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[22 Jun 2016 | One Comment | ]

You may recall that in my last column I expected the forthcoming week’s polling to show Hillary Clinton beating Donald Trump by 5-8 points, outside the margins of error. As it developed, even the Republican-leaning Rasmussen poll, which until recently showed Trump leading by 3 points, put Clinton up by 5. Better yet, CBS put her up by 6, NBC by 7, Reuters-Ipsos by 9 and Bloomberg  Politics by a remarkable 12.
Add to this a Washington Post poll showing Trump now has a 70 percent disapproval rating–though Clinton’s 55 percent …

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[14 Jun 2016 | No Comment | ]

Despite the fact that there are a lot of sad and angry supporters of Bernie Sanders, whose ultimate intentions are not yet predicable, last week may have been the inflection point in the presidential race, tilting it more Democratic:
–Hillary Clinton, to no one’s real surprise, became the presumptive nominee and got an immediate boost in the polls. I expect this trend to continue as this week’s polls come in, which I expect will show 5-8 point leads for Clinton, outside the margin of error.
–Donald Trump, despite a …

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[8 Jun 2016 | No Comment | ]

Let ‘s momentarily leave the dreary world of Donald Trump, Rahm Emanuel, Bruce Rauner et al  to recall the day early in 1980 when I was in a studio to make a radio spot featuring Muhammad Ali endorsing our mutual friend Bob Wallace, who entered an uphill Democratic primary  for the U.S. Senate against Illinois Secretary of State Alan Dixon.

I put a large-type, 60-second script on a stand in the glass-walled recording booth. I am hunched over the control panel with the engineer when I get this weird, chirping, cricket-like …

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[1 Jun 2016 | One Comment | ]

There is much concern among Democrats that when Bernie Sanders is defeated for the nomination  his vast cohort of young supporters will switch to Donald Trump because up to 40percent of them say they won’t support Hillary Clinton.
I think the concern is misplaced. Yes, the under-35ers will be hurt and angry, and, yes, some will not vote, but eventually, with Sanders’s urging and a strong push from Elizabeth Warren, most will hold their noses and vote for Clinton–with the Supreme Court as a powerful inducement.

Clinton’s real  problem lies with lesser …

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[24 May 2016 | No Comment | ]

Let us stipulate that the Democratic nominating process is rigged in favor of the Establishment candidate–whomever he or she might be. The super-delegate system is the main instrument, as I have written before, and the choice of the highly partisan Congresswoman Deborah Wasserman Schultz (D,FL) as chair of the Democratic National Committee locked it tighter for Hillary Clinton this year. (Wasserman Schultz was a co-chair of the Clinton campaign against Obama in 2008.)

Nothing personal against Bernie Sanders–the Establishment would have worked equally hard against any upstart contender, though Sanders and …

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[17 May 2016 | No Comment | ]

Now that the media–very belatedly–smoked Donald Trump out on the lie that he couldn’t release his tax returns while they were under audit, it’s clear he has no intention of ever releasing them.
We can only speculate on what he’s hiding, but there is no speculation on his lousy judgment.
Take a recent action that would be laughable if it weren’t so dangerous: he appointed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as head of his transition team–whose most important function is to find the best people for the top …

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[10 May 2016 | One Comment | ]

Everyone wants to cut to the chase: Can Donald Trump possibly be elected president?
All the current information, from polling, to demographics, to the recent history of  the electoral college map says no. Some–including many Republicans–believe he could lose so badly that he carries down-ballot candidates with him and that Democrats take back the Senate and even the House .

Now that the primaries are nearly over and a general election constituency lies before him, he faces losses among major parts of the GOP base–well educated males and married white women–as well …

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[3 May 2016 | No Comment | ]

The last time I saw Paris was the spring of 2014. I didn’t get there in 2015–the first year I missed in more than two decades. My absence, however, had nothing to do with the Charlie Hebdo and subsequent terrorist attacks. I returned  two weeks ago  mainly because I missed the city’s beauty, its art and food–I’ve been in love with them since 1954–but  also  to see what imprint  the terrorist attacks had left on the city and its people.

Tourism dropped significantly in 2015, but the word is it’s on …

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[26 Apr 2016 | No Comment | ]

PARIS–Enjoying a respite here before the final run of primaries and caucuses confirm Hillary Clinton as most likely Democratic nominee and Donald Trump as the GOP choice–though it is still possible he will not gather enough votes to make it on the first ballot. If he fails, all goes up for grabs and the convention gets chaotic–anything from riots to walkouts.
But no matter which party you favor or which candidate within that party, you have to admit that the process of selecting a nominee for what most of us think …

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[19 Apr 2016 | 2 Comments | ]

As a New York Times editorial put it Friday, “No one even passingly familiar with the history of the Chicago Police Department can claim to be surprised by a new report showing that the department is plagued by systemic racism and operates with utter disregard for the lives of black citizens whom it batters, maims and kills.”

Anyone surprised? We’ve been reading about it for decades, long before Laquan McDonald, long before Fred Hampton, long before I even heard the term “police brutality” when I was a kid. But it took …