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Charges of Ohio Voter List 'Purge' Prove to Be Unfounded

Mark Hemingway - November 11, 2019

On Oct. 15, The New York Times reported, “Ohio Was Set to Purge 235,000 Voters. It Was Wrong About 20%.” The alarming article goes on to focus on the sleuthing done by citizen activists who helped uncover these errors. The story led with a startling anecdote: Jen Miller, an activist working on voter registration efforts who voted three times last year, discovered that “the state was in the process of removing her from its voter rolls.”

Except that a fact sheet being distributed by the Ohio secretary of state’s office flatly disputes the Times’ reporting: “Does this mean Ohio almost cancelled more than 40,000 registrations in error? Absolutely not.” The secretary of state’s office is anxious to present a counternarrative. Rather than having made major mistakes in cleaning up its voter rolls, the state says that the adoption of innovative new procedures for voter list maintenance actually saved 40,000 people from being removed from the voter rolls wrongly. And it’s all because the state embraced radical transparency and crowdsourcing.

The dispute over how to portray what happened in Ohio also highlights the struggle, particularly among Republican state officials, to cull inaccurate voter registration records and minimize potential voter fraud without courting controversy. Maintaining accurate voter data is required by federal law, yet a 2012 Pew Center for the States study found that one out of every eight voter registrations -- some 24 million -- are “no longer valid or are significantly inaccurate.” Despite this, national Democrats and allied activists now alleged that routine voter list maintenance is masking a sinister agenda of vote suppression.

In this case, the Ohio secretary of state’s office insists, the actual number of names that were wrongly included on the list of 235,000 inactive voters was around 6,800. According to the office, this was the result of a database error by an outside vendor and was corrected before anyone’s voter registration was erroneously invalidated.

Anti-Trump Resistance Is 'Treason of the Intellectuals'

Frank Miele - November 11, 2019

The anonymous traitor who declared war against the president of the United States in the New York Times a year ago is set to strike again.

The author rose to fame with “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” an essay proclaiming that he or she was actively working to subvert the presidency of his or her boss, Donald Trump. Now, just over a year later, the high-ranking (possibly former) official has written “A Warning,” a book that promises to add fuel to the impeachment fire.

It also provides a bookend to that other “anonymous” conspirator against President Trump — the famed Ukraine phone call “whistleblower,” whose identity is all but confirmed by the work of Paul Sperry at RealClearInvestigations, among others. I’ve written about the presumed whistleblower on my own blog,, and celebrated Sen. Rand Paul throwing down the gauntlet in front of the “hear no whistleblower, see no whistleblower” media, telling them to “Do Your Job!”

But the complicit mainstream media insist on “respecting” the anonymity of the Ukraine whistleblower and, for now at least, the anonymity of the official who wrote “A Warning.” Indeed, a less supine media would be hard to imagine. It’s almost as though they are literally in bed with the anti-Trump whistleblowers and Resistance.

The Futility of Bloomberg 2020

Bill Scher - November 11, 2019

The track record of late presidential entrants is poor, as I chronicled in my previous column. Wesley Clark, Fred Thompson and Rick Perry all jumped into their respective primaries in the August or September before the first votes were cast, generating massive amounts of hype, which they then failed to match.

Former New York City Mayor and media mogul Michael Bloomberg is not taking my counsel. While he has not quite formally announced, he is submitting the requisite paperwork in states with early filing deadlines: Alabama last Friday and Arkansas this coming Tuesday.

Bloomberg’s late-entry strategy is more ludicrous than what Clark, Thompson and Perry cooked up. Bloomberg plans to completely skip the first four contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, and begin competing on “Super Tuesday,” March 3, when 15 states will hold primaries.

There is superficial logic to this plan. The billionaire former Republican isn’t a great fit for the college-educated liberals of Iowa and New Hampshire, nor for the union workers of Nevada, nor for the African Americans of South Carolina. Winning any of those four small-state contests involves much retail campaigning, and Bloomberg is very late in assembling high-quality, locally sourced, get-out-the-vote operations. So, he might as well pass on the ground game and go straight to the air war — dumping millions into a Super Tuesday TV and online ad blitz.

