Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Trump’s Debate Incompetence A Slap In The Face To His Supporters

By John Podhoretz
The New York Post
September 27, 2016

Hillary Clinton was boring and exceptionally well-prepared. Donald Trump was exciting but embarrassingly undisciplined. He began with his strongest argument — that the political class represented by her has failed us and it’s time to look to a successful dealmaker for leadership — and kept to it pretty well for the first 20 minutes.

Then due to the vanity and laziness that led him to think he could wing the most important 95 minutes of his life, he lost the thread of his argument, he lost control of his temper and he lost the perspective necessary to correct these mistakes as he went.

Methodically and carefully, Hillary Clinton took over. Her purpose was to show she was rational and policy-driven, the kind of person who could be trusted to handle a careful and delicate job with prudence and sobriety — and that he was none of these things.

And she succeeded. By the end of the 95 minutes, Trump was reduced to a sputtering mess blathering about Rosie O’Donnell and about how he hasn’t yet said the mean things about Hillary that he is thinking.

Most important, he set ticking time bombs for himself over the next six weeks.

As she hammered him on his tax returns, he handed her an inestimable gift by basically saying he basically said he pays no federal taxes despite his billions — and moreover, that if he had done so, it would have been “squandered” anyway.

"By the end of the 95 minutes, Trump was reduced to a sputtering mess blathering about Rosie O’Donnell and about how he hasn’t yet said the mean things about Hillary that he is thinking."


That’s not going to go away, nor is her suggestion that his refusal to release his returns is the result of his either not being as rich as he says or not being as charitable as he claims.

Clinton quoted him saying in 2006 that he hoped for a housing meltdown because it would provide buying opportunities and thereby goaded him into saying “that’s called business, by the way.” To which she quickly replied that 9 million people lost their jobs and 5 million lost their homes in the housing meltdown he was so excited about. Blammo.

His reply to Hillary’s recitation of the fact he’d begun his career settling a Justice Department lawsuit about racial discrimination in Trump housing was that there was “no finding of guilt,” which is the sort of thing the villain said at the end of “LA Law” and sounded no better in real life.

Even when he could have taken her down, he was so incompetent he didn’t go for it. A question about cybersecurity was the perfect opportunity to hammer Clinton on her outrageous mishandling of classified information.

Instead, he went into a bizarre digression in which he alternately wondered whether his son Barron might grow up to become a hacker and defended Vladimir Putin from the accusation Russia had tapped into the Democratic National Committee’s e-mails (which the FBI says almost certainly happened). That has to count as the biggest choke of his political life.

By the time the last 15 minutes rolled around, he was reduced to yammering about Rosie O’Donnell being mean to him and Hillary running mean commercials about him and praising himself because there are some really terrible things he could have said about Hillary but hasn’t. By this point, even his smart closing zinger — “she has experience but it’s bad experience” — was buried inside a weird word salad that reduced its effectiveness to almost nil.

His supporters should be furious with him, and so should the public in general. By performing this incompetently, by refusing to prepare properly for this exchange, by learning enough to put meat on the bones of his populist case against Clinton, he displayed nothing but contempt for the people who have brought him this far — and for the American people who are going to make this momentous decision on Nov. 8.

Charlotte Rioters Don’t Care If Shooting Was Justified

By Rich Lowry
The New York Post
September 27, 2016

The Charlotte rioters didn’t know whether the controversial police shooting of Keith Scott was justified or not, and didn’t care.

They worked their mayhem — trashing businesses and injuring cops, with one protester killed in the disorder — before anything meaningful could be ascertained about the case except that the cops said Scott had a gun and his family said he didn’t.

Charlotte is the latest episode in the evidence-free Black Lives Matter movement that periodically erupts in violence after officer-involved shootings. The movement is beholden to a narrative of systematic police racism to which every case is made to conform, regardless of the facts or logic.

It doesn’t matter if the police officer is an African-American with an unblemished record and numerous character witnesses. This describes Brentley Vinson, the officer who fatally shot Keith Scott.

It doesn’t matter if the victim disobeys the police in a tense situation and acts in a potentially threatening manner. Despite cops with guns drawn yelling orders at him (and his wife shouting, “Don’t you do it”), Scott exited his vehicle and approached officers without raising his hands.

It doesn’t matter if the allegedly unarmed victim turns out to have been armed. Everything points to Scott having had a gun, even though the family insists he had a book (the police didn’t find one at the scene).

