This Is Heartbreaking. Richard Fausset, et al., of the New York Times: "Under mounting pressure from politicians, community leaders and boisterous protesters who have brought this city’s main business district to a near-standstill, the Charlotte police chief on Saturday released body and dashboard camera videos of the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, a black resident here. While they do not show everything that happened at the scene, the two released videos appear to show Mr. Scott exiting a white sport-utility vehicle, and backing away from it with his hands at his sides. He did not appear to be acting in a threatening or erratic manner. The police said they had recovered a loaded gun with Mr. Scott’s DNA on it, and that he wore an ankle holster. But they did not reveal where they recovered the gun. It was clear from the two angles that he had nothing in his right hand. It was unclear what, if anything, Mr. Scott, who was right-handed, had in his left hand. After Mr. Scott was shot multiple times and fell to the ground, his moans could be heard as officers handcuffed him." Includes video. ...
... CW: No wonder the police didn't want to release the video. This was an unwarranted, unjust killing at the hands of those whose duty it is to protect us.
Dan Balz & Scott Clement of the Washington Post: "Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will meet Monday night for their first debate in a virtual dead heat in the race for the White House, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.... Likely voters split 46 percent for Clinton and 44 percent for Trump, with Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson at 5 percent and Green Party nominee Jill Stein at 1 percent. Among registered voters, Clinton and Trump are tied at 41 percent, with Johnson at 7 percent and Stein at 2 percent.... Some other national polls currently show Clinton with a slightly larger lead, but on balance, the pre-debate survey averages show the margin in the race in low single digits." CW: The Post team led by Michael Kranish, in a report linked below, detail Trump's "dystopian views" of the state of the country. I too hold a "dystopian view." We live in a country where half the people are at the least ignorant & irresponsible, & at the worst horrible human beings. Until now, that's been a rumor or a "feeling"; now, it's a certainty.
Very "Presidential". David Ferguson of RawStory: "Gennifer Flowers — a woman with whom former Pres. Bill Clinton had an extramarital affair — has announced that she is accepting Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s invitation to sit in the front row of Monday night’s presidential debate. BuzzFeed News reported Saturday that Trump posted on Twitter that he would like to see Ms. Flowers in the audience on Monday. Within hours, Flowers announced that she would be happy to be there. The move by the Trump team appears to indicate that Trump will be bringing up former Pres. Clinton’s marital infidelities in an attempt to humiliate Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton at some point during the debate." --safari note: What to do when your candidate is a know-nothing, bombastic moron? Fight dirty. This moves reeks of an Ailes-Gringrich-Breitbert fever dream. How low can you go? We're about to see. ...
... Chas Danner of New York: "Trump threatened, via Twitter, to invite Gennifer Flowers to Monday night’s presidential debate in response to the news that the Clinton campaign had invited billionaire and vocal Trump critic Mark Cuban.... The Trump campaign released a negative ad earlier this week featuring footage of the Clintons being interviewed about the affair with Flowers...." In his tweet, Trump misspelled Flowers' name but later revised it. CW: As safari wrote, "very 'presidential.'" ...
... Steve M.: "This is said to be all Hillary Clinton's fault: 'Remember, if you're grossed out by Trump inviting Gennifer Flowers to the debate: Clinton kicked off this bit of trolling by inviting Cuban' — Edward-Isaac Dovere, [in a tweet].... Of course, Cuban and Flowers are not analogous -- Cuban did not have an affair with Trump's spouse. (As far as we know!).... The only risk is that idiot journalists -- the Chuck Todds, the Mark Halperins -- will think it's a good move.... But I don't think the public will respond well. And if it's just a matter of Flowers sitting mutely in the audience, and later giving an interview to Sean Hannity afterward that will be watched exclusively by people who are already certain to vote for Trump, it won't matter at all." -- CW ...
... Update. Kyle Cheney of Politico: "Mike Pence insisted Sunday that Gennifer Flowers ... would not be attending Monday’s debate, despite Donald Trump’s invitation." -- CW ...
... Amie Parnes of the Hill: " supporters see a double standard when it comes to Monday's presidential debate, which for the first time will feature a woman debating a man. Throughout the campaign, Clinton has faced questions and criticisms that would not be asked or made to a male candidate, her allies say.The jabs have come even Clinton surrogates such as former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, who this week said he'd like to see Clinton 'smile more' in the debate. The comment left ClintonWorld shaking its collective head." -- CW ...
... Josh Marshall of TPM thinks Trump will have a hard time winning a two person debate, perhaps because he'll say something outrageous, but more likely because he can't answer policy questions in any convincing detail, & his one-line non-answers will reveal to viewers he's not up to the job he seeks. -- CW ...
