Live Blogging and Watch Party of Day One DNC Speakers

MichelleObamaGood Evening Sky Dancers!

We’re getting ready to watch some of the Evening Speakers after an interesting opener.  I’m not sure what’s to be gained by shouting down an Opening Prayer and Elijah Cummings but it’s happened.  I’ve got a little video comment on that right here except it’s not Female Trouble. It’s more like BernieBro trouble.

Via: Wonkette:

fuck you and fuck you and you? go fuck yourself

STOP YELLING OVER ELIJAH CUMMINGS AND SHOW SOME GODDAMNED RESPECT

Plus a little bit of Plum Line and Paul Waldman right here.

As you may have heard, there already seem to be many more protests from the left around the Democratic convention than there were around the Republican convention. If it seems strange to you that leftists would be protesting not the candidate who wants to deport 11 million people, ban Muslims from entering the country and roll back civil rights gains for gay Americans, but the candidate who wants to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, expand Social Security and enact universal child care, well, that would only mean that you’re unfamiliar with leftist politics. For a certain kind of activist on the left, the real enemy is never the right; it’s always the liberals who are insufficiently committed to their brand of revolution.

And this is what’s important to understand about the protests now going on: They aren’t Democrats fighting with Democrats. I wasn’t able to go to Philadelphia this week, so I’d encourage the reporters who are there and are covering the anti-Clinton protests to ask those participating a simple question: Do you consider yourself a Democrat? Because I’m fairly certain that they’ll find almost no one who says yes. This is even true of some of the people who are Bernie Sanders delegates; they got involved in the Sanders campaign, but they weren’t Democrats before this election began and they won’t be after it’s over. We’ve seen this at the highest levels: Consider that Sanders appointed Cornel West to the Democrats’ platform committee, and after helping decide what the party stands for, West promptly turned around and endorsed Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

Sanders can’t control his delegates and they’re no longer interested in his message. They’ve turned into Rage Addicts.  They’ve had their sacrificial virgin for the primary in Debbie Wasserman Schultz and they want more more more!!!!

Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders booed today as the former Democratic presidential contender told them, “We must elect Hillary Clinton.”

I’m just hoping that don’t boo our first lady who is speaking tonight in the second slot after Cory Booker.  Democratic+National+Convention+Day+One+K64ZylFIzCJl

The First Lady of the United States is set to headline Monday night’s event at the Wells Fargo Center. According to CNN, she is expected to discuss the role the president plays in shaping the lives of American children and why she feels Clinton, 68, is the best for the job.

Vice Presidential Candidate Tim Kaine has launched a Spanish media tour.  He’s been doing interviews with the nation’s Spanish-language TV stations.

Launching a Spanish-language media tour, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) vowed that a Clinton administration would begin work on comprehensive immigration reform “in the first 100 days” — echoing promises she’s made before, but never in such a setting.

Kaine, who is fluent in Spanish, taped interviews on Sunday with Univision and Telemundo, the nation’s largest Spanish-language broadcasters that are airing on Monday evening.

gettyimages-580031544A comprehensive list of speakers and topics can be found at The Atlantic at their live blog.

Sanders, who endorsed Clinton earlier this month, will take the stage on Monday. His appearance will mark a moment of coming together for the Democratic party. Sanders garnered an ardent following throughout the primary season, and Clinton has since sought to capture those voters’ support. But Sanders likely won’t let go of his agenda, even though he’s supporting his former opponent. In the lead up to the convention, Sanders pushed the party’s platform to the left, and he’ll likely advocate similar shifts during the convention. In an interview on ABC’s This Week, he said, “We have got to continue bringing people in, fighting for an agenda that works for working families and having the courage to take on the big money people who today control our economic and political life.”

Also speaking at the party’s convention Monday are Michelle Obama and Elizabeth Warren. The first lady has become a popular figure in the Democratic party and she is expected to endorse Clinton in her remarks. Similarly, the Massachusetts senator, who endorsed Clinton in June, will address the delegationand put her political clout toward helping elect the party’s presumptive nominee.

Here’s the best list I can find of a just who is doing what when at the Cleveland Fox affiliate.  I want to make sure listen to Paul Simon and Al Franken, old hippy chick that I am.  Sarah Silver man is also in that mix.  Hopefully, she is one of the Bernie folks that is all up for unity.

So, sit back relax, chill with something cool and let’s listen to topics like AN ECONOMY THAT WORKS FOR ALL, KEEPING FAMILIES TOGETHER, and COMBATING SUBSTANCE ABUSE.

Here’s the live feed via CSPAN if you can’t take the punditry anymore.

Here’s a live feed via Youtube:

 

 

 


Monday Reads: Let’s Party On!

Good Afternoon!! 13775518_10208996102160286_3629317989192247839_n

I’m looking forward to the opening Gavel of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia tonight.  Ohio Congress woman Marsha Fudge is the chair now of this DNC.  The other DNC is being chaired temporarily by Donna Brazile. Elizabeth Warren will be the Keynote Democratic Convention speaker tonight. Other speakers include Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), first lady Michelle Obama and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

It is rumored that Bernie Sanders will turn over his delegates tonight.  We shall see and we shall have an open thread for it.  I’m excited to hear  Booker, Michelle, and Warren.  Hopefully, Michelle will joke mightily on how she has already had her words ring through the RNC.

Meanwhile, as you may have noticed, we have a new front pager.  We’ve known her for a very long time as BlueLyon.  Today, she’s our woman on the spot in Philadelphia as an important member of Team Hillary Nevada!  She’s also been working since the caucuses with one of Hillary’s organizers that came to work with me in Louisiana so we’re getting all of our six degrees of separation connected!   I’m going to be working on the Florida general as part of Team Louisiana but if I get a chance to call up to Nevada I surely will. I’ve got that image of the front of  USA Today because Carissa is right there representing for Nevada and Hillary.

If you have an Apple phone. You can call and volunteer for Team Hillary and win cool swag. The Android ap is on its way. Check out the apple ap here. Help out those hard workers like Carissa Snedeker who are fighting to win a key state if you’re in a red state like me, or a super safe blue state like Boston Booomer.

I can’t think of a better way to welcome BlueLyon to our front page than by sharing the USA Today interview with her from Philadelphia. Well, that and to remind you that she is one helluva photographer too!!

“I’m so excited about the prospect that there could be children who are born who have never seen a Reno_Snedeker_Carissa_Clinton (1)white man in the White House as president because we’ve had eight years of Barack Obama and then maybe we go to a woman and it’s just the paradigm, it’s changes the conversation in a way that I’ve seen in my own lifetime. I’m a child of the ‘60s and ‘70s and, I mean, the horrific things that are happening now, but yet we have marriage equality, and we have trans rights and we’re talking about gay people where they’re our neighbors and they don’t have to hide anymore, and women can be CEOs and there’s no help wanted ads where “help wanted male” and “help wanted female.” I’ve seen all these things change in my life so I know that we can still keep making progress. I don’t want to go backwards, I want to go forwards. I want to move forward, and that’s why I do this.”

