“I have never been in the room when someone has said, ‘Grab them by the pussy,” Stern said on his Sirius satellite radio show, quoting Trump’s own words caught on a hot mic during a 2005 “Access Hollywood” appearance. “No one’s ever advocated going that step where you get a little bit, ‘Hey I’m going to invade someone’s space.'”
Though Stern built his own career on jokes about mass shootings and raunchy interviews grilling celebrities about their sex lives, he said there was a line between lewdly describing women’s bodies and boasting about sexual assault.
We’re living in a strange, chaotic world. As usual, I don’t know where to begin with all the craziness, so I’m going to open with the story of a wild car crash in Delaware County, Indiana, where I grew up. Two young guys were racing their souped up cars side by side on a country road near Albany, Indiana when they hit a railroad crossing and suddenly went airborne.
After landing 75 feet from the crossing, one of the cars — a four-door, 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix driven by 18-year-old Grant Christopher of Parker City — veered off the edge of the road, struck a mailbox, returned to the road and sideswiped the other car, a four-door, 2016 Chevrolet Malibu driven by Darrian Lee, 20, of Albany, according to police.
Both cars then skidded into the yard of a residence, one smashing a wooden-barrel flower container, the other knocking over a tree. The cars then skidded into another residential yard, where Christopher struck a parked pickup truck, after which his vehicle and the pickup truck tore down a fence, police say.
Meanwhile, Lee’s vehicle struck a horse trailer parked in a yard, damaging the trailer’s axles and body, before spinning into the side of a van parked in the driveway. The last thing Lee’s car hit was the corner of a pole barn.
No one was hurt.
I guess they must have been wearing seat belts.
Am I nuts, or could that dramatic crash be a metaphor for what’s happening right now in this crazy election campaign? We’re living through a chaotic period in which one of the candidates is an authoritarian populist psychopath and pathological liar who has blatantly encouraged racism, xenophobia, and misogyny among his followers for the past year-and-a-half. The other candidate is the first woman in history with a serious chance to become President of the U.S.–a candidate with 30 years of experience in public service and the brains and talent to be a great world leader who has been forced to spend much of her time educating the electorate about the dangers of a Trump presidency.
There has been lots of talk lately about what will happen if the ignorant, neo-fascist candidate Donald Trump refuses to accept the results of the November 8 election.
Will his followers–who have already demonstrated their willingness to be violent and threatening against anyone who disagrees with them–take to the streets in protest? Will Trump be able to weaponize his large following to delegitimize a President Hillary Clinton as he tried to delegitimize Barack Obama, the first African American president?
Or will the election build to a crescendo and end with a noisy crash that does some serious damage, but leaves our republic essentially unhurt–protected by a metaphorical seat belt, the U.S. Constitution?
I’m hoping for and expecting the second possible outcome. I have to thank Lawrence O’Donnell for that confidence. Last night he said he hopes Trump does not concede because it won’t matter. O’Donnell also predicted that Trump fans won’t violently revolt if he loses, because they know he has lied to them repeatedly; they will realize that he has been using them for his own purposes. Here’s O’Donnell’s argument.
If Trump refuses to accept the outcome of the election, he will only look like a sore loser and a fool. There is no need for him to concede; his lack of concession would only be one more bit of evidence that he has no respect for the norms of our democracy.
Though considered an essential act to foster a peaceful post-election political transition of power, concessions by losing candidates are a formality – not a legal requirement.
“Just saying the words ‘I concede’ have no legal effect,” said Richard Hasen, founding co-editor of the Election Journal and author of the Election Law Blog. “What would have a legal effect is if he filed for a recount or do some sort of election contest.”
“In short, we don’t have a constitutional crisis on our hands if we don’t have a gracious concession on election night, even if the result appears a blowout,” Edward “Ned” Foley, author of “Ballot Battles: The History of Disputed Elections in the United States,” wrote on his blog last Friday.
Still, Trump laying out the possibility of not accepting the results is unnerving, Hasen and other election analysts said, because it threatens a smooth transition and could help delegitimize a Clinton presidency in the eyes of Trump’s ardent followers.
Possibly. But that would happen regardless. We’ve already gone through 8 years of Republicans treating Barack Obama as if he’s not a legitimate president; why should we be surprised if they continue that behavior under our first woman president? That is all the more reason why they need to be soundly defeated so that Hillary Clinton will have a Democratic majority in the Senate–and maybe even in the House.
Politico on October 17: Democrats dream the unthinkable: Speaker Pelosi.
As Donald Trump’s poll numbers tank, dragging the whole GOP down with him, the possibility that Pelosi could return to the speaker’s chair after a six-year absence has suddenly grown very real. No one has done anything like this since the legendary Sam Rayburn did 60 years ago, and it is still unlikely to happen. Yet the House is definitely in play, according to experts on both sides of the aisle, which means the 76-year-old Pelosi could be wielding the speaker’s gavel again come January.
