Archive

August 30th, 2016

Clinton is making her trust problem worse

    Hillary Clinton enjoys about a five-point polling lead over Donald Trump. One way to look at this is that it's a margin, at this stage of a presidential race, that is rarely reversed.

    Here's another way. The Democrats had a successful convention; the Republicans didn't. Clinton's campaign has been smooth; Trump's has careened between disasters. She has reached out to independents and Republicans; he has insulted the family of a soldier killed in Iraq, along with people with disabilities, Latinos and women. Clinton has outspent him 3 to 1.

    And she's ahead by only five percentage points.

    Most political experts are confident she'll win -- the political website FiveThirtyEight's election forecast, for example, pegs the probability at 77 percent or 85 percent, depending which measures are included. But the comparative closeness of the race underscores her problems.

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Are Hillary's emails Donald's lifeline?

    A judge's order that nearly 15,000 previously undisclosed emails from Hillary Clinton's private server may possibly be released has given Donald Trump's campaign a much-needed diversion to turn the public spotlight back onto her one glaring political vulnerability -- her trustworthiness.

    The order was obtained by Judicial Watch, the conservative legal hound dog sniffing around her involvement with the Clinton Foundation while she was secretary of state during Obama's first term. The order requires the State Department to review the emails and provide the court an accelerated timetable for possible public release by Sept. 23, meaning previously unseen emails could become public before the Nov. 8 presidential election.

    Trump has made clear he hopes they will add fuel to his claim that Clinton used State Department influence to reward major foundation donors in support of his label for her, "crooked Hillary."

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Anne Frank Today Is a Syrian Girl

    On April 30, 1941, a Jewish man here in Amsterdam wrote a desperate letter to an American friend, pleading for help emigrating to the United States.

    “U.S.A. is the only country we could go to,” he wrote. “It is for the sake of the children mainly.”

    A volunteer found that plea for help in 2005 when she was sorting old World War II refugee files in New York City. It looked like countless other files, until she saw the children’s names.

    “Oh my God,” she said, “this is the Anne Frank file.”

    Along with the letter were many others by Otto Frank, frantically seeking help to flee Nazi persecution and obtain a visa to America, Britain or Cuba — but getting nowhere because of global indifference to Jewish refugees.

    We all know that the Frank children were murdered by the Nazis, but what is less known is the way Anne’s fate was sealed by a callous fear of refugees, among the world’s most desperate people.

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Trump's 360-degree 'pivot'

    Donald Trump's "pivot," desperately hoped for by sane Republicans, was over before it began. He couldn't pretend to be inclusive and statesmanlike for two days in a row if his life depended on it.

    Anyone who doubts this should only consider Trump's idea of an appeal to African-American voters: "What do you have to lose by trying something new like Trump? What do you have to lose? You're living in poverty. Your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?"

    That's right, black Americans. The Republican candidate for president says you live Hobbesian lives of misery and despair, with no options, no prospects, no joy, no hope. Oh, and he wants your vote.

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Trump never really had an immigration policy

    Donald Trump made a seemingly momentous announcement on Monday, jettisoning a presidential campaign's worth of assertions that he would deport millions of undocumented immigrants and close what he has repeatedly called an "open" border.

    Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly, who interviewed Trump, was obviously stunned. After telling Trump that the news media is "running wild with this," he asked Trump point blank: "Are you really rethinking your mass deportation strategy?"

    Trump's response ought to be devastating to a candidate who made deportation and a border wall the centerpiece of his candidacy. "I just want to follow the law," he said. "What I'm doing is following the law."

    The law, of course, has no funding for mass deportation. And the Obama administration's interpretation of that law enables millions of undocumented immigrants to stay in the U.S. while authorities focus enforcement resources on apprehending and deporting criminal aliens.

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The South lost the war but keeps winning the battle over Confederate memorials

    The Johnny Reb statue in Alexandria, known as Appomattox, should remain at the intersection of Prince and Washington streets, a racially divided citizens' advisory group recommended to the city council last week. But to appease those who are offended by the statue, the city should make "additional efforts to add context to its story."

