Tuesday Reads: RIP Bobby Vee and Tom Hayden


Bobby Vee

Bobby Vee

Good Afternoon!!

Two notable deaths hit home for me yesterday. One was 1960s activist Tom Hayden, and the other was one of my teen idols, singer Bobby Vee. I’ll start with him.

RIP Bobby Vee

I was in 6th grade on February 3, 1959, when three pop stars, Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and JP “The Big Bopper” Richardson died along with their pilot Roger Peterson in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa. They were on their way to a concert in Moorhead, Minnesota.

Holly’s band members Waylon Jennings, Tommy Alsup, and Carl Bunch, stayed behind with their broken-down tour bus. The Big Bopper had the flu, so Jennings gave up his seat, and Richie Valens won a coin toss to get his. Years later, that tragic day became known as “the day the music died.” after the Don McLean song.

Moorhead is just across the river from Fargo, North Dakota, my birthplace. Bobby Veline (later Bobby Vee) was a 15-year-old rhythm guitar player from Fargo who had recently joined a garage band. The awful crash led to Veline’s big break. The call went out for local bands to fill in for the lost stars. From The Fargo Forum: How ‘The Day the Music Died’ launched Fargoan Bobby Vee into music stardom.

Fifteen-year-old Fargoan Bobby Vee and his new band The Shadows stepped up to fill the bill at the Moorhead Armory show. With that, the singer/guitarist took his first step into rock history….

Robert Thomas Velline was born April 30, 1943, to Sydney and Saima Velline of Fargo. Raised in a musical household, young Bobby followed suit and started playing saxophone at Central High School.

“I wanted to rock out. We were playing all the standard band pieces, but I wanted to play ‘Yakety Yak,'” Vee recalled on his website biography….

The shadows

The Shadows

When his older brother, guitarist Bill Velline, started playing with bassist Jim Stillman and drummer Bob Korum, Bobby begged to join, but they thought he was too young. He won them over with a velvety smooth voice. The group hadn’t played together much and didn’t have a name until just before taking the stage at the Moorhead Armory that fateful night.

“I remember being petrified when the curtains opened,” Vee told The Forum 19 years later. “I was blinded by the spotlight and just numb all over.”

The nerves didn’t last. That June he and The Shadows recorded “Suzie Baby” and the song was on the radio later that summer. Hits like “Devil or Angel” and “Rubber Ball” kept coming. In 1961 he would release his only No. 1 song, “Take Good Care of My Baby,” written by Carole King and Gerry Coffin. The follow-up, “Run to Him,” peaked at No. 2 and in 1962 he would reach No. 3 with “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes.”

Velline’s band didn’t even have a name when they went on stage. The emcee asked him for a name, and he looked at his bandmates and saw their shadows in the spotlight; so he told the emcee their name was “The Shadows.” Afterward, an agent gave Velline his card and the rest was history.

When Bobby Vee’s hit song “Take Good Care of My Baby” (written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin) came out in July 1961. I bought the 45 rpm record and played it over an over again. When I found out that the singer came from Fargo, I became his number 1 fan. I bought all his albums for the next couple of years before I moved on to more sophisticated rock music.

In this Dec. 18, 2013 file photo, Bobby Vee poses at the studio console at his family's Rockhouse Productions in St. Joseph, Minn. (AP Photo/Jeff Baenen, File)

In this Dec. 18, 2013 file photo, Bobby Vee poses at the studio console at his family’s Rockhouse Productions in St. Joseph, Minn. (AP Photo/Jeff Baenen, File)

One thing I never knew until yesterday was the connection between Bobby Vee and Bob Dylan (then Bob Zimmerman). Dylan grew up in Duluth, Minnesota–not that far from Fargo, and Dylan’s first paying gig was as a member of The Shadows.

Despite the sad circumstances, the Shadows’ gig was considered a success, with Vee calling the Moorhead show “the start of a wonderful career.”

Vee and the Shadows soon recorded a regional hit with “Suzie Baby,” which resulted in Vee signing a record deal with Liberty Records. Minnesota native Bob Dylan, who called Vee in 2013 “the most meaningful person I’ve ever been onstage with,” would later cover “Suzie Baby” in concert [Vee was in the audience].

Dylan, who played in the Shadows with Vee in 1959, also praised the singer in his Chronicles, Volume One. Vee “had a metallic, edgy tone to his voice and it was as musical as a silver bell,” Dylan wrote. “I’d always thought of him as a brother.” Dylan briefly joined Vee’s backing band as a pianist after Vee’s brother brought Dylan, who called himself “Elston Gunnn,” in for an audition. “He was a funny little wiry kind of guy and he rocked pretty good,” Vee said.

More about Vee and Dylan’s connection from Heavy.com.

Dylan and Vee both “escaped” the Midwest, as Dylan wrote in Chronicles. Vee was born in Fargo, North Dakota, and Dylan was born in Duluth, Minnesota. Vee was still playing in the region when his backing group, The Shadows, thought they needed a pianist. Dylan met Vee in a record store in Fargo and heard they wanted a piano player. He introduced himself as Elston Gunnn (with three n’s).

According to Expecting Rain, Vee told Goldmine in 1999 that Dylan claimed he just came off the road with Conway Twitty. They were impressed, but later learned that he could only play in the key of C. They hired him for $15 a night, but the job didn’t last long. As Vee explained:

It was ill-fated. I mean, it wasn’t gonna work. He didn’t have any money, and we didn’t have any money. The story is that I fired him, but that certainly wasn’t the case. If we could have put it together somehow, we sure would have. We wished we could have put it together. He left and went on to Minneapolis and enrolled at the University of Minnesota.

Years later, Vee and Dylan met in Greenwich Village.

Dylan was now a folk singer and Vee was a pop star. According to Vee, they met again in a record store.

“I was walking down the street. There was a record store there, and there was an album in the front window. And it said, ‘Bob Dylan.’ And I thought to myself, ‘Looks a lot like Elston Gunnn,’” Vee recalled.

In Chronicles, Dylan sounds like he regretted seeing Vee go from rockabily singer to pop star. He wrote that “Take Good Care of My Baby” was “as slick as ever.” Dylan wrote:

He’d become a crowd pleaser in the pop world. As for myself, I had nothing against pop songs, but the definition of pop was changing.

Bobby Vee and Bob Dylan in 2013

Bobby Vee and Bob Dylan in 2013

Despite their different career paths after that one meeting in Greenwich Village, Dylan said he still thought of Vee as a brother since they came from the same part of the country.

“I wouldn’t see Bobby Vee again for another thirty years, and though things would be a lot different, I’d always thought of his as a brother,” Dylan wrote in Chronicles. “Every time I’d see his name somewhere, it was like he was in the room.”

Isn’t that great story? Vee died after a five-year struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. The Associated Press: 

Vee was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011, and performed his last show that year.

