NEWS AND OPINION:
The West Coast still calls Hillary Clinton, and no wonder. The Democratic presidential nominee has some mighty, moneyed fans standing by, checkbooks at the ready. On Thursday Mrs. Clinton herself heads to the greater Tinseltown area for what is dramatically billed as “the final Los Angeles dinner” before the presidential election, staged in a sumptuous Beverly Hills home with tickets priced up to $100,000. Each. The glittering group includes movie and media executives, with Elton John as entertainment. The pop superstar has been campaigning for Mrs. Clinton since the 2008 election; this is his second concert on her behalf this year.
The Democratic nominee has a pretty heavy purse at this point, however. Mrs. Clinton set a fundraising record in September, adding $150 million to her burgeoning cash cushion. Mrs. Clinton was last in the land of Hollywood in August; the visit yielded five fundraisers and an appearance on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” The nominee will journey to Seattle on Thursday, also to raise money. Former President Bill Clinton, meanwhile, is on a bus tour of Iowa.
But wait, there’s more. In a week’s time, it’s daughter Chelsea Clinton‘s turn at Hollywood fundraising in a glamorous event, again staged in the home of a media executive, with actress and singer Kristen Bell as special guest.
BERNIE FANS FIGHT BACK
They are calling it #OptDeny270. A feisty group of voters who refuses to abandon their support of Sen. Bernard Sanders has launched a vigorous social media campaign urging fellow fans to write in Mr. Sanders on the presidential ballot when the time comes. They intend to “deny” the 270 required electoral votes to a certain Democrat.
“Hillary Clinton already thinks she has the presidential election in the bag. But while she’s been picking out drapes for the Oval Office, a small group of Bernard Sanders supporters have been quietly registering Bernie as an official write-in candidate in key states, hoping to get enough of a grass-roots groundswell to deny Clinton the 270 electoral votes she needs to become president,” explains Heat Street political reporter Emily Zanotti.
So far, the efforts have placed Mr. Sanders for approved write-ins in seven states. Just in case, the prudent organizers are also asking followers to support Green Party nominee Jill Stein.
AND WHILE THE NATION SQUABBLES
“Militant groups like Hezbollah and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have learned how to weaponize surveillance drones and use them against each other and foreign forces, adding a new twist to Syria’s civil war, a U.S. military official and others,” notes a new CBS News report, citing two videos that offer proof the militants had armed the airborne devices. Two French soldiers were injured in the attacks staged in northern Iraq; two Kurdish fighters were killed.
“A U.S. military official, who spoke anonymously because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said the U.S. military is aware of the development. Commanders have warned troops to take cover if they see what they might have once dismissed as a surveillance drone,” CBS News stated.
A White House petition to restore the traditional U.S. Navy rating specialty titles has gotten a considerable response, garnering 71,000 signatures since it was established under the “We the People” section of WhiteHouse.gov.
“For 241 Years Navy personnel have been identified by their Job specialty, known as a ‘Rating.’ The oldest rates such as Boatswain Mates, and Gunners Mate, predate the founding of this country. Being known by your job title was a sense of pride,” the petition advises.
Navy officials announced plans to create more “gender neutral” rating titles on Sept. 29.
“One by one current leadership continues to erode the very things that set the Navy apart from the other services,” the petition noted. If it accrues 100,000 by the end of October, the petition will be eligible for an official White house response.
JOE ON THE GO
He was famous for confronting then-presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama on the campaign trail in Ohio eight years ago, demanding to know the fate of working-class Americans. The moment was caught on video. Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, who was quickly dubbed “Joe the Plumber,” became an instant icon for blue-collar folk, and later ran for public office himself.
Mr. Wurzelbacher has just become a news executive. He has accepted the job of “vice president for public relations” for the Liberty Alliance, a private coalition of 80 conservative websites and news organizations that includes the Minuteman News, Allen West Republic and Fighting for Trump, among many. Pushing “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” the news sites draw 2 million page views a day.
“I have turned down a lot of offers throughout the years, but when it came to Liberty Alliance, it was a no-brainer,” said Mr. Wurzelbacher.
There are those who have been compared to him recently. Ken Bone — the man wearing a red sweater who asked a straightforward question about job layoffs at the second presidential debate — has already been dubbed the “next Joe the Plumber” in some press accounts. In the meantime, Mr. Wurzelbacher is ready to rumble in his new media position.
“Liberty Alliance is a big family with a lot of integrity, honor and loyalty to their customers. They will not compromise their values, meaning their word actually means something in the business world. And anyone that knows me knows that my word is very important to me,” he noted.
POLL DU JOUR
• 54 percent of Americans do not approve of athletes or those who don’t stand during the national anthem to protest police violence against the black community.
• 87 percent of Republicans, 57 percent of independents and 29 percent of Democrats also do not approve.
• 63 percent of whites, 17 percent of blacks and 45 percent of Hispanics do not approve.
• 38 percent of Americans overall approve of the idea.
• 9 percent of Republicans, 36 percent of independents and 63 percent of Democrats approve.
• 30 percent of whites, 74 percent of blacks and 36 percent of Hispanics approve.
Source: A Quinnipiac University Poll of 1,391 U.S. adults conducted Oct. 7 to 9.
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