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Essential Reading

Sign of the times

trump arabic signIn the third and last presidential debate Donald Trump asserted that US election laws are being violated left and right, a claim for which he has been near-universally criticised. What he might better have said is that US election laws are a farce -- and he could have pointed to the sign pictured atop this post as his proof.

The billboard, erected by a Chicago political action lobby group that goes by the unlikely name of the Nuisance Committee, purports in its official filings to be "non-aligned". Directed at Arabic speakers in Dearborn, Michigan, the translation reads:

"Donald Trump, he can't read this, but he is afraid of it."

Clearly intended to deliver an anti-Trump message to Dearborn's large Middle Eastern population it is, however, entirely within the law. As the Nuisance Committee's most recent filing with the Federal Election Committee states

"This committee will not use those [raised] funds to make contributions, whether direct, in-kind or via coordinated communications to federal candidates or committees."

Technically speaking, it has honoured that pledge by not explicitly urging Dearborn's Arabs to vote for Hillary Clinton, yet that message comes through loud and clear. It was certainly not lost on the NBC television network, which bannered its story about the billboard beneath the headline

"Anti-Trump Billboard in Michigan Taunts Candidate -- in Arabic"

That story can be read in full via the link below. Nowhere in it will you find the thought that a "non-aligned" PAC's money is very much aligned with the cause of Trump's opponent.

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The worst of Times

NYTSherlock Holmes knew the significance of dogs that don't bark -- a skill that would have seen him spot in an instant what is so wrong with the New York Times "fact check" of the candidates' claims, counterclaims and tossed-off assertions during yesterday's third presidential debate. As an example of an event viewed through the distorting prism of partisanship it is hard to beat. Consider the very first entry:

Mr. Trump said that health insurance premiums were “going up 60, 70, 80 percent,” and “next year, they’re going to go up over 100 percent.”

This was rated "overstated", yet the Times' explanation actually agrees with Trump's appraisal (emphasis added):

"Increases of 25 percent to 45 percent or more have been approved in some states. But increases of 80 percent or more are rare."

Rare they may be, but evidently they do happen. So Trump was correct. More than that, the Times' "fact check" supports his contention that Obamacare is a disaster, yet makes no comment on increased premiums of between "25 percent to 45 percent". Should Times reporters be afflicted with salary reductions of that size, one can imagine annoyance in the newsroom being widespread.

How could this be? How is it that a news organisation which purports to be America's journal of record gets it so wrong?

Well, part of the explanation resides in the Times' opinion of itself, best summed up by a former editor who arrogantly quipped that "it hasn't happened until the Times reports it." So, if Hillary lies and the Times looks the other way, she's blameless. If an upstart news organisation gets the wood on dirty tricks, as Steve Kates notes, those revelations won't count for a hill of beans when the Times ignores them.

And there is one other factor to explain such selective blindness --  a factor the Times itself touched upon in a recent profile of Ben Rhodes, US deputy national security adviser and a lead architect of much of Obama's foreign policy. Here it is:

"The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

For what it is worth, the Times' fact-checking can be read via the link below. Oh, and do notice the biggest dog that didn't bark: no examination of Trump's assertion that Mrs Clinton's operatives and Democrat associates are in the business of voter fraud, ballot-stuffing and making sure the dead vote early and often. It didn't bark because the Times declined to let that matter out of its kennel in the first place.

-- roger franklin

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Mrs Clinton's plumbers

hillary scamToday (Oct 20), in just a few hours' time, Hillary Clinton will meet Donald Trump in the third and final presidential debate. Mrs Clinton, who must tread carefully, will be keen to walk the encounter toward the topic of her rival's alleged mistreatment of women. Given that she is the enabler, apologist and wife of a man who educated a White House intern in the innovative use of unlit cigars, not to mention having been repeatedly accused of rape, this will require a degree of finesse.

Trump's chore will be no less demanding. Throughout the campaign, and particular over recent weeks, he has attacked 'Crooked Hillary', attempting to turn the media's gaze to the Clinton Foundation, its stated goals and principles, and the scrofulous states that have filled its coffers while actively suppressing any and all domestic movements aimed at achieving that which Mrs Clinton claims to hold dear. Gulf State potentates underwrite the Foundation's feminist preachings while remaining determined to treat women as breeding stock and instruments of pleasure. The Democrat is apparently copasetic with this, just so long as the money keeps rolling in.

And Trump's brief has just grown even more challenging, courtesy of Wikileaks and the recent 'document dump' that demonstrated how the Democrats' "plumbers", to borrow from Richard Nixon, and Hillary's back-room operatives have schemed and conspired to suppress any further Wiki revelations. It is a complicated tale and presents Trump with the challenge of describing in but a few, sound byte-worthy words the shenanigans aimed at keeping Mrs Clinton's chicanery under wraps, at least until after November 8.

Atop this post is a bullet-point summary of the gambits initiated by those intimately associated with the Clinton campaign and their dark dealings. The link below lays out the entire chain of bogus entities and machinations intended to put a lid on any further talk of the likely next president's corruption.

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The Howard Era

Edited by Keith Windschuttle, David Martin Jones and Ray Evans

Essays by Tony Abbott, James Allan, Chris Berg, Ian Callinan, Sinclair Davidson and more.

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