Friday Reads: Rearranging the Deck Chairs in Das Führerbunker

Good Afternoon and Welcome to Day 32 of America Held Hostage by the RNC!

HBos-Game-of-Thrones-Season-6-Episode-10-The-Winds-of-Winter-Cersei-Lannister-sits-on-the-iron-throne-670x499When is an apology not an apology?

When the campaign mommy makes you do it and you can’t even bring yourself to mention all the folks you trashed,hurt, bullied and sicced the League of Angry White men on like reporters, women, and helpless children who just want their families to stay together, etc. This blatant, pandering play for the votes of suburban white women comes from the same Kellyanne Conway that tries to stop Republicans saying dumb things about women’s bodies and specifically rape and abortion. This woman makes Phyllis Schafly and Cersei Lannister look like your average fairy godmother.   Snakes would be embarrassed to compare their tongues with hers. They would definitely come up very short and straight.

Conway spent time on Hardball last evening patiently explaining how women were the real victims of abortion service providers and it was a matter of time before the wonderful people in the forced birth movement would get Donald to use the right code words.  That’s what it’s all about now. She also wants to unleash the inner Trump again but oddly enough it includes teleprompter speeches that appear to be written by Stephen Bannon and edited for woman appeal by Cersei Conway.

TRUmP_GOT_sceneThey’ve gone full throttle Breithbart while trying to fake it at rallies with teleprompter speeches to get educated white people and white women in the suburbans to ignore the Stormfront material and realize that Donald is just being Donald and just doesn’t select his words quite right since he’s not a real politician. She followed the ever-delusional Katrina Pierson in the increasingly-disgusting MSNBC guest schedule yesterday. Pierson diagnosed Hillary Clinton with Dysphasia on MTP Daily. Too bad the Doctor diagnosing the Donald can’t do another weird diagnosis and the fake one they tried earlier didn’t pass muster.  Meanwhile, Pierson–who actually works for Kellyanne now–spewed this weirdness yesterday.

The Trump spokeswoman was at it yet again, telling MSNBC’s Kristin Welker that Clinton is suffering from a rare brain disorder known as dysphasia.

In the MSNBC interview, after she tried to blame Michael Cohen’s #SaysWho exchange on technical difficulties, Pierson decided to diagnose the former Secretary of State with a rare brain disorder. Basing everything on fake reports from4chan,

In a later interview, the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza remarked that the Pierson segment “was among the five most remarkable” Pierson interviews he’s seen, acknowledging that while she’s known to say crazy shit all the time, this was truly off the deep end. He also stated that the hit showed that there would be no pivot, other than the Trump campaign is going to triple down on crazy.

Just to recap Katrina Pierson’s last week or so:

— says President Obama started the War in Afghanistan

— states that liberal reporters are “literally” beating up Trump supporters

denies that there was a campaign shakeup after Trump placed two new people into leadership roles

— diagnoses Clinton with brain damage

Less than 90 days left of this folks. I think we can make it. I hope so.

Kellyanne–when asked by Tweety if this tact wasn’t a bit ratfuckerish–explained that she wasn’t a doctor and wanted Trump to stick to the issues.  If that’sTrump the case, why don’t we see Katrina Pierson’s real unemployment check today?  Believe me, just watch an interview with this woman and you’ll realize what a twisted sister she really is. Actually, either of them–but especially Kellyanne –can spin a tale that sounds somewhat plausible if you’re into wicked twisted stepsisters.

Let’s sum up the possible folks who really deserve a specific apology instead of a generic mea cupa event meant to endear the press and confuse white women.

160817120243-kellyanne-conway-july-2016-large-teaseThe press seems to have a short memory but he’s really relying on key white voting constituencies to have even shorter memories.  Will this really make them feel okay voting for this small-fingered vulgarian?

Three and a half months after sealing the Republican nomination, Donald Trump pivoted to contest the general election on Thursday night, expressing regret for his past failures to “choose the right words” and delivering one of the most comprehensive, on-message rationales for his candidacy to date.

Speaking from prepared remarks on the heels of another staffing shakeup, Trump positioned himself as the champion of voiceless Americans against a corrupt and incompetent elite and the leader of an inclusive movement who repeatedly condemned “bigotry.”

His address, delivered at a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, presented the sort of message Republican leaders have been waiting months to hear. But with 82 days left until the election and early voting only weeks away, even a flawless sprint to the finish line may be too little too late for Trump to salvage his flailing campaign.

Early in his remarks, the New York businessman nodded at the months he has squandered, acknowledging that his own mouth had hindered his candidacy. “Sometimes in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing. I have done that,” Trump said to laughter and cheers from his supporters.

“And believe it or not I regret it. And I do regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain. Too much is at stake is for us to be consumed by these issues, but one thing I can promise you is this. I will always tell you the truth,” said Trump, who did not specify which words he regrets saying.

The press is probably more gullible than Walmart or Security moms.

 

Meanwhile, Paul Manafort has quit and will undoubtedly be facing a number of FBI inquiries.  Bye Bye now!!! Out the moondoor with you!!

773049206-else-von-moellendorff-berghof-collection-eva-braun-berchtesgaden-alps

Trump campaign chairman and chief strategist Paul Manafort resigned on Friday, following a staff shake-up this week that reduced his role in the campaign.

GOP nominee Donald Trump confirmed the resignation in a statement: “This morning Paul Manafort offered, and I accepted, his resignation from the campaign. I am very appreciative for his great work in helping to get us where we are today, and in particular his work guiding us through the delegate and convention process. Paul is a true professional and I wish him the greatest success.”

Meanwhile, lurking at the edge of darkness remains Stephen Bannon who put the Go in Goebbels.  Every one’s hair continues to go on fire about this dude including people that have worked for him as BB indicated yesterday.

A former Breitbart News spokesman slammed Donald Trump’s new campaign chief executive, Stephen Bannon, for allegedly using racistrhetoric during editorial meetings at Breitbart that he said sounded “like a white supremacist rally,” while a Trump ally calls the new CEO a positive addition to the team. Both men joined this week’s episode of ABC News’ Powerhouse Politics podcast.

Kurt Bardella, who worked with Bannon at Breitbart for two years, says the former Breitbart News chairman regularly disparaged minorities, women, and immigrants during daily editorial calls at the publication.

ABC News reached out to Bannon for comment but did not receive a response.

“If anyone sat there and listened to that call, you’d think that you were attending a white supremacist rally,” said Bardella, citing what he called Bannon’s “nationalism and hatred for immigrants, people coming into this country to try to get a better life for themselves.”

“This is someone who has a very low moral compass,” he said of Bannon, “and the idea that this is the type of person that Donald Trump, as the Republican nominee, as president, would have closest to him is very disturbing.”

Bardella joined this week’s episode of “Powerhouse Politics” podcastwith ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl and ABC News Deputy Political Director Shushannah Walshe to discuss the recent shakeup in the Trump campaign.

“I think it’s incredibly concerning and dangerous actually to have someone have this kind of influence with the person who is running for president of the United States, who would be a top adviser if he were to win the election,” he cautioned.

Bardella quit Breitbart in March in protest over how he believes the news organization handled allegations by then-reporter Michelle Fieldsthat she was manhandled by Trump’s campaign manager at the time,Corey Lewandowski. Police charges filed against Lewandowski in the case were later dropped. Bardella said he believes the Breitbart News organization did not defend Fields over the incident.

Politics-GQ-villiansWho would ever thought that we’d have an Epic Cartoon Villain and his team against Hillary Clinton this time out?

Donald Trump

Is the Lex Luthor of our time

When, exactly, did Donald Trump cross over—going from rank assholery into real-deal, can’t-not-watch, like-chugging-spoiled-milk super-villainevil? If we had to place it, it started after he called the good people of Mexico rapists, but definitely before he called for a ban on all Muslims. Because what’s so delightful about Trump’s villainy is how lazy it is—how drowsily he shifted from hollering about his BEST AND CLASSIEST campaign to pure, raw racism and misogyny. Maybe Donald Trump hates women, and Muslims, and our socialist Kenyan president. (Okay, he definitely does.) But the super-villain-y part is that he didn’treeeally hate them until it was politically expedient.

