If you liked Hamilton, you’ll love Spamilton — in a little walk-up above a Turkish restaurant. The Times raves. The Tribune raves. “I laughed my brains out” — Lin-Manuel Miranda*

From the heartland:

. . . The [Cincinnati] Enquirer has supported Republicans for president for almost a century – a tradition this editorial board doesn’t take lightly. But this is not a traditional race, and these are not traditional times. Our country needs calm, thoughtful leadership to deal with the challenges we face at home and abroad. We need a leader who will bring out the best in all Americans, not the worst.  That’s why there is only one choice when we elect a president in November: Hillary Clinton.

Clinton is a known commodity with a proven track record of governing. As senator of New York, she earned respect in Congress by working across the aisle and crafting bills with conservative lawmakers. She helped 9/11 first responders get the care they needed after suffering health effects from their time at Ground Zero, and helped expand health care and family leave for military families. Clinton has spent more than 40 years fighting for women’s and children’s rights. As first lady, she unsuccessfully fought for universal health care but helped to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program that provides health care to more than 8 million kids today. She has been a proponent of closing the gender wage gap and has stood up for LGBT rights domestically and internationally, including advocating for marriage equality.

Trump is a clear and present danger to our country. He has no history of governance that should engender any confidence from voters. Trump has no foreign policy experience, and the fact that he doesn’t recognize it – instead insisting that, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do” – is even more troubling. His wild threats to blow Iranian ships out of the water if they make rude gestures at U.S. ships is just the type of reckless, cowboy diplomacy Americans should fear from a Trump presidency. Clinton has been criticized as being hawkish but has shown a measured approach to the world’s problems. Do we really want someone in charge of our military and nuclear codes who has an impulse control problem? The fact that so many top military and national security officials are not supporting Trump speaks volumes.

Clinton, meanwhile, was a competent secretary of state, with far stronger diplomatic skills than she gets credit for. . . .

We have our issues with Clinton. Her reluctance to acknowledge her poor judgment in using a private email server and mishandling classified information is troubling. So is her lack of transparency. We were critical of her 275-day streak without a press conference, which just ended this month. And she should have removed herself from or restructured the Clinton Foundation after allegations arose that foreign entities were trading monetary donations for political influence and special access.

But our reservations about Clinton pale in comparison to our fears about Trump.

This editorial board has been consistent in its criticism of his policies and temperament beginning with the Republican primary. We’ve condemned his childish insults; offensive remarks to women, Hispanics and African-Americans; and the way he has played on many Americans’ fears and prejudices to further himself politically. Trump brands himself as an outsider untainted by special interests, but we see a man utterly corrupted by self-interest. His narcissistic bid for the presidency is more about making himself great than America. Trump tears our country and many of its people down with his words so that he can build himself up. What else are we left to believe about a man who tells the American public that he alone can fix what ails us?

While Clinton has been relentlessly challenged about her honesty, Trump was the primary propagator of arguably the biggest lie of the past eight years: that Obama wasn’t born in the United States. Trump has played fast and loose with the support of white supremacist groups. He has praised some of our country’s most dangerous enemies – see Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un and Saddam Hussein – while insulting a sitting president, our military generals, a Gold Star family and prisoners of war like Sen. John McCain. Of late, Trump has toned down his divisive rhetoric, sticking to carefully constructed scripts and teleprompters. But going two weeks without saying something misogynistic, racist or xenophobic is hardly a qualification for the most important job in the world. Why should anyone believe that a Trump presidency would look markedly different from his offensive, erratic, stance-shifting presidential campaign?

Some believe Trump’s business acumen would make him the better choice to move America’s slow recovery into a full stride. It’s true that he has created jobs, but he also has sent many overseas and left a trail of unpaid contractors in his wake. His refusal to release his tax returns draws into question both Trump’s true income and whether he is paying his fair share of taxes. Even if you consider Trump a successful businessman, running a government is not the same as being the CEO of a company. The United States cannot file bankruptcy to avoid paying its debts.

