Poll: Most Americans think Trump can’t handle US presidency.

Americans have little confidence in President-elect Donald Trump’s abilities to handle his presidential duties, with less than half of them saying they trust him to prevent major scandals, handle an international crisis, or use military force responsibly.

According to a Gallup poll released by TIME, Americans have significantly less faith in Trump than they had in his predecessors.

Only 44 per cent said they were confident Trump would avoid major scandals in his administration, 46 per cent said they are confident in Trump’s ability to handle an international crisis, and 47 per cent said they trust him to use military force wisely.

When the same questions were asked at the start of outgoing President Barack Obama’s and former Presidents George W. Bush’s and Bill Clinton’s terms, roughly three-quarters of Americans said they had confidence in the newly elected President in these areas.

When compared with Gallup’s averages of confidence polling in his predecessors, Trump comes up short.

The incoming president has a 32-point confidence deficit in his ability to avoid scandals in his administration, a 29-point deficit in his ability to use military force well and a 28-point deficit in his ability to manage the executive branch.

Most Americans (60 per cent) believe Trump will be able to get things done with Congress, but even there he comes up far behind his predecessors — the average number of Americans with confidence in Obama, Bush and Clinton to work with Congress was 82 per cent.

The data also reflects a more polarised America than Obama or Bush faced when they came into office.

On average, only 21 per cent of Democrats have confidence in Trump’s ability to handle the various responsibilities of the presidency.

By contrast, roughly two-thirds of Republicans had some confidence in Obama and the same was true for Bush and Democrats.

But Trump even has a confidence deficit among members of his own party.

Only 84 per cent of Republicans have confidence in his abilities as President, compared with 94 per cent of Democrats who trusted Obama and 95 per cent of Republicans who had faith in Bush.

The poll’s sample included 1,028 adults and had a margin of error of +/- 4 per cent.

Trump slams Democrats, Green Party on votes recount

Donald Trump, the incoming U.S. President, on Tuesday slammed the Democrats and the Green Party for their unsuccessful efforts at the presidential votes recount.

“The final Wisconsin vote is in and guess what – we just picked up an additional 131 votes.

“The Dems and Green Party can now rest. Scam!

“Wisconsin and Pennsylvania have just certified my wins in those states. I actually picked up additional votes!” Mr. Trump said on his twitter handle.

He also dismissed insinuations about alleged hacking of the voting system during the election.

“Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card.

“It would be called conspiracy theory!

“Unless you catch “hackers” in the act, it is very hard to determine who was doing the hacking.

“Why wasn’t this brought up before election?” he remarked.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the votes recount hope faded on Monday as efforts spearheaded by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein came to a close.

A Federal Judge ruled in Pennsylvania on Monday against Stein’s request for a review of the voting systems, saying it was possible they had been hacked and compromised.

In his decision, federal judge Paul Diamond said Stein’s allegation of possible election tampering “borders on the irrational.”

Diamond also cited the delay between Election Day and Stein’s decision to file the lawsuit, and said Stein did not have standing to sue on the issue.

Stein could appeal the decision, but time is short as all states must certify their election results by December 13, so it is unlikely any new action could be taken before then.

Stein initially filed for recounts in three states where the final margin for President-elect Donald Trump was narrow: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Stein first began raising money for a possible recount in late November, and quickly began bringing in millions of dollars for the effort.

NAN reports that Stein’s effort has raised more than $7.3 million in crowd-funding, according to her fundraising page.

There were allegations of hacking of the U.S. voting system, which were fuelled after Democratic Hillary Clinton, projected to win the election, polled over 2.5 million votes ahead of Trump but lost the presidency to him on electoral college.

President Barack Obama has directed security agencies to commence fresh investigation into the alleged hacking, which should be concluded before the end of his tenure.

Trump victory provokes global shock and angst.

Donald Trump’s improbable victory in the US presidential election provoked global shock and angst on Wednesday over the implications for everything from trade to human rights and climate change.

