Friday Reads: Good News Every One!

hillary-shimmy

Good Afternoon

Sky Dancers!

More and more media, people, and voters are deciding that Trump is unfit for the presidency. That’s good news.  Meanwhile, Trump is having a meltdown on Twitter in response to Hillary’s pointing out the treatment of former Miss Universe and victim of Trump-abuse Alicia Machado.  

Revenge is a dish best served with some salsa.  Between his attacks on Machado and the discovery of his illegal foray into Cuba, we should see Florida begin to solidify for Hillary Clinton.  Trump’s consistent abuse, fat-shaming, slut-shaming, and objectification of women is not going to go over well with undecided women voters either.  Indeed, the strategy of letting Trump be Trump is good news for us all.

The only folks that are solidly behind him are Neo Nazis and other nasty forms of white supremacists. These are the s0-called basket of deplorables.  What’s wrong with the rest of the Trump tag along?  Are they star struck or just low information?

Trump’s surprise rise to become the GOP presidential nominee, built largely on a willingness to openly criticize minority groups and tap into long-simmering racial divisions, has reenergized white supremacist groups and drawn them into mainstream American politics like nothing seen in decades.

White nationalist leaders who once shunned presidential races have endorsed Trump, marking the first time some have openly supported a candidate from one of the two main parties.

Members are showing up at his rallies, knocking on doors to get out the vote and organizing debate-watching parties.

White supremacists are active on social media and their websites report a sharp rise in traffic and visitors, particularly when posting stories and chat forums about the New York businessman.

Stormfront, already one of the oldest and largest white nationalist websites, reported a 600% increase in readership since President Obama’s election, and now has more than one in five threads devoted to Trump. It reportedly had to upgrade its servers recently due to the increased traffic.

“Before Trump, our identity ideas, national ideas, they had no place to go,” said Richard Spencer, president of the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist think tank based in Arlington, Va.

Not since Southern segregationist George Wallace’s failed presidential bids in 1968 and 1972 have white nationalists been so motivated to participate in a presidential election.

Andrew Anglin, editor of the Daily Stormer website and an emerging leader of a new generation of millennial extremists, said he had “zero interest” in the 2012 general election and viewed presidential politics as “pointless.” That is, until he heard Trump.

“Trump had me at ‘build a wall,’” Anglin said. “Virtually every alt-right Nazi I know is volunteering for the Trump campaign.”

One California white nationalist leader dug into his own pockets to give $12,000 to launch a pro-Trump super PAC that made robocalls in seven primary states — with more promised before the Nov. 8 election.

The idea that [Trump] is taking a wrecking ball to ‘political correctness’ excites them,” said Peter Montgomery, who has tracked far right groups as a senior fellow at People for the American Way, the Norman Lear-founded advocacy group. “They’ve been marginalized in our discourse, but he’s really made space for them…. He has energized these folks politically in a way that’s going to have damaging long-term consequences.”

 

 

So, Trump spent the night maniacally tweeting insults on the former Miss Universe introduced by Hillary Clinton at the Debate this week.   I’m really thinking the world owes Howard Dean an apology because how could these old guy with such obvious health issues stay up all night tweeting nastiness without having some kind of bump or seven?  What’s even more bizarre is that he and his surrogates are going around saying they’re big men for not bringing up the Bill Clinton bimbo eruption.  These are men whose records with women are truly horrifying. These boys have a history of sexual harassment, infidelity.spousal abuse and just all around oafishness when it comes to women.

Republican presidential nominee Donald  Trump’s campaign is circulating talking points that instruct his supporters and campaign surrogates to attack Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton over Bill Clinton’s marital infidelity. If the media is going to report on those claims they should also note that Trump and his closest advisers are profoundly poor messengers for those claims.

According to CNN, one talking point says, “Hillary Clinton bullied and smeared women like Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers and Monica Lewinsky.” Another reads, “Are you blaming Hillary for Bill’s infidelities? No, however, she’s been an active participant in trying to destroy the women who has (sic) come forward with a claim.”

Politico reported that after the Republican nominee’s poor performance in the presidential debate, “threats emanated from Trump Tower on Tuesday that the Republican nominee was preparing to name-check Bill Clinton’s mistresses — alleged or otherwise.”

Yet Trump and several of his campaign’s top staffers, allies, and surrogates have episodes of marital infidelity, sexual harassment, and alleged spousal abuse in their pasts, making them hypocritical messengers for this particular type of attack.

Trump and his allies have also directly attacked Clinton on this topic.

Trump himself has previously described former President Clinton as “one of the great woman abusers of all time,” and he said Hillary Clinton “went after the women very, very strongly and very viciously.” He also praised himself for not referencing the topic during the September 26 presidential debate, claiming, “I’m really happy I was able to hold back on the indiscretions in respect to Bill Clinton. Because I have a lot of respect for Chelsea Clinton.”

Newt Gingrich praised Trump for not bringing up the issue during the debate: “He thought about it, and I’m sure he said to himself, ‘a president of the United States shouldn’t attack somebody personally when their daughter is sitting in the audience.’” He added, “And he bit his tongue, and he was a gentleman, and I thought in many ways that was the most important moment of the whole evening. He proved that he had the discipline to remain as a decent guy even when she was disgusting.”

Rudy Giuliani said, “The president of the United States, her husband, disgraced this country with what he did in the Oval Office and she didn’t just stand by him, she attacked Monica Lewinsky. And after being married to Bill Clinton for 20 years, if you didn’t know the moment Monica Lewinsky said that Bill Clinton violated her that she was telling the truth, then you’re too stupid to be president.”

Go see the list of their personal peccadilloes and crimes.  It’s horrifying.

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-10-29-07-am-670x397Trump and his entourage make life miserable for women. Check out this link sent to me by Boston Boomer earlier today from The Cut at NYM.  Women reporters feel traumatized covering him and his rallies.

Donald Trump’s relationship with women has been under scrutiny for as long as he’s been in the public eye — which is to say, for decades. But since launching his presidential bid, some of his remarks to and about women — that letting them work is “dangerous,” that pregnancy is an “inconvenience” to business, or that they should be “punished” for getting abortions — have worked their way into the narrative of his campaign. (Just yesterday, his own campaign manager accidentally referred to his record on women as “abuse.”) His comments have not endeared him to women voters. But for the women whose job it is to report on Trump every day, the negative effects have been subtler.
One of the first people to interview him after his formal announcement was MSNBC’s Katy Tur. Tur called their 29-minute exchange in the lobby of Trump Tower “combative” and said that when the cameras turned off he was “furious.” According to an essay Tur wrote for Marie Claire, Trump told her, “You couldn’t do this. You stumbled three times.”