The police dash-cam and body-camera video of the Scott shooting is inconclusive but broadly supportive of the police story. The quality is too grainy to show definitively that Scott held a gun in his hand, but what appears to be an ankle holster is visible on his leg. His movements and those of the officers around him are consistent with him brandishing a gun.

The police recovered an ankle holster and a pistol at the scene. For them to have planted the gun would require a vast conspiracy involving multiple officers, the top brass of the department and whoever faked lab results showing Scott’s fingerprints and DNA on the weapon.

It doesn’t necessarily mean he did anything wrong in this instance, but Scott also has a long rap sheet, including weapons offenses, lending additional credence to the idea that he had a gun.

These facts didn’t penetrate the Black Lives Matter narrative of the Scott shooting. Such facts never do. The narrative is immune to complication or ambiguity, let alone contradiction.

Every police-involved shooting of a black man is taken, ipso facto, to confirm that the police are racists. When the evidence in any particular instance makes it obvious that the narrative is a lie or a gross over-simplification — e.g., in Ferguson or the Freddie Gray tragedy — the movement simply moves on to the next case, as reckless as before.

It’s increasingly hard to deny that the movement is anti-police. When any evidence supporting the police is disregarded and rioters hurl insults and objects at officers whose only offense is trying to maintain public order at a protest, the agenda is clear.

And there might be widespread cost to the agitation. The disturbances coincide with an increase in violent crime in 2015, according to new FBI data. It’s too early to draw firm conclusions from the numbers. They may be statistical noise, but they also could indicate an uptick in crime resulting from chastened police forces around the country pulling back.

After an event like Charlotte, a more responsible movement would keep the pressure on for more facts and wouldn’t indict police conduct without them. It would have a healthy skepticism about both the official version of events and the version of bereaved relatives. It would embrace peaceful protest as warranted, and avoid anything to bring discredit to itself or endanger wholly innocent police officers.

But that movement would be something else entirely. In Charlotte, as in so many other places, it was riot first, and ask questions later.


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Tuesday, September 27, Morning Global Market Roundup: Asia Stocks, Mexico Peso Bounce As Markets Score Debate For Clinton

By Wayne Cole 
Reuters
September 27, 2016

Asian shares recovered from an early bout of nerves while the Mexican peso surged on Tuesday as investors awarded the first U.S. presidential debate to Democrat Hillary Clinton over Republican Donald Trump.

Markets have tended to see Clinton as the candidate of the status quo, while few are sure what a Trump presidency might mean for U.S. foreign policy, international trade deals or the domestic economy.

Opinion polls have shown the two candidates in a very tight race, with the latest Reuters/Ipsos polling showing Clinton ahead by 4 percentage points, with 41 percent of likely voters.

As early risk aversion faded, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS recouped early losses to rise 0.5 percent.

Japan's Nikkei .N225 swung 0.3 percent higher, having been down 1.5 percent at one stage, while the U.S. dollar rebounded to 100.83 yen from a one-month low around 100.08 JPY=.

EMini futures for the S&P 500 ESc1 recovered to gain 0.6 percent, an unusually large move for Asian hours.

"Markets started to call the debate for Hillary within the first 15 minutes or so, with the Mexican peso surging in what is probably its busiest Asian session in years," said Sean Callow, a senior currency analyst at Westpac in Sydney.

"The bounce in S&P futures, AUD and USD/JPY all show that investors were watching closely and didn't hesitate to declare Trump the loser."

The dollar sank 1.9 percent on the peso MXN=D2, lifting the peso from an all-time trough hit in recent days on concerns that a Trump presidency would threaten Mexico's exports to the United States, its single biggest market.

Trumpometer

"There's a thing called 'Trump thermometer'," said David Bloom, London-based global head of forex strategy at HSBC.

"If you want to know who won the presidential debate, don't go to Twitter or Facebook. Just look at the dollar/Mexico peso."

Much the same goes for the Canadian dollar CAD=, which touched its lowest since March in early trade before rallying to $1.3171 on its U.S. counterpart.

Against a basket of currencies, the dollar was a fraction firmer at 96.360 .DXY and the euro was steady at $1.1242 EUR=.

Other safe-havens ebbed, with yields on U.S. 10-year Treasuries US10YT=RR rising a basis point to 1.60 percent.

Online betting companies in Australia shortened the odds on a Clinton win in the wake of the debate, leaving her as the clear favorite among punters.

A CNN poll of viewers, which the broadcaster noted was likely skewed somewhat to Democrats, showed 62 percent thought Clinton won the debate with 27 percent for Trump.