Trump is truly the villain we deserve in 2016—and not because he wants to take over the world. It’s because he’s after something far, far scarier: applause. — Sam Schube

Stay tuned.  It’s likely to get much worse.

As an example, check out the new Trump ad.

Last night, Donald Trump delivered a speech in which he spoke in soothing tones about the need to unify the country and expressed “regret” about any remarks that have caused “personal pain,” though he didn’t specify which particular remarks he regrets. This led some commentators to suggest that another “pivot” is underway.

This morning, Trump released his first general election ad, an ugly and dishonest production which shows he isn’t changing a thing.

In fact, the new ad is filled with precisely the same sort of dark, dystopian themes and content — and even some of the same sort of grainy, dark footage depicting illegal immigrants as invaders — that marked one of the first ads he ran during the GOP primaries.

Meh, more of the same!

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


Thursday Reads: Love Will Trump Hate in November

 2815Good Afternoon!!

Last night Dakinikat and I were talking about how the Donald Trump phenomenon is affecting us, and it dawned on me that it reminds me of what it’s like to live in an alcoholic family with an abusive and completely unpredictable father–only in this case it’s the entire country that is trying to deal with the crazy abuser. You never know what is going to happen next, but you know it will be incredibly stressful and emotionally exhausting.

In the case of Trump’s very public behavior, I never know what shocking news will greet me when I get up in the morning. If it’s a day when I write a post it’s even worse because I get overwhelmed trying to figure out what to write.

It’s not a perfect analogy, but it helps me understand why I feel so disoriented and stressed-out as I follow the news each day. I suppose it’s not as bad for people who aren’t paying as close attention to the campaign as we are; but judging by the polls, just about everyone except angry, racist white men is turned off by Trump’s bizarre behavior.

There have even been reports of bullying by children who have heard and been influenced by Trump’s ugly hate speech.

From The Guardian in June: ‘You were born in a Taco Bell’: Trump’s rhetoric fuels school bullies across US.

Tracey Iglehart, a teacher at Rosa Parks elementary school in Berkeley, California, did not expect Donald Trump to show up on the playground….

“They said things like ‘you’ll get deported’, ‘you weren’t born here’ and ‘you were born in a Taco Bell’,” said Iglehart, 49. “They may not know exactly what it means, but they know it’s powerful language.”

Hearing it in Rosa Parks elementary, of all places, came as a shock. “Berkeley is not an area where there are Trump supporters. This is not the land of Trump.”

Yet the spirit of the GOP presidential candidate has surfaced here and, according to one study, in schools across the country.

An online survey of approximately 2,000 K-12 teachers by the Southern Poverty Law Center found toxic political rhetoric invading elementary, middle and high schools, emboldening children to make racist taunts that leave others bewildered and anxious.

“We mapped it out. There was no state or region that jumped out. It was everywhere,” said Maureen Costello, the study’s author. “Marginalized students are feeling very frightened, especially Muslims and Mexicans. Many teachers use the word terrified.” The children who did the taunting were echoing Trump’s rhetoric, she said. “Bad behavior has been normalized. They think it’s OK.”

So my notion of the Trump campaign as a dysfunctional family that is affecting millions of Americans is not so far-fetched.

aaaa

The latest Trump shock came early yesterday when his campaign announced its latest shake-up. The campaign “manager” will now be pollster Kellyanne Conway and the “chairman/CEO” of the campaign will now be Steve Bannon, editor of the far right white supremacist website Breitbart. In essence, there has been a hostile takeover of the Republican Party by the worst lowlifes in the right-wing fever swamp. I wonder how Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell feel about that?

Joshua Green at Bloomberg: Steve Bannon’s Plan to Free Donald Trump and Save His Campaign.

“I am who I am,” Donald Trump declared, shortly after the New York Times ran a story depicting chaos in his presidential campaign. “I don’t want to change.” He wasn’t lying. The next day, on Aug. 17, Trump shoved aside his campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and installed Steve Bannon—ex-Naval officer, ex-Goldman Sachs banker, ex-Sarah Palin filmmaker. Until Trump called, he was executive chairman of Breitbart News, the avatar of the so-called alt-right: the nationalist, racially paranoid splinter group of anti-establishment conservatives who have rallied to Trump’s banner.

Since June, Manafort has tried fruitlessly to mold Trump into someone palatable to establishment Republicans and the swing voters he’ll need to win over if he’s to have any chance of beating Hillary Clinton. Bannon, who becomes chief executive of the Trump campaign, represents a sharp turn in the opposite direction—a fireball hurtling toward the 2016 presidential election. (In announcing the hiring, the Trump campaign quoted Bloomberg Businessweek’s description of Bannon from a profile last fall as “the most dangerous political operative in America.”) Along with campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, Bannon will encourage Trump to cast aside political niceties and aggressively go with his gut. “I’ve known Steve for a long time—he is an extraordinary guy, an extraordinary talent, and he, like me, truly loves our country,” Trump said in a statement to Businessweek.

Trump’s own diagnosis of his campaign’s shortcomings led to this unusual prescription—which is the diametric opposite of what most Republicans have been counseling for their embattled nominee. “The campaign has been too lethargic, too reactive,” says a senior Trump official. “They wanted to bring in someone who understood new media, understood digital. It’s not going to be a traditional campaign.” Trump was frustrated by Manafort’s efforts to contain him and angry about his plummeting poll numbers. With Bannon in the fold, the source adds, Trump will feel free to unleash his inner Trump: “It’s very simple. This is a change election. He needs to position himself as anti-establishment, the candidate of change, and the candidate who’s anti-Washington.”

The shake-up is an ominous development for Republican elected officials alarmed at Trump’s collapse and the effect he could have on down-ballot races across the country. In recent years, Breitbart News has bedeviled Republican leaders, helping to drive out former House Speaker John Boehner and, more recently, making life difficult for his successor, Paul Ryan. Last fall, at Bannon’s insistence, Breitbart reporters visited Ryan’s Wisconsin home (which is surrounded by a wall) and published a story shaming him for not endorsing Trump’s proposal to erect a wall along the Mexico border.

Bannon, who’s as eager to attack Republicans as Democrats, is unlikely to worry much about the plight of mainstream GOP incumbents. At a New Year’s party at his Capitol Hill home last year, Bannon gave guests silver flasks stamped with his personal motto: “Honey badger don’t give a shit.”

Cartoon_44

The piece ends with this choice quote from Stuart Stevens, who managed Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign:

“This is the bunker scene in Downfall, only the Trump crowd won’t tell Hitler the truth. It’s utter madness,” says Stuart Stevens, who ran Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. “Trump is a nut, and he likes to surround himself with nuts. It’s a disaster for the Republican Party.”

Read the whole thing at the Bloomberg link.

At Vanity Fair, Ken Stern has a longer article about Bannon and Trump, Exclusive: Stephen Bannon, Trump’s New CEO, Hints at His Master Plan. It’s well worth the read.

The night before the big shake-up, Trump gave a “law and order” speech in West Bend, Wisconsin, a lily-white town about 40 miles north of Milwaukee, where protests have been raging after police shot and killed a black man whom they claim had a gun. In the speech, Trump pretended to “reach out” to African Americans, while advocating for more and harsher policing in poor urban areas. During the speech, Trump repeatedly said he was in Milwaukee. It was insulting to black people and to anyone who cares about inequality.

While he was in Wisconsin, Trump gave an interview to The La Cross Tribune. At Huffington Post, Julia Craven called attention to one very “tone deaf” comment in the interview:

Trump, whose campaign slogan is “Make America Great Again!” said he views the 1980s as the time when things were good for the nation, though he also hearkened back to the late 1700s and early 1800s.

“The industrial revolution was certainly — in terms of economically — that was when we started to grow,” Trump said. “I liked the Ronald Reagan years. I thought the country had a wonderful, strong image.”

Craven notes that the Industrial Revolution was built on the backs of slaves and during the Reagan era, black neighborhoods were inundated with crack and “the war on drugs drove the incarceration rate for black people through the roof.”