Over the course of his campaign, Trump’s insults toward Tur have become more pointed — he’s called her “little Katy” on more than one occasion, and when she pressed him on his apparent appeal to Russian hackers, he told her to “sit down.” He’s done the same to other women on the trail, calling CNN’s Sarah Murray “unemotional” and, just last week, Maureen Dowd “wacky” and a “neurotic dope.”

That’s not to say he hasn’t gone after male reporters, too. “When you hear his daughter say he’s an equal-opportunity offender, I think that’s largely true,” one reporter told me on condition of anonymity. (Two of the women I spoke to requested anonymity so they could speak freely without it affecting their jobs.) “Contrary to what a lot of people might think, I don’t think he’s more inclined to go after women than men.” But, she said, when he does “go after” women on the trail, there’s a sexist tinge to his insults.

“He doesn’t call men crazy or wacky … he’s so much quicker to label women he’s attacking that way,” the reporter said. “I think that what’s innate in a lot of what he says is a subtle kind of sexism. If you’re attuned to it, you can hear it. That’s why it’s so important to have women on the trail. We’re able to say, ‘Gender is an issue here,’ even though no one’s blatant about it.”

When I asked her whether she thought Trump realized the sexism implicit in his word choices, she laughed. “No, I don’t.” Then she paused. “You know, maybe he does. I’ve always said he’s an incredibly intelligent brander — he’s a master at this. If he’s smart enough to be branding Hillary Clinton as unstable, he could be doing it on purpose. He’s definitely playing into a lot of the genderized concerns that men across the country share.”

 

But, the polls are giving Clinton a debate bump, big time.https-%2f%2fblueprint-api-production-s3-amazonaws-com%2fuploads%2fcard%2fimage%2f225962%2fap_16271092691559

WBUR Poll: Clinton Leads Trump In New Hampshire

 

Suffolk University Nevada Poll Shows Clinton Leading by 6 Points

 

Poll: Clinton holds 7-point lead in Michigan

 

Clinton leads Trump by 4 in post-debate Florida poll

Hillary has a lot to shimmy about.  So do we. The debate has clearly knocked down any supposed Trump momentum.

But post-debate polling suggests the Democratic nominee may have improved her standing. Rasmussen Reports released a poll Thursday that showed Clinton ahead of Trump by one point. This is a significant improvement from Rasmussen’s poll last week, which had Trump leading by five. Public Policy Polling (a Democratic firm) also released a post-debate survey that put Clinton ahead of Trump by four points. PPP’s last survey showed her ahead by five, but it was conducted in late August. At that time, Clinton was leading Trump by about four points in the RCP poll averages rather than one or two. Additionally, many polls have shown that voters believe Clinton won the debate by a large margin, and debate wins do sometimes lead to bounces in the polls.

If polling data continues to show such a bounce, it will likely keep Trump from exceeding his benchmarks and may even put him behind on them. If the debate ends up improving Clinton’s standing by about two points, then Trump will be at a four-point deficit. He would then just barely hit his late September/early October benchmark. If Clinton’s bounce is larger than two points, Trump will miss his benchmarks by a significant amount. He could still win despite missing the benchmarks, but he would have to make up ground more quickly than most of his predecessors have been able to do.

So, here’s a few other stories for your reading pleasure today.  This is a moving  story about a 66 year old homeless woman as she tries to hold her life together living in her car with her dog.

Not having a home is hard. Now imagine not having a home at the age of 66.

Elderly homelessness is on the rise. A combination of slow economic recovery from the recession and an aging baby boomer population has contributed to the rise of the 51 and older homeless population. The percentage has spiked by almost 10 points since 2007 — in 2014, the 51-and-older group represented nearly a third of the national homeless population.

I never thought I’d be living in my car at age 66

You can read CeliaSue’s blog about her adventures with her dog Cici.  You can support her blogging efforts with her paypal link on her blog.  I’m hoping her moving piece–quoted above–at VOX gets her a job and brings attention to this problem which hasn’t been a problem until recently.  The Social Security Program basically helped end the plight of Elder homelessness until recently. It’s my worst nightmare and my story isn’t all that different from hers with the exception that I have daughters that are doing very well and love me.

Homophobe and Ten Commandments pushing Alabama Supreme Court Justice Ray Moore has been suspended for his refusal to recognize the SCOTUS decision on Gay marriage.23875570250_34c0aa93dc

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore has been suspended from the bench for telling probate judges to defy federal orders regarding gay marriage.

It’s the second time Moore has been removed from the chief justice job for defiance of federal courts – the first time in 2003 for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building.

The Alabama Court of the Judiciary (COJ) issued the order Friday suspending Moore from the bench for the remainder of his term after an unanimous vote of the nine-member court.

“For these violations, Chief Justice Moore is hereby suspended from office without pay for the remainder of his term. This suspension is effective immediately,” the order stated.

The court found him guilty of all six charges of violation of the canons of judicial ethics. Moore’s term is to end in 2019, but because of his age, 69, he cannot run for the office again. Gov. Robert Bentley will name a replacement for Moore.

Moore is filing an appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court, his attorney said.

In its order, the COJ wanted to make sure people understood what Moore’s case was and was not about.

“At the outset, this court emphasizes that this case is concerned only with alleged violations of the Canons of Judicial Ethics,” the COJ states. “This case is not about whether same-sex marriage should be permitted: indeed, we recognize that a majority of voters in Alabama adopted a constitutional amendment in 2006 banning same-sex marriage, as did a majority of states over the last 15 years.”

The COJ also stated it is also not a case to review or to editorialize about the United States Supreme Court’s 5-4 split decision in June 2015 to declare same-sex marriage legal nationwide in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges.

57ea7a08c3618897518b459bIf you haven’t read the latest by David Farenholdt on Trump’s fake Foundation, you should.  “Trump Foundation lacks the certification required for charities that solicit money.”  He may have to reimburse EVERYONE.

Donald Trump’s charitable foundation — which has been sustained for years by donors outside the Trump family — has never obtained the certification that New York requires before charities can solicit money from the public, according to the state attorney general’s office.

Under the laws in New York, where the Donald J. Trump Foundation is based, any charity that solicits more than $25,000 a year from the public must obtain a special kind of registration beforehand. Charities as large as Trump’s must also submit to a rigorous annual audit that asks — among other things — whether the charity spent any money for the personal benefit of its officers.

If New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) finds that Trump’s foundation raised money in violation of the law, he could order the charity to stop raising money immediately. With a court’s permission, Schneiderman could also force Trump to return money that his foundation has already raised.

The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.

You also need to read Paul Krugman’s latest on “How the Clinton-Trump Race Got Close“.