It would be a stunning, almost unthinkable, triumph for Pelosi. Democrats lost 63 seats in 2010, and many thought Pelosi would — or should — retire. But the California lawmaker hung on. Democrats won seats in 2012 as President Barack Obama was reelected, but then were wiped out again in 2014. House Republicans amassed their biggest majority in 80 years, and there was open grumbling from some rank-and-file lawmakers about whether Pelosi should step aside for a younger leader who could bring Democrats back to the promised land.
Pelosi resisted. She saw Republicans oust John Boehner last year and replace him with Paul Ryan, 30 years her junior. Watching the rise of Trump, she started saying months ago that Democrats could take the House. No one really believed her, seeing her comments as just ritualistic posturing by a political leader trying to rally her troops.
Yet now, with less than four weeks to go, Democrats are suddenly hopeful they can pick up the 30 seats they need to recapture the majority.
“It’s no longer, ‘Can we fight to win the House?'” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra of California. “It’s, ‘Can [Republicans] fight to keep from losing the House?’”
Let’s make it so. We can end the GOP obstruction in Congress and continue down the road toward greater freedom and inclusiveness, toward greater autonomy for women. We can fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court with a qualified candidate. We can stop the GOP war on voting rights. Yes we can! With Hillary at the helm, we can continue the work of the first African American president and move on down the road to even greater horizons for our country.
More news, links only
Kurt Eichenwald at Newsweek: How I Got Slimed by Russian Propagandist Site Sputnik.
Don’t miss this one from The Cut: These Teen Girls Are Giving Donald Trump a Piece of Their Mind.
What else is happening? Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread, and have a terrific weekend!
We continue to learn how resilient and fragile our form of democracy can be. Yes, Benjamin Franklin! We have a Republic and most of us are trying to keep it! However, there is vast anger, ignorance, and hatred coming from the hearts of a segment of our population that is threatening our rule of law and government. Here’s a great explanation of the situation from retired Justice David Souter who spoke on this very topic several years ago. We’re not seeing a discussion of ideologies. We’re seeing bigots throwing hate bombs. These folks have forgotten both their civics courses and their civility.
This video and analysis comes from the Rachel Maddow news broadcast.
Here is that amazing clip of former Supreme Court Justice David Souter being frighteningly prescient about the decline of civic knowledge in America and the effect of that decline on the state of our democracy.
It’s hard to see how we can keep our Republic when we’re regaled with the autocratic leanings of extremely stupid, angry, and mean people that are our neighbors. It’s manifest in what they send to our Congress and it’s manifested in the last eight years of absolute politically-mandated gridlock by one of our major parties who has an entire constituency made up of an ignorant people that are proving they do not want to be free people no matter how much they scream ‘liberty’. They want white male privilege from years past. They want promises that no one can possibly deliver or keep. They’re losing because they want to stop change.
Republican Rep. Brian Babin on Thursday defended Donald Trump calling Hillary Clinton “a nasty woman” at the final presidential debate, saying “sometimes a lady needs to be told when she’s being nasty.”
Near the end of the debate Wednesday, Trump called Clinton “such a nasty woman” while she was answering a question on Social Security and Medicare. Trump’s comment elicited a strong rebuke online, where the #nastywoman went viral.
Appearing on the “Alan Colmes Show” on Thursday evening, Babin, a Trump supporter, was asked if he thought Trump’s comment was appropriate.
“You know what, she’s saying some nasty things,” the Texas congressman answered.
Colmes asked again if the comment was appropriate, to which Babin responded, “Well, I’m a genteel Southerner, Alan.”
“So that means no?” Colmes asked.
“No, I think sometimes a lady needs to be told when she’s being nasty,” Babin replied. “I do.”
“My assessment is that Mrs. Clinton has got so much baggage–” Babin added. “I think she’s done some nasty things.”
After Colmes repeatedly pressed the Texas congressman, he said he agreed with Trump’s assessment of Clinton as a “nasty woman.”
This is the mindset of the putrid form of patriarchy held up by the worst forms of American-styled christianity. It’s the one that has totally poisoned the Republican party. This crazy Congressman is the same form of “genteel southerner” that would prefer racial minorities be “put in their place” and any member of the GLBT that tries to live openly and authentically be put to death.
In his long career as an accomplished journalist working across the American South, Steve Crump has come face-to-face with hatred and bigotry.
The Emmy-winning journalist spent time reporting on the Ku Klux Klan in which he, a black man, interviewed members of the organization, people who by their very membership profess to hate him due to the color of his skin.
For all that, though, Crump, 59, told The Washington Post that he’s never felt the blunt hatred he did in Charleston, S.C., on Oct. 8.
Crump, who works for WBTV in Charlotte, was in Charleston working on a story about cleanup following Hurricane Matthew. Along with his camera crew, he was filming near the southern tip of the peninsula when he came across a young white man, he and later police identified as 21-year-old Brian Eybers, holding an iPad, apparently producing some sort of “citizen journalism,” as Crump put it.
The man, watching the WBTV crew, was narrating his story into the tablet when Crump caught wind of what he was saying.
“He basically said, ‘There’s a black guy here. No, wait a minute, he’s a slave. No wait a minute, he’s a ‘n-word,’ ” Crump told The Post.
