Whoa: Pence's Plane Skids Off Runway in NY

Donald Trump's running mate Mike Pence had an unnerving experience Thursday night after his campaign plane reportedly skidded off the runway at New York's LaGuardia airport. Everyone who was on board is reported to be safe and unharmed. 

A Twitter user captured the moments after the incident took place.

Watch Live: Trump Holds Rally in Geneva

Refugees From War Zones Are Afraid of North St. Louis

Apparently, some places in America are worse than a Middle Eastern war zone. 

After being relocated from a refugee camp, Syrian refugees living in North St. Louis are afraid of even going outside. Several refugees told a local St. Louis news station the horrors of the neighborhood--which include gunfire, bugs, and rodent infestations. They spoke of the constant shooting late at night reminding them of the violence in their home country.

“8 p.m. we cannot leave our apartment,” the translator said, “And if we want to leave, we need to be in a group. No one can leave the apartment as a single, or with one other — no– we need to be in a group.”

A video taken by St. Louis station KMOX shows the disgusting conditions of one of the apartments.

The situation in the city is so bad that one woman told a translator she phoned a relative living in a refugee camp in Jordan and warned her not to come to St. Louis. Other refugees report that their apartments do not have electricity, and that they have been effectively abandoned by the International Institute, a non-profit that was supposed to help them adjust to living in the United States. 

It's completely unacceptable for a non-profit, especially one centered on refugee resettlement, to permit families to live in conditions like this. It's also a heartbreaking reality that some places in the United States are equally as bad as a war-torn nation. Nobody should be living like this.  

Animal Planet Wants to Make Adoption Great Again

In what has to be one of the more adorable campaigns this election cycle, television network Animal Planet is piggybacking off of the 2016 presidential candidates' slogans to encourage people to adopt animals.

In a new series of videos, Animal Planet asks people if "I'm With Purr" and supporting the "DemoCATs," or if they want to "Make Adoption Great Again" with the "RePUPlicans."

There's even "attack" ads from both sides.

So cute, and very fun for a great cause.

Sadly, it doesn't look as though the LiBIRDtarians will be getting much airtime during this campaign.

Donald Trump's Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame is Now Being Guarded By A Homeless Trump Supporter

After Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was destroyed by a vandal with a sledgehammer, an unidentified homeless woman took up a vigil "guarding" the star to prevent any further attempts at vandalism. The woman had a sign identifying herself as homeless and as a Trump supporter.

The woman also had other signs with messages critical of illegal immigration and President Obama.

(Language warning)

Trump's star has been repeatedly vandalized throughout the campaign, although this latest incident caused the most damage. Despite the vandalism, it has been made clear that the star will not be removed. Trump received the star for his work hosting the reality show The Apprentice.

Wikileaks Provides Memo That Shines Light On 'Bill Clinton, Inc.'

A memo written by a top aide to Bill Clinton illustrates a rather lucrative business that has been built around the power couple, which has Republicans crying foul that it’s a blueprint that “allowed corporations and other wealthy supporters to pay for entree to a popular former president and a onetime secretary of state who is now the Democratic presidential nominee,” according to The Washington Post. Doug Band and Declan Kelly founded the corporate consulting firm Teneo, where most of these interactions between the former president and high-level corporate executives were forged, which then turned into massive donations to the Clinton Foundation and nice paychecks for paid speaking engagements for the former president. The economic rewards soared into the millions of dollars. The memo was drafted by Band when Chelsea Clinton began taking a more hands on role at the Clinton Foundation and was worried about ties Teneo had to her father, especially when it was alleged that Bill got $50,000 (WaPo says $125,000) a month from MF Global through Band’s firm.

MF Global, an investment firm, was rendered defunct in 2011 and drew the attention of Congress when it misappropriated $1.2 billion. Its former CEO, Jon Corzine, said he didn’t know what happened to the money. Given the stigma concerning financial institution from the 2008 crisis, Chelsea seemed worried about these ties, which drew her into conflict with Band. In fact, Wikileaks provided the emails that showed both Bill and Chelsea’s “office crap” drove one of the Foundation executives, former chief operating officer Laura Graham, was almost driven to suicide; Band called her a “spoiled brat.”