As I’ve written before, she got Gored. That is, like Al Gore in 2000, she ran into a buzz saw of adversarial reporting from the mainstream media, which treated relatively minor missteps as major scandals, and invented additional scandals out of thin air.

Meanwhile, her opponent’s genuine scandals and various grotesqueries were downplayed or whitewashed; but as Jonathan Chait of New York magazine says, the normalization of Donald Trump was probably less important than the abnormalization of Hillary Clinton.

This media onslaught started with an Associated Press report on the Clinton Foundation, which roughly coincided with the beginning of Mrs. Clinton’s poll slide. The A.P. took on a valid question: Did foundation donors get inappropriate access and exert undue influence?

As it happened, it failed to find any evidence of wrongdoing — but nonetheless wrote the report as if it had. And this was the beginning of an extraordinary series of hostile news stories about how various aspects of Mrs. Clinton’s life “raise questions” or “cast shadows,” conveying an impression of terrible things without saying anything that could be refuted.

The culmination of this process came with the infamous Matt Lauer-moderated forum, which might be briefly summarized as “Emails, emails, emails; yes, Mr. Trump, whatever you say, Mr. Trump.”

I still don’t fully understand this hostility, which wasn’t ideological. Instead, it had the feel of the cool kids in high school jeering at the class nerd. Sexism was surely involved but may not have been central, since the same thing happened to Mr. Gore.

So, it’s a really big meltdown folks!  So, a few smiles today!  She’s really winning big!  Remember, we have the VP Debate coming up on Tuesday where Tim Kaine will knock the socks off of dull and dour Michael Pence.   We’ll be live blogging as usual!

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Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Sen. Tim Kaine laugh at a campaign rally in Annandale, Virginia, on July 14

When is the vice presidential debate?

The vice presidential debate will take place on October 4 at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.

What time is the vice presidential debate and how long is it?

The debate will start at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time and is scheduled to run for 90 minutes without commercial breaks.

Who is in the vice presidential debate?

Sen. Tim Kaine, a Senator from Virginia and Hillary Clinton’s running mate, will debate Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana and running mate to Donald Trump. Pence is a first term governor of Indiana who previously served over a decade in Congress. Kaine is a former Democratic National Committee chairman who also served as governor of Virginia and mayor of Richmond.

How can I watch the vice presidential debate?

The debate will be broadcast on all major television networks and cable channels. C-SPAN will also air the debate.

Who will moderate the vice presidential debate?

Elaine Quijano of CBS News will be the debate’s sole moderator. She is a correspondent for CBS News and an anchor for CBSN, the digital streaming network for CBS. This election, Quijano covered 2016 debates and both the Republican and Democratic national conventions for CBS. In 2011, Quijano revealed in a CBS Evening News report that the White House did not send condolence letters to the families of military personnel who had committed suicide. That report spurred the Obama administration to reverse that policy.

Quijano, a Chicago-area native of Filipino descent, is also the first Asian American moderator for a general election debate.

What is the format of the vice presidential debate?

The debate is divided into nine 10 minute segments. Quijano will start each segment with an opening question and then Kaine and Pence will each have two minutes to respond. Quijano will also use the leftover time in each segment to dive deeper into the discussion topic.

I’m going to mention this briefly today.  We have to fund raise twice a year here at Sky Dancing to keep the site up.  The bill for the WordPress blog site, the domain name and the bells and whistles–other than the font–is up in about two weeks and hits my pay pal account.  It’s not huge so we don’t need you to overwhelm us.  If you could send a little something something, it would be great!  If I get to the billed amount, this will be the last you’ll hear from me!  Anything left over I split with the BB and JJ for a little Halloween Joy. The link is to the right. Thanks!  Dkat

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

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Thursday Reads: Trump In Trouble?

Trump family and supporters watching Monday night's debate

Trump family and supporters watching Monday night’s debate

Good Afternoon!!

I just love that photo taken during Monday’s debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. They are all trying to claim their candidate won, but that’s how they looked while they were watching their candidate self-immolate in front of 80 million viewers.

And how did the Clinton side look? Check it out.

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A picture is worth a thousand words. Then there’s this one taken backstage after the debate.

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I love that one! Now for the news of the day.

Kurt Eichenwald has another big scoop on Trump’s dirty dealings: How Donald Trump’s Company Violated the United States Embargo against Cuba.

A company controlled by Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, secretly conducted business in Communist Cuba during Fidel Castro’s presidency despite strict American trade bans that made such undertakings illegal, according to interviews with former Trump executives, internal company records and court filings.

Documents show that the Trump company spent a minimum of $68,000 for its 1998 foray into Cuba at a time when the corporate expenditure of even a penny in the Caribbean country was prohibited without U.S. government approval. But the company did not spend the money directly. Instead, with Trump’s knowledge, executives funneled the cash for the Cuba trip through an American consulting firm called Seven Arrows Investment and Development Corp. Once the business consultants traveled to the island and incurred the expenses for the venture, Seven Arrows instructed senior officers with Trump’s company—then called Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts—how to make it appear legal by linking it after the fact to a charitable effort.

The payment by Trump Hotels came just before the New York business mogul launched his first bid for the White House, seeking the nomination of the Reform Party. On his first day of the campaign, he traveled to Miami, where he spoke to a group of Cuban-Americans, a critical voting bloc in the swing state. Trump vowedto maintain the embargo and never spend his or his companies’ money in Cuba until Fidel Castro was removed from power.

He did not disclose that, seven months earlier, Trump Hotels already had reimbursed its consultants for the money they spent on their secret business trip to Havana.

At the time, Americans traveling to Cuba had to receive specific U.S. government permission, which was granted only for an extremely limited number of purposes, such as humanitarian efforts. Neither an American nor a company based in the United States could spend any cash in Cuba; instead, a foreign charity or similar sponsoring entity needed to pay all expenses, including travel. Without obtaining a license from the federal Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) before the consultants went to Cuba, the undertaking by Trump Hotels would have been in violation of federal law, trade experts say.

Read the rest at the Newsweek link above. This story seems to be getting a lot more attention than Eichenwald’s previous ones. I think some reporters are finally waking up to the fact that while they were obsessing on Hillary Clinton’s emails a few real journalists like Eichenwald and David Fahrenthold were doing serious investigative work that is suddenly paying off for them and making others in the mainstream media look like lazy fools.

Yeah, not incredible at all. The media has acted like a pack of ravening wolves trying to tear Hillary apart for the past year while they laughed and joked about a thin-skinned authoritarian nationalist and white supremacist with a realistic chance of winning the U.S. presidency.

Trump’s misogyny and fat-shaming are getting a lot of attention after Hillary brought it up at the debate. I know there are plenty of men who think this is not a serious issue, but for women who have had to deal with men like Trump it certainly is one. Besides, misogyny and sexism obviously have real-life economic effects too.