So, obviously she’s very very busy and will check in with us when she can!  Give her a great welcome and wish her luck!!!

So here’s a treat!!! There will be painted Donkeys all over Philadelphia this week.  I’m going to feature some pix of them. Fifty Seven Donkeys will be on display throughout Philadelphia.

Ed Rendell came up with the idea. Obviously.

A collection of 57 painted donkey statues will decorate Philadelphia during the months of July and August, the former governor and current chairman of the Democratic National Convention host committee announced today at a press conference. The point of the donkeys, he says, is to get Philadelphians excited about this summer’s Democratic Convention and encourage delegates to visit different parts of the city. We’re guessing it doesn’t hurt that the donkeys will inevitably inspire tons of photo-ops and selfies, too.

“You all remember the bulls or the cows in Chicago,” Rendell said. “I thought, what a great idea to have donkeys around town. … The host committee wants this to be a great convention for the Democratic Party, but we also want it to be a great convention for the people of Philadelphia.”

Donkey7-1000x562That being said, not all the Bernie supporters are getting on the Hillary Train.  I have a feeling we’re having similar problems to the ones we had in 2008 where Hillary Blogs got completely overrun by republican ratfucking Tea Partiers!  If you were with us when this blog turned from my personal file cabinet to a functioning blog, you’ll remember it well. I do believe those folks abandoned Hillary eventually and went on to hate her as much as they hated President Obama.  We were very critical of the President here–especially in his first term–because he seemed overly willing to give in to Republicans.  That being said, Obama learned a few lessons and he’s been doing great and we support him while still being critical based on whatever issues we care about.  We’ve been investigating Tim Kaine as part of that and are beginning to warm up to him.

The silliest kerfuffle of the day has been the Wikileaks DNC stuff.  My bottom line is this  on the very idea that an entire state or group of states can be rigged by the DNC.  I’m tired of freaking conspiracy theorists from the left and right wing. I don’t think people have a clue about the idea of rigging elections. Just because a bunch of us learned to actively dislike and not vote for a candidate running as a Democrat to Grift the benefits of party apparatus and then actively showing contempt for everyone and everything is not evidence of anything illegal. Party politics with its internecine infighting is always ugly. There are too many state and local governments run by Republicans for a Democratic political entity to rig any state election. If you want to get rid of the worst of it, fight to end caucuses.

Joshua Holland has this to say and I agree completely.  What worries me most is the idea that BostonBoomer discussed on Saturday.  Trump is beholden financially to the Russian state and most likely the Russian Mafia and it’s likely the hack was done for wikileaks by Russians.

You can’t prove a negative, but when you strip away the furious spin, the DNC leaks provide strong evidence that the DNC did nothing to influence the outcome of the primaries.

The key here is just how candid and unvarnished these discussions were. It’s abundantly clear that they never imagined that these emails would ever see the light of day. They are frank in their contempt for people like Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver. They don’t hesitate to say fuck this or that person. They are open in their discussions of how to respond to various accusations that they were influencing the primaries.

And yet, in almost 20,000 very candid emails among seven high-level DNC officials over a five-month period, there is zero evidence that the organization took any action to tilt the playing field. There is a single email where one staffer floats the idea of intervening in the primaries by questioning Sanders’ religious beliefs in the South, but that idea was shot down. (I think it’s obvious that guy should resign or be fired.)

You can’t prove a negative — maybe they used a Get Smart-style Cone of Silence to discuss rigging the primaries. But one would imagine that in such a large trove of totally unguarded correspondence, some evidence of active intervention would emerge if it were indeed happening.

Again, there’s a lot of spin going on here, including by Wikileaks itself, which has been tweeting links to banal documents with inflammatory editorial comments this am.

The leaks reveal two things that are being spun as evidence that the DNC wasn’t neutral.

First, it’s clear than over the course of the campaign, an enormous amount of bad blood developed between the organization and the Sanders camp. This likely dates back to the NGP-VAN brouhaha. The objective facts were that a Sanders staffer breached the Clinton campaign’s data. The campaign apologized for it, and fired the staffer responsible, but then cried foul when its access was suspended for 24 hours while they investigated how it had happened. Their frustration then grew noticeably when the campaign accused the Nevada Democratic Party of breaking its rules at the state convention — claims that have been widely debunked. Whatever one thinks about those incidents, neutrality does not mean pretending that you aren’t pissed off about constantly being accused of corruption.

Others are seizing on the fact that the DNC leadership seemed pretty sure that HRC would be the party’s nominee. The implication is that they were only so confident because they had a thumb on the scale. The problem with that argument is that if you surveyed Washington DC-based political professionals, it’s likely that 90+ percent of them would tell you that they never though Sanders had much of a chance of securing the nomination. That includes people who *supported* Sanders. I backed him and never thought he could win, and I know many other knowledgeable Sanders supporters who felt the same way. Neutrality doesn’t require either believing that all candidates have an equal shot of winning, or pretending to believe it.

The DNC Leaks would be a big nothingburger aside from the fact that they entailed a very serious breach of donors’ private data, including financial information.

Also troubling is the fact that some individuals or groups, perhaps allied with the Russian government and perhaps not, are very purposefully trying to intervene in the election in a way that might lead to the ascension of a fascist. That’s the part that should be really troubling.

So, I really don’t want to give much space too Trump but there are two links that I really minnesota prince donkeythink you should have for reference.  First, I’d like to just say that it appears that the hackers were Russian.

Is the Kremlin trying to throw the U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump? It sounds like something out of a spy novel. But many cybersecurity experts, as well as the Hillary Clinton campaign, are now saying the Russians are responsible for last month’s hack of the Democratic National Committee.

That hack has dominated the news cycle on the eve of the Democratic convention, and for good reason. The emails disclosed Friday by WikiLeaks are embarrassing. They show DNC chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, plotting to undermine the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders, confirming the worst suspicions of the left flank of the party. She resigned her post on Sunday.

But the bigger issue is who was responsible for the hack in the first place. Bob Gourley, a former chief technology officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency and now the co-founder and partner Cognitio, a cybersecurity consultancy, told me Sunday that he thinks the Russians did it.

“The software code that I have seen from the hack had all the telltale signs of being Russian, including code re-used from other attacks,” Gourley told me. “This is a really big deal. Some people in the community are saying this is the Russians pretending to be a hacker, then giving that information to Julian Assange is all part of an operation.” (Assange founded WikiLeaks.)