Regardless, this memo is an insight into the culture of money and access that surrounds the power couple (via WaPo):

The memo, made public Wednesday by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, lays out the aggressive strategy behind lining up the consulting contracts and paid speaking engagements for Bill Clinton that added tens of millions of dollars to the family’s fortune, including during the years that Hillary Clinton led the State Department. It describes how Band helped run what he called “Bill Clinton Inc.,” obtaining “in-kind services for the President and his family — for personal travel, hospitality, vacation and the like.”


Band wrote that Teneo partners had raised in excess of $8 million for the foundation and $3 million in paid speaking fees for Bill Clinton. He said he had secured contracts for the former president that would pay out $66 million over the subsequent nine years if the deals remained in place.

For instance, Band wrote that Kelly arranged for the former president to meet the chief executive of Coca-Cola in January 2009 at the Clintons’ home in Washington. In all, according to Band’s memo, Coke had contributed $4.33 million to the foundation between 2004 and 2010.


Band also described how Kelly helped expand a fruitful relationship with UBS Global Wealth Management, introducing Bill Clinton to a top executive at a 2009 charity dinner. In the ensuing years, UBS upped its giving to the foundation, signed on as a Teneo client and agreed to pay Bill Clinton for speeches, Band wrote.

Records show UBS paid Clinton about $2 million in speaking fees between 2011 and 2015 for a series of appearances, generally alongside former president George W. Bush. The company also paid Hillary Clinton $225,000 for a 2013 speech.


Clinton has credited Band with conceiving of the Clinton Global Initiative, the glitzy annual meeting where corporate, government and nonprofit leaders gathered annually to talk about the world’s problems. Started in 2005, CGI became the best-known arm of the Clinton Foundation, which also operated education, environmental and health programs around the world. The final CGI meeting took place last month.

By 2011, the longtime Clinton aide was ready to strike out on his own.

That’s when Band and Kelly joined forces to form Teneo. At first, the firm remained closely linked to the Clinton network.

Band described in the memo how he combined his work for CGI and Teneo. He wrote that he had used a hotel room upstairs from the 2011 CGI gathering to meet with Teneo clients. He also acknowledged giving free CGI memberships to “target Teneo clients” being cultivated as potential foundation donors. Memberships generally cost $20,000 a year.

The Post added that Clinton cut ties with Teneo and a more solid wall of separation was built between Bill and the Foundation concerning nonprofit and private endeavors. Yet, the fact remains that the wealthy and well-connected may be paying Teneo for access to the Clintons, especially the head of Dow Chemical, one of Band’s first clients.

NBC’s Chuck Todd on why Hillary Clinton’s campaign will have to comment on this development:

What the memo makes clear is how inseparable the Clinton Foundation was to business interests. And while the Clinton campaign has refused to acknowledge the authenticity of the previous WikiLeaks emails, the company that Band co-founded -- Teneo -- did confirm the memo. And that puts extra pressure on Clinton and her campaign to speak out.

We’ll see what happens. If anything, it just shows how if these folks get into the White House, it could become a hotbed of corruption.

Polls Narrow In Missouri Senate Race As Election Day Nears

Election Day is 12 days away, and it's looking as though the Missouri Senate race is going to go down to the wire. Incumbent Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) has a single point lead in polls over Democrat challenger Jason Kander, putting both candidates in a last-ditch scramble for votes as the election draws near.

Kander's success in Missouri is a bit of a head-scratcher. Republican nominee Donald Trump has a comfortable six-point lead in polls in the state, and Missouri has gone Republican in the presidential elections since 2000. In theory, Blunt's reelection shouldn't be too difficult of a challenge, but polls are indicating that this won't be the case. Kander has been critical of Blunt's extensive career in Washington, D.C. (Blunt served in the House of Representatives from 1997 until he was elected to the Senate in 2010) and has adopted a more moderate Democratic position on issues that are important to Missourians--and even assembled a rifle blindfolded in a campaign ad.