I’m almost beginning to buy into Peter Daou’s theory that Trump is campaigning not for the presidency but for leadership of a white nationalist movement.  Here’s Daou’s latest at Blue Nation Review: We’re Witnessing History: The Extreme Right Just Seized Control of the GOP. Please go read the whole thing if you haven’t already.

_90497584_8347f248-96b5-49fd-9a61-ef2e225fe6f5

Now here’s something to help get the bad Trump taste out of our mouths: Wired Endorses Optimism.

Wired has never been neutral. For nearly a quarter of a century, this organization has championed a specific way of thinking about tomorrow. If it’s true, as the writer William Gibson once had it, that the future is already here, just unevenly distributed, then our task has been to locate the places where various futures break through to our present and identify which one we hope for….

We value freedom: open systems, open markets, free people, free information, free inquiry. We’ve become even more dedicated to scientific rigor, good data, and evidence-driven thinking. And we’ve never lost our optimism.

…for all of its opinions and enthu­siasms, WIRED has never made a practice of endorsing candidates for president of the United States. Through five election cycles we’ve written about politics and politicians and held them up against our ideals. But we’ve avoided telling you, our readers, who WIRED viewed as the best choice.

Today we will. WIRED sees only one person running for president who can do the job: Hillary Clinton.

maxresdefault

Why have the magazine’s editors made this decision?

Right now we see two possible futures welling up in the present. In one, society’s every decision is dominated by scarcity. Except for a few oligarchs, nobody has enough of anything. In that future, we build literal and figurative walls to keep out those who hope to acquire our stuff, while through guile or violence we try to acquire theirs.

In the other future, the one WIRED is rooting for, new rounds of innovation allow people to do more with less work—in a way that translates into abundance, broadly enjoyed. Governments and markets and entrepreneurs create the conditions that allow us to take effective collective action against climate change. The flashlight beam of science keeps turning up cool stuff in the corners of the universe. The grand social experiments of the 20th and early 21st centuries—the mass entry of women into the workforce, civil rights, LGBTQ rights—continue and give way to new ones that are just as necessary and unsettling and empowering to people who got left out of previous rounds. And the sustainably manufactured, genetically modified fake meat tastes really good too.

Our sights might not be perfectly aligned, but it’s pretty clear Hillary Clinton has her eye on a similar trajectory. She intends to uphold the Paris Agreement on climate change and reduce carbon emissions by up to 30 percent in 2025. She hopes to produce enough renewable energy to power every American home by the end of her first term. She wants to increase the budgets of the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, two major drivers of research and innovation via government funding. And she wants to do the same for Darpa, the defense research agency—without which, let’s face it, WIRED probably wouldn’t exist, because no one would have invented the things we cover.

Clinton also has ideas that clear away stumbling blocks for entrepreneurs and strivers. She proposes linking entre­preneurship to forgiveness of student loans, as a way to help young people start businesses. Clinton favors net neutrality—giving every packet of data on the Internet the same priority, regardless of whether they originate from a media corporation or from you and me. She has proposed easier paths to legal immigration for people with science, technology, and engineering degrees. And she has spent my entire adult life trying to work out how to give the maximum number of Americans access to health care; she will con­tinue to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, which among other things has helped people walk away from crappy, dead-end jobs by alleviating the fear that they’ll lose their insurance.

I agree that Hillary is an optimist and she has the competence and intelligence to turn her ideas into real change. I think most Americans will also choose optimism and love over negativity and hate in November.

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

 


Wednesday Reads: Sundowning, yeah!

image

 

I wonder, if you ever wonder…if Trump read stories like the one described up top? Circus Dan: A Mystery Story For Boys  Nah, I doubt it. What kind of childhood turns a person into the beast we see today? Obviously there has to be some nature or “bad seed” affect at work here, the dude was born with this pathology. We all can pretty much agree, Trump is fucked up.

Anyway, I just was thinking of that when I saw the illustration above. I don’t know why exactly…

Maybe the first link will give y’all a hint.

Here is an article, thanks for the link BB, I think y’all will find it more than interesting. (I know I did….in pathetically more ways than I’d had wanted to.)

Behavior changes trump memory lapses as signs dementia may be brewing | The Japan Times

Memory loss may not always be the first warning sign that dementia is brewing — changes in behavior or personality might be an early clue.

Researchers on Sunday outlined a syndrome called “mild behavioral impairment” that may be a harbinger of Alzheimer’s or other dementias, and proposed a checklist of symptoms to alert doctors and families.

Losing interest in favorite activities? Getting unusually anxious, aggressive or suspicious? Suddenly making crude comments in public?

“Historically those symptoms have been written off as a psychiatric issue, or as just part of aging,” said Dr. Zahinoor Ismail of the University of Calgary, who presented the checklist at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Toronto.

Now, “when it comes to early detection, memory symptoms don’t have the corner on the market anymore,” he said.

Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, affects more than 5 million people in the U.S., a number growing as the population ages. It gradually strips people of their memory and the ability to think and reason.

But it creeps up, quietly ravaging the brain a decade or two before the first symptoms become noticeable. Early memory problems called “mild cognitive impairment,” or MCI, can raise the risk of later developing dementia, and worsening memory often is the trigger for potential patients or their loved ones to seek medical help.

It’s not uncommon for people with dementia to experience neuropsychiatric symptoms, too — problems such as depression or “sundowning,” agitation that occurs at the end of the day — as the degeneration spreads into brain regions responsible for more than memory. And previous studies have found that people with mild cognitive impairment are at greater risk of decline if they also suffer more subtle behavioral symptoms.

What’s new: The concept of pre-dementia “mild behavioral impairment,” or MBI, a term that describes specific changes in someone’s prior behavior that might signal degeneration is starting in brain regions not as crucial for memory, he said.

The Alzheimer Association has drawn up a new checklist of symptoms. If the checklist does become accepted it will help doctors determine who may be more prone to develop Alzheimers.

…new problems that linger at least six months, not temporary symptoms or ones explained by a clear mental health diagnosis or other issues such as bereavement, he stressed. They include apathy, anxiety about once routine events, loss of impulse control, flaunting social norms, loss of interest in food.

[…]

“It’s important for us to recognize that not everything’s forgetfulness,” said Dr. Ron Petersen, the Mayo Clinic’s Alzheimer’s research chief. He wasn’t involved in developing the behavior checklist but said it could raise awareness of the neuropsychiatric link with dementia.

Technology specialist Mike Belleville of Douglas, Massachusetts, thought stress was to blame when he found himself getting easily frustrated and angry. Normally patient, he began snapping at co-workers and rolling down his window to yell at other drivers, “things I’d never done before,” Belleville said.

The final red flag was a heated argument with his wife, Cheryl, who found herself wondering, “Who is this person?” When Mike Belleville didn’t remember the strong words the next morning, the two headed straight for a doctor. Physicians tested for depression and a list of other suspects. Eventually Belleville, now 55, was diagnosed with an early-onset form of dementia — and with medication no longer gets angry so easily, allowing him to volunteer his computer expertise.

“If you see changes, don’t take it lightly and assume it’s stress,” Cheryl Belleville advised.

The article goes on to discuss the benefit of cognitive training.

The team tested 284 adults in late middle-age whose brain scans showed changes that have been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. Comparing their cognitive ability and their careers, the researchers found those who worked primarily with people, rather than objects or data, functioned better even if brain scans showed more of that quiet damage.

— Preliminary results from a study of “brain training” suggested one type might help delay cognitive impairment.

Researchers examined records from 2,785 older adults who’d participated in a previous trial that compared three cognitive training strategies — to improve memory, reasoning or reaction times —with no intervention. A decade later, that reaction-time training suggested benefit: 12 percent of people who’d completed up to 10 hours had evidence of cognitive decline or dementia compared with 14 percent in the control group, said Dr. Jerri Edwards of the University of South Florida. The figure was lower — 8 percent — for people who got some extra booster training.

More study is needed of course, but it makes you think. It certainly scares me. I do know that sundowning thing makes complete sense to me.

