The email controversy is the worst political “scandal” of all time

I’d say happy Halloween everybody, but given the state of this presidential election, every day for the last several months has felt like Halloween.

And with just over a week to go, those who clung to the desperate hope that it would come to peaceful, amicable ending  were sadly, sadly mistaken.

It’s only fitting that this tumultuous presidential contest would have its most severe twist just days before the majority of voters head to the polls, when on Friday we learned that the FBI is once again looking into whether Hillary Clinton did indeed commit a crime by mishandling classified emails in relation to her private email server — an investigation that the bureau had already closed this summer.

Even typing that whole thing out sucked.

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There’s so much to unpack here.

FBI Director James Comey is under intense criticism from both sides of the aisle for his decision to notify Congressional leaders of the new developments so close to Election Day, when we don’t even know if the new trove of emails discovered carry any significance whatsoever.

Not only did Comey go against department policy, but he disregarded the recommendations from the Department of Justice, and is now being accused of breaking the law by his meddling in the election.

And that’s the whole absurdity of this new development. The FBI has admitted they do not know if these emails matter. Heck, we don’t know how many of them are new, or if any of them were even sent by Hillary Clinton.

So to reignite the email controversy less than two weeks before the election without any evidence of wrongdoing …. well, I’ll just let you form your own opinion. It remains to be seen how this may affect people’s votes on Nov. 8 … but my gut tells me that people have already made up their minds, and pending a bombshell revelation this week, that this won’t be enough to change enough people’s minds to affect the result.

We haven’t even gotten to the most ridiculous aspect of this yet. The emails were discovered not on Clinton’s server, not on Wikileaks, but on a laptop used by disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner, who the FBI was investigating for allegedly sending explicit photos to a 15-year-old girl.

The computer was found to have contained emails from Huma Abedin, one of Clinton’s closest aides and Weiner’s estranged wife.

Let’s just say I share the same reaction that Joe Biden had when he first learned of Anthony Weiner’s involvement.

I can’t reiterate enough how inane this email controversy is. No one wanted to hear about it in the first place (including Bernie Sanders, who arguably had the most to gain by capitalizing on it), and we were all thrilled when it was over last July. And now it has been brought back for the dumbest of reasons.

If Hillary Clinton has knowingly put American lives at risk and jeopardized national security because of her careless use of an email server, then those headlines would be splashed across my television screen faster than the movie “Inferno” will be out of theaters.

Instead, we have emails about Hillary Clinton’s aides conversing about how they could get the upper hand in winning an election.

“Lock her up.”

Oh, Bernie, what could have been

You know how you’re in the middle of a terrible nightmare, and you so desperately want to wake up? And then when you do, it’s a feeling of pure relief?

That’s basically how I felt watching the Republican National Convention last week. It made me anxious, scared and uncomfortable, and I yearned for the Democratic National Convention to bring me back to normalcy.

Basically, the RNC was a near deadly allergy attack, and the DNC is my epi-pen.

And yes,  I know the Democratic National Convention got off to a rough start, with divided delegates who still support Bernie Sanders, and who were newly infuriated by the revelation that the Democratic Committee never took his campaign seriously and actually looked to discredit him.

This bombshell, revealed in leaked emails on Wikileaks reportedly supplied by Russia, led to the resignation of DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

But that recent turmoil does not undermine the fact that the Democratic party, with the help of Bernie, adopted its most progressive platform in years — if not ever.

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And on Monday night, the DNC started with a bang. It really doesn’t get much bigger than back-to-back-to back speeches by Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie, and that’s not even counting the incredibly energetic and inspiring speech by U.S. Senator Cory Booker — a breakout appearance that is being compared to Barack Obama’s 2004 speech that launched him to the presidency. Time will tell if that holds up.

Without question, the star of the night was the First Lady, who spoke eloquently, calmly and gracefully. She never raised her voice or carried a malicious tone, but what made her speech so powerful was the way she passionately shared her story about her own growth in the White House while raising her two young daughters. In doing so, Michelle Obama showed that she is a symbol of the progress that has happened over the last eight years.

And what was most refreshing is that she did not sound like a politician. She wasn’t trying to promote herself for future political gain. She was speaking from the perspective of a wife, a mother, an African-American woman, and an American.

