Sunday Reads: Cracker Barrel Election

Good Afternoon



Oh yes, late again.

Well, last night Alec Baldwin gave another portrayal of Trump.  ‘Settle down, entire planet’: Tom Hanks kills it as Chris Wallace in SNL’s 3rd Trump/Clinton debate




On the serious note:

It only seems natural that we should feature this article after Hilary’s impassioned debate answer on abortion from earlier this week….Police launch inquiry into death of woman ‘refused’ an abortion by Sicilian doctors | World news | The Guardian

Italian police are investigating a dozen doctors at a Sicilian hospital after the family of a 32-year-old woman who died after a miscarriage claimed she was not given adequate medical attention. The family says that her doctor had professed moral objections to abortion.

The death of Valentina Milluzzo, who was five months pregnant with twins when she miscarried and fell ill, has reignited a debate across Italy about the high number of gynaecologists and obstetricians who refuse to provide abortions. As a result, women may not get the medical attention they require in emergency situations.

The investigation into the Cannizzaro obstetrics and gynaecology hospital in Catania on the east coast of Sicily was opened after the family of Milluzzo, who became pregnant through in-vitro fertilisation, said a doctor refused to intervene even though her life was at risk.

Milluzzo had been admitted to the hospital two weeks earlier, after going into premature labour. After the death of one of the foetuses, Milluzzo reportedly became very ill and her blood pressure dropped rapidly. Her family asked for the other foetus to be aborted but say her doctor refused. Milluzzo died within hours on 16 October of septic shock.

You can read more at the link. Warning, the discussion of how much pain this poor woman went through before she died is beyond anything you may want to read today.

Sticking with the theme of control over a woman. Here is something that should make your move from horrified anger to disgusted anger. Woman appeals ruling that 96 days in jail was constitutional – NY Daily News

A Mississippi woman who spent nearly 100 days in a county jail without an offer of bail or a lawyer is appealing a court’s decision that the lengthy incarceration was not an infringement on her civil rights.

Jessica Jauch was held in the Choctaw County jail for nearly three months on a drug warrant for allegedly selling $40 worth of Xanax to an informant.

Jauch was released from jail after finally obtaining legal representation and a secretly recorded video proved that she had been framed for the petty drug crime.

The 34-year-old mother sued the county jail and its sheriff, Cloyd Halford, charging that she was deprived of her constitutional rights to bail, legal representation, a speedy trial and liberty.

A federal judge dismissed the suit against the Choctaw County and Sheriff Halford, however, arguing that because Jauch had been indicted by a grand jury, she was not entitled to those rights.

Civil liberties advocates blasted the federal judge’s decision.

“At the end of the day, you’re an innocent person, being held in a jail, awaiting the opportunity to prove your innocence. The default position is release. And we’ve flipped it, we’ve turned it on its head.” said Cliff Johnson, an attorney with the MacArthur Justice Center who has sued Mississippi localities in similar cases.

More on this case here:

Jailed 96 days on bogus charge: It is no one’s fault? – The Washington Post

To put that into perspective, remember this story:

Father who ‘repeatedly raped his 12-year old daughter’ gets 60-day sentence. Fury erupts. – The Washington Post

As the judge in the Stanford rape case learned, along with the judge in the “affluenza” drunken driving case, the whole world is watching them. A crowd, an angry crowd, can form in a matter of days of people outraged by what they consider a lenient sentence for a heinous crime.

In the case of Judge John McKeon, as of early morning Wednesday, almost 20,000 people had signed a petition calling for his impeachment for the 60-day sentence he gave a Glasgow, Mont., man who pleaded guilty to repeatedly raping his prepubescent daughter.

“A father repeatedly raped his 12-year old daughter,” Valley County Attorney Dylan Jensen said during an Oct. 4 sentencing hearing.

“It’s time to start punishing the judges who let these monsters walk our streets,” read the petition.

Prosecutors had recommended a mandatory 25-year sentence, 100 years with 75 suspended, which is what state law calls for.

Instead, though, Judge McKeon handed down a far lighter sentence: a 30-year suspended prison sentence, which means the man will only serve it if he fails to meet the conditions of his probation.

Among those conditions, which McKeon called “quite rigorous,” was the requirement for the man to register as a sex offender, the Glasgow Courierreported. He also cannot access pornography and has limited access to the Internet.

In addition, the man will serve 60 days in jail, but McKeon gave him credit for the 17 days he already served, meaning he’ll only spend another 43 days in jail.

The Washington Post is not identifying the convicted man as it could expose the identity of his victim.