Gourley is not alone among cybersecurity experts. When the hack of the DNC was first disclosed in June, the security firm Crowdstrike alsopointed to the Russians. Crowdstrike investigated the incident for the Democratic party and concluded it was the same actor that penetrated the State Department, White House and Pentagon unclassified systems in 2015. Describing the code used for the penetration in a blog post, Crowdstrike co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch wrote: “Both adversaries engage in extensive political and economic espionage for the benefit of the government of the Russian Federation and are believed to be closely linked to the Russian government’s powerful and highly capable intelligence services.”

Virgin-Islands

Yesterday, folks were trying to say folks were trying to reignite the cold war.  Again, Cybersecurity and Intelligence experts say it’s the Russians not just Clinton Supporters.

Here’s a link which is from Reddit and contains the very troublesome, autocratic records, affiliations, comments, and foreign dictators of Trump.  I’ve provided a few examples which are just a few of us outrageous acts of war statements.

Trump openly calls for the U.S to commit war crimes and advocates for the murder of innocent women and children.

Trump doubles down after veterans speak out claiming U.S soldiers would not commit war crimes or torture children even if ordered to. Trump responds with, “They’re not going to refuse me. If I say do it, they’re going to do it.“

Trump on torture: “Even if it doesn’t work they probably deserved it anyway.”

Trump renews calls for torture citing public executions and mass rape committed by ISIS promising for the U.S to do the same, “fighting fire with fire.”

Trump says Geneva Conventions a problem and needs to be changed since, US soldiers are to afraid to do their job due to laws which outline the definition of war crimes.

Go check out the entire thing because if you ever need to convince any one we’re dealing with a fascist, this list will open your eyes.636041630797870281-071416-WIL-DNC-ART-JC00056

This other link is from The National: “Trump’s vision is one of exclusion and enmity.”  I have no doubt that this week in Philadelphia will be all about the opposite thing as we see the faces of all American and not just the angry few.

Historically it’s rare that the public isn’t warned about a would-be demagogue well in advance of their actual rise to power. Typically, this work is done by the narcissistic aspiring strongmen themselves. And in the case of Donald Trump, by now no American can claim they haven’t been put on ample notice about his character and intentions.

Last week’s Republican convention – a festival of rage, loss, anger and hatred – said it all. It was driven by vicious, personalised hatred against the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, as delegates persistently chanted “Lock her up!”

One of Mr Trump’s campaign advisers suggested she should be shot for treason. Ben Carson accused her, literally and with a straight face, of being in league with Satan.

Hysterical outrage was compounded by the relentless cognitive dissonance of a movement that, no matter how brazen, is moving so far beyond the bounds of propriety that it has cultivated some deniability. Virtually every important message was shadowed by some twisted doppelganger lurking visibly in the background and contradicting it.

Mr Trump’s main appeal is his alleged competence. He claims the country is being run by crooks, losers and idiots, three of his favourite epithets, and suggests that not only can he do better, but that “I alone” can solve the apocalyptic “crisis” facing the country.

But the convention itself, and the Trump campaign more broadly, strongly suggest he can’t run a bath. From plagiarism to high-level defections, tedious programming, stunning no-shows and a reliance on the candidate’s own children, rather than national party leaders, to endorse him, one couldn’t have wished for a more thorough refutation of claims of minimal competency, let alone excellence.

After more than a year of unprecedented, systematic dishonesty, Mr Trump posed as a champion of truth. “There will be no lies here,” he promised. It’s easy to tell when he’s lying: his body language, penchant for repetition, and, above all, his insufferable catchphrase: “believe me” are his sure-fire “tells” (unconscious admissions of deception). Whenever he says “believe me”, he knows he’s brazenly lying.

New-Jersey-Donkey2-940x540-937x540So, I’m going to end with something cheery besides those marvelous Donkey Statues.  Hillary has promised us a very different convention from the HATERPALOOZA we saw last week.

Hillary Clinton pledged that Democrats would offer the country “a very different kind of convention” than Republicans as she campaigned Monday in this battleground state a few hours before the start of her party’s gathering in Philadelphia.

“I’m very excited about contrasting our vision and values with what we saw from Donald Trump and the Republicans,” Clinton told supporters packed into a theater here. “He offered a lot of fear, bigotry and smear.”

Here is the link to the live stream from Youtube of the convention.  As I type, I’m hearing Spanish!!!

See you during the speeches tonight!!  We’ll be here!

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

 


Sunday Reads: The Run Around Open Thread 

Oh boy, what a night…

We had to unexpectedly drive to Atlanta International Airport last night to pick up a couple of Bebe’s friends who otherwise would have been stranded for who knows how long. 

They were flying in from Florida at midnight and originally planned to meet up with their mom who was supposed to be already there and waiting…having caught an early international flight after visiting family in Haiti. 

During one point of the journey we found ourselves in a busy section of Atlanta directly next to the airport. Running low on fuel, we pull over in my mom’s Mustang and I ran into the gas station to pay…waiting in line, not realizing the bullet proof glass barrier had two windows open for convenient and expedient customer service. (I must say, that fill-up went as fast as I could go…)

When we got back on the road, it was a lesson for Bebe…she witnessed her first solicitation by a prostitute. Two women in fact. It was very overtly obvious too, moving their arms our way…as if to get us to pull into the parking lot where they were standing.  I guess they saw the big Mustang engine hood vent and dark tented windows and figured….this dude is overcompensating for something. Easy target for sure. 

A few moments later…. Bebe witnessed her second proposition. This time by a “hooker” and her “pimp”…who were both dressed in what looked like white linen. Something snazzy and islandish    that you would expect on Miami Beach. He even has a suave white cabana hat tilted just right. 

Like the two previous women…these offers or suggestions were as bold and went so far as the man even hollered out, pointing to the drive way next to the woman in white. I guess it was the usual turn off for clientele? 

My mom was amazed at how brazen they all were…so out in the open. (You see, by this time another “lady of the night” made the same gestures of companionship. )

When we finally got to a red light, I thought for sure…the parties standing on the corner would be just as attentive to us…and you bet your ass they were. I mean, was it a Saturday night on the main drag near the Atlanta International Airport….or a Tuesday evening around the RNC in Cleveland? 

But this time we actually heard what the kind-hearted, helpful prostitutes and pimps were trying to alert us to!!!!

My mother drove away from the gas station, and never turned on her head lights. She had been driving that whole time without her lights on…and all those people were trying to tell the dingbat old lady cruising the strip after midnight to…turn on her lights!

The moral of the story being….ah, don’t jump to conclusions when it comes to a ho’s propositions in the night. They just might be trying to save your life. 

Oh boy, what a night…

Long story short, we left Banjoville around 6:30pm….did not get back in town and into bed until 5:58am. 

 I feel like the happy little handsaw has done a number on me, but I am still able to walk on my own accord. My mom’s hip went out and by the end of the excursion….she had to be escorted into the house by the three girls. (The evening was just too much for her old bones.) 

