likely to say following political news very closely.

Age Disparities in Focus on National Politics

Older Americans are typically more likely than younger adults to say they are following news on national politics very closely. However, unlike their two age cohort comparisons, older Americans are the only age group to be more likely this year (56%) than in 2008 (50%) to say they are following political news very closely.

Adults aged 18 to 34 are the least likely to say they are following news on national politics very closely this year, at 23% — a significantly lower figure than the 32% of 18- to 34-year-olds who said the same in 2008, when the nation witnessed a historic turnout of young voters.

Four in 10 middle-aged Americans (aged 35 to 54) say they are following political news very closely, just shy of the 44% high for this age group that Gallup recorded in 2008.

Line graph. The percentage of Americans paying very close attention to national political news, by age group. 56% of those aged 55 or older now say they are paying very close attention to national political news, compared with 40% of those 35-54 and 23% of those 18-34. As with previous elections, older respondents more likely than younger ones to say following national politics closely.

Bottom Line

With just six weeks until the Nov. 3 contest, Americans are relatively focused on national politics, as is typical in presidential election years. Compared with their interest in 2008, a year with record-high voter turnout, Democrats are more attentive today, a finding that could bode well for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

When Gallup last measured the amount of thought Americans are giving to the presidential election, Republicans and Democrats were about equal. That situation could have changed since mid-August and the political conventions, but given Republicans’ usual advantage on that measure, a tie between the parties may suggest a stronger Democratic positioning than usual. Gallup will update its “election thought” measure in the coming weeks.

View complete question responses and trends (PDF download).

Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.

Learn more about public opinion metrics that matter for the 2020 presidential election at Gallup’s 2020 Presidential Election Center.

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The one thing that matters to stocks more than politics

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The presidential election is mere weeks away on Nov. 3 and the Supreme Court is also now under a microscope after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg upset the court’s delicate political balance.

<p class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”All of this has been featured in copious pundit commentary and research notes — especially as the market turmoil that surrounded 2016 proved to be a huge boon for some savvy investors like Carl Icahn, who left a Trump election night celebration to buy stocks and make $1 billion.” data-reactid=”17″>All of this has been featured in copious pundit commentary and research notes — especially as the market turmoil that surrounded 2016 proved to be a huge boon for some savvy investors like Carl Icahn, who left a Trump election night celebration to buy stocks and make $1 billion.

But in a fresh note from Capital Economics, economist Oliver Allen points out the obvious point many forget during election season: the economy is “probably more important than politics.”

<p class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”Politics, Allen writes, is still moving the market. The death of Ginsburg was the “final nail in the coffin” for more fiscal stimulus that millions of Americans need to stay afloat. It also has bearing on what may happen on Election Day, as the Supreme Court may eclipse the pandemic and the economy as key voting issues.” data-reactid=”19″>Politics, Allen writes, is still moving the market. The death of Ginsburg was the “final nail in the coffin” for more fiscal stimulus that millions of Americans need to stay afloat. It also has bearing on what may happen on Election Day, as the Supreme Court may eclipse the pandemic and the economy as key voting issues.

Despite the impact that politics has on the stock market, Allen warns investors not to get ahead of themselves. It’s the economy that matters most, and most importantly, how the long-term coronavirus vaccines and eventual recovery unfold.

Though Allen says to look at the economy more than the election, Capital Economics doesn’t offer more than a vague “the S&P 500 will climb further over the next few years, as major economies eventually get their coronavirus outbreaks under control, and central banks keep monetary policy exceptionally loose,” which seems wise, given how silly 2019 predictions look now.

A television broadcast showing U.S. President Donald Trump is pictured during a trading session at Frankfurt's stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, March 12, 2020. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski
A television broadcast showing U.S. President Donald Trump is pictured during a trading session at Frankfurt’s stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, March 12, 2020. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

Many people remember how the disrupted Bush-Gore election in 2000 hurt equity markets, causing them to drop around 8%, but the turbulence cleared up relatively quickly, resulting in no long-term damage.

“Provided any dispute over this year’s election is also eventually resolved, we find it hard to see [the election] having a lasting impact on US equities, even if it could cause a spike in volatility following Election Day,” Allen writes.