Vee had been in memory care at The Wellstead of Rogers & Diamondcrest in Rogers, about 25 miles northwest of Minneapolis, for the past 13 months and in hospice care in recent weeks, his son said.

Vee died peacefully surrounded by family, Velline said, calling it “the end of a long hard road.”
He said his father was “a person who brought joy all over the world. That was his job.”

RIP Tom Hayden

Tom Hayden led an amazing life. The New York Times obituary: Tom Hayden, Civil Rights and Antiwar Activist Turned Lawmaker, Dies at 76.

Tom Hayden, who burst out of the 1960s counterculture as a radical leader of America’s civil ri(ghts and antiwar movements, but rocked the boat more gently later in life with a progressive political agenda as an author and California state legislator, died on Sunday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 76….

During the racial unrest and antiwar protests of the 1960s and early ’70s, Mr. Hayden was one of the nation’s most visible radicals. He was a founder of Students for a Democratic Society, a defendant in the Chicago Seven trial after riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, and a peace activist who married Jane Fonda, went to Hanoi and escorted American prisoners of war home from Vietnam.

Tom Hayden

Tom Hayden

As a civil rights worker, he was beaten in Mississippi and jailed in Georgia. In his cell he began writing what became the Port Huron Statement, the political manifesto of S.D.S. and the New Left that envisioned an alliance of college students in a peaceful crusade to overcome what it called repressive government, corporate greed and racism. Its aim was to create a multiracial, egalitarian society.

Like his allies the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who were assassinated in 1968, Mr. Hayden opposed violent protests but backed militant demonstrations, like the occupation of Columbia University campus buildings by students and the burning of draft cards. He also helped plan protests that, as it happened, turned into clashes with the Chicago police outside the Democratic convention.

Read the rest at the NYT link.

Tom Hayden, beaten by white segregationists in McComb, MS, October 1961

Tom Hayden, beaten by white segregationists in McComb, MS, October 1961

After the 1968 protests, Hayden stood trial in Federal court as one of the Chicago 7, along with Bobby Seale, Abby Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Rennie Davis, Dave Dellinger, John Froines, and Lee Weiner, accused of conspiracy, inciting to riot and other charges. The Chicago Tribune:

With Rennie Davis, Abbie Hoffman and other radical leaders, Hayden went on to plot the massive antiwar demonstrations that turned Chicago’s streets into a battleground for five days in August 1968.

“Let us make sure that if our blood flows, it flows all over the city,” he told throngs of young protesters in the city’s Grant Park on the day Vice President Hubert Humphrey became the Democratic presidential nominee.

Confronted by Democratic Mayor Richard J. Daley’s 12,000 Chicago police in addition to 6,000 Army troops and 5,000 National Guardsmen, Hayden exhorted the demonstrators to “turn this overheated military machine against itself.”

After arrests and injuries ran well into the hundreds, Hayden and seven others were charged with conspiracy to incite violence. The Chicago Eight, as they were initially known, became the Chicago Seven when Black Panther leader Bobby Seale was separated from the case. Hayden was found guilty but the conviction was overturned in 1972 by an appeals court, which cited improper rulings by an antagonistic trial judge.

Hayden went on to become a traditional politician, serving as a California legislator. The LA times:  ‘The radical inside the system’: Tom Hayden, protester-turned-politician, dies at 76.

Hayden later married actress Jane Fonda, and the celebrity couple traveled the nation denouncing the war before forming a California political organization that backed scores of liberal candidates and ballot measures in the 1970s and ’80s, most notably Proposition 65, the anti-toxics measure that requires signs in gas stations, bars and grocery stores that warn of cancer-causing chemicals.

Hayden lost campaigns for U.S. Senate, governor of California and mayor of Los Angeles. But he was elected to the California Assembly in 1982. He served a total of 18 years in the Assembly and state Senate.

During his tenure in the Legislature, representing the liberal Westside, Hayden relished being a thorn in the side of the powerful, including fellow Democrats he saw as too pliant to donors.

“He was the radical inside the system,” said Duane Peterson, a top Hayden advisor in Sacramento.

Defendants in the Chicago Seven conspiracy trial hold a news conference in Chicago on Jan. 5, 1970. Standing are, from left, John Froines, Tom Hayden, Jerry Rubin, Lee Weiner and Abbie Hoffman. Seated are Rennie Davis, center, and David Dellinger. (Chicago Tribune)

Defendants in the Chicago Seven conspiracy trial hold a news conference in Chicago on Jan. 5, 1970. Standing are, from left, John Froines, Tom Hayden, Jerry Rubin, Lee Weiner and Abbie Hoffman. Seated are Rennie Davis, center, and David Dellinger. (Chicago Tribune)

In April of this year, Hayden endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in a piece at The Nation: I Used to Support Bernie, but Then I Changed My Mind. Here’s what he had to say about Hillary:

Hillary is, well, Hillary. I remember seeing her on Yale’s green in 1969, wearing a black armband for peace while a kind of Armageddon shaped up during the Panther 21 trial and Cambodia invasion. Even then, she stood for working within the system rather than taking to the barricades. Similarly, in Chicago 1968, she observed the confrontations at a distance. If she had some sort of revolution in mind, it was evolutionary, step-by-step. In her earlier Wellesley commencement speech, she stated that the “prevailing, acquisitive, and competitive corporate life is not the way of life for us. We’re searching for more immediate, ecstatic, and penetrating modes of living.” But from there it was a determined decades-long uphill climb through those same institutions that had disenchanted the young Hillary.

There are two Hillary Clintons. First, the early feminist, champion of children’s rights, and chair of the Children’s Defense Fund; and second, the Hillary who has grown more hawkish and prone to seeking “win-win” solutions with corporate America. When she seems to tack back towards her roots, it is usually in response to Bernie and new social movements. She hasn’t changed as much as the Democratic Party has, responding to new and resurgent movements demanding Wall Street reform, police and prison reform, immigrant rights and a $15-an-hour minimum wage, fair trade, action on climate change, LGBT rights, and more.

Hayden had grown more supportive of Hillary’s “evolutionary, step by step” approach and was concerned about Bernie’s all-or-nothing policies as well as his ability to deal with an all-out assault from the GOP and the media. In the end though, it came down to race.

I intend to vote for Hillary Clinton in the California primary for one fundamental reason. It has to do with race. My life since 1960 has been committed to the causes of African Americans, the Chicano movement, the labor movement, and freedom struggles in Vietnam, Cuba and Latin America. In the environmental movement I start from the premise of environmental justice for the poor and communities of color. My wife is a descendant of the Oglala Sioux, and my whole family is inter-racial.