Trump’s rise through a crowded Republican primary field as well as Sanders’ impressive challenge on the Democratic side make clear that the American people yearn for a change in our current state of politics. However, our country needs to seek thoughtful change, not just change for the sake of change. Four years is plenty of time to do enough damage that it could take America years to recover from, if at all.

In these uncertain times, America needs a brave leader, not bravado. Real solutions, not paper-thin promises. A clear eye toward the future, not a cynical appeal to the good old days.

Hillary Clinton has her faults, certainly, but she has spent a lifetime working to improve the lives of Americans both inside and outside of Washington. It’s time to elect the first female U.S. president – not because she’s a woman, but because she’s hands-down the most qualified choice.

To be fair and balanced, I hereby present all the editorials from traditionally liberal-leaning papers that have endorsed Trump.

There being none, I now bend over backwards for balance and present all the editorials from any newspaper to endorse Trump!

There are sort of none of those either.

Yes, the New York Observer and New York Post did endorse him during the primary. But the Observer is owned by Trump’s son-in-law; and this week it shared an op-ed titled, “Trump’s Brand of Ugly Will Be the Ruin of Our Country.”

Let’s cut to the chase [it begins]: Donald Trump is a liar. He doesn’t stretch the truth, misspeak, shoot from the hip, tell it like it is, refreshingly unvarnish or have his own version. He lies. He has no relationship to the truth. Truth should be important. His campaign is built on lies. His proposition is a series of lies. Americans should have a problem with that.

Each and every one of Trump’s surrogates are liars—morally vapid validators, town criers doing the dirty work of the village idiot. I don’t care how poised, slick or sleek some acting coach’s version of sophisticated they are. They push his lies in an attempt to normalize his message and persona, using the fascist technique of repetition equals truth.

Nowhere was this more visible than across the Sunday shows last weekend, during which Christie, Conway and Pence fanned out to do Trump’s bidding, magnifying his racist lies and capping off a five-year crusade to delegitimize our first black president. How embarrassing for them. How sick for us. . . .

The New York Post, meanwhile, predicated its April endorsement on the expectation Trump would pivot if he won the primary.  Maybe they will decide he has and endorse Trump over Clinton, as they endorsed him over Cruz, Carson, Christie and crew.  But so far: no.

Nor is the Cincinnati Enquirer alone in its man-bites-dog break with the Republican Party. The Dallas Morning News had also not endorsed a Democrat in forever — more than three quarters of a century — yet opines“There is only one serious candidate on the presidential ballot in November. We recommend Hillary Clinton.”

Yes, Ted Cruz now finally endorses Trump (having previously called him “a pathological liar,” “a sniveling coward,” “a bully,” “a narcissist,” and “utterly amoral”) but some prominent Republicans, like President George H. W. Bush, are voting for Hillary.

So why is this not a rout?

It’s that a lot of people — justifiably furious with Washington’s dysfunction — don’t see that that dysfunction is largely by Republican design — Mitch McConnell made Obama’s failure his top priority — and stems largely, as well, from the Tea Party’s proud refusal to compromise.

It’s also that a lot of people don’t trust Hillary.

Carlos Granados: “Don’t people realize the reason they don’t trust Hillary is the same reason they doubt Obama was born in the U.S.?  Lee Atwater, Karl Rove’s mentor, admitted a long time ago that his strategy for destroying opponents was to plant so many lies over a long period that the uninformed will begin to suspect there must be some truth to them.  Think how this strategy worked to beat Gore and Swift Boat Kerry.  Trump is master of this type of con. Yet Hillary is the one not to trust? Come on!”

Not to say she is perfect. But perfect is a high bar for most of us to meet.

Enjoy the debate tomorrow. Focus on who would make the wisest, steadiest, most competent leader of the free world.

*I own a little piece of Spamilton.



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