Unless something drastic changes, it's entirely possible that Kander could pull one of the bigger upsets of the election.

Watch Live: Trump Holds Rally in Toledo

Criminal Prosecutors Slap Joe Arpaio with Contempt of Court

After so much speculation and build up, it’s now official. Federal prosecutors are charging Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio with contempt of court. They are claiming he has disobeyed a judge’s order to cease racial profiling. He has allegedly continued to conduct immigration arrests after being told to stop.

Despite the order for a December trial, the sheriff’s legal team has requested for a two-month deadline extension for review of his more than 4,000 employee staff in Maricopa County, Arizona.

The charge was formally made this week and Arpaio could potentially face up to six months in prison. However, the present danger is certainly his re-election bid. That happens next month on Election Day. The negative headlines have not been helping the long-term sheriff seeking another term in office.

The latest poll showed Arpaio down by fifteen points against his Democratic challenger.

WikiLeaks: DNC Colluding With Hillary Since December 2014?

Bernie Sanders supporters have more reason to gripe about the Democratic primary process after new WikiLeaks emails show what appears to be collusion between the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign. WikiLeaks already told us Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her staff were not exactly fans of the Sanders campaign, messages which eventually got her fired. But, now we find that the committee may have been in cahoots with Clinton way back in December 2014.

In a revealing exchange between Clinton Campaign Manager Robby Mook and Cheryl Mills, with the subject line reading, "DNC Update," the two discussed how best to utilize the DNC in the upcoming campaign, particularly leaders such as Schultz and CEO Amy Dacey.

In other, newly surfaced emails, we have evidence that interim DNC chair Donna Brazile was sending questions to the Clinton camp ahead of debates.  

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders was apparently left out in the cold.

In addition to the DNC, the Clinton campaign also had the media in their corner. In a separate WikiLeaks email, we see CNBC's John Harwood offering Clinton's staff encouragement and advice.

With all of these entities working to get Clinton elected, we may be asking why she isn't 50 points ahead?!

New National Polls: The Race is Tightening, or Stable, or a Blowout

With less than two weeks to go until the general election, it's once again time to play Pick Your Poll!  Step right up, contestants. Would you like to see the presidential race tightening to within the margin or error? Or basically unchanged from the recent polling averages? Or spinning out of control into an historic blowout? We've got fresh options for all three preferences, via Fox News (HRC +3), ABC News (HRC +6 -- down sharply from their previous outlier), and USA Today/Suffolk (HRC +9) or the Associated Press (HRC +14), respectively:

Or if you'd prefer a "dead heat" narrative, you can always turn to Rasmussen or IBD/TIPP, which have Clinton up by a hair.   If you love either Rasmussen or the AP's findings, the bad news is that both outfits fell near the very bottom of the list on 2012 pollster accuracy (IBD/TIPP fared significantly better).  Last cycle, the two most accurate  nonpartisan polling came from YouGov and Reuters/Ipsos.  Where do those surveys stand today?  In the exact same place, as it happens: Clinton up by four points. The RCP average pegs Hillary's nationwide lead at 5.4 percentage points. At the state level, there was a lot of buzz early in the week about Texas inching dangerously close to a pure toss-up race.  Since then, two polls have been released.  One shows Trump up seven (fairly comfortable, although vastly underperforming other GOP nominees in the state), while the other has the race within three points -- which, strikingly, is not an outlier:

I'd still wager that the final result in Texas will more closely resemble the Trump +7 finding than a margin-of-error squeaker, but four of the last statewide surveys have the margin within four points. Meanwhile, a NYT/Sienna poll gives Clinton a seven-point lead in Pennsylvania, and fresh New Hampshire polling suggests she is ahead in the state by either four points or nine points.  NBC/WSJ/Marist finds Trump and Clinton exactly tied in Nevada. All three of those states are critical pieces to cobbling together a 270 electoral vote puzzle for Donald Trump.  And if you're in the "all of the media polls are rigged" camp, I'll leave you with this assessment from Donald Trump's own pollster, whom he's paying 100 grand a week to track his chances:

The article's conclusion: "He needs a miracle." The way that miracle might materialize is that low propensity white voters turnout in unexpectedly large waves, while key segments of Hillary's would-be base -- blacks and Millennials, especially -- sit at home.