So today, the post is an open thread. 


Lazy Saturday Reads: Clinton-Kaine vs. Trump-Putin

rtshz26

Good Morning!!

I woke up this morning feeling very good about the Democratic ticket. I know I have been saying Tim Kaine is boring; but now I that know more about him I realize I was wrong. He’s not a screamer, and he won’t get the Bernie-or-busters excited, but there aren’t that many of those selfish jerks and they aren’t going to vote for Hillary anyway. But Kaine is a lot more interesting than I originally thought.

Here’s Hillary herself on why she chose him (from campaign email):

Tim is a lifelong fighter for progressive causes and one of the most qualified vice presidential candidates in our nation’s history.

But his credentials alone aren’t why I asked him to run alongside me.

Like me, Tim grew up in the Midwest. During law school, he too took an unconventional path — he took time off and went to Honduras to work with missionaries, practicing both his faith and his Spanish.

When he returned to the states and graduated from Harvard Law, he could have done anything. But instead of going to some big corporate firm, he chose to fight housing discrimination as a civil rights lawyer in Richmond. He and his wife joined a church, built a home centered around their faith, and raised three beautiful children. Then, after 17 years of practicing law, Tim ran for city council — and won.

Tim says his experience on city council taught him everything he knows about politics. To the people in Richmond, an underfunded school wasn’t a Democratic or Republican problem. It was simply a problem that needed fixing, and his constituents were counting on him to solve it. So Tim would do it. He’d roll up his sleeves and get the job done, no matter what.

He’s a man of relentless optimism who believes no problem is unsolvable if you’re willing to put in the work. That commitment to delivering results has stayed with him throughout his decades-long career as a public servant. So I could give you a laundry list of things he went on to accomplish — as mayor of Richmond, governor of Virginia, and in the United States Senate.

But this is what’s important: Tim has never taken a job for the glory or the title. He’s the same person whether the cameras are on or off. He’s sincerely motivated by the belief that you can make a difference in people’s lives through public service.

 

Emily Kadei at Newsweek (July 15, 2016) says Tim Kaine is not a “boring” choice.

Personable but unassuming, he’s not the type who, like Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, will engage in Twitter wars with Trump. In Virginia, he built a reputation as a consensus-builder, not a bold thinker, while governing as a Democrat in a traditionally conservative state. Dig beneath the surface, however, and another picture starts to emerge, one that’s a lot more colorful than the vanilla first impression. It turns out that this career politician actually has a pretty radical streak running through him: a fierce, Jesuit-inspired commitment to social justice and racial equality that was very much at odds with the consensus in his Southern state at the time he was building his career.

Kaine declined to be interviewed for this article, but in the past he has credited his deep Catholic faith and a life-changing year as a missionary in poverty-stricken Central America for his foray into public service and politics. Speaking to Charlie Rose in 2008, Kaine said the year he took off during law school to volunteer with Jesuit missionaries in rural Honduras “really reenergized my faith, it gave me a role model…it gave me a sense of mission generally and specifically and it taught me a lot about our country.”

He harkens back to the experience regularly, including on Thursday. Speaking at a community college in Northern Virginia with Clinton looking on, Kaine recounted, “When I lived in Honduras, the best compliment you could make to someone…was to say that they were ‘listo,’ to say that they were ready”—a reference to the Clinton campaign slogan “Ready for Hillary.” Showing off his fluent Spanish, he explained, “What ready means is more than just on time, it means well-prepared, it means they’re ready to get on the ballot!” The crowd roared.

clinton-kaine

Kaine spent 17 years as a civil rights lawyer in Richmond, VA.

Kaine’s time in Honduras also pointed the way toward the civil rights work he did in Richmond. It was there that he read the famous Martin Luther King Jr. line: “the most segregated hour of the week is 11 o’clock Sunday morning.”

“When I read that, you know, my experience growing up in a very white suburb of Kansas City, and not really knowing many people different from me, boy the scales really fell from my eyes,” he recounted to Rose. “I just decided whatever I did I was always going to try to make racial reconciliation a core of what I did.”

Kaine’s wife Anne is also a fighter for social justice.

Her father, former Virginia Governor Linwood Holton, made national headlines in 1970 by sending his daughters to a predominantly black school as part of a push to desegregate Richmond’s public education system.

Tim and Anne embraced a similar ethos in the life they built together in Richmond. They joined St. Elizabeth, a Catholic church in the low-income Highland Park neighborhood, at a time when few white people were part of the parish. Even now, the neighborhood is “mostly black folks,” says Rev. James Arsenault, St. Elizabeth’s pastor. The Kaines play an active role in the church, with Tim even being known to sing with the gospel choir from time to time. “I know they’ve been godparents for some kids from the parish and go to graduations and wedding anniversaries,” Father Arsenault says. “They’re friends, people call them Tim and Anne.”

After reading that, I can understand why Hillary chose him. His social justice Catholicism is a very good match for her social justice Methodism.

CoAiAV_WYAAzB3R

The USA Today Editorial Board: Tim Kaine is the right pick for veep: Our view.

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine is not Mr. Excitement, as he’d be the first to say, but he is the smartest vice presidential pick Hillary Clinton could have made.

Kaine is not going to fire up the Bernie-or-bust crowd and he is, there’s no way to avoid noticing, a middle-aged white guy  (58, to be exact). But he does have the virtue of checking every other box on Clinton’s wish list – starting with the confidence that, as she put it in an interview with Charlie Rose, her running mate “could literally get up one day and be the president of the United States.”

She called that her top priority. It is ours as well.

If resume is destiny, Kaine was inevitable. He is a former city council member, mayor, lieutenant governor and governor who has become a student of war and foreign policy in the Senate. As governor he even had to prove himself in the tragic role presidents must play all too often, as consoler in chief after a mass shooting (the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre that left 32 people dead).

Kaine’s political credentials are also unmatched. A former national party chairman and a former Catholic missionary to Honduras, he has never lost an election and has asolid approval rating in his state. He may not be Hispanic, but he speaks fluent Spanish. He comes from an important swing state with 13 electoral votes – more than twice as many as Iowa (home of another finalist, Agriculture secretary and former governor Tom Vilsack). And, key to Democratic dreams of a Senate majority, Kaine’s successor will be named by a Democrat — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Frankly, Hillary is not going to need her VP to be an attack dog against Trump and the Republicans. She will have Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and yes, Bernie Sanders to fill that role. Kaine is said to be very loyal and self-effacing; he will not overshadow her, and that is very important for the first woman to run for POTUS on a major party ticket.

Hillary and Tim’s optimism and competence will be a welcome contrast to the negativity of Donald Trump and the anti-woman, anti-LGBT, anti-labor Mike Pence.

Finally, Al Giordano loves Tim Kaine.

More tweets:

 

And on the other side of the 2016 presidential campaign . . .