Added Crump, “I went from 0 to 60 in an instant, just like that. I just turned to [my cameraman] and said, ‘We need to get this guy on tape.’” (The result can be viewed above, with offensive language bleeped.)
We have people that want all their problems solved by the government. They are not Democrats asking for Social Nets or investments in education. They are people that think if the government would just get rid of people not like them, they’d have everything. They are authoritiarians. They want people punished for nearly anything they deem offensive. They want women to stay home and be slaves to their husbands. They want nothing of folks who practice religions other than theirs and folks that have any kind of cultural or physical difference unlike theirs.
They believe absolute shit like abortions occur in the ninth month. They are illiterate of science and human physiology. They are part and parcel of the Trump cult. They are extremist Republicans. They are enabled by every Republican that won’t stand up to them or has quit standing up to them. The Republican party put together the FrankenTrumpers.
Donald Trump painted a picture of abortion in America in which doctors are “rip(ping) the baby out of the womb” the day before a baby is due to be born. However, medical experts have refuted that claim.
Trump said the following at the debate:
I think it’s terrible if you go with what Hillary is saying in the ninth month you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.
Now, you can say that that’s okay, and Hillary can say that that’s okay, but it’s not okay with me. Because based on what she’s saying and based on where she’s going and where she’s been, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month, on the final day. And that’s not acceptable.
An estimate by the federal government reveals that 91.4% of abortions in the United States occur within the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. Only 1.3% of abortions occur later than 21 weeks into pregnancy. Zero occur on “the final day,” which by definition would not be an abortion, it would be classified as an infanticide.
The right wing’s appalling lack of knowledge about basic human reproduction and physiology continues to assert itself into the lives of woman and their families. It’s a government intrusion in to the decisions of doctors and patients and it stops the use of live saving and pregnancy preventing methodology. It is all because of a bunch of gullible religious lunatics follow a political and powergrabbing group of evil ministers we have roaming this country. The Farewells are one of many examples. It’s never been about life. It’s about white men controlling the lives of women and children. Here’s a great breakdown of what was right and what was wrong about that abortion discussion from the last debate by Dr. Jennifer Gunter.
First of all, we don’t “rip” anything in OB/GYN. In surgery, we use sharp dissection and blunt dissection, but we don’t rip. Some women do tear during a vaginal delivery, but that’s not a doctor ripping the baby out. Even with a forceps delivery, I wouldn’t call it ripping. We also don’t rip tissues during c-sections.
Perhaps we can forgive Donald Trump for not knowing this as it is hard to believe that a man who bragged that he doesn’t change diapers and said he wouldn’t have had a baby if his wife had wanted him to actually physically participate in its care would have attended the birth of his own children. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart as there is, after all, lots of blood coming out the “wherever.”
Trump’s statement, as incorrect as it may be, supports the fallacy of the due-date abortion. It is a common anti-choice narrative that women come in at 39 weeks and have some kind of abortion for fun or out of boredom and that we doctors are only to happy to comply. I’m sure some people think there are Groupons. The more graphic the description of the procedure, the better as it helps to distract from the facts.
Talking about abortion from a medical perspective is challenging when you are not a health care provider. Even someone familiar with the laws can get confused. For example, Mrs. Clinton made an error speaking about late-term abortion when she said it was a health of the mother issue. Typically, it is not (it’s almost always fetal anomalies). However, this error on Clinton’s part only underscores how important it is for politicians to not practice medicine.
To put it in perspective, 1.3 percent of abortions happen at or after 21 weeks and 80 percent are for birth defects. Put another way, 1 percent of abortions that are at or after 21 weeks and are for birth defects and 0.3 percent of abortions are at or after 21 weeks and are not for birth defects (some of these will be health of the mother and a very few will be for other indications)
Trump’s writers for his speech last night continued to show how mean-spirited, lying, and ignorant this section of the Republican Party has become. The Alt-Right and its minions show no civility in any instance. They can’t even hold it together for a speech for children’s charities in front of a Cardinal, a roomful of clergy, and plutocrats and politicians. Trump was booed quite a few times for jokes that were not jokes or funny. Many of his remarks were just outright horrible barbs at one of the nation’s leading public servants. You may not agree with Hillary Clinton on the issues, but you cannot deny her life of public service to this country and to its children without being seriously misled, wrong, ignorant or evil. Trump actually had a good joke or two but couldn’t restrain himself to just jokes.
Ever the entertainer, Trump was probably responsible for the biggest laugh of the night but also the event’s loudest boos — until this year, booing was unheard of at the dinner.
The high point of Trump’s remarks started as a comment on media bias. Complaining about why the media is so much harder on the Trumps, Trump brought up how the media loved Michelle Obama’s recent speech but then “my wife gives the exact same speech and people get on her case. And I don’t get it. I don’t know why.
That was a joke. It was not out of line and it got his point of media bias across to the audience. Then he degenerated into just calling Clinton corrupt then saying she had no business being here because she’s anti-catholic. The booing ensued. It would be shocking under normal circumstances. It is no longer shocking with Trump and the current crop of Alt-Right wing nuts in charge of the Republican Party.
