Thursday Reads

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Good Afternoon!!

This is what we’ve come to folks. We have a nominee of a major political party and his surrogates calling for the opposition candidate to be thrown in prison, hanged, or shot by a firing squad. Talking Points Memo: The Trump Campaign is Now Wink-Winking Calls to Murder Clinton.

As our reporters on the ground in Cleveland are telling us, the “lock her up” theme of the Cleveland convention is pervasive. Signs, T-shirts, memorabilia – it’s pervasive. It’s not just a chant on the convention floor. The campaign isn’t just comfortable with it. They’re actively pushing it. We noted earlier that a New Hampshire Trump delegate, who’s also a Trump advisor on veterans issue has just said Clinton should be “shot for treason.” He’s now being investigated by the Secret Service for threatening the former First Lady and Secretary of State’s life.

But there’s a part of this story that’s been overshadowed by the shocking nature of what Al Baldasaro said. That’s the response from the Trump campaign. In response to Baldasaro’s attack, Trump Campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said: “We’re incredibly grateful for his support, but we don’t agree with his comments.”

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I’m not sure why no one has referenced this. But this is the kind of statement one usually hears about a policy disagreement rather than a demand to murder the opposing party’s nominee.

Calls for violence or the killing of a political opponent usually spurs the other candidate to totally disavow the person in question. Frankly, it’s a pretty new thing for a prominent supporter of a prominent politician to call for killing opposing candidates at all. But the Trump campaign is still “incredibly grateful his support” even though “we don’t agree” that Clinton should be shot.

This too is not normal.

Maybe you didn’t notice her statement until now. I assure you Trump’s more rabid supporters have – or at least noticed the conspicuous lack of any clear denunciation.

Yesterday, Melissa McEwan had a great post at Blue Nation Review on the unforgivable media complicity in this : WE’VE REACHED PEAK HILLARY HATE (Thanks to Our Noxious Media). And she provides plenty of linky goodness.

The national media’s treatment of Hillary has never been great. Whether it’s endlessly discussing her “likability,” or casually referring to her as “Godzillary” or “a Lovecraftian monster, the Cthulhu of American politics,” or depicting her with devil horns, or portraying her as a towering man-crushing monster, or constantly subjecting her to Remember Your Place pictures, or saying she “must be stopped,” they have long been prominent purveyors of narratives about Hillary being History’s Greatest Monster.

But their coverage in 2016 has been a total disgrace. A complete and utter embarrassment, culminating with this now-scrubbed headline care of the Washington Post: In Trump’s moment of triumph, Clinton is in the crosshairs.

Not only are the WaPo’s editors evidently watching a different convention than the rest of us if they imagine Donald is having “a moment of triumph,” but where is their sense of decency that they would say Hillary is in “the crosshairs”? Using such violent rhetoric at any time would be extraordinarily cruel, but to do so in the middle of a national nightmare of mass shootings is truly breathtaking.

And the replacement is hardly any better: Trump captures GOP nomination as focus their fire on Clinton.

“Focus their fire.” This is truly unconscionable.

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Melissa goes on to write about the media’s refusal to acknowledge the millions of people who support Hillary and are excited about the prospect of her becoming the first woman POTUS.

The fact is this: despite all the vitriol, Hillary is a popular presidential candidate. How can I make such a controversialclaim, in spite of her high unfavorables (ahem) and relentless articles detailing how unpopular she is? Because she won.

Because in winning her party’s nomination, she defeated Bernie Sanders, who himself was a popular candidate, by millions of votes and hundreds of delegates. Because she was a popular First Lady. Because she was a popular Senator. Because she was a popular Secretary of State. Because she has been the most admired women in the world for two decades.

And, no, that’s not hyperbole.

But you wouldn’t know that Hillary is popular, if you depended exclusively on corporate media for your news—because there is a seemingly endless parade of stories about how unpopular she is (whoops!); how unliked she is (bloop!); how little enthusiasm there is for her candidacy (uh-oh!).