The Washington Post editorial board: Donald Trump is a unique threat to American democracy.

DONALD J. TRUMP, until now a Republican problem, this week became a challenge the nation must confront and overcome. The real estate tycoon is uniquely unqualified to serve as president, in experience and temperament. He is mounting a campaign of snarl and sneer, not substance. To the extent he has views, they are wrong in their diagnosis of America’s problems and dangerous in their proposed solutions. Mr. Trump’s politics of denigration and division could strain the bonds that have held a diverse nation together. His contempt for constitutional norms might reveal the nation’s two-century-old experiment in checks and balances to be more fragile than we knew.

Any one of these characteristics would be disqualifying; together, they make Mr. Trump a peril. We recognize that this is not the usual moment to make such a statement. In an ordinary election year, we would acknowledge the Republican nominee, move on to the Democratic convention and spend the following months, like other voters, evaluating the candidates’ performance in debates, on the stump and in position papers. This year we will follow the campaign as always, offering honest views on all the candidates. But we cannot salute the Republican nominee or pretend that we might endorse him this fall. A Trump presidency would be dangerous for the nation and the world.

Why are we so sure? Start with experience. It has been 64 years since a major party nominated anyone for president who did not have electoral experience. That experiment turned out pretty well — but Mr. Trump, to put it mildly, is no Dwight David Eisenhower. Leading the Allied campaign to liberate Europe from the Nazis required strategic and political skills of the first order, and Eisenhower — though he liked to emphasize his common touch as he faced the intellectual Democrat Adlai Stevenson — was shrewd, diligent, humble and thoughtful.

In contrast, there is nothing on Mr. Trump’s résumé to suggest he could function successfully in Washington. He was staked in the family business by a well-to-do father and has pursued a career marked by some real estate successes, some failures and repeated episodes of saving his own hide while harming people who trusted him. Given his continuing refusal to release his tax returns, breaking with a long bipartisan tradition, it is only reasonable to assume there are aspects of his record even more discreditable than what we know.

The lack of experience might be overcome if Mr. Trump saw it as a handicap worth overcoming. But he displays no curiosity, reads no books and appears to believe he needs no advice. In fact, what makes Mr. Trump so unusual is his combination of extreme neediness and unbridled arrogance. He is desperate for affirmation but contemptuous of other views. He also is contemptuous of fact. Throughout the campaign, he has unspooled one lie after another — that Muslims in New Jerseycelebrated after 9/11, that his tax-cut plan would not worsen the deficit, that heopposed the Iraq War before it started — and when confronted with contrary evidence, he simply repeats the lie. It is impossible to know whether he convinces himself of his own untruths or knows that he is wrong and does not care. It is also difficult to know which trait would be more frightening in a commander in chief.

There’s a whole lot more of this kind of analysis at the link.

trump-duh-e1453305835771

Stephen Hayes at The Weekly Standard (!): Donald Trump Is Crazy, and So Is the GOP for Embracing Him.

Yes, Donald Trump is crazy. And, yes, the Republican party owns his insanity.

Fewer than twelve hours after Republicans rallied in support of his nomination for the presidency, Trump once again implied that Rafael Cruz, Ted Cruz’s father, was involved in the JFK assassination. At a press availability during an event to thank campaign volunteers Friday morning, Trump revived suggestions that the elder Cruz was an associate of Lee Harvey Oswald, Kennedy’s assassin, and that they two were together months before the assassination.

“I don’t know his father. I met him once. I think he’s a lovely guy. I think he’s a lovely guy. All I did was point out the fact that on the cover of the National Enquirer there was a picture of him and crazy Lee Harvey Oswald having breakfast. Now, Ted never denied that it was his father. Instead, he said Donald Trump—I had nothing to do with it. This was a magazine that, frankly, in many respects should be very respected.”

He continued: “Did anybody ever deny that it was the father? They’re not saying: ‘Oh, that wasn’t really my father.’ It was a little hard to do. It looked like him.”

Trump is still running against his GOP primary opponents! Read more at the link.

Quite a few journalists have begun examining Trump’s ties to Russia and his vocal admiration for Vladimir Putin. Some examples:

The Washington Post: Inside Trump’s financial ties to Russia and his unusual flattery of Vladimir Putin.

The NY Review of Books: Trump’s Putin Fantasy.

Paul Krugman: Donald Trump, the Siberian Candidate.

Jeffrey Goldberg: It’s Official: Hillary Clinton Is Running Against Vladimir Putin.

So . . . What do you think? And what other stories are you following today?


And the VEEP pick is …

Tim Kaine …

download (10)

So, Hillary plays the cautious card:  Vanilla Ice.

“Safe” seems to be Kaine’s middle name. The Spanish-speaking former missionary and onetime swing-state governor sits on both the Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees in the Senate. And while the Warren-Sanders wing of the Democratic Party may object to some of his positions on trade and Wall Street regulation, Kaine rarely takes controversial stands or makes painful gaffes, thus fulfilling the Hippocratic oath for vice presidential nominees: First, do no harm.

Kaine, for all the buzz about his chances, has been deeply self-effacing during the awkward public tryout process. When asked during a “Meet the Press” interview last month if he was ready to be president, he said no. “Nobody should ever say they’re ready for that responsibility, because it is so, so huge,” he said in what some saw as a tacit rebuke of Warren, who answered confidently that she is ready to be commander in chief when asked the same question by Rachel Maddow.

But Kaine’s humble, vanilla persona endeared him to Clinton. “I love that about him,” she told CBS News’ Charlie Rose in an interview earlier this week when grilled about whether he was too boring. Added Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a close confidant of the Clintons who has been pushing for his home-state senator: “If anything, he’s only helped himself through this entire process.”

Well, I know some “progressives” (GAWD I hate that word) who aren’t happy with this choice but at this point I just want Trump to disappear permanently from my TV set and country.   It’s not Kaine’s policies that will become law so, oh well. Plus, I think help with Virginia and the Rust Belt is likely more helpful than picking a few BOBs in already blue states.

Liberals say they are concerned about Mr. Kaine’s positions on global trade deals and Wall Street regulation. He has been an outspoken advocate of free trade and has defended the North American Free Trade Agreement, which many voters in Rust Belt states blame for the loss of manufacturing jobs to Mexico. He voted in support of “fast track” authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation trade pact that President Obama has championed.

He wasn’t my choice but Democratic insiders seem pleased or at least they are acting pleased on TV.   So, you can Google him and his positions.  He’s  center left and has done well for Virginia.  Nate Silver doesn’t think he’ll help with the election so he likely fits in with the Clinton comfort zone in terms of being a trusted adviser.

 Kaine has traditional credentials, having served as Virginia’s governor before joining the U.S. Senate. He’s young enough, at 58, that he could run for president himself in 2020 or 2024. He’s not especially liberal, but he’s no Blue Dog Democrat, either. He’s a white guy, although he speaks good Spanish. If Mike Pence is a “generic Republican,” then Kaine is a “generic Democrat.”