What would cause me to turn my back on all those people who have shaped who I am? That would be a transgression on my personal code. I have been on too many freedom rides, too many marches, too many jail cells, and far too many gravesites to breach that trust. And I have been so tied to the women’s movement that I cannot imagine scoffing at the chance to vote for a woman president. When I understood that the overwhelming consensus from those communities was for Hillary—for instance the Congressional Black Caucus and Sacramento’s Latino caucus—that was the decisive factor for me. I am gratified with Bernie’s increasing support from these communities of color, though it has appeared to be too little and too late. Bernie’s campaign has had all the money in the world to invest in inner city organizing, starting 18 months ago. He chose to invest resources instead in white-majority regions at the expense of the Deep South and urban North.

I know there is much more news out there, and I hope I haven’t bored you by writing about two symbols of the greatest passions of my youth–Rock ‘n’ Roll and Politics. I’ll leave it to you to post more links on any topic in the comment thread below.

Lazy Saturday Reads: The Constitution Protects Us From Trump


Good Morning!!

We’re living in a strange, chaotic world. As usual, I don’t know where to begin with all the craziness, so I’m going to open with the story of a wild car crash in Delaware County, Indiana, where I grew up. Two young guys were racing their souped up cars side by side on a country road near Albany, Indiana when they hit a railroad crossing and suddenly went airborne.

After landing 75 feet from the crossing, one of the cars — a four-door, 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix driven by 18-year-old Grant Christopher of Parker City — veered off the edge of the road, struck a mailbox, returned to the road and sideswiped the other car, a four-door, 2016 Chevrolet Malibu driven by Darrian Lee, 20, of Albany, according to police.

Both cars then skidded into the yard of a residence, one smashing a wooden-barrel flower container, the other knocking over a tree. The cars then skidded into another residential yard, where Christopher struck a parked pickup truck, after which his vehicle and the pickup truck tore down a fence, police say.

Meanwhile, Lee’s vehicle struck a horse trailer parked in a yard, damaging the trailer’s axles and body, before spinning into the side of a van parked in the driveway. The last thing Lee’s car hit was the corner of a pole barn.

No one was hurt.

I guess they must have been wearing seat belts.


Am I nuts, or could that dramatic crash be a metaphor for what’s happening right now in this crazy election campaign? We’re living through a chaotic period in which one of the candidates is an authoritarian populist psychopath and pathological liar who has blatantly encouraged racism, xenophobia, and misogyny among his followers for the past year-and-a-half. The other candidate is the first woman in history with a serious chance to become President of the U.S.–a candidate with 30 years of experience in public service and the brains and talent to be a great world leader who has been forced to spend much of her time educating the electorate about the dangers of a Trump presidency.

There has been lots of talk lately about what will happen if the ignorant, neo-fascist candidate Donald Trump refuses to accept the results of the November 8 election.

Will his followers–who have already demonstrated their willingness to be violent and threatening against anyone who disagrees with them–take to the streets in protest? Will Trump be able to weaponize his large following to delegitimize a President Hillary Clinton as he tried to delegitimize Barack Obama, the first African American president?

Or will the election build to a crescendo and end with a noisy crash that does some serious damage, but leaves our republic essentially unhurt–protected by a metaphorical seat belt, the U.S. Constitution?

I’m hoping for and expecting the second possible outcome. I have to thank Lawrence O’Donnell for that confidence. Last night he said he hopes Trump does not concede because it won’t matter. O’Donnell also predicted that Trump fans won’t violently revolt if he loses, because they know he has lied to them repeatedly; they will realize that he has been using them for his own purposes. Here’s O’Donnell’s argument.

If Trump refuses to accept the outcome of the election, he will only look like a sore loser and a fool. There is no need for him to concede; his lack of concession would only be one more bit of evidence that he has no respect for the norms of our democracy.

McClatchyDC: Whether Trump would concede an election loss doesn’t matter legally.

Though considered an essential act to foster a peaceful post-election political transition of power, concessions by losing candidates are a formality – not a legal requirement.

“Just saying the words ‘I concede’ have no legal effect,” said Richard Hasen, founding co-editor of the Election Journal and author of the Election Law Blog. “What would have a legal effect is if he filed for a recount or do some sort of election contest.”

“In short, we don’t have a constitutional crisis on our hands if we don’t have a gracious concession on election night, even if the result appears a blowout,” Edward “Ned” Foley, author of “Ballot Battles: The History of Disputed Elections in the United States,” wrote on his blog last Friday.

Still, Trump laying out the possibility of not accepting the results is unnerving, Hasen and other election analysts said, because it threatens a smooth transition and could help delegitimize a Clinton presidency in the eyes of Trump’s ardent followers.


Possibly. But that would happen regardless. We’ve already gone through 8 years of Republicans treating Barack Obama as if he’s not a legitimate president; why should we be surprised if they continue that behavior under our first woman president? That is all the more reason why they need to be soundly defeated so that Hillary Clinton will have a Democratic majority in the Senate–and maybe even in the House.

Politico on October 17: Democrats dream the unthinkable: Speaker Pelosi.

As Donald Trump’s poll numbers tank, dragging the whole GOP down with him, the possibility that Pelosi could return to the speaker’s chair after a six-year absence has suddenly grown very real. No one has done anything like this since the legendary Sam Rayburn did 60 years ago, and it is still unlikely to happen. Yet the House is definitely in play, according to experts on both sides of the aisle, which means the 76-year-old Pelosi could be wielding the speaker’s gavel again come January.

It would be a stunning, almost unthinkable, triumph for Pelosi. Democrats lost 63 seats in 2010, and many thought Pelosi would — or should — retire. But the California lawmaker hung on. Democrats won seats in 2012 as President Barack Obama was reelected, but then were wiped out again in 2014. House Republicans amassed their biggest majority in 80 years, and there was open grumbling from some rank-and-file lawmakers about whether Pelosi should step aside for a younger leader who could bring Democrats back to the promised land.


Pelosi resisted. She saw Republicans oust John Boehner last year and replace him with Paul Ryan, 30 years her junior. Watching the rise of Trump, she started saying months ago that Democrats could take the House. No one really believed her, seeing her comments as just ritualistic posturing by a political leader trying to rally her troops.

Yet now, with less than four weeks to go, Democrats are suddenly hopeful they can pick up the 30 seats they need to recapture the majority.

“It’s no longer, ‘Can we fight to win the House?'” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra of California. “It’s, ‘Can [Republicans] fight to keep from losing the House?’”

Let’s make it so. We can end the GOP obstruction in Congress and continue down the road toward greater freedom and inclusiveness, toward greater autonomy for women. We can fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court with a qualified candidate. We can stop the GOP war on voting rights. Yes we can! With Hillary at the helm, we can continue the work of the first African American president and move on down the road to even greater horizons for our country.

More news, links only


NYT: Hackers Used New Weapons to Disrupt Major Websites Across U.S.

Defense One: Denying Trump’s Denial, US Intel Chief Says There’s More Evidence of Russian Hacking.