The LA Times: Employees at Trump’s California golf course say he wanted to fire women who weren’t pretty enough.

After the Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes opened for play in 2005, its world-famous owner didn’t stop by more than a few times a year to visit the course hugging the coast of the Pacific.

When Trump did visit, the club’s managers went on alert. They scheduled the young, thin, pretty women on staff to work the clubhouse restaurant  — because when Trump saw less-attractive women working at his club, according to court records, he wanted them fired.

“I had witnessed Donald Trump tell managers many times while he was visiting the club that restaurant hostesses were ‘not pretty enough’ and that they should be fired and replaced with more attractive women,” Hayley Strozier, who was director of catering at the club until 2008, said in a sworn declaration.

Initially, Trump gave this command “almost every time” he visited, Strozier said. Managers eventually changed employee schedules “so that the most attractive women were scheduled to work when Mr. Trump was scheduled to be at the club,” she said.

miss-congeniality

Trump’s sexist behavior came out in a “labor relations lawsuit.”

The employees’ declarations in support of the lawsuit, which have not been reported in detail until now, show the extent to which they believed Trump, now the Republican presidential nominee, pressured subordinates at one of his businesses to create and enforce a culture of beauty, where female employees’ appearances were prized over their skills….

Employees said in their declarations that the apparent preference for attractive women came from the top.

“Donald Trump always wanted good looking women working at the club,” said Sue Kwiatkowski, a restaurant manager at the club until 2009, in a declaration. “I know this because one time he took me aside and said, ‘I want you to get some good looking hostesses here. People like to see good looking people when they come in.’ ”

As a result, Kwiatkowski said, “I and the other managers always tried to have our most attractive hostesses working when Mr. Trump was in town and going to be on the premises.”

Read more at the link.

Jennifer Lin, a former reporter at the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote at BillyPenn.com about a personal experience she had with Trump in 1988. She had written an article about how Trump tried to cheat shareholders in his casino company by buying them out for $15 per share. Lin wrote about Dale Scutti who realized the shares were worth a lot more than that and starting buying them. Merv Griffin, who wanted to get into the Atlantic City casino business got wind of Scutti’s activities and made a counteroffer.

The situation got ugly and after a month of fighting, the moguls made a deal: Trump would get the unfinished Taj Mahal, Griffin would get everything else, and investors would get $36 a share.

My story that morning made the point that if it wasn’t for this unknown investor from upstate New York, shareholders might not be earning more than twice what Trump originally offered. Scutti had told me he thought Trump was trying to scare shareholders into accepting his offer with threats of bankruptcy in San Diego and warnings that he was the only one capable of completing the over-budget Taj Mahal project.

Alicia Machado, former Miss Universe

Alicia Machado, former Miss Universe

She had tried and failed to reach Trump for comment, but when the story appeared he suddenly wanted to talk to her.

And now I was holding for Mr. Trump.

There was no hello. But there was yelling, lots of yelling.

The word “shit” was used repeatedly as a noun and adjective.

I had shit for brains.

I worked for a shitty newspaper.

What sort of shit did I write.

Before I could reply, he hung up.

Then he called my editor in Philadelphia, Craig Stock. Now it was Craig’s turn to “Hold for Mr. Trump.”

Craig was treated to the same Trumpian wordplay, but got an added treat. Trump referred to me as “that cunt.”

Craig, a calm Iowan, asked Trump what was wrong with the story. He explained that The Inquirerwould run a correction if the paper had made an error.

Trump snapped that he didn’t read the story.

“No one reads the story,” the 41-year-old blustered. “I read the headline and I didn’t like it.”

Craig suggested that he read the story, then call him back if there were any problems.

He did not hear back from Trump.

So presidential.

If you haven’t read this remarkable review of a new biography of Adolf Hitler by Volker Ullrich: In ‘Hitler,’ an Ascent From ‘Dunderhead’ to Demagogue. New York Time book reviewer Michiko Kakatani seems to have specifically written the piece to highlight resemblances between Hitler and Donald Trump–and she did it without ever mentioning Trump’s name. I’m not able to cut and paste from this amazing piece, but I hope you’ll go read it.

stamina

I have quite few links for you today, so I’m going to just post headlines for the rest.

Washington Post: Trump’s method for the big fib: Defend, defend, then grasp at straws.

Vanity Fair: How Hillary Clinton Played Trump for a Fool.

Vox: The press thought Trump’s first 30 minutes were his best. They were his worst.

Politico: Trump accuses Google of ‘suppressing’ Clinton info. (Based on a story from a Russian propaganda site)

Gabe Ortiz at Medium: For All The “Miss Housekeepings” — Including My Mom.

NBC News: Donald Trump’s Campaign Is Quietly Shouting About Clinton Sex Scandals.

Washington Post: Enabler or family defender? How Hillary Clinton responded to husband’s accusers. (Because every wife should respond with kindness and empathy to women who have affairs with her husband, right?)

PBS Frontline: The FRONTLINE Interview: Tony Schwartz. (Trump’s ghostwriter)

STAT: How Trump was named ‘Grand Benefactor’ for a Dana-Farber gala without donating a penny.

Cosmopolitan: Former Miss Universe Alicia Machado Won’t Be Defined by Donald Trump’s Fat-Shaming

Vanity Fair: Revisit the Time Donald Trump Said Kim Kardashian Had “Gotten a Bit Large” [Updated].

Huffington Post: Another Miss Universe Contestant Says She Was Fat-Shamed By Donald Trump.

Huffington Post: Megyn Kelly Goes After Kellyanne Conway On Trump’s Misogyny.

What stories are you following today?

 


Wednesday Comic Round-up

Hello and Good Morning

It is my thought that we give the comics a go this Wednesday, because they surely had a smörgåsbord to work with in this week’s news cycle.

Mike Luckovich: Car Trouble – Mike Luckovich – Truthdig

What a knock out from Luckovich…

09?28 Mike Luckovich: Massive weight gain | Mike Luckovich

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Mike Luckovich: Endorsements – Mike Luckovich – Truthdig

 

09/27/2016 Cartoon by Nate Beeler

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Untitled: 09/27/2016 Cartoon by Bob Gorrell

Cartoon by Bob Gorrell - Untitled

Rigged Debate: 09/27/2016 Cartoon by Steve Artley

Cartoon by Steve Artley - Rigged Debate

 

 

From Cagle Cartoons:

Trump business experience

Trump debate bait

Protest Vote

Debate Game

Trump Birth Center

 

09/27/2016 Cartoon by Charlie Daniel

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Who’s on the ballot?: 09/27/2016 Cartoon by Jen Sorensen

Cartoon by Jen Sorensen - Who's on the ballot?