The difference is that Kaine comes from a swing state, whereas Donald Trump would likely lose Pence’s home state, Indiana, only in a national landslide. If you’re going to pick someone from a swing state, is Virginia among the better options? And how much difference does the vice presidential nominee really make in his or her home state?

Our previous research suggests that a vice presidential pick adds about 2 percentage points to his party’s margin in his home state. So, for instance, if Clinton would otherwise win Virginia by 3 percentage points, her margin would theoretically increase to 5 points with Kaine on the ticket. Not all VP bonuses are created equal, of course; there’s some evidence that VP nominees chosen from less populous states (for instance, Joe Biden of Delaware or Sarah Palin of Alaska) make more difference than those picked from larger ones. But Kaine seems like a fairly typical case: Virginia is a medium-size state, and Kaine’s approval ratings there are solid but not spectacular.

It actually takes quite a confluence of circumstances, though, for those 2 percentage points in one swing state to change the winner of the Electoral College. For Kaine to swing the election for Clinton, she’d have to be losing Virginia without him (otherwise he’d be superfluous) but not losing it by more than 2 percentage points (otherwise, he wouldn’t help enough). Likewise, she’d have to be losing the Electoral College without Virginia’s 13 electoral votes, but she’d need to have at least 257 from other states or Virginia wouldn’t make a big enough impact.1

What are the odds of all of that happening? About 1 chance in 140, according to our polls-only model, based on a set of simulations I ran early Friday afternoon. That translates into only about a 0.7 percent chance that a VP pick from Virginia would swing the election to Clinton.

And here’s a comedy break:

Discuss amongst yourselves!!!


Friday Reads: Voting is an Act of Citizenship not Philosophical Masturbation

d22c1faa57e65292fd7d8d4b059e66e4Good Morning!

I’ve pretty much had the television off all week.  I could only handle Haterpalooza in small doses of video and print. The Republican Party has no claim to anything any more other than enabling white supremacists, nativists, and bigots.  I am no longer patient with any one that is looking towards a third party vote.  Donald Trump is not a sane person.  He is not a mature adult.  He is a clear and present danger to the existence of humanity, this country, and the world. The act of nominating Donald Trump is a declaration of war on humanity, the US Constitution, and civilization.  There is no amount of blackmailing emotional, philosophical, or verbal gymnastics that you can do to justify a vote for anyone but Hillary Clinton at this point or you’ve just joined a war against humankind imho.

Here’s Ezra Klein from Vox on the man who wants to be Fascist in Chief.  Donald Trump has a dark, hell-realm filled vision of and for the 2004-11-02__bush-votingUSA.

Donald Trump is not a candidate the American people would turn to in normal times. He’s too inexperienced, too eccentric, too volatile, too risky. Voting Trump is burning down the house to collect the insurance money — you don’t do it unless things are really, really bad.

Here is Trump’s problem: Things are not really, really bad. In fact, things are doing much better than when President Obama came into office.

Unemployment is 4.9 percent nationally — a number Trump knows is far from a crisis, because it’s lower than the unemployment rate Mike Pence is presiding over in Indiana, and Trump keeps bragging about his running mate’s economic record. The deficit has gone down in recent years, and the stock market has gone up. The end of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars mean fewer Americans are dying abroad. A plurality approve of the job Obama is doing.

So Trump needs to convince voters that things are bad, even if they’re not. He needs to make Americans afraid again. And tonight, he tried.

“Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation,” Trump said. “The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country.”

As Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for Obama, wrote on Twitter, this was Trump’s “Nightmare in America” speech. The address had one goal, and one goal only: to persuade Americans that their country is a dangerous, besieged hellscape, and only Donald Trump can fix it.

83555807I have watched the Republican Party’s decline for some time.  It hasn’t been pretty.   But this is beyond ugly.   Last night was a parade of white supremacists, theocrats, bigots, and the worst the country has had to offer.  Any one that does not speak out against this cannot have the country’s best interests at heart.  They are simply acting out of some kind of selfishness and privilege that’s beyond my grasp.   So, now that I’ve quoted liberal Ezra Klein. Let me get you to the libertarian thoughts on the speech last night.  ” Donald Trump’s RNC Speech Was a Terrifying Display of Nightmarish Authoritarianism. The GOP presidential nominee had only one solution to every problem: Give him more power.”

Donald Trump’s speech accepting the Republican nomination was easily the most overt display of authoritarian fear-mongering I can remember seeing in American politics. The entire speech was dark and dystopian, painting America as a dismal, dangerous place beset by violent outsiders. In response to the nation’s problems, Trump had only one solution: Donald Trump, the strongman who would take America back, by force if necessary.

Trump framed the speech by painting America as a nation under siege from urban crime, terrorism, and immigrants. He talked of rising homicide levels in some cities. He warned darkly of terrorist and immigrants, practically conflating them with urban violence, and told stories of Americans killed by those who had entered the country illegally. The simplest and more straightforward way to interpret Trump’s speech was as a warning that outsiders are coming to America to kill you and your family.

It was a relentlessly grim and gloomy picture of America, built on thinly disguised racial distrust and paranoia. It was a portrait that was also essentially false. Violent crime has been steadily falling for more than two decades. Immigrants are less prone to criminality than native-born Americans.

But portraying America in such a dark light let Trump cast himself as the nation’s dark hero, a kind of billionaire-businessman fixer, unbound by rules or expectations of decorum—President Batman, the only one with the guts and the will to fight for the people.

Trump did not invoke superpowers, of course, but he might as well have; he had no other ideas or solutions to offer.

In addition to terrorism and criminality, Trump stoked anxiety about jobs and the economy, lamenting bad trade deals and the loss of manufacturing jobs. As president, he said, he would take our bad trade deals—especially NAFTA—and turn them into good ones. He did not say one word about how, or even what a “good” trade would look like, only that he would fix the problem. Trump promised to bring outsourced jobs back to America, and, as he has in the past, threatened unspecified “consequences” to companies that move operations overseas.

Trump’s entire speech was packed with threats and power grabs, details be damned. It was a speech about how government should be made bigger and stronger and given more authority over every part of American life, and government, in most cases, simply meant Donald Trump himself. It was an argument for unlimited government under a single man, for rule by Trump’s whim. He sounded less like he was running for president and more like he was campaigning to be an American despot.

John_F._Kennedy_voting_1960Our Dear Miss Brooks calls it the “Death of the Republican Party”.  He refers to Trump as the Dark Knight.   I prefer to see him as the Joker.

But if Trump is detached from the country, and uninterested in anything but himself, he’s also detached from his party. Trump is not really changing his party as much as dissolving it.

