Author Archive

True or false, Trump’s tweets beat the media at its own game

December 5, 2016
posted by

Reuters
by Peter Van Buren  

"President-elect Donald Trump discovered the Holy Grail of media relations: the ability with a 140-character tweet to ignore the Fourth Estate. This is brass-knuckled political power that at a minimum pushes the press another circulation drop closer to irrelevancy. The latest example is directed against a journalist who reported Trump’s tweet that he lost the popular vote because of extensive fraud. CNN’s Jeff Zeleny called Trump a 'sore winner,' adding the president-elect had 'zero evidence' to back up his fraud claim. Trump responded with a series of tweets and retweets condemning Zeleny, all echoing around the web for days. ... This is no joke, except maybe on the journalists whose credibility is already a laughing matter." (12/03/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-trump-twitter-commentary-idUSKBN13R1C2  

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The Carrier deal

December 4, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by staff  

"You’ve got to hand it to Donald Trump. He said he’d save American manufacturing jobs at a Carrier factory in Indiana, and he has delivered on that campaign promise even before he takes office. The air conditioner maker now says that it will retain 1,000 jobs that had been slated to move to Mexico. That's terrific pre-Christmas news for workers at the Carrier plant, and the president-elect traveled to Indianapolis on Thursday to announce the deal and warn that other companies would not leave U.S. shores 'without consequences.' Amid the powerful symbolism and celebratory atmosphere, however, it's important to put the deal in context." [editor's note: Bottom line is, Carrier was smart to grab the deal and cut its taxes; Trump was wrong to offer it, since it was blatant crony-corporate welfare - SAT] (12/03/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/12/01/carrier-deal-manufuacturing-donald-trump-mike-pence-editorials-and-debates/94750708  

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The “buy America” Trump test

December 4, 2016
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"Republicans in Congress are pushing to strip 'Buy America' provisions from a bill to help fix the country’s water systems. Republican President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on government help for American manufacturing and jobs. So this is an early test: Will Trump step up and tell House Republicans to keep 'Buy America' in the bill, or will he continue to follow the Wall Street/Big Corporate/billionaire agenda his transition has indicated is coming? The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) usually passes every two years. This one authorizes 25 critical Army Corps projects in 17 states. Of particular note, 'The bill also responds to the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan, by providing emergency assistance to Flint and other similar communities across the country facing drinking water contamination.' The WRDA bill had been held up (obstructed) over Republican objections to things like helping boost jobs under President Obama, helping Flint, and infrastructure spending generally. It eventually passed both houses of Congress but with different versions. Now it is held up again in the House as Speaker Ryan tries to strip provisions requiring the purchase of American-made materials like iron and steel from American manufacturers." (12/03/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20161202/the-buy-america-trump-test  

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Walmart agrees to $7.5 million settlement in same-sex benefits lawsuit

December 4, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"Walmart is poised to pay millions of dollars to thousands of former and current employees after it agreed to settle a lawsuit claiming the company denied health insurance to same-sex spouses. The retail giant, which denies the claims, OK'd the $7.5 million settlement, which would resolve a 2015 class action lawsuit brought by a former employee. The settlement, which awaits court approval, was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts. The proposed settlement says the $7.5 million would cover claims of those employees who weren't able to obtain coverage for their same-sex spouse from 2011 to 2013. The company said the settlement includes 'no more than a few thousand current and former Walmart associates.'" (12/03/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2016/12/03/walmart-agrees-75-million-settlement-same-sex-benefits-lawsuit/94881420  

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UN apologizes for Haiti’s cholera epidemic, but without noting it brought the disease

December 4, 2016
posted by

Fox News    

"United Nations Secretary Ban Ki-moon has ended (sort of) six years of UN stonewalling over Haiti’s mammoth cholera epidemic with a weak apology that the world organization 'simply did not do enough' about the epidemic, without mentioning that UN peacekeepers brought the deadly disease to the hemisphere’s poorest country in the first place. Ban’s statement Thursday to the UN General Assembly declared that 'we are profoundly sorry for our role,' without going into the specifics of what that role actually was. It was nonetheless touted by other UN officials as 'an important day for the UN,' that also is supposed to mark the start of a new approach to the cholera catastrophe that would include 'material assistance and support for those Haitians most directly affected by cholera' -- as soon as U.N. member states come up with the money for it." (12/02/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/12/02/un-apologizes-for-haiti-s-cholera-epidemic-without-noting-it-brought-disease.html  