Never before have we seen anything like this since right before the Civil War. Look how that turned out.
Trump’s announced many times now that he’s reserving judgement on the outcome of this national election. Meanwhile, the polls show him losing much ground. He never held the high ground but even the swamps are turning on him. Obama has never been more popular. The margins of the polls in many states indicate that the Democrats will take the Senate and are closing in on taking the House. If this happens, we will know our Republic is still working.
But, what will we do with the losers? It doesn’t appear like they want to wake up to the fact that they are seriously out of step with the majority of the American people. It’s a relief to know that most of us are not like them in anyway. But we know one thing. They have guns. They have anger. They’ve been enabled and babied for too damn long.
Have a great day! Let us know what’s on your reading and blogging list today!!!
Thought we’d see if any one is going to watch the annual Alfred E Smith Dinner tonight. Any bets any which way to see if Donald Dumpf has any kind of sense of humor? Will Hillary come in looking like Joan Arc with a sword, shield, armor and a tightly surrounded by secret service?
Rumor has it, his inability to take a joke or seven about him uttered by President Obama at the 2011 Alfred E Smith dinner caused him to hoist himself this year on the American people.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have some tough shoes to fill — could either of them take over President Obama’s role as comedian in chief?
With 19 days left until the election, they’ll have their chance to try out Thursday night at the 71st annual Alfred E. Smith charity dinner, where many presidential candidates in the past have taken a break from the vitriol of the campaign and make fun of themselves.
It will be the last time the two will share a stage before Americans head to the polls on Nov. 8.
Both nominees are slated to attend the 9 p.m. ET white-tie event at the Waldorf Astoria, which will air live on CBSN, that benefits Catholic charities and some of the neediest children in New York. The fundraiser honors former New York governor Al Smith, who ran for president in 1928 and became the first Catholic nominee of a major party.
We’re undoubtedly going to see some awkward moments. What will the jokes actually be like at Cardinal Dolan’s little soiree? The dinner has not always been friendly or neutral politically.
A charitable foundation that takes his name was launched in 1946, two years after Smith’s death, and over the years its annual dinner has become “a ritual of American politics,” as historian Theodore H. White put it, where candidates of opposing parties would come together for a few hours of comic relief at the height of an intense campaign battle.
But the white-tie dinner itself has not been free of controversy, especially for its host. Cardinal Dolan, for example, was excoriated by conservative Catholics in 2012 when he continued the tradition by inviting President Obama, whose stance in support of abortion rights and other issues outraged some.
There was some precedent for Dolan to punt on an invitation to Obama: In 1996, then-Cardinal John O’Connor did not invite either of that year’s candidates because he did not want to give President Bill Clinton, an abortion rights supporter who was running for re-election, a church-sponsored platform that tends to show the candidates in a flattering light.
And in 2004, then-Cardinal Edward Egan did not invite either candidate, President George W. Bush or his challenger Democratic nominee, John Kerry, a Catholic who supports abortion rights.
But, what goes down tonight is kind’ve a big secret. Join us if you’re up for yucks and YUCK!!!!!Z
The dinner is such a ritual that it has its own episode of The West Wingdedicated to it. But there have been breaks in the tradition. In 1996, neither presidential candidate was invited. The official explanation was that the candidates were not able to confirm attendance, but it was widely reported that the Catholic leadership was dismayed by then-president Bill Clinton’s veto of a bill that would have outlawed late-term abortions. In 2004, the two candidates were not invited and there was speculation that it was Democratic nominee John Kerry’s pro-choice stance that was the issue.Trump and Clinton, however, are both expected to attend tonight, though neither campaign has shared details about what the candidates will say. A statement from the foundation confirming the candidates’ attendance promised that the two would “deliver the evening’s keynote speeches in the spirit of collegiality and good-humor that has become a hallmark of the gala.”In an election season filled with unusually harsh and spiteful rhetoric, some good-natured humor might be just the antidote the American people need.
We can only hope the secret service keeps Donald in a corner some where.
Are you ready? Grab the popcorn and your sense of humor, irony, and patriotism!!!
Hillary Clinton walked onstage last night in a gorgeous white pantsuit and then proceeded to crush Donald Trump in the third and final debate of the 2016 election season. It was obvious that someone had informed Donald that the camera would be on him when Hillary was speaking, because he struggled to control his facial expressions in the first part of the debate. But once again, Hillary successfully baited him and he quickly lost control. His handlers can spin his performance however they want. He’s toast.
Of course the top two media hot takes this morning were Trump’s refusal to say that he would accept the outcome of the election and his “such a nasty woman” comment that came while Clinton was discussing the Social Security trust fund. The real story is that Hillary Clinton gave a nearly flawless performance last night and in the previous two debates.
The third and final presidential debate has ended, and it can now be said: Hillary Clinton crushed Donald Trump in the most effective series of debate performances in modern political history.
