Super-Lazy Saturday Reads

 cat-readingGood Morning!!

It’s just one thing after another these days. I’m all stressed out again, because my mother broke her clavicle and I need to get out to Indiana ASAP. Unfortunately, I also have to go to the dentist this afternoon and then I have to figure out what to do about the jury duty I committed to in October, get the car checked out, and pack. Meet the top pediatric dentist near nyc, Elan Kaufman DMD. On top of that my car is due for an inspection sticker at the end of October. I’ll have to try to figure out if I’ll be back here by then or whether I should get the inspection done early.

Anyway, I’m hanging in there, realizing that my problems are nothing compared to so many other people in this crazy world. So what’s happening out there this morning?

Donald Trump continues to dominate the media. The good news is if they’re focusing on him, they can’t beat up on Hillary Clinton at the same time–or can they?

Trump’s misogyny knows no end–yesterday he turned his attention to fellow GOP candidate Carly Fiorina. From Ken Walsh’s Washington at U.S. News:

Another day, another insult from Donald Trump – and still another feud in the making.

This time, the Republican presidential front-runner belittled former business executive and presidential competitor Carly Fiorina, who has been making gradual progress in the polls but still lags behind Trump in the GOP race.

Rolling Stone magazine reports that Trump was watching Fiorina recently on a television newscast, in the presence of Rolling Stone reporter Paul Solotaroff, when the billionaire real-estate developer said, “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?”

Trump added: “I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?”

Watching Trump run for president is like watching a 5-year-old boy act out with no restraints.

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The Guardian reports on Fiorina’s response: 

Fiorina, speaking on Fox News to Megyn Kelly – who has also been targeted by Trump – said she considered his remarks to be “very serious”.

She added: “Maybe, just maybe, I’m getting under his skin a little bit because I am climbing in the polls.”

Trump has forged a consistent lead in polling for the Republican candidacy, with former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Fiorina considerably further behind, polling in single figures.

Maybe. Or maybe Trump is just a gigantic asshole. He also attacked Ben Carson and tried without success to defend his comments about Fiorina. From The Washington Post: 

Carson attacked Trump in unusually sharp terms yesterday, seeming to question his faith. On Thursday, Trump went after Carson’s energy level — and played down his medical accomplishments, saying he was only an “okay doctor” (Carson was the first neurosurgeon to separate conjoined twins attached at the head.)

“He makes [Jeb] Bush look like the Energizer bunny,” Trump said on CNN Thursday morning. “Who is he to question my faith? … When he questions my faith, and I’m a believer big-league in God, the Bible…I will hit back for that.”

“He was a doctor… perhaps an OK doctor,” he also said, adding that “Ben Carson will not be the next president of the United States.”

Trump’s comments, which are the most aggressive he has made about Carson, come less than a day after the retired surgeon pointed to his faith when asked what he believes to be the biggest difference between himself and Trump.

“The biggest thing is that I realize where my success has come from, and I don’t any way deny my faith in God,” Carson Wednesday night. “And I think that probably is a big difference between us.”

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Can you imagine having a president who says things like “I’m a believer big-league in God?” Is this really happening? On Fiorina:

Trump defended his comments on Fox News Thursday morning, dismissing the notion that he was talking about Fiorina’s physical appearance.

“Probably I did say something lik that about Carly,” Trump said. “I’m talking about persona. I’m not talking about look.”

So criticizing a woman’s face is not about her appearance? Yeah, right. Not much of defense. But the media won’t hold Trump accountable no matter what he says.

Meanwhile traditional conservative pundits profess to be utterly mystified by Trump’s success in his “campaign” so far. Brian Beutler at The New Republic: Donald Trump’s Biggest Conservative Enemies Helped Create Him.

Donald Trump’s durable lead in Republican primary polls, and improving approval ratings, continue to befuddle people who ought to have better insight into the state of the conservative mind. Writing for National Review, Jonah Goldberg and Charles C.W. Cooke have each diagnosed Trumpism as a failing of the conservative voters who comprise Trump’s base.

Cooke believes that Trump “has succeeded in convincing conservatives to discard their principles,” begging the question of whether Trump’s supporters ever really shared the principles that animate conservative organizations and National Review writers. Goldberg insisted that “no movement that embraces Trump can call itself conservative,” which helped give rise to #NRORevolt, an online backlash, thick with white nationalists and other conservatives who are fed up with elites who try to write non-conformists—from moderates to protectionists to isolationists to outright racists—out of the movement.

The anti-tax group Club for Growth is a big part of that purification apparatus. It is currently organizing and raising money for an effort to excise Trump before his view that hedge fund managers should pay their fair share in taxes metastasizes through the Republican primary field.

