Category Archives: Other Things

Misc…things not covered by any other Category…and if you don’t put a tag

The case of the $629 Band-Aid…American Healthcare

The bill is from a ER visit…..

Something IS wrong with this….

Others won’t get the hospital’s attention like this case…

“My first thought was, how could this possibly cost $629?” Bird told me when we spoke in April. “So I wrote the hospital a letter, expecting them to say, yeah, that’s a bit excessive, and lower the price.”

That didn’t happen. The hospital sent him back a long letter explaining why it would stick with the price. The fees, the hospital’s leadership responded, were justified — and it ultimately sent his unpaid bill to a debt collection agency.

Bird sent me all his correspondence with the hospital, which I ran by medical billing experts. His experience provides a unique window into how emergency health care billing works in the United States, and how easy it is for customers to end with a surprise bill for a relatively small service — like a Band-Aid on a child’s finger.

“5 minutes, water, gauze, and a band aid, is that really $629?”

Here’s what happened when Colette went to the emergency department, as recounted by her father, Malcolm.

They showed up and waited about 20 minutes until they were called back and placed into an exam room. A nurse came by and checked on them, and a few minutes later a doctor came in.

“He tells us that Colette is okay, that the reason it’s bleeding so much is because there are so many capillaries at the end of the finger,” Bird said. “Then he literally runs the finger under the tap, dries it, puts a Band-Aid on it, and says that’s it. We’re very relieved, we go back to the car, and the Band-Aid falls off. But it was fine because it had stopped bleeding.”

Everything about the visit, he says, seemed fine — the doctor, the nurse, all of them were reassuring and provided appropriate care.

Then the $629 charge arrived….

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Was that You Donald Pretending to be someone else on the phone bragging about YOU?

The latest in the vetting of Donald Trump’s past in the media…

The voice is instantly familiar; the tone, confident, even cocky; the cadence, distinctly Trumpian. The man on the phone vigorously defending Donald Trump says he’s a media spokesman named John Miller, but then he says, “I’m sort of new here,” and “I’m somebody that he knows and I think somebody that he trusts and likes” and even “I’m going to do this a little, part-time, and then, yeah, go on with my life.”

A recording obtained by The Washington Post captures what New York reporters and editors who covered Trump’s early career experienced in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s: calls from Trump’s Manhattan office that resulted in conversations with “John Miller” or “John Barron” — public-relations men who sound precisely like Trump himself — who indeed are Trump, masquerading as an unusually helpful and boastful advocate for himself, according to the journalists and several of Trump’s top aides….

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Note…

….In an interview with the Today Show this morning, he denied the whole thing:

“It was not me on the phone. And it doesn’t sound like me on the phone, I will tell you that. It was not me on the phone,” he insisted before cutting off the issue. “Let’s go on to more current subjects.”

More @ Daily Kos….

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Daily Kos….Can Trump Prove the Truth about his wealth?

Trump won’t release his tax returns? Fine, give him the birther treatment. Good for the goose …

 By Ian Reifowitz   @ Daily Kos….

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally May 5, 2016 in Charleston, West Virginia. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  Just thinking about releasing his tax returns gives him a sad

Apparently the presumptive Republican nominee is not going to release any of his tax returns. “Nothing to see here, move along,” is his attitude. He doesn’t think voters are interested. Voters have a funny way of making that decision for themselves, of course. By way of contrast, Hillary Clinton’s tax records dating back to 1977 are already a matter of public record.

The way to deal with this is for our side to put the word out that Trump is lying about his wealth. We must make him either release the returns to prove the rumors false—in which case, mission accomplished—or, if he doesn’t, double down by citing his continued refusal as a confirmation that the rumors are true.

This needs to become something the media doesn’t stop talking about, like the swift-boating of John Kerry, for example. I don’t advocate such an approach lightly, but they were perfected by Trump and his birther acolytes, so, screw him, to be frank.