Sundowning, gaslighting…wtf is it with the phrases?

image

 

(I think that is the main reason most assholes are being assholes about Hillary…because she is a woman. Because this is, “A man’s world.”  And because of the, “Axis of Dick” as Veep puts it.)

What about the grope? I mean, come on.
– Thank you.
– That is an attack on America.
All right? That’s like a sexual 9/11 in my opinion.
Or a sexual Cuban Missile Crisis at the least.
It’s not like we can go public about the grope.
– It would define you.
– Right.
Your tit being fondled by a Finn would be all you’re remembered for.
– Yeah.
– You can’t build a statue on that.
That’s right.
Nobody can know about this.
– All right? Especially Kent.
– Oh, yeah.
And why is that? Because he’s gonna use it against me.
– A grope matrix.
– Right.
Because he’s a man.
Because this is a man’s world that we live in.
Because of the axis of dick.

 

This at Mother Jones: Is Trump Even Aware of Where He’s Speaking? | Mother Jones

After discussing manufacturing in the DC exurbs and wine in coal country, he’s delivering an address on ISIS in a hard-hit Rust Belt city.

I guess when you have a well known professional dictator’s PR guru as your campaign manager, what he says doesn’t matter for shit.

Have you seen this? #IllWalkWithYou: People Offer To Walk Muslims To Mosques After Imam Killed

The fatal shooting of a New York City imam and his associate in Queens has prompted people around the country to offer to accompany Muslim worshippers to and from mosques so that they won’t have to fear for their safety.

[…]

In response to the killings, many non-Muslims posted tweets with the hashtag #IllWalkWithYou to offer to physically accompany Muslims to their houses of worship.

Muslim Twitter users expressed appreciation, while also urging allies to vote against candidates who espouse Islamophobia.

A similar hashtag, #IllRideWithYou, sprang up in Australia in 2014 after a Muslim gunman held people hostage at a Sydney café. Australians offered to ride the train with Muslim commuters who feared an Islamophobic backlash to the incident.

Allies Offer To Walk Muslims To Mosque After New York Shooting

You can read many of the tweets at the links above.

Next up, an article about depression: Is depression in parents, grandparents linked to grandchildren’s depression? — ScienceDaily

Having both parents and grandparents with major depressive disorder (MDD) was associated with higher risk of MDD for grandchildren, which could help identify those who may benefit from early intervention, according to a study published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

It is well known that having depressed parents increases children’s risk of psychiatric disorders. There are no published studies of depression examining three generations with grandchildren in the age of risk for depression and with direct interviews of all family members.

Myrna M. Weissman, Ph.D., of Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, studied 251 grandchildren (average age 18) interviewed an average of two times and their biological parents, who were interviewed an average of nearly five times, and grandparents interviewed up to 30 years.

Sounds good doesn’t it? Go and read the article in full. You can find the JAMA entry here:

A 30-Year Study of 3 Generations at High Risk and Low Risk for Depression | JAMA Psychiatry | JAMA Network

image

 

Lastly, vintage everyday: Long Road to Civil Rights – See 27 Iconic Photos From the Civil Rights Movements From Between the 1930s and 1960s

Because large segments of the populace–particularly African-Americans, women, and men without property–have not always been accorded full citizenship rights in the American Republic, civil rights movements, or “freedom struggles,” have been a frequent feature of the nation’s history.

In particular, movements to obtain civil rights for black Americans have had special historical significance. Such movements have not only secured citizenship rights for blacks but have also redefined prevailing conceptions of the nature of civil rights and the role of government in protecting these rights.

The most important achievements of African-American civil rights movements have been the post-Civil War constitutional amendments that abolished slavery and established the citizenship status of blacks and the judicial decisions and legislation based on these amendments, notably the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision of 1954, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Moreover, these legal changes greatly affected the opportunities available to women, nonblack minorities, disabled individuals, and other victims of discrimination.
A sign on a restaurant in Lancaster, Ohio, August 1938. (Photo by Reuters/Library of Congress)
A high school student being educated via television during the period that schools in Little Rock, Arkansas, were closed to avoid integration, September 1958. (Photo by Reuters/Library of Congress)
Many more images at the link. Now, good thing I got this up before the sundowning starts to hit me.
This is an open thread.

 


Tuesday Reads

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton welcomes Vice President Joe Biden as he disembarks from Air Force Two for a joint campaign event in Scranton, Pennsylvania

Good Afternoon!!

Yesterday, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden appeared together in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The Atlantic reports:

For Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, their joint campaign stop Monday in Scranton, Pennsylvania, was a play for the swing state’s crucial voters, particularly those from the white working class who Donald Trump has taken pains to attract.

But it was also something of a homecoming: Both the vice president and Clinton’s father, Hugh Rodham, were born in the city, a former coal-mining and manufacturing hub. Biden has long used Scranton as a symbol of the American dream, and often invokes his early years there as evidence he’s a man of the people. During his remarks Monday, he framed Clinton as a fellow child of Scranton: the product of one of its families, yes, but also of its ethos.

The city “is made up of so many people with grit and courage—I mean this sincerely, from the bottom of my heart—with grit, courage, determination, who never, never, ever give up,” Biden said. “They deserve someone who not only understands them, they deserve someone who’s with them. And they deserve someone who’s made of the same stuff. That’s Hillary Clinton. That’s who she is.”

Biden also had plenty to say about Donald Trump, none of it nice. From Politico:

Vice President Joe Biden on Monday ripped into Donald Trump for his overtures to Russian President Vladimir Putin, declaring that the Republican nominee “would have loved Stalin.”

At a rally in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, Biden assailed Trump as unfit to be president and slammed his proposals on foreign policy and the military. With Hillary Clinton at his side, Biden criticized the GOP nominee’s repeated warm statements toward Putin and said “Trump’s ideas are not only profoundly wrong, they’re very dangerous and they’re very un-American.”

“This guy’s shame has no limits. He’s even gone so far as to ask Putin and Russia to conduct cyberattacks against the United States of America,” Biden said, raising his voice for emphasis over the raucous crowd. “Even if he is joking — which he’s not — even if he’s joking, what an outrageous thing to say.”

Pointing out his aide who travels with him and carries the U.S. nuclear codes, Biden said Trump is too unstable and lacks the knowledge to be given control over such weapons. The vice president also spoke warmly of his son Beau, a military veteran who went on to serve as Delaware’s attorney general before losing a battle with cancer in 2015. Biden said he would have tried to stop his son from serving if Trump were commander in chief.

biden-hillary-hug-640x480

As usual Biden went on and on, but he did have some very nice things to say about Hillary. There was also an awkward moment when Biden disembarked from his plane and gave Hillary a hug that seemed as if it would never end. Mediaite:

Vice President Joe Biden and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton shared a tarmac hug Monday that got a little awkward when Biden just kinda refused to let go.

Biden deplaned before a Pennsylvania joint rally and hugged Clinton. But while Clinton broke off the hug after an appropriate amount of time, Biden held onto her. In a move easily recognizable to wrestlers and friend-zoners everywhere, Clinton starting tapping Biden on the arm as he continued the embrace.

All told, the hug lasted about fifteen seconds and three attempted tap-outs.

Donald Trump was in Youngstown, Ohio yesterday to make a supposedly “serious” speech about how he would combat terrorism. Many of the ideas he presented were for policies that the Obama administration is already carrying out. The rest were the usual insane, racist plans that have become his trademark. Tim Mak at The Daily Beast: Donald Trump Cribs His War Plan From the ‘Founder’ of ISIS: Barack Obama.

Trump spent a substantial amount of time in his speech hammering the Obama administration for not doing enough to defeat ISIS.

But in Syria, Libya, and Iraq, the multinational effort to defeat ISIS appears now to be on the upswing. And in the sparse moments when Trump actually proposed ideas to defeat ISIS, it sounded suspiciously like the ideas already being put into practice by his arch-nemesis Obama.

You know: the guy Trump called the “founder” of ISIS….

“They’re trying to make it look much better than it is. It’s bad,” Trump said, referring to the Obama administration and the Clinton campaign’s assessment of ISIS….