In commodity markets, oil consolidated its gains having bounced 3 percent on Monday as the world's largest producers gathered in Algeria to discuss ways to tackle a crude glut that has battered prices for two years now. [O/R]

Brent crude LCOc1 was off a slight 12 cents at $47.23 a barrel, while U.S. crude CLc1 dipped 5 cents to $45.88.


Article Link To Reuters:

A Drug Cartel At The FDA

A new rule will produce a lawsuit rush and raise prices for generics.


By Review & Outlook
The Wall Street Journal
September 27, 2016

The anaphylactic political shock over EpiPen prices continues, and last week a House committee dragged in the company CEO. But some outrage should land on the Food and Drug Administration, which won’t approve a generic stinger that would end Mylan’s monopoly power. Instead, the agency is finishing regulation that will restrict competition precisely as patients are demanding cheaper medicines.

The FDA will next year complete a new rule on labeling generic drugs, which are chemically no different from brand-name versions but sell at an average 80% discount. One reason generics are so much cheaper is that the drugs are approved under an expedited FDA process and bear identical labels to branded equivalents—side effects and so on. The FDA would allow generic producers to alter their own labels to include “up-to-date” safety risks, as the agency puts it.

That sounds innocuous, but here’s the fine print: Generic producers would be exposed to a crush of new lawsuits. The Supreme Court ruled in 2011 that generic drug makers are shielded from torts that accuse a company of failing to warn consumers of risks. The reason for the dispensation is that generic producers are not at liberty to tweak their labels. The FDA’s rule would skirt that precedent, and the law: The 1984 Hatch-Waxman Act requires branded and generic drugs to be identical “in all respects—including labeling,” to borrow from a 2014 letter from Congress to the FDA.

Unleashing the trial lawyers would increase generics spending by $5.6 billion in 2017, and the figure reaches $8.6 billion in 2024, according to a report by Alex Brill of Matrix Global Advisors. Consumers will pay for legal fees and settlements through higher drug prices. Small companies may not be able to absorb the expense. Even large firms will suffer because he industry sells its generic products near marginal cost. The result is likely to be less of the competition that drives down prices: A patient pays a mere 20% of the brand-name cost when eight generic firms are battling for market share, an FDA analysis found.

Patients will also end up less informed. Drug makers will try to limit their exposure by blanketing labels with warnings about unproven side effects. Labels will become about as useful as scanning WebMD and concluding your ailment is either a migraine or a brain aneurysm.

Then again, the rule’s main purpose is to enrich lawyers, as a 2015 report from the Chamber of Commerce details. The American Association for Justice, the trade group for the trial bar, lobbied for legislation that would overrule the Supreme Court’s labeling ruling. That went nowhere, so AAJ moved on to the FDA, which held a “listen-only session” with some of the group’s executives. The agency took no other meetings before proposing the rule in late 2013.

If the FDA were merely interested in innovating its drug-labeling procedures, there are more efficient options: The agency is developing a safety-information database known as the Sentinel Initiative. The American Enterprise Institute’s Scott Gottlieb and colleagues have suggested that the FDA could create a label-monitoring program with this wealth of data. The FDA could then assure that labels are changed uniformly across drug makers and reflect the latest information.

Generic-drug regulation will never make a splashy headline, but the industry fills more than 80% of prescriptions, and patients will eventually notice the added expense. So the next time you hear a political sermon on the scandalous expense of treatments, remember this government collusion to keep drug prices high.


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Oil Prices Slip On Profit-Taking As Investors Await U.S. Stockpile Data

By Keith Wallis
Reuters
September 27, 2016

Crude futures slipped in Asian trade on Tuesday as investors took profits after prices climbed more than 3 percent in the previous session.

The dollar was also weighing on oil prices after rising against a basket of currencies, suggesting markets were judging Democrat Hillary Clinton as the winner in the first U.S. presidential debate with Republican candidate Donald Trump.

A stronger greenback makes commodities like crude that trade on a dollar basis more expensive for consumers that pay in other currencies.

Expectations of a build in U.S. crude stockpiles last week, according to a Reuters poll, also pressured prices amid concerns of a global oversupply.

Major oil producers are gathering in Algeria for a three-day meeting that could see moves to cut or freeze oil output in an effort to support oil prices.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil producers led by Russia are meeting informally on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum in Algeria from Sept. 26-28.

But markets remained skeptical that producers would reach a deal, said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at Sydney's CMC Markets.