Moreover, we should specifically highlight the birther tactics as part of spreading these rumors about Trump’s actual wealth. Doing so not only justifies what we are doing—in politics, turnabout is fair play, after all—but it also reminds people of the fact that Trump was the biggest figure in a disgusting, bigoted movement that, without merit, sought to discredit the Americanness of the first African American president. This can be a double whammy. Trump lied about President Obama and it looks like he’s lying about his own wealth, among so many other documented lies. We have to ask: What else is he lying about?

Donald Trump has already shown that he fights dirty. Democrats need to be prepared to do what is necessary to make sure that our next president isn’t a fascist. Simple as that…..

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Could Catholic Women become deacon’s in their Church?….

Another Progressive idea from the Pope, who will have to fight an inside battle on this amonmg his Bishop’s….

Pope Francis on Thursday reportedly told an international conference of nuns at the Vatican that he supports the idea of studying whether women can serve as deacons in the church.

It was not immediately clear whether Francis’s remark, offered during a question-and-answer session, means he supports only studying more deeply the role of women in the early church or rather is open to allowing women to serve as deacons now.

In the Catholic Church, deacons are clergy who may baptize in a similar way to priests, may officiate at weddings and may preach. Unlike priests, they may marry….

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Donald Trump backs up on Taxes and Muslims….

Here we go folks….

Donald Trump keeps saying what HE wants….

And the Republican office holders keep leaning on him….

Get back into the fold….

Donald Trump’s campaign has enlisted influential conservative economists to revise his tax package and make it more politically palatable by slashing the $10 trillion sticker price. Their main targets: Lifting the top tax rate from Trump’s original plan and expanding the number of people who would have to pay taxes under it.

Trump’s initial proposal, rolled out with fanfare at Trump Tower in Manhattan last September, has been in the spotlight since he became the presumptive Republican nominee last week and promptly declared that it was only a starting point for any negotiations with congressional Democrats, should he become president.

But it turns out Trump’s team is open to revamping it far sooner than that……

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Donald Trump appeared to subtly soften his tone on his proposed ban on foreign Muslims entering the United States Wednesday, in apparent response to criticism from the newly elected Muslim mayor of London.

The planned ban, Trump said on Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade and Friends,” is only “temporary.”

“It hasn’t been called for yet. Nobody’s done it,” the presumptive Republican nominee said.

“This is just a suggestion until we find out what’s going on.”

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Trump lectures Hillary on her Husband?…REALLY?

Politico does a counter…..

Over 15 years, radio shock jock Howard Stern and his buddy Donald Trump periodically carried on like towel-snapping “bros” in a locker room, rating women’s tops and bottoms, debating whether oral sex is “important,” and egging each other on about whether they would like to go to bed with famous women from Cindy Crawford to Diane Sawyer.

“You could’ve gotten her, right?” Stern asked Trump on-air shortly after Princess Diana’s death in 1997. “You could’ve nailed her.”

“I think I could have,” Trump said.

How about singer Mariah Carey? “Would you bang her?” Stern asked. Trump replied, “I would do it without hesitation.”

Trump’s crude talk on-air with Stern between 1990 and 2005was part of an image the businessman cultivated as a Manhattan playboy who had so many women that he barely had time to sleep. He was often seen at trendy nightclubs with different women, appeared on the cover of Playboy magazine, wrote in his books about all the women chasing him and publicly boasted about his sex life.

That reputation was useful as Trump, in his 40s and 50s, built a brand designed to equate his name with success and the high life. But it is problematic as Trump, 69, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, tries to wash away his tabloid past and fashion a more dignified persona — as a potential commander in chief and leader of the free world.

Although Trump promises to be “more presidential,” his past statements have contributed to high negative ratings from women. Democrats see Trump’s history as a potent weapon to use against him and other Republicans this fall…..

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Donald Trump looks to take over the GOP fundraising operation…

In typical Trump fashion…

After ALL the talk of NOT being holden to money people, and saying he’d use his OWN Money?

