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Charles Blow: Trump ‘became the grand wizard of birtherism — that is simply a fact’

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New York Times columnist Charles Blow tore into the “birther” conspiracy theory Donald Trump peddled for years until he falsely tried to take credit for debunking it.

“Donald Trump became the grand wizard of birtherism,” Blow told CNN host Don Lemon. “That is simply a fact.”

Peddling the false rumor that President Barack Obama was not born in the US, Blow argued, was a way for people to “get their heads around” the fact that an African-American had reached his level of success.

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“Part of trying to knock him down was to ‘other’ him in every way possible, including ways that depended on traditional and old and ancient stereotypes,” he explained. “So that was everything from trying to say that he was not legitimate, he was not born here, that on his birth certificate, it may say — Donald Trump said this — may say that he’s a Muslim. That’s a lie. That he may not have gone to Columbia, as he suggested, and did well. Donald Trump also said that — that people there said they never saw him. That was a lie.”

“The Trump campaign has tried the to deny over and over that the birtherism had anything to do with racism,” Lemon interjected. “But when you think about it, what else could it be? Because, essentially, he’s asking for [Obama’s] ‘papers.'”

“That’s the thing about truth,” Blow replied. “It actually doesn’t require your affirmation, it doesn’t require your blessing, it doesn’t require you to agree with it. It actually is the truth. And I don’t need you to believe me when I tell you that you are saying something that is racist, because I understand that it is. and I understand enough about history, I understand enough about traditional stereotypes, I understand enough about human motivations to understand this has a racial underpinning.”

Watch the discussion, as aired on Friday, below.

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Trump’s next 100 days will dictate whether he can be re-elected or not — here’s why

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According to CNN pollster-in-residence Harry Enten, Donald Trump's next 100 days -- which could include an impeachment trial in the Senate -- will hold the key to whether he will remain president in 2020.

As Eten explains in a column for CNN, "His [Trump's] approval rating has been consistently low during his first term. Yet his supporters could always point out that approval ratings before an election year have not historically been correlated with reelection success. But by mid-March of an election year, approval ratings, though, become more predictive. Presidents with low approval ratings in mid-March of an election year tend to lose, while those with strong approval ratings tend to win in blowouts and those with middling approval ratings usually win by small margins."

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After Trump: No free pass for Republicans — they own this nightmare

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With the impeachment inquiry leveling up this month as public hearings begin, and with an election that might actually be the end of Donald Trump now less than a year away, the campaign to let Trump's Republican allies — even the most villainous offenders — move on and pretend this never happened is already underway.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Sadly, the clearest articulation of the let-bygones-be-bygones mentality has come from a Democrat — unsurprisingly, former Vice President Joe Biden.Biden, who is still, somehow, the frontrunner in Democratic primary polling, spoke at a chi-chi fundraiser on Wednesday, and dropped this pearl of wisdom: "With Donald Trump out of the way, you’re going to see a number of my Republican colleagues have an epiphany."

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As climate crisis-fueled fires rage, fears grow of an ‘uninhabitable’ California

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As activist Bill McKibben put it, "We've simply got to slow down the climate crisis."

With wildfires raging across California on Wednesday—and with portions of the state living under an unprecedented "Extreme Red Flag Warning" issued by the National Weather Service due to the severe conditions—some climate experts are openly wondering if this kind of harrowing "new normal" brought on by the climate crisis could make vast regions of the country entirely uninhabitable.

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