Friday Reads: SMH and WTF all day long

Women wearing oversized masks on the beach in Venice, ca.1930Good Afternoon and Welcome to the Long Weekend!

There is a very little about this campaign season and the associated media coverage that can shock me any more. We’ve gone way beyond the usual silly season nonsense.  We’ve got a  Republican candidate that shouldn’t be any where near anything having to do with Presidency and the media seems to just be trying to turn lies and conspiracy theories about the Clintons into actual news rather than cover the jaw-dropping shit coming from him and his campaign.  Boston Boomer has been covering this aspect of the campaign quite completely and I’m afraid I have to go there for one more day of posts. It isn’t getting any better.

We keep hearing total fabrications about the Clinton Foundation while we really actually do have a scandal about a candidate’s foundation.  This is from Vox and Matthew Yglesias: ‘Guess which candidate’s foundation was caught in an illegal campaign funding scheme?’  The Trump Foundation has been fined and caught making illegal campaign contributions.

 For some time now, the Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold has been looking into the neglected subject of Donald Trump’s charitable giving.

And most recently he’s found out that Trump’s charitable foundation made an illegal campaign contribution to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (this reporting is based, in turn, in part on work done by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington). Then when they found out they had broken the law, they kinda sorta corrected the error but didn’t actually follow their legal obligation to get the money back.

It’s all at least a little suspicious. The story includes the phrase: “Trump staffers said that a series of unusual — and unrelated — errors by people working for Trump had led to both the improper donation and to the omission of that donation from the foundation’s tax filings.”

What’s more, the contribution to Bondi came right when she was one of several attorneys general who were looking into possible Trump University fraud investigations. Shortly after receiving the illegal campaign contribution she dropped the investigation.

Oh, also, it turns out that the Trump Foundation itself was part of a setup to ensure thatTrump’s own money was never used to finance a Trump charitable contribution.

In the grand scheme of the 2016 campaign this seems like maybe not that big of a deal.

But it’s hard not to notice the fact that various Clinton Foundation lacuna involving such scandalous activity as trying to help a Nobel Peace Prize winner, introducing the chair of the Kennedy Center at the Kennedy Center Honors dinner, and having a meeting with the Crown Prince of Bahrain have been major, cycle-dominating news stories. I think it’s fair to say that a lot more digital pixels have been spent exploring possible conflicts of interest involving Clinton charities than the contents of Clinton’s plan for combatting drug addiction.

Meanwhile, the NYT does a piss poor job of reporting or as Charlie Pierce puts it: “The New York Times Screws Up Its Clinton Coverage, Part Infinity.”e7c86739bd0e745382cb8a7c1e5015f0

Oh, for the love of god, mother Times. Are you freaking kidding me?

It’s long past the point where many of our major news publications be sent to the dogtrack with their names pinned to their sweaters, at least as far as the Clintons are concerned. Right now, there is substantial evidence that many of them will print anything as long as they can wedge “Clinton,” “questions” and “e-mails” into a headline. Of course, if Hillary Rodham Clinton would just hold a press conference, at which every question would feature those three words in some order or another, then we’d all turn to discussing the comprehensive mental health plan that she released to thundering silence on Monday when most of the press was in an Anthony Weiner frenzy. Yes, and I am the Tsar of all the Russias.

But this latest iteration of The Clinton Rules is probably the most egregious one yet. From the Times:

A top aide to Hillary Clinton at the State Department agreed to try to obtain a special diplomatic passport for an adviser to former President Bill Clinton in 2009, according to emails released Thursday, raising new questions about whether people tied to the Clinton Foundation received special access at the department.

The request by the adviser, Douglas J. Band, who started one arm of the Clintons’ charitable foundation, was unusual, and the State Department never issued the passport. Only department employees and others with diplomatic status are eligible for the special passports, which help envoys facilitate travel, officials said.

Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign said that there was nothing untoward about the request and that it related to an emergency trip that Mr. Clinton took to North Korea in 2009 to negotiate the release of two American journalists. Mrs. Clinton has long denied that donors had any special influence at the State Department.

Jesus H. Christ on Dancing With The Stars, that’s what this is about? Bill Clinton’s mission to get two American journalists out the hoosegow of The World’s Craziest Place? Wasn’t that a triumph?Weren’t we all happy about it? Hell, this was so surreptitious and “questionable” that HRC even wrote about it in one of her books.

