2016-08-03 / Political Page

Prez Campaign Circus

There’s just about 100 days to go for the Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump presidential campaign until November 8, but Trump’s effort appears to be showing some strain, judging from the nude pictures of his wife being splashed all over some newspapers these days. Looks like a strange way to win an election.

Meanwhile, he continues to be denounced for his seemingly close ties to Russian leader Vladimir Putin, and the parents of a slain war hero continue to keep pressure on him.

All the while, the campaign for Clinton continues, as the feisty Democrat bounced back into the lead in their contest, thanks to her inching back into the top of a poll with a bounce from the recent convention.

As Trump reverts back to his old ways, questioning the scheduling of some campaign debates, Clinton emerged from a new poll showing her ahead 43 to 40 percent, in the latest national poll in the Morning Consult count. The previous poll taken had Trump ahead 44 to 40 percent lead in mid-July, so Clinton showed a net gain of 7 percentage points as the campaigns resumed.

But getting back to the nude girl-on-girl photos of Melania, which date back about 20 years when she was still a model, they seemed to be a tie-in to the New York Post campaign launch of the paper’s latest Page 6 design layout change. Monday’s pictures had been preceded by a full frontal nudie featured on page one of this past Sunday’s edition of the Post.

Candidate Trump’s full and total agreement with the racy pictures are clearly implied since he apparently supplied the photos and offered comments about them in the accompanying stories.

Actually, this Sunday’s edition of the newspaper, noted: “When asked whether Trump was upset over the release of the latest images,” Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller responded, “…the billionaire was ‘a little more focused on the direction of the country and what we need to do to get it turned around.’”

Meanwhile, Monday’s papers also carried the continuing story, first divulged during the recent Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, where Khizr Khan, a Muslim, related the death of his soldier son in action in 2004 in Iraq. He blasted Trump, saying. “You have sacrificed nothing and no one.” Khan’s wife was also shown silently standing by her husband as he made his statement in the convention segment.

When Trump (who’s on record as having called for all Muslims to be thrown out of the U.S. if he’s elected), was asked for comment on the father’s plea, which included sharp criticism of Trump, Trump seemed only able to comment upon the wife’s silence throughout the showing of the film at the convention.

Mrs. Khan responded, explaining, “Because without saying a thing, all the world, all America, felt my pain. Whoever saw me felt me in their heart.”

This past Sunday, Trump was asked to comment on the distraught father’s plea and he (according to one newspaper’s account) “insisted he did make sacrifices – bizarrely naming his work and his properties – as the sacrifices.” Also, in a tweet, Trump reported, “I was viciously attacked by Mr. Kahn at the Democratic Convention. Am I not allowed to respond?”

Khan, in Monday’s papers, responded also, calling Trump, “a black soul, and he is totally unfit for the leadership of this country.” He added:

“He talks about excluding people, disrespecting judges…immigrants, Muslims…this is divisive rhetoric that is totally against the basic constitutional principles,” Khan stated.

Trump was also taken to task because of his apparent over-friendly attitude and blind faith in Putin, which have led recently to suspicions that the Russian dictator was meddling in the current presidential campaign. It all started when a story about Putin’s 2014 invasion of Crimea came up as Trump was being interviewed on a Sunday talk show.

But the whole discussion came unraveled as Trump seemed to not understand that the discussion was related to an event that occurred in 2014, while Trump’s grasp of it was that it was all happening now, and that Putin was “not going into Ukraine.” Worse still, Trump twisted the whole thing around, deflecting the discussion toward Obama.

Trump explained to the program’s host, George Stephanopoulos, “You have Obama there. And frankly, that whole part of the world is a mess under Obama.”

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton, in an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” blasted Trump for “encouraging (Putin) to meddle in the election.” The Democratic candidate blasted Putin for hacking into the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) e-mail, and for releasing them during the convention, causing a lot of confusion.

Clinton stated, “For Trump to both encourage and to praise Putin despite what appears to be a deliberate effort to try to affect the election…raises national security issues.”

Finally, Trump’s complaints that scheduling debates in conflict with NFL games was getting us nowhere fast. He even claimed he received a letter from the NFL agreeing with him. But his arguments fell apart when NFL officials said they never sent out such a letter. Trump, for some reason, may not want any debates, but they’re being scheduled anyway.

ADDABBO BACKS NEW RX BILL: In an effort to assist prescription drug customers who have faced a number of difficulties under one aspect of New York’s broad “I-STOP” law, which requires all prescriptions to be provided electronically as of this past March 27, Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. supported two pieces of legislation during the 2016 session to ensure that e-prescriptions are filled promptly and that consumers have greater opportunities to shop around for the lowest medicine prices.

“E-prescribing has been very common for many of us for a long time, but I did hear from a number of constituents who expressed their concerns when paper prescriptions were ended this past spring,” said Addabbo. “With prescription drug prices already so high, it makes sense to amend existing law to give residents a chance to find the least expensive medications and to help ensure that those in need don’t forego their medicine out of an inability to pay for them. Together, these two bills, if signed into law by the Governor, will help restore the ability of consumers to comparison shop for the best pharmacy prices, and will also make sure that patients receive the medication they need, without delay, when they need them.”

“New York’s I-STOP law, a comprehensive piece of legislation approved several years ago, was enacted with the best of intentions – cutting down on stolen or fraudulent prescriptions, combating prescription narcotics addictions and otherwise saving lives that are being lost to opioid medication abuse,” said Addabbo, noting that both bills passed the Senate and Assembly and will now be reviewed by the Governor. “However, moving to a purely electronic prescribing system and completely doing away with hard paper prescriptions gave rise to a number of problems for consumers that we have been attempting to resolve since the e-prescribing aspect of the I-STOP law went into effect in March,” Addabbo (D–Howard Beach) explained.

