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Hillary Clinton is a victim of malpractice by so-called liberal media

On several occasions recently, I’ve complained here about the poor job the media are doing in covering the race for the presidency of the United States. Perhaps the greatest example of this phenomenon is the overdone coverage of Donald Trump. But there’s another example, one that belies the notion that the mainstream media are guilty of a relentless liberal bias. I refer, of course, to the treatment Hillary Clinton is getting. Brent Budowsky has more on this matter HERE: In another example of media malpractice, CNN on Wednesday released a poll that showed Clinton defeating every Republican opponent by between 6 percent and 10 percent. If this margin victory for Clinton occurs on Election Day, it may bring Democrats back into control of the Senate and give Democrats some chance of regaining control of the House, especially if Clinton wins by the 9 percent that the poll showed her defeating Jeb Bush by. And yet, in a stunning example of media malpractice, many political commentators stated that a poll showing Clinton winning by such large margins is a setback for the Clinton campaign, and proof of her faltering campaign. I promise you, if the Lord tells any Democrat that his or her candidate for president is going to win by 6 percent to 10 percent on Election Day, that person would be jumping for joy, and if the Lord said to any Republican that his or her candidate would lose by 6 percent to 10 percent, they would be mourning into their beer or Merlot.  To report otherwise is a political incompetence and media malpractice that was rampant throughout the media in the reporting about that poll. (Snip) The malpractice is magnified again when reporters shout perp-walk-style questions to a candidate about a criminal investigation that does not exist and will not happen, and then offer, instead of objective analysis of the facts, their theatrical evaluation of the candidate’s rhetorical charm when faced with this media malpractice mayhem. It is media malpractice turned into farce when commentators suggest that a CNN poll showing the Democratic candidate winning by 6 percent to 10 points is in trouble and that the Republican candidates losing by 6 percente to 10 points are doing well. Does Hillary Clinton’s campaign have challenges? Yes, you can bet your pants suit it does. But there is not one Republican candidate who would not trade places with her strength in the campaign for the nomination and general election. Any GOP candidate who claims otherwise is bearing false witness, and anyone who reports otherwise is guilty of one more moment of media malpractice.      ...

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If you want to argue about birthright citizenship, you better brush up on its history

The one good thing about the emergence of birthright citizenship as an issue in the presidential race is that it promotes — or should promote — an effort to learn about the history of the idea. In 1868, a few years after the end of the Civil War, the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted, and it said this: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. That sounds pretty unambiguous, right? If you were born in the United States, you’re a citizen. Period. Paragraph. But, of course, it’s not all that simple. The meaning and implications of that single sentence in the 14th Amendment have  been a matter of dispute over the  years, and they still are. Law school professor  Gabriel J. Chin offers a good little history of the matter HERE, which includes this passage: In the 1980s, the question of birthright citizenship began to take a similar shape as the “anchor baby” panic we see today. In their influential 1985 book Citizenship Without Consent: Illegal Aliens in the American Polity scholars Peter Schuck and Rogers Smith argued that Congress could deny birthright citizenship to the children of unauthorized migrants… Many scholars, myself included, believe their argument has been definitively debunked. There was virtually no federal immigration law in 1868. The Fourteenth Amendment can’t have been silently limited to the children of immigrants who were here with federal authorization, because that category simply did not exist at the time.  The Internet offers lots of other worthy histories of the 14th Amendment and its stuff about birthright...

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Shocking evidence that the Republican Party is no longer the Party of Lincoln

Gradually over the past 50 years or so, the Republican Party has relinquished its ideological ties to the legacy of Abraham Lincoln. The GOP has become the party of neo-Confederates, Southern right-wingers and bigoted xenophobes. No, not all Republicans are that way. I still have Republican friends who aren’t reactionary extremists. But their kind no longer hold sway in the GOP. Then, too, I know of Republicans who seem oblivious to the fact that the segregationist Southerners of half a century ago eventually switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party. That’s one of the reasons why liberal Republicans have become as rare as hen’s teeth. And now we have the unseemly spectacle of Donald Trump and some of his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination speaking out against one of their party’s historic constitutional achievements. Greg Sargent EXPLAINS: Donald Trump’s call for doing away with birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants has once again focused media attention on the idea and led some of his GOP rivals to signal openness to it. The Huffington Post looked at the positions of the 2016 GOP candidates and concluded that “a good chunk of the GOP field” wants to revisit birthright citizenship. As conservative writer Ben Domenech notes, many other GOP lawmakers have supported the idea in recent years, as do Republican voters, even though birthright citizenship is “one of the things that is relatively unique to the American experiment,” and requires rebelling against the “Constitutional mandate placed within the Fourteenth Amendment in the wake of the Civil War.” But there’s another historical irony here that was pointed out by renowned American historian Eric Foner: The 14th amendment and birthright citizenship rank among the great and defining accomplishments of the Republican Party, back when it was the Party of Lincoln.  ...