Kurt Eichenwald at Newsweek: How I Got Slimed by Russian Propagandist Site Sputnik.

NYT: Hillary Clinton Makes Pitch for Mandate and a Swing-State Sweep.

NPR: At Al Smith Dinner, Donald Trump Turns Friendly Roast Into 3-Alarm Fire.

WaPo: Donald Trump is in a funk: Bitter, hoarse and pondering, ‘If I lose. . .’

WaPo: Antiabortion activists face headwinds with Clinton leading and Trump stumbling on women’s issues.

Bloomberg: Clinton Campaign Ponders ‘What If’ Trump Doesn’t Concede.

Don’t miss this one from The Cut: These Teen Girls Are Giving Donald Trump a Piece of Their Mind.

Raw Story: Damaged brand: New Trump hotels will no longer bear his name.

What else is happening? Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread, and have a terrific weekend!


Thursday Reads: Third Debate Aftermath


Good Morning!!

Hillary Clinton walked onstage last night in a gorgeous white pantsuit and then proceeded to crush Donald Trump in the third and final debate of the 2016 election season. It was obvious that someone had informed Donald that the camera would be on him when Hillary was speaking, because he struggled to control his facial expressions in the first part of the debate. But once again, Hillary successfully baited him and he quickly lost control. His handlers can spin his performance however they want. He’s toast.

Of course the top two media hot takes this morning were Trump’s refusal to say that he would accept the outcome of the election and his “such a nasty woman” comment that came while Clinton was discussing the Social Security trust fund. The real story is that Hillary Clinton gave a nearly flawless performance last night and in the previous two debates.

Ezra Klein: Hillary Clinton’s 3 debate performances left the Trump campaign in ruins.

The third and final presidential debate has ended, and it can now be said: Hillary Clinton crushed Donald Trump in the most effective series of debate performances in modern political history.

The polling tells the story. As Nate Silver notes, on the eve of the first presidential debate, Clinton led by 1.5 points. Before the second, she was up by 5.6 points. Before the third, she was winning by 7.1 points. And now, writing after the third debate — a debate in which Trump said he would keep the nation “in suspense” about whether there would be a peaceful transition of power, bragged about not apologizing to his wife, and called Clinton “such a nasty woman” — it’s clear that Trump did himself no favors. Early polls also suggest Clinton won.

And it’s not just the presidential race. Betting markets now predict Democrats will win the Senate. Polls have started showing Democrats in striking distance of the House. The GOP has collapsed into a mid-election civil war, with the party’s presidential nominee openly battling the speaker of the House.


This is not normal. As Andrew Prokop concluded in his review of the political science evidence around presidential debates, “There’s little historical evidence that they’ve ever swung polls by more than a few percentage points.” In this case, they did. And it’s because Clinton executed a risky strategy flawlessly.

 The dominant narrative of this election goes something like this. Hillary Clinton is a weak candidate who is winning because she is facing a yet weaker candidate. Her unfavorables are high, her vulnerabilities are obvious, and if she were running against a Marco Rubio or a Paul Ryan, she would be getting crushed. Lucky for her, she’s running against a hot orange mess with higher unfavorables, clearer vulnerabilities, and a tape where he brags about grabbing women “by the pussy.”

There’s truth to this narrative, but it also reflects our tendency to underestimate Clinton’s political effectiveness. Trump’s meltdown wasn’t an accident. The Clinton campaign coolly analyzed his weaknesses and then sprung trap after trap to take advantage of them.

Clinton’s successful execution of this strategy has been, fittingly, the product of traits that she’s often criticized for: her caution, her overpreparation, her blandness. And her particular ability to goad Trump and blunt the effectiveness of his political style has been inextricable from her gender. The result has been a political achievement of awesome dimensions, but one that Clinton gets scarce credit for because it looks like something Trump is doing, rather than something she is doing — which is, of course, the point.

Read the rest at the Vox link above.


A few responses to Trump’s performance:

Jamie Bouie at Slate: Donald Trump vs. America.

After the first presidential debate, the Republican Party nominee called for monitoring and intimidation at polling places in cities like Philadelphia and Cleveland. During the second, Trump announced his plan to investigate Clinton using the power of the presidency, and promised to put her in jail for unnamed crimes against the state. He later turned that into a bona fide campaign slogan: “Lock her up.” For the last week, he’s decried the entire election process as “rigged”—a shadowy conspiracy meant to deny him a victory at the ballot box. And at the final presidential debate at the University of Nevada–Las Vegas, Donald Trump refused to commit to conceding the election, should he lose on Nov. 8….

Clinton called this “horrifying.” “We’ve been around for 240 years,” she said. “We’ve had free and fair elections. We’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them. And that is what must be expected of anyone standing on a debate stage during a general election.”

She’s right. In 1800, Federalist president John Adams lost to Thomas Jefferson and his Democratic-Republicans, following a painful and contentious contest. And rather than fight or challenge the results, Adams handed his rival the reins of power, the first peaceful transition of power in a democracy and a milestone in the history of the modern world. The act of conceding, in other words, is vital to the functioning of democracy. It confers legitimacy on the winner of an election, giving him or her a chance to govern. To refuse to concede, to denythat legitimacy, is to undermine our democratic foundations.

Surrogates for Trump have tried to defend his comments, citing then–Vice President Al Gore’s conduct following the 2000 election. But Gore didn’t challenge the process; he let it move forward. As ordered by state law, Florida had to do a recount. That recount was then stopped by the Supreme Court. At that point, Gore conceded the election, gracefully and without public hesitation.

In presidential elections at least, there’s simply no precedent for what Trump is promising. The slave South may have seceded from the Union following the 1860 election, but neither of Abraham Lincoln’s opponents denied his legitimacy as the duly-elected leader for the United States. It is world-historic in the worst possible way.

Bouie’s piece is a must-read.


Amy Davidson at The New Yorker: For Trump, the Election is Rigged if a “Nasty Woman” Can Win. Again, the whole thing is a must-read, but here some excerpts:

She shouldn’t be allowed to run,” Donald Trump said, of his opponent, Hillary Clinton, who was standing next to him on the debate stage in Las Vegas on Wednesday night. “It’s crooked—she’s—she’s guilty of a very, very serious crime. She should not be allowed to run. And just in that respect I say it’s rigged.” Trump’s tone was heated; to make this point, he had talked over the interjections of the moderator, Chris Wallace, and he kept on doing so, making clear how little he cares for decorum or democracy. This person—this woman—shouldn’t be allowed to contend, let alone win. Wallace’s question had been about whether Trump would accept the results of the election; Trump wouldn’t even accept the premise….