Lastly, it gave us more reason to realize how much we will miss this current Michelle Obama DNC.pngadministration.

But if Michelle Obama was the highlight, Bernie was certainly the main event.

Given what’s transpired in recent days, I was very eager to hear what he’d have to day. And I must admit, it was a little sad seeing him speak.

The man started a political revolution, and with that speech it sort of came to an end. He’s likely too old to run for president ever again, and in a way, this was his farewell. Cameras repeatedly caught Bernie supporters visibly crying in their seats as they listened to Bernie and thought, “What could have been.”

The Book of Bernie closed today, when Hillary Clinton became the first woman in the United States to ever be a major party nominee for president. And when Bernie’s brother, Larry Sanders, who is a delegate, announced his vote for his brother on the DNC floor, it brought Bernie to tears.

Thanks for helping us change this country, Bernie. You will never be forgotten.

I will proudly vote for Hillary in this year’s election. But that does not mean I will ever stop feeling the Bern.

The New York primary — finally, the attention we’ve desperately wanted

With New York being so late in the primary calendar, it’s pretty rare that both parties’ races have yet to determined by the time we head to the polls.

Usually, at least one party — if not both — have a runaway candidate at this point. And it means that by the time the New York primary hits, our votes are more symbolic than consequential.

Not this year, baby.

Screw Iowa. Forget New Hampshire. And don’t even dare put us in the same breath as Michigan.

For once, New York is in the spotlight. We get the attention we have desperately sought for so long. People are forced to care about New York. And it’s about damn time.

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Hmm, maybe Ted Cruz wasn’t wrong when he was talking about “New York values” all those weeks ago.

But it is true that New York’s vote is more magnified than usual. As I write this, polls close in two minutes, and news networks have already declared Donald Trump a victor, while claiming the Democratic race is too early to call. Although, pre-primary polls had shown Hillary to be way ahead.

Being a blue state with double the amount of Democratic voters than Republican, New York will almost certainly vote for whomever the Democratic candidate is in November. But it brings me such joy that we get to go down in history as yet another state whose Republican voters overwhelmingly selected Donald Trump.

The same dude who held a campaign rally last week to tout his xenophobic, anti-Mexican views on the same street in Long Island where a Latino man was murdered in a hate crime in 2008.

In all seriousness though, New York Republicans are pretty nuts. They voted for Carl Paladino as a gubernatorial candidate in 2010, and that guy might be crazier than Trump.

What people do tend to forget about New York, though, is it’s a pretty big freaking state. New York City makes up just five of the state’s 62 counties.

But let’s be real. Just like how New York receives a disproportionate amount of attention compared to other U.S. states, New York City is basically considered the epicenter of the state.

So much so that most of the candidates have basically been competing over who is more “New York” — to embarrassing results.

Hillary Clinton can’t swipe a MetroCard; Bernie Sanders still thinks you pay for the Subway with tokens; and nothing represents the average New Yorker’s plight of living in a minuscule, rodent-infested, overpriced studio apartment than Donald Trump’s $4 billion net worth.

And you may be wondering who I am endorsing. After all, this is a prominent New York-based publication, and I am a very vocal figure here in this great state.

Oh, you’re not wondering at all?

In fact, you stopped reading after the first paragraph?


How Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are forever changing politics in the most divergent ways possible

As if we didn’t know it already, Tuesday’s results in the New Hampshire primary was concrete evidence that we are in the midst of a political revolution.

Two so-called “outsider” candidates, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, won the Democratic and Republican vote, respectively, effectively earning the majority of the state’s delegates moving forward.

And it wasn’t even close. Both men eviscerated their competition in nearly every demographic. Heck, Bernie even accumulated more votes from women than Hillary Clinton did. Who saw that coming?

Why these men are considered outsiders is simple: they’re not the candidate that their respective parties want to earn the presidential nomination.

And that is what has made this election cycle so significant.

Trump NHBut despite the media’s tendency to lump these two candidates together, it’s absolutely worth noting that they could not be more different. And furthermore, the reasons why they’re each gaining a wide support base is equally as different.

Donald Trump has horrified voters just as much as he’s united them. He’s upended the political process, using harsh, sometimes bigoted rhetoric that has appealed to a wide range of people by tapping into their inner angst.