There’s much more at the link, so please go read it if you haven’t already.

Tony Schwartz

Tony Schwartz

Also yesterday, Tony Schwartz, who wrote Trump’s bestselling book The Art of the Deal, discussed his experience of GOP nominee in an interview with The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer.

Schwartz had ghostwritten Trump’s 1987 breakthrough memoir, earning a joint byline on the cover, half of the book’s five-hundred-thousand-dollar advance, and half of the royalties. The book was a phenomenal success, spending forty-eight weeks on the Times best-seller list, thirteen of them at No. 1. More than a million copies have been bought, generating several million dollars in royalties. The book expanded Trump’s renown far beyond New York City, making him an emblem of the successful tycoon. Edward Kosner, the former editor and publisher of New York, where Schwartz worked as a writer at the time, says, “Tony created Trump. He’s Dr. Frankenstein.”

Starting in late 1985, Schwartz spent eighteen months with Trump—camping out in his office, joining him on his helicopter, tagging along at meetings, and spending weekends with him at his Manhattan apartment and his Florida estate. During that period, Schwartz felt, he had got to know him better than almost anyone else outside the Trump family. Until Schwartz posted the tweet, though, he had not spoken publicly about Trump for decades. It had never been his ambition to be a ghostwriter, and he had been glad to move on. But, as he watched a replay of the new candidate holding forth for forty-five minutes, he noticed something strange: over the decades, Trump appeared to have convinced himself that he had written the book. Schwartz recalls thinking, “If he could lie about that on Day One—when it was so easily refuted—he is likely to lie about anything.”

It seemed improbable that Trump’s campaign would succeed, so Schwartz told himself that he needn’t worry much. But, as Trump denounced Mexican immigrants as “rapists,” near the end of the speech, Schwartz felt anxious. He had spent hundreds of hours observing Trump firsthand, and felt that he had an unusually deep understanding of what he regarded as Trump’s beguiling strengths and disqualifying weaknesses. Many Americans, however, saw Trump as a charmingly brash entrepreneur with an unfailing knack for business—a mythical image that Schwartz had helped create. “It pays to trust your instincts,” Trump says in the book, adding that he was set to make hundreds of millions of dollars after buying a hotel that he hadn’t even walked through.

In the subsequent months, as Trump defied predictions by establishing himself as the front-runner for the Republican nomination, Schwartz’s desire to set the record straight grew. He had long since left journalism to launch the Energy Project, a consulting firm that promises to improve employees’ productivity by helping them boost their “physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual” morale. It was a successful company, with clients such as Facebook, and Schwartz’s colleagues urged him to avoid the political fray. But the prospect of President Trump terrified him. It wasn’t because of Trump’s ideology—Schwartz doubted that he had one. The problem was Trump’s personality, which he considered pathologically impulsive and self-centered.

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Please go read the whole thing. As soon as the article was published, Trump sent him a “cease and desist letter.” and demanded that Schwarz return all of his royalties from the book.

You may have seen Rachel Maddow’s interview with Schwartz last night in which he called Trump “a black hole,” and a “sociopath.” Steve Benen writes:

Schwartz is eager to tell the public about what he learned about Trump after their collaboration.
As Rachel discovered last night, Trump’s lawyers have a different plan in mind.
Tony Schwartz, ghostwriter of Donald Trump’s book “The Art of the Deal,” told MSNBC Wednesday that the Trump campaign sent him a cease and desist letter in response to his comments about the Republican candidate.
Schwartz, a former journalist, was employed by Trump to ghostwrite his memoir in 1987. In an interview with MSNBC, Schwartz described the Republican candidate for president as “having no heart and no soul.”

