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Susan Estrich - Not even Trump can get away with racism

Poor Potter Stewart. The late Supreme Court justice wrote many important opinions, but will forever be known for honestly admitting that when it came to defining obscenity, "I know it when I see it."

Isn't that the truth about some things?

When people ask me to draw the line between serious candidates for president with something to say (if not a chance of ever saying it as president), the best I can do is to say I know it when I see it — and what I see is Donald Trump.

Trump has long been, in my mind, a perfect "Jeopardy" answer for the vulgarization of our culture and values, a celebrity for his celebrity, not for anything he's ever done, a man who seems to bring out the worst in everything around him.

It's easy to understand why people are drawn to him. He's the embodiment of everything most of us aren't: wildly overconfident (while most of us are still checking out the indices to the self-help books), unembarrassed (Who else could show their face after all his financial flops and failures, and he's turned it into a brand?) and absolutely convinced that he can do anything, say anything and get away with everything.

Until now.

The line as to what you can "get away" with in American discourse has changed. It no longer includes racism. You might have thought that was true years ago and certainly since the election of America's first black president, but it wasn't. Indeed, independent surveys confirm that race enters strongly into the depth of opposition to Barack Obama, even if the White House, until very recently, has mostly done everything it could to keep race off the table, to not have Obama be "the black president", walking the tightrope between objectivity and empathy.

And then came the church killings and the flag and the long-belated recognition that symbols are such because they have power, that hate can flourish on the Internet not because anybody approves of it, but because the whole system is that you're not liable for what you don't edit. I never knew there was a Confederate flag on the state grounds in Charleston, S.C. Or maybe I knew (it's been many years since I've been there) and just "got" that that was the way things were there. But after the church killings, I knew, and there really was nothing to get.

Except for Trump, with his stupid, racist, offensive remarks about Mexicans, which first surfaced in his mid-June announcement.

"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you (pointing to the audience). They're not sending you (pointing again). They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems to us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

Crime, drugs and rapists — and oh, yes, maybe some good people, too.

In recent days, a number of large companies have — to what seems to be Trump's genuine surprise — cut all ties with him. Did he miss the last election? Does he not realize something has changed? He has not.

A normal person would apologize. Trump has gone on the attack against his critics, in particular the companies who have dropped him. Describing himself as "defending the people of the United States", he called out his former partners: "I have always heard that it is very hard for a successful person to run for president. Macy's, NBC, Serta and NASCAR have all taken the weak and very sad position of being politically correct even though they are wrong in terms of what is good for our country."

Casting himself as the victim because he's a "successful person" running for president, even as he continues to repeat his original comments, goes beyond chutzpah. It is positively Trumpish.

(Susan Estrich is a professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California Law Center. A best-selling author, lawyer and politician, as well as a teacher, she first gained national prominence as national campaign manager for Dukakis for President in 1988.)

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Obama care is here to stay & nothing is going to change that

To The Daily Sun,

Maybe it is time for Tony Boutin and Russ Wles to once again put on their big boy pants and not be so afraid of Obamacare.

A few months back it was Ebola, the big bad monster in the closet scaring these little boys. Well that passed, by letting the adults in the room take care of the crisis, as I suggested. Even with these two doing their best to try and blame Obama for Ebola. Apparently Tony does not understand, I guess, what insurance means. No Tony, in my 30 years of practicing medicine no one has been denied or kicked out of a hospital because they had no insurance as you implied in one of your previous letters, (or) that Obamacare would not cover treatment for Ebola. That is precisely what insurance does.

Now the big fear is Obamacare, according to Tony. He has tried hard to scare us about Obamacare. Remember when he said, "Obamacare is un-American." What nonsense. The Heritage Foundation, hardly a liberal think tank, in 1989 said this about health care. "Mandate all households to obtain adequate insurance." And this: "All citizens should be guaranteed universal access to affordable health care." Sounds like Obamacare to me. How are these un-American. Maybe Tony can explain this for us.

I would like at this time to invite Tony into the 21st Century, or better yet into the second half of the 20th Century. In his letter in the June 23 edition of The Daily Sun he said this: "Doctors have been turned into data automatons. The person you're apt to be treated by now is not a doctor but a nurse practitioner because a nurse practitioner gets paid less." Far be it for me to suggest that maybe Tony do some research before he writes this nonsense, but if he did he would find that NPs have been around since the mid-1960s. Obamacare has been around for — what — three years? If only Tony went to Pub Med he would find 49 pages with 20 studies per page of studies looking at the effectiveness of NPs in primary care. Interesting thing about Pub Med, they publish studies from around the world on medical issues, the only studies they do not publish are studies out of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons because of their nutty beliefs. This of course is one of Russ's favorites publications. Study after study shows that the care given by NPs is on par with that given by doctors. But this probable does not interest Tony. Why let facts get in the way of his story.

I do not know how many patients Tony and Russ see on a daily basis. Oh, wait they don't see any. Then how can they tell us about all the problems those of us who see patients have with Obamacare. Again both Tony and Russ must have missed the study by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund published June 15 of this year that found "... many providers reported seeing an increased number of patients since the coverage expansion went into effect, but not an accompanying compromise in quality of care. A large majority of primary care providers are satisfied with their medical practice." So Tony and Russ, don't try to tell me how Obamacare is changing the way the majority of us practice medicine. Your comments come out of ignorance, not facts.

Then we have poor Russ Wiles. He failed as an immunologist. Remember when he said this: "Vaccines are not immunizations." I labeled this the dumbest thing ever said in a letter. Or as a failed epidemiologist. Remember when he said this: "Our mad president wants to bring in hordes of Ebola patients to the U.S." This has to rank as the second dumbest thing every said. Nine Ebola patients hardly qualifies as a horde. It is getting harder and harder to figure out what side of reality poor Russ gets up on a daily basis.

And while we are at it, maybe Russ would like to a comment on William Thompson the whistle blower who Russ was so excited about. How has that gone for you, Russ? Sure have not heard any more about Mr. Thompson, and his explosive revelations. Maybe you would like to enlighten us about that again.

In the words of Justice Scalia, "Just get over it." Obamacare is here to stay, and nothing can change that, even this nonsense from Tony or Russ.

Mirno Pasquali PA C

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