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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Investigate The Hackers — And Ignore Trump’s Chaff

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In the loud debate over the alleged Russian intelligence attack on our democratic system, Americans have heard all kinds of specious assertions from Donald Trump, his minions, and others who reject the findings of the US intelligence agencies, for their own reasons. Trump clearly fears that a full investigation of those allegations will permanently discredit his narrow electoral victory, already tainted by Hillary Clinton’s popular-vote majority. It is telling that he described the hacking probes as a partisan “political witch hunt” before the nation’s spy chiefs even presented him with their evidence.

Telling, but not surprising: As usual, Trump is sending up chaff designed to distract from his own dubious conduct and connections.



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Merry Christmas: The Message From The Manger

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Celebrating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth is a custom familiar to everyone raised in Western cultures, whether or not they happen to share the Christian faith. So important is Christmas to Americans that even the traditional holiday greeting is misused as a partisan weapon — seized by a political figure no less profane, irreligious, and insincere than Donald Trump, who proclaims he will restore its meaning.

Complaining peevishly of a mythical “war on Christmas,” the president-elect evidently believes the holiday’s most compelling aspect is the right to impose its observance on others who may not share his professed piety. In a country founded on freedom from religious coercion of any kind, Trump repeatedly promised to “assault” the domestic enemies of Christendom, which in the minds of Trump’s followers include Barack Obama and his family.  Never mind that on December 1, the president lit the National Christmas Tree in a ceremony aimed at unifying the country, regardless of faith or ethnicity, with musical stars singing carols and the first lady reading The Night Before Christmas.



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Trump’s Broken Promise Will Doom Thousands Of His Voters

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Not long ago, Americans learned that the average life expectancy for white people in this country — those most likely to have voted for Donald Trump — actually declined for the first time in many years. The pathologies and frustrations believed to have driven that decline may have motivated the tiny handful of votes that gave Trump his Electoral College victory.

But not long after their euphoria over his inauguration fades, they are going to learn why his administration is so likely to drive those statistics in the wrong direction. Despite his promise to protect Social Security and Medicare — and his vow to replace the Affordable Care Act with “something much better” — Trump’s cabinet appointees and his allies in Congress plan ruinous changes to those programs.



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