Donald Trump IS in the process of TRYING to command the Republican Presidential fundraising operation for HIS campaign war chest…Donald J Trump the Billionaire will run on OTHER people’s money for President…

(He doesn’t have the support of ALL the Republican money people yet and may never…)

Not wonder he has backed away from messing with House GOP Speaker Paul Ryan….

It may be TOO late though for Trump to be able to raise close to same amount of money that Democrats and Hillary Clinton will have….

Mr. Trump, who by the end of March had spent around $40 million of his fortune on the primaries, has said that he may need as much as $1.5 billion for the fall campaign, but that he will seek to raise it from donors rather than continue to self-finance.

But Mr. Trump has no fund-raising apparatus to resort to, no network of prolific bundlers to call upon, and little known experience with the type of marathon, one-on-one serial salesmanship and solicitousness that raising so much money is likely to require — even if individuals are able to contribute up to the current limit of $334,000 at a time to the party. And he has to do it all in six months, with a deeply divided party that is still absorbing the fact that Mr. Trump is its standard-bearer.

“No one should underestimate how hard it would be for any nominee to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in a very short period of time,” said Mike DuHaime, who was the top strategist for presidential campaign of Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.

While Mr. Trump’s continued feud with the Republican establishment was likely to cheer his supporters, his intense need for money to run his general election campaign suggests the degree to which he will rely heavily on the party’s existing infrastructure.

Underscoring the urgency with which Mr. Trump and Republicans will need to increase their fund-raising, some of the party’s allies who spent enormous sums in the 2012 election now appear likely to stay on the sidelines in the presidential race — including the vast Koch brothers network, which had pledged to spend nearly $900 million in 2016…..

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A Trump Administration?

Politico spotlights the fact that Donald Trump is slow to begin working on ‘expert’s that would go in-place if he actually won November’s Presidential election….

A LOT of logical Government GOP insiders are NOT looking to join a Trump admin that right now is a long shot…..

Furthermore ?….Donald Trump has made it clear that he REALLY doesn’t plan to follow anyone else’s direction but his own in running things….

While this makes a lot of us smile….

It is also dangerous…

Trump’s action’s will leave him unprepared to run America if for some crazy reason he was to get elected….

All the MORE reason to be worried about him ….

Politico interviewed nearly five dozen Republicans over the past two weeks — people with experience working in government and who understand how Congress can enact, or shred, a new president’s agenda — and heard the same sentiment expressed repeatedly. If Trump doesn’t change his tune or extend much longer olive branches, many of these government veterans say they intend to cede highly coveted administration posts to less-experienced competitors.

“I would never serve in a Trump administration,” said James Capretta, a former Office of Management and Budget official under George W. Bush. “The person at the top is unfit for the presidency. He’s made that very clear with his behavior.”

Added Matt McDonald, another Bush OMB veteran: “I wouldn’t vote for Trump, much less work for him. I don’t agree with half his ideas, and the other half I don’t really believe what he said.”

One former Republican official who worked in the Environmental Protection Agency put it this way: “You’d have to worry about your future career and the way you’re perceived in these things. You just kind of think of how he deals with people. Would you really want to work for him?”

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Inside The 2016 Clinton Campaign Offices in Brooklyn NY….

amNewYork takes us thru the offices of Hillary Clinton in Brooklyn NY…..

An office in Downtown Brooklyn is with her — Hillary Clinton, that is.

It’s been a year since the presidential hopeful signed the lease at her campaign headquarters at One Pierrepont Plaza.

With 1,289 pledged delegates already under her belt and a lead in the latest New York polls ahead of Tuesday’s primary, operations at the Brooklyn Heights office won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

amNewYork took a tour of the campaign headquarters

amNewYork took a tour of the campaign headquarters back on March 23, just a day after Clinton won the Arizona primary — in fact, a staffer was updating a delegate tracking wall with the new tally while we were there. The colorful delegate tracker shows Clinton’s pledged delegates in blue, far outpacing Sanders’ delegates, shown in pink, and it’s one of many visual walls that seem geared toward inspiring Clinton’s campaign staff.