Republican consultant Steve Schmidt, who presumably sympathizes withNational Review and Club for Growth, described their frustrations as the described their frustrations as the result of a fatal disjunction between mass conservatism and the ideology that’s supposed to underlie it. “We’re at this moment in time,” Schmidttold NPR recently, “when there’s a severability between conservatism and issues. Conservatism is now expressed as an emotional sentiment. That sentiment is contempt and anger.”

This explains Trump’s rise and persistence, but fails to account for how“contempt and anger” became such valuable currency in Republican politics today. That omission is predictable, because such an accounting would implicate nearly everyone who now claims to be astonished and dismayed by the Trump phenomenon.

Read the rest at TNR.

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A couple of weeks ago, I made a resolution that I would read Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog and Peter Daou and Tom Watson’s #HillaryMen blog every day. I’ve been doing it, and the effort has been paying off in terms of maintaining my equilibrium in an insane media atmosphere.

Silver had a nice, level-headed post on Trump and Bernie Sanders yesterday: Stop Comparing Donald Trump And Bernie Sanders.

A lot of people are linking the candidacies of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump under headings like “populist” and “anti-establishment.” Most of these comparisons are too cute for their own good — not only because it’s too earlyto come to many conclusions about the campaign, but also because Trump and Sanders are fundamentally different breeds of candidates who are situated very differently in their respective nomination races.

You can call both “outsiders.” But if you’re a Democrat, Sanders is your eccentric uncle: He has his own quirks, but he’s part of the family. If you’re a Republican, Trump is as familial as the vacuum salesman knocking on your door.

Silver lists 7 differences between the two candidates–check them out at the link.

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And from #HillaryMen, another sensible post: The Sad, Sisyphean Struggle of Hillary Haters.

Writing for Politico, Jack Shafer explains why he thinks “Being a Clinton apologist is a hard life.”

Which got us thinking: what must it be like to be a die-hard Hillary hater? Obsessing over one of the most accomplished and resilient public figures on the planet? How depressing and demoralizing is it to latch onto fabricated scandal after fabricated scandal, only to have every one fade away?

How frustrating is it to expend so much time and mental energy bashing, bashing, bashing, only to have Hillary come back stronger than ever?

And how awful is it to be on the wrong side of women’s history, to help reinforce the gender barrier that prevents women and girls from realizing their full potential?

We’re not talking about fair-minded critics and principled political opponents. They have every right to disagree with Hillary and to dislike her if they’re so inclined. We’re talking about haters, people who have a pathological need to savage Hillary. People who make an industry of their hate.

Think of the self-righteous rants on Morning Joe, the seething vitriol of Maureen Dowd, the feverish swamps of rightwing trolls. Think of the reporters and pundits who mindlessly repeat Rove-funded frames and narratives, hoping to taint Hillary’s public image, to sully her character. Think of the Republican and conservative operatives who have tried in vain for more than two decades to silence her.

Go over to #HillaryMen to read the rest.

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As a bonus, here’s a nice column by Brent Budowsky at The Hill: Big truths about Hillary.

In olden days, great columnists such as Walter Lippmann and James “Scotty” Reston would periodically step back and put great events into perspective.

As America’s summer of political discontent and distemper ends, and as Americans shift from the fun of enjoying our favorite political performer to the mission of selecting our next president and as a pope of epochal significance prepares to address a joint session of a vastly unpopular Congress, let’s look at matters from a larger perspective.

It is revealing that while GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump gets a pass from many in the media for repeated comments that were verbally abusive toward women, the candidate who would be the first female president, Hillary Clinton, is treated like a pinata by pundits on television news — which, according to Gallup, is one of the least trusted institutions in America.

When Clinton stands with virtually all of America’s democratic allies by forcefully supporting a plan to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and stands with Pope Francis in support of treating refugees and immigrants humanely, she is acting like a stateswoman, commander in chief and humanitarian.

Meanwhile, the policies of GOP presidential candidates would leave Lady Liberty crying in New York Harbor as the pope arrives in America.

It is a big truth that Clinton would be the first female president, an achievement equal in historic magnitude to President Obama becoming our first black president.

If she is elected, moms and dads from Topeka to Tangiers will be telling their daughters that they too can achieve anything if they work hard and dream big.

By contrast, the Republican front-runner describes moms and daughters as fat pigs, dogs, slobs, disgusting animals and bimbos.

More big truths at the link. The piece is well worth reading.

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A bit more news, links only:

Japan Today: More than 100,000 flee floods in eastern Japan; 7 missing.

New York Daily News Exclusive: James Blake, former tennis star, slammed to ground and handcuffed outside midtown hotel by white NYPD cops who mistook him for ID theft suspect.

Chron.com: Baltimore police arrest pastor a week after Gray protests.