"The dominant news for investors is U.S. inventory data unless we see something surprising out of Algiers," he said.

The reversal in oil prices during the Asian time zone on Tuesday meant investors were generally profit-taking, McCarthy said.

Brent crude futures slipped 15 cents to $47.20 a barrel as of 0346 GMT after closing up $1.46, or 3.2 percent in the previous session.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 6 cents to $45.87 a barrel, after rising $1.45, or 3.3 percent, in the previous session.

U.S. commercial crude oil stocks likely rose by an average of 2.8 million barrels to 507.4 million barrels in the week to Sept. 23, reversing three weeks of unexpected drawdowns, a Reuters poll of seven analysts showed.

That came ahead of weekly inventory reports from industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API) that will be released later on Tuesday, and the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA) that will be published on Wednesday.

OPEC member Iran on Monday downplayed the chances of oil producers clinching an output-restraint deal although several other producers, including the United Arab Emirates and Algeria, hoped measures could be agreed to curb output.

"With the market still unconvinced an agreement will be reached, any signs that OPEC will cap output could see prices surge higher," said ANZ in a market report on Tuesday.


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Twitter Could Take Many Forms, Depending On New Owner

By Liana B. Baker
Reuters
September 27, 2016

With speculation mounting that Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) will soon have a new corporate owner, the 10-year-old social networking service - which has long struggled to define its core purpose -may end up heading in one of several distinctly different directions depending on who ends up paying for it.

Companies including Salesforce.com Inc (CRM.N), Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) and Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) Google have shown interest in Twitter, which is working with investment banks to evaluate its options, according to people familiar with the matter.

With Salesforce.com, Twitter might turn its focus to customer service communications and mining its database of tweets for business intelligence. Google would likely be most interested in the social and news dimensions of Twitter. Disney, by contrast, might see it as a way to expand the reach of its sports and entertainment programming.

It is not clear how quickly Twitter might approach a sale, but it is moving to formalize the process, sources have said. A deal is by no means assured in light of the company's uncertain financial prospects and steep price tag - its market value is more than $16 billion after talk of a sale drove the stock up over the past few days.

Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey, speaking at a conference in Washington on Monday, declined to comment on possible sale talks.

Corporate Route?


Salesforce.com, run by CEO Marc Benioff, is focused on cloud-based sales and marketing software; unlike Twitter, its main product is aimed at businesses users, not consumers. Under Salesforce.com, Twitter could become a corporate tool used to power sentiment analysis and nurture customer relationships.

Salesforce.com already uses the Twitter "firehose" for its new artificial intelligence platform, Einstein.

"It would give them the social graph and a better idea of how social media relates to its customers," said Ryan Holmes, chief executive of Hootsuite, a private technology firm that helps brands and consumers manage their social media accounts.

Holmes also said that if Salesforce.com owned all of Twitter's data, it could have better insights into what sort of conversations companies such as airlines or telecom firms might be having with their customers and thereby gain more understanding of their business challenges.

But many Twitter users - especially newer ones - are not active tweeters, which over time could limit the value of the data Twitter can provide. Salesforce.com could also likely gain much of the benefit of Twitter's data from licensing its trove of tweets as opposed to buying the whole company.

Salesforce.com investors are already spooked by the speculation it could acquire Twitter: its shares are down 6 percent since news of the company's interest flared up last week.

Google Ad Plan


Twitter would fit easily with Google's online advertising-driven business model. Ads could be sold across paid search, YouTube, display and mobile on Twitter - while filling a gap for Google, which has struggled with social media.

"Google already has the eyeballs with advertisers. Cross-selling to the Twitter inventory could be an amazing play for them," Hootsuite's Holmes said.

Google, which has expertise in monitoring its video service YouTube, would know how to deal with the tricky policy issues facing Twitter, such as abusive tweets and censorship.

Still, such a tie-up faces potentially fatal regulatory hurdles, analysts said. In Europe, where the company has a bigger share of the search market than in the United States, the company is already facing two antitrust investigations.

"Google could help Twitter's user acquisition problem. The unknown is whether regulators in the United States and European Union would allow the transaction," said BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield.

Facebook Inc (FB.O), meanwhile, has been trying to replicate Twitter on its own platform and could also face antitrust challenges if it tried to buy the company, Greenfield said. So far Facebook has not been mentioned as a potential buyer, but with its large cash reserves and penchant for surprise moves it cannot be counted out.

The Media Play


Twitter's foray into live streaming of National Football League games and its presence in news gathering could interest media companies such as Disney, which owns sports channel ESPN.

