Tuesday Reads

L'Estaque, by Andre Derain

L’Estaque, by Andre Derain

Good Morning!!

I think my poison oak outbreak is improving a bit. The rash is still spreading and it’s still very itchy, but it’s a little better than it was. At least it doesn’t feel like my skin is on fire. I stopped taking the powerful antihistamine/anesthetic the doctor gave me and went back to Benedryl. I’m still very groggy this morning, but I think if I can put up with the itching and avoid taking more Benedryl, my brain fog should clear up by this afternoon.

I can’t really focus enough to do any serious reading, so this will just be a link dump of recent news stories.

I wish Donald Trump would just go away, but he’s determined to completely embarrass himself first.

TPM reports: Trump Lashes Out At Critics, Makes Incendiary New Claims About Mexico.

In the three-page-long statement posted online, the billionaire reality TV star reprinted the text in question from his now-infamous presidential announcement speech, which he says “is deliberately distorted by the media.”

“What can be simpler or more accurately stated? The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.,” he said in the statement.

Trump went on to say “many fabulous people come in from Mexico,” and also broadened his call for immediately securing the border by saying Mexican leaders are much more “cunning” when it comes to trade deals with the U.S. and that infectious disease is “pouring across the border.”

A Cup of Tea, Andre Derain

A Cup of Tea, Andre Derain

Read the entire creepy statement at the link. A little more from Business Insider: Donald Trump just released an epic statement raging against Mexican immigrants and ‘disease.’

“The largest suppliers of heroin, cocaine and other illicit drugs are Mexican cartels that arrange to have Mexican immigrants trying to cross the borders and smuggle in the drugs. The Border Patrol knows this,” Trump wrote. “Likewise, tremendous infectious disease is pouring across the border. The United States has become a dumping ground for Mexico and, in fact, for many other parts of the world.”

Shortly before releasing his statement, Trump gave an interview to Business Insider where he described the idea that the Mexican government is deliberately “pushing the bad ones” to the US as the one element of his position on immigration that hasn’t gotten enough attention….

Trump also argued the Mexican government “not our friend” and is taking advantage of the US on “bad trade deals.”

“The Mexican Government wants an open border as long as it’s a ONE WAY open border into the United States. Not only are they killing us at the border, but they are killing us on trade … and the country of Mexico is making billions of dollars in doing so,” he wrote. “I have great respect for Mexico and love their people and their peoples’ great spirit. The problem is, however, that their leaders are far smarter, more cunning, and better negotiators than ours. To the citizens of the United States, who I will represent far better than anyone else as President, the Mexican government is not our friend…and why should they be when the relationship is totally one sided in their favor on both illegal immigration and trade.”

Trump concluded by taking shots at some of the businesses who have severed ties with him.

“I have lost a lot during this Presidential run defending the people of the United States. 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,” Trump wrote.

A man reading a newspaper, Andre Derain

A man reading a newspaper, Andre Derain

According to Business Insider, Republican donors are getting increasingly nervous about Trump: One GOP donor wants to block Donald Trump from the debate stage.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Worried about “Republican-on-Republican violence,” top party donors are taking action, with one firing off a letter calling for more civility and another seeking to block businessman Donald Trump from the debate stage altogether.

Foster Friess, a Wyoming-based investor and one of the party’s top 20 donors in the last presidential contest, issued a letter to 16 White House prospects and the Republican National Committee late last week calling for candidates to stay on the “civility reservation.”

“Our candidates will benefit if they all submit to Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment, ‘Thou shall not speak ill of a fellow Republican,'” Friess wrote in a letter sent to Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus. A copy was obtained by The Associated Press.

In the dispatch, Friess cites the backing of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts. “Would you join the effort to inspire a more civil way of making their points?” Friess wrote. “If they drift off the ‘civility reservation,’ let’s all immediately communicate that to them.”

Good luck with that.

Speaking of creepy people, Bill Cosby is back in the news.

The AP reports: Cosby said he got drugs to give women for sex.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Bill Cosby testified in 2005 that he got Quaaludes with the intent of giving them to young women he wanted to have sex with, and he admitted giving the sedative to at least one woman and “other people,” according to documents obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

The AP had gone to court to compel the release of the documents; Cosby’s lawyers had objected on the grounds that it would embarrass their client.

The 77-year-old comedian was testifying under oath in a lawsuit filed by a former Temple University employee. He testified he gave her three half-pills of Benadryl.

Cosby settled that sexual-abuse lawsuit for undisclosed terms in 2006. His lawyers in the Philadelphia case did not immediately return phone calls Monday.

Cosby has been accused by more than two dozen women of sexual misconduct, including allegations by many that he drugged and raped them in incidents dating back more than four decades. Cosby, 77, has never been criminally charged, and most of the accusations are barred by statutes of limitations.

