Friday ReadsPosted: August 12, 2016
It’s been raining like crazy here this week. That’s great for the electric bill since it keeps the house cool inside but wow, we’re just about convinced there is no sun down here and the flooding is getting bad. I’m actually just relieved it’s not a hurricane. I don’t think I could take the stress of one this year. The Governor has declared a state of emergency. Here’s a local’s take on watching the Olympics and living in Southeast Louisiana right now.
There’s been a few amazing Olympic feats this year that I wanted to share with you before getting to some polls and talking more about the Trump meltdown. First, Simone Biles is more than amazing as she sweeps Women’s Gymnastics. She defies the laws of Physics.
Watching U.S. gymnast Simone Biles land her gravity-defying signature move leaves you feeling disoriented. On what planet is it physically possible for a tiny young woman, not even five feet tall, to cap a series of rapid-fire somersaults with a single leap so high in the air it allows her to complete not one but two full revolutions, only to land solidly on her feet? The unprecedented move, named after its 19-year-old creator, has even physicists mystified.
Oregon State University physicist Faye Barras, Ph.D., was floored after first seeing footage of the move. “It’s incredible,” she told Inverse, mystified after roughly calculating the insanely high amounts of force involved in landing the jump. Here, she explains the physics behind the mystifying double half-layout with a half twist and a blind landing, which the world now knows as the Biles.
She’s one amazing athlete! But then, there are more of them!! Simone Manuel has become the first African American Woman to medal in swimming! She’s overcome a history of racism in the sport to shine like Olympic Gold!
As Vox’s Victoria Massie wrote in June, swimming pools have always been spaces where social inequalities have played out. And as University of Montana history professor Jeff Wiltse wrote for the Washington Post last year, the nation’s swimming pool history is intimately tied to racism.
When the first public pools were established in America’s Northern cities at the turn of the 20th century, class prejudices fueled decisions of where municipal pools were built to keep out poor and working-class people, regardless of race. In the 1920s and ’30s, when pools were larger and men and women began swimming together, some major Northern cities used racial segregation tactics to prevent interactions between black men and white women.
“Southern cities typically shut down their public pools rather than allow mixed-race swimming,” Wiltse said. “In the North, whites generally abandoned pools that became accessible to blacks and retreated to ones located in thoroughly white neighborhoods or established private club pools, where racial discrimination was still legal.”
Physical violence and criminal charges were also common practices to keep segregation in place. In April 1950 in Pittsburgh, Nathan Albert — the secretary for the local communist club — was convicted of “inciting a riot” for allegedly trying to bring a mixed-race group to the local swimming pool two years prior.
In the 1950s, legal battles ensued. Between 1950 and 1955, the NAACP was involved inmultiple anti-discrimination lawsuits for swimming pools after black patrons were denied access to swim at pools and beaches, including Isaacs v. Baltimore.
After three black children drowned in a local natural water swimming area, the NAACP brought the case and two others to the US District Court of Appeals. In light of Brown v. Board of Education, the court ruled in 1955 that segregated but equal facilities no longer sufficed. When the Supreme Court refused to hear the case, the district court’s ruling remained unchallenged, setting a new legal precedent against racist swimming pool practices.
Michael Phelps has just blown through the big record of most medals won at an age where most swimmers have hung it up. The Guardian explains how it’s now possible to maintain training in the USA anyway.
Age 31 isn’t over the hill in most endeavors. Baseball players routinely play into their 40s, Phillip Dutton just won an equestrian medal at age 52, and writers often peak in their 50s or 60s (we hope).
But what Michael Phelps has done in the pool is unusual. The list of individual medalists (excluding relays) in swimming who’ve passed their 30th birthday is a short one – SportsReference.com counts 15 (add relays, and the list expands to 23). Of that group, only Dara Torres was older than Phelps today when she won multiple individual medals in one Olympics, taking three bronzes in 2000.
Individual gold medalists age 31 and up? None. Not until Phelps did it Tuesday night in the 200m butterfly. That was his 12th gold medal in an individual event, sending historians back to Greek antiquity for a comparable antecedent.
How is Phelps able to do what swimmers of the past have not?
Sheer persistence helps. Mark Spitz won two medals as a teen phenom in 1968 and seven golds in his standard-setting streak in 1972. Then he retired, apart from a short-lived comeback effort years later.
One reason Phelps has chosen a different career path is simple: the life of an Olympic star is no longer one of monastic poverty, thanks to a series of changes internationally and domestically through the 1970s. We’re no longer talking about Jim Thorpe being stripped of his 1912 medals because he accepted a pittance for playing a totally different sport. Today, Thorpe would win cash just qualifying for the US team.
And swimmers such as Phelps get paid, with prize money at the World Aquatic Championships now up over $5m and a steady stream of sponsorship money available. Even swimmers who aren’t anywhere close to Phelps’ level can earn a healthy $3,000 monthly stipend.
A brand new set of swing state polls should have Republicans worried as they go to their version of a situation room to prepare to possibly dump financial supportof Trump today. Clinton basically runs the table of key swing states in these new polls.
Democrat Hillary Clinton leads Republican Donald Trump in some of the most diverse battleground states – including by double digits in two of them – according to four brand-new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls.
In the key battleground of Florida, which President Obama won in 2008 and 2012, Clinton is ahead of Trump by five points among registered voters, 44 percent to 39 percent, with the rest saying neither, other or they’re undecided. (In the same poll before the conventions last month, it was Clinton 44 percent, Trump 37 percent.)