The Daily Beast Exclusive: 50 Spies Say ISIS Intelligence Was Cooked.

Politico: David Brock: The New York Times has ‘a special place in hell.’

Gawker: Reporter Claims He Was Fired for Asking Louisiana Senator David Vitter About His History With Prostitutes.

CNN: Homo naledi: New species of human ancestor discovered in South Africa.

National Geographic: This Face Changes the Human Story. But How?

What else is happening? Please Share your thoughts and links in the comment thread and have a nice Thursday.

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62 Comments on “Super-Lazy Saturday Reads”

  1. List of X says:

    Maine and NJ has spent so much effort and money trying to quarantine Hickox against her will. Would it really be so difficult and expensive to offer Hickox, say, monetary compensation of 2-3 times her monthly salary and a guarantee she won’t lose her current job in exchange for her self-quarantining herself? Of course, that should apply to other returning medical workers as well – but maybe not to any other arrivals.

    • bostonboomer says:

      But why should she have to go beyond the CDC and Doctors Without Borders guidelines. As NW Luna said yesterday, Hickox is standing up for science against ignorance and panic.

      • List of X says:

        She should not have to do that – and this why I think that the state should offer her compensation. Of course, the state could try to support Hickox, but I think the general population may be too hysterical at this point thanks to our media to react rationally.

        • RalphB says:

          I think our media and some people on the internet may be hysterical but don’t see much real evidence for it in the general population.

          • List of X says:

            I think you’re right – the media presents Ebola as a widespread danger to all, finds a few people who became hysterical, and then presents these people as evidence of widespread Ebola-related hysteria. Damn it, I think they got me too with this ricochet story angle. I’m going to go google some (although unreliable, as was just established) polls on how many people actually think that Ebola is the #1 issue facing the country at the moment.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Dakinikat will be heading out to see and hear Hillary Clinton campaign for Mary Landrieu at 3PM today, so be sure to check back for her reports from the ground! Maybe she’ll get to meet Hillary.

  3. dakinikat says:

    http://www.politicususa.com/2014/11/01/felonies-mitch-mcconnell-republican-lawmaker-lawbreaker.html

    Seems like Mitch is getting desperate. Allison is calling for an investigation into voter intimidation.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Ooops!

      40kg Of Cocaine Found On Mitch McConnell’s Father-In-Law’s Boat

      James Chao, father of Mitch McConnell’s wife Elaine, has a lot of questions to answer after 40 kilograms of cocaine (about $6.7 million worth) was found on the Ping May, a ship owned by the Foremost Group, a company James Chao founded and led to a tidy fortune. But was that fortune built on honest movement of legitimate bulk trade goods, or has Mr. Chao been trading in less than legal goods?

      The cocaine, found in 40 separate packages, was discovered during a routine inspection hidden among a load of coal bound for Europe from the port of Santa Marta, Columbia onboard the Ping May, one of 15 ships Foremost currently operates, with another 8 under construction. The final destination for the ship was to be the Netherlands, likely one of the port cities surrounding Amsterdam. It is known that the Ping May has been witnessed at the port of Zaanstad, one of these cities, in the past.

      Foremost Group is the source of most of Senator McConnell’s fortune through gifts and inheritance from his in-laws. It is a shadowy corporation, utilizing a complex scheme of shell companies to skip out on millions in taxes annually.

      They fly their ships under the flag of Liberia, a west African nation known for its lax labor protections, allowing Foremost the opportunity to exploit its ships’ workforce with little fear of recrimination. However, this status as an employer-friendly anti-labor nation also allowed western African nations, such as Liberia, to become one of the epicenters for drug smuggling through legitimate channels. By working to extract every red cent of profit at the cost of the laborers who make their fortunes possible, Foremost may have sewn [sic] the seeds of its own downfall.

  4. bostonboomer says:

  5. dakinikat says:

    Deep in the heart of Texas …rosaries are gang member jewelry?

    Middle School Student, Assaulted, Arrested, Currently In Jail, for Wearing a Rosary to Football Game
    Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/middle-school-student-assaulted-arrested-jail-wearing-rosary-football-game/#gDosXe74Et1K6utV.99

    • bostonboomer says:

      Weird. Even if it is, it can’t be legal to arrest someone simply for wearing one. Do they arrest all the priests and nuns who have rosaries attached to their outfits?

    • RalphB says:

      I wouldn’t doubt anything happening in Amarillo. It’s RWNJ heaven out there.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    ME-Gov LePage Says 13% Of Ebola Victims Die Without Showing Any Symptoms

    http://crooksandliars.com/2014/11/maines-gov-lepage-13-ebola-victims-die

  7. ANonOMouse says:

    Good post today BB and great links. I look forward to a lot of excellent reads.