I thought the bombshell in Tiger Beat On The Potomac about how Bill Clinton questionably availed himself of services to which he was legally entitled as an ex-president was going to be this week’s most prominent parody of investigative journalism. (After all, it got to drop the ominous “taxpayer money” into the conversation right next to “private server,” which one of the endless parade of dingbats shilling for the Trump campaign used on CNN just this morning.) But this story puts that one in the ha’penny place, as my grandmother used to say.

Meanwhile, Trump hires a Citizen’s United dude and crickets except for WAPO.  Thank you Robert Costa!  This means it’s only going to get uglier.bb008b11ae19a2c92f3a16b4aa37b7e9

David N. Bossie, the veteran conservative operative who has investigated the Clintons for more than two decades, has been named Donald Trump’s deputy campaign manager.

The Republican presidential nominee revealed his hire in a phone call with The Washington Post.

“A friend of mine for many years,” Trump said, speaking from his office in New York. “Solid. Smart. Loves politics, knows how to win.”

Bossie participated Thursday in strategy sessions at Trump Tower where he was introduced to campaign aides and Trump associates, according to Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway.

Conway said Bossie would be assisting her with managing day-to-day operations and with strategic planning.

“He’s a battle-tested warrior and a brilliant strategist,” Conway said. “He’s a nuts-and-bolts tactician as well, who’s going to help us fully integrate our ground game and data operations, and help with overall strategy as my deputy.”

Bossie will also work on crafting attacks against Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, mining past controversies involving her and former president Bill Clinton, and cultivating Trump’s bond with conservative activists.

The addition of Bossie, who first gained notice in the 1990s as the Republican congressional staffer who aggressively delved into the Clintons’ finances and dealings, is the latest sign that the Trump campaign’s new leadership team is embracing right-wing figures whose ties to the party’s elected leadership have been tenuous or even hostile.

And outreach to hispanics with race baiting continues with the race baiting coming from representatives of the groups themselves!  This happened after three hispanic advisors quit the Trump Campaign after that horrid Wednesday night screed.

A supporter of Donald Trump appeared on MSNBC’s “All In” on Thursday night to offer a vision of a bleak, delicious future.

“My culture is a very dominant culture, and it’s imposing — and it’s causing problems,” Marco Gutierrez of Latinos for Trump told Joy Ann Reid. “If you don’t do something about it, you’re going to have taco trucks on every corner.”

That’s a serious charge, worthy of being considered seriously. Although easy access to inexpensive Mexican food would be a boon for hungry Americans, what would the inevitable presence of those trucks do to the American economy? How could our country accommodate an explosion of trucks at that scale?

c60c8638975b53d7506e243fa9774129And we find out that Trump’s outreach to Black Americans has been scripted and arranged so that he doesn’t really have to go near the community still.  He just has to hold his breath long enough to read his script in front of maybe one or two in Detroit.  I mean, WTF does this say?

Donald J. Trump’s visit to a black church here on Saturday will be a major moment for a candidate with a history of offending the sensibilities of black Americans.

His team was leaving nothing to chance.

Instead of speaking to the congregation at Great Faith Ministries International, Mr. Trump had planned to be interviewed by its pastor in a session that would be closed to the public and the news media, with questions submitted in advance. And instead of letting Mr. Trump be his freewheeling self, his campaign prepared lengthy answers for the submitted questions, consulting black Republicans to make sure he says the right things.

An eight-page draft script obtained by The New York Times shows 12 questions that Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, the pastor, intends to ask Mr. Trump in the taped question-and-answer session, as well as the responses Mr. Trump is being advised to give.

The proposed answers were devised by aides working for the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee, according to an official who has been involved in the planning but declined to be identified while speaking about confidential strategy.

The document includes the exact wording of answers the aides are proposing for Mr. Trump to give to questions about police killings, racial tension and the perception among many black voters that he and the Republican Party are racist, among other topics.

The official said the answers could change based on feedback from the black Republicans they are consulting with.

At least the Press of Lake Woebegone are working overtime.

Essas três mulheres não são Rosa Luxemburgo, Simone de Beauvoir e Emma Goldman na praia dos anos 1930

Essas três mulheres não são Rosa Luxemburgo, Simone de Beauvoir e Emma Goldman na praia dos anos 1930

Former “Prairie Home Companion” host Garrison Keillor penned a scathing letter to Donald Trump on Wednesday, accusing him of only running for president to win the respect of Manhattan elites.