09/21/2016 Cartoon by Nick Anderson

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09/18/2016 Cartoon by Nick Anderson

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09/16/2016 Cartoon by Nick Anderson

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09/15/2016 Cartoon by Nick Anderson

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Arnie: 09/27/2016 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Arnie

Hands Up: 09/23/2016 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Hands Up

Disqualified: 09/15/2016 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Disqualified

09/21/2016 Cartoon by Chan Lowe

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09/27/2016 Cartoon by Chan Lowe

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09/23/2016 Cartoon by MStreeter

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09/22/2016 Cartoon by John Branch

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09/25/2016 Cartoon by Joe Heller

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09/21/2016 Cartoon by Joe Heller

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09/21/2016 Cartoon by Joe Heller

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09/15/2016 Cartoon by Joe Heller

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09/26/2016 Cartoon by David Cohen

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He was Black and I felt threatened: 09/26/2016 Cartoon by David G. Brown

Cartoon by David G. Brown - He was Black and I felt threatened

Cartoonist Gary Varvel: Presidential debate preparation: 09/26/2016 Cartoon by Gary Varvel

Cartoon by Gary Varvel - Cartoonist Gary Varvel: Presidential debate preparation

DEBATE PREP: 09/26/2016 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - DEBATE PREP

BOMB ‘EM: 09/21/2016 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - BOMB 'EM

09/21/2016 Cartoon by Nate Beeler

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09/27 Mike Luckovich: Fright night. | Mike Luckovich

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That’s all folks!

This is an open thread.


Morning After Open Thread

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton (R) shakes hands with Republican nominee Donald Trump during the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on September 26, 2016. / AFP / Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton (R) shakes hands with Republican nominee Donald Trump during the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on September 26, 2016. / AFP / Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Good Morning!!

I’m going to put up a quick open thread, because the one from last night is getting very long. I’m also very tired, because I didn’t get to sleep until around 3AM. So here are a few of the things I’m finding this morning.

Howard Dean said what many of us were thinking about Donald Trump’s sniffing last night.

NBC News: Howard Dean: Is Donald Trump a ‘Coke User’?

Washington Post: Howard Dean has a theory about why Donald Trump sniffled 37 times during the debate.

 

Toward the end of the debate, Hillary confronted Donald on his history of offensive remarks about women. She mentioned a former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado whom Trump publicly humiliated because she gained some weight. This morning, he doubled down on his criticism of her on Fox and Friends.

Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign posted this ad.

 

Trump must have known how badly he performed last night, because he went the spin room himself–most candidates leave that to their staff and surrogates.

Some reactions from this morning:

PPP Polling: Voters Nationally Say Clinton Won Debate 51/40.

CNN: Post-debate poll: Hillary Clinton takes round one.Wash

Washington Post: Trump says he may hit ‘harder’ in next debate; Clinton hammers back with web spot.

New Yorker: DONALD TRUMP, A FAILED BULLY IN HIS DEBATE WITH CLINTON.

The Guardian: Hillary Clinton stays calm while Trump loses cool during first presidential debate.

Washington Post: Donald Trump said Hillary Clinton lacked stamina. But guess who wilted in the debate?

Please add your own links in the comment thread. I’ll be back after I grab some coffee.


Live Blog of the Uff Da at Hostra

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Well, the fact checkers must be busy already. They started on Economics and I caught 4 lies from Trump right out of the gate. Plus, did he just ask for the reinstatement of Smoot Hawley?

Lots of social media happening out there including here!!!

My thoughts:

She’s being strong and calm and getting her done once she got a read on him.

She got under his skin.

WTF is with his nose?  Allergies?  Coke?  The Black Plague?

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Live Blog: Clinton and Trump Debate for the First Time Tonight

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Here we go folks, debate day has finally arrived. Dakinikat’s post offered plenty of background, so I’ll just focus on today’s interesting developments.

David Fahrendhold has another bombshell post today on the Trump Foundation: Trump directed $2.3 million owed to him to his charity instead.

Donald Trump’s charitable foundation has received approximately $2.3 million from companies that owed money to Trump or one of his businesses but were instructed to pay Trump’s tax-exempt foundation instead, according to people familiar with the transactions.

In cases where he diverted his own income to his foundation, tax experts said, Trump would still likely be required to pay taxes on the income. Trump has refused to release his personal tax returns. His campaign said he paid income tax on one of the donations, but did not respond to questions about the others.

That gift was a $400,000 payment from Comedy Central, which owed Trump an appearance fee for his 2011 “roast.”

Then there were payments totaling nearly $1.9 million from a man in New York City who sells sought-after tickets and one-of-a-kind experiences to wealthy clients.

That man, Richard Ebers, bought goods and services — including tickets — from Trump or his businesses, according to two people familiar with the transactions, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the payments. They said that Ebers was instructed to pay the Donald J. Trump Foundation instead. Ebers did not respond to requests for comment.

The gifts begin to answer one of the mysteries surrounding the foundation: Why would other people continue giving to Trump’s charity when Trump himself gave his last recorded donation in 2008?

The donations from Ebers and Comedy Central, which account for half the money given to the Trump Foundation since 2008, also provide new evidence of the Trump Foundation’s ties to Trump’s business empire.

Wow. This guy is nothing but a criminal.

“This is so bizarre, this laundry list of issues,” said Marc Owens, the longtime head of the Internal Revenue Service office that oversees nonprofit organizations who is now in private practice. “It’s the first time I’ve ever seen this, and I’ve been doing this for 25 years in the IRS, and 40 years total.”

The laws governing the diversion of income into a foundation were written, in part, to stop charity leaders from funneling income that should be taxed into a charity and then using that money to benefit themselves. Such violations can bring monetary penalties, the loss of tax-exempt status, and even criminal charges in extreme cases.

Will Lester Holt ask Trump about this or the other revelations about Trump Foundation and Trump “University”?

Yeah, I doubt if Lester will bring it up….

From Bloomberg, Trump biographer Timothy O’Brien writes: How Trump Rides on Waves of Other People’s Money.

During a campaign stop in North Carolina last week, Donald Trumpdescribed the logic behind his plans for billing other countries for U.S. military support should he become president:

It’s called OPM. I do it all the time in business. It’s called other people’s money. There’s nothing like doing things with other people’s money because it takes the risk — you get a good chunk out of it and it takes the risk.

By “takes the risk,” Trump means that using other people’s funds reduces his risk of losing any of his own money on deals. Trump has spent a lifetime using other people’s money – and losing piles of it along the way.

Trump’s MO around OPM in his early days was defined largely by his father, Fred, basically because Fred had a lot of M. While Trump frequently downplays the role his father played at the start of his business career, his dad was always there for him, wallet and Rolodex open.