The bombastic billionaire defeated Hillary Clinton in a result that few predicted, as millions of American voters shrugged off concerns over his temperament, lack of experience, and accusations of sexist and racist behaviour.

Trump’s rise has been keenly watched abroad as he campaigned on a platform of trashing trade agreements, questioning alliances, restricting immigration and dismissing climate change.

In often hushed scenes, many attendees at election-watching events around Asia expressed deep misgivings about Trump taking the reins of the world’s most powerful nation and economy.

Dianita Sugiyo, 34, a university lecturer in Indonesia — the world’s most populous Muslim country — said she was concerned by Trump’s calls to temporarily ban Muslims from countries with histories of terrorism.

“He has always been anti-Muslim and I am afraid he will discriminate against Muslims,” said Sugiyo, a member of a leading Indonesian moderate Muslim organisation.

“The United States is a multicultural country and there are a lot of Muslims there, so this is very terrifying,” she added, speaking at a US embassy event in Jakarta.

The election of an opponent of free trade caused financial markets across Asia to plunge, with Tokyo’s main index tumbling more than 5 percent, while stock futures on US and European markets also fell when they opened.

“The world is globalising and if the US, which is one of the economic powerhouses, is going to put up walls, I don’t see that as good for the world economy,” said Clarita Carlos, a political science professor at the University of the Philippines.

“They can practically slow down economic growth for everybody. He is a businessman. He should know better.”

– ‘Dangerous’ for the planet –

Trump has vowed to ditch the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, perhaps President Barack Obama’s main diplomatic legacy in the region.

Tang Siew Mun, head of the ASEAN Studies Centre at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore, said such moves would severely damage the US in a region where China is posing a growing leadership challenge.

“For us in the region, we ask these questions: does America still stand for free trade as far as TPP is concerned? Will America stand for and engage internationally as a global leader?” he said, speaking on Channel NewsAsia.

Environmentalists also recoiled, as Trump has threatened previously to “cancel” the historic UN pact struck last year to address climate change.

“What have we become?” asked Greenpeace Southeast Asia’s Executive Director Yeb Sano.

“On climate change, clearly this is a massive blow to our prospects of progress and hope that the Paris Agreement had given us.”

At election events around the region, American Democratic supporters gradually deflated as Trump’s victory materialised, while Republicans were buoyed.

Bradley Jordan, a retired 59-year-old Californian in Bangkok, said a Trump win would “throw the whole world upside down.”

“It’s dangerous for the planet. If Trump wins, we will do nothing about climate change and the planet will be screwed. I just can’t believe this is happening right now,” he said, adding he was contemplating renouncing his US citizenship.

Even some Republicans expressed surprise at Trump’s win.

“To be honest we didn’t really think he would win,” Kym Kettler-Paddock, a US Republican, said at an election event in Hong Kong.

She said the panic over Trump would subside as he makes it known what sort of leader he would be.

“I think after that transition period (the uncertainty) would settle down,” she said.

Others, however, pointed to Trump’s friendly comments toward the likes of Russian President Vladimir Putin as indicating America may no longer carry the torch for human rights.

“The fact that authoritarian leaders around the region find hope in the possible election of Donald Trump as president is a telling indicator of what they think his policies on human rights will be,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch.

Hollywood stars ‘terrified’ and ‘sad’ as Trump elected President.

Hollywood stars lashed out on social media Wednesday morning as Donald Trump declared victory and became the 45th US president.


The heated race for the White House saw Donald Trump win key battleground states on Wednesday before declaring victory, prompting Hillary Clinton’s strong mass of celebrity support to express their shock and disdain with the result.


“Someone give me hope,” actress and stand-up comedian Sarah Silverman tweeted when the first results began to surface.


“I’ve got you and I’m not letting go. @HillaryClinton,” wrote American Crime Story’s Sarah Paulson as she posted a photo of her holding on to a Clinton doll.


Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger showed his indignation at the use of his track You Can’t Always Get What You Want at Trump’s victory speech, tweeting “maybe they’ll ask me to sing at the inauguration. ha”.