But while the Republican nominee’s address in Youngstown, Ohio, on Monday was billed as a speech describing new ways to defeat ISIS—in recent weeks ISIS has seen serious setbacks.

Trump denounced the situation in Libya, which he blamed on Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. But ISIS’s grip there is changing rapidly. ISIS appears to be on the verge of losing its African capital in the city of Sirte to local militia fighters who lately have been bolstered by U.S. airstrikes.

While Trump referred to stopping Syrian refugees from entering the United States, ISIS just suffered a major loss there Monday. After a months-long battle, Arab and Kurdish forces reclaimed a northern city that is on a key route for ISIS fighters, equipment and money traveling from Turkey into Syria. Over the weekend, video emerged showing female residents of this city burning their burkas and men cutting their beards, an outward display of the end of ISIS rule.

Meanwhile, ISIS already has lost territory in several Iraqi cities, including Fallujah, Ramadi, and Tikrit.

I wouldn’t expect Trump to know about what’s actually happening; I don’t think he reads anything in newspapers unless it’s about him. But you have to wonder who is writing his speeches.

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during the final session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland

Much of the speech was devoted to his proposed anti-immigrant policies. Trump said that as president he would suspend immigration from countries that have problems with terrorism, although he didn’t specify which countries he was referring to. And how would President Trump keep these potential immigrants out? He would use something he calls “extreme vetting.” NBC News reports:

Donald Trump on Monday promised “extreme vetting” of immigrants, including ideological screening that that will allow only those who “share our values and respect our people” into the United States.

Among the traits that Trump would screen for are those who have “hostile attitudes” toward the U.S., those who believe “Sharia law should supplant American law,” people who “don’t believe in our Constitution or who support bigotry and hatred.”

Those who Trump will allow in are “only those who we expect to flourish in our country.”

The Republican nominee did not disavow his prior proposal to temporarily ban all Muslims from the United States “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” The position, released in December 2015, is still on the nominee’s website. He did, however, call for a temporary suspension “from some of the most dangerous and volatile regions of the world that have a history of exporting terrorism” in order to succeed in the goal of extreme ideological vetting.

It’s unclear whether or not this is in addition to, or in place of, his original temporary ban. In the past, as Trump has proposed a regional and country-based ban, he’s called it an “expansion” on his original ban — not a scaling back.

Trump did not name any countries that would be included in the regional ban, but said that should he be elected, his administration will ask the Department of State to “identify a list of regions where adequate screening cannot take place. There are many such regions,” Trump said. “We will stop processing visas from those areas until such time as it is deemed safe to resume based on new circumstances or new procedures.” One of Trump’s long standing complaints about Syrian, and other, refugees, is that they are not sufficiently vetted and, because of that, could be a “Trojan Horse.”

Here’s a good analysis of the speech by NBC News’ Benjy Sarlin: Making Sense of Donald Trump’s Disjointed Foreign Policy Pitch. Check it out at the link.

Tharid Udin and Imam Maulama Akonjee

Tharid Udin and Imam Maulama Akonjee

In other news, a Brooklyn man has been charged in the shocking murders of Queens Imam Maulama Akonjee and his friend Thara Uddin. Police don’t know the motive yet, but you have to wonder if Donald Trump’s hate speech could have contributed to this crime. From New York Magazine:

Police have charged a Brooklyn man for the brazen murders of a Queens imam and his associate on Saturday. Oscar Morel, 35, was taken into NYPD custody Sunday night after allegedly ramming his car into an unmarked police car around 11 p.m. in the Ozone Park neighborhood — the same community where the killings occurred. Police identified Morel on Monday evening, and said he’d been charged with two counts of second-degree murder, according to the New York Times. He’s also facing two counts of criminal possession of a weapon after police searched his home and found what they believe to be the revolver used in the killing and clothes worn by the gunman in surveillance video.

Police have not yet named a motive in the killing of the 55-year-old imam Maulama Akonjee and his friend and assistant 64-year-old Thara Uddin, both Bangladeshi immigrants and religious leaders in their Queens neighborhood. The men were shot in the head at close range in broad daylight around 2 p.m. on Saturday. The victims were a block away from the Al-Furqan Jame Masjid mosque, where both men, who wore traditional Muslim garb, had just finished afternoon prayers.

NYPD chief of detectives Robert Boyce said it’s still unclear if Morel had any connection to the two victims. “We’re still drilling down on it,” he said, adding that it’s “certainly on the table that it’s a hate crime.

A home-surveillance video of the shooting, released Sunday, shows the killer approaching the two men from behind. He rushes up behind them and lifts his arm and aims at the back of their heads; the two men crumple to the ground. The shooter appears to stuff the gun in his pocket and walk calmly away from the scene.

Read more at the link.

We’ve gone through years of public shootings, and there seems to be a new phenomenon developing–people thinking they hear gunshots and then freaking out mobs of other people. Will this become a regular “thing?” Two examples:

People running out of Crabtree Mall in NC to escape shooting that never happened.

People running out of Crabtree Mall in NC to escape shooting that never happened.

ABC News: Reports of Gunshots in Bustling Mall: Chaos, People Running.

Witness reports of gunshots ringing out inside a busy North Carolina mall caused chaos Saturday afternoon as shoppers ran screaming for the doors or sheltered in stores while dozens of officers arrived.

Police said hours later they were investigating but hadn’t confirmed whether any shots had been fired, adding no one was found wounded by gunfire although there were several minor injuries among people running away. The shopping complex in an affluent area of Raleigh was put on lockdown while helicopters buzzed overhead and numerous law enforcement vehicles swarmed the shopping area….

The police chief said no shell casings had been found by late afternoon. But she noted that witnesses heard what sounded like gunshots, and added that the FBI, sheriff’s office and state investigators were also on scene.

Eight people ranging in age from 10 to 70 were transported to hospitals for treatment of injuries suffered as they rushed to leave the mall, she said. None of those injuries appeared to be life-threatening.

Video posted on social media sites shows dozens of people running toward mall exit doors as numerous screams were heard. Outside the mall, where people gathered afterward, a police officer got on the loudspeaker of a fire truck and said there was no one shot in the mall. Witnesses described chaos after reports of shots.

New York Magazine: Scenes From the Terrifying, Already Forgotten JFK Airport Shooting That Wasn’t.

When the first stampede began, my plane had just landed. It started, apparently, with a group of passengers awaiting departure in John F. Kennedy Airport Terminal 8 cheering Usain Bolt’s superhuman 100-meter dash. The applause sounded like gunfire, somehow, or to someone; really, it only takes one. According to some reports, one woman screamed that she saw a gun. The cascading effect was easier to figure: When people started running, a man I met later on the tarmac said, they plowed through the metal poles strung throughout the terminal to organize lines, and the metal clacking on the tile floors sounded like gunfire. Because the clacking was caused by the crowd, wherever you were and however far you’d run already, it was always right around you.

Passengers huddled near the ground at immigration control while police looked for a possible shooter at JFK airport. It turned out to be a false alarm. PHOTO: BRIGITTE DUSSEAU/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

Passengers huddled near the ground at immigration control while police looked for a possible shooter at JFK airport. It turned out to be a false alarm. PHOTO: BRIGITTE DUSSEAU/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

There was a second stampede, I heard some time later, in Terminal 4. I was caught up in two separate ones, genuine stampedes, both in Terminal 1. The first was in the long, narrow, low-ceilinged second-floor hallway approaching customs that was so stuffed with restless passengers that it felt like a cattle call, even before the fire alarm and the screaming and all the contradictory squeals that sent people running and yelling and barreling over each other — as well as the dropped luggage, passports, and crouched panicked women who just wanted to take shelter between their knees and hope for it, or “them,” to pass. The second was later, after security guards had just hustled hundreds of us off of the tarmac directly into passport control, when a woman in a hijab appeared at the top of a flight of stairs, yelling out for a family member, it seemed, who had been separated from her in the chaos. The crowd seemed to rise up, squealing, and rush for the two small sets of double doors.