Watch Live: Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama Hold Rally in Winston-Salem

Chaffetz: Okay Fine, I'm Voting For Trump

After jumping off the Trump train earlier this month, Utah Republican and House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz is back on board as a voter, but not as an endorser. 

Chaffetz pulled his support for Trump after tape surfaced showing the GOP nominee advocating for "grabbing of women by the p*ssy" during a 2005 conversation with Access Hollywood's Billy Bush.

"I'm out," Chaffetz said to CNN at the time. "My wife Julie and I have a 15-year-old daughter. Do you think I can look her in the eye and tell her I endorsed Donald Trump for President when he acts like this?"

"I'm not going to put my good name and reputation and my family behind Donald Trump for President when he acts like this. I just can't do it," he continued.

A number of Republicans who pulled their support for Trump after the tape surfaced have since come back into the fold.

Poll: Americans Don’t Want Clinton’s Australian-Style Gun Control, Overwhelming Majority Oppose Bans

Let’s go back in time to when Hillary Clinton said this in October of 2015 at a town hall event in Keene, New Hampshire. The voter’s question was about gun control:

VOTER: Back to handguns. Recently, Australia managed to get away, or take away tens of thousands, millions of handguns. In one year, they were all gone. Can we do that? If we can’t, why can’t we?

HILLARY CLINTON: Australia is a good example, Canada is a good example, the U.K. is a good example. Why? Each of them have had mass killings. Australia had a huge mass killing about 20-25 years ago, Canada did as well, so did the U.K. In reaction, they passed much stricter gun laws.

In the Australian example, as I recall, that was a buyback program. The Australian government, as part of trying to clamp down on the availability of automatic weapons, offered a good price for buying hundreds of thousands of guns. Then, they basically clamped down, going forward, in terms of having more of a background check approach, more of a permitting approach, but they believe, and I think the evidence supports them, that by offering to buyback those guns, they were able to curtail the supply and set a different standard for gun purchases in the future.

Communities have done that in our country, several communities have done gun buyback programs. I think it would be worth considering doing it on the national level, if that could be arranged. After the terrible 2008 financial crisis, one of the programs that President Obama was able to get in place was Cash for Clunkers. You remember that? It was partially a way to get people to buy new cars because we wanted more economic activity, and to get old models that were polluting too much, off the roads. So I think that’s worth considering. I do not know enough detail to tell you how we would do it, or how would it work, but certainly your example is worth looking at. [Applause]

Let’s not kid around here and dispense the pleasantries—Australian-style gun control, which Clinton said “is worth looking at,” means gun bans and confiscation. Period. Now, Stephen Gutowski of The Washington Free Beacon reported that new polls show overwhelming majorities oppose such policies, especially when it comes to handguns and rifles:

A poll published on Wednesday shows record opposition to gun bans from the American public.

The survey, conducted by Gallup, found 76 percent of respondents thought there should not be a law banning civilian ownership of handguns, a four-point increase from last year and an all-time high in the 57 years the question has been asked.

The poll also found that 61 percent of respondents are “against” a ban on certain semi-automatic rifles—often referred to as “assault weapons”—, a ten-point increase since the last time the poll was taken and an all-time high since Gallup began asking the question in 1996.

Support for the gun bans are at all-time lows. The poll shows only 27 percent support for a ban on handgun ownership, a three-point drop from last year. It also shows support for an assault weapons ban at 36 percent, an eight-point decline from the last time the question was asked.


The survey was taken between October 5-9 and collected responses from 1,017 adults.

