FLASHFORWARD: President Donald Trump Responds to a Nuclear Iran

AP

Of all the candidates for president, most agree that Donald Trump is most likely to take the oath of office in January 2017. It is also quite likely that Iran will obtain a nuclear weapon in the months that follow, kicking off a geopolitical crisis that only the most seasoned dealmaker could successfully diffuse.

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Donald Trump Explains What Everyone Already Knows: The Clintons Can Be Bought

AP

Donald Trump had a semi-rough night during Thursday’s GOP debate, but he did a decent job explaining something that should be self-evident by now: The Clintons will do anything for money.

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Fox News Shows Why It’s the Number One Name in News

AP

Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina shined in Thursday’s Republican debate. Jeb Bush also participated. But the real winner was host network Fox News, and not only because 16 percent of televisions in the country were tuned in. On the night that its most influential critic, Jon Stewart, was hanging up his wacky reaction face on the Daily Show, Fox News’ debate moderators peppered the GOP candidates with tougher questions than Stewart, or the recently purged “talent” at MSNBC, would ever pose to Democrats.

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Fox News Presents the Super Bowl of Primary Debates

AP

Perhaps I’m a bit jaded after watching and reviewing Best of Enemies—a documentary concerned, in part, with the coarsening of political coverage in the wake of the 1968 debates between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal—but I can’t help but feel that Fox News executives were gleefully rubbing their hands as the first Republican primary approached and Donald Trump was leading the pack. The Donald may be a clown, but he’s an entertaining one, and the potent combination of curiosity and potential schadenfreude was a surefire lure for audiences who might otherwise ignore this sort of thing.

And, sure enough, the ratings were yuge:

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GOP Candidates Are Unserious about the Islamic State

Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Scott Walker, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, John Kasich

The Republican candidates for president, judging by the debates this evening, are unserious when it comes to the Islamic State. They talk tough, but if you were listening for specifics about what they plan to do about the metastasizing terror state that has filled the gap left in the Middle East by a withdrawing United States, you didn’t hear much.

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Rubio Wins

Marco Rubio / AP

Marco Rubio won the first GOP presidential debate on Thursday night. He was confident, energetic, eloquent, knowledgeable, and figured out the way to handle Donald Trump. The importance of debates is vastly overrated, and it’s a long, long time before the first caucus in Iowa, but Rubio proved he belongs in the first tier of presidential contenders, and will be in this race for the long haul.

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Barack Obama Thinks Hillary Clinton is Wrong About The Iran Deal

AP

Like Paul Krugman, President Obama thinks Hillary Clinton is a morally deficient person for supporting the Iraq War. He also thinks she’s wrong about the Iran nuclear deal. Hillary supports the agreement, but she also doesn’t trust the Iranian leadership. Obama is characteristically emphatic that, upon examining all the facts, reasonable individuals will be forced to concede that he is right.

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Not a Parody: Lawyers for Top Clinton Aide Claim Records Request Got Lost in the Mail

Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton

Top Clinton aide Huma Abedin failed to acknowledge a State Department records request for more than two months because the request got lost in the mail, her lawyers claim.

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The Evolution of Hillary’s Email Defense, Explained

AP

Hillary Clinton has repeatedly insisted she did nothing wrong with her exclusive use of a private email account (hosted on a private server in her house) during her time as Secretary of State. Her language describing her server, however, has evolved significantly over time. Here’s a rundown:

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Wanted: The Clinton Server

"Pls delete"

The FBI has opened an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server—in violation of administration policy—during her tenure as Secretary of State, the Washington Post reports [emphasis added]:

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Poll: Hillary Clinton Is Even Less Likable Than She Was Prior to Failed 2008 Campaign

Likable enough?

Hillary Clinton is even less likable now than she was at the launch of her failed 2008 campaign, according to a recent Gallup poll. Among all party affiliations, Hillary’s favorable ratings have declined precipitously since 2013, when she quit her job as Secretary of State to embark on a lucrative speaking tour.

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Black Lawmakers Attack Core Component of Democratic Coalition

Pied Piper is mostly white. But it's not representative!

Asian-Americans tend to vote for Democrats. True, they’re a relatively small portion of the voting population: just three percent in 2012. But they are a solid piece of the Democratic coalition, especially in presidential years. In 2012, they voted 73-26 for Obama over Romney; that’s up from 2008, when they voted 62-35 for Obama over McCain. According to Pew, Asians tilt Democratic 65 to 23.

So, Asian-Americans: Democrats. This is something to keep in mind as Democratic lawmakers wage their war on Asian tech workers.

Oh, sure, these lawmakers couch their crusade in the language of “diversity.” Here’s USA Today with the opening salvo in the Democratic Party’s war on Asian Americans:

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How Donald Trump Can Win

Winners gonna win. (AP)

Since announcing his candidacy in June, Donald Trump has slashed and burned his way to the top of the Republican field. Trump, who has a gift for telling it like it is, has pulled no punches in his successful quest to prove his superiors leadership skills to the everyday American voter. Over past several weeks, Trump has attacked: China, Mexico, Macy’s, ESPN, NASCAR, John McCain, the media, lobbyists and Republican donors, even the Koch brothers.

Earlier this week, the candidate lashed out at Harvard students, calling them “fraudsters and liars.” Most Americans happen to agree with this factually accurate statement. If Trump is serious about achieving his dream, and America’s dream, of a Trump presidency, here are some other suggestions—presented in the Trumpian style of prose—for other groups to attack in order to solid his support among the “silent majority” and secure the GOP nomination and, ultimately, the White House.

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The Case for Joe Biden

Our next president. (AP)

Joe Biden is, by all accounts, seriously considering a presidential run. This is great news—for Democrats, for Republicans, for people who couldn’t care less about politics, and, above all, for America. Biden may be a walking punchline of a politician with a propensity to literally say whatever pops into his head at a given moment, but that doesn’t make the case for his candidacy any less real.

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Joe Biden and the Perils of the Late Summer Campaign

Credit: Twitter user @redsteeze

Will Joe Biden run for president? He’s expected to announce his decision later this month, after a family vacation, but the political class is already excited at the prospect. I’d enjoy a third Biden presidential bid—he’s far more watchable than Hillary Clinton—and I doubt I’m alone. He’s a great political actor, a ham. Imagine him winning the nomination and debating Republican frontrunner Donald Trump. The dueling hair would make it a spectacular encounter.

As he deliberates, though, Biden must be worrying about recent history. The last three presidential cycles all had contestants who announced their candidacy in the summer prior to the Iowa caucus. And all three failed. Biden would be in a similar situation.

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