Perhaps what Trump is having trouble gauging now is how he might feel when he looks at a television on Election Day and sees the smiling face of Hillary Clinton as she is announced as the President-elect. He might react as he did when, late in the debate, she delivered a strong answer about Social Security that referred to the taxes he’s avoided paying. His features receded into a pool of curdled dust. “Such a nasty woman,” he said. In 2016, a major-party nominee for President seems to have mistaken misogyny for an argument against democratic legitimacy.

Trump’s contempt for women—and the lack of discipline it seemed to induce in him—was a leitmotif of the debate. Chris Wallace’s first question was about the kind of Supreme Court each candidate would nominate into being as President. There will be at least one opening, unless the Senate does its job and acts on the nomination of Merrick Garland, and, Wallace noted, “likely or possibly two or three appointments.” This should have been an easy one for Trump—a warmup question covered in any decent debate prep. There are voters with reservations about his character who might vote for him anyway, just to make sure that there’s no liberal in Antonin Scalia’s seat. But Trump began, and wasted a good part of his time, by rambling on about how Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had insulted him (“very, very inappropriate statements”). On reproductive rights, Clinton talked about the pain of women who, for health reasons, had to contemplate a late abortion; Trump portrayed them as incipient infanticidal brutes who, if not checked, might “rip the baby out of the womb” at the last minute. He also said that he assumed his judicial appointees would overturn Roe v. Wade. When Wallace, who controlled the situation better than any moderator so far, asked why “so many different women from so many different circumstances over so many different years” would say that Trump had groped or kissed them against their will, Trump first claimed that the stories had been “debunked” (they have not), then jumped into theories that “it was her campaign that did it,” and then let the audience know, as if it were exculpatory, that “I didn’t even apologize to my wife, who’s sitting right here, because I didn’t do anything.” And if it wasn’t a campaign plot, he said, then it was just women trying to get “their ten minutes of fame.”

Pretty good summary there. There’s more at The New Yorker link.

Trump clan post debate

Trump clan post debate

And then there was Trump’s defense of Vladimir Putin against the U.S. intelligence community’s clear statement that Russia is trying ot influence the election. The Washington Post: Donald Trump’s confusion and contradictions about Russia.

Trump has never accepted the Clinton campaign’s assertion that hackers controlled by the Kremlin are trying interfere in the 2016 elections, even after the Obama administration officially accused Russia.

Trump didn’t back down in the third presidential debate: “She has no idea whether it’s Russia, China, or anybody else.”

When Clinton interjected that “17 intelligence agencies” had concluded that the Kremlin is behind the cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee and other political institutions, Trump said, “Hillary, you have no idea. Our country has no idea.”

As we all know, Clinton went on to call Trump Putin’s “puppet,” and Trump’s grade-school level response was “no, you’re the puppet, you’re the puppet.”

That’s all I have for you this morning. I’m completely exhausted, because I stayed up watching the talking heads last night until they went off the air. I might have to take a nap.

What do you think were the high and low points of the debate? What are you hearing and reading this morning?

Live Blog #2: Smackdown In Vegas


Hillary is wiping the floor with Donald Trump tonight. She gave a tremendous speech on Russian hacking, and Trump gave a speech defending Putin. And Hillary called him a puppet.

Here’s a new thread, so let’s keep up the discussion.

Live Blog: Showdown In Vegas

A pedestrian walks past the site for the third presidential debate between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016.

A pedestrian walks past the site for the third presidential debate between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016.

Good Evening!!

This is it–the final presidential debate in 2016. I expect Hillary to wipe the floor with Donald Trump tonight, and after that she will never have to share a stage with the “short-fingered vulgarian” again. She can move on to consolidating her voters in blue states and expanding the map to formerly red states like Arizona, Georgia, and Texas.

Hillary has spent the last five days doing debate prep while Donald Trump apparently has decided not to bother. He held rallies yesterday and the day before, and last night he mocked Clinton for taking time to prepare. I can’t find the transcript, but he claimed she was just lying in bed resting. I guess we’ll find out tonight who is ready and who is not.


For some strange reason, the Trump campaign has invited President Obama’s estranged half brother Malik Obama to the debate. Mediaite’s Alex Griswold: Trump’s Newest Debate Guest Appears to Support Terrorist Group Hamas, Abolition of Israel.

In a move apparently intend to troll the president, Donald Trump invited Barack Obama‘s half-brother Malik Obama to attend Wednesday’s night presidential debate. But Trump might have been unaware of Malik’s controversial support for anti-Israel terrorist groups.

In 2014, the Israeli press reported on the fact that Malik Obama was photographed wearing a red and white keffiyeh, which typically signifies support for Hamas rather than the more moderate Fatah. Emblazoned on the scarf were the slogans “Jerusalem is ours, we are coming,” and “From the river to the sea.” Both are popular chants used by the terrorist group.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked about this, and he said he couldn’t figure out what the point of this is.

“I have to admit, I really don’t know exactly what the intent is of this invitation, other than probably to get you guys to ask me about it,” he said. “But even then, I’m not really sure what goal that accomplishes. I guess you can check with the people who offered the invitation.”


Trump has also invited some women whose children were killed by illegal immigrants, Pat Smith, the estranged mother of a man killed in Benghazi, and a woman who was engaged to Ambassador Chris Stevens in for a short time in 1995. Josh Marshall’s reaction: 

I was particularly struck when I saw Chris Stevens’ fiance mentioned. I didn’t know Chris Stevens had a fiance. And his family has been consistently and outspokenly opposed to the politicization of his death. Well, it turns out “Amb Chris Stevens’ fiance” is a bit of a stretch. Stevens and now-occasionally working French actress Lydie Denier were briefly engaged in 1995. What insight she has into his death seventeen years later other than self-promotion is a mystery.

I already noted the comedy of the Trump camp’s aggressiveness on this front since Hillary is fairly unflappable and it’s Trump who gets knocked off stride by the slightest provocation. But surveying this debate guest drama, what strikes me more than anything is that I cannot imagine anyone in the Clinton camp giving the slightest rat’s ass about any of this. This is no longer really about Clinton at all. It’s more like a ‘release all the animals from their cages in the menagerie’ freakout, go-for-broke primal scream inside the WND/Breitbart mind bubble. It’s operating entirely within that world. It doesn’t really connect up with anything outside of it. I’m not sure that’s even the intention.


Steve Bannon is warning that there will be other “surprises.” CNN Money reports:

According to Bannon, the news that President Obama’s Trump-supporting half-brother Malik Obama is attending Wednesday’s debate is “just an appetizer.”

Trump will be bringing guests who “expose Bill and Hillary’s sordid past,” Bannon told CNN as he arrived in Las Vegas for the debate late Tuesday night.

When asked who comes up with the ideas to invite these guests, Bannon said, “We’re a team.”

Bannon, a longtime conservative media executive, was the chairman of the far-right Breitbart News until August, when he took leave from Breitbart to become the CEO of the Trump campaign….