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What free speech doesn’t give you the right to say

December 4, 2016
posted by

Cracked
by Aaron Kheifets  

"Freedom of speech is one of the cornerstones of our society, and it is absolutely a principle worth defending to one's dying breath. Unfortunately, complete assholes are also a cornerstone of our society, and will definitely be here until our dying breaths. And when the latter gets hold of the former, they invoke it improperly and indiscriminately, like a toddler with a new word or a monkey with a shotgun. As Reddit announced plans to crack down on its 'most toxic' users, Facebook started to cull fake news from its advertising networks, and Google looked to cut ad revenue to the same, the reaction was predictable. 'Censorship!' 'What about our freedom?' 'It's almost as if the internet isn't a safe haven for disinformation and hate speech anymore!' Does that mean the internet is abandoning our much-beloved free speech? Fuck no! It just means that the standards for free speech people use on the internet are finally catching up to all other forms of human interaction. But for the users bewildered as to why they're getting squelched in these forums, I'd like to offer two points." (12/03/16)

http://www.cracked.com/blog/no-free-speech-not-under-attack.-being-a2A2Ahole-is./  

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Trump targets another company, draws Sanders’s criticism

December 4, 2016
posted by

Reuters    

"President-elect Donald Trump drew a rebuke from former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Saturday, after turning his attention to another Indiana company planning a move to Mexico. 'Rexnord of Indiana is moving to Mexico and rather viciously firing all of its 300 workers. This is happening all over our country. No more!' Trump said in a Friday night Twitter post. Rexnord Corp (RXN.N), an industrial supplier based in Milwaukee, announced plans in October to move a bearing plant, and its 300 jobs, from Indianapolis to Mexico, employees told the Indianapolis Star at the time. Company representatives on Saturday did not respond to a request for comment on Trump's tweet. The Republican, who takes office on Jan. 20, warned on Thursday of consequences for companies that move jobs out of the United States but did not specify what they would be." [editor's note: Again, company smart to grab the deal and cut its taxes; Trump wrong to promote crony-corporate welfare - SAT] (12/03/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-rexnord-idUSKBN13S0PU  

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Austria: Presidential election re-run “too close to call”

December 4, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Austrians are voting in a re-run of a presidential election which pits the leader of the far-right Freedom Party Norbert Hofer against former Green Party head Alexander Van der Bellen. The vote last May was narrowly won by Mr Van der Bellen, but the result was overturned by Austria's highest court because of irregularities in the count. If Mr Hofer wins, he will become the EU's first far-right head of state. Opinion polls held in November suggest the vote is too close to call. Although the role is largely ceremonial, the vote is being watched as a barometer of how well populist candidates will do in upcoming elections. France, the Netherlands and Germany all face elections next year in which anti-mainstream and anti-immigration parties are gaining ground." (12/03/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38198694  

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France pledges $30 million for wartime heritage protection

December 4, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"France committed $30 million toward protecting cultural heritage sites during wartime on Saturday, a first step in the creation of an international fund aimed at preventing destruction like that carried out by Islamic State militants. French President Francois Hollande announced the contribution during a conference jointly organized by France and the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi. Backers of the Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage conference hope to attract an initial $100 million for the fund. In coordination with UNESCO, it aims to prevent or stop destruction of historical sites, fight trafficking of stolen artifacts and pay for the restoration of sites damaged by war. They also seek to create a network of sites around the world where artifacts endangered by fighting or terrorism could be temporarily stored for safekeeping." (12/03/16)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/France-pledges-30-million-for-wartime-heritage-10689089.php  

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Five reasons Obama will be viewed as one of the worst presidents of all time

December 4, 2016
posted by

Town Hall
by John Hawkins  

"Compiling a list of reasons why Barack Obama is a terrible president seems like a project for a book rather than a column. However, when we start looking at the catastrophic mistakes he’s made that may reverberate for years to come, it’s clear that he’s been a disaster for America on a scale that few other Presidents can match. Just look at his record. 1) Nearly Doubling The National Debt: Let’s see, what was it that Barack Obama said about our debt back in 2008 when he was trying to convince Americans to vote him into office?" (12/03/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2016/12/03/5-reasons-barack-obama-will-be-viewed-as-one-of-the-worst-presidents-of-all-time-n2254303  

