Tuesday Reads: Hillary Clinton Coughed and Other News


Good Afternoon!!

The big news yesterday was that Hillary Clinton coughed. I searched several times during the day to find any reporting on the contents of the speeches she gave or her question and answer session with the press on her plane. There was nothing. Articles and tweets by reporters following Clinton focused only on two “coughing fits” and the fact that the press was invited to fly with her on her new campaign plane. By late last night, there were a few reports about the “press conference.”

I’ve finally come to the conclusion that most of members of the DC media only care about their own needs and desires and could not possibly care less about give informing voters. But some of them have apparently decided to call what Hillary did yesterday a “press conference,” even though they still refuse to acknowledge the press conference she gave to African American and Latino news media in August. But others say it wasn’t a real “press conference.”

Callum Borchers at the WaPo: Hillary Clinton’s news conference drought is finally over. Or is it?

Hillary Clinton took questions from reporters aboard her campaign plane Monday, but seemingly more interesting than what she said is what to call the session in which she said it. Was it a news conference or something else — perhaps merely a “gaggle” or an “avail”?

Under different circumstances, this would be a silly, semantic argument, but the Democratic presidential candidate’s lack of news conferences has become a campaign issue, with journalists complaining that she has not held one since last year, and Donald Trump’s team attempting to brand her as “Hiding Hillary.”

Click on the link to find out which “journalists” are still unsatisfied. But what did Clinton talk about? It was not easy to find out. One thing that was reported was that she expressed concern about Russian attempts to hack our presidential election. Reuters (via Newsweek):

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Monday expressed concern about “credible reports” of Russian interference in the U.S. election and accused Donald Trump of being fixated on dictators including Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Taking questions from reporters for more than 20 minutes on her campaign plane, Clinton said both Democrats and Republicans should be concerned about Russia’s behaviour.

“The fact that our intelligence professionals are now studying this and taking it seriously raises some grave questions about potential Russian interference with our electoral process,” Clinton said.

“We are facing a very serious concern. We’ve never had a foreign adversarial power be already involved in our electoral process…. We’ve never had the nominee of one of our major parties urging the Russians to hack more,” she said.


Here’s the in-depth report from the WaPo that Hillary was referring to: U.S. investigating potential covert Russian plan to disrupt November elections.

U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies are investigating what they see as a broad covert Russian operation in the United States to sow public distrust in the upcoming presidential election and in U.S. political institutions, intelligence and congressional officials said.

The aim is to understand the scope and intent of the Russian campaign, which incorporates ­cyber-tools to hack systems used in the political process, enhancing Russia’s ability to spread disinformation.

The effort to better understand Russia’s covert influence operations is being coordinated by James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence. “This is something of concern for the DNI,” said Charles Allen, a former longtime CIA officer who has been briefed on some of these issues. “It is being addressed.”

A Russian influence operation in the United States “is something we’re looking very closely at,” said one senior intelligence official who, like others interviewed, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter. Officials also are examining potential disruptions to the election process, and the FBI has alerted state and local officials to potential cyberthreats.

The official cautioned that the intelligence community is not saying it has “definitive proof” of such tampering, or any Russian plans to do so. “But even the hint of something impacting the security of our election system would be of significant concern,” the official said. “It’s the key to our democracy, that people have confidence in the election system.”

The Kremlin’s intent may not be to sway the election in one direction or another, officials said, but to cause chaos and provide propaganda fodder to attack U.S. democracy-building policies around the world, particularly in the countries of the former Soviet Union.

There’s much more at the link–an important read.


Time Magazine has a bit more in-depth information on Clinton’s press availability as well as Trump’s.

Donald Trump said for the first time he will attend all three scheduled presidential debates, barring acts of God. He revealed he isn’t holding mock debate sessions—the traditional way nominees prepare for the primetime contests—and that he doesn’t have anyone playing Hillary Clinton to prepare him for the September 26 showdown.

Donald Trump said for the first time he will attend all three scheduled presidential debates, barring acts of God. He revealed he isn’t holding mock debate sessions—the traditional way nominees prepare for the primetime contests—and that he doesn’t have anyone playing Hillary Clinton to prepare him for the September 26 showdown.

Hillary Clinton said she understood classification standards when she entered the State Department, despite comments to the FBI staying she couldn’t identify a standard marking on one message found on her private email server. “The fact that I couldn’t remember certain meetings doesn’t affect the commitment I had to the treatment of classified material,” she said.

Trump wouldn’t call his long “Birtherism” crusade a mistake, and implied he believes Obama may not be born in the U.S., saying the only reason he doesn’t discuss it is that reporters would fixate on it. “Your whole thing will be about that,” he said.


Clinton expressed concern about the growing U.S. government consensus that the Russian government is seeking to influence the U.S. election by promoting the hacking of Democratic targets. “We’ve never had a foreign adversarial power be already involved in our electoral process,” she said.

Trump sidestepped questions about the fact that his foundation paid a penalty to the IRS for an improper political donation to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, a Republican and now a campaign supporter, who was investigating whether to bring suit against Trump University. “I never even spoke to her about it at all,” he said, contradicting comments by her spokesperson earlier this year. She ultimately did not sue the controversial Trump entity.