A normal party has an apparatus of professionals, who have been around for a while and who can get things done. But those people might as well not exist. This was the most shambolically mis-run convention in memory.

A normal party is united by a consistent belief system. For decades, the Republican Party has stood for a forward-looking American-led international order abroad and small-government democratic capitalism at home.

Trump is decimating that, too, along with the things Republicans stood for: NATO, entitlement reform, compassionate conservatism and the relatively open movement of ideas, people and trade.

50554769Another long time Republican crony has quit the Republican party.  Daniel Pipes joins the likes of Mary Matalin on the rat swim away from the ship.

The Republican Party nominated Donald Trump as its candidate for president of the United States – and I responded by ending my 44-year GOP membership.

Here’s why I bailed, quit, and jumped ship:

First, Trump’s boorish, selfish, puerile, and repulsive character, combined with his prideful ignorance, his off-the-cuff policy making, and his neo-fascistic tendencies make him the most divisive and scary of any serious presidential candidate in American history. He is precisely “the man the founders feared,” in Peter Wehner’s memorable phrase. I want to be no part of this.

Second, his flip-flopping on the issues (“everything is negotiable”) means that, as president, he has the mandate to do any damn thing he wants. This unprecedented and terrifying prospect could mean suing unfriendly reporters or bulldozing a recalcitrant Congress. It could also mean martial law. Count me out.

There are more reasons.  Go check it out.

This is what happens when you sell your soul to angry bigots to pass tax cuts for the very wealthy.  I should be dancing on a lot of graves–happily Roger Ailes is gone from Fox because the Barbie Army turned him in–but I can’t dance. I can’t celebrate.  I can only stand here with my hair on fire and scream.

I’ve got so many places to send you for folks writing about how horrified they were by last night and nixon votingthe entire week.  I’m going to let my friend Peter rep for them.  Peter, I know this goes a step beyond “fair usage” but damn you Godwinned and you Godwinned appropriately.

I am obviously biased: I hate Donald Trump and am appalled that this sociopath has won a major party nomination. Following Trump closely has led me to modify my belief in Godwin’s Law. Here’s a rough paraphrase of it: mention the Nazis in an argument and you lose. I’ve always avoided Nazi and Fascist comparisons, believing them to be hyperbolic: who was worse than Hitler, after all?While I still don’t anticipate an American holocaust in the unlikely event that Trump is elected, I have to place Godwin’s Law on the back burner for the duration of the campaign. Donald Trump and his supporters represent the dark side of the American psyche and must be stopped.

On to the speech, I thought it was, in equal parts, horrible and horrifying. It was dark, brooding, and jumbled. The delivery was LOUD and wildly OTT. I felt bludgeoned after being screamed at for 76 minutes as well as depressed by listening to a speech that didn’t describe the America I live in.In between accusing Hillary Clinton and James Comey of crimes against the state, Trump told us to be scared, very scared. Even the ostensibly “uplifting” parts were stepped on by Trump’s red-faced, angry, and shouty delivery. I have my doubts that the American people want to be screamed at for four years. It will be bad enough to be shouted at for the next 3 1/2 months.

In substance, tone and delivery, it was a white nationalist speech full of attacks on minorities and immigrants. Brown people scare Donald Trump and he wants you to be afraid too. The speech went over well in the anti-Semitic community as well:

David Duke @DrDavidDuke

Great Trump Speech, America First! Stop Wars! Defeat the Corrupt elites! Protect our Borders!, Fair Trade! Couldn’t have said it better!

 In addition to being delivered in a rather Hitlerian manner, Trump’s solution to every problem was himself. I am your voice, he said several times. Sounds like the Fuhrer principle to me. I wasn’t sure if he’s running for President or Dictator. If you saw it, you know it was that bad. The rest of the convention was funny, Trump’s speech was not.

No one will be surprised to hear that the speech was packed with lies and half-truths calculated to scare the living shit out of the audience. Politics USA has come up with 21 fact checked proven lies in the speech. I’m surprised it was that few. The audacity of mendacity should be the campaign’s slogan instead of Making America White Great Again.

Please notice the number of likes from last night on the David Duke Tweet and start being very afraid.

I’m going to make this short because I expect there will be another post up shortly announcing the VEEP choice of Clinton and it deserves a stand alone post.

Just rant away here because I know I feel a strong need to rant and cry. Here are some associated links.

Twitter Rants via Salon.

World Reaction via CNN.

The One Reaction Every one should have via The Root.

Celebrity Reaction via CBS  (Yeah, how the great have fallen… poor Uncle Walter.)

NPR Fact Checks the speech.  (Shorter NPR:  Lies and Bigotry)

Oy.  Just. OY.


Thursday Reads

1076409-11-20160720194724

Good Afternoon!!

This is what we’ve come to folks. We have a nominee of a major political party and his surrogates calling for the opposition candidate to be thrown in prison, hanged, or shot by a firing squad. Talking Points Memo: The Trump Campaign is Now Wink-Winking Calls to Murder Clinton.

As our reporters on the ground in Cleveland are telling us, the “lock her up” theme of the Cleveland convention is pervasive. Signs, T-shirts, memorabilia – it’s pervasive. It’s not just a chant on the convention floor. The campaign isn’t just comfortable with it. They’re actively pushing it. We noted earlier that a New Hampshire Trump delegate, who’s also a Trump advisor on veterans issue has just said Clinton should be “shot for treason.” He’s now being investigated by the Secret Service for threatening the former First Lady and Secretary of State’s life.

But there’s a part of this story that’s been overshadowed by the shocking nature of what Al Baldasaro said. That’s the response from the Trump campaign. In response to Baldasaro’s attack, Trump Campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said: “We’re incredibly grateful for his support, but we don’t agree with his comments.”

09-donald-trump-bully.w536.h357.2x

I’m not sure why no one has referenced this. But this is the kind of statement one usually hears about a policy disagreement rather than a demand to murder the opposing party’s nominee.

Calls for violence or the killing of a political opponent usually spurs the other candidate to totally disavow the person in question. Frankly, it’s a pretty new thing for a prominent supporter of a prominent politician to call for killing opposing candidates at all. But the Trump campaign is still “incredibly grateful his support” even though “we don’t agree” that Clinton should be shot.

This too is not normal.

Maybe you didn’t notice her statement until now. I assure you Trump’s more rabid supporters have – or at least noticed the conspicuous lack of any clear denunciation.

Yesterday, Melissa McEwan had a great post at Blue Nation Review on the unforgivable media complicity in this : WE’VE REACHED PEAK HILLARY HATE (Thanks to Our Noxious Media). And she provides plenty of linky goodness.