Montana Judge Faces Call For Impeachment After Incest Sentencing : The Two-Way : NPR

A state district judge in Montana is facing a call for his impeachment after sentencing a man who admitted to raping his 12-year-old daughter to 60 days in jail, of which he will serve 43.

A petition posted on the website calling for the impeachment of the Valley County, Mont., district court judge, John McKeon, has more than 55,000 signatures. The petition states, “Judge McKeon did not uphold the responsibility of ensuring justice as he is required to in his elected position.”

This is not the first time in Montana that outrage has followed a sentence for raping a child. Earlier this year, the state Supreme Courtleft intact a 10-year sentence for a man who raped a 14-year-old girl. He had originally been sentenced to just one month in prison by a different state judge.

According to the National Center for State Courts, to impeach a judge in Montana two-thirds of the state Legislature must vote for it, or the state’s judicial standards commission may recommend it to the state Supreme Court.

This article from NPR has more details on the sentencing requirements…so be sure to check it out for more “explanations.”

Then there was this, Trump says he’ll sue women who said he sexually assaulted them | Tampa Bay Times

Yet, even as Trump praised Abraham Lincoln for uniting the country, Trump laced his Gettysburg speech with familiar charges of a rigged election and corrupt media, and a new promise to sue 10 women who have accused him of sexual misconduct.

“All of these liars will be sued when the election is over,” Trump said to a small audience at the Eisenhower Hotel.

Trump’s aides previewed the speech as a policy address that would highlight his first 100 days in office. But almost all of the promises had been made before in other speeches and press releases.

Trump is really, a giant asshole.

Since this post is running late, I have a few other links to share.

We lost two actresses this week:

Kathryn Adams Dies; ‘Saboteur’ Actress Was 96 | Deadline

Actress Cecilia Hart, Wife Of James Earl Jones, Dies At 68 | Deadline

And, it appears…Researchers Discover Physical Source Of Depression : HEALTH : Tech Times

Researchers are making headway in understanding depression, allowing for the development of better treatments, especially now that the physical source of the condition has been found.

In a study published in the journal Brain, researchers from UK’s University of Warwick and China’s Fudan University showed which part of the brain is affected by depression, identifying the lateral orbitofrontal cortex. As this region is implicated in non-reward, activity within that part of the brain leads to a sense of disappointment and loss when a reward is not received.

The lateral orbitofrontal cortex is also connected to the brain region involved in one’s sense of self, so when that part of the brain is activated, it also has the potential to lead to thoughts of low self-esteem and personal loss.

Additionally, depression is associated with low connectivity between the brain’s reward area within the medial orbitofrontal cortex and its memory systems, which could help explain why those with the condition have a reduced ability to focus on happier memories.

More at the link too.

That is all I have for you. This is an open thread. Have a good evening.

Live Blog: Alfred E Neuman errr Alfred E Smith Dinner

Good Evening!

article-2212029-155179de000005dc-760_634x817Thought we’d see if any one is going to watch the annual Alfred E Smith Dinner tonight. Any bets any which way to see if Donald Dumpf has any kind of sense of humor?  Will Hillary come in looking like Joan Arc with a sword, shield, armor and a tightly surrounded by secret service?

Rumor has it, his inability to take a joke or seven about him uttered by President Obama at the 2011 Alfred E Smith dinner caused him to hoist himself this year on the American people.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have some tough shoes to fill — could either of them take over President Obama’s role as comedian in chief?

With 19 days left until the election, they’ll have their chance to try out Thursday night at the 71st annual Alfred E. Smith charity dinner, where many presidential candidates in the past have taken a break from the vitriol of the campaign and make fun of themselves.

It will be the last time the two will share a stage before Americans head to the polls on Nov. 8.

Both nominees are slated to attend the 9 p.m. ET white-tie event at the Waldorf Astoria, which will air live on CBSN, that benefits Catholic charities and some of the neediest children in New York. The fundraiser honors former New York governor Al Smith, who ran for president in 1928 and became the first Catholic nominee of a major party.

mad3n-1-web We’re undoubtedly going to see some awkward moments.  What will the jokes actually be like at Cardinal Dolan’s little soiree?  The dinner has not always been friendly or neutral politically.

A charitable foundation that takes his name was launched in 1946, two years after Smith’s death, and over the years its annual dinner has become “a ritual of American politics,” as historian Theodore H. White put it, where candidates of opposing parties would come together for a few hours of comic relief at the height of an intense campaign battle.

