Thursday, November 17, 2016

U.S. says war crimes probe of U.S. forces in Afghanistan unwarranted

An International Criminal Court investigation of possible war crimes by U.S. forces in Afghanistan is not "warranted or appropriate," the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday after prosecutors in The Hague found initial grounds for such a probe.

State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said the United States was not a party to the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court in The Hague and had not consented to ICC jurisdiction. She also said Washington had a robust justice system able to deal with such complaints.

"The United States is deeply committed to complying with the law of war," Trudeau told reporters at a news briefing. "We do not believe that an ICC examination or investigation with respect to actions of U.S. personnel in relation to the situation in Afghanistan is warranted or appropriate."

Her comments came a day after prosecutors at the International Criminal Court said in a report that there was a "reasonable basis to believe" that U.S. forces had tortured at least 61 prisoners in Afghanistan and another 27 at CIA detention facilities elsewhere in 2003 and 2004.

The ICC was established in 1998 to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity. Trudeau noted the United States has "engaged with the ICC and we've supported ICC investigations and prosecution of cases that we believe advance our values in accordance with U.S. law."

But she said the U.S. military was held to "the highest possible standards" and the United States had systems of accountability capable of dealing with war crimes allegations.

"We do an extraordinary job of investigating ... credible allegations, holding ourselves accountable, holding our personnel accountable and closing investigations in a manner that serves justice," she said. - Reuters

U.S. says war crimes probe of U.S. forces in Afghanistan unwarranted

German cabinet backs continued military mission in Afghanistan

Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet on Wednesday approved the continuation of Germany's deployment of up to 980 soldiers to Afghanistan through the end of 2017, a government spokesman said.

The decision, which must still be approved by parliament, came less than a week after armed Taliban militants stormed the German consulate in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif and killed at least four Afghans and wounded more than 100 people.

With up to 980 soldiers, the German army will in future advise, support and train Afghan security services," said the government in a statement.

Germany, which heads the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in northern Afghanistan, has its soldiers stationed on the outskirts of Mazar-i-Sharif, and another 150 soldiers in Kabul.

The NATO mission includes a total of 13,000 foreign troops from Germany, Italy, the United States and others. The NATO forces are focused on training the Afghan army and police, not combat operations.

Germany is also slated to provide up to 1.7 billion euros in civilian aid to Afghanistan through 2020. -  Reuters

German cabinet backs continued military mission in Afghanistan

Islamic State claims responsibility for Kabul suicide bomb attack

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Afghanistan Fires 7 From Cabinet in Intensifying Political Crisis - nytimes

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan’s Parliament has dismissed seven government ministers over the past four days, adding to the woes of a fragile coalition that for months had bickered over filling the cabinet positions in the first place.

The suddenly vacated cabinet positions, adding to two ministries already vacant because of resignations, will further bog down the work of a government that has struggled to get its house in order while also facing emboldened Taliban offensives and decreasing support across the country.

The Afghan Parliament began hearings last week over what lawmakers said was the ministers’ inability to spend the national development budget. The dismissal of one minister on Tuesday brought the total to seven ministers dismissed out of 12 who had been called for hearings, including the ministers of foreign affairs, public works, information technology, labor and social work, education, higher education and transportation.

Publicly, President Ashraf Ghani has challenged the legality of the hearings and asked the dismissed ministers to continue with their jobs until the country’s Supreme Court makes a final ruling. He also told ministers not to show up for the hearings, more of which are scheduled in the coming days.

Parliament, which itself has been in a legal limbo since its term officially expired more than a year ago with no date set for elections, has refused the government’s pleas to stop the hearings. And Hajji Zahir Qadir, the deputy speaker of the Parliament, said on Tuesday that despite President Ghani’s claims, the ministers’ dismissal could not be reversed by the Supreme Court.

“If the government is just fooling itself, that’s a separate issue,” Mr. Qadir said.

But that is far from the only issue. Some analysts believe that a byzantine political intrigue may be underway: that the cabinet purge might have some degree of support from Mr. Ghani, despite his public protestations.

