Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D), the presumptive Democratic Party nominee for President of the United States, has selected Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) to be her vice presidential running mate.

Kaine entered elective politics in 1994 when he was voted onto the city council of Richmond, Virginia. He served as mayor of Richmond from 1998 to 2001, and was then narrowly elected Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. He served in that role until he was elected Governor of Virginia by a comfortable margin in 2005. Kaine went on to become the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 2009, while he was still governor, and remained in that role until 2011. He was elected to the United States Senate in 2012, where he is serving his first term.

Generally considered to be a moderate Democrat, Kaine has occasionally broken ranks with his party. For example, Kaine called for broader religious exemptions to the ‘ObamaCare’ contraceptive and abortion mandates. As governor he was less hostile to the Second Amendment right to bear arms than many of his Democratic Party brethren, but has shifted more in-line with the party since his election to the Senate.

Clinton and Kaine are expected to be formally nominated by the Democratic Party at the Democratic National Convention, which will be held next week (July 25-28) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Donald Trump (Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 3.0])
Donald Trump (Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 3.0])

The delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, have officially nominated real estate mogul Donald Trump (R) as the Republican Party candidate for President of the United States. He will stand in the November general election against presumptive Democratic nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D).

Trump has been the presumptive Republican nominee since securing a majority of pledged party convention delegates in May, following an unusually contentious primary season that saw record Republican turnout. Today’s convention vote makes that nomination official. Trump is joined on the Republican ticket by his vice presidential running mate, Governor Mike Pence (R-IN).

Trump is the chairman and president of The Trump Organization, a ninety-three year old conglomerate with interests in—among other things—real estate, investing, and property management. It is composed of more than five hundred subsidiaries, the majority of which are named for Trump. The Trump Organization is based in New York City and employs about 22,000 people. It is owned entirely by the Trump family. Forbes Magazine estimates that Trump’s net worth is about $4.5 billion. The Trump Organization also owns a television production company that produces The Apprentice for the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), which starred Trump from 2004 to 2015.

The meteoric rise of Trump—a brash, center-left outsider who has never held elective office and has virtually no connection the Republican Party machine—has baffled political observers in the United States and abroad. His campaign has successfully tapped into widespread popular frustration both within and outside of the Republican Party, particularly revolving around illegal immigration and the economy.

The Republican Party is the second of the three ‘fifty-state’ parties to officially select its presidential and vice presidential nominees. The Libertarian Party selected its nominees at the Libertarian Nominating Convention in Orlando, Florida, on May 30. The Democratic Party will select its nominees at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 25. The Green Party, which is the largest of the ‘non-fifty-state’ parties, expects to be on the ballot in at least twenty states and will select its nominees at the Green Party Presidential Nominating Convention in Houston, Texas, on August 6.

According to media reports, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (R) has selected Governor Mike Pence (R-IN) to be his vice presidential running mate.

Pence was elected governor of Indiana in 2012 and is serving his first term. He previously served six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Indiana’s second (2001-2003) and sixth (2003-2013) congressional districts. He is generally considered to be a staunch conservative and has been associated with the ‘Tea Party’ movement within the Republican Party.

Although CBS News, Roll Call, and the New York Times have all indicated that Pence is the VP pick, the Trump campaign itself has not confirmed those reports and seemingly intends to move forward with a previously scheduled vice presidential announcement tomorrow morning. The Indianapolis Star also confirmed that Pence has dropped his reelection bid in Indiana and will join the Trump presidential campaign.

Trump and Pence are expected to be formally nominated by the Republican Party at the Republican National Convention, which will be held next week (July 18-21) in Cleveland, Ohio.

I’m proud to announce the launch of a new major revision to Off on a Tangent, bringing the site to version 25.0.

This new version is much leaner and meaner and is built on modern web technologies. The size of each page-load is reduced, as are the number of graphics and other ‘overhead’ items. It includes a modernized custom WordPress theme based on Underscores and also utilizes the jQuery and Bootstrap frameworks. I’ve phased-out the jQuery UI framework I was using previously. Additionally, Off on a Tangent now fully supports high-DPI screens like Apple’s Retina and Microsoft’s PixelSense displays.

If you see any issues please contact me. Read on for a detailed list of what’s changed, what’s new, and what’s improved! . . . Continued

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director James Comey (R) today announced that his agency will not recommend any charges against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) following an investigation of her email practices.

The FBI determined that Hillary Clinton and her aides were “extremely careless” in their handling of classified emails, and that it is possible that “hostile actors” gained access to a private server that contained at least 110 classified messages. Comey acknowledged that there is evidence that crimes may have been committed, saying, “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”

During her time as secretary of state, Clinton and her aides conducted government business on a private email server, a direct violation of numerous laws and regulations regarding record-keeping and transparency and the handling of classified material. Other federal officials who were similarly careless, intentionally or not, have not fared as well as Clinton. Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden is currently under indictment (and exiled in Russia) for copying classified material to his private equipment, even though he did so in order to publicize the NSA’s unconstitutional surveillance programs. And General David Petraeus was famously prosecuted in 2015 for sharing some classified material with his mistress.

Although no charges will be filed, Clinton’s actions raise serious questions about her judgement and her willingness to comply with regulations that govern official government communication.