But the white-tie dinner itself has not been free of controversy, especially for its host. Cardinal Dolan, for example, was excoriated by conservative Catholics in 2012 when he continued the tradition by inviting President Obama, whose stance in support of abortion rights and other issues outraged some.

There was some precedent for Dolan to punt on an invitation to Obama: In 1996, then-Cardinal John O’Connor did not invite either of that year’s candidates because he did not want to give President Bill Clinton, an abortion rights supporter who was running for re-election, a church-sponsored platform that tends to show the candidates in a flattering light.

And in 2004, then-Cardinal Edward Egan did not invite either candidate, President George W. Bush or his challenger Democratic nominee, John Kerry, a Catholic who supports abortion rights.

But, what goes down tonight is kind’ve a big secret.  Join us if you’re up for yucks and YUCK!!!!!Z

The dinner is such a ritual that it has its own episode of The West Wingdedicated to it. But there have been breaks in the tradition. In 1996, neither presidential candidate was invited. The official explanation was that the candidates were not able to confirm attendance, but it was widely reported that the Catholic leadership was dismayed by then-president Bill Clinton’s veto of a bill that would have outlawed late-term abortions. In 2004, the two candidates were not invited and there was speculation that it was Democratic nominee John Kerry’s pro-choice stance that was the issue.

 Trump and Clinton, however, are both expected to attend tonight, though neither campaign has shared details about what the candidates will say. A statement from the foundation confirming the candidates’ attendance promised that the two would “deliver the evening’s keynote speeches in the spirit of collegiality and good-humor that has become a hallmark of the gala.”
 In an election season filled with unusually harsh and spiteful rhetoric, some good-natured humor might be just the antidote the American people need.

We can only hope the secret service keeps Donald in a corner some where.2d77da7800000578-3276056-image-a-8_1445011722885

Are you ready?  Grab the popcorn and your sense of humor, irony, and patriotism!!!


Live Blog Three: He said WHAT?

14705733_10154121300228512_1700554752428959349_n-1I cannot believe what Trump said about Secretary Clinton. I am speechless about what he thinks about our nationwide elections brought to you by every state and county across this country to include many many many Republican elected official.

He actually said that Secretary Clinton was “such a nasty woman”.

He also just said that he may or may not abide by the results of our elections which he considers ‘rigged’ somehow.

All my children wanted to watch this debate tonight!  We wound up at the New Orleans Hillary Watch party!.

I’m now listening to the pundits being flabbergasted by the idea that Trump says he’s going to keep every one in suspense about Hillary’s winning the election.

We know that Pence said no to that. Even daughter Ivanka think it’s nuts.

He’s gone full throttle Conspiracy theorist now and shaken our democracy to  it’s root.

The best thing is he couldn’t physically intimate her this time.  She may reel in this election in a complete rout!


Wednesday Cartoon Cavalcade

Good Morning

Today all I can muster for you is cartoons….


10/19 Mike Luckovich: Long debate. | Mike Luckovich


10/18 Mike Luckovich:Trumped up. | Mike Luckovich]



10/16 Mike Luckovich: Trump pageant. | Mike Luckovich



10/14 Mike Luckovich: Good reasons. | Mike Luckovich




10/18/2016 Cartoon by Matt Wuerker

Cartoon by Matt Wuerker -

10/18/2016 Cartoon by MStreeter

Cartoon by MStreeter -

10/16/2016 Cartoon by MStreeter

Cartoon by MStreeter -

10/18/2016 Cartoon by Chan Lowe

Cartoon by Chan Lowe -

10/13/2016 Cartoon by Chan Lowe

Cartoon by Chan Lowe -

IT’S ALIVE: 10/10/2016 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - IT'S ALIVE

WWJSay?: 10/12/2016 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - WWJSay?

Religious? Right: 10/13/2016 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - Religious? Right

Debate 3 prep: 10/18/2016 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - Debate 3 prep

Locker Room: 10/14/2016 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Locker Room

10/17/2016 Cartoon by John Cole

Cartoon by John Cole -

10/17/2016 Cartoon by John Branch

Cartoon by John Branch -

10/17/2016 Cartoon by David Horsey

Cartoon by David Horsey -

10/16/2016 Cartoon by Matt Wuerker

Cartoon by Matt Wuerker -

10/14/2016 Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson

Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson -



10/10/2016 Cartoon by Matt Wuerker

Cartoon by Matt Wuerker -


Debate Winner: 10/11/2016 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Debate Winner

10/18/2016 Cartoon by Joe Heller

Cartoon by Joe Heller -


Election, BAD!: 10/16/2016 Cartoon by Tim Campbell

Cartoon by Tim Campbell - Election, BAD!