Supporting that argument is that some of the dismissed ministers were already under scrutiny by Mr. Ghani on accusations of incompetence or corruption, but had such powerful political patrons that few observers thought the president was politically strong enough to fire them. - Read More

Afghanistan Fires 7 From Cabinet in Intensifying Political Crisis

How Will Trump Handle America's Multiple Wars? - Greg Myre

When Donald Trump enters the Oval Office, his presidency will begin with a national security challenge that has no precedent — four separate wars where the U.S. military is bombing Islamist extremists.

Presidential transitions in wartime aren't new, and some earlier conflicts were on a much larger scale. President Obama confronted two major wars on his first day in 2009. President Nixon came into office as the Vietnam War raged. President Truman assumed office when Franklin D. Roosevelt died in the final months of World War II.

But Trump, who has no military or foreign policy experience, will be juggling four distinct conflicts on Day 1 — Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Libya.

The president-elect has made a sweeping pledge to destroy the Islamic State, the main U.S. focus in three of these countries, and a presence in the fourth (Afghanistan). Yet Trump has not offered specifics and his limited statements have been riddled with contradictions.

"We have some great generals. We have great generals," Trump said in his first big post-election interview, with CBS' 60 Minutes, which aired Sunday night.

Trump argues it would be folly to unveil his battlefield plans because he wants to keep ISIS and other enemies off-balance. But his vague positions have created legions of skeptics in the military and foreign policy establishment. And given the multiple brush fires awaiting him, Trump will likely be tested early on.

Afghanistan: The longest war in U.S. history, at 15 years and counting, could also claim to be the most forgotten. The war was a nonfactor in the campaign, and Trump has not signaled that he wants to step up the U.S. investment there.

However, the Taliban remain a formidable force, and Obama repeatedly put his own withdrawal timetable on hold rather than risk losing hard-won gains.

Afghanistan offers no appealing choices. There's no prospect of military success in the short term, and a Trump decision to pull back or to stay on both carry risks. This point was driven home on Saturday when a Taliban suicide bomber penetrated the highly fortified Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul, killing four Americans and wounding 16. - Read More, NPR

How Will Trump Handle America's Multiple Wars?

Hillary Clinton Speaks Of Disappointment, Persistence In First Post-Election Address

Wednesday night, Hillary Clinton spoke publicly for the first time since her concession speech a week ago. At a Children's Defense Fund event in Washington, she spoke about the importance of fighting for America's kids, but she also wove in another message, telling her supporters to persist, even after the devastating loss of the presidential race.

"I know many of you are deeply disappointed about the results of the election," she said. "I am, too, more than I can ever express."

Though her speech centered on fighting child poverty, she was straightforward in addressing her bruising defeat. - Read More

Hillary Clinton Speaks Of Disappointment, Persistence In First Post-Election Address

Afghanistan: UN launches nine-month operation to assist returnees with emergency food and cash

15 November 2016 – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has launched a nine-month operation to assist Afghanistan in dealing with the growing numbers of returnees from Pakistan, as well as and internally displaced people, by providing emergency food and funds.

Thousands of refugees are now crossing the border every day at the main entry point of Torkham, in eastern Afghanistan, some with identity papers and some without. According to WFP, more than one million people are expected to be on the mover across the country by the end of the year.

In cooperation with Afghanistan’s Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation, WFP intends to set up a digital registration platform at the border to capture the returnees’ biometric data usingSCOPE, the agency’s beneficiary management application.

“We need sufficient and timely funds in the coming weeks and months to ensure that we can help returnees as rapidly and efficiently as possible,” stated Mick Lorentzen, WFP’s Country Director in Afghanistan, ensuring that a quick and focused response to the crisis will prevent more people from falling into chronic food insecurity.

WFP and other United Nations agencies are working closely with the Afghan government to increase the capacity of humanitarian response and meet immediate shelter, sanitation and food needs, which also required an urgent appeal for $152 million.

The agency is providing food and cash assistance for 163,000 undocumented returnees, 200,000 documented returnees, 150,000 internally displaced people, and 35,000 refugees in Khost and Paktika. WFP has also increased its assistance in eastern Afghanistan, and is now providing support to prevent malnutrition to more than 23,000 toddlers from returnee families. The goal is to support 550,000 people through emergency operation.