Portrait of a woman, Andre Derain

Portrait of a woman, Andre Derain

From NBC News: Judge Explains Why He Unsealed Bill Cosby Court Documents.

A federal judge said one of the reasons he unsealed court documents in which Bill Cosby admits he gave a woman drugs before sex is because of the disconnect between the comedian’s upright public persona and the serious allegations against him.

“The stark contrast between Bill Cosby, the public moralist and Bill Cosby, the subject of serious allegations concerning improper (and perhaps criminal) conduct is a matter as to which the AP — and by extension the public — has a significant interest,” Judge Eduardo Robreno wrote in a memorandum Monday. The documents were released after a request from The Associated Press.

Cosby said in a 2005 legal deposition that he had obtained prescriptions of a powerful sedative to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex, according to the documents. His testimony was part of a civil suit involving a woman who accused him of drugging her and sexually assaulting her.

The actor was not charged in connection with these claims and the case was dismissed in 2006.

His lawyers had fought the documents’ release, saying it would be “terribly embarrassing.” Last month, Cosby’s lawyers and lawyers for the AP argued over whether Cosby was a public figure entitled to a lesser degree of privacy.

Robreno wrote Monday that the case “is not about the Defendant’s status as a public person by virtue of the exercise of his trade as a televised or comedic personality. Rather, Defendant has donned the mantle of public moralist and mounted the proverbial electronic or print soap box to volunteer his views on, among other things, childrearing, family life, education, and crime.”

Crazy GOPers

Yesterday, a GOP state senator in South Carolina flipped out during the debate over removing the Confederate flag from the state house grounds, according to Raw Story.

The Dance, Andre Derain

The Dance, Andre Derain

‘The devil is taking control’: Watch SC senator derail Confederate flag debate with insane gay marriage rant.

South Carolina state Sen. Lee Bright (R) began debate about removing the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds on Monday with a passionate plea for lawmakers to focus on same-sex marriage instead.

As the senators prepared to debate a measure that would remove the flag, Bright took to the floor to point out that President Barack Obama sang “Amazing Grace” at the funeral for nine black church members in Charleston and then later that night the White House was illuminated in rainbow colors to celebrate a Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage.

“I watch the White House be lit up in the abomination colors!” Bright said. “It is time for the church to rise up…. Romans chapter 1 is clear, the Bible is clear. This nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and they are under assault by men in black robes who were not elected by you.”

Bright argued that lawmakers should be protecting county clerks from the “tyranny” of having to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples instead of debating the Confederate flag.

“Our governor called us in to deal with the flag that sits out front, let’s deal with the national sin that we face today!” he exclaimed. “We talk about abortion but this gay marriage thing, I believe will be one nation gone under like President Reagan said. If we’re not one nation under God, we’ll be one nation gone under.

Read the rest of Bright’s rant at Raw Story.

A couple of stories on the Democratic nomination race…

National Journal: Here’s the Real Reason Hillary Clinton Has a Lock on the Democratic Nomination.

Hillary Clinton is a near-lock for the Democratic nomination for many reasons, but among the most significant is that her challengers have minimal appeal to the party’s base of African-American voters….

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the challenger with the most momentum, represents a state that’s 95 percent white, where Asian-Americans and multi-racial voters outnumber blacks. He’s focused most of his campaign message on income inequality, constraining Wall Street excess, and campaign finance reform, while avoiding discussions on race relations, urban policing, or gun control. Only 25 percent of non-white Democratic voters said they’d even consider backing the senator’s presidential bid, according to last month’s NBC/Wall Street Journal survey.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, despite representing a state where nearly half of Democratic voters are black, has been unable to make inroads with his onetime political base. In fact, he drew some jeers when he returned to Baltimore in the wake of violent rioting that tore apart the city. As mayor, his tough-on-crime measures were popular with Maryland voters, but the no-tolerance approach alienated many African-American voters in the state’s largest city. Even some of his base-pleasing accomplishments as governor—such as his early support for gay marriage—hold limited appeal with black voters. In a recent speech, he awkwardly compared his experience as a “minority white candidate” for mayor to the broader African-American experience.

Meanwhile, Clinton’s other rival is more conservative than the entire Republican presidential field when it comes to the Confederate flag. Former Sen. Jim Webb, who was the Democrats’ Senate majority-maker less than a decade ago, now finds himself badly out of step with his party on civil rights issues. On Facebook, he called for “mutual respect” when considering the Confederate flag in a way that “respects the complicated history of the Civil War.” He will struggle to make inroads with minorities, given how out of step he is with an increasingly progressive Democratic base.