    I hope there’s a chance that the Dems hold onto the Senate but I’m not to concerned if they don’t because the GOP really won’t be able to do anything unless Obama caves on the issues they care about. I’m already reading that they’re backing off on trying to repeal the ACA and the privatization of SS is a bridge too far even for most people who vote for the GOP. I do have some concern about some sort of Personhood legislation but I can’t imagine Obama signing that and a Personhood Amendment would never make it through the hurdles of ratification. About all they will be able to do is PISS OFF their base that will expect them to do things that they won’t really have the power to do. My warning to the GOP would be “Be careful what you wish for”.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I think you’re probably right. I’ve kind of resigned myself to the GOP taking over, but it won’t be by much; and, as Politico noted, there’s a good chance Dems will take over again in 2016.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I agree. I think if the GOP takes back the majority that it helps the Dems in the 2016 elections. I’m hoping that on the day following the election Obama issues an Executive Order granting some sort of sweeping amnesty program. That should turn the hose pipe on the GOP victory celebrations. 🙂

  8. RalphB says:

    Cool…

    • NW Luna says:

      Very sweet. So happy they did the right thing with her dog and didn’t kill the poor thing out of irrational panic.

  9. dakinikat says:

    Doesn’t seem very crowded. There’s a brass band playing right now.

  10. dakinikat says:

    Representative Sheila Jackson LeePut a photo of representative Jackson in the media folder.

  11. RalphB says:

    Texas Observer: On the Bus with Leticia Van de Putte

    Christopher Hooks with ‘THE’ story of this Texas campaign cycle. Wonderful long read.

  12. dakinikat says:

    She looks great! She’s lost weight and looks relaxed and really well in a forest green pantsuit.

  13. bostonboomer says:

  14. janicen says:

    So many interesting reads, here bb. I just got back from an awesome Fleetwood Mac concert in DC. I won’t get through all of your links tonight but I’ll try to get to them tomorrow. Kaci Hickox is inspiring.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks. How was the concert? I’ve never seen them, but I love their music. Here’s one of my favorites:

      • janicen says:

        They were awesome. I was so happily surprised. I was really afraid that the performances would be diminished because of their ages but I could not have been more wrong. Lindsey Buckingham delivered a virtuoso performance on the guitar and Mick Fleetwood shredded the drums. The entire Verizon Center was packed to the gills and we were all on our feet. Everyone we ran into at the hotel after the concert, agreed. It was astonishing. Honestly one of the top three concerts I have ever seen. Ranked up there with The Stones Steel Wheels in ’89 and McCartney. My husband and I have been arguing because he would put the Clapton concert ahead of Fleetwood Mac but to my mind, if I had to pick which one I would see again, Fleetwood Mac is ahead of Clapton. Christine McVie’s voice was on point, Stevie’s was a little lower than it was 35 years ago but she still rocked the house. Made me proud to be a boomer.

    • Janicen I am so glad you are okay…I saw this and was thinking about you: Four shot outside Fleetwood Mac concert in Washington, D.C. | World | News | Tor

      Glad to hear you are okay.

  15. dakinikat says:

    Nice to know I’m not alone on this.

    Back in March (when most of us remembered to “spring forward”) the polling firm Rasmussen Reports found that “only 33 percent of American adults think DST is worth the hassle.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/daylight-saving-time-worth-150615497.html

    For one thing, the time switch may not be saving all that much energy, which is one of the main reasons for the tradition. As the Monitor’s David Clark Scott wrote at this time last year:

    “Studies show mixed results. For example, The Christian Science Monitor reports that in Indiana, daylight saving time caused a 1 percent jump in electricity, according to a 2010 study. The energy saved from reduced lighting in the summer months was canceled out by an increase in the use of heating and air conditioning, the researchers from Yale University and University of California Santa Barbara said.”

    In Alabama, state Sen. Rusty Glover is crafting a bill that ends the semiannual clock switching by keeping time in his state at what now is daylight saving.

    “I have heard from constituents and businesses from around the state for years about this issue,” Sen. Glover said in a release. “Our legislation will make sure that children riding the late afternoon school bus, or working people who get off at 5 o’clock, won’t have to come home in the dark.”

    “It’s time to move on,” Glover said. “Our legislation will end the arcane, imposed, and artificial time adjustments that simply make no sense.”

    In a piece headlined “Daylight Saving Time Is Bad For Your Health,” Business Insider warns that a small shift in time “can have a large impact on our body clock.”

    • NW Luna says:

      Sure hope this rational thinking catches on! There is abundant research that the time change in spring is a huge factor in highway accidents, and other problems from sleep deprivation. And who are we trying to fool anyhow? Never made sense to me.