“This notion that I didn’t write the book is so preposterous,” Schwartz added. “You know, I am not certain that Donald Trump read every word, but I’m sure certain that I wrote every word. And he made a few red marks on the manuscript and sent it back to me, and the rest was history. The idea that he would dispute that is part of why I felt I had to come forward. The notion that if he could lie about that he could lie about anything.”

Benen says the New Yorker article is a must-read, and I agree wholeheartedly.

A person has serious consequences (for example, losing your driving privileges); but an experienced Drunk Driving & DUI Attorney Las Vegas, NV can often get the charges dropped or reduced, or may be able to negotiate lesser penalties depending on your circumstances and your past history.

More stories to check out:

TPM: Ted Turns the Tables on Trump–Hard.

NYT: Donald Trump Sets Conditions for Defending NATO Allies Against Attack.

CNN: Defiant Ted Cruz stands by refusal to endorse Trump after being booed during convention speech.

Jonathan Chait: Republicans in Chaos Must Decide Whether to Elect a Madman.

Slate: Newt Gingrich Probably Just Gave the Last Major Speech of His Career.

HuffPo: Tim Kaine Calls To Deregulate Banks As He Campaigns To Be Clinton’s VP.

NYT: Bill Clinton Said to Back Virginia’s Tim Kaine for Vice President.

NBC News: Cops Shoot Unarmed Caregiver With His Hands Up While He Helps Man.

The Guardian: Roger Ailes accused of harassment by at least 20 women, attorneys say.

What else is happening? Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread and have a tremendous Thursday!


118 Comments on “Thursday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    I’m very worried about the possibility that Hillary will name Tim Kaine VP tomorrow! He’s anti-abortion, he now wants to deregulate banks, and he’s boring as hell. Please don’t do it Hillary!

    • dakinikat says:

      http://www.ontheissues.org/Social/Tim_Kaine_Abortion.htm

      He’s one of those against it personally Dem Pro Lifers … we’ll have to see if he makes any kind of statement beyond this. He does like parental consent, etc. though like most of them.

    • Enheduanna says:

      ITA – she’d be disappointing the progressives so badly with this (including me).

      I’m surprised Bill Clinton has become such a drag on her campaign. I’ve always thought she was smarter than him.

    • Fannie says:

      It would be terrible, and just put us back another 100 years.

    • janicen says:

      Me too. Pleeeeeaaaase, Hillary! Don’t listen to Bill. I love Bill, I do, but Bill “stumbles” every so often and inadvertently hurts Hillary’s campaign. Honestly, I think he subconsciously undermines her like all men do their female partners. Yes, I said it, they all do it. They don’t mean to but they do.

      Hillary, if you’re reading this, Tim Kaine’s problem is his abortion position, but not in the way you’re thinking. Tim Kaine tried to sit on both sides of the abortion fence as he tried to get elected as a Democrat in conservative Virginia and it worked. Here. But the media will paint him as a politically expedient opportunist with the same brush they use to call you untrustworthy. Ignore Bill, you could have won the nomination without him. Pick Elizabeth Warren. Please.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Breaking: Hillary and Elizabeth Warren will both be in Florida this weekend when Hillary is expected to announce her VP.

        • ANonOMouse says:

          Wow……..Could Hillary be doubling down? Very interesting.

          • bostonboomer says:

            I hope so. Also Cory Booker told MSNBC that he isn’t going to Florida this weekend.

          • Jslat says:

            With some other Repub Candidate, a two women ticket would be very risky. But this is the election that makes it possible. T-rump is so extreme and scary that the sexist backlash for two women running will be barely bearable!!

        • Beata says:

          Wow! That is exciting. Hillary will be in Orlando and Tampa tomorrow, then at a noon rally in Miami on Saturday.

        • janicen says:

          I just read that on twitter. It’s the only thing that feels right, that’s why I’m cautiously optimistic. Gawd that would be so awesome, a two woman ticket.

        • Fannie says:

          Elizabeth Warren is speaking at a La Raza event in Orlando tomorrow. I’ll be waiting for this interaction.