Probably there were other stampedes, some small and some large, throughout the airport, to judge by the thousands of passengers massed outside on the tarmac by about 11 p.m. — not a peaceful mass, but a panicked one. Some of them had been swept outside by police charging through the terminals with guns drawn, shouting for people to get down, show their hands, and drop their luggage, since nothing was more important than your life. Others had been on lines where TSA agents grabbed their gear and just ran, at least according to reports on Twitter.

More at the link.

So . . . what else is happening? Please share your thoughts and links in the comment thread and have a terrific Tuesday!


Monday Reads: They are different from you and me …

“Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different.”

from “All the Sad Young Men” published in 1926 by F Scott Fitzgerald

31c174e26f26655ec891f43e61a5d8ae

Good Morning!

Half of the global wealth is held by the richest 1% in the world according to a recent Oxfam report.  A good deal of it is salted away in the world’s “treasure isles” or banking havens.  This is especially true for those wealthy despots that raid the treasuries of their countries.  The global elite tend to run in international circles and have a lot more in common with each other than the rest of the countrymen they grift.  I’m reminded of all of this as we continue to unravel the reality of the Trump Campaign which just seems to be yet another grab at more wealth and power using propaganda and lies.

The latest Trump scandal is a good lesson in this and it explains why Russian despots appear to be squarely in the middle of the US campaign for President.   We’re living through another shocking Gilded Age but where are the Trotskyites that bring down the Czars?  Where are the FDRs that moderate American excess with a New Deal?

It is certainly not within the camps of Trump and Paul Manafort. Yesterday, we learned exactly how twisted the tentacles get with this headline from The New York Times: “Secret Ledger in Ukraine Lists Cash for Donald Trump’s Campaign Chief”.  Is Manafort an unregistered Foreign Agent?  Is Donald Trump complicit or a dupe?

And Mr. Manafort’s presence remains elsewhere here in the capital, where government investigators examining secret records have found his name, as well as companies he sought business with, as they try to untangle a corrupt network they say was used to loot Ukrainian assets and influence elections during the administration of Mr. Manafort’s main client, former President Viktor F. Yanukovych.

Handwritten ledgers show $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments designated for Mr. Manafort from Mr. Yanukovych’s pro-Russian political party from 2007 to 2012, according to Ukraine’s newly formed National Anti-Corruption Bureau. Investigators assert that the disbursements were part of an illegal off-the-books system whose recipients also included election officials.

In addition, criminal prosecutors are investigating a group of offshore shell companies that helped members of Mr. Yanukovych’s inner circle finance their lavish lifestyles, including a palatial presidential residence with a private zoo, golf course and tennis court. Among the hundreds of murky transactions these companies engaged in was an $18 million deal to sell Ukrainian cable television assets to a partnership put together by Mr. Manafort and a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, a close ally of President Vladimir V. Putin.

9964ecd42dc22234e0cf0beafdc281ebAlso,this arrived to the Twitter feed yesterday along with a picture of Ivanka on vacation with Putin’s latest squeeze, the ex wife of Rupert Murdoch Wendy Deng.  Exactly how are Trump’s racists and working white groupies to take all this information?  You think a few banking execs on Wall Street want money and power?  That’s kindergarten rent-seeking compared to the company that Trump and Manafort keep.

The funny thing about all this is Deng is rumored to be dating frequently shirtless despot Vladimir Putin, who may or may not have authorized the hacking of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails, and whom Donald Trump swears he has no financial tethers to, despite a new trove of evidence to the contrary. Here would be a good place for the thinking-face emoji, but I’d argue the Trumps know exactly what they’re doing. Tight stuff.

So, both are disturbing pictures of the kind of things that lead to conspiracy theories about shadowy global networks of bankers.  Only, this is a black ledger and unlikely to wind up in anything but an account in a Treasure Isle.  All $12.7 million of it.  We’ll be fortunate to find it among the Swiss Banks accounts.

The ledgers, discovered in the Party of Regions headquarters following the 2014 revolution that forced Yanukovych to flee to Russia, were given to investigators by Viktor Trepak, a former Ukrainian domestic intelligence official, Manzhura said. He received the documents from an undisclosed source.

The “black ledger” includes more than 20,000 line items, and investigators are sifting through the names, primarily seeking proof that government officials were receiving bribes. The agency cannot make indictments but must pass on any evidence to prosecutors, who can decide whether to file charges. Manzhura said that processing the list will take a long time, as will matching signatures to individuals and proving that money actually changed hands.

For investigators, she said, Manafort is not the priority.

“He’s not a Ukrainian government official, so taking into account the role and tasks of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, Paul Manafort is not the number-one priority to investigate on this list,” Manzhura said.

It did not appear that Manafort had signed the ledger himself, she added.

“The signatures against his surname probably don’t belong to him; they belong to other people,” she said, adding they may have been intermediaries. “So this information needs to be checked separately.”

The Times reported that Ukrainian officials are also investigating numerous offshore companies that allegedly funded the high-rolling lifestyles of Yanukovych and those close to him. The deals made by these companies include a multimillion-dollar plan to sell Ukrainian cable television assets that involved Manafort and a Russian oligarch who is close to Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, though the Times reported that Manafort is not a target in the Ukrainian investigation of offshore companies.

Manafort is no stranger to controversy, controversial figures or global dealmaking. His friends have labeled him “the Count of Monte Cristo,” the hero of a 19th century novel.

So, will the Donald dump him or maintain that infamous Trump loyalty to the folks that are known to do the black deeds for him?  Manafort is vanderbilt_ag6denying the payments.

“Once again, the New York Times has chosen to purposefully ignore facts and professional journalism to fit their political agenda, choosing to attack my character and reputation rather than present an honest report,” Manafort said in a statement obtained by NBC News. “The suggestion that I accepted cash payments is unfounded, silly and nonsensical.”

The story comes a little more than a day after the Times published a story examining the internal struggles facing Trump’s campaign, a story that also elicited strong responses from the Republican nominee and his campaign.

It’s unclear if Manafort actually received payments, but prosecutors told the Times that Manafort “must have realized the implications of his financial dealings.”

But Manafort strongly denied that he ever received off-the-books payments or has done work with the governments of Ukraine or Russia.

“My work in Ukraine ceased following the country’s parliamentary elections in October 2014,” Manafort says. “In addition, as the article points out hesitantly, every government official interviewed states I have done nothing wrong.”

The Times story was retweeted by Corey Lewandowski, the former Trump campaign manager and Manafort rival who was fired in June.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, Robby Mook, called the alleged connections between Manafort and members of pro-Russian factions troubling.

“Donald Trump has a responsibility to disclose campaign chair Paul Manafort’s and all other campaign employees’ and advisers’ ties to Russian or pro-Kremlin entities, including whether any of Trump’s employees or advisers are currently representing and or being paid by them,” Mook said in a statement.

Troubling indeed.  Meanwhile, the most likely Trump supporters who raise the likes of Trump up as some kind of hero, demonize the very poorest.  We really haven’t come very far from the Reagan Years when women with hard scrabble lives were made the center of all evil in the world.  Check out the comparisons of these surveys.818cf26c6d30ccf7df28a8cb060306b2

Sharp differences along lines of race and politics shape American attitudes toward the poor and poverty, according to a new survey of public opinion, which finds empathy toward the poor and deep skepticism about government antipoverty efforts.

The differences illuminate some of the passions that have driven this year’s contentious presidential campaign.

But the poll, which updates a survey The Times conducted three decades ago, also illustrates how attitudes about poverty have remained largely consistent over time despite dramatic economic and social change.

Criticism of the poor – a belief that there are “plenty of jobs available for poor people,” that government programs breed dependency and that most poor people would “prefer to stay on welfare” – is especially common among the blue-collar, white Americans who have given the strongest support to Donald Trump.

The opposite view — that jobs for the poor are hard to find, that government programs help people get back on their feet and that most of the poor would rather earn their own way — is most widely held among blacks and other minorities, who have provided the strongest backing to Hillary Clinton.

Roughly a third of self-described conservatives say that the poor do not work very hard, a view at odds with big majorities of moderates and liberals.

But while Americans disagree in how they view the poor, they’re more united in their skepticism of government programs.