Suddenly, Trump has made it OK to be xenophobic, to be brash, to be condescending to those who disagree with you. And people are buying in because he’s saying the things on a national platform that they’ve always wanted to say, but couldn’t without the fear of being judged.

But Trump is only polling so well because Republican voters who don’t support him have been unable to settle on an alternative. Those people are splitting their votes between Kasich, Rubio and Bush. If they ever do unite around one, then Trump is in trouble. Fortunately for him that may never happen.

As for those who are voting for Ted Cruz, god I hope I never meet any of those people in my lifetime.

Democrats who vote for Bernie, meanwhile, are not revolting against their political party, but rather, against the political process.

We weren’t supposed to have a choice. It was going to be Hillary Clinton, and that was that. She’s the establishment candidate who every other Democratic politician was too afraid to run against. Except Bernie.

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders smiles after winning at his 2016 New Hampshire presidential primary night rally in Concord

Voters choose their president in a general election, sure, but until then, we have very little say. Nominees are essentially determined by who has the richest Super PAC. The more money you get from the wealthy, the better your chances. Except Bernie.

A grassroots candidate by every definition of the word, he and his supporters are proving that there can be an election in America that is truly decided by the people. And it’s that feeling of Democratic empowerment that Bernie is tapping into. Not anger, not hate — but inclusion.

Are Bernie’s ideas always realistic? No. But he’s an idealist with a vision, and that’s why he’s appealing to so many young people. The youth are not pragmatic. They’re naive and headstrong and believe that they can obtain the unobtainable.

And ladies and gentlemen, at least for now, the unobtainable is exactly what we are seeing.

Strap in, my friends. It’s a political revolution, indeed.

An exercise in political theater

It’s been a very interesting last few days if you care about politics.

Actually, screw politics. What’s been happening in this early road to the 2016 presidential election has been pure entertainment. The Republican debate last week was political theater. Virtually nothing could have happened last Thursday that would have any impact on the election. Why? Because it’s still 15 freaking months way.

It was pointless. And the only reason it happened was to give Donald Trump a platform to speak, for better or worse.

Trump KellyAnd speak he did. Honestly, I have to give a little credit to Fox News. They’re Republican apologists, sure, but they went pretty hard at these candidates. They made each one answer for their shortcomings. Which led to some controversy.

Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly said that Trump has called women he didn’t like “pigs,” “slobs,” and “disgusting animals,” which Trump took offense to, and later remarked that Kelly “has blood coming out of her whatever.”

Trump then said his comment was not meant to be an insinuation towards menstruation, and that he’s too smart to say something that stupid. Could have fooled me.

But the fact that this is the prevailing news coming out of the debate showed that Trump is all anybody really cared about. Fox News knew that, and that’s why he had by far the most speaking time of any other candidate, and more than double that of the candidate with the least speaking time, Rand Paul.

For moderate politicos, just sit back and enjoy the show. it’s not until next February or March at the earliest when we actually need to start caring who emerges from this cast of characters that, if it wasn’t for the original cast of Jersey Shore, would be the most hopeless group of humans ever assembled.

On the Democratic side, meanwhile, the Bernie Sanders train is picking up more steam. He garnered much attention when he was interrupted on a campaign stop by the Seattle chapter of the advocacy group Black Lives Matter. Internet people (mostly of the white variety) reacted by noting that Bernie is the candidate who has spoken the most strongly about racial justice.

Days later, 28,000 people showed up to see him in Los Angeles.

I’m not going to lie — I think I’m starting to lean more towards Bernie with each passing day. He’s the furthest thing from a demagogue, and he actually had the balls to challenge Hillary. It’s not that I think she’s a bad candidate, but I want to Mars womanhave a choice. I appreciate the competition and I hope the Bernie train keeps rolling.

Finally, let’s end with Mars. The planet no one cares about until an adorably-named space robot lands on it.

A woman-like figure has been spotted in a photo taken by NASA’s Mars rover, Curiosity, that has made conspiracy theorists jizz their pants.

It’s probably just a rock. But let’s pretend it’s a definitive sign of extraterrestrial life. It’s way more exciting.

Real or not real, Donald Trump already thinks she’s a disgusting animal.