Bannon said Trump is in good spirits heading into the debate — despite a huge deficit in national polls.

“Right now he really, really thinks he’s going to win,” Bannon said.

Okay. These folks really do live in an alternate reality.

More from Twitter:

Hillary has invited real billionaires Meg Whitman and Mark Cuban to the debate along with some people we saw at the Democratic convention and other Clinton appearances.

I think we all know what to expect from the debate tonight. Trump will be completely out of control because he knows he’s losing, despite what Steve Bannon says. I just hope the Secret Service keeps an eye on him. Still, here’s one of those articles telling us what could happen tonight.

The Washington Post: The presidential debate: Sexual assault claims, emails are expected to come up.

The Republican and Democratic presidential nominees will take the stage with distinct challenges. For Trump, the debate presents a gasping opportunity to stabilize his damaged campaign and to refute claims that he is unfit for office. Clinton, on the other hand, will seek to provide a positive vision of governance amid a deeply unpleasant election season that has often been consumed by Trump’s controversial rhetoric.

Chris Wallace of Fox News will moderate the forum, which is taking place at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. The 90-minute debate is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. Eastern time and will be broadcast on most major networks and streamed on numerous websites, including washingtonpost.com.


Six topics will be the focus of the night, according to the Commission on Presidential Debates: immigration, the Supreme Court, the economy, national debt and entitlements, turmoil abroad and fitness for the presidency. But several dominant news stories will almost certainly take central importance.

Since the second presidential debate 10 days ago in St. Louis, a growing list of women have come forward to accuse Trump of sexual harassment and assault. Those revelations came after the release of a damaging 2005 “Access Hollywood” video in which Trump bragged about kissing and groping women against their will because of his celebrity status. Many of the women said that they were compelled to speak out after hearing Trump during the St. Louis debate deny that he had ever forced himself on women. He has denied the accusations.

Clinton is likely to face questions about a trove of hacked emails belonging to her campaign chairman, John Podesta, that were leaked by WikiLeaks. She will probably also face renewed questions about the FBI’s decision not to charge her with a crime for using a private email server during her tenure at the State Department.


I thought this piece at Politico was interesting: Republicans undercut Trump ahead of final debate.

With Trump trailing nationally and in a number of battleground state polls — and even Arizona — Clinton’s campaign is expecting Trump to deploy a scorched-earth approach to their Las Vegas bout. But fellow Republicans unexpectedly placed a rhetorical firewall around the real estate mogul.

Indeed, if Newt Gingrich stepped on Trump’s toes by inadvertently highlighting his thin skin as a weakness that “I hope he grows out of,” Marco Rubio and John Kasich then stomped on both of his feet.


Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a top Trump surrogate, dealt the first blow when he offered a candid assessment of Trump’s shortcomings, including an expansion on his notion of Big Trump, Little Trump.

“There’s a piece of his personality, which is very sensitive, particularly to anything which attacks his own sense of integrity or his own sense of respectability, and he reacts very intensely, almost uncontrollably, to those kinds of situations,” Gingrich acknowledged during an interview conducted Tuesday and published Wednesday with the Washington Examiner’s David Drucker.

“I think that’s a weakness,” he added. “I hope he grows out of it.”

“Grows out of it?” At age 70? I don’t think so.

In addition, Marco Rubio said that no one should be using the hacked emails given to Wikileaks by Russia to attack Clinton and both Kellyanne Conway and John Kasich said that Trump’s claims of a “rigged election” are ridiculous. Of course he won’t listen, but it’s still interesting. Click on the link above to read more.

Let’s support each other through this. I hope it won’t be as nightmarish as the second debate, but we’ll find out soon. 

Tuesday Reads: Hillary is Winning and So are Girls and Women


Good Morning!!

I really wish we didn’t have to live through another debate tomorrow night. I just hope her Secret Service detail stay near the stage to protect Hillary. I know she will be dignified and unflappable, but I don’t want her to have to deal Trump’s insults anymore. In a few short weeks, she will be President of the United States and Trump can try and fail to start a Trump news network. He has ruined his own brand, and I’m glad.

At least it’s difficult to understand how Trump could continue attacking Hillary based on Bill’s behavior with women in the ’90s after Melania went on CNN last night and attacked the women who have come forward to accuse her husband of sexual assault.

The New York Times: ‘They’re Lies’: Melania Trump Rejects Women’s Claims That Husband Groped Them.

Ms. Trump, in an extensive interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, said the women who had accused Donald J. Trump of groping and kissing them were lying, and likened her husband to a teenage boy who engages in macho boasting.

She echoed her husband’s complaint that he was the victim of a broad conspiracy between the news media and the Clinton campaign.

“I believe my husband, I believe my husband — it was all organized from the opposition,” Ms. Trump said. “They can never check the background of these women. They don’t have any facts.” ….

Ms. Trump, 46, called the exchange between Mr. Trump and Mr. Bush “boy talk,” and said Mr. Trump had been “egged on” by the host “to say dirty and bad stuff.”

But she stressed that she believed that Mr. Trump was simply being boastful and did not engage in the behavior he described.

“Sometimes I say I have two boys at home: I have my young son, and I have my husband,” she said with a slight laugh. “But I know how some men talk, and that’s how I saw it, yes.”


Hmmm. . . she doesn’t make her husband sound very presidential. She also claims women are constantly trying to attract her husband’s attention

“I see many, many women coming to him and giving the phone numbers and, you know, want to work for him or inappropriate stuff from women,” she said. “And they know he’s married.http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/17/politics/melania-trump-interview/index.html”

Mrs. Trump told Anderson Cooper that her husband is a “gentleman.”

Melania Trump called her husband “real” and “raw” — and said because of his years as an entertainer, he faced an especially tough challenge transitioning into politics, because he has made decades’ worth of controversial comments.

“It’s very hard, especially for him — when he decided to run for the presidency, because he did so many stuff in his life. He was on so many tapes, so many shows. And we knew that — that, you know, tapes will come out, people won’t want to go against him.

“But my husband is real. He’s raw. He tells it like it is. He’s kind. He’s a gentleman. He supports everybody. He supports women. He encourages them to go to the highest level, to achieve their dreams. He employs many, many women,” she said.

She said she wouldn’t describe what Trump said on the tape as sexual assault, even though in the video Trump appeared to be describing his own actions.

“No, that’s not sexual assault,” she said. “He didn’t say he did it.”


Actually he did though. And even Howard Stern doesn’t buy the “boys will be boys” defense. TPM reports:

Shock jock Howard Stern on Monday refuted his friend Donald Trump’s claim that his leaked comments about grabbing women’s genitals were just “locker room talk.”

“I have never been in the room when someone has said, ‘Grab them by the pussy,” Stern said on his Sirius satellite radio show, quoting Trump’s own words caught on a hot mic during a 2005 “Access Hollywood” appearance. “No one’s ever advocated going that step where you get a little bit, ‘Hey I’m going to invade someone’s space.'”