0836eea97c4a66175d91643315240455This is perhaps why the Southern Strategy has worked almost too well.  It’s blasting through loud and clear in the work of Trump and his cronies.  Trump surrounds himself with Republican Ratfuckers.

It’s this mercenary value system that explains why Manafort has made a career out of advising monstrous dictators and conscienceless oligarchs. Manipulating people’s anger and insecurities into fear and rage has been his trademark for his entire career, which is why he could not care less about Trump’s negative influence on the body politic or his incitements to violence.

He doesn’t care about anything but winning, and if his ties to Putin can help Trump, he doesn’t care about the implications of that either.

Handwritten ledgers show $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments designated for Mr. Manafort from Mr. Yanukovych’s pro-Russian political party from 2007 to 2012, according to Ukraine’s newly formed National Anti-Corruption Bureau. Investigators assert that the disbursements were part of an illegal off-the-books system whose recipients also included election officials.

In addition, criminal prosecutors are investigating a group of offshore shell companies that helped members of Mr. Yanukovych’s inner circle finance their lavish lifestyles, including a palatial presidential residence with a private zoo, golf course and tennis court. Among the hundreds of murky transactions these companies engaged in was an $18 million deal to sell Ukrainian cable television assets to a partnership put together by Mr. Manafort and a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, a close ally of President Vladimir V. Putin.

I don’t know how anyone can not be suspicious that Manafort might have something to do with the way pilferedDemocratic Party emails and text messages are being selectively released to do damage to Hillary Clinton for the benefit of Manafort’s newest client. The consensus among analysts and the intelligence agencies that Putin’s Russia is behind the hacking is very high, and obviously Trump believes it himself since he asked Russia to do more of it.

In any case, Manafort has been partnered up with folks like Charlie Black, Lee Atwater, and Roger Stone (the most notorious political ratf*ker of all time) for more than thirty years.

So, I give you one of the tangled webs woven by some of the most despicable people on the planet.  This explains why David Duke and Stormfront love the dude, but how do explain every one’s crazy uncle and cousin? And, how shiny are your bootstraps today?

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

 


Sunday…Funday: Comic Open Thread

08/14 Mike Luckovich: Swift kick. | Mike Luckovich

lk081416_color

 

08/12 Mike Luckovich: right and wrongs. | Mike Luckovich

lk081216_color

08/10 Mike Luckovich: Protecting. | Mike Luckovich

lk081016_color

 

 

 

 

 

Walking Away: 08/12/2016 Cartoon by Paul Fell

Cartoon by Paul Fell - Walking Away

08/12/2016 Cartoon by Phil Hands

Cartoon by Phil Hands -

08/10/2016 Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson

Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson -

08/11/2016 Cartoon by Matt Wuerker

Cartoon by Matt Wuerker -

08/03/2016 Cartoon by Matt Wuerker

Cartoon by Matt Wuerker -

08/11/2016 Cartoon by John Cole

Cartoon by John Cole -

08/11/2016 Cartoon by John Cole

Cartoon by John Cole -

speaker Ryan: 08/11/2016 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - speaker Ryan

the REBOOT: 08/09/2016 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - the REBOOT

08/11/2016 Cartoon by Nick Anderson

Cartoon by Nick Anderson -

Inciting: 08/11/2016 Cartoon by Ed Hall

Cartoon by Ed Hall - Inciting

08/11/2016 Cartoon by Joe Heller

Cartoon by Joe Heller -

08/13/2016 Cartoon by Joe Heller

Cartoon by Joe Heller -

08/10/2016 Cartoon by John Branch

Cartoon by John Branch -

08/10/2016 Cartoon by Gustavo RodriguezCartoon by Gustavo Rodriguez -

08/13/2016 Cartoon by Gustavo Rodriguez

Cartoon by Gustavo Rodriguez -

08/08/2016 Cartoon by Gustavo Rodriguez

Cartoon by Gustavo Rodriguez -

Comedian in Chief : 08/12/2016 Cartoon by Adam Zyglis

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - Comedian in Chief

Rigged: 08/09/2016 Cartoon by Adam Zyglis

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - Rigged

08/11/2016 Cartoon by John Branch

Cartoon by John Branch -

08/12/2016 Cartoon by Nick Anderson

Cartoon by Nick Anderson -

C-GRID BLANK: 08/12/2016 Cartoon by Steve Greenberg

Cartoon by Steve Greenberg - C-GRID BLANK

08/12/2016 Cartoon by Joel Pett

Cartoon by Joel Pett -

08/10/2016 Cartoon by Joel Pett

Cartoon by Joel Pett -

2nd Amendment People: 08/12/2016 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - 2nd Amendment People

Presidential Gold: 08/11/2016 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Presidential Gold

Trump/Putin 2016: 08/09/2016 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Trump/Putin 2016

Battleground: 08/08/2016 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Battleground

Trump Olympics: 08/05/2016 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Trump Olympics

I hope you enjoy the cartoons…this is an open thread.

 


Lazy Saturday Reads: Follow the Money?

Portrait of two women, Diego Rivera

Portrait of two women, Diego Rivera

Good Afternoon!!

How is Donald Trump spending his campaign money? He raised about $80 million in July, but he isn’t running any TV ads and doesn’t seem to be spending much for on-the-ground organizing. At HuffPo, Bob Burnett calculates based on Open Secrets data that Trump has spent about $63 million of his cash on had in July. Where did those millions go? Burnett suggests three possibilities:

  1. Trump could be planning to “flood the airwaves” with ads just before the election.
  2. Trump may have used the money to repay a load he made to his campaign early on. He has claimed that he forgave the loan, but everyone knows Trump is a pathological liar.
  3. Perhaps the $63 million was transferred to the RNC to pay for GOTV operations. I’d say that’s pretty doubtful.

I’d suggest another possibility–that Trump has simply used the money to pay himself for flights on his private planes and helicopter and to rent space for rallies in his personal properties. Election law requires campaign to pay market rates for these services; but in Trump’s case, the law allows him to make a personal profit by campaigning for office. I guess we’ll find out what’s going on when the July FEC report comes out.

Auguste reading to her daughter, Mary Cassatt

Auguste reading to her daughter, Mary Cassatt

Quite a few observers are also wondering why Trump is campaigning in traditionally blue states like Maine and Connecticut while he’s falling far behind in the polls in battleground states and even red states like North Carolina.

CNN: Republicans question Trump’s travel choices, tight purse strings.

The last time Connecticut voted for a Republican presidential candidate, Americans were listening to music on cassette tapes and most cell phones were the size of shoe boxes.

Yet Donald Trump’s campaign spokesman insists they believe he has a chance to turn Connecticut red for the first time since 1988, and that’s why he is holding weekend rally there on Saturday.
Veteran Republicans, however, see Trump’s Fairfield, Connecticut, campaign stop [is] a fool’s errand — a prime example of what many worry is a political operation that takes Trump’s proclivity for defying convention a step too far.
And, it isn’t just Connecticut that has Republicans scratching their heads. Trump traveled to Maine last week, a state that has also been blue since 1992….
Concerned Republicans say their worries go beyond the campaign’s decision to send its greatest resource — the candidate himself — to chase one or two electoral votes in Maine, or to what they believe are unwinnable states like Connecticut. The other phenomenon perplexing veteran operatives is that the Trump campaign now has the needed money to finance television ads and ground operations — they just don’t appear to be spending it.

According to the article, Republicans are worried that even if Trump eventually begins running ads, it will be too late. They note that Obama’s early negative ads against Romney were successful in defining him, and now Trump is making the same mistake. In addition, Trump’s ground game is basically non-existent. From the CNN article:

“The campaign has yet to find or appoint key local leaders or open a campaign office in the county and isn’t yet sure which Hamilton County Republican party’s central committee members are allied with the Republican presidential nominee,” reported the Enquirer.
In other key states like Florida, where Trump, along with the RNC, does have staff, they are outnumbered by Democrats. The RNC says it has over 70 paid staffers and plans at least 20 offices statewide. Democrats already have 200 staffers and say they’re aiming for 100 offices in Florida.
A Page-Turner, Keith Larson

A Page-Turner, Keith Larson

Here’s Philip Bump at the WaPo: Cincinnati is the perfect demonstration of Donald Trump’s nonexistent campaign.