The polling tells the story. As Nate Silver notes, on the eve of the first presidential debate, Clinton led by 1.5 points. Before the second, she was up by 5.6 points. Before the third, she was winning by 7.1 points. And now, writing after the third debate — a debate in which Trump said he would keep the nation “in suspense” about whether there would be a peaceful transition of power, bragged about not apologizing to his wife, and called Clinton “such a nasty woman” — it’s clear that Trump did himself no favors. Early polls also suggest Clinton won.
And it’s not just the presidential race. Betting markets now predict Democrats will win the Senate. Polls have started showing Democrats in striking distance of the House. The GOP has collapsed into a mid-election civil war, with the party’s presidential nominee openly battling the speaker of the House.
This is not normal. As Andrew Prokop concluded in his review of the political science evidence around presidential debates, “There’s little historical evidence that they’ve ever swung polls by more than a few percentage points.” In this case, they did. And it’s because Clinton executed a risky strategy flawlessly.The dominant narrative of this election goes something like this. Hillary Clinton is a weak candidate who is winning because she is facing a yet weaker candidate. Her unfavorables are high, her vulnerabilities are obvious, and if she were running against a Marco Rubio or a Paul Ryan, she would be getting crushed. Lucky for her, she’s running against a hot orange mess with higher unfavorables, clearer vulnerabilities, and a tape where he brags about grabbing women “by the pussy.”
There’s truth to this narrative, but it also reflects our tendency to underestimate Clinton’s political effectiveness. Trump’s meltdown wasn’t an accident. The Clinton campaign coolly analyzed his weaknesses and then sprung trap after trap to take advantage of them.
Clinton’s successful execution of this strategy has been, fittingly, the product of traits that she’s often criticized for: her caution, her overpreparation, her blandness. And her particular ability to goad Trump and blunt the effectiveness of his political style has been inextricable from her gender. The result has been a political achievement of awesome dimensions, but one that Clinton gets scarce credit for because it looks like something Trump is doing, rather than something she is doing — which is, of course, the point.
Read the rest at the Vox link above.
A few responses to Trump’s performance:
Jamie Bouie at Slate: Donald Trump vs. America.
After the first presidential debate, the Republican Party nominee called for monitoring and intimidation at polling places in cities like Philadelphia and Cleveland. During the second, Trump announced his plan to investigate Clinton using the power of the presidency, and promised to put her in jail for unnamed crimes against the state. He later turned that into a bona fide campaign slogan: “Lock her up.” For the last week, he’s decried the entire election process as “rigged”—a shadowy conspiracy meant to deny him a victory at the ballot box. And at the final presidential debate at the University of Nevada–Las Vegas, Donald Trump refused to commit to conceding the election, should he lose on Nov. 8….
Clinton called this “horrifying.” “We’ve been around for 240 years,” she said. “We’ve had free and fair elections. We’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them. And that is what must be expected of anyone standing on a debate stage during a general election.”
She’s right. In 1800, Federalist president John Adams lost to Thomas Jefferson and his Democratic-Republicans, following a painful and contentious contest. And rather than fight or challenge the results, Adams handed his rival the reins of power, the first peaceful transition of power in a democracy and a milestone in the history of the modern world. The act of conceding, in other words, is vital to the functioning of democracy. It confers legitimacy on the winner of an election, giving him or her a chance to govern. To refuse to concede, to denythat legitimacy, is to undermine our democratic foundations.
Surrogates for Trump have tried to defend his comments, citing then–Vice President Al Gore’s conduct following the 2000 election. But Gore didn’t challenge the process; he let it move forward. As ordered by state law, Florida had to do a recount. That recount was then stopped by the Supreme Court. At that point, Gore conceded the election, gracefully and without public hesitation.
In presidential elections at least, there’s simply no precedent for what Trump is promising. The slave South may have seceded from the Union following the 1860 election, but neither of Abraham Lincoln’s opponents denied his legitimacy as the duly-elected leader for the United States. It is world-historic in the worst possible way.
Bouie’s piece is a must-read.
Amy Davidson at The New Yorker: For Trump, the Election is Rigged if a “Nasty Woman” Can Win. Again, the whole thing is a must-read, but here some excerpts:
She shouldn’t be allowed to run,” Donald Trump said, of his opponent, Hillary Clinton, who was standing next to him on the debate stage in Las Vegas on Wednesday night. “It’s crooked—she’s—she’s guilty of a very, very serious crime. She should not be allowed to run. And just in that respect I say it’s rigged.” Trump’s tone was heated; to make this point, he had talked over the interjections of the moderator, Chris Wallace, and he kept on doing so, making clear how little he cares for decorum or democracy. This person—this woman—shouldn’t be allowed to contend, let alone win. Wallace’s question had been about whether Trump would accept the results of the election; Trump wouldn’t even accept the premise….
Perhaps what Trump is having trouble gauging now is how he might feel when he looks at a television on Election Day and sees the smiling face of Hillary Clinton as she is announced as the President-elect. He might react as he did when, late in the debate, she delivered a strong answer about Social Security that referred to the taxes he’s avoided paying. His features receded into a pool of curdled dust. “Such a nasty woman,” he said. In 2016, a major-party nominee for President seems to have mistaken misogyny for an argument against democratic legitimacy.