... Marshall's view jibes with safari's commentary in today's thread (which safari wrote before I linked Marshall's post). Also see Kate M.'s suggestions today for Hillary's guest list.
Roger Angell of the New Yorker: "I am late weighing in on this election — late in more ways than one. Monday brought my ninety-sixth birthday, and, come November, I will be casting my nineteenth ballot in a Presidential election.... My country faces a danger unmatched in our history since the Cuban missile crisis, in 1962, or perhaps since 1943, when the Axis powers held most of Continental Europe, and Imperial Japan controlled the Pacific rim, from the Aleutians to the Solomon Islands, with the outcome of that war still unknown...The first debate impends, and the odds that Donald Trump may be elected President appear to be narrowing. I will cast my own vote for Hillary Clinton with alacrity and confidence." Angell goes on to explain, through his historical experience, why Trump is so dangerous. Worth the read. -safari
** The New York Times Editors endorse Hillary Clinton for president: In any normal election year, we’d compare the two presidential candidates side by side on the issues. But this is not a normal election year. A comparison like that would be an empty exercise in a race where one candidate — our choice, Hillary Clinton — has a record of service and a raft of pragmatic ideas, and the other, Donald Trump, discloses nothing concrete about himself or his plans while promising the moon and offering the stars on layaway. (We will explain in a subsequent editorial why we believe Mr. Trump to be the worst nominee put forward by a major party in modern American history." CW: Read it.
Michael Kranish, et al., of the Washington Post: "An examination by The Washington Post of one week of Trump’s speeches, tweets and interviews show a candidate who not only continues to rely heavily on thinly sourced or entirely unsubstantiated claims but also uses them to paint a strikingly bleak portrait of an impoverished America, overrun by illegal immigrants, criminals and terrorists — all designed to set up his theme that he is specially suited to 'make America great again.'... Trump doubled down during the past week on some of his most controversial and debunked statements and made surprising new ones.” The reporters detail a week of Trumpbull.-- CW
"A Week of Whoppers." Maggie Haberman & Alexander Burns of the New York Times: "... Donald J. Trump has unleashed a blizzard of falsehoods, exaggerations and outright lies in the general election, peppering his speeches, interviews and Twitter posts with untruths so frequent that they can seem flighty or random — even compulsive. However, a closer examination, over the course of a week, revealed an unmistakable pattern: Virtually all of Mr. Trump’s falsehoods directly bolstered a powerful and self-aggrandizing narrative depicting him as a heroic savior for a nation menaced from every direction. Mike Murphy, a Republican strategist, described the practice as creating 'an unreality bubble that he surrounds himself with.'” The reporters "assembled a list of his 31 biggest whoppers, many of them uttered repeatedly." -- CW
Michael Finnegan of the Los Angeles Times: "Never in modern presidential politics has a major candidate made false statements as routinely as Trump has. Over and over, independent researchers have examined what the Republican nominee says and concluded it was not the truth — but 'pants on fire' (PolitiFact) or 'four Pinocchios' (Washington Post Fact Checker).... And he is dogged in refusing to stop saying things once they are proved untrue.... At a time of deep public mistrust of the news media, the arbitration of statements of fact, long seen as one of reporters’ most basic duties, runs the risk of being perceived as partisan bias. But so does the shirking of that role." -- CW
Kyle Cheney, et al., of Politico: Politico "subjected every statement made by both the Republican and Democratic candidates – in speeches, in interviews and on Twitter – to our magazine’s rigorous fact-checking process. The conclusion is inescapable: Trump’s mishandling of facts and propensity for exaggeration so greatly exceed Clinton’s as to make the comparison almost ludicrous.... According to Politico’s five-day analysis Trump averaged about one falsehood every three minutes and 15 seconds over nearly five hours of remarks.In raw numbers, that’s 87 erroneous statements in five days." -- CW
CW: All of these stories are placed prominently on the sites' online main pages.
"Philanthropy" Trump style: in name only. John Cassidy of the New Yorker: "Trump’s charitable giving has now become a campaign issue, largely due to a series of Post articles written by David Fahrenthold and his colleagues...So what is the bottom line? Even including the $1 million Trump donated to veterans earlier this year (after prodding from Fahrenthold), the public records indicate that, over the past quarter of a century, he has given away less than $5 million of his own money. According to his own estimate, he is worth in excess of $10 billion. If we take him at his word, that means his charitable contributions come to about 0.05 per cent of his fortune, or five cents for every $100...Trump likes to portray of himself as a great philanthropist, and the numbers simply don’t justify that image." --safari
Rebecca Morin of Politico: "Before Donald Trump mocked Hillary Clinton's postponement of a planned trip to Charlotte, the GOP nominee had nixed his own initial plans to visit the North Carolina city beset by protests after a fatal police shooting of an African-American man. Trump's visit was in 'preliminary stages' when he spoke with North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory on Thursday and they agreed to delay the visit, according to a GOP party official." CW: As Politico reported (see yesterday's Commentariat), "Donald Trump ... accus[ed] his opponent of trying to 'grandstand' and call[ed] her initial decision to go to Charlotte 'dumb.'" So he did what she did, but when she did it, it was "grandstanding" & "dumb."