The national media’s treatment of Hillary has never been great. Whether it’s endlessly discussing her “likability,” or casually referring to her as “Godzillary” or “a Lovecraftian monster, the Cthulhu of American politics,” or depicting her with devil horns, or portraying her as a towering man-crushing monster, or constantly subjecting her to Remember Your Place pictures, or saying she “must be stopped,” they have long been prominent purveyors of narratives about Hillary being History’s Greatest Monster.

But their coverage in 2016 has been a total disgrace. A complete and utter embarrassment, culminating with this now-scrubbed headline care of the Washington Post: In Trump’s moment of triumph, Clinton is in the crosshairs.

Not only are the WaPo’s editors evidently watching a different convention than the rest of us if they imagine Donald is having “a moment of triumph,” but where is their sense of decency that they would say Hillary is in “the crosshairs”? Using such violent rhetoric at any time would be extraordinarily cruel, but to do so in the middle of a national nightmare of mass shootings is truly breathtaking.

And the replacement is hardly any better: Trump captures GOP nomination as focus their fire on Clinton.

“Focus their fire.” This is truly unconscionable.

28329993115_d6bec2c8d6_k-1200x800

Melissa goes on to write about the media’s refusal to acknowledge the millions of people who support Hillary and are excited about the prospect of her becoming the first woman POTUS.

The fact is this: despite all the vitriol, Hillary is a popular presidential candidate. How can I make such a controversialclaim, in spite of her high unfavorables (ahem) and relentless articles detailing how unpopular she is? Because she won.

Because in winning her party’s nomination, she defeated Bernie Sanders, who himself was a popular candidate, by millions of votes and hundreds of delegates. Because she was a popular First Lady. Because she was a popular Senator. Because she was a popular Secretary of State. Because she has been the most admired women in the world for two decades.

And, no, that’s not hyperbole.

But you wouldn’t know that Hillary is popular, if you depended exclusively on corporate media for your news—because there is a seemingly endless parade of stories about how unpopular she is (whoops!); how unliked she is (bloop!); how little enthusiasm there is for her candidacy (uh-oh!).

There’s much more at the link, so please go read it if you haven’t already.

Tony Schwartz

Tony Schwartz

Also yesterday, Tony Schwartz, who wrote Trump’s bestselling book The Art of the Deal, discussed his experience of GOP nominee in an interview with The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer.

Schwartz had ghostwritten Trump’s 1987 breakthrough memoir, earning a joint byline on the cover, half of the book’s five-hundred-thousand-dollar advance, and half of the royalties. The book was a phenomenal success, spending forty-eight weeks on the Times best-seller list, thirteen of them at No. 1. More than a million copies have been bought, generating several million dollars in royalties. The book expanded Trump’s renown far beyond New York City, making him an emblem of the successful tycoon. Edward Kosner, the former editor and publisher of New York, where Schwartz worked as a writer at the time, says, “Tony created Trump. He’s Dr. Frankenstein.”

Starting in late 1985, Schwartz spent eighteen months with Trump—camping out in his office, joining him on his helicopter, tagging along at meetings, and spending weekends with him at his Manhattan apartment and his Florida estate. During that period, Schwartz felt, he had got to know him better than almost anyone else outside the Trump family. Until Schwartz posted the tweet, though, he had not spoken publicly about Trump for decades. It had never been his ambition to be a ghostwriter, and he had been glad to move on. But, as he watched a replay of the new candidate holding forth for forty-five minutes, he noticed something strange: over the decades, Trump appeared to have convinced himself that he had written the book. Schwartz recalls thinking, “If he could lie about that on Day One—when it was so easily refuted—he is likely to lie about anything.”

It seemed improbable that Trump’s campaign would succeed, so Schwartz told himself that he needn’t worry much. But, as Trump denounced Mexican immigrants as “rapists,” near the end of the speech, Schwartz felt anxious. He had spent hundreds of hours observing Trump firsthand, and felt that he had an unusually deep understanding of what he regarded as Trump’s beguiling strengths and disqualifying weaknesses. Many Americans, however, saw Trump as a charmingly brash entrepreneur with an unfailing knack for business—a mythical image that Schwartz had helped create. “It pays to trust your instincts,” Trump says in the book, adding that he was set to make hundreds of millions of dollars after buying a hotel that he hadn’t even walked through.

In the subsequent months, as Trump defied predictions by establishing himself as the front-runner for the Republican nomination, Schwartz’s desire to set the record straight grew. He had long since left journalism to launch the Energy Project, a consulting firm that promises to improve employees’ productivity by helping them boost their “physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual” morale. It was a successful company, with clients such as Facebook, and Schwartz’s colleagues urged him to avoid the political fray. But the prospect of President Trump terrified him. It wasn’t because of Trump’s ideology—Schwartz doubted that he had one. The problem was Trump’s personality, which he considered pathologically impulsive and self-centered.

516W6PY-hvL._SX300_BO1,204,203,200_

Please go read the whole thing. As soon as the article was published, Trump sent him a “cease and desist letter.” and demanded that Schwarz return all of his royalties from the book.

You may have seen Rachel Maddow’s interview with Schwartz last night in which he called Trump “a black hole,” and a “sociopath.” Steve Benen writes:

Schwartz is eager to tell the public about what he learned about Trump after their collaboration.
As Rachel discovered last night, Trump’s lawyers have a different plan in mind.
Tony Schwartz, ghostwriter of Donald Trump’s book “The Art of the Deal,” told MSNBC Wednesday that the Trump campaign sent him a cease and desist letter in response to his comments about the Republican candidate.
Schwartz, a former journalist, was employed by Trump to ghostwrite his memoir in 1987. In an interview with MSNBC, Schwartz described the Republican candidate for president as “having no heart and no soul.”

“This notion that I didn’t write the book is so preposterous,” Schwartz added. “You know, I am not certain that Donald Trump read every word, but I’m sure certain that I wrote every word. And he made a few red marks on the manuscript and sent it back to me, and the rest was history. The idea that he would dispute that is part of why I felt I had to come forward. The notion that if he could lie about that he could lie about anything.”

Benen says the New Yorker article is a must-read, and I agree wholeheartedly.

More stories to check out:

TPM: Ted Turns the Tables on Trump–Hard.

NYT: Donald Trump Sets Conditions for Defending NATO Allies Against Attack.

CNN: Defiant Ted Cruz stands by refusal to endorse Trump after being booed during convention speech.

Jonathan Chait: Republicans in Chaos Must Decide Whether to Elect a Madman.

Slate: Newt Gingrich Probably Just Gave the Last Major Speech of His Career.

HuffPo: Tim Kaine Calls To Deregulate Banks As He Campaigns To Be Clinton’s VP.

NYT: Bill Clinton Said to Back Virginia’s Tim Kaine for Vice President.

NBC News: Cops Shoot Unarmed Caregiver With His Hands Up While He Helps Man.

The Guardian: Roger Ailes accused of harassment by at least 20 women, attorneys say.

What else is happening? Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread and have a tremendous Thursday!