Trump’s contempt for women—and the lack of discipline it seemed to induce in him—was a leitmotif of the debate. Chris Wallace’s first question was about the kind of Supreme Court each candidate would nominate into being as President. There will be at least one opening, unless the Senate does its job and acts on the nomination of Merrick Garland, and, Wallace noted, “likely or possibly two or three appointments.” This should have been an easy one for Trump—a warmup question covered in any decent debate prep. There are voters with reservations about his character who might vote for him anyway, just to make sure that there’s no liberal in Antonin Scalia’s seat. But Trump began, and wasted a good part of his time, by rambling on about how Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had insulted him (“very, very inappropriate statements”). On reproductive rights, Clinton talked about the pain of women who, for health reasons, had to contemplate a late abortion; Trump portrayed them as incipient infanticidal brutes who, if not checked, might “rip the baby out of the womb” at the last minute. He also said that he assumed his judicial appointees would overturn Roe v. Wade. When Wallace, who controlled the situation better than any moderator so far, asked why “so many different women from so many different circumstances over so many different years” would say that Trump had groped or kissed them against their will, Trump first claimed that the stories had been “debunked” (they have not), then jumped into theories that “it was her campaign that did it,” and then let the audience know, as if it were exculpatory, that “I didn’t even apologize to my wife, who’s sitting right here, because I didn’t do anything.” And if it wasn’t a campaign plot, he said, then it was just women trying to get “their ten minutes of fame.”
Pretty good summary there. There’s more at The New Yorker link.
And then there was Trump’s defense of Vladimir Putin against the U.S. intelligence community’s clear statement that Russia is trying ot influence the election. The Washington Post: Donald Trump’s confusion and contradictions about Russia.
Trump has never accepted the Clinton campaign’s assertion that hackers controlled by the Kremlin are trying interfere in the 2016 elections, even after the Obama administration officially accused Russia.
Trump didn’t back down in the third presidential debate: “She has no idea whether it’s Russia, China, or anybody else.”
When Clinton interjected that “17 intelligence agencies” had concluded that the Kremlin is behind the cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee and other political institutions, Trump said, “Hillary, you have no idea. Our country has no idea.”
As we all know, Clinton went on to call Trump Putin’s “puppet,” and Trump’s grade-school level response was “no, you’re the puppet, you’re the puppet.”
That’s all I have for you this morning. I’m completely exhausted, because I stayed up watching the talking heads last night until they went off the air. I might have to take a nap.
What do you think were the high and low points of the debate? What are you hearing and reading this morning?
Hillary is wiping the floor with Donald Trump tonight. She gave a tremendous speech on Russian hacking, and Trump gave a speech defending Putin. And Hillary called him a puppet.
Here’s a new thread, so let’s keep up the discussion.
This is it–the final presidential debate in 2016. I expect Hillary to wipe the floor with Donald Trump tonight, and after that she will never have to share a stage with the “short-fingered vulgarian” again. She can move on to consolidating her voters in blue states and expanding the map to formerly red states like Arizona, Georgia, and Texas.
Hillary has spent the last five days doing debate prep while Donald Trump apparently has decided not to bother. He held rallies yesterday and the day before, and last night he mocked Clinton for taking time to prepare. I can’t find the transcript, but he claimed she was just lying in bed resting. I guess we’ll find out tonight who is ready and who is not.
For some strange reason, the Trump campaign has invited President Obama’s estranged half brother Malik Obama to the debate. Mediaite’s Alex Griswold: Trump’s Newest Debate Guest Appears to Support Terrorist Group Hamas, Abolition of Israel.
In a move apparently intend to troll the president, Donald Trump invited Barack Obama‘s half-brother Malik Obama to attend Wednesday’s night presidential debate. But Trump might have been unaware of Malik’s controversial support for anti-Israel terrorist groups.
In 2014, the Israeli press reported on the fact that Malik Obama was photographed wearing a red and white keffiyeh, which typically signifies support for Hamas rather than the more moderate Fatah. Emblazoned on the scarf were the slogans “Jerusalem is ours, we are coming,” and “From the river to the sea.” Both are popular chants used by the terrorist group.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked about this, and he said he couldn’t figure out what the point of this is.
“I have to admit, I really don’t know exactly what the intent is of this invitation, other than probably to get you guys to ask me about it,” he said. “But even then, I’m not really sure what goal that accomplishes. I guess you can check with the people who offered the invitation.”
Trump has also invited some women whose children were killed by illegal immigrants, Pat Smith, the estranged mother of a man killed in Benghazi, and a woman who was engaged to Ambassador Chris Stevens in for a short time in 1995. Josh Marshall’s reaction:
I was particularly struck when I saw Chris Stevens’ fiance mentioned. I didn’t know Chris Stevens had a fiance. And his family has been consistently and outspokenly opposed to the politicization of his death. Well, it turns out “Amb Chris Stevens’ fiance” is a bit of a stretch. Stevens and now-occasionally working French actress Lydie Denier were briefly engaged in 1995. What insight she has into his death seventeen years later other than self-promotion is a mystery.