Clinton continued to support a no-fly zone in Syria, breaking with the Obama Administration, telling reporters, “I think we need leverage.”

Donald Trump is maintaining ambiguity about what he’d do with the the millions of people in the U.S. illegally who he is not prioritizing for deportation. He ruled out citizenship unless they leave the U.S., but, in a reversal from last week, suggested he’d be open to them remaining illegally or providing a path to legal status. “If they stay, they stay, you know,” Trump said, rejecting the notion that he was following Mitt Romney’s 2012 “self-deportation” plan. “Then were are going to make determination after our border is secure,” he said of legal status. “We are going to make that decision into the future. That decision will be made.”

OK, that was helpful, although the story wasn’t published until this morning. I wonder if there will be any follow-up on that birther question?

I have a bunch of other reads to share today, links only.


Eric Boehlert at Media Matters: Still Waiting For Newspaper Editorials Demanding The Trump Foundation Be Shut Down.

CNN: Poll: Nine weeks out, a near even race (not really)

NBC News: Clinton Holds Steady Against Trump as Campaign Enters Final Weeks: Poll

Greg Sargent at the WaPo: Yes, the race is tightening. But it’s still too soon to panic. Here’s why.

Dan Balz at the WaPo: A new 50-state poll shows exactly why Clinton holds the advantage over Trump.

WaPo: Poll: Redrawing the electoral map

CNN: After cursing Obama, Duterte expresses regret.

Time: Hillary Clinton: Donald Trump ‘Did Choke’ in Meeting with Mexican President.

Daniel Drezner at the WaPo: Why Hillary Clinton’s perceived corruption seems to echo louder than Donald Trump’s actual corruption.


The Hill: Greta Van Susteren to leave Fox News.


Matthew Yglesias at Vox: Against transparency. Government officials’ email should be private, just like their phone calls.

Vox: Obamacare was supposed to make all birth control free. As a doctor, I see it’s not happening.

Two long reads:

New York Magazine: The Sandy Hook Hoax. Lenny Pozner used to believe in conspiracy theories. Until his son’s death became one, by Reeves Wiedeman.

New York Daily News: Peas in a pod: The long and twisted relationship between Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani, by Wayne Barrett.

What else is happening? Please share your thoughts and links on any topic in the comment thread below.



18 Comments on “Tuesday Reads: Hillary Clinton Coughed and Other News”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Wow! Lots of stuff to read which I’m going to do shortly! Just a quick reminder that we will be live blogging at least Hillary’s section of this MSNBC Commander-in-Chief event. I’m not sure any of us will make it through the Trump portion but it might be interesting watching him choke.


  2. dakinikat says:

    She Kept Women Safe From Equality
    God Spares Phyllis Schlafly Sight Of First Woman President

    Read more at http://wonkette.com/606262/god-spares-phyllis-schlafly-sight-of-first-woman-president#oy7BhCG4j22Lchzj.99

    • MsMass says:

      Oh, the snarky goodness of that title!

    • ANonOMouse says:

      My feeling about Phyllis Schafly’s death is, So fucking what! She was a thorn in the side of women for over 40 years. She was splinter in the foot of the LGBT community for at least 30 years. I’m delighted she’s moved on to whatever it is that comes next. I’m hoping that, just especially for Phyllis, there is a god and she looks like this.

      Ok, I’ll admit, Xena is my fantasy, but wouldn’t that put the eternal chains on Schafly?

  3. William says:

    It would be funny if it weren’t so tragic: The media, en masse, has spent thousands of hours “covering” the presidential campaign, and has somehow amazingly managed not to cover one policy issue. Well, unless it is Trump on immigration, only because he wants that to be his issue. As far as Hillary, the candidate with detailed and important policy proposals, not a word. I don’t know that the average voter has the slightest idea what she stands for, or what she would implement. They don’t if they only depend on cable news for their information. It doesn’t fit the media’s agenda to actually tell the voters what is at stake in the election. They never really do it, but this time it is beyond ordinary belief, the way they studiously avoid ever telling us about policy differences between the canddiates.

    I am convinced that the media is a serious threat to our democracy. They somehow want Trump to win; or at the very best, they don’t care if he wins, as long as they can indultge themselves in relentlessly mocking and hammering Hillary. Can you imagine covering a big Labor Day speech, and not saying one thing about what she said, only that she had a coughing spell (because her allergies flared up, though of course they wouldn’t say that). I’m not going to watch the CIC forum, though I may follow comments here; because I know exactly what the media will say; that Trump was surprisingly “presidential,” and that Hillary was on the defensive all night (as a certain number of angry veterans are going to blame her for people dying in wars, and other foreign policy problems. Trump is the guy who sits on the sidelines and pretends that he was right in advance on everything, which is a ludicrous lie. But he can act in front of the microphone). At that point, the polls will get even tighter, and the media will continue its anti-Hillary narrative. We can win the election; but with the media distorting eerything for its own purposes, one can see what a daunting task it is.