WFP has received very generous and timely contributions from Australia, Belgium, Italy and Norway. Operational costs are estimated to be $66.8 million, only 12 per cent of which has thus far been met. - Read More
Afghanistan: UN launches nine-month operation to assist returnees with emergency food and cash

BBC - مصاحبه با رضا پهلوی در مورد نامه اخیر او به ترامپ

شاهزاده رضا پهلوی، ولیعهد پیشین ایران چند روز بعد از پیروزی دونالد ترامپ درانتخابات آمریکا، در نامه‌ای او را به همکاری با "نیروهای دموکرات سکولار" در ایران دعوت کرده است .آقای پهلوی ریشه رادیکالیسم اسلامی در منطقه را "خمینیسم" خوانده و گفته گرچه برای دور شدن خطر جنگ از توافق هسته‌ای با ایران حمایت کرده است، اما نگران است که با آزاد شدن پولهای ایران، این پول صرف سرکوب داخلی و تروریسم و جنگ نیابتی در منطقه شود. آقای پهلوی در این نامه می گوید: "چاره نه جنگ است و نه حفظ وضعیت موجود. بهترین سیاست برای شکست اسلام سیاسی حمایت از اراده دموکراتیک مردم ایران است و یک بار برای همیشه آغاز گفتگویی واقعی با نیروهای سکولار و دموکرات." مصاحبه اختصاصی ما با شاهزاده رضا پهلوی را ببینید. - Read More

مصاحبه با رضا پهلوی در مورد نامه اخیر او به ترامپ

Monday, November 14, 2016

Donald Trump Is Picking His Cabinet. Here's a Shortlist. - NYtimes

Donald J. Trump’s transition team, which was handed over to Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Friday and includes a host of corporate consultants and lobbyists in addition to independent experts, is moving quickly to assemble leaders of the new administration. Here are some possibilities for the cabinet and other key posts, compiled by reporters for The Times, using information from the Trump transition team, lawmakers, lobbyists and Washington experts. - More
Donald Trump Is Picking His Cabinet. Here's a Shortlist. - More

Trump’s Supreme Court List: Ivy League? Out. The Heartland? In.

Donald Trump’s Long To-Do List for Day 

EDITORIAL: Donald Trump Is Now Hiring, nytimes

Staffing his administration is the first test of Donald Trump’s sales pitch to Americans: that his career running companies will make him a better president than any politician. Whom he hires and how he goes about it will be an early sign of his skill at managing the most consequential “company” in the world, and its millions of employees.

Mr. Trump, who until now had no experience in the federal government, is under immense pressure to find 4,100 qualified people to lead it. In an ideal scenario, his White House staff should be in place, and the 100 highest-ranking government agency officials — the cabinet, plus a range of defense, homeland security, disaster and pandemic response officials — should be ready to start work the moment Mr. Trump puts his hand on the Bible, to guard the nation from vulnerability during the transfer of power. That means their vetting and security clearances should be done and the nominees lined up for Senate confirmation. An additional 300 Senate-confirmed jobs should be filled by the start of the August congressional recess.

The center’s suggested hiring timelines even appears verbatim on Mr. Trump’s transition website,

A successful transition needs professionals able to challenge the boss if necessary, and separate qualified from unqualified job-seekers. As Clay Johnson III, George W. Bush’s director of presidential personnel, put it at the time, “The president appoints, and I disappoint.”

Such a manager could guide Mr. Trump on his rumored cabinet choices, helping him decide, for example, on a secretary of state from candidates like Mr. Gingrich, the ethically challenged former House speaker, and Zalmay Khalilzad, George W. Bush’s former United Nations ambassador and a Muslim. - Read More

Donald Trump Is Now Hiring

Donald Trump's Long To-Do List for Day 1 - NYtimes

Hague prosecutors say U.S. forces may have committed war crimes - By Thomas Escritt

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court in The Hague said on Monday there were preliminary grounds to believe U.S. forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan and at secret detention facilities elsewhere in 2003 and 2004.

In a report, prosecutors said there was a "reasonable basis to believe" that U.S. forces had tortured prisoners in Afghanistan and at Central Intelligence Agency detention facilities elsewhere in 2003 and 2004.

"Members of US armed forces appear to have subjected at least 61 detained persons to torture," the prosecutors' office, wrote. It added that CIA officials appeared to have tortured another 27 detainees.