On Wednesday, the Cincinnati Enquirer ran a story that described the efforts of the Trump campaign in the critical county. Hamilton has declined as a percentage of the state’s population since 1990, but it is still home to 7 percent of Ohioans. So what’s Donald Trump doing there?

With the presidential election 90 days away, the Donald Trump campaign is scrambling to set up the basics of a campaign in Hamilton County, a key county in a swing state crucial to a Republican victory, a recent internal email obtained by The Enquirer shows.

The campaign has yet to find or appoint key local leaders or open a campaign office in the county and isn’t yet sure which Hamilton County Republican party’s central committee members are allied with the Republican presidential nominee. … Even campaign materials, such as signs and stickers, aren’t yet available.

What’s more, Trump hasn’t yet run a single general election ad in Hamilton County — or anywhere.

Last week, the Enquirer reported that Trump supporters, frustrated by the lack of infrastructure in their area, set up their own Trump headquarters in a small house. The campaign tried to spin this as a positive — such enthusiasm! — but it clearly isn’t.

Is it possible that the Trump campaign is nothing but a massive grifting operation to help Trump make money and perhaps to help him get another reality show?

Art and Literature, Loren Entz

Art and Literature, Loren Entz

Yesterday Trump claimed that if he doesn’t win Pennsylvania, where he trails by 11 points in the latest poll, it will be because Hillary Clinton somehow cheated. Again from Philip Bump: Trump says he will only lose Pennsylvania if there’s widespread voter fraud. That’s very wrong.

CBS’s Sopan Deb transcribed Trump’s comments.

We’re gonna watch Pennsylvania. Go down to certain areas and watch and study and make sure other people don’t come in and vote five times. … The only way we can lose, in my opinion — and I really mean this, Pennsylvania — is if cheating goes on. I really believe it. Because I looked at Erie and it was the same thing as this. …

[L]et me just tell you, I looked over Pennsylvania. And I’m studying it. And we have some great people here. Some great leaders here of the Republican Party, and they’re very concerned about that. And that’s the way we can lose the state. And we have to call up law enforcement. And we have to have the sheriffs and the police chiefs and everybody watching. Because if we get cheated out of this election, if we get cheated out of a win in Pennsylvania, which is such a vital state, especially when I know what’s happening here, folks. I know. She can’t beat what’s happening here.

The only way they can beat it in my opinion — and I mean this 100 percent — if in certain sections of the state they cheat, OK? So I hope you people can sort of not just vote on the 8th, go around and look and watch other polling places and make sure that it’s 100 percent fine, because without voter identification — which is shocking, shocking that you don’t have it.

There is almost no actual in-person voter fraud. In a survey of 1 billion ballots cast between 2000 and 2014, 241 possible — possible! — fraudulent ballots were found. Several of those ballots were cast in elections in Pennsylvania where a man named “Joseph Cheeseboro” and another named “Joseph J. Cheeseborough” each cast a ballot. That’s all that was uncovered in Pennsylvania.

The “certain sections of the state” to which Trump is referring is almost certainly are a reference to a long-standing conspiracy theory involving the results in Philadelphia in 2012, where, in some places Mitt Romney got zero votes. Trump ally Sean Hannity raised it during a dispute with CNN’s Brian Stelter.

Mother reading with two girls, Lee Lufkin Kaula

Mother reading with two girls, Lee Lufkin Kaula

It’s all about racism, folks; but no one in the public sphere seems to want to admit it. Check this out at the WaPo: A massive new study debunks a widespread theory for Donald Trump’s success.

Economic distress and anxiety across working-class white America have become a widely discussed explanation for the success of Donald Trump. It seems to make sense. Trump’s most fervent supporters tend to be white men without college degrees. This same group has suffered economically in our increasingly globalized world, as machines have replaced workers in factories and labor has shifted overseas. Trump has promised to curtail trade and other perceived threats to American workers, including immigrants.

Yet a major new analysis from Gallup, based on 87,000 interviews the polling company conducted over the past year, suggests this narrative is not complete. While there does seem to be a relationship between economic anxiety and Trump’s appeal, the straightforward connection that many observers have assumed does not appear in the data.

According to this new analysis, those who view Trump favorably have not been disproportionately affected by foreign trade or immigration, compared with people with unfavorable views of the Republican presidential nominee. The results suggest that his supporters, on average, do not have lower incomes than other Americans, nor are they more likely to be unemployed.

Please go read the entire article, and you’ll find that in this “massive study” Gallup did not even consider racism as an explanation for Trump support!

While Trump is swift-boating himself and the media is busily covering his self-destruction, Hillary Clinton is quietly going about her business–campaigning in swing states, advertising during the Olympics, and building her GOTV operation–as the media tries desperately to fan the flames of some “scandal” or other in hopes of bringing her down.

Girl reading, George Cochran Lambdin

Girl reading, George Cochran Lambdin

The obsession with Hillary’s emails is going nowhere except with media Hillary haters and right wing nuts. ABC News reports: Emails Do Not Show Improper Influence From Clinton Foundation, State Department Says.

The State Department said today that there was nothing inappropriate in the communications that Hillary Clinton‘s staff had with the Clinton Foundation when she was secretary of state, recently exposed in new emails released by the conservative group Judicial Watch,

“The State Department is not aware of any actions that were influenced by the Clinton Foundation,” State Department Spokesman Elizabeth Trudeau said during today’s daily press briefing.

That comment comes after the release of two new emails sent by Clinton Foundation executive Doug Band, raising concerns about the relationship between Hillary Clinton’s State Department and the Clinton family’s philanthropic organization, the Clinton Foundation. In one email, Band requested a meeting between a wealthy donor and an ambassador, and in another he asked Clinton’s aides to find a job for an associated, whose name was redacted from the email.

Donald Trump has described the emails as “pay for play,” without producing any evidence of an exchange of money or political favors.

“The Department does not believe it was inappropriate for Mr. Band or any other individual to recommend someone be considered for employment at the State Department,” Trudeau said today. “We also do not believe it’s inappropriate for someone recommended in this manner to be potentially hired insofar as they meet the necessary qualifications for the job.”

The Clinton campaign said on Wednesday that this person was not a donor nor a Clinton Foundation employee, but refused to release his or her identity. Trudeau added that even if this person had been a Foundation employee or a donor, it would not have precluded the individual from being hired at the State Department.

Woman reading, Jon Urban

Woman reading, Jon Urban

The media will surely try to “trump”-up this story from CNN: Bill Clinton talks email controversy: ‘Biggest load of bull.’

The questioner identified himself as a Democrat who loved Clinton as president and is supporting his wife, Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 election. But, he wanted to know: Why should Americans trust the Democratic nominee when she lied about her emails?
“Wait a minute,” Bill Clinton said. “It’s not true.”
And so began the ex-president’s unexpected fiery defense of one of the biggest controversies dogging Hillary Clinton’s White House bid.
“First of all, the FBI director said when he testified before Congress, he had to amend his previous day’s statement that she had never received any emails that are classified. They saw two little notes with a ‘C’ on it,” Clinton said. “This is the biggest load of bull I’ve ever heard.”
Clinton went on to say that while the classification system of sensitive emails was “too complicated to explain to people,” what is clear is that Clinton and her colleagues were never being careless with national security.
“Do you really believe there are 300 career diplomats because that’s how many people were on these emails, all of whom were careless with national security? Do you believe that?” he said. “Forget about Hillary, forget about her. Is that conceivable?”
Clinton pointed to the number of prominent Republican leaders — particularly those in the national security arena — who have endorsed Clinton in recent weeks, as a sign that she is the only person fit to run the country.
“There are people who spent their lifetimes advancing national security who believe she’s the only person that you can trust,” Clinton said.

I say good for Bill and good luck to the media in trying to make this a “scandal” over the weekend.

What else is happening? Please post your thoughts and links on any topic in the comment thread and have a great Saturday!