  4. dakinikat says:

    NBC News Faces Criticism For Story About Clinton’s ‘Coughing Attack’

    Media observers accused NBC News of fanning the flames of right-wing conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton’s health with a story about her “coughing fit” at a Monday rally in Cleveland, Ohio.

    “The frog in Clinton’s throat on Monday was one of the most aggressive she’s had during her 2016 run and left her almost unable to finish her remarks,” NBC wrote in a Monday post simply titled “Hillary Clinton Fights Back Coughing Attack.”

    While NBC treated the coughing fit itself as headline news, other outlets, including TPM, zeroed in on the Democratic nominee’s quip that it was prompted by talking so much about Donald Trump.

    “I’ve been talking so much,” Clinton told the audience in Cleveland. “Every time I think about Trump, I get allergic.”

    Journalists and Clinton staffers pushed back against NBC on Twitter, accusing the network of making hay out of the presidential nominee coughing.

    Clinton’s traveling press secretary, Nick Merrill, retweeted a comment from journalist Jonathan Alter saying “this ain’t news,” adding a note telling the NBC reporter behind the coughing fit story to “get a life.”

    Clinton’s speech in Florida is on MSNBC right now.

    • janicen says:

      I’m completely sympathetic. I’ve been suffering with a cold for more than a week and coughing fits have become my new normal.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Well goddam….If hay fever or a cold or another allergy that leaves you with a tickling throat and makes you cough disqualifies you from office, nobody can run for the Presidency ever again.

  5. dakinikat says:

    Big Dawg still has it.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    This is the man the media is protecting.


  7. bostonboomer says:

    Joe Conason’s New book reveals Bill Clinton’s rogue diplomacy against Iraq War.

    Clinton’s activism came months after his wife’s vote in October 2002 in favor of authorizing Bush to use military force in Iraq — a decision that, according to the book, Bill Clinton counseled her to make. And the former president acted without the express approval of the White House.

    The 13-year-old incident highlights the 42nd president’s outsized role in foreign affairs even after he left Washington. It is an exception to the pattern of Clinton’s post-presidential diplomatic work, which was usually done at the request of his successors — such as his trip to North Korea in 2009 to help rescue imprisoned journalists at the request of President Obama.

    In Conason’s account, Clinton made a last-minute appeal to several world leaders whom he considered “friends,” asking them to back Blair’s resolution in the hopes of slowing Bush’s march to war or ending it altogether.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    As he departs, David Ortiz weighs in: On Trump, tributes and what matters most.

    Ortiz, 40, pointed out that he’s not particularly knowledgeable about politics and typically doesn’t comment publicly on the subject, but he said remarks by Trump, who has vowed to build a wall to seal off the country’s Southern border and have Mexico pay for it and who said Mexico is sending rapists and criminals to the USA, “didn’t sit well with me.”

    “When you speak like that about us, it’s a slap in the face,” Ortiz said of Latinos in general. “I walk around sometimes, and I see Mexican people trying to earn a living in an honest way. And to hear somebody make those kinds of comments, it hits you. I think as Latin people we deserve better. Things have gotten much better in that regard. … As Latin people we deserve respect, no matter where you’re from. And especially our Mexican brothers, who come here willing to do all the dirty work.

    “Latin people here in the United States are the spark plug of the country’s economy. Whoever opposes that is going to lose. And not just Latin people but immigrants. I’m talking about people who come from Africa, from Asia, other places. All those people come here with one goal, to realize the American dream, and you have to include them in our group.”

  9. dakinikat says:

    Unbelievable. Infants will suffer horrible long miserable deaths in states with restricted access to abortion and birth control and to stop that we have to hurt women and insult African Americans?
    From CNN:

    Senate Democrats on Tuesday blocked a $1.1 billion bill to combat the Zika virus.
    They opposed provisions in the bill that would have blocked funding for Planned Parenthood and that would have allowed Confederate flags to fly at military veteran cemeteries.
    The vote failed 52 to 46. It needed 60 votes to advance.


    • William says:

      No one should doubt that Republicans have become a party of repulsively evil people. They went on recess before considering a bill for funds to combat Zika. They took heat for that, so decided to put up a bill which Democrats could not vote for, so that they then could blame them for it. I truly believe that if Trump gets elected, this country is going to suffer plagues of all sorts, because the Republicans are a combination of those who deny science, and those who would much rather score political points than help anyone. The Republicans of the ’60’s, say, with all their wrong and dangerous ideas, would not do something like this. “Vote for the Confederate flag, or we’ll blame you for Zika research not being funded.”

  10. dakinikat says:

  11. janicen says:

    I’m scared of POTUS in this pic. That’s a hell of a stare.

  12. Jslat says:

    Great endorsement of Hillary by the Dallas Morning News! They haven’t endorsed a Dem for President since before the second world war! I especially love how they handled the conspiracy crowd.
    “”… the litany of evils some opponents accuse her of. Treason? Murder? Her being cleared of crimes by investigation after investigation has no effect on these political hyenas; they refuse to see anything but conspiracies and cover-ups,” the board wrote.