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Trump jumps into the gutter

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While Hillary Clinton is riding high after the first presidential debate, Donald Trump is jumping down into the gutter. In the wee hours of Friday morning, the impulse-control-deficient Republican nominee let loose a torrent of tweets, calling former Miss Universe winner Alicia Machado “disgusting” and accusing her of having a sex tape. “Wow, Crooked Hillary was duped and used by my worst Miss U. Hillary floated her as an ‘angel’…

Did America Just Bury the Mideast Peace Process Along With Its Friend and Ally Shimon Peres?

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JERUSALEM—Optimism is not generally a word associated with the Middle East these days. Just a few hundred miles away from here, there’s the horrible civil war in Syria, where the devastating bombardment of Aleppo this week recalled the worst tragedies of World War II. And the fighting in Iraq, where a major new front is about to open up as international forces attempt to push the barbaric Islamic State out…

Post-debate polls show Trump slump

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Donald Trump is sliding in the initial polls conducted after his poor performance this week in the first presidential debate, falling behind Hillary Clinton nationally and in key battleground states after he had closed the gap over the past six weeks. Clinton has expanded her national lead in the first spate of post-debate polls conducted in the days following Monday’s debate on Long Island. And a series of swing-state polls…

What the FBI Files Reveal About Hillary Clinton’s Email Server

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The scandal of Hillary Clinton’s “home brew” email server, as it is played out over more than a year and a half, has served as a Rorschach test for her supporters and opponents. In her critics’ eyes it’s just another example of the Clinton family taking ethical shortcuts and playing by their own set of fast-and-loose rules; her supporters say it’s another example of the hysterical near-insanity that motivates her…

Tensions crackle at Peres funeral over elusive Mideast peace deal

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Even in death, Shimon Peres seemed to advance the Middle East peace process — at least for a moment, anyway. Attendees at Friday’s funeral for the late Israeli leader were abuzz when Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas arrived and shook hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It was a rare personal encounter between the two men during a years-long pause in efforts to come to a peace deal between the…

Trump’s new brain trust

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Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s preparations for taking over the federal government are as wildly different as their campaigns for the White House — and for once, Trump’s operation is the more elaborate one. While the Republican’s campaign is marked by light staffing, a scant policy agenda and the nominee’s gut-instinct style on the stump, the Trump transition team led by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has assembled nearly 100…

Conservative legal tactic could imperil Clinton agenda

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Conservative states are succeeding in getting friendly federal judges to issue broad—often nationwide—injunctions reining in federal government actions, thwarting key parts of President Barack Obama’s agenda and imperiling some aspects of Hillary Clinton’s platform. The tactic—amplified by the 4-4 deadlock in the Supreme Court—has already frozen Obama’s immigration policy, is limiting his efforts to protect transgender rights and could hamstring Clinton’s planned executive actions on immigration, labor and environmental issues…

Trump fundraising record not all it appears

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WAUKESHA, Wis. — Donald Trump’s campaign was desperate to change the subject after his shaky debate performance on Monday, and it found just the story to do it — a record fundraising surge that Trump says was powered by small donors, proving he actually got a boost from the debate. But a closer examination of the claims around Trump’s fundraising surge — which the campaign says yielded $18 million in…

Trump’s all-white Chicago trip is further confirmation he doesn’t care about black people

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Presidential hopeful Donald Trump has made numerous and mostly frightening comments about “black-on-black” crime in Chicago. And no matter how illogical he sounds, he continues to speak about violence in ways that only blame black people for problems rooted in white supremacy. This is what makes it incredibly odd that he wants the American people, including black people, to believe that he is the best person to end daily police…

Clinton campaign in ‘panic mode’ over Florida black voters

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MIAMI — To kill Donald Trump’s chances of capturing the White House, Hillary Clinton needs to win Florida. And to do that, she needs a big minority turnout. But Democrats are beginning to worry that too many African-American voters are uninspired by Clinton’s candidacy, leading her campaign to hit the panic button this week and launch an all-out blitz to juice-up voter enthusiasm. Bill Clinton, once nicknamed the “first black…

Clinton thinks Trump’s privilege is different from hers

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are two wealthy one-percenters who inhabit parallel bubbles of New York privilege. For Trump, the gross display of wealth is his gold-encrusted calling card. For Clinton, her Hamptons friends and multi-mansion lifestyle (she closed on a third house in Chappaqua for $1.16 million last month to widen her compound), have been a political liability as she struggles to credibly champion working-class voters….

Secret money to boost Trump

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MELBOURNE, Fla. — One of the top funders of the #NeverTrump movement is now using his name and connections to raise big money to help elect Donald Trump, but he’s telling fellow mega-donors that they can write huge checks without having their names disclosed. Todd Ricketts, whose family owns the Chicago Cubs, has raised $30 million for a pair of pro-Trump groups and has discussed a $70 million goal before…

Clinton set the trap and Trump walked in

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HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — The first 20 minutes of the long-awaited showdown between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton appeared to be a draw. It was only later, when Clinton began a barrage of possible explanations for Trump’s failure to release his tax returns and then sat back as he squirmed his way through an explanation of his history of birtherism, that her victory became clear. But it was rooted in those…

5 takeaways from the first presidential debate

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There were a couple of not-so-very-subtle signals here inside of Hofstra University that Donald Trump lost Monday night’s highly-anticipated debate against Hillary Clinton, and badly. The first was the audible sound of groaning by some of his supporters (picked up by my attentive colleague Steve Shepard) inside the debate hall as Trump meandered self-defensively through a succession of answers against a very focused, very energized and very well-rehearsed Hillary Clinton….

Did Trump come off as sexist?

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Donald Trump interrupted Hillary Clinton 25 times in the first 26 minutes. He claimed she lacked the “stamina” to serve as commander-in-chief. And when the question of his attitude towards women became an explicit topic of debate, he seemed to allude to resisting the urge to use her husband’s marital infidelity against her. Trump has been aggressive and crude with male debate opponents, too, and he addressed the former Cabinet…