“It has not been easy for me,” Trump said at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire almost a year ago. “And you know I started off in Brooklyn, my father gave me a small loan of a million dollars.” In a subsequent interview, Trump described his father’s financial support as amounting to nothing more than a “very, very small loan.”

None of this is true, of course.

Read much more at the link.

Seven new national polls came out today, including this one from NBC News/Survey Monkey: Poll: Clinton Leads Trump Among Likely Voters Ahead of First Debate.

Just hours ahead of the first 2016 presidential debate, Hillary Clinton continues to lead Donald Trump by 5 points, 45 percent to 40 percent, unchanged from last week, according to the latest NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll.

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson trails behind with 10 percent support, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein has 3 percent support.

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As you’ve undoubtedly noticed, there is very little positive to read about Hillary Clinton in the mainstream media, but this has to be the headline of the day from Anita Terket at Huffington Post: Debate Bar So Low For Donald Trump That If He Doesn’t Vomit, He’s Exceeded Expectations.

Donald Trump is an arrogant slacker who wastes his time hanging out at greasy spoons when he should be spending his time studying ― not like that striving know-it-all Tracy Flick Hillary Clinton. Or at least, that’s what Trump’s campaign wants you to believe.

In the run-up to the first presidential debate Monday night, Trump’s team has been working to lower the bar so far for him that it’s basically just lying on the ground. Story after story talks about how Clinton is spending her time poring over wonky policy details in briefing books while Trump is just hanging out….

The two candidates’ differential treatment was clear during a Sept. 7 veterans forum, the first such event during the general election. The moderator, NBC News host Matt Lauer, challenged Clinton on the use of her private email server and repeatedly interrupted her to stop her from filibustering. But with Trump, Lauer lobbed softballs like, “What have you experienced in your personal life or your professional life that you believe prepares you to make the decisions that a commander-in-chief has to make?”

“Candidates should expect to be challenged. They’re applying for a challenging job. But where Mr. Lauer treated Mrs. Clinton like someone running for president, he treated Mr. Trump like someone running to figure out how to be president, eventually,” New York Times TV critic James Poniewozik wrote in a scathing review the following day.

Read more at HuffPo.

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No one in the MSM writes about reproductive rights either. It fell to Glamour Magazine to publish this: Why It’s Important That the Presidential Candidates Talk About Abortion at the First Debate.

Since at least 1984, debate moderators have asked presidential candidates about abortion, but have often focused on the theoretical or based them on extreme cases. It’s time we have a deeper discussion, beyond its legality and theory. We must discuss its accessibility and availability. During the Democratic primaries, NARAL Pro-Choice America and I called on debate moderators to #AskAboutAbortion, and it wasn’t until the last debate when Clinton addressed the issue head on. Since that debate, the Supreme Court has issued the biggest ruling on abortion in almost 20 years, baring the state of Texas from closing the majority of their abortion clinics. While this is a huge win for abortion advocates, it doesn’t mean that access will reappear overnight. In light of this, we’re calling on Holt, as the moderator, to ask about abortion.

Both Clinton and Trump have had a lot to say about abortion on the campaign trail. In a June speech to Planned Parenthood, Clinton said, “I believe we need to protect access to safe and legal abortion — not just in principle, but in practice. Any right that requires you to take extraordinary measures to access it is no right at all.” Clinton has also vowedto repeal the Hyde Amendment, a discriminatory policy that bars Medicaid recipients from using their health insurance to pay for an abortion. Similarly, for the first time in history, the Democratic Party has added the repeal of the Hyde Amendment to their platform. Trump has vowed to make the Hyde Amendment permanent and believesthere should be “some form of punishment” for people having an abortion. The Republican Party, in their platform, calls for a codification of the Hyde Amendment and refuses to fund healthcare services at providers like Planned Parenthood—instead, they want to fund crisis pregnancy centers, which are anti-abortion centers that scare patients with debunked and inaccurate medical information.

There are huge disparities in the candidates’ positions. Voters deserve to know how they plan to change access to abortion over the next four, possibly eight, years, which will impact our nation for decades to come.

As I commented earlier, if Holt doesn’t ask a question about abortion we need to demand answers from him about why he didn’t.

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One more interesting article I came across today–it’s a psychological analysis of Trump at Scientific American from July: .Donald Trump’s Real Ambition. Trump is driven by one thing and one thing only: the search for glory.

I normally stay clear of psychologically profiling public figures. But when the writing is so clearly on the wall, when the stakes are so high, and when the data is so consistent, I am inclined to comment. With Trump, what I see is so clearly a textbook case of a metaphorical computer program running amok, that I feel its my imperative to reveal the source code. Hopefully by making Trump’s ambition open-source, we can clearly see where it is headed, and we can take action to halt the program before it reaches its ultimate conclusion.

What is this program? There are many ways to frame it. Some therapists prefer to couch it in terms of “narcissism“. “Oh look at that Trump, he’s such a grandiose narcissist!” But I believe this is not a helpful description for several reasons. For one, it perpetuates an us vs. them mentality. After all, we are all narcissists in varying degrees. The computer program that Trump is running is a grossly exaggerated version of a program, but it’s still a variation on a potentiality that lies deep within all of us. The other reason why this is unsatisfactory is that it doesn’t actually explain anything. Trump obviously has extreme narcissistic tendencies (a high sense of superiority and entitlement). To say he is a “narcissist” is merely saying that he consistently displays an abundance of narcissistic behaviors: not all that revealing.

No, I believe we need to look deeper at the underlying motivation behind virtually everything Trump does, from his choice of teammates to his tweets to his private and public statements. In my estimation, Trump is driven by one thing and one thing only: the search for glory. Everything stems from this one simple fact, and everything falls into place in a predicable fashion once we fully understand the operation of this fundamentally human drive.

Please read it when you have time. It’s a fascinating article.

What are you hearing? How are you going to watch the debate? I think I’ll stick with C-Span. However you watch, I hope you’ll post your reactions below.

 


Monday Reads: Pre Debate warm-up jitters

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Good Afternoon!

Take my advice for tonight’s debate. Don’t watch the pundits or you’ll need some form of tranquilizer.  Have I mentioned how horrible Andrea Mitchell is lately?

So, the debate is tonight and of course, we’ll be live blogging the drama.  I am assuming there will be drama.  I’m still trying to figure out if there will be blood.  Several little bits about the particulars first before we get on with the big build up to the event.

Bloomberg TV will be running a fact check of the debate on its screen tonight.  I find that very interesting.  How many debates have ever needed real time fact check before?

Bloomberg TV will conduct on-screen fact checks of statements made by both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during Monday night’s debate, POLITICO has confirmed.