And rapper Snoop Dog called voters “zombies” for voting in a man unfit for office, adding “what a world”.


Captain America Chris Evans wrote “This is an embarrassing night for America. We’ve let a hatemonger lead our great nation. We’ve let a bully set our course. I’m devastated”.


Others took a milder approach, asking for “unity” and “understanding” among supporters.


American businessmen Mark Cuban wrote “I’m an American citizen First. Last. Always”.


CW’s Superman Tyler Hoechlin reminded his fans “we must love and look after one another. No labels, no colors, no hate, love all”.


Singer Ariana Grande was “utterly terrified” as Trump’s victory drew nearer, and comedian Patton Oswalt thanked all the major networks “you wanted a white-knuckle story. You got one. With a sad ending”.


Among the distressed celebrities there were also a few British voices.


Talk show host and comedian James Corden wrote that he was experiencing “Brexit feelings”, while singer Lily Allen urged Canada to “build a wall”.


Harry Potter writer J K Rowling urged people not to let “hate speech become normalised”, adding “we hold the line”.


American actress Chloe Sevigny took a more visual approach, posting on her Instagram page a picture of the American flag with the words “I’m terrified”.


And Diane Kruger, a German descendent in Hollywood, posted only a black background photo.


Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane also tweeted: “I truly cannot visualize the rambling, incoherent creature I saw at the debates now addressing the nation from the Oval Office.”


Singer Cher wrote that the “world will never be the same”, adding Trump’s victory was “sad for the young”.


There were also a few messages of support for President Trump.


Martial arts actor Steven Seagal congratulated the Republican “for your stunning victory over your opponent”.


While actress Kirstie Alley wrote “against all odds,, against the establishment and even against most from the GOP.. u did it!”.

Democrats gain one U.S. Senate seat so far, as Republicans hold House.

Majority control of the U.S. Senate was up for grabs in Tuesday’s election, with 27 out of 34 results called by major TV networks, including one pickup by the Democrats in Illinois.

A handful of extremely tight Senate races remained too close to call, while the networks declared that Republicans, as expected, retained their majority in the House of Representatives.

The outcomes in both chambers will help determine how hard it will be for either Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump to get things done as president.

The following are facts on the stakes and races to watch:

U.S. Senate, 100 seats.

Senators serve six-year terms. A third of the Senate is up for re-election every two years. Procedural rules in the Senate mean 60 votes are needed to advance major initiatives.

Republicans entered the election with 54 seats, led by Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell, versus the Democrats’ 44 seats and two independent seats. The Democrats’ leader in the next Senate is expected to be New York’s Chuck Schumer.

The Republicans this year were defending 24 seats; the Democrats, 10.

U.S. House, 435 seats

Members of the House serve two-year terms and all are up for re-election every two years.

To advance most bills in the House, 218 votes or more are needed. Republicans went into the elections holding 246 seats to the Democrats’ 186. There were three vacancies.

The Republican leader is Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin; the Democrats’ leader is Nancy Pelosi of California.

To win a majority, Democrats needed to gain 30 seats.

Senate races, with projected results where available:

Alabama – Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, as expected, won a sixth term, defeating Democrat Ron Crumpton.

Arizona – Veteran Republican Senator John McCain, 80, defeated Democratic U.S. Representative Ann Kirkpatrick, 66.

Arkansas – Republican Senator John Boozman beat Democrat Conner Eldridge.

California – State Attorney General Kamala Harris, a Democrat, won the seat held by retiring Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer. Harris defeated fellow Democrat Loretta Sanchez.

Colorado – Democratic Senator Michael Bennet won a third term, turning back a challenge from Republican Darryl Glenn.

Connecticut – Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal won a second term, defeating Republican Dan Carter.

Florida – Incumbent Republican Marco Rubio, the failed presidential contender, defeated Democratic Representative Patrick Murphy.

Georgia – Republican Senator Johnny Isakson won his race against Democrat Jim Barksdale.

Idaho: Republican Senator Mike Crapo defeated Democrat Jerry Sturgill.