Twitter's presence on mobile devices could help any media company, all of which are struggling to find mobile growth, according to BTIG's Greenfield. No media company has a mobile product with as much reach as Twitter, he noted.

"The world of media is shifting to mobile and these newer platforms are becoming the future," Greenfield said.

Still, media companies do not have the best track record with social media. News Corp's (NWSA.O) acquisition of MySpace in 2005 ended in disaster. And some question whether the media companies and top personalities that have been so important to Twitter would stick around if a rival media firm were the owner.


Article Link To Reuters;

Chinese Hunger For Australia Food Leaves A $1 Billion Tax Hole

By Swati Pandey and Jonathan Barrett 
Reuters
September 27, 2016

Australia might be missing out on up to A$1 billion ($763.30 million) in uncollected taxes annually from Chinese agents who ship food back home to meet insatiable demand from a booming middle class.

There are 40,000 so-called Chinese 'daigou' in Australia making anywhere between A$40,000 to A$100,000 a year selling sought after products like baby milk formula, vitamins and organic cosmetics in China, according to industry consultants.

Most of that income earned by daigou - meaning 'buy on behalf of' in Chinese - is unlikely to be declared, said Benjamin Sun, director at consultancy ThinkChina.

"A Chinese consumer pays the daigou in renminbi. The daigou buys the product using the Australian dollar and then ship it," said Sun.

The sector, almost non-existent just three years ago, is another tax headache for Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison who is overseeing a national crackdown on corporate tax loopholes targeted at major companies including Google Inc and miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

Daigou first made waves in Europe shipping luxury items like Gucci handbags to China's growing middle class. Demand from Australia, stoked by health-conscious affluent Chinese, is mainly for dairy, general produce and health products.

Paul Drum, head of policy at accounting body CPA Australia, said the tax take equated to up to $1 billion - based on the industry estimates of the number of daigou and their annual earnings - when Australia's sliding tax scale and tax-free thresholds were taken into account.

While the transactions almost exclusively occur offshore in daigou bank accounts, making it difficult to track by local tax authorities, the income should be declared where the business is conducted - Australia.

"The fact the fund flows might be going through a foreign bank account and never come into Australia doesn't alleviate the requirement to declare the income as taxable," said Peter Janetzki, a partner in Ernst & Young's international tax services team.

Daigou operate through an established network of prospective customers on popular Chinese online messaging app WeChat. They typically charge premiums of about 50 percent above the sticker price on Australian store shelves.

While there are some similarities to tax concerns raised with those who buy and sell regularly on online platforms like Ebay (EBAY.O), tracking daigou transactions has been made even more difficult for the Australian Tax Office (ATO) given they tend to take place in China.

The ATO did not respond to requests for comment from Reuters.

CPA's Drum said the growth of the industry represented a "potential tax revenue risk" for Australia but noted that the concept of exporting by individuals was not new.

"It is not surprising that (the number of daigou) is growing, given both the increasing overseas consumer demand for Australian-sourced quality products and the rise of digital communications."


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Clinton Gains In Online Betting Markets After U.S. Presidential Debate

By Angela Moon 
Reuters
September 27, 2016

U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's probability of winning the White House gained in online betting markets following the first debate of the campaign on Monday night between her and Republican Donald Trump.

A Clinton contract on the popular PredictIt betting market gained 6 cents from the previous day's level to 69 cents, while a contract favoring Donald Trump's prospects for victory tumbled 7 cents to 31 cents. Contracts are priced from 0 cents to 100 cents, with the contract price equating to a probability of whether that candidate will win the Nov. 8 election.

The price swings for both candidates were the largest since early August, and placed Clinton's lead in that market at the widest in about two weeks.

Clinton's prospects also improved on the Irish betting site Paddy Power.

About halfway through Monday's debate, she was shown as a 1-to-2 favorite, and those odds shortened to 4-to-9 in the moments after the debate ended. Trump's odds lengthened to 23-to-10 from 9-to-4.

The swing following the debate put the brakes on a big Trump price rally on PredictIt that coincided with a tightening in most public opinion polls. The implied probability of him winning had risen to 38 cents on Sunday from just 28 cents at the end of August.

Bets on Trump fell as low as 5 cents on February but went up as high as 44 cents in May. Bets on Clinton, the persistent favorite in most wagering markets, went as low as 37 cents in January and as high as 79 cents in August.