Media Malfeasance at ABC News and Beyond

Steve Cortes - November 11, 2019

Last week the fake-news operatives of our corporate media complex, particularly ABC News, revealed through their duplicity that they thoroughly deserve President Trump’s denigration as “the enemy of the people.” Far too many American media practitioners today forsake journalism in favor of narrative promotion. Indeed, they consistently show themselves to be a cabal of group-think “resistance” advocates masquerading as reporters.

The tapes released last week by Project Veritas revealed not only the stark hypocrisy of ABC News, but also the rank depravity of that organization for apparently covering up for a serial sexual abuser of young girls – and perhaps for his powerful friends as well. Making matters worse from a journalistic angle, both Amy Robach, the reporter involved, and her employer issued absurd statements attempting to deflect scrutiny of this clear ethical breach.

In the hot-microphone clip, the “Good Morning America” co-host and “20/20” co-anchor bemoans that “I’ve had this story for three years. … We [ABC] would not put it on air.” Speaking of her Jeffrey Epstein expose, she continues: “It was unbelievable. … We had Clinton, we had everything.” Robach also implicates a British royal, stating she had “whole allegations about Prince Andrew,” and that when the “palace” threatened ABC, the network buckled, in part, to ensure future access to Kate Middleton and Prince William. Robach also asserts that “Jeffrey Epstein was the most prolific pedophile this country has ever known.”

In her post-release explanation for those assessments, Robach tried to dismiss the tape as a “private moment of frustration.” First, it certainly was not private. She was a two-decade TV veteran, mic’d up and on camera, apparently conversing with several people in an ABC studio. This episode involved no hidden recordings or subterfuge. Second, regarding her “frustration,” how about considering the angst and lifetime scars carried by the victims of Epstein? According to Robach, her own information on this case would have validated their accusations years before the Miami Herald finally brought the case to wider exposure, leading to new charges against Epstein.

Futile Run? No 'Purge' in Ohio; Soldiers' Sacrifice

Carl M. Cannon - November 11, 2019

Good morning, it’s Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. The First World War ended on this date when a cease-fire was forged between the Allies and Germany, taking effect at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. The following year, Armistice Day (or Remembrance Day) was observed in Great Britain, France, and the United States.

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory,” said President Woodrow Wilson.

In time, the name of the commemoration was changed to Veterans Day, an alteration necessitated by the simple fact that “the war to end war” had done no such thing. I’ll have a brief thought on this expectation in a moment. First, I’d point you to RealClearPolitics’ front page, which presents our poll averages, videos, breaking news stories, and aggregated opinion columns spanning the political spectrum. We also offer original material from our own reporters and contributors, including the following:

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Still a Chance? 2020 Longshots Insist Race Is up for Grabs

Nicholas Riccardi - November 11, 2019

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Bernie Sanders rallied hundreds of supporters outside the New Hampshire capital when the senator formally filed to compete in the state’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary. A howling crowd cheered South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg as he walked through the statehouse to file his paperwork.

When it was Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet’s turn, he wound up with about a dozen supporters and a pep talk from Secretary of State Bill Gardner, the dean of the New Hampshire primary.

“Giving the little guy a chance, that’s what it’s about,” Gardner assured Bennet, who sits at about 1% in most polls.

Voters cast ballots in less than three months, and the Democratic primary is still crowded with little guys. Roughly a half-dozen candidates in the very bottom tier of the Democratic presidential primary are soldiering on, hoping that even after months of campaigning without catching fire that there’s still a chance. Their resolve reflects, in part, some Democrats’ insistence that the lineup of top contenders is deeply flawed and the race is primed for some late twists and turns.

Count on Big Media to Protect Anti-Trump Sources

Debra Saunders - November 10, 2019

WASHINGTON -- It's so precious watching big-name journalists speak of the sanctity of the anonymity of the Ukrainian phone call whistleblower.

They say they're concerned that publishing the whistleblower's name will discourage other whistleblowers from coming forward. Funny, they didn't seem to care in 2010 when, thanks to WikiLeaks, diplomatic emails were splayed across front pages and national security officials complained that the leaks hindered their work and spooked worthy allies.

If there's one group that big media will support, it's anonymous sources who discredit President Donald Trump. Notice how they want to protect a source's privacy until it becomes a disposable tool to a political end.

Like Anita Hill, Christine Blasey Ford was a reluctant witness against now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Her privacy was sacrosanct and vulnerability unassailable -- right up until the moment her testimony was needed to destroy Kavanaugh's reputation.

The Limits of Impeachment

Michael Young - November 9, 2019

Impeachment is quintessentially a political process – as the swarming hordes on both sides of the aisle remind us ad nauseam. It’s become a national legal pageant as well, performed by a cascading convergence of Washington lawyers now involved in every aspect of the unfolding drama.

Impeachment’s most important function, however, is not merely political or even legal, but rather it serves as a vehicle for national catharsis – filling a need that bubbles up at exactly the time faith in our major institutions is melting down. 

Impeachment allows us to express the fury, resentment, and angst of national crisis at a time when the system offers no other way to do it. And it achieves this without long-term damage to the basic tenets of democracy. Impeachment is our national steam valve, a veritable escape hatch for volatile and explosive political forces we are not yet ready to confront.

This is not an argument that impeachment carries no political consequences or legal implications. Its political consequences are profound while its legal implications are enshrined in the very framework of the Constitution’s system of checks and balances as well as the separation of powers.

Trump Pushes Back on Reports U.S. Will Remove China Tariffs

Christopher Rugaber - November 9, 2019

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Friday dismissed a Chinese official’s assertion that his administration has agreed to roll back some of the higher tariffs it’s imposed on Chinese goods.

The Chinese official said Thursday that the two sides had agreed to a phased cancellation of their tariff hikes as part of an emerging agreement.

Trump’s pushback suggested that negotiations haven’t progressed as far as hoped as the world’s two biggest economies struggle to negotiate an end to their trade war, which has hurt both economies.

“They’d like to have a rollback,” Trump told reporters at the White House, referring to the Chinese. “I haven’t agreed to anything.”

Bloomberg Move Seen as Slam on Dems' Current 2020 Field

Steve Peoples - November 9, 2019

BLUFFTON, S.C. (AP) — All is not well in the Democratic Party’s quest for a presidential nominee.

Just ask Michael Bloomberg.

The New York billionaire, whose career in business and politics has been guided by data and analysis above all, is stepping toward a Democratic run of his own less than 90 days before the first votes are cast. More than anything, his decision reflects two prime factors: the glaring weakness of establishment-favorite Joe Biden and persistent fears that his surging rival, Elizabeth Warren, is too liberal to defeat President Donald Trump in a general election.

It’s far from clear that Bloomberg, a former Republican with no broad political base, can compete with Biden or Warren should he decide to run. Yet his step in that direction represents a powerful indictment of his new party’s presidential field.

Trump Launches Black Outreach Effort for 2020

Kevin Freking - November 8, 2019

ATLANTA (AP) — During the 2016 campaign, candidate Donald Trump stood in front of largely white crowds and asked black voters to consider, “What the hell do you have to lose?”

Four years later, the president has a new message for black voters: Look what I’ve delivered.

Trump and his campaign launched a new “Black Voices for Trump” outreach initiative in Atlanta on Friday dedicated to “recruiting and activating Black Americans in support of President Trump,” according to the campaign. Much of that effort will focus on highlighting ways that African Americans have benefited from the Trump economy, according to advisers.

“The support we’re getting from the African American community has been overwhelming,” Trump told the crowd, which included supporters wearing red “BLACK LIVES MAGA” hats.

Trump Jr.'s Feisty 'View' Appearance Just a Preview, Associates Say

Philip Wegmann - November 8, 2019

There was cake, and then there was some cake-throwing -- at least metaphorically.

After accepting congratulations on their 5,000th episode from Taylor Swift and Oprah Winfrey, the hosts of “The View” welcomed Donald Trump Jr. to the daytime talk show on Thursday. The eldest son of the president -- joined by girlfriend and former Fox News Host and current Trump campaign adviser Kimberly Guilfoyle -- was there to discuss his new book.

Titled “Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us,” it didn’t come up much.

Instead, the hosts pushed him on impeachment and attacked him for naming the alleged whistleblower and demanded an answer for the incivility of his father. But for 23 minutes and 48 seconds of daytime television, Trump Jr. gave as good as he got.

Presented by Fisher Investments: Fiery 'View'; Bye, UCLA; Quote of the Week

Carl M. Cannon - November 8, 2019

Good morning, it’s Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, the day of the week when I reprise a quotation from American history’s rich trove, a line meant to be uplifting. This being the first week of November -- and Election Day being just one year away -- this week we’ve looked back on previous presidential campaigns.

On this date in 1892 Grover Cleveland became the first -- and only -- president elected to non-consecutive terms. Exactly 40 years later, Franklin Roosevelt won in a landslide over Herbert Hoover. On Nov. 8, 1960, John F. Kennedy prevailed in a squeaker over Richard Nixon. Just six years later to the day, movie and television star Ronald Reagan became governor-elect of California. George H.W. Bush was elected president on a Nov. 8.

This morning, however, I’m focusing not a presidential campaign but on a congressional election in the great state of Montana, way back in 1916. On this date in that year, newspaper readers from coast to coast awoke to the news that the Treasure State was sending one of its own treasures to Capitol Hill. The new House member’s name was Jeannette Rankin, and she was the first woman ever elected to a seat in Congress.

I’ll have more on her in a moment. First, I’d point you to RealClearPolitics’ front page, which presents our poll averages, videos, breaking news stories, and aggregated opinion columns spanning the political spectrum. We also offer original material from our own reporters and contributors, including the following:

Embarrassed to Be a Republican: It's the Precedent, Stupid!

Myra Adams - November 8, 2019

Back in late September, with the impeachment inquiry exploding, I wrote a piece headlined "A Difficult Time to Be a Republican."

The heated reaction to it sparked my next column, "The Civil War as Viewed From My Inbox.”  No surprise that both pieces infuriated my GOP friends and associates.

Over the ensuing weeks, based on testimony from patriotic diplomats, nonstop manic presidential tweets, twisted facts, and manufactured justifications from the same tired band of Trump acolytes — it is time for the sequel: “Embarrassed to Be a Republican.”

And upon reading this, I fully expect more GOP friends will delete my contact info. After all, we live in a tribal world, and I have been a loyal Republican tribe-ster since 1975. (That’s back when Karl Rove, our College Republicans national leader, was stick-thin with shoulder-length hair.)

Epstein, Weinstein, Kavanaugh Coverage: What the Numbers Show

Kalev Leetaru - November 8, 2019

Project Veritas’ release earlier this week of a recording of “Good Morning America” anchor Amy Robach raising concerns over ABC’s treatment of the Jeffrey Epstein story in 2015 has led to a flurry of discussions about how media outlets handled the #MeToo allegations against Epstein, Harvey Weinstein and Brett Kavanaugh. What are the facts regarding how much attention each network and news channel paid to the three stories?

The chart below shows how many times CNN, MSNBC and Fox News have mentioned “Epstein,” “Weinstein,” or “Kavanaugh” since Oct. 1, 2017 (right before the Weinstein story broke) using data from the Internet Archive’s Television News Archive processed by the GDELT Project. (Click to enlarge.)

Unsurprisingly, the Kavanaugh story received considerably more attention than the other two due to his appointment to the Supreme Court and its impact on the liberal-conservative balance of the bench. Fox News covered both Weinstein and Kavanaugh more than its two peers, though MSNBC covered the Epstein story almost twice as much either of its peers.

Given that the Weinstein story touched off the #MeToo movement, it seems at first counterintuitive that it would have received less attention than the Epstein story except on Fox News.

Help for Parents When Violent Extremism Beckons the Young

Christianne Boudreau - November 8, 2019

The news of ISIS leader Abū Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death is a positive sign. Not only for those in Iraq, Syria, and the Middle East but also for thousands of moms and dads, sisters and brothers around the world whose families have been torn apart by his murderous organization. At the same time, the news that some ISIS soldiers would possibly go free in Syria shook me. Processing it all has returned me to a nightmare that never ended for myself or my family. You see, I am one of those moms. 

My story began when my oldest son announced that he planned to travel to Egypt to study Arabic. He had started an internal search for meaning and truth in life. A connection to something bigger than himself. That led him to a new religious path at the age of 17 in the year 2008. He converted to Islam, and the changes in his life were positive. As a mother, this brought about a deep relief within me after having watched him struggle with depression. His newfound faith brought him a new zest for life, positive friendships, a strong sense of family and community, as well as ambitions and dreams for his future. The need to hide from the outside world disappeared, replaced with a positive social life. To a parent who had watched her child suffer from inner turmoil for so long while screaming to find him help, this seemed a blessing. 

It lasted for three years; then he moved to a different part of the city. He switched mosques, and with that, his circle of friends changed. The vibrant young man that he had become disappeared, replaced with rigidity in his religious beliefs and conspiracy theories. The old friends went, and secretive life of private phone calls and new friends entered. 

Little did I know, my son was being recruited and indoctrinated by an extremist group within our city. The young men in that circle would leave one by one to travel to Syria and Iraq to join a war that wasn't theirs to fight. They were taught to believe they had an obligation to “save women and children from a torturous regime.” They told my boy, “No one else in the world was willing to stand up for what was right and protect those more vulnerable than themselves.” 

Democrats' Deep-State Denial Morphs Into Deep-State Salute

Joe diGenova - November 8, 2019

For years, Democrats and liberal commentators mocked and derided the notion of an American "deep state" fundamentally opposed to President Trump as a baseless conspiracy theory. But then something funny happened. In the space of a few weeks, the same people have decided not only that there really is an unelected coterie of unfireable Washington bureaucrats working behind the scenes to undermine the president and overturn the 2016 election results, but also that it’s a good thing

It was such a drastic and rapid change of tack that not everyone got the memo. For example, Wikipedia’s page on “Deep state in the United States” still leads off with the words “In the United States, the term ‘deep state’ is used to describe a conspiracy theory,” with five citations to the Democrat Party line. 

What’s even more remarkable is how little the facts underlying these narratives have changed. Both sides of this debate, if you can call it that, have been essentially in agreement about what was going on since the earliest days of the Trump administration. 

Through politically damaging leaks to the press, close coordination with Democrats, and political exploitation of the vast power of the American administrative state -- particularly the “intelligence community” -- unaccountable anti-Trump civil servants were trying to thwart Trump’s leadership. That’s not a “conspiracy theory.” It’s a conspiracy fact. 

Will 'Sexist' White Males Derail Warren?

Patrick Buchanan - November 8, 2019

After celebrating Tuesday's takeover of Virginia's legislature and the Kentucky governorship, the liberal establishment appears poised to crush its biggest threat: the surging candidacy of Elizabeth Warren.

From the tempo and tenor of the attacks, establishment fears of Warren's success are real -- and understandably so.

Two Wednesday polls show Warren running even with Joe Biden nationally. And a new Iowa poll shows Warren in front of the field with 20%, and Biden falling into fourth place with 15%.

The danger for Democrats: While Warren is now the party's front-runner, they fear she's a sure loser to Donald Trump in 2020.

Trump Derangement Syndrome Is Real: Just Ask Melania

Adriana Cohen - November 8, 2019

#TrumpDerangementSyndrome isn't just a hashtag making the rounds on social media or a conservative talking point directed at those on the left whose unhinged hate for President Donald Trump has hindered their ability to think straight or act rationally.

It's a real disease that has permeated even our most sacred institutions: hospitals.

On Wednesday, first lady Melania Trump visited Boston Medical Center alongside Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to help babies exposed to drugs in the womb and combat substance abuse, two noble acts that better mankind. But instead of welcoming the first lady with open arms and thanking her for supporting mothers and infants affected by the stain of addiction, over 150 hospital workers protested her visit.

They held signs that said, "Children in cages can't be cuddled," and wore white jumpsuits with writing on the back that said, "We really do care. Do you?" Other malcontents held signs with messages attacking the Trump administration.

The Great Missing Topic

Mona Charen - November 8, 2019

We don't care. You can check Pew or Gallup or any other polling company. We are running deficits that ought to make us nauseated with worry -- the federal deficit passed $1 trillion in September -- but we're not interested. Well, a majority of us anyway. About 48% of those polled by Pew in January said that reducing the deficit should be a top priority for the president and congress. As recently as 2014, 72% of the public agreed with that statement.

Republicans (54%) are in favor of reducing the deficit at higher rates than Democrats (44%), but concern has declined among all voters. And the politicians? Well.

President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign claimed that his policies would produce so much growth that the U.S. would enjoy a federal surplus of trillions of dollars. Trump also told The Washington Post that he would eliminate the $19 trillion federal debt "very quickly ... like within eight years."

But funny thing: You combine $2 trillion in tax cuts over 10 years with about $2 trillion in spending increases over the same period, and whadya know, even with decent economic growth (slowing now), you get federal deficits growing by 40% year over year, and that's with full employment, no recession, low interest rates and no financial crisis. Current debt: $22 trillion.