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Why Trump’s cabinet picks give Pentagon pause

December 4, 2016
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"President-elect Donald Trump confirmed Thursday that retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis will soon be named the new administration’s pick for Secretary of Defense. 'We’re not announcing it ’til next week, so don’t tell anyone,' Mr. Trump told a cheering crowd in Cincinnati Thursday evening, referring to the nominee by his nickname, 'Mad Dog' and calling him 'the closest thing we have to George Patton.' It is what many former military officials consider a 'good news, bad news' story for the Pentagon, which, despite its implicit focus on waging war, has a long (and necessary, analysts are quick to add) tradition of civilian, rather than military, leadership." [editor's note: The real concern is if he is just another neocon warmonger or an ex-soldier who wants war to end! - SAT] (12/03/16)

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Military/2016/1202/Enter-the-generals-Why-Trump-s-cabinet-picks-give-Pentagon-pause  

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Obama supports registering women for military enslavement

December 2, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"President Obama supports requiring women to register for Selective Service when they turn 18, becoming the first president to endorse universal draft registration since Jimmy Carter. 'As old barriers for military service are being removed, the administration supports (as a logical next step) women registering for the Selective Service,' said Ned Price, a spokesman for Obama's National Security Council. The White House had previously expressed neutrality on the controversy, but took a position in a statement to USA TODAY on Thursday. But the timing of Obama's support makes it mostly symbolic, coming in the final weeks of his presidency and the day before the House will vote on a defense policy bill that strips a Senate-passed provision to add women to Selective Service. Instead, the compromise version now calls only for a commission to study two related issues: Whether women should be included in Selective Service, and whether the Selective Service system itself should be abolished." [editor's note: Option B, please; end this imperialst nonsense - SAT] (12/01/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2016/12/01/obama-supports-registering-women-military-draft/90449708  

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Jamie Raskin has a fierce, funny message for dispirited Democrats

December 2, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Graham Vyse  

"On Wednesday, House Democrats doubled down on the same old, same old, voting for Nancy Pelosi and a leadership team with an average age of 76 -- a group that, for all its virtues, doesn’t exactly offer a fresh message to inspire the left. But on Wednesday night in the D.C. suburb of Silver Spring, Maryland, a vibrant new left-wing voice in the House made himself heard—with exactly the message that Democrats across the country sorely need. 'The resistance begins right here and the revival begins tonight,' said Representative-elect Jamie Raskin, whipping up the crowd at a rally he called 'the first true-blue, overflow Democratic revival meeting of 2016.' The curly-haired 53-year-old representative-elect is already a household name in Silver Spring." (12/01/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/139092/jamie-raskin-fierce-funny-message-dispirited-democrats  

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The terrifying lessons of the Philippines’ vigilante president

December 2, 2016
posted by

Reuters
by Peter Apps  

"Every morning in the Philippines, a handful of bodies are found littering the streets. Their faces are often covered in black plastic tape. Sometimes there are signs of torture. Usually, they have been shot in the head. Few bother police; they are usually suspected of being responsible. No one, frankly, should be surprised that it is happening. The country’s democratically elected leader, after all, was elected promising to do just this, cracking down on what he has described as a 'drug menace' in the country. If one world leader exemplifies some of the more alarming trends taking place in politics this decade, it is Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte. His election and the policies he has pursued since entering office represent a comprehensive rejection of decades, if not centuries, of hard-won moves toward respect for human rights and the rule of law." (12/01/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-duterte-philippines-commentary-idUSKBN13Q4RD  

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Study: Cannabis might held treat sexual dysfunctions

December 2, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth    

"Sexually frustrated couples may have to try marijuana to spice up the bedroom, a new study finds. In a recently published study featured by the National Institutes of Health, experts from Italy’s University of Catania and the Czech Republic’s Charles University and Masaryk University found that both sexes can use cannabis to treat sexual dysfunctions such as Erectile Dysfunction or Sexual Arousal Disorder. 'For centuries, in addition to its recreational actions, several contradictory claims regarding the effects of cannabis use in sexual functioning and behavior (e.g. aphrodisiac vs anti-aphrodisiac) of both sexes have been accumulated,' the study reads. 'The identification of delta-9 THC and later on, the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) have opened a potential therapeutic target for sexual dysfunctions, given the partial efficacy of current pharmacological treatment.'" [editor's note: Or at least it can make them matter less? - SAT] (12/01/16)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/12/01/study-marijuana-may-help-treat-sexual-dysfunctions  