The debate on Monday was the first of three scheduled face-offs between the two candidates before the Nov. 8 election.


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Lester Holt Shows He Doesn’t Know The Meaning Of Impartial

By Kyle Smith
The New York Post
September 27, 2016

The ref not only made himself part of the game on Monday night, he ran up to the scrimmage line, then sacked the quarterback three times.

In the early going, it looked like it was going to be an ideal, Jim Lehrer-style performance from Lester Holt, the NBC Nightly News anchor. Lehrer was so boringly nonpartisan, so unwilling to play gotcha that he was always hotly in demand to moderate debates. For the first half or so, Holt gave simple, broad, open-ended questions and let the candidates go at it. He didn’t venture into live fact-checking, didn’t much quarrel with the nominees, didn’t ask persnickety questions.

For the most part, Holt asked the kinds of basic questions that gave Hillary Clinton and Trump plenty of opportunities to repeat favored talking points: what would you do to pump some life into the job market? How would you heal the race divide? Are police biased against minorities? What’s your policy on homegrown terrorist attacks?

But in the last half of the show, Holt started going after Trump. He got into an unfortunate bickering match with the Republican nominee over the latter’s (apparently offhand) support for the Iraq War in a 2002 Howard Stern interview. It was perfectly reasonable to bring up the point, but the exchange became tiresome on both sides, with the two men talking past each other. Holt would have been wiser to simply say, “In 2002, you told Howard Stern you supported the Iraq War. Tonight you say you didn’t. Can you explain?” Arguing with Trump is Clinton’s job, not Holt’s.

Trump’s birther argle-bargle is something the media have shown far too much interest in given its relative non-importance, but it was also fair of Holt to give Trump a chance to put the question to rest in front of a large audience. Trump bungled the opportunity, but it was hardly an unfair topic to bring up given that questioning President Obama’s birthplace is how Trump became a national political figure in the first place, and given that Trump made a circus out of the matter just 10 days earlier.

Still, having put Trump on the hot seat on a couple of questions, and giving no such pushback to Clinton, Holt then got into a third tug-of-war with the GOP standard-bearer, demanding that Trump answer for his remark that Clinton didn’t have “the look” of a president.

When Trump tried to change the subject to stamina, Holt (and then Clinton) pressed the point.

So Holt’s questions were fair game, but it’s not the case that Clinton has nothing to be embarrassed about either. Holt might have questioned her about, for instance, the role she played in arranging the sale of American uranium assets to Russia after Clinton and her foundation accepted large checks from shady intermediaries. He might have noted that she was chided by the FBI for her reckless mishandling of classified information, or that she put sensitive national security information on a server, less secure than Gmail, that could easily be hacked by the Russians. He could have asked her whether she could be trusted about her health given that she apparently wasn’t going to tell the public she had pneumonia until she collapsed on 9/11 (and even then stonewalled for hours).

True, Hillary Clinton has answered a lot of these kinds of questions before, but the not in front of a huge national audience. For Holt to allow her to get away with saying, “”It was a mistake” on her usage of email doesn’t cut it, not from a guy who was willing to hammer Trump on a remark like “I just don’t think she has a presidential look.”


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Hannity Backs Up Trump On Iraq War

By Ben Kamisar
The Hill
September 27, 2016

Fox News's Sean Hannity came to Donald Trump's defense Monday night, corroborating the GOP presidential nominee's debate claim that he had expressed doubts about the Iraq War to the anchor.

In a post-debate interview between Trump and Hannity, the Fox News anchor backed up the business magnate's account of conversations about the Iraq invasion.

"You know how many times we had conversations about that? You told me I was wrong, in fairness," Hannity said.

"It was respectful and I understood where you were coming from," Trump responded.

"I was against the war, I thought it would destabilize the Middle East. I didn't realize it would be managed so badly," he added.

Trump mentioned Hannity to push back on accusations from debate moderator Lester Holt that he initially supported the Iraq War.

"I had numerous conversations with Sean Hannity at Fox," Trump said.

"He and I used to have arguments about the war," Trump added. "I said it's a terrible, stupid thing. It's going to destabilize the Middle East, and that's exactly what it's done."

Howard Stern in a 2002 radio interview asked Trump whether he supported invading Iraq.

"Yeah, I guess so," Trump replied. "I wish the first time it was done correctly."

He addressed the Stern interview during the debate, calling it "mainstream media nonsense" that he supported the war. Trump said the Stern interview was the first time anyone had asked him the question, and he responded "very lightly."


Article Link To The Hill: