Op-ed: The Dutch government says Russia is responsible for shooting down a Malayasian airliner over the Ukraine two years ago. Amsterdam investigated the crash because the plane had taken off from the Netherlands.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has frequently been praised by U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump for being a strongman.
Trump had no comment on the Dutch claim made at the United Nations.
Two former top officials in the CIA and U.S. Defense Department, Michael Morrell and Mike Vickers told the Washington Post:
“Mr. Trump, with all due respect to you as the presidential nominee of the Republican Party, you cannot credibly serve as commander in chief if you embrace Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Russian leader has repeatedly shown himself to be an adversary of the United States. Putin, during his long tenure, has repeatedly pursued policies that undermine U.S. interests and those of our allies and partners. He has steadily but systematically moved Russia from a fledgling democratic state to an authoritarian one. He is the last foreign leader you should be praising.”
All 298 people on board died when the Malaysian Airliner, flight 17, was shot down July 17, 2014 while Russia and the Ukraine were in a conflict over who controlled Crimea.
Wikipedia said: “The incident is the deadliest airliner shoot down incident to date. All 283 passengers and 15 crew died. The crew were all Malaysian and about two-thirds (68%) of the passengers were Dutch, while many of the other passengers were Australians and Malaysians. By 19 July, the airline had determined the nationalities of all 298 passengers and crew.
“Among the passengers were delegates en route to the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, including Joep Lange, a former president of the International AIDS Society, which organized the conference. Many initial reports had erroneously indicated that around 100 delegates to the conference were aboard, but this was later revised to just six. Also on board were Dutch Senator Willem Witteveen,Australian author Liam Davison, and Malaysian actress Shuba Jay.”
“A Dutch-led investigation has concluded that the powerful surface-to-air missile system that was used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine two years ago, killing all 298 on board, was trucked in from Russia at the request of Russian-backed separatists and returned to Russia the same night,” the New York Times said.
“The report largely confirmed the already widely documented Russian government role not only in the deployment of the missile system, called a Buk, or SA-11, but the subsequent cover up, which continues to this day.
“The report by a team of prosecutors from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine was significant for applying standards of evidence admissible in court, while still building a case directly implicating Russia, and is likely to open a long diplomatic and legal struggle over the tragedy.”
Russian TV said Russia was not involved and the Dutch had made up evidence implicating Moscow.
Op-ed: Monday was the first televised debate with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton sharing the same stage.
At times it appeared Donald Trump was one of Dr. Jane Goodall’s chimpanzees.
Asked about Russians or others spying on us, Trump said it could have been anyone, even a “400 pound man sitting on a bed.”
Time after time he took the bait when Hillary Clinton talked about the government loopholes he had benefited from.
He boasted of making money from the recession which cost millions their homes.
“That’s called business, by the way.”
He was unclear about when and if he would release his tax details, at one point saying he would if she, Mrs Clinton, released her emails and then saying he would not.
Clinton responded: “Well, I think you've seen another example of bait-and- switch here. For 40 years, everyone running for president has released their tax returns. You can go and see nearly, I think, 39, 40 years of our tax returns, but everyone has done it. We know the IRS has made clear there is no prohibition on releasing it when you're under audit.
“So you've got to ask yourself, why won't he release his tax returns? And I think there may be a couple of reasons. First, maybe he's not as rich as he says he is. Second, maybe he's not as charitable as he claims to be.”
Trump has refused offers of millions of dollars from billionaire Mark Cuban if he would simply answer some questions about his alleged wealth.
A CNN poll and others said Clinton won the debate, but time will tell. The 538 website said her poll numbers will rise if she did win the debate.
Trump frequently interrupted Clinton but she did not seem to react.
“Polling over the next few days will reveal how voters, particularly those who haven’t made up their minds about whether or for whom they will cast their ballots, processed the debate. Immediate reactions from focus groups and spot polling showed Clinton the victor,” said Real Clear Politics.
Rolling Stone said: “The most important exchange of the night came on climate change. Clinton, after outlining her plan to make America a clean-energy superpower, hit Trump as a denier: "Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese," she said. "I think it's real."
“Trump then lied. Flat out lied. In a night full of lies, Trump's attempt to disavow climate denial was "bigly" the biggest.
"I did not. I did not," Trump said, overtalking. "I do not say that."
“But Trump did say that. In a tweet in November of 2012, Trump insisted: "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."
“This is not the only time Trump has blasted climate change as a myth. Indeed, climate denial is a drum Trump likes to bang nearly as much as the racist birther lie."
Op-ed: Donald Trump’s erratic behavior, threats and weird shaking of his hands has doctors and scientists confused.
Is he mentally ill or acting like a chimpanzee?
Whatever it is suggests a problem says Dr. Jill Stein, a third party presidential candidate who is an internist trained Harvard.
“You know, I don't pretend to be able to do TV diagnosis, but I think the guy has a problem,” said the 66-year-old candidate, who is averaging somewhere between 2 and 5 percent in most national and state polls, enough (Clinton people say) to put a scare into the Democrat in too-close-to-call states. “The guy has a lot of problems -- physical, mental, emotional, cognitive,” Stein said of Trump.
“It's hard to, you know, to think too hard about anything Donald Trump says because he will change his mind in the next hour, if not the next day, or whatever,” she added. “Today, suddenly, after five years, he became convinced that it's not an issue. Yesterday it was an issue. It will probably become an issue again for him. You know, the guy may have a memory problem. Who knows what it is? But he's incapable of having a consistent thought or policy,” said Stein.
In fact, one of Trump’s closest advisers, Roger Stone, said Trump is still not sure President Obama was born in the U.S.
“In many ways the performances of Donald Trump remind me of male chimpanzees and their dominance rituals,” primate specialist Dr. Jane Goodall said. “In order to impress rivals, males seeking to rise in the dominance hierarchy perform spectacular displays: stamping, slapping the ground, dragging branches, throwing rocks.”
Goodall added, “the more vigorous and imaginative the display, the faster the individual is likely to rise in the hierarchy, and the longer he is likely to maintain that position.”
Tony Schwartz, co-author of Trump’s book The Art of the Deal, said his lack of attention will hurt him in debates.
"He has problems and simply cannot take in complex information — he will be unable to practice for these debates,” Schwartz told the New York Times. “Trump will bring nothing but his bluster to the debates. He’ll use sixth-grade language, he will repeat himself many times, he won’t complete sentences, and he won’t say anything of substance.”
OpEd: “The New York Times says Donald Trump on Friday night "once again raised the specter of violence against Hillary Clinton.
The Guardian, meanwhile, titled its tweet ‘Trump hints at Clinton's assassination again,’” The Washington Post reported.
Trump has called for taking Hillary’s Secret Service protection away from her on several occasions, accusing her of not supporting the 2nd Amendment.
She has called for stricter gun control but never urged taking guns away.
“But it's clear that what Trump said Friday night went beyond what he'd said previously. The ‘specter of violence’ raised was much more directly. When Trump said, ‘Let's see what happens to her,’ and ‘It would be very dangerous,’ he's taking things to a new level and talking about the actual result — not just Clinton allegedly putting her money where her mouth is on how guns aren't safe.” The Post added.
This country, the USA, has suffered assassinations of some of its most beloved leaders since 1950, including President John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King and others. Ronald Reagan barely survived an assassination attempt. Even right wingers were shot. George Wallace survived but spent the last years of his life in a hospital.
Around the world assassinations continue.
Trump made the assassination threat the same day he admitted President Obama was born in the U.S. He did not apologize for leading the birther movement for years. Many believe the birther movement made it easier for Republicans to block Obama delivering on the promises he had made.
The Clinton campaign was furious.
“Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for President, has a pattern of inciting people to violence. Whether this is done to provoke protesters at a rally or casually or even as a joke, it is an unacceptable quality in anyone seeking the job of Commander in Chief.
“But we’ve seen again and again that no amount of failed resets can change who Donald Trump is,” said Clinton Campaign Manager Robbie Mook.
Those who remember these assassinations, learning on school buses that their president was gone, will never forget.
Trump never was going to get our votes.
Nothing could push people to get out and vote or simply call and get a mail ballot – it’s never been easier – than remember the heartbreak. Some of his followers actually have called for Clinton to be executed.
“So much of the deep lingering sadness over President Kennedy's assassination is about the unfinished promise: unspoken speeches, unfulfilled hopes, the wondering about what might have been,” said Marian Wright Edelman
It is difficult to imagine how our history would have been changed if Abraham Lincoln had lived-he was assassinated in 1865.
OpEd: More than five years after Donald Trump began pushing the lie that President Obama was not an American, and less than two months before the 2016 election, he has admitted he lied.
And he couldn’t admit he lied without lying again, trying to say Hillary Clinton had started the conspiracy lie.
Many major publications, including the Washington Post and New York Times, investigated the claim against Clinton and found that too was a lie.
Trump left his press pool stuck at the airport so they could not hear him say: “President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period.” He joked about the media didn’t get to his announcement, which served as an infomercial for a new Trump building.
It was not true in 2011, when Donald J. Trump mischievously began to question President Obama’s birthplace aloud in television interviews. “I’m starting to think that he was not born here,” he said.
"It was never true, any of it. Mr. Obama’s citizenship was never in question. No credible evidence ever suggested otherwise.
Yet it took Mr. Trump five years of dodging, winking and joking to surrender, finally on Friday, to reality after a remarkable campaign of relentless deception that tried to undermine the legitimacy of the nation’s first black president,” the New York Times said.
“You know who started the birther movement? You know who started it? Do you know who questioned his birth certificate, one of the first? Hillary Clinton. She’s the one that started it. She brought it up years before it was brought up by me.”
— Donald Trump, interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, May 4, 2016
“Zombie claims are stubborn things. No matter how many times you debunk them, they keep rising from the dead — even eight years later,” the Washington Post said.
Few expected his base, who he once said would forgive him for shooting someone on the street, will be angered by this announcement even though it amounts of clear cut racism.
However, his effort to reach out for support from African-American votes ended Friday.
Whether the media will continue to allow themselves to be used is another question. He has fooled them dozens or more times.
He got away with an infomercial a day earlier when he said he released his medical records, but didn’t. And the media, apparently afraid of being accused of “fat shaming” Trump barely mentioned his dangerous obesity.
One pundit did say he is 40 pounds over weight or 70. His weight was variously given as 237 and 267.
CNN Anchor Jake Tapper said: “The mainstream media was played. Big time, and they know it.
“And they're mad.
“Trump used them for a 29 minute ad for both his hotel and his campaign.
“That's not all.
“(the) CNN anchor called the spectacle a "political Rickroll." (A Rickroll is a bait-and-switch.)
“It’s hard to imagine this as anything other than a political Rickroll,”
“We were told that this was going to be Donald Trump addressing something that his top campaign advisers, many people in the Republican National Committee want him to address, and clear up, and then stop talking about,” The New Civil Rights Movement reported.
Trump took no questions about the announcement.
Tapper said “Trump has been trafficking in a “discredited lie for "more than half a decade.”
“It was very clever on one level. On another level, it does speak to the integrity of the Trump campaign.”
Sadly, the media has given Trump such carte blanche it was difficult to believe even this grandest of all lies will hurt him.
A Clinton victory will depend on an alliance of groups Trump has insulted, a bigger bankroll for commercials and a vastly superior game getting out voters.
Op-ed: Fat Trump a Health Risk for President
While the TV nation focused on Hillary Clinton’s brief episode with pneumonia, it was learned that Donald Trump has a much more serious health problem.
He is so fat, or obese, that he may be prone to heart attacks and diabetes, and he is 12 years older than Mrs Clinton. He gobbles fast food, not healthy for anyone.
It is bizarre that in a country that worships thinness Trump has been able to pull this off.
And not only is it a question of how models look, but doctors have warned that obesity is a killer, especially among the elderly. They say it is at epidemic levels. Trump is 70, and would be the oldest president in nearly a century, and close to the most obese ever.
Some accounts list him at 237 pounds, others at 267. He is 6 foot 3. And his only exercise is an occasional round of golf.
“There’s a legitimate issue,” said Dr. David Plouffe.”
A paper put out by the National Institutes of Health said:
“Obesity is a significant risk factor for and contributor to increased morbidity and mortality, most importantly from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes, but also from cancer and chronic diseases, including osteoarthritis, liver and kidney disease, sleep apnea, and depression. The prevalence of obesity has increased steadily over the past 5 decades, and obesity may have a significant impact on quality-adjusted life years. Obesity is also strongly associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality as well as cardiovascular and cancer mortality.”
“Considering Trump’s age, his weight becomes a significant risk factor.” A Georgetown University report on obesity among older Americans includes this startling warning:
“Rates of chronic conditions are higher among obese adults than among their non-obese counterparts, but the differences between groups are particularly great for adults ages 51 to 69. Obesity can also affect the severity of chronic conditions. For example, obese older people with arthritis are more likely to say the condition limits their activities than non-obese adults age 51 and older."
Obesity, like smoking, heavy drinking, and poverty is a known health risk factor. Of the four risk factors, obesity is the most serious problem. It affects more people and is more strongly linked to very high rates of chronic illness than the other three risk factors. In terms of chronic conditions, the effects of obesity are similar to the effects of 20 years of aging.”
The Washington Post said, “It is ironic that Trumpkins have made such a to-do about Hillary Clinton’s health. He’s got a real issue that isn’t going to be cured by a couple days of bed rest. “Nevertheless, he won’t provide documentation for voters to assess his health and how that might impact his presidency. No presidential candidate of a major party in modern times has gotten away with stiffing voters and concealing personal information.
“The media, once again, seems to miss the forest for the trees in this campaign. Entirely legitimate questions get raised about a candidate who has never held public office. He has a demonstrated pattern of blatant lying. And he refuses to come clean by providing verifiable information about his finances and health. Why isn’t that the story day in and out? Trump plainly has a lot to hide, and neither the media nor the voters should let him get away with it.”
Op-ed: The media has somehow confused “transparency” with medicine, and is treating Hillary Clinton like she is on her deathbed.
All because she kept her promise to attend the 9/11 memorial during a humid heatwave.
"What happened yesterday [Sunday] was that I just was incredibly committed to being at the memorial -- as a senator on 9/11, this is incredibly personal to me."
"I could feel how hot and humid it was. I felt overheated. I decided that I did need to leave. And as soon as I got into the air-conditioned van, I cooled off, I got some water, and very quickly, I felt better," she said.
Hillary Clinton said Monday night she's "met a high standard of transparency" about her health and didn't think the pneumonia was "going to be that big a deal.” Clinton said she felt dizzy and lost her balance Sunday, but did not lose consciousness and is feeling much better, CNN said.
She concedes she should not have gone. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Her doctor had told her on Friday that she had pneumonia, and even before the memorial she went to several campaign events.
"I was supposed to rest five days -- that's what they told me on Friday -- and I didn't follow that very wise advice," Clinton told CNN's Anderson Cooper in a phone interview.
"So I just want to get this over and done with and get back on the trail as soon as possible," she said.
As for transparency she wants to know about Donald Trump’s health, and more than a few paragraphs from a hippy-looking doctor who did not examine him the day he wrote his medical report.
Rachel Maddow and others reported exensively on the illnesses and collapses of former presidents, including George H. W. Bush. It couldn’t be hidden because he threw up while eating with the Japanese Prime Minister.
Should the U.S. electorate have known that as World War 2 ended President Franklin Roosevelt had been told before he was elected for his last term that he would not live through it?
His responses included driving 51 miles in an open car in a rainstorm in New York City.
Winston Church suffered numerous injuries, including before and during wars.
“He suffered a tooth abscess in 1941, a heart attack while staying at the White House just after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor at the end of that year, and pneumonia in England in 1943, followed by “full-blown” pneumonia in Carthage. He had a severe stroke when prime minister in peacetime, in June 1953, and was off work until October,” reports “The Supreme Survivor” by A.W. Beasley.
He was once even thrown from a camel.
He was hit by a car in New York, and badly enough injured on his forehead and thighs to put him in hospital for a week in 1931. Pleurisy followed. He suffered serious illnesses while serving as prime minister after the war.
President John F. Kennedy had back problems after his World War 2 service, and suffered from Addison’s Disease.
Of the injections he was forced to take he said, “I don’t care if it’s horse piss. It works.”
It took an assassin’s bullet to stop him. Would that qualify as “transparency,” there were reporters there.
There are so many types of pneumonia it is absurd for anyone but Clinton’s doctor to make predictions. Millions of Americans are likely suffering mild pneumonia now, called “walking pneumonia.”
“Sen. Charles E. Schumer was diagnosed with pneumonia a couple weeks ago, the New York Democrat’s office acknowledged Monday, a day after Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s staff said she had the common but dangerous lung infection – and five days after Schumer told reporters he had ‘a little bit of a cold.’
“Sen. Schumer had been diagnosed with pneumonia and, per doctors’ orders, he took antibiotics and kept a lighter schedule to recuperate,” Schumer’s spokesman, Jason Kaplan, said in a statement. “His doctor has given him a clean bill of health and he’s feeling better so he’s back to his usual schedule.”
Lastly, as a 40-year journalist I am getting tired of the overuse of the word transparency.
Time after time in my career if I had reported everything I learned, thinking my sources were being transparent, I would have been mistaken. Give news some time. Americans and Britons were well-served by keeping some things confidential. Imagine transparency in the Cold War?
New York Magazine
2016 US election news and other news from the USA
Worked in journalism, including on the Internet, for more than 40 years. Started as a news editor at the Colorado Daily at the University of Colorado, joined a small Montana newspaper, the Helena Independent-Record, and then United Press International.