The prosecutors' office, headed by Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, said it would decide imminently whether to pursue a full investigation.

The results of a full investigation could potentially lead to charges being brought against individuals and the issuing of an arrest warrant. The ICC is a court of last resort, however, meaning it could only bring charges if domestic authorities were not dealing adequately with allegations.

Monday's finding marks a significant step forward in the court's decade-old examination of conflicts in Afghanistan and could draw a sharp response from a U.S. administration that is set to become less internationalist under President-elect Donald Trump.

"These alleged crimes were not the abuses of a few isolated individuals," the report said. "They appear to have been committed as part of approved interrogation techniques in an attempt to extract 'actionable intelligence.'"

The United States occupied and patrolled large parts of Afghanistan during their hunt for the Taliban and al Qaeda forces behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Further crimes may have been committed at CIA facilities in Poland, Lithuania and Romania, prosecutors added, because individuals captured in Afghanistan were allegedly transferred to those sites.

The report, covering all the many preliminary examinations being carried out by the court, found grounds to suspect all belligerents, including the Taliban and the Afghan government, had committed war crimes. - Read More

Hague prosecutors say U.S. forces may have committed war crimes

Meeting the press for first time since Trump’s win, Obama says president-elect is committed to NATO

President Obama held his first news conference since voters sharply rejected his candidate and his party at the polls last week, reassuring people at home and abroad that Donald Trump was committed to governing in a more pragmatic fashion than his harsh campaign style would suggest.

“He’s going to be the next president and regardless of what experience or assumptions he brought to the office,” said Obama, who met with Trump for the first time last week. “This office has a way of waking you up.”

Obama faced reporters crammed into the James S. Brady Briefing Room on Monday before leaving Washington for a week-long foreign trip to Greece, Germany and Peru, where he will meet with more than a dozen foreign leaders with their own set of worries about where the United States is headed under its next president.

At moments the president offered advice to his successor that sometimes sounded like a warning. He urged Trump to respect “those norms that are vital to a functioning democracy,” such as “civility and tolerance and a commitment to reason and facts and analysis.” 

After last week’s shocking election results, Obama struck a more sanguine note. “I think he’s sincere in wanting to be a successful president and moving this country forward,” Obama said. “I don’t think any president ever comes in saying to himself, ‘I want to figure out how to make people angry or alienate half the country.’ ”

The president sought to reassure U.S. allies, noting that in his conversation with Trump last week, the New York businessman “expressed a great interest in maintaining our core strategic relationships,” including the one with NATO. As he visits with world leaders, Obama vowed to let them know “that there is no weakening of resolve” when it comes to America meeting its commitments and defending its allies.

Throughout the hour-long news conference, Obama sought to calm and reassure a jittery and divided country, choosing his words carefully and emphasizing unity over division. 

“I don’t think he is ideological. I think, ultimately, he is pragmatic,” Obama said. “And that can serve him well as long as he has got good people around him and he has a clear sense of direction.” - Read More, Washingtonpost

President Obama’s first press conference of the Trump era, annotated


Gwen Ifill, a journalist to her core, who served as the PBS NewsHour’s co-anchor and managing editor and, in her own words, sought to always “tell the stories that shed light and spur action,” has died from complications of cancer. She was 61.
Gwen covered eight presidential campaigns, moderated two vice-presidential debates and served for 17 years on the NewsHour and as moderator and managing editor of “Washington Week.” In her early career, she covered politics and city hall for some of the country’s most prominent newspapers, including the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Baltimore Evening Sun, carving a path as one of the most accomplished journalists in U.S. media. She won countless awards, including the George Foster Peabody Award and the National Press Club’s Fourth Estate Award, and was the best-selling author of “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.”