So, if Clinton (should she win the election) wants to waste the very little political capital she’s going to gain after November on this issue, which will likely end in defeat—we of course shouldn’t stop her. At the same time, all of this could be rendered moot if the GOP unites and elects Donald Trump, but we seem to be incapable of maximizing on that end.

Twitter Kills Vine

Twitter announced on Thursday that they will be discontinuing the mobile app Vine, where users could create and share six-second looping videos. Vine was officially launched in January of 2013 after being acquired by Twitter in October 2012.

In a statement published to blogging site Medium, Twitter said that Vine will be shutting down "in the coming months" and assured users that they will be able to download and save their Vines, and that the app's website will remain online so that Vines will be viewable.

Since 2013, millions of people have turned to Vine to laugh at loops and see creativity unfold. Today, we are sharing the news that in the coming months we’ll be discontinuing the mobile app.

Nothing is happening to the apps, website or your Vines today. We value you, your Vines, and are going to do this the right way. You’ll be able to access and download your Vines. We’ll be keeping the website online because we think it’s important to still be able to watch all the incredible Vines that have been made. You will be notified before we make any changes to the app or website.

Thank you. Thank you. To all the creators out there — thank you for taking a chance on this app back in the day. To the many team members over the years who made this what it was — thank you for your contributions. And of course, thank you to all of those who came to watch and laugh every day.

What’s next? We’ll be working closely with creators to make sure your questions are answered and will work hard to do this the right way. We’ll be sharing more details on this blog and our Twitter account, and will notify you through the app when we start to change things.

- Team Vine & Twitter

Vine was notable for the sheer amount of "stars" who rose from obscurity via their posts on the app to carve out careers. Many journalists also used Vine to create short, sharable clips of various news stories.

In what turned into sort of a group funeral for the app, many people took to Twitter to share their favorite vines and mourn the loss of one of the funnier parts of the internet:

Goodbye, Vine. You were fun while it lasted.

State Department: No, We Won't Be Paying Ransom For Iran's Latest American Hostages

After the Obama administration paid the Iranian government at least $400 million in cash for the release of four American hostages as part of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, the Islamic regime took two more Americans hostage and is now demanding ransom payments for their freedom.

Americans Baquer Namazi and Siamak Namzi were both sentenced to ten years in prison earlier this month after being accused of spying by the Iranian government, an accusation falsely and often used against Americans living or working in the country. 

Iranian-Americans Baquer Namazi and his son Siamak have been sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined $4.8 million, according to Iran's official news channel IRINN.
Iran officials say five people were convicted and sentenced for "cooperating with Iran's enemies," a government euphemism that usually implies cooperating with the United States.

Siamak Namazi was arrested nearly a year ago and became the first US citizen reported to have been detained in the country since the announcement of the Iranian nuclear program deal.

Just this week, American Reza Shahini was sentenced to 18 years in prison. From The Foreign Desk

The U.S. is "troubled" by reports of an 18-year sentence handed down to a dual U.S.-Iranian national, a State Department official told The Foreign Desk.

"We are troubled by reports that Robin (or Reza) Shahini, a person reported to be a U.S. citizen, may have been convicted and sentenced to eighteen years in prison. We reaffirm our calls on Iran to respect and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, cease arbitrary and politically-motivated detentions and ensure fair and transparent judicial proceedings in all criminal prosecutions consistent with its law and international obligations," the State Department said.

An Iranian court has sentenced a dual-citizen American Iranian man to 18 years in prison for allegedly ‘collaborating with a foreign government’ and for posts he published on his social media page, his family members told The Foreign Desk.

Despite Iran offering to release hostages for a price of $4 million, pocket change compared to $400 million previously paid, the State Department has said ransom will not be paid.

The State Department insisted Tuesday that Iran has no reason to believe that the U.S. will honor ransom demands for the release of dual U.S.-Iranian citizens or others with close western ties imprisoned in Iran.