I already noted the comedy of the Trump camp’s aggressiveness on this front since Hillary is fairly unflappable and it’s Trump who gets knocked off stride by the slightest provocation. But surveying this debate guest drama, what strikes me more than anything is that I cannot imagine anyone in the Clinton camp giving the slightest rat’s ass about any of this. This is no longer really about Clinton at all. It’s more like a ‘release all the animals from their cages in the menagerie’ freakout, go-for-broke primal scream inside the WND/Breitbart mind bubble. It’s operating entirely within that world. It doesn’t really connect up with anything outside of it. I’m not sure that’s even the intention.
Steve Bannon is warning that there will be other “surprises.” CNN Money reports:
According to Bannon, the news that President Obama’s Trump-supporting half-brother Malik Obama is attending Wednesday’s debate is “just an appetizer.”Trump will be bringing guests who “expose Bill and Hillary’s sordid past,” Bannon told CNN as he arrived in Las Vegas for the debate late Tuesday night.
When asked who comes up with the ideas to invite these guests, Bannon said, “We’re a team.”
Bannon, a longtime conservative media executive, was the chairman of the far-right Breitbart News until August, when he took leave from Breitbart to become the CEO of the Trump campaign….
Bannon said Trump is in good spirits heading into the debate — despite a huge deficit in national polls.
“Right now he really, really thinks he’s going to win,” Bannon said.
Okay. These folks really do live in an alternate reality.
More from Twitter:
Hillary has invited real billionaires Meg Whitman and Mark Cuban to the debate along with some people we saw at the Democratic convention and other Clinton appearances.
I think we all know what to expect from the debate tonight. Trump will be completely out of control because he knows he’s losing, despite what Steve Bannon says. I just hope the Secret Service keeps an eye on him. Still, here’s one of those articles telling us what could happen tonight.
The Washington Post: The presidential debate: Sexual assault claims, emails are expected to come up.
The Republican and Democratic presidential nominees will take the stage with distinct challenges. For Trump, the debate presents a gasping opportunity to stabilize his damaged campaign and to refute claims that he is unfit for office. Clinton, on the other hand, will seek to provide a positive vision of governance amid a deeply unpleasant election season that has often been consumed by Trump’s controversial rhetoric.
Chris Wallace of Fox News will moderate the forum, which is taking place at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. The 90-minute debate is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. Eastern time and will be broadcast on most major networks and streamed on numerous websites, including washingtonpost.com.
Six topics will be the focus of the night, according to the Commission on Presidential Debates: immigration, the Supreme Court, the economy, national debt and entitlements, turmoil abroad and fitness for the presidency. But several dominant news stories will almost certainly take central importance.
Since the second presidential debate 10 days ago in St. Louis, a growing list of women have come forward to accuse Trump of sexual harassment and assault. Those revelations came after the release of a damaging 2005 “Access Hollywood” video in which Trump bragged about kissing and groping women against their will because of his celebrity status. Many of the women said that they were compelled to speak out after hearing Trump during the St. Louis debate deny that he had ever forced himself on women. He has denied the accusations.
Clinton is likely to face questions about a trove of hacked emails belonging to her campaign chairman, John Podesta, that were leaked by WikiLeaks. She will probably also face renewed questions about the FBI’s decision not to charge her with a crime for using a private email server during her tenure at the State Department.
I thought this piece at Politico was interesting: Republicans undercut Trump ahead of final debate.
With Trump trailing nationally and in a number of battleground state polls — and even Arizona — Clinton’s campaign is expecting Trump to deploy a scorched-earth approach to their Las Vegas bout. But fellow Republicans unexpectedly placed a rhetorical firewall around the real estate mogul.
Indeed, if Newt Gingrich stepped on Trump’s toes by inadvertently highlighting his thin skin as a weakness that “I hope he grows out of,” Marco Rubio and John Kasich then stomped on both of his feet.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a top Trump surrogate, dealt the first blow when he offered a candid assessment of Trump’s shortcomings, including an expansion on his notion of Big Trump, Little Trump.
“There’s a piece of his personality, which is very sensitive, particularly to anything which attacks his own sense of integrity or his own sense of respectability, and he reacts very intensely, almost uncontrollably, to those kinds of situations,” Gingrich acknowledged during an interview conducted Tuesday and published Wednesday with the Washington Examiner’s David Drucker.
“I think that’s a weakness,” he added. “I hope he grows out of it.”
“Grows out of it?” At age 70? I don’t think so.
In addition, Marco Rubio said that no one should be using the hacked emails given to Wikileaks by Russia to attack Clinton and both Kellyanne Conway and John Kasich said that Trump’s claims of a “rigged election” are ridiculous. Of course he won’t listen, but it’s still interesting. Click on the link above to read more.
Let’s support each other through this. I hope it won’t be as nightmarish as the second debate, but we’ll find out soon.
I really wish we didn’t have to live through another debate tomorrow night. I just hope her Secret Service detail stay near the stage to protect Hillary. I know she will be dignified and unflappable, but I don’t want her to have to deal Trump’s insults anymore. In a few short weeks, she will be President of the United States and Trump can try and fail to start a Trump news network. He has ruined his own brand, and I’m glad.