“If you were to win election, they couldn’t ridicule you anymore,” the author and radio personality wrote.

“You wanted Mike Bloomberg to invite you to dinner at his townhouse. You wanted the Times to run a three-part story about you, that you meditate and are a passionate kayaker and collect 14th-century Islamic mosaics. You wish you were that person but you didn’t have the time.”

Keillor mocked Trump’s signature “Make America Great Again” hat and his entourage of Fox News host Sean Hannity, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, comparing them to hospital visitors.

“The cap does not look good on you, it’s a duffer’s cap, and when you come to the microphone, you look like the warm-up guy, the guy who announces the license number of the car left in the parking lot, doors locked, lights on, motor running.”

Running for president won’t gain Trump the respect he wants because he lacks the discipline, Keillor writes:

“You walk out in the white cap and you rant for an hour about stuff that means nothing and the fans scream and wave their signs and you wish you could level with them for once and say one true thing: I love you to death and when this is over I will have nothing that I want.”

It’s about time Hillary Clinton comes out swinging and defending her honor directly.  I’ve really appreciated how many of her proxies–like Jennifer Granholm yesterday–have been sticking up for the work of the Clinton Foundation and pushing back on the false narratives cooked up by the press and the Alt-Right. But, it’s time Hillary address them directly.  BB said she felt that we were seeing the swiftboating of Hillary.  That’s a very good comparison.  But this time, the press appears eager to join in with the lies.  Watch the Granholm interview.  She expresses complete, utter frustration while listing a catalog of complaints.

Here are a few other things to read:original (1)

From Raw Story: ‘Drinking the Orange Kool-Aid’: Cult expert says Trump is like Rev. Jim Jones — but far more dangerous

From The Californian: Trump’s repellant inner circle

From NYDN: KING: Oregon white supremacist uses his Jeep to chase down, maul and kill black teen  

I hope your Labor Day Weekend will be AB FAB!!!

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


21 Comments on “Friday Reads: SMH and WTF all day long”

  1. William says:

    I agree that Hillary has to come out swinging, but this is not as easy as it may sound; sort of like telling a Jewish person during the Spanish Inquisition to come out swinging. Everything that she does or doesn’t do is distorted by the media. As to why they are doing this, I will take the easiest answer, which is that they don’t want her to win, or at least want her to have to run their gleeful gauntlet to do so. And they will not stop. So a press conference doesn’t do her any good, because they will ask her insulting questions, and then mock her answers.. Giving.speeches at rallies does not do her any good with tne national public, because the media will not cover them, while they slavishly follow everything that Trump says and does. So inevitably, Hillary’s poll numbers go down. This last inane story about “special favors,” when it was to help Bill free the two prisoners, is the lowest the media has sunk yet. But they’re sure not going to stop doing this, as should be obvious to all of us infuriated Hillary supporters. The fact that they completely ignored the fact that Trump hired illegal immigrants as models, should be the final proof of their corruption and bias.

    So I might suggest that she takes the risk of using substantial campaign money to buy a couple of hours of air time on all networks in successive weeks. They can be town hall meetings, or speaking to the nation, or both. Town hall might seem more “open,” so that is fine. Something where she can appear unfiltered. She did great at the convention, because people saw her and her supporters without the media’s insidious blocking and distorting filter. But sure enough, once that was over, the media had control, and now it just runs with whatever Judicial Watch, or Ailes, or Bannon come up with. Bossie is the guy who kept claiming that she killed Vince Foster, and who tried to doctor evidence in the interminable “Whitewater Investigation.” This signals that Trump, who will absolutely do anything to win, is going to unleash the most despicable and disgusting ads and speeches about Hillary. And with the media simply refusing to maintain any journalistic integrity, these stories get legs. It is possible that Hillary has to take on all these slanders head-on; but she hasn’t done so, because she hasn’t wanted to give publicity to it. She needs President Obama to go around the country and make speeches on her behalf, emphasizing his high opinion of her. This election cannot be, “Do you like Trump’s politics?” vs. “Here is another suggestion tht Hillary is shady and corrupt.” The media won’t help her, so people of prestige have to. If Trump wins; and if there is are still history books written in twenty years, it will be about how the Nazis took over America, with the help of a stupid, spiteful and compliant media. Actually, it won’t be about that; the media will write all about how Hillary caused the election to be lost. Not that it would matter what was said at that point, of course.