Though Stern built his own career on jokes about mass shootings and raunchy interviews grilling celebrities about their sex lives, he said there was a line between lewdly describing women’s bodies and boasting about sexual assault.

Fortunately, we won’t have to listen to anyone in the Trump family much longer, because he is not going to be POTUS. Stuart Rothenberg at the Washington Post: Trump’s path to an electoral college victory isn’t narrow. It’s non-existent.

The trajectory of the 2016 presidential race — which will result in a Hillary Clinton victory — remains largely unchanged from May, when Donald Trump and Clinton were in the process of wrapping up their nominations.

But what has changed recently is Clinton’s likely winning margin. For many weeks, even months, I have believed that Clinton would defeat Trump by three to six points. If anything, that range now looks a bit low, with the Democratic nominee apparently headed for a more convincing victory, quite possibly in the four-to-eight point range.

Trump continues to be his own worst enemy, saying or tweeting things that only fuel chatter about his current and past views, values and behavior. His comments about people — from Vladimir Putin and Alicia Machado to some of the women who have accused him of sexual assault — have kept the focus on him at a time when he should be making the election a referendum on Clinton.

No, Trump’s supporters have not turned on him. But he trails badly with only a few weeks to go until Nov. 8, and he must broaden his appeal to have any chance of winning. That is now impossible.

Read the whole thing at the link.


Eric Levitz at New York Magazine: New Polls Show Clinton on Pace for a Landslide.

On Monday, CNN’s new “poll of polls” — an average of the four most recent national surveys that meet the network’s standard — put Clinton ahead of Trump by 8 percent.

One of those surveys was George Washington University’s Battleground Poll, which also found Clinton leading the GOP nominee by eight points. The same poll had Clinton up by only 2 percent in early September. In that earlier survey, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein were collectively polling three points higher than they are now, with the Libertarian claiming 8 percent and the Green Party nominee just 2 percent.

A Politico/Morning Consult poll out Monday finds Clinton leading Trump 42 to 36 percent in a four-way race. After the vice-presidential debate, Trump had climbed to 39 percent, but grab’em by the pussy-gate and last week’s wave of sexual-assault allegations have pulled the GOP nominee back to where he stood after he bragged about tax evasion at the first debate. Clinton’s support has hovered around 42 percent in the poll for all of October.

As of this writing, FiveThirtyEight’s Polls Only forecast gives Clinton an 87 percent chance of taking the Oval Office next January.


More polling info at the link. And check this out from Peter Daou at Share Blue: Boys will be boys…and women will be presidents.

Some feel-good stories to check out:

New York Magazine: Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Has More Black Women Than Any Presidential Campaign in History.

CNN: Baby elephant is so concerned about her ‘drowning’ friend.

Raw Story: Ex-homeless mom pays off lunch tabs for poor kids after little boy’s ‘two lunches’ story goes viral.


What else is happening? What stories are you following today?

Lazy Saturday Reads: Dealing With Trump Stress


Good Morning!!

I’m illustrating this post with baby animals and their mothers, because I’m just about to the point that I need to sleep with a teddy bear at night because of the stress of this presidential election. Donald Trump is holding most of the country hostage as he holes up with his misogynistic, racist, xenophobic white supremacist advisers planning for campaign rallies in which he addresses his shrinking band of loud and angry fans with paranoid, insane monologues about how the media, the Republican “establishment,” “the Clintons” and a supposed “global conspiracy” are trying to rob him of the presidency. It’s all getting to be too much, and we still have 23 days to go before election day.

It has gotten so bad that American Psychological Association is offering tips on how to deal with election stress. The Washington Post reports:

Weeks before The Washington Post made that 2005 video of Donald Trump public, before Trump supporters were interrupting Hillary Clinton rallies by screaming that Bill Clinton is a rapist, before Trump told Clinton to her face that she should be in jail, Americans were already seriously stressed out by this election.

In August, the American Psychological Association included a question in its annual Stress in America survey about this election. It released the results of that particular query on Thursday, and it found that more than half of U.S. adults, regardless of party, felt very or somewhat stressed by the election.

One can only imagine that what’s transpired over the past week has intensified the disgust, anxiety and disbelief felt by so many Americans.

The poll found that people older than 71 are the most stressed out and millennials are the next most “angst-ridden” group. They also found that people who use social media are among the most highly stressed groups.


The suggestions for dealing with the situation are about what you’d expect: Turn off the TV and stop reading the news when it feels like too much and get some exercise or spend time with people you care about; avoid talking to others about politics; think about volunteering or joining a local political group; try not to catastrophize about possible results of the election; and be sure to vote.

Unfortunately, if I could tear myself away from the media coverage and social media, I wouldn’t feel like me anymore. But I’m trying to find ways to stay centered. Like Dakinikat, I’m having life worries too, so it’s all so difficult.

Was yesterday the worst day in the campaign so far? If not, it would have to be close. Trump gave two speeches in which he behaved like a madman, screaming about “the Clintons” and the women who have said he abused them, and even tearing apart his teleprompter on stage the second event. Sopan Deb at CBS News:

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — During Donald Trump’s second rally of the day, he announced dramatically to the crowd that his teleprompter – that he had uncharacteristically relied on for months – had stopped working.

“And I notice every time I look up, they’re trying. It’s trying. It’s straining. It’s straining. Hey, get this thing out of here, will you?” Trump explained.

He physically removed the device that had been telling him what to say and proceeded to speak for nearly an hour – veering from topic to topic, in a kind of stream-of-consciousness manner. It was a rally reminiscent of the barn-burning campaign he ran in the fall.

“You know what? I like it better without the teleprompters,” Trump declared.

Trump acknowledged earlier in the day that those around him did not want him to spend a bulk of his speeches responding to the numerous accusations of sexual misconduct that have risen in recent days and weeks.

“Folks, you know my people always say, ‘Oh, don’t talk about it. Talk about jobs. Talk about the economy,’”  Trump said in Greensboro, North Carolina earlier in the day. “But I feel I have to talk about it, because you have to dispute when somebody says something, and fortunately we have the microphone. We’re able to dispute. Some people can’t.”

Trump went on to rail against accuser Jessica Leeds, implying that he couldn’t possibly have sexually assaulted her because she was too unattractive. Read more about this disgusting speech at the link.


Jonathan Martin ticked off the low points of Trump’s day at the New York Times: Donald Trump’s Barrage of Heated Rhetoric Has Little Precedent.

There is a long tradition of presidential candidates ratcheting up their language when they are trailing in the closing weeks of an election.

But in the same fashion Donald J. Trump has broken with other political traditions, he is taking a longstanding rite of fall to new heights — or perhaps new lows.