Polls in Iowa and New Hampshire may show Clinton with less-than-commanding leads over Sanders and everyone else, but take those results with a grain of salt; they don’t mean much going forward. Iowa and New Hampshire have among the most homogeneous Democratic electorates in the country, demographically disconnected from the party’s base in most other states.

The Trees, Andre Derain

The Trees, Andre Derain

At Vox, Jonathan Allen admits that reporters still follow the Clinton Rules: Confessions of a Clinton reporter: The media’s 5 unspoken rules for covering Hillary.

The Clinton rules are driven by reporters’ and editors’ desire to score the ultimate prize in contemporary journalism: the scoop that brings down Hillary Clinton and her family’s political empire. At least in that way, Republicans and the media have a common interest.

I understand these dynamics well, having co-written a book that demonstrated how Bill and Hillary Clinton used Hillary’s time at State to build the family political operation and set up for their fourth presidential campaign. That is to say, I’ve done a lot of research about the Clintons’ relationship with the media, and experienced it firsthand. As an author, I felt that I owed it to myself and the reader to report, investigate, and write with the same mix of curiosity, skepticism, rigor, and compassion that I would use with any other subject. I wanted to sell books, of course. But the easier way to do that — proven over time — is to write as though the Clintons are the purest form of evil. The same holds for daily reporting. Want to drive traffic to a website? Write something nasty about a Clinton, particularly Hillary.

Read Allen’s take on the Clinton Rules at the link.

Finally, from Slate’s Jamelle Bouie: Why Bernie Sanders Is the Left’s Ron Paul.

In just a few months, Sanders has moved from the periphery of American politics to the mainstream, as the most visible and popular alternative to Clinton, vastly outpacing former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, who recently announced his candidacy. But visibility isn’t viability, and there’s almost no chance Sanders will become the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, even ifhe sustains his momentum into next year.

Despite the polls and the voting, presidential primaries aren’t popularity contests. Instead, they’re closer to negotiations, where interests and individuals work to choose a leader and representative for the entire group. That person has to appeal to everyone, from ideological factions and political power centers to wealthy donors and ordinary voters and activists. The candidate also has to show that he or she can do the work of a national campaign, from winning debates to raising money.

Clinton has done this. She came close to winning the 2008 nomination and spent the next seven years—right up to the present—building her stature in Democratic politics. A moderate liberal committed to most of Barack Obama’s domestic and foreign policy agenda, she’s acceptable to almost everyone in the party—in a national poll of the Democratic field from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, she has a whopping 75 percent of the vote.

Which brings us back to Bernie. Sanders is a fascinating candidate with a vital, underrepresented message in American politics. But the same qualities that make him unique—relative independence from the Democratic Party, a foundational critique of American politics—make him unsuited for a major party nomination, much less the Democratic one. The more moderate and conservative parts of the Democratic coalition won’t support a left-wing candidate like Sanders, and the more strategic voters—party stalwarts like black Americans—will be skeptical that Sanders could win the White House, even if they agree with his ideas and policies.

Read the whole thing at the link.

So . . . . what else is happening? Please let us know in the comment thread and have a terrific Tuesday.


24 Comments on “Tuesday Reads”

  1. Fannie says:

    Good Morning BB. So glad you are feeling better. Let’s hope the flag is voted down in SC. Because the problem in this country is the oldest domestic disease ever: Racism. As expressed so well by Trump and his so called Mexican immigrants disease, and by the pastor who flipped out in support of continued racism, and discrimination.

    Thanks for the write up on Hillary. You know she welcomed Bernie into the fold of this race, but you would never know it according the MSNBC, and CNN. That’s why I admire her keeping the media at bay. They certainly come on like they don’t know nothing.

    Just a reminder, Hillary will have a press conference at 5 pm on CNN. I hope she gets a photo with the Women’s Soccer Team, and I hope she helps them fight for equal pay. They get 2 million in pay, compared to the men’s soccer team who get 35 million pay. Something isn’t right.

    Have a very good day BB.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Reading about the pay difference (men v. women) in FIFA Soccer, made me furious, but didn’t surprise me. Remember that there was a huge inequity in prize money in professional tennis before Billy Jean King worked to put women’s tennis on a par with men’s tennis prize money. For the major tennis tournaments that has become a reality. It’s time for FIFA to address this issue.

      I doubt that there are many fields where a woman is paid as much as a man, doing what amounts to the same work. We’ve tried my entire lifetime to effect those changes and we still haven’t reached pay equity. Maybe President Hillary can get that ball rolling in the right direction.

      • Fannie says:

        That was the first thing I though of, Billie Jean King. I had thought we made some progress since then but no, we are being pushed back. I’d like for all women, and girls to make the same amount of money as men, regardless of profession. Hillary will move us forward.