          One of the things that we have talked about BB is protecting the senate……….I have nightmares if Elizabeth Warren is taken out, then who? Same as Cory Booker, if he leaves, Christie would pick someone for the Senate.

          The other thing we touched on was who is better prepared to step in to be President…….I don’t know, I like Tony Perez. I like Juan Castro, and then maybe somebody else is being vetted that we don’t know about…….

          I’ve heard about Gen. Stanviris…..but he sounds like a good defense secetary……….I remember Wesley Clark, but I don’t know, he’s had a chance before.

          What is your opinion here? I do like Elizabeth Warren………..

          • bostonboomer says:

            If it’s Elizabeth Warren, Joe Kennedy will run for Senate. He can beat Charlie Baker, I think.

        • Joanelle says:

          I honestly think Vlasik is her best bet, and he comes with a very impressive, intelligent wife. It seems to be a winning team

    • Jslat says:

      For alot of reasons I would like to see Xavier Beccera as Hillary’s VP.

    • Joanelle says:

      Me too BB

  2. dakinikat says:

    Okay, here’s a teaser skydancers! We have some exciting news to share shortly! You will be thrilled I am guaranteeing it!!! Stay tuned for the big announcement post!!!

  3. dakinikat says:

    So, she does exist.
    Behind Melania Trump’s Cribbed Lines, an Ex-Ballerina Who Loved Writing http://nyti.ms/2agPuTt

  4. Sweet Sue says:

    Great roundup, BB.
    I find that Charles Kinsey story so disturbing.
    Kinsey “Officer, why did you shoot me?
    PO “I don’t know.”
    I don’t know??? That’s some training we’re giving police officers.

  5. Beata says:

    Thank you for today’s reads, BB. I hope you are staying cool at your mother’s. It’s so hot and humid here, it’s like an oven.

    Melissa McEwan’s post at Blue Nation Review is excellent. She’s been very prolific lately, writing about Mike Pence among other things. She’s from Indiana so she knows a lot about Pence, our “Midwestern not-at-all-nice” governor.

    I saw the interview with Tony Schwartz last night. He was scathing in his critique of Trump. I hope he will not “cease and desist”. Keep talking, Tony!

    • bostonboomer says:

      It’s really hot here too, and my mom keeps the air conditioning at 75 degrees. But I have a fan near me.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Oh, it’s hot here. In the high 90’s and the humidity is 30-40%. It’s like breathing soup!

  6. Fannie says:

    Roger Ailes is a goner! Hooray, let’s get the rest of the sexist pricks out of technology and the media.

    • Enheduanna says:

      O’Reilley is supposed to be retiring. Trump will be gone after November…..hehehe

      • ANonOMouse says:

        O’Reilly threatened to quit if Ailes was fired. So did Greta, Hannity, that group of idiots that’s on in the Morning and the other group of idiots that’s on the afternoon. Maybe we’ll get Hillary/Warren, Fox News in shreds and Donald Trump indicted for Fraud.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Roger has never been good for what ails me! 🙂

  7. janicen says:

    I am really, really worried about all of the thinly veiled threats against Hillary. I hope her SS protection is doubled because things are really getting terrifying.

    That’s another reason she should pick Elizabeth Warren, because they will leave Hillary alone if they think they will be left with Warren.

    • Enheduanna says:

      I was worried about Obama in 2009 even though I hated that he won that primary and at the time I didn’t particularly like him. I think a lot of people were worried.

      We have to believe she’ll be OK.

      If Trump won by some miracle (na ga happen) – he’d become a huge target for foreign agents. People in other countries are terrified he could win.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    It’s Official: Hillary Clinton Is Running Against Vladimir Putin

    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/07/clinton-trump-putin-nato/492332/

  9. ANonOMouse says:

    NBA pulls the All-Star game out of NC over the State’s new Anti-Gay law. We’re kicking some ass today. All of this good news on the same day? Am I dreaming or is the moon in the 7th house? Maybe there is a goddess!