From a 5-part piece by Der Spiegel: "Whoever emerges victorious in the election on Nov. 8 will likely be the president-elect with the least amount of popular support since World War II. The loser will presumably speak of a conspiracy and complain of the numerous untruths that poisoned the campaign. The phenomenon of Donald Trump, who can trace his roots back 131 years ago to the village of Kallstadt, near Mannheim, will certainly not be the end of this toxic development. He likely won't even be its apex.
Liars, after all, are no longer on the political fringe." -- unwashed
Other News & Views
Elise Viebeck of the Washington Post: "Republican lawmakers are under increasing fire for racially insensitive comments after the fatal police shootings of black men sparked unrest in two states.Remarks by Reps. Robert Pittenger (N.C.), Tim Huelskamp (Kan.), Steve King (Iowa) and ex-Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.), the GOP’s vice-presidential nominee, underscored to some observers Republicans’ tone-deafness on issues of race in a year of unprecedented attention to police bias against African-Americans.... [Pence said] that it is offensive to police to talk about 'institutional racism and institutional bias' after fatal shootings. Donald Trump and I believe there’s been far too much of this talk,' Pence said while campaigning in Colorado. Trump’s campaign has become increasingly identified with racially divisive comments." -- CW (Also linked yesterday afternoon.)
Beyond the Beltway
Paige Cornwell, et al., of the Seattle Times: "The search continued Saturday morning for the gunman who fatally shot five people Friday night in the Cascade Mall in Burlington.... The victims[four of them female,] identities have not been released, but authorities say they ranged from a teen to seniors. The suspect was described as a Hispanic male in his late teens to mid-20s with a close-shaved haircut. He used a long gun similar to a hunting rifle.... This marks Washington’s seventh mass shooting with at least four people shot this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Most recently, three people were shot dead at a in July." -- CW (Also linked yesterday afternoon.) ...
... Update. Jessica Lee, et al., of the Seattle Times: "Tips and surveillance video led to the arrest of a 20-year-old Oak Harbor man in connection with Friday’s deadly shooting at the Cascade Mall, authorities said Saturday night. The suspect, identified as Arcan Cetin, was arrested Saturday evening as he walked along a street in Oak Harbor. Cetin will be turned over to the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office, according to Island County authorities." -- CW
Jonathan Watts & Sibylla Brodzinsky of the Guardian: "In their 52-year fight against the Colombian state, Farc rebels used assault rifles, shrapnel-filled gas canisters, homemade landmines and mortar shells...Those weapons are now set to be silenced forever as part of a historic peace deal with the government, to be signed on Monday...Like many other Marxist and Maoist followers of the “armed struggle”, the Farc were inspired by the audacious exploits of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara...In the 1960s and 70s, guerrilla groups sprang up in every country in the region except Costa Rica...[M]any turned to the ballot box after the restoration of democracy in much of Latin America in the 1980s took away much of their raison d’etre...The longest-enduring groups, however, are in Peru, Paraguay and Colombia – all countries that are not coincidentally centres of drug production and smuggling, which is a source of funds and guns." Includes good historical review of Latin American guerilla movements and the holdouts still active today. --safari
Capitalism is Awesome, Ctd. Ashifa Kassam of the Guardian: "A small town in Ontario, Canada, has prompted fresh scrutiny of the bottled-water industry after its attempt secure a long-term water supply through the purchase of a well was outbid by the food and drinks multinational Nestlé...Nestlé Canada currently has permits that allow it to extract up to 4.7m litres of water a day from sources in Ontario...Last month, after a severe drought triggered questions about the millions of litres a day of water being sold to bottled-water companies in the province, Kathleen Wynne, Ontario’s premier, promised a government review into the practice." --safari
Alejandro Dávil Fragoso of ThinkProgress: "Dozens of native tribes from Canada and the United Stateshave joined forces against Alberta’s tar sands crude oil transport with the signing of a treaty Thursday. Calling for a clean and sustainable economy, tribes said any further pipeline or rail development for Canadian tar sands puts indigenous territories and waterways at serious risk to toxic spills." --safari