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Mexican billionaire Slim: Trump could be good for Mexico

December 2, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim says a Donald Trump presidency could be good news for Mexico. At a forum with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Thursday, Slim discarded the pessimistic narrative about how Trump's hard-line views on immigration and free trade could shake Mexico. The telecommunications magnate, who is one of the world's richest people, said that if Trump achieves his promises to expand the U.S. economy, create millions of jobs and lower middle-class taxes, it will be 'fantastic' for Mexico by increasing U.S. consumption. And Trump's promise for big spending on infrastructure projects would mean more jobs for Mexicans because there are not enough Americans to fill them, Slim said. He added that Trump's tough talk toward Mexico should spur the country to refocus on investing in its own economy." (12/01/16)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/Mexican-billionaire-Slim-says-Trump-could-be-good-10653476.php  

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Signs of a creepy government conspiracy at Standing Rock

December 2, 2016
posted by

Cracked
by Robert Evans & Tamlin Magee  

"The demonstration at Standing Rock, North Dakota is the largest gathering of indigenous people in modern American history. Over 280 tribes and thousands of non-native volunteers have gathered to protect the Sioux's ancestral water supply, which they believe will be poisoned when the North Dakota Access Pipeline inevitably leaks. Most of the coverage you've seen has probably come in the form of Twitter and Facebook rage-screaming in all-caps gibberish, or it looks like this: '... hundreds clash with police over Dakota Access Pipeline.' That vague title leaves a lot open to interpretation. And if the internet has taught us anything, it's that interpretation is not the average person's strong suit ... or even their medium suit, for that matter. 'Clash' suggests an equal meeting of force, and that's really not the case when one side has military hardware and the backing of a multi-billion-dollar corporation, and the other side ... well, doesn't. " (12/01/16)

http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-2418-the-standing-rock-hacks-cracked-unravels-real-conspiracy.html  

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Putin: Russia “not seeking conflict”

December 2, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Russia is 'not seeking conflict with anyone,' President Vladimir Putin has said in his annual Kremlin speech to parliament and the nation. 'Unlike some foreign colleagues who see Russia as the enemy, we do not seek (and never sought) enemies. We need friends,' he said. But 'we will not permit harm to our interests,' he added. He said Russia was ready to work with the new US administration to fight terrorism. Mr Putin has previously said he hopes for better relations with the US once President-elect Donald Trump takes office. He praised the courage of Russian military personnel fighting rebel groups in Syria, in support of President Bashar al-Assad, and drew applause in the ornate Kremlin hall." (12/01/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38167590  

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Johnson & Johnson hit with over $1 billion verdict on hip implants

December 1, 2016
posted by

Reuters    

"A federal jury in Dallas on Thursday ordered Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) and its DePuy Orthopaedics unit to pay more than $1 billion to six plaintiffs who said they were injured by Pinnacle hip implants, a lawyer for the plaintiffs said. The jurors found that the metal-on-metal Pinnacle hip implants were defectively designed and that the companies failed to warn consumers about the risks. The six plaintiffs in this case are California residents who were implanted with the hip devices and experienced tissue death, bone erosion and other injuries they attributed to design flaws. Plaintiffs claimed the companies promoted the devices as lasting longer than devices that include ceramic or plastic materials. J&J and DePuy are facing nearly 8,400 lawsuits over the devices, which have been consolidated in federal court in Texas. Test cases have been selected for trial, and their outcomes will help gauge the value of the remaining claims." (12/01/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-johnson-johnson-verdict-hipimplants-idUSKBN13Q5XF  

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A cabinet for the deep-pocket ages

December 1, 2016
posted by

Sam Pizzigati Our Future
by Sam Pizzigati  

"People holding personal fortunes worth over $5 million this year make up less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the world’s adult population. People worth over $5 million may also this year make up nearly 100 percent of the picks Donald Trump chooses for his cabinet and inner circle. President-elect Trump’s choices for top slots so far include at least two billionaires, two former Wall Street executives at Goldman Sachs, and assorted other mega-millionaire heirs and corporate honchos. Donald Trump, notes the Washington Post, 'is assembling the richest administration in modern American history.' The Trump choice for commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, holds all by himself ten times more personal wealth than the entire cabinet George W. Bush appointed back in 2001." (12/01/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20161201/a-cabinet-for-the-deep-pocket-ages  