(Credit: Uli Seit)

A wall that says

A wall that says “Hillary for” is littered with Post-its that declare “Girls,” “Jobs,” “NYC” and more. Another is decorated with photos of Clinton and her celebrity supporters, from Leonardo DiCaprio to Beyonce to Bellamy Young, who plays former first lady and presidential hopeful Mellie Grant on “Scandal.”

But our tour guide, former Olympic figure skater and Clinton’s surrogate outreach coordinator Michelle Kwan, said one of her favorite walls is the one covered with photos of Clinton’s supporters from around the country. She said it reminds the staff “who Hillary’s fighting for,” adding, “it encourages us in our early mornings, late evenings.”

(Credit: Uli Seit)

The photos, Post-its and Clinton logos that dominate

The photos, Post-its and Clinton logos that dominate the space are part of what gives the campaign headquarters its youthful, energized vibe. Clinton has polled lower than Sanders among millennials, but you wouldn’t know it from her office, which was buzzing with dozens of twenty-somethings, some of whom worked from their laptops on big beanbag chairs donated to the campaign….

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How does Hillary Run against Trump?

During my walk today I pondered the question myself….

He’s some of things I ran thru….

As anyone who has watched the Trump show for the past six months KNOWS?

Donald Trump is an unguided missile ….

That we KNOW….

But most people do NOT acknowledge that Trump is also a performer made for todays social media market….

Donald Trump is also smart in his own way even though he sound dumb ….

He has been smart enough to say REALLY crazy assed shit to get media ATTENTION…..Attention IS attention folks….

The Media LOVES it!

A LOT of Americans follow their politics on TV…..

TV media features tight  and quick slices of VISUAL images…..

Trump has mastered that….

Hillary Clinton on the other hand is diametrically the opposite of Donald Trump…

Although she is actually younger that Trump?

She is light years out of the current social media and TV media way of doing things…

She does NOT perform before large crowds which the media tends to report as Large support for a candidate…

She put off campaigning as long as she could because she doesn’t really like it…

She has had trouble with her email , before she set up her current twitter, facebook and other media operations…

But most of ALL?

Hillary Clinton is a wonk….

That will be GREAT for her as President….

But THAT is NOT how you get elected to be President in America….

In America?

To get to the White House you HAVE TO SELL people stuff that will be hard to deliver….

It is no coincidence that Sanders and Trump have strong supporters…

BOTH men have been out there going around selling things that they will NEVER be able to come thru on…

It’s Bull Shit…

But American’s eat it up every four years….

This Dog is Happy that Bernie Sanders ran against Hillary Clinton in the primaries…

In doing so?

He has made her switch from policy to selling people things that she probably will find hard to deliver….

No matter….

Trump has been doing that for a quite a while and no matter WHO he hires to help him in his campaign ?…He will continue to be who he is…Fats and Loose on the truth….But LOUD about it….

It is this Dog’s hope that Hillary Clinton begins to shed more of her reluctance to get out there and be more visible ….

I know she has the several  decades of stuff dropped her to make her cautious about things….

But in the next 6 months it will NOT be enough to FOLLOW behind Donald Trump, counting on the pollsters to tell her she’s gonna win…

She MUST step up to the plate and find a way to lead….

Because in the end?

Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton WILL be about Leadership….

For most of 2016, Hillary Clinton’s advisers were divided into two camps about whom they wanted to run against. One faction of her Brooklyn-based operation touted Ted Cruz as the ultimate opponent — a conventional, and widely disliked, candidate who would have made the day-to-day of the general election a more predictable clash between Clinton’s center-left politics and an unusually right-wing nominee.

They also predicted that a battle against Cruz would be less ugly than one with Trump. But a second group have been hoping for Trump to emerge from the GOP confusion, spoiling for a fight against a candidate who might be unpredictable but has higher negatives than any politician in public life.

But one of the drawbacks of running against Trump, Clinton allies said, is how a woman who struggles to be spontaneous on the campaign trail will fare against a Republican nominee with zero impulse control.