One piece of legislation (S.7537) would enable a pharmacist who receives an e-prescription and is not immediately able to provide the medicine to send the request electronically to another pharmacy with the patient’s permission. Under current law, if a prescription cannot be filled in a timely fashion, patients must return to their health care providers to request that the prescription be sent to a different pharmacist.

The second bill (S.7334) would enable physicians and other health care providers prescribing medications to send the prescriptions electronically to a secure site where they can be downloaded by pharmacists expressly chosen by the patients to fill them. Providing this centralized location for e-prescriptions would help to restore opportunities for patients to comparison shop for the most affordable drug prices. Under current law, patients must choose a pharmacy while they are still at the prescriber’s office, which does not afford them the ability to research the lowest costs among area pharmacies before having their prescriptions filled.

ADDABBO TO SPONSOR FREE DENTAL CLEANINGS FOR KIDS: Next month, Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. will partner with the NYU College of Dentistry to host a visit from the Mobile Dental Van in his district.

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on August 9 and August 10, dental hygienists from the NYU College of Dentistry will be present at the STARS Youth Center, located at 8 Coleman Square in Howard Beach, to perform free teeth cleanings and dental exams for children under 16. The patients will also be given a free fluoride treatment and x-rays, and the technicians will perform any necessary fillings or ceilings based on the results of the child’s exam, Addabbo (D–Howard Beach) said.

“Dental hygiene is one of the most important things to maintain, but it can be very expensive,” said Addabbo. “Even if a parent has dental coverage through their health insurance, sometimes the cost of care for their child can still break the bank, especially for families on a strict budget that cannot withstand the unexpected costs associated with fillings or even regular teeth cleanings. That is why I am grateful to the NYU College of Dentistry for the work they do with the Mobile Youth Dental Van and for the opportunity to bring this wonderful resource to my district. I thank the college for working with me on this event, and look forward to future partnerships to help benefit even more kids in need of proper dental care.”

Parents interested in having an exam or cleaning performed for their child MUST make an appointment prior to the event date. Insurance is not required. For more information or to obtain a registration form, contact Senator Addabbo’s Howard Beach office at 718-738-1111.

MAKING FEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCTS SAFER, CHEAPER: U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D–Queens) announced today that she has introduced a series of bills which expand her efforts to make feminine hygiene products more accessible and affordable to women. The measures, endorsed by Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, include:

 The Menstrual Products Tax Credit Act

Provides a $120 refundable tax credit to low-income individuals who regularly use menstrual hygiene products. Those entitled for the credit would include women and girls whose incomes fall below 200% of the federal poverty level. Allowable items would consist of tampons, pads, liners, cups, and similar products used by women with respect to menstruation.

 Accurate Labeling of Menstrual Products Act

Requires ingredient labels to be placed on commonly-used feminine hygiene products including scented and unscented pads, cups, scented and unscented tampons, and therapeutic douche apparatuses. The measure, which would require ingredients to be listed in descending order of concentration, seeks to make menstrual products safer by ensuring that women know what they are putting in their bodies. Presently, makers of feminine hygiene products are not required to disclose their ingredients. The legislation is cosponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan/Queens/Brooklyn).

 Menstrual Products for Employees Act

Aims to require large employers to provide free feminine hygiene products to their employees. The bill would direct the Secretary of Labor to promulgate regulations that mandate employers with 100 or more employees to provide feminine hygiene items to all their workers free of charge. Specific rules such as the implementation time, types of products, and exemptions would be left to the discretion of the Secretary, following a public comment period.

Meng, joined by New York City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland (D-Queens), also sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch requesting that feminine hygiene products be made available to federal inmates and detainees at no cost.

“Barriers to menstrual equality are quickly coming down, and I continue to do everything I can to help all women achieve it,” said Meng. “These new bills and our letter to the attorney general will help move those efforts forward, and bring us closer to the day when access, safety and stigma are no longer issues with menstruation. Earlier this year, I was able to convince FEMA to add feminine hygiene products to the list of items that homeless assistance providers can purchase with federal grant funds, and this month Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation – for which I strongly advocated – that improves access to menstrual hygiene items for women and girls in New York City. Also last week, Governor Cuomo signed a measure into law that eliminates the New York State sales tax for feminine hygiene products, a move I called for as well. The momentum for menstrual equality continues to grow and we will keep up the fight. I call on my colleagues in the House to pass these pieces of legislation as soon as Congress reconvenes in September.”

“The inequitable taxation on our periods can be found at every level of society, from the pervasive stigma women face for menstruating, to the poor accessibility to menstrual hygiene products,” said Ferreras-Copeland. “New York City has taken a giant leap towards menstrual equity by guaranteeing pads and tampons in schools, shelters and prisons; and Rep. Grace Meng’s legislation goes beyond [that] to rectify the problem for the workforce and low-income families. I applaud Rep. Meng for advocating for women’s health and women’s rights; and I am proud to work with women across this state and the country to end menstrual taboos and bring us into the 21st century, where women’s bodies are respected.”

Ferreras-Copeland sponsored several of the bills signed into law by Mayor de Blasio.

In addition to the new bills, Meng is sponsoring legislation that would allow Americans to buy feminine hygiene products with money from flexible spending accounts. The Congresswoman also called on key Congressional panels to help with her efforts in making menstrual hygiene products more accessible to women.

S.J. JUNG SEEKS SS SEAT: S.J. Jung of Flushing has announced that he has filed designating petitions for the 16th District State Senate seat in Queens, challenging incumbent Senator Toby Ann Stavisky for the seat.

Jung said that on July 11, he filed 3,347 petition signatures from registered Democrats, “well over three times the legal requirement to get on the ballot,” he stated. Jung also stated that he is challenging Stavisky’s petitions.

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