The channel’s decision to conduct an on-screen fact-check sets Bloomberg apart from the other major TV networks, none of whom have committed to doing on-screen fact checks during the debate. Most will leave the fact-checking to segments in the post-debate analysis coverage.

Clinton’s supporters have called for aggressive fact-checking during Monday’s debate, saying that members of the media have failed to adequately fact-check and correct falsehoods from her Republican rival. NBC’s Matt Lauer was recently criticized for not correcting several false statements from Trump during a presidential forum on the network.

Spokespeople for the networks told POLITICO that on-screen fact checks would be hard to execute in real-time, which is why they were opting out. That leaves the real-time fact-checking up to NBC’s Lester Holt, the debate moderator, or Clinton herself.

The debate will be on at 9 pm Eastern. Lester Holt of NBC News will be the moderator.  The format will be somewhat informal. Here are the details via Heavy.first-date-nerves

The first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern. It will be televised on all major broadcast and cable news networks.

The debate is being held on the anniversary of the very first televised presidential debate between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy in 1960. Here’s a look at the broadcast information:


DATE: Monday, September 26, 2016


AIR TIME: The debate will begin at 9 p.m. Eastern. It’s scheduled to end at 10:30 p.m. Eastern.


TV CHANNEL: This debate will be broadcast live on all the major networks and leading cable sites, including ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, CNBC, Fox, Fox News, MSNBC, and PBS NewsHour and Univision.

To find out what channel the station you want to watch is on for you, click here to go to TV Guide’s listings. Then change the “Provider” (right under TV Listings) to your local provider. You’ll be able to scroll down to see what channel the station you’re interested in is on for you.


LOCATION: Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York


MODERATOR: NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt.

12631562_10207197700835066_2340311403332702159_nMy guess is that the debate will either be very uninteresting or very volatile.  I can’t see much room for moderation in anything with Donald Trump participating. He’s the very definition of ASSymmetric political warfare. Jay Rosen–professor of journalism and media critic–believes that asymmetry between the parties right now has caused issues for the media. What do you do when one party has gone completely off the rails explicitly supporting policy that wouldn’t pass constitutional muster, is openly xenophobic, racist, and sexist, plus delegitimatizes private choices concerning love and religion?

Over that stretch I have tried to develop my own pressthink in reply to “theirs,” meaning the ideas most campaign journalists have about their work, and the explanations they tend to give when criticized for it. I tried to summarize the first 20 years of this tension in my 2011 lecture: Why Political Coverage is Broken. What I said there is still basic to how I do my criticism, but Trump’s spectacular intervention has raised the stakes and altered the terms of the debate.

Trump is not a normal candidate and can’t be covered like one. Journalists have finally accepted that. Just the other day Dean Baquet, editor of the New York Times, said this about Trump

He’s been hugely challenging. I don’t think we’ve ever had somebody who in my time as a journalist so openly lies, and that was a word that we struggled to actually utter. We’re used to, I think as journalists, we’re used to philosophical debates, like one party thinks we should go to war on Iraq, makes its case—exaggerates its case, we now know. But there are warring philosophies. I’ve never quite seen anything like [Trump], and I think it’s a real challenge for us.

Elections were about warring philosophies. Journalists sat in the press box and brought you the action. Baquet admits: this organizing image no longer organizes much. But even his phrase “hugely challenging” understates it, I think. Here are the major propositions I have been using to understand this unique and perilous moment.

1. Political journalism rests on a picture of politics that journalists and politicos share.

As practiced by the “mainstream media” (the professionals who work at NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, PBS, NPR, the AP, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Reuters, Bloomberg, Politico, Time magazine) political journalism is constructed — it rests entirely — on a mental picture of the American system in which the two major parties are similar actors with, as Baquet put it, “warring philosophies.”

Elections are the big contests that distribute power between them. The day-to-day of politics is a series of minor battles for tactical advantage. The press is part of this picture because it distributes attention, but — in this view of things — it doesn’t participate in politics itself. It reports on battles large and small, questions the power holders, tries to reveal machinations going on behind the scenes and generates public interest in the drama of politics. But it is unaligned with the major players and unaffected by the outcome of the contests it chronicles.

To report successfully on such a system you need sources who trust you inside both parties. You need people in both parties who will return your calls and have drinks with you at the Des Moines Marriott. The simplest way to guarantee that is to look at politics in the same way that people in the party establishments do. The political pros who staff the committees and run the campaigns and consult with the big players are the closest readers of political journalism and closest in outlook to the journalists who consider reporting on politics their profession.

I called this a mental picture, but it’s more than that. It’s a stable framework within which work can be done, coverage can be planned, knowledge can be refined, reputation can be won, careers can be built. The image of two similar parties with warring philosophies that compete for tactical advantage also positions the mainstream press in a comfortable way: between partisan players as chronicler, questioner and referee. Among those most comfortable with that position: media owners and managers hoping to alienate as few people as possible.

In other words: powerful forces keep the mental picture in place.

2. Asymmetry between the parties fries the circuits of the mainstream press.

Now imagine what happens when over time the base of one party, far more than the base of the other, begins to treat the press as a hostile actor, and its own establishment as part of the rot; when it not only opposes but denies the legitimacy — and loyalty to the state — of the other side’s leader; when it prefers conspiracy theory to party-friendly narratives that at least cope with verified fact; when it is scornful of the reality that in a divided system you never get everything you want.

This is the thesis that Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein developed in their 2012 book, It’s Even Worse Than It Looks. They are think tank scholars with PhDs and Washington insiders who were frequently called on by journalists to explain trends and furnish quotes. They had the same incentives as journalists to stay on conversant terms with politicos in both parties. Mann and Ornstein came to the conclusion that something had changed in the Republican Party. Their summary of it:

The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition. When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.

How will Lester Holt handle the short-finger vulgarian?  How will Hillary respond to the man who has used sexism, meanness, and lies to characterize her entire life and accomplishments?    Lester Holt is probably not what is needed to get to the crux of this mean campaign season.  John Oliver and his entertainment form of news is probably a better source of analysis and outrage.

Political scandals, whether focused on Hillary Clinton’s email use or Donald Trump’s shady business dealings, have emerged as one of the most popular talking points of the 2016 presidential election. But as John Oliver explained on the latest“Last Week Tonight,” when you break down all the alleged scandals plaguing both candidates, it’s overwhelmingly clear that there is no contest: Trump is “unethically compromised to an almost unprecedented degree.”

“This campaign has been dominated by scandals, but it is dangerous to think that there is an equal number on both sides,” Oliver said. “You can be irritated by some of Hillary’s—that is understandable—but you should then be fucking outraged by Trump’s.”

Fucking outraged indeed.

So, what do “they” expect?  Here’s a bit from ABC.