  2. Enheduanna says:

    One of my fears after Hillary wins in November is that we will be subjected to Kellyanne Conway on all the political roundtables – permanently – like Hugh Hewitt and Bill Kristol and David Brooks. I have developed a particular aversion to her, not because she’s as loathsome as Steve Bannon, David Bossie or Trump himself, but because she positions herself as above all that and makes excuses for their behaviour. She tries to normalize it.

    P.S. The Garrison Keillor article is a must-read. Blistering and scathing don’t quite describe it fully.

    • Beata says:

      Kellyanne Conway is so syrupy sweet. I’m not buying the Girl Scout cookies she’s selling ’cause I know they’re moldy. Kinda makes me miss Katrina Pierson and her ammo necklace.

    • bostonboomer says:

      CNN interviewed Trump’s doctor and didn’t ask him if he really saw Clinton’s health records.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Nice post, Dak.

  4. MsMass says:

    Prolix has a funny post at Widdershins- imagine yourself as the HRC spokesman answering the inane MSM questions. I’m too angry to be funny right now.

    • William says:

      I don’t think they would tell her that, particularly after Podesta warned a couple of weeks ago that there was not going to be any double digit victory. And I don’t think that Politico would be privy to this, if it were true. And two months before the election, it seems even more suspicious, as if the right-wing Politico wants to create the narrative that her people are overconfident. All that said, it would certainly be great to see a Hillary landslide. At this point, I’ll take any win, though hopefully it includes the Senate majority.

      • Beata says:

        Steve Kornacki’s electoral map looked very good for Hillary tonight. Sizable leads in several swing states ( Virginia, Pennsylvania, Colorado and New Hampshire ) and smaller leads in others. Missouri is in play for Hillary, too. A virtual tie there.

        You are the math guy, William. Based on the electoral map as it looks now, Trump can’t win. Should I be suspicious anyway?

        • William says:

          Beata, I saw that segment, and it was heartening. But the numbers Kornacki put up seemed a little iffy. I saw an Emerson poll which had Hillary up 2 in Virginia, probably an outlier, but not the 12 that was put up. It depends what polls one highlights. There are national polls showing Trump tied or even ahead. I don’t know what would have caused this, other than the hatchet job being done on Hillary by the right-wing jerks, and then enabled by the media. The stories that are being purveyed now are ridiculous, but some idiot at the AP or even the NYT just can’t wait to run with them.

          And we see that even in Kornacki’s highlighted polls, Hillary is up 4 in Ohio and 2 in Florida. Those are not substantial leads. Up 1 in NC, tied in Iowa, up 3 in WI (that is probably an outlier poll as well). A lot of states which are close enough to go the other way if people want to believe the lies disseminated by the evil people who are running Trump’s campaign. If she can keep leads in PA and OH, then she’ll win. But the next two weeks or so will be crucial, even before the debates. She has to stop the recent slide in polls, and solidify a lead going into the debates. If Trump somehow gets the lead, he’ll likely skip the debates and just rely on an avalanche of horrific ads against Hillary.

          • Beata says:

            Thank you for your answer, William. I thought you would be up on the latest poll numbers.

            I also saw a national poll today that showed Trump with a slight lead ( I think it was +1 ). Yet many of the state polls have Hillary ahead in important swing states, although often by only a few points. It’s hard to know what to believe. I even heard a pundit ( I can’t remember who it was ) recently say that Indiana may go for Hillary. There is very little polling done in Indiana because of a state law so I don’t know what that information is based on.

            I like your idea about Hillary buying ad time for a town hall. She is so personable when she is able to get past the media vipers and connect with audiences. Her intelligence, warmth and wit come out. Especially if Trump skips the debates, the town hall ad would give her extended air time to get her message across. Hearing her talk about real issues would be an enormous relief from the media barrage about emails and such.

            An aside: This week I was talking to several conservative Republican women ( middle-aged and older ) who told me they didn’t want to admit who they are voting for in this year’s election. I pressed them and they finally said they are voting for Hillary. Some have never voted for a Democrat in their lives before but they find Trump frightening and vulgar. I think Trump’s vulgarity is particularly upsetting to these Republican women. Perhaps it is a Midwestern thing, I don’t know. We are seeing a lot of ads here showing Trump cursing. They seem to be having an impact.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Donald Trump volunteers are signing a lifelong contract never to criticize him