‘Trump Tapes’ are important, but should not be the biggest election story

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Does this look like the face of a creepy sexual predator?

In newly unearthed audio from 2005, Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for president, brags about forcing himself on women, kissing them without permission, grabbing them “by the pussy,” and getting away with it because of his power and fame. Since then, several women have come forward with allegations that match Trump’s boasts perfectly. The scandal has fractured the Republican Party as never before and seems to have all but done in Trump’s chances of winning the presidency. Continue reading

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Words versus deeds: Foreign policy in the 2016 election

The likely 2016 Democratic and Republican presidential nominees, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, are the most disliked major party candidates in American history. But of all the faults these candidates have, their darkest aspects are most visible in foreign policy. And for as much as Americans don’t like the two of them, imagine what the rest of the world must think as the most powerful nation on earth prepares to hold an election between an accomplished war criminal and a maniac who pledges to become one. Continue reading

Hillary Clinton is a historically bad candidate

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Hillary Clinton in 2015 giving what CNN described as an anti-Wall Street speech.

Almost from the moment she lost to Barack Obama in 2008 predictions about Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign began. In the intervening eight years no other names were even seriously floated. Yet for all the presumptuousness and all the leg-ups she’s received from donors, corporate media and the Democratic establishment, the fact remains that she is just not a good candidate. Whether she ends up with the nomination or not, Clinton’s 2016 run has been a debacle highlighting the worst of American politics.

Clinton began the 2016 race as the only household name on the Democratic side. In the campaign’s early months she enjoyed national polling that consistently had her at a 60-point lead. Now she’s jockeying with Bernie Sanders for the national lead and with Sanders’s 13-point win in the Wisconsin primary, Clinton is on a six-state losing streak in the nomination process. She remains well ahead in delegate count, but considering the advantages she had she’s done about as badly as possible.

In an election that’s largely been a referendum on decades of neoconservative foreign policy and Washington’s coziness with Wall Street, Hillary Clinton is as entrenched a figure of that establishment class as there can be. It’s a testament to our system’s thorough corruption that she’s in the race at all. Continue reading

How the media makes reality – and may make Donald Trump president

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This may one day be a painted portrait in the White House.

It’s been said that the far right is reaping what it sowed with Donald Trump. For eight years their cabal of media and politicians unrelentingly attacked President Obama for everything from inviting rappers to the White House to purposefully destroying America. They fomented racial hostilities and deep paranoia to create the atmosphere in which Trump now thrives. But if Trump actually becomes president it will be the mainstream media’s reckless pursuit of ratings that puts him there. Continue reading

Media: Enough with the polls and distractions; talk about issues

A woman pulls Donald Trump's hair at an event to prove it's real. This passes for

A woman pulls Donald Trump’s hair at an event to prove it’s real. This passes for “political news” during a presidential election cycle.

Like the holiday season, the presidential election cycle seems to begin earlier and earlier every go-round. And also like the holiday season, the election brings to the surface all the lowest points of our media, society and culture.

The next president won’t be decided until Nov. 8, 2016 and the coverage is already relentless. It’s difficult to turn on TV news or visit any news site, no matter its political affiliation or lack thereof, without seeing stories about the 2016 election. What a shame that for the next 14 months we’ll be forced to endure so much exposure to our national mediocrity. Continue reading