–ANALYSIS — ABC’s RICK KLEIN: What if he apologizes? What if he behaves himself? What if he drops “Crooked Hillary” for “Madam Secretary”? What if – stay with us here – he doesn’t stretch the truth? Forget the no-holds-barred attacks Donald Trump has proven himself capable of. Hillary Clinton’s worst nightmare might be humble Trump, since that would flip storylines enough to potentially dominate the takeaways regardless of what else happens at Hofstra. Clinton’s camp is pressuring Lester Holt to do the fact-checking the candidate doesn’t want to do by herself. But she may be in the position of wanting and needing to draw Trump out – to bait him into a discussion of President Obama’s birth status, for instance, or a real policy discussion on Iraq or Afghanistan or ISIS. Clinton-as-aggressor would surely be unexpected. It also may be helpful in a race where she continues to struggle to lock down her base. The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll shows Trump getting a larger share of Republicans and of Romney voters than Clinton is of Democrats and Obama voters. Clinton isn’t known for smackdowns. But it may not hurt for her to show some fight.

downloadJames Hohmann from WAPO says Trump has won the expectations game already.

— Reviewing the coverage ahead of Trump’s 9 p.m. showdown with Hillary Clinton at Hofstra University makes it sound like all the GOP nominee really needs to do is not talk about how well-endowed he is…

“I think that Trump is buoyed by the very low expectations. This is a guy who’s never debated one-on-one … So if he does passably, we’ll all say he won,” a Politico reporter said last week. The headline of a lead story on Politico this morning, citing anonymous “insiders,” declares that “The heat is on Hillary.”

A lot of people are going to look at Donald Trump and think, ‘Hey, if he can even get out a good sentence and show off his experience, then he’s doing well,’” New York Times correspondent Yamiche Alcindor said on “Morning Joe” last week, addressing the Clinton campaign’s complaints that she’s being subjected to a double standard.

“Clinton has the much tougher task tonight,” NPR declares in its curtain-raiser this morning.“She has the burden of high expectations. The former senator and secretary of state, who’s now been through two presidential campaigns, is an experienced debater who knows policy inside and out. But her job is very hard — Clinton has to convince voters who don’t want to vote for Trump but haven’t warmed up to her that she is likeable, honest and trustworthy. And she has to press her case that Trump is unqualified to be president without being overly aggressive or ‘harsh.’”

“I do think that the stakes are much higher in this debate and all the debates for Hillary Clinton,” CNN’s Dana Bash said on the air recently. “Because she is a seasoned politician. She is a seasoned debater. Yes, we saw Donald Trump in the primaries debate for the first time, but he is a first-time politician. So for lots of reasons—maybe it’s not fair, but it’s the way it is—the onus is on her.

The liberal group Media Matters has rounded up several other examples in this vein. The editor in chief of The Hill, Bob Cusack, also said on Fox News earlier this month that the bar for Clinton is “higher” than for Trump. “So there is an opportunity for Trump—if he can do the prep work and land some zingers—he could really make up some ground in the battleground states,” Cusack said.

As the Huffington Post’s Amanda Terkel notes, tongue in cheek, “Debate Bar So Low For Donald Trump That If He Doesn’t Vomit, He’s Exceeded Expectations.”

— This tenor of coverage has influenced public perceptions about the debate. Our new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows the race is within the margin of error nationally. Likely voters split 46 percent for Clinton and 44 percent for Trump. Among registered voters, Clinton and Trump are tied at 41 percent. The poll finds that eight in 10 voters plan to watch tonight’s debate, prompting some to estimate that upwards of 100 million could tune in. Overall, no matter who they’re supporting, 44 percent expect Clinton to win versus 34 percent who expect Trump to come out ahead. Many who say they’ll watch have already made up their minds. While about one in five registered voters say the debate could change their minds, only 6 percent said there is a good chance of that occurring.

So, anyway, the press is still trying to buck up Trump–imho–to make this a horse race.  It includes coverage of the upticks or down ticks  in the latest polls from Colorado and Pennsylvania.  Again, you can’t seperate random variance from trend in one data point so paying attention to any one poll without knowing  a lot of the past and the details is quite delusional.stress_and_anxiety_funny

Just one point separates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in two states that are critical to both candidates’ chances of becoming president, according to new CNN/ORC polls in Pennsylvania and Colorado.

In Colorado, likely voters break 42% for Trump, 41% for Clinton, 13% for Libertarian Gary Johnson and 3% for Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Pennsylvania’s likely voters split 45% for Clinton, 44% for Trump, 6% for Johnson and 3% for Stein. Those divides are well within each poll’s 3.5-point margin of sampling error.

Sam Wang–a great neuroscientist and poll analyst–suggests we ignore the expectations game as well as focusing too much on an individual poll.  He says its more important to watch the polls AFTER the debate.

Polls are likely to move after the debate. It is the moment when voters get to make a direct, side-by-side comparison of the two candidates. This may also be the last time for any significant shift in the race.

Both before and after the debate, pundits will emit opinions about “expectations.” This commentary does not have predictive value. It would be better if they kept their focus on policy substance or factchecking.

Here are three reasons why you should basically ignore the onslaught of horserace punditry that is about to rain down.

It’s a tight race. Clinton’s the favorite but close enough that Trump would probably pull ahead if he “wins” debate.http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-election-forecast/ 

Above is a mild example of what you can expect in the coming 24 hours. This particular statement is a bit circular: of course Trump will probably be perceived as “winning” if his numbers improve. However, there’s a bigger problem: the premise of “meeting expectations” itself carries no predictive value.

Trump could take the lead, but it would go against what we know so far. I would characterize the race as being very close, but not as uncertain as you might think. Why? The unappreciated story of 2016 is the amazing stability of public opinion. As measured by national polls, 2016 marks the most stable Presidential race in >60 years of modern polling. At the level of state-poll-based analysis, the stability is even greater. This basic fact should inform all analysis.

Wang provides 3 reasons and explanations. I’ll just list the points here and let you go read the explanations.636066015689702126754581096_college-tips-article

1. What commentators think about “exceeding expectations” is an anti-indicator.

2. If polls move after the debate, the reasons were baked in a long time ago

3. Polarization has made it difficult for opinion to move much.

I think his bottom line is most interesting here.

The groups that may choose up sides are self-described undecideds (4%), Gary Johnson supporters (8%), and Jill Stein supporters (3%). Undecideds andJohnson supporters are likely to split evenly between Clinton and Trump, while Stein supporters should break heavily toward Clinton. Tomorrow is a chance for them to get on the bus.

I guess that probably means more outreach to millennials is necessary.  Here’s the link to RCP and the latest poll by poll result.

So, hopefully, we will see you tonight as we nail bite our way through this.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

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