    • bostonboomer says:

      “she is planning to introduce her new political partner during a campaign rally in Miami on Saturday”

      I think it’s going to be Liz W.

      • Jslat says:

        As I said above, this is the election with the best chance of electing a two woman ticket!

      • Beata says:

        But the article also says:

        “All the finalists have met with Clinton at different times, Democrats close to the process say, including Perez, Booker and Warren during one-on-one meetings Friday at Clinton’s home in Washington. But this week, the Clinton campaign had a meeting with top Warren aides, trying to work out a surrogate schedule for her for the rest of the summer and fall, leading Warren’s team to believe she had not been chosen.

        “They have crossed us off the list,” one Democrat close to Warren said.”

        I have a bad feeling it is going to be Kaine.

        • bostonboomer says:

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        • Enheduanna says:

          But why would working out a surrogate to clear Warren’s schedule rule her out? Seems to me it could also indicate she would be campaigning with Clinton – as her running mate.

          Also seems like too many people doth protest too much. Like stories are being planted to deflect the real surprise. Why would she go with Kaine – everybody’s unenthusiastic assumption?

          And I recall reading that “losing” that senate seat wouldn’t be as permanent as you’d think (sorry no link).

          I’m still optimistic it will be Warren.

      • bostonboomer says:

        “But two Democrats close to Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and one close to Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, both of whom were on Clinton’s list of contenders, said Thursday they were all but certain they had not been selected.”

        Sigh . . .

  10. bostonboomer says:

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  11. Riverbird says:

    I’ve been online very little during the past couple of weeks because of a family illness (she’s fine now after surgery) and because I moved from one city in Texas to another. I have a lot of unpacking to do, but I’m going to be here every day from now on. I missed you all.

  12. Sweet Sue says:

    Friends, I hope you steeled yourself and watched Trump’s looong speech.
    It was the worst Presidential nominee speech that I’ve ever heard, and I vaguely remember Wallace.
    It was so dark and gloomy and dystopian, without hope, positivity or inspiration.
    This year will determine just how many angry, fearful bigots we have in our beloved country.
    It’s light versus dark, love versus hate.

    • NW Luna says:

      Agree. It’s an incredible contrast. The other day one of my patients started off saying something that he liked about Pence. I immediately had an almost visceral reaction of extreme repulsion and disgust to this person. It was an effort to keep the appearance of calmness and I don’t think I quite managed to. The depth of the gullibility floors me, and the looming possibility of unleashed hate and violence that I sense from the Trump/Pence followers is unsettling.

  13. William says:

    It appears virtually certain it is going to be Kaine. And that’s disappointing to me, and to others. However, it is not as if Kaine is a conservative; he is a moderate, from a state which doesn’t elect liberals. I don’t think he’s any more conservative than Biden was in 2008; certainly not as conservative as Bentsen, whom the very liberal Dukakis picked.

    Kaine is not going to determine policy, Hillary is. My objection to Kaine was mostly that I don’t think he’s a very dynamic campaigner. But he would probably make a fine VP, if we can win. Virtually anyone Hillary picked, outside of Warren or Brown, was going to get blasted by the ever-worthless Democratic Left. They’ll also criticize the first ten things she does as President. Tht is all they live for. If someone would guarantee that Hillary will win, I wiould not be the slightest bit concerned about Kaine. What does it matter if he has supported trade agreements? So does Obama. We have to have some trade agreements, we are not the Republican Isolationists of the 1920’s. Hillary is agaInst TIPP now, so she will not sign it, whether Kaine approves of it or not. And the people who think that the job situation would be better if we abrogated all our trade agreements, are fanciful at best, deluded at worst. I don’t know what he ever said about deregulating banks, but Hillary isn’t going to do that. The bottom line is that while I was certainly hoping it would be someone else, Kaine gets good marks from most Democratic senators, he is apparently very honest, and a decent person. I’m just worried about his campaign skills, but not how he would do the job.