This is an open thread….

Sunday Late Afternoon Reads: One more day




Early voting begins in Georgia tomorrow.

That is what I am waiting for…

When I can cast my vote for Hillary.


So there is that. And here are your links for this Sunday, some of these I must admit…I have not read, I just can’t bring myself to read about Trump.


First up, SNL’s mocking the Donald:


And this time, Trump got all tweety about it:

Trump Trashes SNL ‘Hit Job’ in Tweetstorm About ‘Media Rigging Election!’ | Mediaite

Donald Trump went on another early-morning tweetstorm accusing the media and SNL in particular of trying to rig the election.

Last night SNL‘s cold open dealt with last week’s town hall debate and featured Alec Baldwin cranking his impression all the way up to 11––stalking Hillary Clinton like Jaws and acting shockingly insensitive.

This set Trump off on another Twitter rant:

Watched Saturday Night Live hit job on me.Time to retire the boring and unfunny show. Alec Baldwin portrayal stinks. Media rigging election!

Polls close, but can you believe I lost large numbers of women voters based on made up events THAT NEVER HAPPENED. Media rigging election!

Election is being rigged by the media, in a coordinated effort with the Clinton campaign, by putting stories that never happened into news!


Here’s the SNL sketch that finally went too far for Donald Trump – The Washington Post

Just a few more links on Trump:

At what point will Trump surrogates start believing women?

On Sunday morning, Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) told Jake Tapper on CNN’sState of the Union that the sexual assault allegations against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump are merely a “she said, he said” situation.

Tapper quickly interrupted her.

“Just to correct you, it’s actually a she said, she said, she said, she said, she said, she said, she said, she said, she said situation,” he said.

In fact, there are now 14 reported allegations of sexual harassment or assault against Trump.

Emphasis mine.

Maybe: 8 Societal Barriers That Make It Hard to Report Sexual Assault — Everyday Feminism

Like so many of us, sexual assault is an issue that hits me close to home.

Between the experiences of those in my inner circles, and the near inevitable student rape revelation that follows my college class on sexual assault, I’ve lost count of how many times this issue has come up in both my personal and professional lives.

But one thing I haven’t lost count of is just how many of those assaults I know were reported to the police. That number? A grand total of one.

And this lack of reporting is not just an anomaly found in my world. Plenty of people from all walks of life choose not to go to the authorities about sexual assault.

In fact, according to the 2012 United States Justice Department’s National Crime Victimization Survey, 60% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police. And an even higher rate was found by a British government study, which put their number between 75 and 95%.

Yet there is still a common belief that if someone is “really” raped, then the survivor would report the assault to the authorities.

That simply isn’t the case.

Emphasis not mine….read more at the link.

Kudos to the print news: US newspapers came up trumps on Trump where TV failed … | US news | The Guardian

This is an interesting turn: Umberto Eco on Donald Trump: 14 Ways of Looking at a Fascist | Literary Hub

Eco wrote “Ur-Fascism” for the New York Review of Books in 1995, a provocative and challenging essay about how to recognize fascism, a piece dismayingly topical in the face of Donald Trump’s ongoing popularity. But this is where the comparisons to Hitler ring hollow—per Eco’s criteria, Trump is most certainly a fascist, but he’s no Nazi. One of my German history professors, Elisabeth Domansky, someone who had grown up in post-war Germany, used to argue with American interpretations of German Exceptionalism, one of the myths that we propagated to prove that “it could never happen here.” More importantly for me in this instance, was her insistence that the Nazis were not “irrational.” They represented, she argued, the ultimate instance of the “rational” state.

This alone, the idea of Nazis as rational agents, would seem the roughest of methods by which to dismiss the Trump comparisons to Hitler without having to resort to an internet meme. Eco, on the other hand, gave us a perfect template for looking at the phenomenon of Donald Trump. Eco, too, argued that Hitler had a complete philosophy as a dictator. Mussolini had no such thing. “Mussolini did not have any philosophy; he had only rhetoric.” Mussolini began as a militant atheist, but embraced religion when “the bishops … blessed the Fascist pennants.” Fascism originated in Italy, and Eco stresses that to understand fascism, one must first understand that fascism “was a fuzzy [original emphasis] totalitarianism, a collage of different philosophical and political ideas, a beehive of contradictions,” … [run by men where] “few of them had the intellectual equipment to control it.” It does not make fascism tolerant—Gramsci, the one who taught us about concepts like “cultural hegemony”—died in a fascist prison. And yet, Eco also argued that fascism was a “rigid discombobulation” “philosophically out of joint” but nevertheless “firmly fastened to some archetypal foundations.”