Trump wins at rapid response because he doesn’t convene a conference call of advisers before offering his opinion about an opponent or events in the world: He does the responding off the cuff, by himself, the only candidate operating at the high speed of social media. He’s also extremely comfortable in the give and take of news conferences, which Clinton studiously avoids.

Compared to Trump’s free-floating approach, Clinton’s campaign is cautious by design, bogged down with multiple layers of approvals before issuing any statement or even tweet from the campaign. “Trump can go anywhere, the guy’s relentless and a brawler,” said Stone. “She’s so poll-tested. She’s calling him a ‘loose cannon.’ Did that test better than ‘right-wing extremist’? It’s so ridiculously canned, while Trump is a free spirit.”

Democratic allies and donors said they are worried about how Clinton, who wants to battle Trump aggressively, will keep up. They also fear complacency among Democrats who view Trump as someone who can’t build a winning coalition — especially because Clinton looks so dominant in national and battleground state polls and the Electoral College map appears daunting for Trump…..

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image..cnbc.com

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Another Day…More Trump Crazy Stuff…Hillary Clinton and the ‘Birther ‘ movement?

Seriously?

The guy just makes shit up EVERY Day!

Get that NewsCycle!

And the worst part?

Hillary Clinton is gonna have to figure out a way to get more AHEAD in the news cycle  in the next 6 months….

Because THIS IS the way Trump  works…..

Donald Trump on Wednesday accused Hillary Clinton of starting the so-called “birther” movement, which raised unfounded questions about President Obama’s birthplace and American citizenship.

“You know who started the birth movement? You know who started it? Do you know who questioned his birth certificate, one of the first? Hillary Clinton,” Trump told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Wednesday.

“She’s the one that started it. She brought it up years before it was brought up by me.”

The real estate mogul was responding to video footage of Clinton blasting Trump for questioning where the president was born and demanding that he release his birth certificate.

“The leading Republican contender is the man who led the insidious birther movement to discredit the president’s citizenship,” Clinton said during a campaign event Sunday.

Trump dismissed those claims, repeating an oft-cited – but debunked – suggestion that Clinton herself was the first to question Obama’s birthplace. Several independent fact-checkers investigated the claims and concluded that they were unfounded. FactCheck.org wrote last year that, “[w]hile it’s true that some of her ardent supporters pushed the theory, there is no evidence that Clinton or her campaign had anything to do with it.”

Pressed on where he stood with regards to the president’s birthplace today, Trump said that he’s not interested in discussing the issue further….

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Donald Trump decides to use other’s money to campaign for President…

Why am I NOT surprised with this?

The guy reportily spent only $36 M of his own money during the primaries , getting over a $100 M in free air time from the TV networks up to now….

But running for President in the general election will cost TONS MORE of money…

So add this turnaround to the list of things that Donald Trump is changing his mind on ….He’ll fundraise….

Image that?

A Billionaire asking other 9-5 workers to pony up THEIR money so he can save HIS?

Donald Trump is now the all-but-inevitable Republican nominee and he’s started his first day by announcing he will renege on one of the core tenants of his campaign. He announced this morning on “Good Morning America” that he would accept “small contributions,” and he is now telling the Wall Street Journal that he won’t be entirely self-funding his campaign.

“I’ll be putting up money, but won’t be completely self-funding, as I did during the primaries,” Trump told the WSJ.

A campaign official confirmed to ABC News, as first reported by the WSJ, that Trump will tap into his vast personal Rolodex to shore up his campaign so that it will be able to compete in a general election.

The official went on to say that the campaign will likely operate on a business model that is less expensive than traditional campaigns. Trump also announced on NBC that he hopes to raise $1 billion, working in conjunction with the Republican National Committee.

This reversal is, as Trump would say, “yuuugee.” Trump proudly boasts at almost every campaign event that he is “self funded”. But this morning he told George Stephanopoulos on “GMA” that he would take small contributions.

“We will probably take small contributions,” he said. “I don’t want to have anybody have any influence over me, that I can tell you.”

