Day: October 7, 2016


The presidential election will be decided by the thin slice of undecided independent voters. Presently Hillary Clinton is leading Donald Trump nationally by about six points. With the campaign entering its final weeks, any can happen. Trump’s performance in the second debate on Sunday evening could change things—either in his direction or in Clinton’s. Vice presidential nominee Mike Pence may have taught his running mate a few things for the upcoming town hall meeting style debate. Pence stayed on his message—never giving a full-throated defense of Trump’s style, history, plans or policies. Rather, Pence positioned himself perfectly to become the front runner for the GOP nod in 2020 (if Trump does not win, that is). We were told earlier this year, after it was clear that Trump would be the Republican nominee and Clinton was but assured her party’s nomination, that 2016 would be a nasty, personal campaign. Both candidates have given each other, their campaign surrogates and the media plenty of fodder. Trump can’t stay off Twitter nor can he stay on message, even with a teleprompter. Clinton is still untrustworthy to a majority of voters—people can’t get past her emails (Benghazi doesn’t merit much coverage these days). It seems that those who support Trump cannot be dissuaded regardless of what their candidate says or does. That demonstrates that the desire for a complete change in the way...

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I’m with her (Ameya)

Moments of Lucidity By ERIC A. HOWALD I always hesitate to call myself a feminist. It makes me feel like a stray dog digging up a stranger’s garden. However, as a father to an only daughter, Ameya, I also feel duty-bound to say something when issues of gender inequity arise. A day after the first presidential debate, Ameya’s social studies class discussed the Hindu belief in reincarnation, the notion that a living being begins a new life after each biological death. The discussion prompted the teacher, Whiteaker Middle School’s James Decker, to pose a question to the class, “What would you like to come back as if you were reincarnated?” Ameya told me she was one of the first to raise her hand. Mr. Decker called on her. “A boy,” she said. “Just to see what the experience is like.” Inwardly, I cringed a bit as she told me this, but the story was only half finished. Mr. Decker then asked the rest of the girls how many of them wanted to come back as boys. All but one of the girls raised their hands. The majority of the boys wanted to come back as animals. I wanted to believe that this is an anomaly, but Mr. Decker told the class the answers have been the same in most classes when he has posed similar questions in the past...

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Support Citizens United

By DEBRA J. SAUNDERS Hillary Clinton has promised that in her first 30 days as president she will propose a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, which she characterized as a “disaster for our democracy.” Because Clinton has a better-than-even chance of being elected president, who am I to argue? The California Legislature is ahead of Clinton. It has placed on the November ballot an advisory measure, Proposition 59, which instructs state officials to use “all their constitutional authority” to overturn the ruling. It’s funny how Democrats talk as if Republicans are rolling in dough, while Dems are stuck passing the hat. The opposite often is true, especially this year. As of Aug. 31, The Washington Post reported, pro-Clinton campaigns had raised almost twice as much money ($795 million) as pro-Trump concerns ($403 million). Bloomberg looked at super PAC money on Sept. 21 and reported that pro-Clinton super PACs raised $153 million and spent $121 million, while pro-Trump super PACs raised $16 million and spent $12 million. That’s the Dems outspending the GOP 10-1. Where’s the outrage? Bloomberg recently reported that Clinton campaigns are out-raising money from billionaires on a margin of 20-1 against Trump. If Clinton wants to do something about the corrupting effect of big money in politics, all she has to do is talk to the mirror. It’s a good...

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Trump’s immigration stand is wrong

Some sources of wisdom on last week’s debate gave Hillary Clinton the win by an overall rout. That happened because Donald Trump allowed his apparently often uncontrollable temperament to take over. Nevertheless, Donald did well, even admirably well for about 30 minutes, when he drove hard his strongest issue: trade. In The New York Times, Ross Douthat and Maggie Haberman gave Trump the nod for the first 25 minutes.  Douthat said he “seized on the issue, trade, and hammered away at it: linking his opponent to every establishment failure and disappointment, trying to make her experience a liability rather than a strength.”  Haberman wrote that Trump “has a strong case to make on trade, when he makes it.” Trump kept swinging in Hillary’s direction, coming hard at her on NAFTA , it being “the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere.” During these moments, he spoke with the confidence of a man who knew what he was talking about. But what may have been Trump’s best part of the debate was—factually speaking—probably his worst. Although a strong contender for this dubious status would have to be where he said he both would and would not honor the NATO treaty and then said he both would and would not adhere to the first strike doctrine on nuclear weapons.  This juxtaposition on issues adds up (fact checked by CNN) to 140 changes of mind or reversals on 20 current issues. Trump throughout made a...

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