And then, in order to bring some order to this primordial soup that was fascism, Eco offered “fourteen ways of looking at a fascist.” And it is in looking at these fourteen ways that the gallimaufry of Donald Trump’s press releases, speeches, and the rhetoric of his followers begins to feel contiguous with Mussolini’s archetypal fascism. (Only yesterday, Trump retweeted a quotation from Il Duce.)

In order to make these things clear, I spent more time than anyone should at Trump’s website. What I found was a host of contradictions, endlessly empty rhetoric, and outright fear-mongering. There were times when, reading Trump’s press releases, I began to wonder if anyone on his staff was aware of the basic concept of subject/verb agreement. To be honest, it made me feel dirty, reading it, but in the spirit of intellectual inquiry, here goes.

Take a look at the whole article, I only grabbed a few paragraphs for you…

I heard some Trump supporters: Kansas ‘Crusaders’ arrested for plot to bomb Somali community | PBS NewsHour

This is hilarious…NYC pharmacy introduces 7% ‘man tax’ for male customers

Today is Dame Angela Landsbury’s birthday!

She is 91 years old…


If you cannot see the embed, click the link above.

I’ve got another Facebook video for you, this one is about fire ants….as I watched this I could only think of one thing…Marabunta!


Last up for you, a few history articles:

This 2000-year-old helmet was dredged from the bed of the River Thames close to Waterloo Bridge & one of only three Iron Age helmets found in England.

The Waterloo Helmet is one of only three Iron Age helmets found in England and also the only horned helmet dating to the Iron Age to have been found anywhere in Europe. However, there are several Iron Age depictions of people wearing horned helmets from elsewhere in Europe. The  pre-Roman ceremonial horned helmet with repoussé decoration in the La Tène style, dating to circa 150–50 BC, that was found in 1868 in the River Thames by Waterloo Bridge in London, England.

I think this helmet has a place on top of Elmer Fudd’s head, don’t you?



Enriqueta Martí – The vampiress of Barcelona

The Linguistic Influence of the Norman Conquest (11th Century) on the English Language –

Abstract: In this paper I present some historical facts that took place regarding the Norman Conquest in England, then, I discuss the different Linguistic influences on English which appears to lend support to the fact that the French Normans had a major effect on the English Language. Evidence of some changes that took place on English as a result of the Norman invasion is presented, and finally I shall conclude with the fact that some views may not be as convincing as they were once believed to be. The claim that the Normans did not have any influence on the structure of English is falsified by Lars R.’s. (1975) analysis that proves the opposite, and which is discussed later in this paper.

Introduction: Before the arrival of the Germanic tribes, Celtic and Roman influences were already found in Britain. The English language had been spoken by a few in a particular area, and spread to being spoken by a larger numbers of people in different geographic locations, according to Gelderen. Despite the Germanic origins of the English language, French, Scandinavian and Latin influences are considerable and they make up nearly half of the English words. According to Barber, the influence of French in Britain was already obvious in the higher positions of society even before the Norman Conquest happened.

The Norman French became the language of government in England as a result of the Conquest, when Anglo-Normans replaced the native English nobility, according to Algeo and Pyles. As a result of the Conquest, the influence of French on the English language was clear with many French words replacing English vocabulary. It was not only that the word stock was influenced, but in Middle English the areas of idiom and grammar were also affected.
Click here to read this article from the International Journal of Linguistics

Sorry this was so late, my daughter was driving down a mountain yesterday when her car stalled (maybe from the gunk in the tank…who knows) she lost her power breaks and steering. At least she had sense to use her emergency break to stop the car from going over the embankment. It could have been so much worse. She has a slight concussion and we need to keep an eye on her, waking her every four hours to make sure she is okay. Anyway, have a good evening. This is an open thread.


Tuesday Reads: The Russian Connection


Good Afternoon!!

I’m at a disadvantage today because I’m writing this on a very old computer. I may not be able to quote from some articles, because they won’t open up all the way on this thing. But I’ll do the best I can until I can figure out how to replace my dead 2-year-old computer.

Like most decent people, I’m still recovering from the horror of that debate on Sunday night; and it looks like Trump’s behavior could get even worse over the next few weeks before the election. I doubt if Trump will stop even if he loses. We all need to take care of ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally for a tough time ahead for our country.

This morning Trump has been tweeting up a storm, and he sounds demented.