"I can't speak to the motivation behind these detentions, but if there's a perception out there, if one of the motivations were to secure ransom, it is a false perception — it is wrong," State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters Tuesday.

"What I can say again is that we do not pay ransom. We don't pay ransom," he said. "We didn't then, we don't now. We're not going to change that policy going forward."  

Earlier this year the State Department finally admitted the nuclear deal has likely emboldened Iran's longstanding bad behavior rather than deterring it, something critics of the deal warned about for years.

Cruz: You Know, We Might Just Block Clinton From Filling That Supreme Court Vacancy Indefinitely

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is saber rattling again, warning that any Democratic Supreme Court nominee would be blocked indefinitely. It’s sure to please the conservative wing of the Republican Party and generate some nice fundraising material for the Texas senator. So, here we go with the hold the line games (via Politico):

In a vintage return to his confrontational style, Sen. Ted Cruz indicated that Republicans could seek to block a Democratic president from filling the vacant Supreme Court seat indefinitely.

After staking his endorsement of Donald Trump on a list of potential conservative Supreme Court nominees, Cruz said on Wednesday that there is precedent to limiting the Supreme Court to just eight justices. Last week, Cruz's colleague, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), suggested the GOP should confirm President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, to avoid having to swallow a more liberal nominee under Hillary Clinton.


“There will be plenty of time for debate on that issue ... There is certainly long historical precedent for a Supreme Court with fewer justices. I would note, just recently, that Justice [Stephen] Breyer observed that the vacancy is not impacting the ability of the court to do its job. That’s a debate that we are going to have," Cruz said, in remarks first reported by The Washington Post.

Yes, an eight-member court is not hamstringing the U.S. justice system. And yes, the third branch has been able to operate without nine members; at one point there were seven justices who also had larger workloads. But we’ve seen this movie before. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) promised a united Republican front against Clinton’s nominees, but soon backtracked, saying he would examine the record of the nominee first.

Yes, I know McCain and Cruz are like oil and water, but there is very little chance that the GOP will take this position, no matter who is staking this hold the line claim. For starters, they’re in a pickle. They’re projected to lose anywhere from five to seven seats, they still have Merrick Garland in the wings who could still be voted on in a lame duck session should the GOP fear a Clinton nominee more, and they said that the next president should fill the vacancy citing past precedent (i.e. Biden rule).

Should the upper chamber flip decisively, the American people have voiced their opinion that the Democrats should be in the driver’s seat—and that includes Supreme Court nominations. Not good. Senate Republicans could risk the revolt from their own base by flip-flopping on Garland and holding a hearing and possibly a vote in a lame duck session to prevent what could be a psycho, anti-gun left wing nut job from Clinton should she win the election. Once the new Congress begins, there is a possibility that a Chuck Schumer-led Democratic Senate majority could tweak the filibuster rules, making things more difficult for Republicans to block nominations. We’ll see what happens, but Senate Republicans don’t look like they’re on the best ground to hold out for four years on SCOTUS.

Watch Live: Trump Holds Rally in Springfield

Evan McMullin Admits He'll Be Happy Preventing a Trump Win in Utah

There is no longer a question of Evan McMullin's true intentions in the 2016 presidential race.  

In an interview on Saturday, McMullin admitted that he would not be able to get 270 electoral votes, but said that he would be more than happy to prevent Donald Trump, who he says is a true authoritarian, from becoming the 45th president of the United States.  

McMullin, a believer in the Mormon religion, is campaigning heavily in the swing state of Utah, doing his best to prevent a Trump victory.

Fox Business anchor Lou Dobbs called out McMullin for his comments, saying that him and the Mormon religion was nothing more than a religious mafia.

“A vote for any candidate other than Donald Trump, bottom line, is a vote to make Hillary Clinton the 45th president of the United States,” Trump's VP, Mike Pence said while campaigning in Salt Lake City. “It’s the hard truth. It’s time to come home. It’s time for Republicans to come home.” 

A recent poll found Trump at 32 percent, Evan McMullin at 29 percent and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at 28 percent.

