A healthy skepticism

Hillary Clinton’s sick spell at the Sept. 11 memorial ceremony — and the revelation that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia two days earlier — moved questions about her health from sometimes silly theories to a fact-based concern. See Newsday’s story here.

She was forced to cancel a scheduled two-day campaign swing on the west coast.

Had Clinton not been forced to abruptly leave the ceremony — and gotten caught on video with her legs buckling on her way into a van — the pneumonia episode may well have gone unrevealed.

The pressure is now going to spike for a full disclosure of medical records — and not just from the 68-year-old Clinton.

All Trump, 70, has disclosed is a doctor’s letter more notable for its nonmedical hyperbole (“astonishingly excellent”) than medical data. He said last week he would reveal more — but hasn’t been clear on what. He is scheduled to appear Thursday on “The Dr. Oz Show” to share his “personal health regimen.”

Appearing on "Fox & Friends" early Monday, Trump said "Something is going on but I hope she gets well." He said health is an issue in the campaign and as for his own, said vaguely that he'd be releasing "specific numbers" from tests releated to his health, and that reports on whatever he's referencing would be finished later this week.

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Sideshow to a sideshow

Feeding the circus-like circumstances in the age of social media, Martin Shkreli, the ex-pharmaceutical executive accused of price-gouging and probed for fraud, posted a videotape of himself taunting Clinton outside her daughter's apartment building. 

"I enjoyed screaming 'why are you so sick' and 'Go Trump'" at Clinton," Shkreli crowed on Twitter.

Reclaiming the spotlight?

Trump grabbed control of the news narrative again Monday by saying there shoudn't be a moderator at his debate with Hillary Clinton on Sept. 26 because that would be unfair to him. Details of his latest pre-emptive complaining here.

Enthusiasm gap

Clinton led Trump by 10 points among registered voters — but only 5 points among likely voters — in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll. His supporters, while fewer, are showing more enthusiasm for showing up to vote.

New NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls show Clinton and Trump nearly tied in four battleground states — Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and New Hampshire. YouGov/CBS News polls have Clinton slightly ahead in Florida and up 7 points in Ohio.

The take-away: North Korea

The successful nuclear bomb test by North Korea last week amplified questions about how the next president will confront the threat. Trump blamed Clinton for failing when secretary of state to solve it. And what would he do? Tell China: “You solve the problem.” Read Dan Janison’s column for Newsday.

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Two-sided gender card

When Trump and Clinton take the stage Sept. 26 at Hofstra University, it will be the first-ever presidential debate between a man and a woman. The gender difference will be a factor in viewers’ expectations on how they behave, including toward each other, political experts tell Newsday’s Emily Ngo.

Charity on the cheap

Tax records show the Donald J. Trump Foundation hasn’t collected a dime from its namesake since 2008 — instead, it has become a conduit for cash from others — and some of its spending has been questionable, The Washington Post reports.

The oddest item: Trump spent $20,000 of money earmarked for charitable purposes to buy a 6-foot-tall painting of himself. The artist believes it ended up at one of his golf courses.

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The foundation also channeled the illegal $25,000 donation to a political group backing Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi before she decided not to pursue a fraud case against Trump University.

What else is happening

  •  A new Marist poll shows close Clinton-Trump races in uncommon places -- Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and New Hampshire.
  • Donald Trump Jr. shared a meme on Instagram that included a cartoon icon that has become an online mascot of the white-nationalist far right.
  • Trump deleted a tweet from three years ago that said: “I would like to extend my best wishes to all, even the haters and losers, on this special date, September 11th.”
  • Rudy Giuliani, on ABC’s “This Week,” said Trump was right in asserting the U.S. should have seized Iraq’s oil, saying that “anything’s legal” in war. CNN notes the Geneva Conventions prohibit countries from seizing others’ property, even in war.
  • Giuliani has joined his patron's  post-fact movement. Falsely, he claimed Trump disavowed birtherism years ago, which Trump did not do.
  • The Washington Post-ABC News poll found 74% of respondents said they are likely to watch the Hofstra debate — and 23% said they expected the three debates between Clinton and Trump to have a major impact on their choice.
  • Americans are feeling better about the economy now than at any time since 2007, according to a CNN/ORC poll. It found 53% said economic conditions are good, up from 45% who felt that way in June.