This one sounds like a threat.

There are a couple more about the “disloyalty” of Republicans, and Trump says “They don’t know how to win – I will teach them!”

It’s still hard to believe this new reality–a madman running for president of the US on a major party ticket. But this is our world now.

Russia is till releasing hacked emails from the Clinton campaign through Wikileaks, andby the media is eating them up. Fortunately, they are pretty boring so far. But it’s quite disturbing to learn that Donald Trump is getting them before they are published by Russian propaganda outlets. This is especially worrying after Trump claimed in Sunday night’s debate that no one knows who is behind the hacks or even whether there is hacking at all.


The Washington Post editorial board: Donald Trump, Putin’s puppet.

ON FRIDAY, while much of the country was preoccupied with the latest revelations about Donald Trump, the U.S. intelligence community made an alarming and unprecedented announcement: Russia was seeking “to interfere with the U.S. election process” through the hacking of political organizations and individuals, including the Democratic National Committee. The statement rightly alarmed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who said in Sunday night’s debate that “we have never in the history of our country been in a situation where an adversary, a foreign power, is working so hard to influence the outcome of the election.”

And Mr. Trump? Once again, the GOP nominee played the part of Vladi­mir Putin’s lawyer. “She doesn’t know if it’s the Russians doing the hacking,” he said of Ms. Clinton. “Maybe there is no hacking.” Mr. Trump is receiving classified intelligence briefings, so he is certainly aware of the evidence that hackers backed by Moscow have stolen email and other records from the DNC and tried to penetrate state electoral systems. So why does he deny it? Mr. Trump’s advocacy on behalf of an aggressive U.S. rival, and the opaqueness of his motivation, is one of the most troubling aspects of his thoroughly toxic campaign.

Experts differ on whether the Putin regime is trying to tip the election to Mr. Trump, as Ms. Clinton suggested, or merely to sow confusion and distrust about the integrity of U.S. democracy. But the leaks traced to Russia through the WikiLeaks website have been aimed at Ms. Clinton — most recently emails from her campaign chairman revealing excerpts from her private speeches on Wall Street. The timing of the WikiLeaks releases, clearly calculated to do maximum damage to the Democrats, confirms (again) that the website is not a crusader for transparency, but a willing political agent of the Kremlin.

(Emphasis added.) Click the link to read the rest.


In a speech yesterday in Pennsylvania, Donald Trump quoted from a false story released by the Russian government outlet Sputnik. Trump claimed to be reading a quote from Sidney Blumenthal (a Clinton friend with whom right wing conspiracy nuts are obsessed), but what he read was actually a quote from an article by Kurt Eichenwald. Read about it at Newsweek: Dear Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, I Am Not Sidney Blumenthal.

An email from Blumenthal—a confidant of Hillary Clinton and a man, second only to George Soros, at the center of conservative conspiracy theories—turned up in the recentdocument dump by WikiLeaks. At a time when American intelligence believes Russian hackers are trying to interfere with the presidential election, records have been fed recently to WikiLeaks out of multiple organizations of the Democratic Party, raising concerns that the self-proclaimed whistleblower group has become a tool of Putin’s government. But now that I have been brought into the whole mess—and transformed into Blumenthal—there is even more proof that the Russians are not only orchestrating this act of cyberwar but also really, really dumb.

The evidence emerged thanks to the incompetence of Sputnik, the Russian online news and radio service established by the government-controlled news agency, Rossiya Segodnya.

Trump/Putin 2016

As I wrote above, the quote was from an article by Echenwald that Blumenthal forwarded to John Podesta, and it was wildly out of context.

This is not funny. It is terrifying. The Russians engage in a sloppy disinformation effort and, before the day is out, the Republican nominee for president is standing on a stage reciting the manufactured story as truth. How did this happen? Who in the Trump campaign was feeding him falsehoods straight from the Kremlin? (The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.)

Read the rest at Newsweek.

Read Amanda Marcotte’s take on this at Salon (I can’t quote from the piece because of my old computer): Russian propaganda on WikiLeaks makes its way into a Donald Trump speech in record time. The Russian outlet Sputnik briefly published a misleading article, but Trump had it before it was taken down.

It certainly looks like the Trump campaign is getting fed leaks directly from the Russian government or it’s state-controlled media. Based on Trump’s behavior at the debate–claiming not to know whether Russia did the hacks–I have to question whether the CIA should be giving him any more confidential briefings.