Gwen attended Simmons College in Boston, and it was there that she took her first steps toward a career in journalism. Gwen interned at the Boston Herald-American as an undergraduate in the late 1970s, where, despite facing racist threats in the newsroom, went on to work for the newspaper after graduation. - Read More

Remembering Gwen

Sunday, November 13, 2016

President-elect Trump speaks to a divided country on 60 Minutes

What can we expect from a Trump presidency? 60 Minutes' Lesley Stahl finds some of his campaign issues were not meant to be taken literally, but as opening bids for negotiation

The following script is from “The 45th President,” which aired on Nov. 13, 2016. Lesley Stahl is the correspondent. Rich Bonin and Ruth Streeter, producers.  - Read More
President-elect Trump speaks to a divided country on 60 Minutes - More

Trump hedges on some campaign promises in first full post-election interview with "60 Minutes"

Afghan parliament dismisses more ministers despite pleas

Afghanistan's parliament dismissed two more cabinet ministers on Sunday, ignoring pleas from the president and chief executive to halt votes that threaten an already fragile Western-backed government.

The power-sharing unity government was brokered by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry following the disputed 2014 presidential elections, but has since been weakened by infighting between rivals.

Parliament removed the transportation and education ministers on Sunday, citing poor performance and bringing the total number of ministers dismissed to five over two days.

"President Ghani and Dr. Abdullah told MPs that their decision will deal a huge political blow to the government at this critical time and urged them to stop the process," Mirdad Najrabi, chairman of parliament's security commission, told Reuters.

Parliament on Saturday dismissed three ministers including, Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani. - Read More

Afghan parliament dismisses more ministers despite pleas

Friday, November 11, 2016

Uncertain Afghanistan looks to Trump for decisions on troops, aid

With so much riding on American support, Afghanistan is waiting anxiously to see if President-elect Donald Trump matches his maverick image and reverses policy or keeps to a path that has cost billions and committed thousands of troops to propping up a fragile ally.

Much to the private annoyance of officials in Kabul, America's longest war barely featured in the election campaign, but few were expecting the billionaire property developer to beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"It's been a complete surprise," said one senior Afghan official closely involved in national security issues. "I think everyone was expecting the opposite result.

"It (Afghanistan) wasn't a priority in the campaign, that's obvious. No one talked about Afghanistan at all. At least with Mrs. Clinton, though, you knew more or less what you were getting."

Afghanistan will nonetheless present the incoming Trump administration with one of its most intractable foreign policy challenges.

The United States has spent some $115 billion in aid for Afghanistan, but 15 years after the hardline Islamist Taliban were toppled after the Sept. 11 attacks, a third of the country is out of government control and security forces are struggling. -  Read More
Uncertain Afghanistan looks to Trump for decisions on troops, aid

For Trump, Pakistan And Afghanistan Pose Challenges Without Easy Solutions

Trump packs transition team with loyalists and family

Why did Trump win? Because Democrats stayed home - latimes

When all the ballots are counted — some 4.3 million remained in California as of Thursday night, according to the state’s secretary of state — Hillary Clinton will have won the popular vote by well over a million votes, en route to losing the electoral college and the White House.

The result put a spotlight on the country’s deep, almost 50/50 division.Democrats, many still in shock over a result that most people in either party did not expect, have been agonizing over how this happened.

They don’t need to look far from home for a big part of the answer.

In the immediate aftermath of Donald Trump’s victory Tuesday night, a lot of attention, justifiably, centered on his ability to boost turnout in conservative, rural counties, especially in the upper Midwest.

The data analysis that Trump’s campaign did, an effort that was more extensive and sophisticated than many Democrats believed, showed the same thing. In the closing days of the campaign, the Republicans targeted the areas they needed most.

But there was no Trump surge overall. While he made big gains in those Midwestern counties and in other heavily white areas such as eastern Ohio, northeastern Pennsylvania and parts of central Florida, he lost ground elsewhere.

Clinton actually succeeded in one of her campaign’s key goals — eating into traditional Republican territory in big suburban counties.
Clinton also won Orange County, which since 1936 had never voted for a Democrat — the longest streak of one-party victories in California.-  Read More

Pence takes lead as Trump reshapes transition team - thehill

President-Elect Donald Trump is reshaping his transition team, elevating Vice President-elect Mike Pence to lead the efforts while adding a host of loyalists to the operation. 

The new roster makes clear that the Trump transition will look a lot like the Trump campaign. Many top surrogates will serve as transition co-chairs, including Ben Carson, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich, Ret. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Rudy Giuliani and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). Most of those names have already been floated as potential top officials in the new Trump administration.

And other top supporters, including Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, GOP megadonor Rebekah Mercer and Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon, will join the efforts officially. 