    • NW Luna says:

      worried about his campaign skills

      Good point. Surely Hills will be thinking about this. Kaine doesn’t seem to me to be quite up to what’s required, IMO. However, I trust her judgment, and I’m not going to assume it’s Kaine unless she announces it is. Sigh. I would prefer someone more exciting.

    • janicen says:

      He’s no Elizabeth Warren when it comes to campaigning, but I think you’ll be surprised when you see him in action. I’ve seen him light a room up and it wasn’t even his event. I also don’t think he’s as conservative as people think but I do worry about losing the Senate seat in VA. McAuliffe will appoint a Dem of course, but Kaine’s seat is up in 2018 and I don’t know of anyone strong we have waiting in the wings. We’ll see.

      I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for EW but I think her age is what disqualified her. If Dems are thinking the Veep would run for POTUS in 2024, that would make EW too old. Kaine is only 58.

    • Beata says:

      Kaine would be a very bad choice. As some of you know I supported Bernie Sanders in the primary season. I did so because he was the candidate who best represented my positions on issues. However, I said back in February that I fully expected Hillary would win the nomination and that I would support her in the general election. And I am supporting her. I think that is true of most Sanders people. They are backing Hillary now. But I would see the choice of Kaine as an unnecessary slap in the face to Sanders voters. Of the three VP candidates that are being touted as “top tier” ( Kaine, Vilsack, and Perez ), Kaine has the worst record on issues that are important to Sanders supporters. If Hillary picks Kaine, I fear it will damage the bridge she is building with them. Why do that when there are other choices? I will continue to support her whomever she chooses as VP. I can’t say that for other people who voted for Sanders in the primary.

      Yours truly,

      Ever-Worthless Democratic Leftist

  14. bostonboomer says:

    Tim Kaine has several fundraisers scheduled for today in Massachusetts. Will he cancel them to get down to FL? Keep an eye on that.

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2016/07/21/tim-kaine-has-massachusetts-fundraisers-scheduled-for-friday-saturday/cZaEIKSvsvdIH8U70LthVI/story.html

    • Beata says:

      Tom Vilsack is scheduled to be in Columbia, Missouri today to speak about the country’s opioid addiction crisis. It is an issue he has been focusing on, particularly the problems that face small towns and rural communities that lack addiction treatment resources. He’s expected back in Washington, D.C. this evening.

    • janicen says:

      One thing I’m delighted about is the fact that we are all still guessing. The Clinton team has kept this under wraps extraordinarily well and that speaks well of Hillary’s campaign.

  15. Fannie says:

    Went for my after dinner walk with the Murph, and came around a corner, and got stung by bees, on the calf, and behind the knee. I knew it was going to be bad one, got home as quick as I could and I started itching, and I mean everywhere, and red as a beet. Boise has all catholic hospitals, and I ended up at St. Alphonse for 3 hours. They were great, started IV and meds, and just watched me for another 1 1/2. I slept like a baby, out of it.

    Sorry to say I missed Hilter’s speech, and can’t report on it. I’ll carry out the doctors orders, and hang low for few days.

    You’re my for real contact with the outside world, so I’ll check back later on.

    • Beata says:

      Fannie, I’m so glad you were able to get good treatment for what can be a life-threatening experience. Relax, rest and take care!

    • Sweet Sue says:

      What a crappy experience, Fannie.
      I hope you’re all better soon.
      Good thing, you didn’t need an abortion 😉

    • janicen says:

      Wow, Fannie. I’m glad you’re okay. What a thing. You didn’t miss much. The next convention will be the show to watch.

    • NW Luna says:

      Ouch! Glad you got what you needed and hope recovery is quick.

      Good thing you didn’t have a tubal pregnancy!