On Thursday and Friday alone, Mr. Trump unleashed a barrage of near-apocalyptic warnings about the potential destruction of the country, broad accusations about the illegitimacy of American democracy, and crude innuendo about his opponent that is almost without precedent in modern presidential history.

He warned that Hillary Clinton was conspiring with financiers to destroy American sovereignty, claimed the fate of civilization depended on his victory and ridiculed the appearance of the one of the women accusing him of sexual harassment, while also deriding Mrs. Clinton’s looks and saying she ought to be in prison. He also said the presidential election amounted to “a big ugly lie.”

While delighting his partisans, Mr. Trump’s rhetorical shooting spree has enraged Democrats and unnerved many Republicans, who believe he is acting out a political death wish.

Please go read the rest at the NYT.


At Slate, William Saletan has going full Godwin: Let’s just say it: Trump sounds more and more like Hitler.

In Godwin’s honor, let’s stipulate: There will never be another psychopath quite like Hitler. The German dictator preached such overt hatred, murdered so many people, and earned such infamy that every demagogue since, from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to David Duke, has learned to draw at least tactical distinctions between himself and the Führer.

Then there’s Trump. He’s a salesman, not a fanatic. He doesn’t foist his hatreds on others. Instead, he reads and plays to the resentments of his crowds. He tells them that President Obama was born in Kenya, that Ted Cruz is a Canadian-born Cuban, and that Ben Carson is a Seventh-day Adventist. Trump will go after a Mexican American judge, a Muslim Gold Star family—whatever he thinks will work.

Jews aren’t on Trump’s target list. His son-in-law and grandkids are Jewish. His daughter, Ivanka, is a Jewish convert. But Trump’s habit of retweeting alt-right material—Hillary Clinton with a Star of David, for instance—has immersed him in the muck of anti-Semitism. And in the past few days, Trump has turned to an ideology of global conspiracy that resembles the speeches of a certain politician from a century ago.

For Trump, the principal enemy is Muslims. He blames Muslim Americans collectively for domestic terrorism—falsely claiming, for instance, that many of them saw but didn’t report the preparations for last year’s attack in San Bernardino, California—and says we should never have let their parents into the country. For Hitler, the interlopers were Jews. Speaking in Munich on July 28, 1922, he lamented that they had been given German citizenship. Jews “have always formed and will form a state within the state,” said Hitler. That’s uncomfortably close to Trump’s warnings about Sharia in the United States.

Jews may not be “on Trump’s target list,” but they are on Steve Bannon’s; and it’s obvious that he’s in charge of Trump’s speeches now. Let’s not forget that Bannon and other white supremacists have openly said that they think they can influence Trump to do their bidding. Saletan goes on to compare some of Trump’s speeches to Hitler’s. Read about it at Slate.


Now, as an antidote to all this Trump hate, please read this article–also at Slate–by L.V. Anderson: Forget This “Hillary Is Unlikable” Stuff. Hillary Is Downright Inspiring.

Expectations for this election have become so warped that the primary conclusions media commentators took away from the second debate were that it had been an ugly, uninspiring affair and that Trump didn’t lose. Let’s set aside the absurdity that a man who brought up his own tax scandal unbidden, who threatened to jail his opponent, who betrayed his absolute ignorance of the nuances of the war in Syria, and whose best zinger amounted to recalling that Abraham Lincoln’s nickname was “Honest Abe” somehow fought to a draw with his opponent. Trump was as ugly and uninspiring as usual. But here’s what people haven’t been saying in the days since the debate: Hillary was inspiring as all get out….

Put yourself in Hillary’s shoes for a moment. You’re 68 years old. You have spent decades—decades—in the public eye, absorbing criticism from every possible angle. Your opponent is an impulsive, amoral ignoramus with a long history of humiliating women. He has made it his strategy during this debate to dredge up what are probably the darkest moments of your personal life—your husband’s affairs and alleged sexual assaults—as evidence of your failures as a wife and as a woman. He has brought three of these women to sit in the front row during the debate in an attempt to throw you off guard and cow you into submission. He literally tells you to your face that he will imprison you if he wins the election.

What would you do? If I were Hillary, I would blubber incomprehensibly through my rage-tears for the duration of the debate, if I lasted onstage that long. What did Hillary do? She stood tall and looked comfortable. She listened carefully to the voters who were asking her questions and offered them empathetic, intelligent, and articulate answers. She serenely and thoughtfully enumerated the character faults that make Trump unfit for office. She laughed it off when Trump insulted her in the most personal of terms. And at the end, she complimented him on his children. Never mind that his children don’t really deserve that compliment—Hillary responded to undeniably sexist personal attacks that are unprecedented in the history of modern American politics with an inspiring level of grace and poise.

Exactly. And when Hillary is POTUS Americans will again see her positively as they did when she was a Senator and then Secretary of State.


Then check out this humorous column by Alexandra Petri at the WaPo: The hideous, diabolical truth about Hillary Clinton. It’s written in the form of a chronological bio based on the right-wing conspiracies about her. Here are the first few paragraphs:

Before Time, Before the Earth Was Made, Before Matter and Being and History: Hillary Clinton (Lucifer, Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies, Prince of Darkness, Satan, She Whose Many Names the Cats Scream in the Night) is cast out of heaven for overweening hubris. She is condemned to lie in eternal torment in a lake of fire surrounded by her fallen angels, or, alternatively, to run for a major office while female. For thousands of years she lies outside time, smelling of sulfur, before deciding to undertake the second option.

Oct. 26, 1947: Hillary Clinton, a robot, is constructed by Saul Alinsky, then slipped into a bassinet and delivered to the Rodham house, where it stores its Six Human, Relatable Memories of squeegeeing, family life and honest toil.

Fall 1965: The young Hillary Clinton is replaced by a new model, this one with glasses. It retains only one of the memories, the squeegeeing. It attends Wellesley, where it decorates itself with spectacles and what conservative commentators will later describe as ONE VAST AND HIDEOUS EYEBROW LIKE A CATERPILLAR IN WHICH MANY WELSH MINERS COULD BE TRAPPED AND LOST AS IN A HORRID, THORNY FOREST.

Spring 1969: Hillary Clinton graduates from Wellesley, although first she gets in touch with Alinsky and his mentor, Satan. She fails to mention at the first meeting that she, too, is Satan, and then once they know each other it seems too awkward to bring it up. As a consequence, the Devil mentors Herself for many decades, wasting everyone’s time and effort. She also founds the Islamic State. She will toil for many years in secret on this passion project, keeping it even from Bill, whom she is about to meet. Once, during his presidency, he will ask, “Is there anything I should know about, Hills?” and she will shrug and say, “Nah.” A bit confusingly, she also begins to fight the Islamic State, which she will spend her entire adult life doing.

Please read the rest at the link.

So . . . what stories are you following? And how are you dealing with election stress? Be sure to take some for yourself this weekend.