Indiana – Democrat Evan Bayh, 60, failed in his bid to recapture his Senate seat, defeated by Republican Representative Todd Young, 44.

Illinois – Democratic Representative Tammy Duckworth unseated Republican Senator Mark Kirk. Duckworth, 48, is a double-amputee Iraq War veteran. Kirk, 57, suffered a stroke that sidelined him for much of 2012.

Iowa – Republican Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, 83, won a seventh term, defeating Democrat Patty Judge.

Kansas – Republican Senator Jerry Moran won a second term, defeating Democrat Patrick Wiesner.

Kentucky – Republican Senator Rand Paul won a second term against Democrat Jim Gray. Paul unsuccessfully ran for president earlier this year.

Louisiana – Republican Senator David Vitter is retiring, opening the door to a crowd of would-be successors. Two dozen candidates from both parties are on Tuesday’s ballot. If no candidate gets at least 50 percent of the vote, a runoff election between the top two will be held on Dec. 10.

Maryland – Democratic Representative Chris Van Hollen will replace retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski. Van Hollen defeated Republican Kathy Szeliga.

Missouri – Republican Senator Roy Blunt, 66, faces a stiff challenge from Democrat Jason Kander, 35, a veteran of the Afghanistan war who is now Missouri’s secretary of state.

Nevada – Republican Representative Joe Heck, 55, and Catherine Cortez Masto, 52, a former Democratic state attorney general, are fighting to replace retiring Senator Harry Reid.

New Hampshire – Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan, 58, is trying to oust Senator Kelly Ayotte, a 48-year-old Republican.

New York – Senator Chuck Schumer, who is expected to become the next Senate Democratic leader, defeated Republican Wendy Long in the heavily Democratic state.

North Carolina – Republican Senator Richard Burr, 60, won re-election against Democrat Deborah Ross, 53, a former state legislator.

North Dakota – Republican Senator John Hoeven won a second term, defeating Democrat Eliot Glassheim.

Ohio – Republican Rob Portman, 60, defeated Democratic challenger Ted Strickland, 75, a former governor. Portman initially endorsed Trump, but later withdrew that and pointedly refused to appear with Trump or talk about him.

Oklahoma – Senator James Lankford won a second term, defeating Democrat Mike Workman in this overwhelmingly Republican state.

Oregon – Senator Ron Wyden, the senior Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, defeated Republican Mark Callahan.

Pennsylvania – Republican Senator Patrick Toomey, 54, faces Democrat Katie McGinty, 53, in the most expensive U.S. Senate contest in the country. Toomey has refused to take a position on Trump. An Oct. 30-Nov. 4 poll by the Allentown Morning Call and Muhlenberg College had Toomey with a small lead, 43 percent to 42 percent.

South Carolina – Senator Tim Scott, the only African-American Republican in the Senate, beat Democrat Thomas Dixon.

South Dakota – Senator John Thune, a member of the Senate Republican leadership, won a third term, defeating Democrat Jay Williams.

Utah: Conservative Republican Senator Mike Lee, in this heavily Republican state, won against Democrat Misty Snow.

Vermont – Senator Patrick Leahy, the longest-serving Democrat in the Senate, beat Republican Scott Milne.

Washington – As expected, Senator Patty Murray, a member of Senate Democratic leadership, defeated Republican Chris Vance.

Wisconsin – Democrat Russ Feingold, 63, failed to oust Republican Ron Johnson, 61, according to projections. Johnson unseated Feingold in 2010 and was seen as one of the most vulnerable Republicans going into the 2016 campaign.

Hillary Clinton healthy, ready to serve as US President – Doctor

In-depth medical records of U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton were released on Wednesday, showing her physical conditions are good.

“She continues to remain healthy and fit to serve as President of the U.S.,” said Dr Lisa Bardarck, Clinton’s personal doctor.

The former U.S. secretary of state fainted at a 9/11 memorial ceremony on Sunday and has since stayed home.

Bardarck said the former secretary of state suffered from a “mild, non-contagious bacterial pneumonia.”

