Weekly Address

The President's Weekly Address

White House: "In this week’s address, President Obama commemorated the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture":

... Henry Louis Gates in a New York Times op-ed: "With the ringing of a bell and a speech from President Obama, the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington is to officially open its extraordinary collection to the public on Saturday." -- CW 

The Wires

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post: (August 2): "Federal health authorities on Monday urged pregnant women not to visit a South Florida neighborhood where new cases of the Zika virus have emerged, the first time officials have warned against travel to part of the continental United States due to the outbreak of an infectious disease.” -- CW

 

The Los Angeles Times has extensive coverage of the Emmy Awards here.

The video below will most likely be taken down for copyright infringement, so watch it while you can. It's pretty funny. Here's a WashPo report on Jeb!'s cameo on the opening bit for the Emmy Awards. Also, ABC may put up a video of it here, but they have nothing at all up on the awards ceremony as of 8:30 am ET, Monday, Sept. 19.

Chris Welch of the Verge: "Twitter is about to make a big change to the way that tweets work.... Beginning September 19th, the company will cut down on exactly which types of content count toward the platform's 140-character limit. Media attachments (images, GIFs, videos, polls, etc.) and quoted tweets will no longer reduce the count. The extra room for text will give users more flexibility in composing their messages."

You'll want to supersize this one:

 

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, unsuccessful in his bid to become Donald Trump's running mate, has reimagined himself as a celebrity, instead. He'll appear this season on "Dancing with the 'Stars,'" competing against other fabulous celebrities like Ryan Lochte, unless Lochte is unavoidably detained in a Brazilian jail. (Here's a link to Perry's veepstakes proffer. Of course Trump ultimately rejected Perry, but promised to make him head of some agency or department Perry probably can't remember.) CW: As always, we concentrate on the serious, important news because politics ain't funny.

...Washington Post: Charles Osgood, who is 83 years old, announced Sunday, August 28, that he was retiring as host of the long-running CBS show "Sunday Morning." "He will stay on through Sept. 25. Osgood has been the face of the weekly program since 1994, when he took it over from its first host, Charles Kuralt." -- CW 

... Guardian: "The search for life outside our solar system has been brought to our cosmic doorstep with the discovery of an apparently rocky planet orbiting the nearest star to our sun. Thought to be at least 1.3 times the mass of the Earth, the planet lies within the so-called 'habitable zone' of the star Proxima Centauri, meaning that liquid water could potentially exist on the newly discovered world." -- CW 

Guardian: "A fisherman in the Philippines has kept what might be the largest natural pearl ever found hidden in his home for more than 10 years. The enormous pearl is 30cm wide (1ft), 67cm long (2.2ft) and weighs 34kg (75lb). If it is confirmed to have formed within a giant clam, as has been reported, it would likely be valued in excess of US$100m." CW: Looks like there will be a fight on this: when he moved house, the fisherman entrusted it to his aunt for safekeeping. "With his permission, she offered the pearl to the mayor, Lucilo R Bayon, to serve as new tourist attraction of city." -- CW 

"Giovanni della Robbia’s 'Resurrection of Christ,' made for an entrance gate to the villa of the Antinori family outside Florence." Brooklyn Museum photo. CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE LARGER IMAGE.New York Times: "One of the most innovative art-as-advertising firms in late-15th- and early-16th-century Florence was the della Robbia workshop, a family concern that prospered for three long-lived generations. Its specialty was a brand of glazed terra-cotta sculpture that was physically durable, graphically strong and technologically inimitable. (The exact methods for producing it remain a mystery to this day.)... The Museum of Fine Arts [in Boston is mounting] “Della Robbia: Sculpting With Color in Renaissance Florence”..., a show of ideal size and scholarly weight that includes among 46 pieces one of the tenderest Renaissance sculptures in existence — 'The Visitation' by Luca della Robbia — on first-time American loan from its Tuscan church."

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Tuesday
Sep132016

IOKIYAR

By Akhilleus:

We laugh, ruefully, it's true, at the acronym IOKIYAR, because it's almost always lamentably accurate. Things that could destroy a Democrat are often blithely ignored as long as Republicans do them.

One of the most egregious, given the never-ending, sweaty pursuit of Hillary Clinton's emails, a case that has been fine-tooth combed until reduction to component molecules has been achieved, without finding anything but bad judgement, is the strange "loss" of 22 million--that's right, twenty.two.million emails by the Bush 43 administration. Well, you might say, these were probably emails covering things like interstate commerce policy and attendance of a statue unveiling, or what's on the menu for a state dinner to honor the Grand Poobah of Kirabati, or what to eat when watching the Super Bowl so as not to choke and pass out, or perhaps a simple reminder of the importance of subject-verb agreement.