The fact that politics is secondary to the economy when it comes to stock prices isn’t a controversial take. Plenty of analysts point to uncertainty as being the chief problem. But the political implications for the stock market are frequently discussed by market strategists.

<p class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”Many financial pundits have said Trump is better for the stock market and economy, citing deregulation and market performance after his election amid dire predictions from some. And Allen notes that “a second term for President Trump would probably be a better outcome for US equities than a win for Joe Biden,” because of corporate taxes.” data-reactid=”36″>Many financial pundits have said Trump is better for the stock market and economy, citing deregulation and market performance after his election amid dire predictions from some. And Allen notes that “a second term for President Trump would probably be a better outcome for US equities than a win for Joe Biden,” because of corporate taxes.

<p class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”At the same time, Trump’s late and weak coronavirus response led, in part, to 200,000 deaths, skyrocketing unemployment, dampened earnings, and a recovery that is still trying to get off the ground. And though some stock prices (mostly tech stocks) are doing well — driving the S&amp;P 500 (^GSPC) back to pre-coronavirus levels after a huge plunge — many companies are still in tough situations.” data-reactid=”37″>At the same time, Trump’s late and weak coronavirus response led, in part, to 200,000 deaths, skyrocketing unemployment, dampened earnings, and a recovery that is still trying to get off the ground. And though some stock prices (mostly tech stocks) are doing well — driving the S&P 500 (^GSPC) back to pre-coronavirus levels after a huge plunge — many companies are still in tough situations.

 

 

Source:- Yahoo Canada Finance

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Women in politics panel scheduled for Thursday – Sarnia Observer

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Three local women are talking about their experiences in politics this Thursday for a Jean Collective digital panel.

Judy Krall, deputy mayor of Enniskillen Township, is pictured in the Lambton County building in February. She’s one of three panelists in a Jean Collective talk about women in politics Thursday.

Paul Morden / The Observer

Three local women are talking about their experiences in politics this Thursday for a Jean Collective digital panel.

The group aimed at encouraging more women in politics in Sarnia-Lambton – currently about a dozen are in elected office across the county – kicked off in January, but the initiative was sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic just before the panel presentation was originally scheduled for late March, said Helen Cole, one of six women behind the group.

“With this panel, we’re relaunching,” she said.

“It’s just a way to get the word out that we’re here, we want to support women who would be interested in making a difference in their community.

The Sept. 24, 7 p.m. panel via Zoom includes St. Clair Township Coun. Tracy Kingston, Enniskillen Township Deputy Mayor Judy Krall, and former City of Sarnia councillor Anne Marie Gillis.

“We’re asking them questions like ‘why did you decide to get involved in politics,’” Cole said. “Most often it’s because they were already active in their community and they wanted to make a difference.”

Challenges exist, said Cole, who served on St. Thomas council before moving to Sarnia, where she was manager of its Canadian Cancer Society office until she retired in 2013.

“You often will feel all alone,” she said. “So we want to address that piece.”

That includes developing what she called an education program for prospective politicians about things like Roberts Rules of Order that govern council meetings, work-life balance, information about finance, strategic planning, for building self confidence, and covering other topics, so they know what to expect in office, she said.

“I have some subject matter experts lined up for some of those, and if there’s some interest there may be a campaign school,” she said.

The education program would continue up until maybe six months before the 2022 municipal election, she said.

“Our point that we made very strongly is we are not endorsing any particular candidate or political party – we just want to get women involved,” Cole said.

“We all agree that a female on council has a different perspective, and we think that needs to be brought to the council table,” wherever that may be in Sarnia-Lambton, she said.

“And it’s a way for us to support women,” she said.

Often women are hesitant to run amid doubt, she said.

“We want to take the mystery and the fear out of it and say ‘You can do this. You need to get involved in your community.”’

Thursday’s digital panel is free and tickets are available for the Women in Politics Panel Discussion and Networking event via eventbrite.com.

Hopes are the education events to come will also be free, Cole said, noting she wants to eventually offer bursaries to women studying political science at university.

There’s a fund named after Jean Macdougall – also the namesake of the collective and Cole’s mentor during her time in politics – at the Sarnia Community Foundation for the cause, she said.

“If people wanted to support in that way, they could donate to that fund,” she said.

tkula@postmedia.com

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