The rest of the physical exam “was normal and she is in excellent mental condition,” Bardarck said in a letter to the media, saying that she examined Clinton several times this week.

“My overall impression is that Clinton has remained healthy and has not developed new medical conditions this year other than a sinus and ear infection and her recently diagnosed pneumonia,” she wrote.

The Democratic nominee is expected to return to the campaign trail on Thursday and due in several battleground states next week, said her campaign team on Wednesday.

Clinton’s Republican rival Donald Trump will also reveal the results of his own recent medical exam during a TV show set to be aired on Thursday, said a daily report by The Hill, a top U.S. political website.

A video of Clinton’s faint at Ground Zero on Sunday has returned the issue of health transparency to the central stage in the two candidates’ White Housebids.

Clinton was diagnosed with pneumonia two days before she fainted on Sunday but her campaign team had kept it quiet until the video was put online.

The September race is unexpectedly rough for Clinton. A series of national poll results showed that her lead over Trump has been narrowed since Labour Day.

Trump Calls Democrats ‘Party Of Slavery’ In Minority Outreach Effort

Republican Donald Trump on Tuesday night called Democrats the “party of slavery” and praised what he called the millions of African Americans with career success, as he tries to revamp his outreach to minority voters.


Trump has made much-maligned efforts to appeal to black and Hispanic voters, groups that generally support Democrats and are expected to vote heavily for Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 election.


The Republican Party is the party of Abraham Lincoln,” Trump said at a rally in Everett, Washington.


It is the Democratic Party that is the party of slavery, the party of Jim Crow and the party of opposition,” he said, referring to racial segregation laws that once existed in the American South.


The Republican nominee has said Democrats failed minority voters with economic policies that have not improved their job prospects, but his attempts have been criticized for painting a bleak view of the lives of all black and Hispanic Americans.

Clinton last week released an ad mocking Trump’s attempts to reach those groups and showing headlines about a racial discrimination lawsuit the New York real estate mogul faced in the 1970s.


A prominent supporter of Trump’s apologised on Tuesday for sending out a tweet that showed a cartoon image of Clinton in blackface.


Trump sought to correct course in Washington state on Tuesday, saying millions of black Americans “have succeeded greatly” in art, science, sports and other endeavours.


But we must also talk about those who have been left behind, the millions suffering in disastrous conditions in so many of our inner cities,” he said.

Republicans Sign Letter Urging RNC To Stop Funding Donald Trump’s Campaign

ore than 70 frustrated Republicans including elected officials and staffers have signed an open letter urging RNC chairman Reince Preibus to stop funding Donald Trump’s campaign. As Trump continues to slip in the polls, the signatories are asking for the party to instead focus resources on maintaining the GOP’s majority in the House and Senate. The letter, obtained by Politico, says Trump’s chances of winning in November are ‘evaporating day by day’ and that his ‘recklessness’ and ‘incompetence’ risks handing the election to Hillary Clinton by a landslide.
It lists a string of problems with Trump’s campaign, including his many controversial remarks, his refusal to release tax returns and his claim that he may not uphold NATO treaty requirements. ‘We believe that Donald Trump’s divisiveness, recklessness, incompetence, and record-breaking unpopularity risk turning this election into a Democratic landslide, and only the immediate shift of all available RNC resources to vulnerable Senate and House races will prevent the GOP from drowning with a Trump-emblazoned anchor around its neck,’ says a draft form of the letter. This should not be a difficult decision, as Donald Trump’s chances of being elected president are evaporating by the day.’

Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare Subsidies

Obamacare has survived — again.

In a major win for the Obama administration, the Supreme Court held in a 6-3 decision that the Affordable Care Act authorized federal tax credits for eligible Americans living not only in states with their own exchanges but also in the 34 states with federal exchanges.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for himself, Justice Anthony Kennedy and the four liberal justices. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the dissent, joined by Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

“Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,” Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. “If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.”

In a dissent, Scalia said “we should start calling this law SCOTUScare,” referring to the two times the Court has saved the law.