  2. ANonOMouse says:

    Good post this morning and glad you’re feeling some better BB. Hope you have a better day.

    • Beata says:

      What Mouse said, BB. I glad you are able to cut back a bit on the medication. That’s a positive sign.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Thanks. I cut back because the stuff was making me feel like a zombie. I still feel awful though, and still have a fever. I just hope the rash starts to improve soon. I look like a monster.

        • Beata says:

          I’m so sorry, BB. I hoped the medication cut back meant you were starting to feel better. xoxo

  3. Sweet Sue says:

    Very glad to hear you’re better, BB.

  4. Beata says:

    I be watching Hillary’s interview on CNN at 5pm ET. Anyone here feel like live-blogging it? I’m game.

    • Beata says:

      Well, I mean I’m game if anyone wants to do it with me. LOL. I don’t think I can do it alone.

    • janicen says:

      I can’t because hubby’s step mother is coming over at 5:30-ish, but I wish I could. I’ll stop by later and read what people post though.

  5. janicen says:

    I’m glad to hear you’re slightly better, bb. What an awful and I’m sure frightening experience. I know you were hoping for more quality time with your mom.

    Trump’s latest stupidity brings to mind the old adage…when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging!

  6. RalphB says:

    Wonder how many have whitesplained to Jamelle Bouie that Bernie is wonderful and his candidacy is fantastic.

  7. Sweet Sue says:

    Did anybody see the Hillary interview on CNN? She was excellent, but, as I posted over at Uppity’s place

    God, I hate Brianna Keilor’s (or whatever her stupid name is) guts.
    Hillary sits down with her for an exclusive interview, does great and ends on a lighthearted note.
    Then, Brianna takes a big old dump on Hillary for refusing culpability for wrongdoing that she never did.
    I didn’t hang out long enough to hear what Gloria Burger (David Gergen in a dress) thinks about Hillary Clinton’s honesty and transparency.
    I switched over to The Real Housewives of NYC-better for my blood pressure.

    • Beata says:

      Sue, you were wise to skip the post-interview analysis. I watched and I’m sorry I did.

      • Beata says:

        I need a stiff drink right now and I don’t drink. This campaign is going to be very long. How nice it would be to fast-forward to Hillary’s inauguration!

    • Boo Radly says:

      Bingo SS – she identified herself the first time I saw her. That is her assignment for the campaign season.

  8. Beata says:

    I recommend having a few drinks or muscle relaxants before watching a replay of CNN’s Hillary interview. Heck, have more than a few! Hillary was on top of her game as usual but the questions were the typical hit job.

    She was asked about Sanders gaining in the polls ( she expects a challenging primary and is looking forward to it ), her perceived “untrustworthiness” among voters ( she has confidence in the voters’ ability to judge her record positively), possible conflicts of interest re: the Clinton Foundation ( the Foundation has accomplished great things ), the State Dept. email brouhaha ( she went beyond what the law required her to do regarding her emails ), Donald Trump’s immigration comments ( Hillary “scolded” him according to CNN! The witch! ), and which woman should be on the ten-dollar bill ( she had no preference ).

    The analysis following the interview was the worst. Hillary was described as “defiant”, unwilling to admit to any “responsibility” for voters’ so-called questions about her trustworthiness, and showing a lack of “openness” and “transparency” in her answers. Her “untrustworthiness” among voters is likely to dog her throughout the campaign, according to CNN asshats who keep beating that drum like Maynard G. Krebs on bennies.

    • Sweet Sue says:

      Glad to hear that I wasn’t alone in my rage, Beata.

    • GAgal says:

      Hell, Brianna, maybe you and the rest of the media should admit to some responsibility for the voters who say they have problems with her trustworthiness. You’re the ones beating people over the head with all your lies, distortions and made up scandals. The way these people report, you would think Hillary’s going to be dragged off to prison any day now.

    • GAgal says:

      Another thing – if any other reporter asks a question with the words email or personal server…please Hillary I’m begging you… just say Asked. Answered. Next! I would stand up and cheer and I wouldn’t be the only one.

    • Fannie says:

      oh shit………..I got my time lines all messed up, and didn’t see the interview. Too bad. I’m getting fucking sick of this bullshitt that she is “untrustworthy”. Sounds like they want everybody to believe she is rolling over and playing dead, and Bernie smells like lavender.

  9. RalphB says:

    That “trustworthy” nuMber comes from a type of push polling being done where they ask about scandals then ask “Is she honest and trustworthy”. It’s obviously done to get a poll number to use as a hit job because the same question is not asked of any other candidate.

    I don’t know about anyone else but I’d be interested to see the “honest and trustworthy” results of the candidates compared. Of course, that’s not gonna happen.