At the Washington Post, Philip Bump makes the case that Eichenwald is assuming a Russian connection where there isn’t one. Maybe some conspiracy nut just told the campaign about it. Okay, but Bump’s own editorial board is concerned about the Trump-Russia connection and so is the US intelligence community.

I’m sorry to make this post so brief, but it has taken me hours to get this much done. I have more links for you that I’ll put in comments. What stories are you following today?

Monday Reads: Hillary Clinton is Every Woman

Good Afternoon!

Donald Trump should come with trigger warnings.  I believe that every person I know whose experience includes abuse from the archetypal domineering abusive boss, family member or love interest spent last evening into this morning with PTSD anxiety. While a few men believe that Trump held his own during the debate, the supermajority of women saw Hillary Clinton experiencing interaction with every awful man that’s ever crossed their path. 

He was the unwanted sexual predator that stalks you and violates your personal space to intimidate you.  He was that boss that mansplains and lies on topics he knows nothing about to you while completely ignoring your credentials and experience.  He was that teacher, that clerk, that waiter, that person who insists you’re crazy when you correct his lies and errors.  He’s the one that wants you institutionalized just because you inconvenience him.

I am still anxious and shaking this morning.  Jessica Samikow summed up a series of tweets from women during the debate with this pithy analysis.molly-ringwald-fuck-off

Clinton showed up prepared to act how women are taught we need to in order to prove ourselves in male-dominated space: She came armed with facts, kept her composure as to not seem emotional, and forced a smile when there was nothing to smile about. The democratic nominee was met by a man (if you could call him that) who interrupted her constantly to mansplain topics he knows nothing about, lost his temper when his ego was bruised, made light of his own rape-y comments, and lurked behind her intimidatingly as to imply: This is a man’s world, you’re just livin’ in it.

Last night, she was us in our continual struggle to be seen as moral agents, something other than property, and intelligent respect-worthy human beings.  Women’s tweets weren’t the only ones crying out for respect to humanity.  #MuslimReportStuff was highly enlightening.

Asked about the issue of Islamophobia, Trump said that while it is an issue, he said Muslims who come into the country must “report when they see something going on.”

The FBI says Muslims already do report what they see. This summer, the FBI’s director said “some of our most productive relationships are with people who see things and tell us things who happen to be Muslim,” according to Reuters.

In response to Trump’s suggestion that Muslims report what’s going on, several Muslims began to follow his suggestion. First, the following tweet went viral:

Those of us that watched were horrified.  First there was a parade of women that had accused Bill Clinton decades ago of some form of sexual harassment or assault.  The three women’s cases had been investigated and dealt with during his presidency. They were used like a human shield at the debate to intimidate and shame Hillary Clinton.  It was positively inhumane on all fronts. 

There’s an episode of the dystopian TV series Black Mirror in which terrorists force the British prime minister to fuck a pig on live television. As people gather to gawk at the spectacle, rambunctious prurience gives way to funereal sadness; the humiliation soils everyone who watches it. That’s what it felt like going into the second presidential debate on Sunday. Before it even started, Donald Trump had held a press conference with three women who’ve accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault and one woman, Kathy Shelton, who loathes Hillary Clinton because, as a young attorney, Clinton was assigned to defend Shelton’s indigent alleged rapist. Apparently hoping to get under Clinton’s skin, Trump put the women in the debate audience, and his campaign signaled that he intended to go nuclear on the Clintons’ marriage. In the moments before the debate started, the camera panned the members of the two candidates’ families, their faces strained and sad. There was a sense that something unprecedented and unspeakable was about to happen.

Clinton, despite rumors to the contrary, is a human being. She had to speak fluently about policy while being flayed for her husband’s sins before an audience of tens of millions. She had to appear unruffled while Trump, stewing and pacing, loomed behind her, physically menacing her with his bulk. He threatened to have her imprisoned if elected; she betrayed not a hint of rage or shock. She made, I think, a strategic decision not to fully engage with him, even if that meant letting some of his outrageous assertions hang there unchallenged. To me, she seemed a model of grace and poise, smiling through a disgusting ordeal.

b7ba8b22b57ea500b71bbf9ca43741e4Trump’s goal was to publicly humiliate Hillary Clinton. There are those that are saying that he failed including Greg Sargent at the Plum Line (WAPO).

It’s obvious that the Clinton campaign grasped that Trump’s paramount goal here was to drag Hillary down into the pig slop with him. Thus, she declined to respond directly to the claims about the 1990s, and instead immediately pivoted to a discussion of all of the other targets of Trump’s abuse and bigotry (she referenced his birtherism, his ridicule of a disabled reporter, his attacks on the Khan family and the Mexican-American judge, and his affection for belittling women). The message was that this isn’t about Clinton herself; it’s just another piece of evidence in the broader case that someone who is so bigoted, misogynist, hateful, and pathologically abusive is unfit for the presidency.