The ruling staved off a major political showdown and what would have been a mad scramble in some states to set up their own healthcare exchanges to keep millions from losing healthcare coverage.

Challengers to the law argued that the federal government should not be allowed to continue doling out subsidies to individuals living in states without their own healthcare exchanges and a ruling in their favor would have cut off subsidies to 6.4 million Americans, absent a congressional fix or state action.

The ruling is a huge victory for President Barack Obama who nearly saw those four words in the Affordable Care Act throw his signature achievement into chaos.

The income-based subsidies are crucial to the law’s success, helping to make health insurance more affordable and ultimately reducing the number of uninsured Americans, and shutting off the subsidy spigot to individuals in the 34 states that rely on exchanges run by the federal government would have upended the law.

Congress would have had to amend the Affordable Care Act to fix the “established by the state” language — a politically treacherous and likely untenable action in a Republican Congress — or governors in the 34 states without their own exchanges, most of them Republicans, would have had to establish their own exchanges — another tough ask.

Obama’s signature law was once again saved by an unlikely hero: Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative who has now twice shielded the law from being gutted.

Roberts took heat from conservatives in 2012 when he first saved the law from a major constitutional challenge in a decision that stunned pundits and politicos across the ideological spectrum. The Chief Justice on Monday once again joined the court’s four liberal justices in upholding the law.

Just 16 states and the District of Columbia have set up their own health insurance marketplaces, which left millions of residents in the 34 states that rely on exchanges run by the federal government vulnerable to the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Challengers had argued that the words “established by the State” clearly barred the government from doling out subsidies in the 34 states without their own healthcare marketplaces.

They said that Congress limited the subsidies in order to encourage the states to set up their own exchanges and when that failed on a large scale, the IRS tried to “fix” the law.

“If the rule of law means anything, it is that text is not infinitely malleable, and that agencies must follow the law as written—not revise it to ‘better achieve’ what they assume to have been Congress’s purposes,” wrote Michael Carvin, an attorney for the challengers.

But it was Solicitor Generald Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. who won over the justices, arguing that Congress always intended the subsidies be available to everyone — regardless of the actions of their state leaders.

Verrilli warned in court briefs that if the challengers prevailed, the states with federally-run exchanges “would face the very death spirals the Act was structured to avoid and insurance coverage for millions of their residents would be extinguished.”

Lower courts had split on the issue. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia invalidated the IRS rule while the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Obama administration.

Source – www.cnn.com

U. S Congress may Approve Aid to Arm Syrian Rebels

Syrian rebels march during a demonstration in Idlib

The U.S. Congress appeared poised on Tuesday to quickly approve President Barack Obama’s plan to arm and train Syrian rebels, a major part of the effort he announced this week to fight Islamic State militants.

The House of Representatives began debating an amendment to a stopgap funding bill that would authorize support for the moderate rebels, who are fighting both the Islamic State and the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

House members were expected to vote to pass the amendment on Wednesday, congressional aides and lawmakers said. They added that it would then be sent to the U.S. Senate for expected approval this week, before lawmakers leave Washington to spend the next six weeks campaigning for the Nov. 4 congressional elections.

There are pockets of opposition to the plan, especially among Republicans who hold a majority of seats in the House.

Representative Walter Jones, a North Carolina Republican, said he would vote against the amendment. He estimated that 10 or 15 other members of the party would join him, although he said he expected it would pass.

“Here we go again … We train the Syrians today who are supposed to be our friends, but tomorrow they’re our enemies,” Jones said, after leaving a party meeting at the Capitol on Tuesday morning. “We need to let these other countries take care of their own region.”

Republican lawmakers unveiled the measure on Monday to quickly provide the authority, but not the funding, that Obama wants to equip and train the rebels.

It sets conditions including barring the use of U.S. ground forces and requiring the administration to submit regular progress reports on the plan and its vetting of the rebels receiving the training and equipment.

Both houses of Congress must pass the stop-gap spending bill to keep the government open after the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30.