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Is Hillary’s campaign in big trouble? The media seem to hope so

You’ve probably heard or read something or other of late about how Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers are down and her campaign for president has come to an especially rough patch. There’s probably some truth to all of that, but perhaps not nearly as much as some people think. You see, much of this stuff about Hillary’s problems serves the best interests of the mainstream media (never mind the right-wing noise machine). But Nate Silver, the best political numbers-cruncher in the business, still puts Hillary’s chances of winning the Democratic at 86 percent. And Silver explains Hillary’s media problem THUSLY: Even if there were no Clinton scandals, she’d probably still be receiving fairly negative press coverage. The campaign press more or less openly confesses to a certain type of bias: rooting for the story. Inevitability makes for a really boring story, especially when it involves a figure like Clinton who has been in public life for so long. Instead, the media wants campaigns with lots of “game changers,” unexpected plot twists and photo finishes. If the story isn’t really there, the press can cobble one together by invoking fuzzy concepts like “momentum” and “expectations,” or by cherry-picking polls and other types of evidence. The lone recent poll to show Sanders ahead of Clinton in New Hampshire made banner headlines, for example, while the many other polls that have Clinton still leading, or which show Sanders’s surge slowing down in Iowa and nationally have mostly been ignored. As a result, the flow of news that Americans are getting about Clinton is quite negative. Indeed, the steady decline in her favorability ratings seems consistent with the drip, drip, drip of negative coverage, as opposed to the spikes upward and downward that one might expect if any one development was all that significant to voters. (Snip) The good news from Clinton’s standpoint is that the master narrative will be reset if and when she eventually wins the nomination, Republicans choose their candidate and the general election begins.    ...

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Still Jim Crow: Blacks often barred from court juries in the South

Racism, Martin Luther King Jr. once observed, is “the hound from hell that dogs the tracks of civilization.” The truth of that adage is far less cruel in America today than it was when I was a kid in the 1950s. Younger people can only read about how bad it was in the segregationist South of half a century ago. The civil rights movement improved the situation in countless ways. But let’s not kid ourselves. There still are problems. Consider, for example, the situation with regard to criminal court juries in most Southern states. New research, as we see HERE, shows that blacks are more likely than whites to be excluded from juries: [A] groundbreaking new study absolutely confirms much of what we’ve believed to be true for decades about African Americans being denied a jury of their peers in districts all over the country. In Shreveport, Louisiana, where more black men  are being sent to death row than any single district in the country, district attorneys and prosecutors would routinely preemptively strike African Americans from juries at three times the rate of their white counterparts. For preemptive strikes, no rationale or reason is required. Similarly disturbing rates and practices were actually found throughout the American South in Georgia, North Carolina, and Alabama. The impact is staggering and often means the difference between life and death for those on trial. Here are some reasons prosecutors have offered for excluding blacks from juries: They were young or old, single or divorced, religious or not, failed to make eye contact, lived in a poor part of town, had served in the military, had a hyphenated last name, displayed bad posture, were sullen, disrespectful or talkative, had long hair, wore a beard.  ...

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New poll shows that NRA is at odds with most Americans on gun control

The National Rifle Association continues to hold sway in Congress — mainly because it’s ability to marshal its forces against politicians who dare oppose its stances scares the hell out of most lawmakers. The pols know that more than a few gun nuts are single-issue voters. Nothing matters more to these zealots than their firearms. But the fact remains that the NRA’s resistance to even common-sense gun-control measures doesn’t jibe with public opinion. Consider THIS: Two years after the failure of Senate legislation to expand background checks on gun purchases, the public continues to overwhelmingly support making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks. Currently, 85% of Americans – including large majorities of Democrats (88%) and Republicans (79%) – favor expanded background checks, little changed from May 2013 (81%). The latest Pew Research Center poll of 2,002 adults, conducted July 14-20, finds that opinions about other gun policy proposals also are largely unchanged from two years ago, shortly after the December 2012 school shootings in Newtown, Conn. Nearly eight-in-ten (79%) favor laws to prevent people with mental illness from purchasing guns, 70% back the creation of a federal database to track all gun sales, while a smaller majority (57%) supports a ban on assault-style weapons....

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