A source familiar with the internal deliberations confirmed to The Hill that Bannon is being seriously considered as chief-of-staff. Reports also point to Priebus as another top frontrunner for the post as Trump's right-hand man. 

“Together this outstanding group of advisors, led by Vice President-elect Mike Pence, will build on the initial work done under the leadership of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to help prepare a transformative government ready to lead from day one,” Trump said in a statement put out by the transition. 

“The mission of our team will be clear: put together the most highly qualified group of successful leaders who will be able to implement our change agenda in Washington. Together, we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding this nation — specifically jobs, security and opportunity. This team is going to get to work immediately to Make America Great Again.”

The rest of the transition team includes a who's who of Trump's largest supporters. Pennsylvania Rep. Lou Barletta, Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, New York Rep. Chris Collins, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Marino, campaign finance chairman, Steven Mnuchin, California Rep. Devin Nunes, campaign finance committee member Anthony Scaramucci and tech investor Peter Thiel are all on the team.

Trump's three oldest children — Donald, Eric and Ivanka — round out the list.  - Read More
Pence takes lead as Trump reshapes transition team

Trump business to be turned over to eldest kids 

Shattered dreams in Clintonworld - thehilll

Hillary Clinton's shocking loss in the presidential race rattled the political world and shattered the dreams of thousands of longtime Clinton aides and supporters who hoped to follow her to the White House. 

Perhaps more than any politician in American history, legions of politicos—from her husband’s administration to her second presidential campaign— had hitched on to the Clinton train.

This week, the Clintonworld train went off the rails — this time, seemingly for good. 

In interviews with more than a dozen former Clinton aides, they expressed a grief and pain akin to losing a member of the family.

“I think she'll continue on as a public figure but there was a finality to her concession speech that had me thinking back and realizing that most of my last 10 years had been somewhere in her orbit,” said one former aide. “I spent so long thinking about ‘What if?’ and ‘What happens if she becomes president?’ and I think there's a little part of you that dies when you realize it's not going to happen.” 

When Clinton lost the Democratic primary in 2008, those in her world mourned the loss for weeks and months and long after President Obama was sworn in. But because Clinton had a Phoenix-like narrative, they expected her to once again rise from the ashes. 

During her tenure as Secretary of State, they looked ahead to 2016. A superPAC called Ready for Hillary— comprised of Clinton diehards— even sprouted up in 2013 to help lure her into running for president again. 

And there was always the lingering thought that she would once again be “in it to win” even as she wouldn’t commit. 

This time, the loss blindsided Clintonites. Even through a bumpy primary against a relatively unknown challenger in Sen. Bernie Sanders and then an ugly and raucous general election against Donald Trump, they thought they had this. They filed into the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center with its enveloping glass structure on Tuesday night thinking they would finally break it.  - Read More

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Hillary Clinton poised to win popular vote despite losing presidential race, the Guardian

:  If current projections hold, Hillary Clinton will soon become the second presidential nominee to win the popular vote yet lose the electoral college – and thus the White House – in the past five US presidential elections.

Clinton, who gave a speech on Wednesday conceding to her victorious Republican opponent Donald Trump, is poised to lose the electoral college tally by a decisive 74 votes (nearly 14% of the total available) while carrying a slim majority of the overall votes cast. As of Wednesday afternoon Clinton led by more than 200,000 votes, with 47.7% to Trump’s 47.5%. It would be the fifth time in the nation’s history that such a split has occurred and may be a boon to advocates of reform of the two-century-old system.

“We’re hoping that this will bring further attention when we start lobbying state legislatures next term,” said John Koza, a professor and author who originated legislation to replace the system that is now on the books in 11 states and could eventually bring down the electoral college.

The electoral college is a constitutional relic of a fundamentally different nation, one with 13 states and a potential electorate of 2.5 million citizens, slashed dramatically by restrictions that limited the franchise to white, land-owning Protestant men. A variety of arguments have been raised for its value, but typically it is understood by political science and history scholars as a constitutional firewall from certain kinds of potentially “undemocratic” election outcomes. - Read More
Hillary Clinton poised to win popular vote despite losing presidential race - Guardian

Hillary Clinton lost but is winning the popular vote - CNN