    The seven-member Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Confederate Memorials and Street Names included two African Americans. Neither supported the group's findings.

    One of them, Eugene Thompson, founding director of the Alexandria Black History Museum and a member of the Alexandria Society for the Preservation of Black Heritage, explained his stance in an email: "I am not looking for any context to be added to the statue. I think it should be moved, but it cannot be moved without permission of the state. If the city is not going to ask the state for permission to one day move the statue, then we should stop discussing the statue."

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The beginning of the end of angry white males

    You can argue about when the contemporary era of white male reaction in American politics began. But surely March 8, 1970, four days after National Guardsmen opened fire on students at Kent State University, deserves a hearing.

    On that day, a student protest in Manhattan against the shootings in Ohio was met by a counteroffensive -- the "Hard Hat Riot." Dozens of construction workers organized, marched and clobbered the protesters, kicking them and beating them with hard hats in what the New York Times described as a "wild noontime melee."

    The construction workers were sick of hippies, sick of leftists, sick of privileged college kids complaining about the war and the draft and the country. Some rioters branched off to Pace University, near City Hall, where they beat up more kids after having been pelted with objects hurled from the school's roof. Less than three weeks later, President Richard Nixon welcomed a delegation of hard hats to the White House.

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The Affordable Care Act is not in crisis - but it could be better

    Over the final few months of the election, The Post will ask policy experts to weigh in on the critical questions our presidential candidates should be addressing - but often aren't. This week's question: Are the Affordable Care Act's insurance exchanges sustainable?

    Aetna's withdrawal from Affordable Care Act markets has sparked the latest round of dire predictions about the law's survival. Yet time and time again the ACA has proved durable, insuring 20 million Americans with improvements each year. This time will be no different.

    Contrary to popular perception, the "risk pool" - the balance of healthy and sick enrollees - has been stable. Indeed, it was broadened as total enrollment increased by 66 percent in 2015, and per enrollee costs declined 0.1 percent between 2014 and 2015 . While data is not yet available for 2016, and results vary by state, this indicates that the Affordable Care Act is not facing a crisis.

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Phony war on voter fraud looks even phonier

    When he talks about "rigged" elections and calls for voter-identification laws to prevent fraud, Donald Trump is squarely within the Republican mainstream. The party has made passing those laws one of its highest priorities in state after state.

    Yet as the evidence continues to show, the type of fraud that voter ID laws could prevent is basically non-existent.

    Now there's more documentation of this. News21, a nonpartisan investigative-journalism education project, studied cases from 2012 to 2016 in Texas, Georgia, Arizona, Kansas and Ohio -- all states where Republicans have complained about fraud. It found hundreds of allegations. But most turned out to be spurious. There were few prosecutions and a total of only 38 convictions.

    When fraud is found - yes, there is election fraud in the U.S. - it almost never involves in-person voter impersonation. As election-law expert Rick Hasen has noted, the weak point in the system is the potential for fraud in absentee ballots, a problem voter ID wouldn't prevent.

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Hillary Health Shocker!

    Although she has gone to extraordinary lengths to distract and deceive American voters, the truth is finally coming out: Hillary Clinton has an 11th toe.

    I don’t have the medical records. She refuses to release them. But just try to come up with some other explanation for why she’s so infrequently photographed in sandals or flip-flops; why she seldom appears barefoot in public; why, during debates, she keeps her legs, especially the lower halves, tucked carefully behind the lectern.

    She’s covering something up, and it’s that freakish, disqualifying digit.

    Have you watched her walk? Look closely. She wobbles a bit, or maybe it’s more of a teeter, combined with a lurch, and the likeliest cause is podiatric asymmetry. I consulted foot specialists. At least they referred to themselves that way online, and when I assured them that an interview with me could be their springboard to Sean Hannity, they opened up.

    “Does Hillary Clinton have a superfluous toe?” I asked one of them.

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