In North Carolina, which Obama won in 2008 but lost in 2012, the former secretary of state has a nine-point advantage over Trump, 48 percent to 39 percent. (A month ago, Clinton was up by six points, 44 percent to 38 percent.)
In Virginia, Clinton’s lead is 13 points, 46 percent to 33 percent. (It was Clinton 44 percent, Trump 35 percent in July’s poll.)
And in Colorado, the Democrat is ahead by a whopping 14 points, 46 percent to 32 percent. (It was an eight-point Clinton lead before the conventions, 43 percent to 35 percent.) Obama won both Colorado and Virginia in the previous two presidential elections.
Wow Meanwhile, Trump continues to have a meltdown after calling the President and former Secretary of State co-founders and MVPs of ISIS. He’s walking that back now as “sarcasm”.
How many angry white males does this dude think are left standing around the country? Here’s an op ed from The Observer arguing the self-destruction of the Orange Man is no longer funny.
There is no middle ground here. This is where you look into the abyss, into the Day of the Locust, into this Helter Skelter, into this proposed mayhem and make a choice and say no.
Today’s comments are not banter. They are not theories. This is real. There is no turning back. He is saying there will be blood. I’m horrified.
No longer can any worthwhile American say, “But the candidates are the same.” No. It’s not a lesser of two evils. There is one evil. And it is Trump. There is no cover. You can no longer and say, “He’s a business guy.” Or, “I’m bothered by Hillary’s emails.” Or, “They’re all the same.” Or, “He doesn’t mean it.” Or, “He’s an entertainer.”
He means it. He made that crystal clear today. He is calling for internecine war. He is calling for all-out Armageddon. He is calling for battle—beyond this election. This cannot be ignored.
I don’t want to hear that this is a breath of fresh air, he’s not politically correct, or let’s let Donald be Donald. Donald is antithetical to our character. He’s dangerous to our safety. We must stop Donald being Donald at all costs.
It’s black and white. It’s alpha omega. It’s a stark choice.
Trump announced last night they he didn’t think he really needed to GOTV. Jaws dropped in Republican circles all over the world. I love the Trump Cover labelled MeltDown this week on Time. Click here and read about the creation process and its designer Illustrator Edel Rodriguez
Donald Trump trumpeted a confident assessment of his campaign on Thursday night, saying there was no need for him to encourage voters to head to the polls on election day.
Asked by Fox News’ Eric Bolling about the open letter by 70 Republicans asking the Republican National Committee to redirect funding from the presidential race to down-ballot campaigns, Trump said he didn’t need their assistance.
“One of the big things about the RNC is they have this whole infrastructure of data and information and contacts and email lists and mailing lists and phone numbers. That is something that is important to your campaign,” Bolling said. “That’s not at risk. Is that in jeopardy at all?”
“I don’t know. I will let you know on the ninth, on November 9th,” Trump replied.
“We are gonna have tremendous turnout from the evangelicals, from the miners, from the people that make our steel, from people that are getting killed by trade deals, from people that have been just decimated, from the military who are with Trump 100 percent,” he went on. “From our vets because I’m going to take care of the vets.”
“I don’t know that we need to get out the vote,” the Republican nominee concluded. “I think people that really want to vote, they’re gonna just get up and vote for Trump. And we’re going to make America great again.”
The Trump campaign has yet to develop on-the-ground support in critical battleground states as election day draws nearer and Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers in those states rise. Trump has only one field office in all of Florida, as Politico reported, and lacks the basics of a campaign in Hamilton County, a key county in the swing state of Ohio.
Any bets on when Reince Preibus’ hair goes completely gray?
And about that big meeting … I’d prefer to call it a ‘Which Devils do we back?’ meeting.
Donald Trump’s campaign and top Republican Party officials plan what one person called a “come to Jesus” meeting on Friday in Orlando to discuss the Republican nominee’s struggling campaign, according to multiple sources familiar with the scheduled sit-down.
Though a campaign source dismissed it as a “typical” gathering, others described it as a more serious meeting, with one calling it an “emergency meeting.” It comes at a time of mounting tension between the campaign and the Republican National Committee, which is facing pressure to pull the plug on Trump’s campaign and redirect party funds down ballot to protect congressional majorities endangered by Trump’s candidacy.
The request for the Orlando Ritz Carlton meeting originated with Trump’s campaign, according to a source familiar with the broad details, and is being viewed by RNC officials as a sign that the campaign has come to grips with the difficulty it is having in maintaining a message and running a ground game.
“They want to patch up a rift that just keeps unfolding,” one source said. “They finally realize they need the RNC for their campaign because, let’s face it, there is no campaign.”
Another person familiar with the meeting, a Republican operative who works with the campaign, said the planned gathering was “a come-to-Jesus meeting.” That source said that many Trump campaign staffers share the party officials’ frustrations with Trump’s penchant for self-sabotaging rhetoric. “What’s bothering people on the campaign is that they feel like they’re doing all the right things, but they’re losing every news cycle to Hillary and there’s nothing they can do about it
The Republican Party and the coalition of crazies has broken the political process this year. Not that I mind a Clinton win, but really, how is the government to be run when one party is this big of a mess in a two party state? It seems like the Donald is looking a little shellshocked these days because he’s losing yugely and folks are rushing to dump him. Check out #XanaxTrump on Twitter for a few laughs about this.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?