At least it’s difficult to understand how Trump could continue attacking Hillary based on Bill’s behavior with women in the ’90s after Melania went on CNN last night and attacked the women who have come forward to accuse her husband of sexual assault.
The New York Times: ‘They’re Lies’: Melania Trump Rejects Women’s Claims That Husband Groped Them.
Ms. Trump, in an extensive interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, said the women who had accused Donald J. Trump of groping and kissing them were lying, and likened her husband to a teenage boy who engages in macho boasting.
She echoed her husband’s complaint that he was the victim of a broad conspiracy between the news media and the Clinton campaign.
“I believe my husband, I believe my husband — it was all organized from the opposition,” Ms. Trump said. “They can never check the background of these women. They don’t have any facts.” ….
Ms. Trump, 46, called the exchange between Mr. Trump and Mr. Bush “boy talk,” and said Mr. Trump had been “egged on” by the host “to say dirty and bad stuff.”
But she stressed that she believed that Mr. Trump was simply being boastful and did not engage in the behavior he described.
“Sometimes I say I have two boys at home: I have my young son, and I have my husband,” she said with a slight laugh. “But I know how some men talk, and that’s how I saw it, yes.”
Hmmm. . . she doesn’t make her husband sound very presidential. She also claims women are constantly trying to attract her husband’s attention
“I see many, many women coming to him and giving the phone numbers and, you know, want to work for him or inappropriate stuff from women,” she said. “And they know he’s married.http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/17/politics/melania-trump-interview/index.html”
Mrs. Trump told Anderson Cooper that her husband is a “gentleman.”
Melania Trump called her husband “real” and “raw” — and said because of his years as an entertainer, he faced an especially tough challenge transitioning into politics, because he has made decades’ worth of controversial comments.
“It’s very hard, especially for him — when he decided to run for the presidency, because he did so many stuff in his life. He was on so many tapes, so many shows. And we knew that — that, you know, tapes will come out, people won’t want to go against him.
“But my husband is real. He’s raw. He tells it like it is. He’s kind. He’s a gentleman. He supports everybody. He supports women. He encourages them to go to the highest level, to achieve their dreams. He employs many, many women,” she said.
She said she wouldn’t describe what Trump said on the tape as sexual assault, even though in the video Trump appeared to be describing his own actions.
“No, that’s not sexual assault,” she said. “He didn’t say he did it.”
Actually he did though. And even Howard Stern doesn’t buy the “boys will be boys” defense. TPM reports:
Shock jock Howard Stern on Monday refuted his friend Donald Trump’s claim that his leaked comments about grabbing women’s genitals were just “locker room talk.”
Fortunately, we won’t have to listen to anyone in the Trump family much longer, because he is not going to be POTUS. Stuart Rothenberg at the Washington Post: Trump’s path to an electoral college victory isn’t narrow. It’s non-existent.
The trajectory of the 2016 presidential race — which will result in a Hillary Clinton victory — remains largely unchanged from May, when Donald Trump and Clinton were in the process of wrapping up their nominations.
But what has changed recently is Clinton’s likely winning margin. For many weeks, even months, I have believed that Clinton would defeat Trump by three to six points. If anything, that range now looks a bit low, with the Democratic nominee apparently headed for a more convincing victory, quite possibly in the four-to-eight point range.
Trump continues to be his own worst enemy, saying or tweeting things that only fuel chatter about his current and past views, values and behavior. His comments about people — from Vladimir Putin and Alicia Machado to some of the women who have accused him of sexual assault — have kept the focus on him at a time when he should be making the election a referendum on Clinton.
No, Trump’s supporters have not turned on him. But he trails badly with only a few weeks to go until Nov. 8, and he must broaden his appeal to have any chance of winning. That is now impossible.
Read the whole thing at the link.
Eric Levitz at New York Magazine: New Polls Show Clinton on Pace for a Landslide.
On Monday, CNN’s new “poll of polls” — an average of the four most recent national surveys that meet the network’s standard — put Clinton ahead of Trump by 8 percent.
One of those surveys was George Washington University’s Battleground Poll, which also found Clinton leading the GOP nominee by eight points. The same poll had Clinton up by only 2 percent in early September. In that earlier survey, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein were collectively polling three points higher than they are now, with the Libertarian claiming 8 percent and the Green Party nominee just 2 percent.
A Politico/Morning Consult poll out Monday finds Clinton leading Trump 42 to 36 percent in a four-way race. After the vice-presidential debate, Trump had climbed to 39 percent, but grab’em by the pussy-gate and last week’s wave of sexual-assault allegations have pulled the GOP nominee back to where he stood after he bragged about tax evasion at the first debate. Clinton’s support has hovered around 42 percent in the poll for all of October.
As of this writing, FiveThirtyEight’s Polls Only forecast gives Clinton an 87 percent chance of taking the Oval Office next January.
More polling info at the link. And check this out from Peter Daou at Share Blue: Boys will be boys…and women will be presidents.
Some feel-good stories to check out:
What else is happening? What stories are you following today?