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Colorado’s Highest Court says fracking is a State issue…Not City…

The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that local governments cannot overrule state passed laws on fracking…

The Fort Collins and Longmont cases represent an ongoing debate in Colorado and beyond about whether the ultimate right to regulate the oil and gas industry should belong to states or municipalities. The city of Fort Collins spent about $191,000 on outside counsel defending the citizen-initiated moratorium in court. COGA spent about $1 million fighting the Fort Collins and Longmont laws, along with a fracking ban in Lafayette and moratorium in Broomfield.

There are currently no active wells or permit-pending wells in Fort Collins. One oilfield extends into the northern edge of Fort Collins, but it’s been at least three and a half years since a well was fracked there.

What’s next?

Fort Collins and Longmont can’t appeal the decisions to the U.S. Supreme Court because they aren’t a matter of federal law. The city of Fort Collins hasn’t yet announced its next steps, if any.

In a statement, Fort Collins city attorney Carrie Daggett said it’s “premature” to comment until the city has carefully reviewed the high court’s decision.

“These issues are complex, and we’ll thoroughly examine the decisions relative to Fort Collins and Longmont,” she said.

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Drug makers KEEP raising their prices….

And they do NOT seem to care about anything else except squeezing as much profit as they can……

From the campaign trail to the halls of Congress, drug makers have spent much of the last year enduring withering criticism over the rising cost of drugs.

It doesn’t seem to be working.

In April alone, Johnson & Johnson raised its prices on several top-selling products, including the leukemia drug Imbruvica, the diabetes treatment Invokana, and Xarelto, an anti-clotting drug, according to a research note published last week by an analyst for Leerink, an investment bank. Other major companies that have raised prices this year include Amgen, Gilead and Celgene, the analyst reported.

Makers have raised prices on brand-name drugs by double-digit percentages since the start of the year, according to interviews with executives at Express Scripts and CVS Caremark, two major drug-benefit managers. And a report last week by the research firm IMS Health found that in 2015, list prices for drugs increased more than 12 percent, in line with the trend over the five previous years.

“It used to be the drug companies only took one price increase a year,” said Dr. Steve Miller, chief medical officer at Express Scripts. “Now what they’re doing is taking multiple price increases multiple times a year.”….

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Flip Phones are on the rise in America…

He, he, he…..

Maybe THIS is the reason Apple iPhones are on the decline?

Here’s something the high-tech world doesn’t readily admit: It’s OK not to use a smartphone.

Americans are actually buying more flip phones, candybar phones and other 2000s throwbacks. Last year 24.2 million so-called feature phones shipped in the U.S., nearly 2 million more than the year before, according to research firm IDC…

The flip phone’s greatest appeal: It costs less. The most popular smartphones have a starting price of $650, plus service charges upward of $80 a month. You can get a flip phone for as little as $7.50. That’s the Best Buy price of ZTE’s Z222, which works with AT&T’s GoPhone prepaid service costing as little as $30 a month. I’ve paid more for movie tickets, Junior Mints and a pink lemonade Icee.

If you’re seeking a phone to just cover basics, there’s probably an LG in your future. The brand dominates the budget lineup at the biggest carriers. If I had to buy a dumbphone, I’d pick Verizon’s $50 LG Revere 3 because of its simple buttons and menus. AT&T sells the $50 LG B470, and its sister carrier, Cricket, sells the $30 LG True—similar phones with a “senior mode” to make audio clearer….

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image…networkworld.com

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Donald Trump is gonna resurrect the 1960’s Protest Movements…

Wait and see….

It’s started already…..

It’s destined to get BIGGER…

Chaos erupted outside Donald Trump’s rally on Thursday night in Costa Mesa, California, with about 20 people arrested as protesters swarmed the streets outside an Orange County amphitheater near the Republican candidate’s gathering that drew more than 30,000.

Protesters smashed the window of at least one police car, according to media reports on the scene, where people waved American and Mexican flags.

“This is the anger people have against Trump,” a 21-year-old man identified as Jose Cruz in reference to the protests, told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s not because he’s white — it’s because of what he’s said.”

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