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CT: Top court to hear appeal in frivolous Sandy Hook suit

December 1, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"The Connecticut Supreme Court has agreed to hear a direct appeal by families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, whose lawsuit against makers and sellers of the assault rifle used in the 2012 attack was dismissed in October. Connecticut’s highest court on Tuesday said it would consider whether families of nine victims, plus one survivor, can recover damages from Remington Outdoor Co and others over the gunman’s use of a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle in the attack in Newtown, Connecticut, which killed 20 students and six staffers. The court’s decision to take the case, just two weeks after the families requested it, was announced on Thursday in a statement from the families’ lawyers. Other defendants include the gun’s distributor, and the gun shop where Adam Lanza’s mother Nancy had bought the AR-15." (12/01/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/12/connecticuts-top-court-to-hear-sandy-hook-gun-appeal  

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The legal marijuana middle ground

December 1, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Beau Kilmer  

"With more than 65 million people living in states that have passed marijuana legalization, and a Gallup poll showing that 60% of the country supports legalizing marijuana use, national legalization may seem inevitable. ... California was the first state to allow medical marijuana, starting nearly 20 years ago. Its approach was extremely loose; over time it became easy for essentially any adult to obtain a medical recommendation, and dispensaries abounded. ... There are many ways to legalize marijuana supply besides the for-profit approach. I understand why some may be worried about creating an industry that will likely be incentivized to lobby against regulation and taxation to maximize profits. And if the marijuana businesses end up following the lead of alcohol companies, they will work hard to create and maintain heavy users, since they account for the vast majority of sales." [editor's note: A good analysis of the variances between limited "legal" cartels and decriminalization - SAT] (11/30/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/11/30/marijuana-legalize-states-medical-recreational-column/94553192  

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The indefensible Electoral College

December 1, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Scott Lemieux  

"When someone as manifestly unfit for office as Donald Trump can be elected president of the United States, it represents a collective institutional failure. But it is important to keep one crucial fact front and center: The American electorate did not choose him. By the time the vote counting is finished in California, Hillary Clinton will have received roughly 2.5 million more votes than Trump. This is a larger margin than Richard Nixon in 1968 or JFK in 1960 had achieved. The people’s choice did not become president because an indefensible anachronism malfunctioned for the second time in less than two decades. The lessons of this should be clear. In the long term, the Electoral College must be eliminated or circumvented; in the short term, the fact that Donald Trump was not the choice of the American people needs to be front and center to the progressive opposition to his administration." [editor's note: Another whine from the "progressive" front, ignoring the incompetence of "their own" troops and the unfit nature of "their own" candidate(s) - SAT] (11/30/16)

http://prospect.org/article/indefensible-electoral-college  

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Now that he’s leaving, Obama starts talking sense about marijuana

December 1, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth    

"Outgoing president Barack Obama now believes that marijuana should be legally taxed and regulated similar to cigarettes and alcohol. In his final interview as acting president with Rolling Stone, Obama shared his insight on a number of important topics, including the current legal status of marijuana. Rolling Stone co-founder and publisher Jann Wenner brought up the issue of marijuana legalization by mentioning that cannabis can now be purchased legally throughout the entire West Coast, before asking the president why the failed War on Drugs continues to this day." [editor's note: Okay, then stop just talking about it and DO it! You have the Executive authority to stand down the DEA, all by yourself. SAT] (11/30/16)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/11/30/obama-says-government-should-handle-marijuana-the-same-as-cigarettes-or-alcohol  

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Don’t let Clinton off the hook

December 1, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Tom Fitton  

"President-elect Donald Trump seems to be harboring misgivings about the investigation and possible prosecution of Hillary Clinton for her email, national security and Clinton Foundation pay-for-play scandals. The president-elect has said that he 'does not want to hurt the Clintons,' and that is very gracious. But Clinton’s transgressions were not committed against him personally; they were committed against the nation at large. And it is to the American people that she must be held accountable." (11/29/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/11/29/let-clinton-hook-opposing-view/94629732  

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