Trump: Paul Ryan Deserves Payback for Disloyalty

According to two anonymous sources close to the Republican nominee, Trump wants Speaker Ryan to be punished for not giving him unwavering support.

In the case that Trump loses, it is unclear what role he would play in a post-election Republican Party. We know from other Trump rivalries - he never forgets someone who’s offended him: sending circled photos of his hands for years to a writer who critiqued them, ongoing insults via Twitter to enemies, etc. If Trump wants to ruin Speaker Ryan’s career, enthusiasm level would not be an issue.

Trump's repeated tweets against him appear to be working. Ryan's approval numbers have dropped significantly after the Republican nominee went after him several times via his favorite social media site. We have yet to see if such online attacks would still be effective months after a possible Trump loss.

Perhaps not Trump, but his surrogates, will continue the killing of one of their own. Campaign CEO Stephen Bannon could return to Breitbart, where he would continue hammering Ryan – something he’s been doing since day one of his speakership.

After losing the GOP primary in Wisconsin’s first district by 68 points, Paul Nehlen has announced he will challenge Ryan again… for the speaker’s gavel. The speaker does not have to be a member of Congress, but a non-member has never been elected.

Something that seems slightly more realistic – some members in the Freedom Caucus are mumbling over a possible challenge to Speaker Ryan. To be fair, Politico reported that others in the group are threatening to quit altogether if such an extreme measure is taken. Rep. Mark Meadows has spoken last week regarding such a move by the renegade Republican group.

Eating one of their own is nothing new in Republican politics. However, nothing to this degree has taken place in recent memory. A presidential nominee seeking the demise of the Speaker of the House and member of his own party?

It should be noted, Ryan did not ask to be speaker. After the abrupt announcement from John Boehner that he would be leaving, House colleagues begged Ryan to put his hat in the ring because he was the most respected member in Congress. Other contestants for the position dropped out of contention out of respect for him when he officially announced his candidacy for the position.

Speaker Ryan has gone on to raise more money for the Republican Party than ever before – setting one fundraising record after another.

Before his current leadership position, Ryan was Chairman of Ways and Means - the premiere committee in drafting legislation for tax and entitlement reform. Before that, he was Chairman of the Budget Committee, where he developed his famous budget crunching legislation – The Path to Prosperity.

He now has laid out a more comprehensive conservative agenda in A Better Way.

These are specific conservative policy outlines that I’m hard pressed to find another House member to replicate.

Would the Republican Party really be better off turning their back on Paul Ryan?

Brewer: Despite Close Polls, Arizona Will Go to Trump

With just 12 days to go until Election Day, polls are tightening all over the country and some reliably red states are at risk of going blue. 

Arizona, which has voted for the Republican presidential nominee since 1996, is right on the cusp as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton run neck and neck in the Grand Canyon State.

But despite the close race former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, famous for her support of strong laws against illegal immigration, is confident Trump will take home a win on November 8. 

"I do believe we will win, we're not taking anything for granted. I think the Republicans will come home and the Independents will vote appropriately wanting a change," Brewer said. "We're not giving up, we're pushing forward and Arizona will remain red. It's just a simple fact of the matter."

Earlier this week the Obama administration announced Obamacare recipients in Arizona will see their premiums increase by as much as 116 percent next year.

Mike Pence's Beagle, Maverick, Passes Away At Age 13

Republican VP candidate and Indiana Governor Mike Pence announced on Twitter on Wednesday that his beagle, Maverick, had passed away on Tuesday night at the age of 13.

Condolences started flowing in from both sides of the aisle, as nearly everyone seemed willing to put politics aside to mourn Maverick's passing:

Rest in peace, Maverick.

Black Education Leaders Blast NAACP For Voting Against Charter Schools

Earlier this month, the NAACP Board of Directors voted for a moratorium on charter schools, essentially stripping educational control from both parents and students. The organization came to the conclusion despite dozens of African-American leaders imploring them not to.