Perhaps the most ground breaking event was when the autocratic Trump suggested he’d order his AG to arrest Clinton.  This was something one sees in the Democratic Republic of Congo, not the United States Of America.  While women are focused on all the overt brutal misogyny of last night, the men seem focused on the clear and present threat to the rule of law, the Constitution, and to U.S. Democracy as we know it.

There is no way to sugarcoat this: At Sunday night’s presidential debate, Donald Trump threatened to throw Hillary Clinton in jail if he wins the presidency. This — threatening to jail one’s political opponents — is how democratic norms die.

The exchange happened during a discussion of the controversy over Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Trump began by decrying Clinton’s conduct — which, according to the FBI, was quite bad but not illegal. He then proposed appointing a special prosecutor to investigate her, and warned Clinton that, if he were president now, “you’d be in jail”:

TRUMP: I’ll tell you what. I didn’t think I’d say this, and I’m going to say it, and hate to say it: If I win, I’m going to instruct the attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation because there’s never been so many lies, so much deception … A very expensive process, so we’re going to get a special prosecutor because people have been, their lives have been destroyed for doing one-fifth of what you’ve done. And it’s a disgrace, and honestly, you ought to be ashamed.

CLINTON: Let me just talk about emails, because everything he just said is absolutely false. But I’m not surprised … It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law of our country.

DT: Because you’d be in jail.

This is so far beyond normal that it’s hard to even know where to start.

In democracies, we respect people’s rights to disagree with each other. When one candidate wins a presidential election, the loser returns to private life or another government position. In some cases, former rivals become close friends. George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, who defeated Bush in the 1992 election, travel together and have spent decades jointly raising money to aid the victims of natural disasters.

They don’t get sent to jail, because we believe that political disagreement should be legal.

Donald Trump doesn’t seem to care about all that.

In his last line — “you’d be in jail” — he is outright saying that he would imprison Hillary Clinton in office (if he could). This comes despite the fact that there is no evidence Clinton committed a crime in her handling of the email servers, despite lengthy investigations that found evidence of carelessness and dishonesty. That would be a politically motivated prosecution — retribution for daring to run against Trump and attack him during the campaign.

 A fact checked transcript is available from WBUR.  Trump spewed an avalanche of lies last night.  Hillary Clinton noted it9b5d636ff417660f0b304a870686c4e6 seemed beyond his usual 70% rate and fact-checkers assured us it was.  He spent an inordinate amount of time last night sniffing and yelling at Martha Radditz about how every one was unfair to him on the time.  Yet, at the end of the time count, he came out ahead by almost two minutes.

Still, the interesting thing was that the media appeared reading to declare Trump as having held his own or “winning” the debate until the female correspondents–like Joy Reid–pointed out the appalling visual of Trump stalking and intimidating Clinton around the stage.  I’m not sure how that Trump debate performance exceeded any one’s expectations.  It was like watching something from the Hunger Games to me it was so dark and dystopian. It included a run on advertisement for a Trump Hotel at the old DC Post office.  The content was straight out of Alt-Right fever dreams.

Here’s David Gergen’s take for what it’s worth.  It includes one of the few scientific post-debate poll results.

Whatever chance Donald Trump still had of capturing the White House largely evaporated Sunday night in his second debate with Hillary Clinton.

Coming off the worst 10 days of any campaign in recent history, Trump desperately needed a win in order to reverse his slide in the polls. He was indeed better than in the first debate and she was not as commanding. Even so, he blew his opportunity for victory in the first 20 minutes and could never fully recover. CNN’s poll found that by 57-34%, a majority of voters watching them thought she got the best of him.

His loss came through a series of bizarre moments. The first was his surprise pre-debate appearance with four female accusers of Bill Clinton. While a case can be made for re-hearing their claims of long ago, the event seemed like a stunt and Trump never made real use of it in the debate.

But more damning still was the way he handled the disgusting video from 11 years ago in which he made vulgar sexual remarks. Trump could possibly have achieved a measure of forgiveness if he had issued a sincere, thoughtful apology about his past as well as some ugly incidents in this campaign. But his apology was limited in scope, seemed slightly dismissive, and went off track when he mixed ISIS into the conversation.

On behalf of women every where …   b5f1b6a6fa66dc803802c1046cbca62c

and Delete your Damn Life.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?