Jacqueline Cooper, president of The Black Alliance for Educational Options blasted the decision in a new statement this week.

"We are absolutely stunned that the NAACP voted to put distortions, lies and outdated ideologies about charter schools above what is in the best interest of our children. It is inexplicable to me that such a storied organization, responsible for leading a powerful civil rights movement to tear down barriers for generations of Black people, would erect new ones for our children."

Cooper acknowledges charter schools aren't perfect, but the good ones deserve to be supported. To deny future charter schools to black children, she argues, will "widen the achievement gap."

"Low-income and working-class Black families deserve more choice, not less."

Parents are just as disappointed. In an op-ed for The Houston Chronicle, an African-American working mother named Rosezina Williams explained why charter schools have been a blessing. She describes how her son has a disability and was bullied in public school. She put her son on a waiting for a charter school and found one that fit. Now, she said her son is treated like an individual and receives the education he needs.

Trump Convinced Evangelicals Can Win Him the Election

It's a well-known fact that millions of evangelical Christians stayed home on November 6, 2012. Their complacency or hesitancy about Mitt Romney, a Mormon, may have cost the Republican nominee the election. Donald Trump seems to understand this. In a conversation with The Brody File this week, Trump told David Brody that evangelical voters may be his ticket to win.

“If they vote, we’re going to win the election,” Trump said.

“Had they (evangelicals) voted four years ago, and they didn’t, you would have had a different result in the election instead of having Obama who has been catastrophic for evangelicals and a lot of the things that we stand for.”

Anytime Trump reflects on the support he's received from evangelicals, he is noticeably moved. In his speech at the Republican National Convention, Trump wondered out loud whether he even deserved their support. Pastors who attended his meeting in New York City over the summer noted how he adopted a much humbler attitude in their presence than they saw on TV. "Duck Dynasty's" Phil Robertson told Townhall that Trump admitted he was a sinner during their brief conversation and seemed open to hearing about the gospel.

The Republican nominee has certainly been trying to give evangelicals reasons to vote for him.

"We're going to have a great Supreme Court," he said in The Brody File interview. "We're going to have religious liberty."

"Religious liberty is under tremendous stress," he continued. "If Hillary Clinton gets in, you're not going to have religious liberty." Nor, Trump said, will she overturn the Johnson Amendment, a law which prevents pastors and priests from voicing their political opinions in church.

Will these pledges, however, be enough for Trump to overcome the backlash he's received for those vulgar "Access Hollywood" tapes?

You can count on the Trump campaign reminding evangelicals about the alternative, as well as the results of the 2012 election.

Maine's Mock Election Could Be A Good Sign For Trump

Each election cycle, Maine's Department of the Secretary of State conducts the Maine Student Mock Election of Maine's schoolchildren. The mock election has been a remarkably good barometer of the state's political leanings, and has only been incorrect once in the past 10 election cycles. (In 2000, George W. Bush won the student vote, but lost the "grown-up" vote in the state.) In 2014, Maine's students predicted a Paul LePage re-election with a more accurate margin of victory than most polls were forecasting.

Given this info, the results of this year's mock election should be a bit of an eyebrow-raiser: Donald Trump won, by an ever-so-slim margin, with 41.7 percent to Hillary Clinton's 40.2 percent. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson finished third, and the Green Party's Jill Stein finished fourth.

On the Congressional side of things, incumbent Rep. Bruce Poliquin was re-elected by a 10-point spread over Democrat challenger Emily Cain. Poliquin's seat, representing Maine's 2nd Congressional District, is considered to be one of the most vulnerable in Congress.

Maine is one of two states that allocates its Electoral College votes by congressional district, and signs have been promising that Trump could get at least one Electoral College vote from the Pine Tree State. Now, it doesn't seem entirely out of the question that Trump could get three (two from winning the state and one from the CD2), or even all four.

In the 2008 and 2012 elections, Maine went to Obama by large, double-digit margins. Now, it's looking as though Vacationland is in play--big time.