Nope.

The "lost" emails happened to have been sent right around the time The Decider and his chief leg breaker, Darth Cheney, were lying about WMD so they could invade a country that had zippo to do with 9/11. That, and the emails from four years later when Bush and his AG were staging a nation-wide putsch against Democratic attorneys general who dared to stand up to their made up bullshit about election fraud.

A lengthy article in Newsweek finds that...

"Clinton’s email habits look positively transparent when compared with the subpoena-dodging, email-hiding, private-server-using George W. Bush administration. Between 2003 and 2009, the Bush White House 'lost' 22 million emails. This correspondence included millions of emails written during the darkest period in America’s recent history, when the Bush administration was ginning up support for what turned out to be a disastrous war in Iraq with false claims that the country possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and, later, when it was firing U.S. attorneys for political reasons.

Like Clinton, the Bush White House used a private email server—its was owned by the Republican National Committee. And the Bush administration failed to store its emails, as required by law, and then refused to comply with a congressional subpoena seeking some of those emails. 'It’s about as amazing a double standard as you can get,' says Eric Boehlert, who works with the pro-Clinton group Media Matters. 'If you look at the Bush emails, he was a sitting president, and 95 percent of his chief advisers’ emails were on a private email system set up by the RNC. Imagine if for the last year and a half we had been talking about Hillary Clinton’s emails set up on a private DNC server?'"

Think Jason Chaffetz (described by one wag as sitting on "...the top of the GOP shitpile in Congress despite the fact that he is dumber than a sack of Louis Gohmerts." Ouch!) will be sending out subpoenas to get to the bottom of this? So a private email server, owned and operated by the RNC was okay for George Bush, a president during a time of "war", but for a Secretary of State, it's permission for Confederates to suggest that she be imprisoned for life and/or murdered?

At the time, if you recall, anyone who dared to look crosseyed at the crosseyed Decider (which, if he ever made eye contact, might have fixed that problem, although he'd still be an asshole...) was charged, by Confederates, with treason.

So, to review, if you're a Democrat and wish to investigate serious criminality on the part of a Republican president, you're a traitor. If you're a Republican and you want to make shit up about a Democratic president and presidential candidate, you're a patriot. Well sure, that seems fair.

With a Democrat in the White House and likely another one on the way, all manner of scurrilous, untrue, and invented charges are allowed to stand and given the power of media sanctioning.

Sometimes IOKIYAR is an embarrassing head-shaker. Other times, it's criminal.

Monday
Sep122016

The Commentariat -- Sept. 13, 2016

Presidential Race

 

If you get in trouble out there, just call him an animal fucker. -- Roger Ailes, to George H.W. Bush, just before a 1988 presidential debate between Bush & Michael Dukakis ...

... Jill Lepore has a long piece in the New Yorker on the history of presidential (and other) debates. CW: I would say I didn't know 93.5 percent of the content of the article.

Madam Secrecy. Amy Chozick & Patrick Healy of the New York Times: "Shortly after receiving a diagnosis of pneumonia on Friday, Hillary Clinton decided to limit the information to her family members and close aides, certain that the illness was not a crucial issue for voters and that it might be twisted and exploited by her opponents, several advisers and allies said on Monday.... But Mrs. Clinton's penchant for privacy backfired. On Monday, her campaign scrambled to reassure voters about her health, a day after she grew visibly weak and was filmed being helped into a van: unsettling images that circulated widely and led her aides to disclose the pneumonia diagnosis two days after the fact. In a phone interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper on Monday night, Mrs. Clinton said she had kept her diagnosis a secret because 'I just didn't think it was going to be that big a deal,' and tried to shift the discussion to ... Donald J. Trump.... 'It's really past time for him to be held to the same standards,' she said. Mrs. Clinton's aides acknowledged that they should have been more forthcoming and said she would release more details about her physical fitness and medical history this week, a concession to the political pressure that she is under because she chose not to reveal her diagnosis sooner." -- CW ...

Antibiotics can take care of pneumonia. What's the cure for an unhealthy penchant for privacy that repeatedly creates unnecessary problems? -- David Axelrod, former strategist for President Obama, in a tweet

There's a reason that we have had a long tradition in this country of individual candidates disclosing information about their health to the American public before the election. -- Josh Earnest, President Obama's press secretary, at a briefing Monday

... Philip Rucker & Anne Gearan of the Washington Post: "Clinton's decision [to keep her illness secret] set in motion perhaps the most damaging cascade of events for her in the general-election campaign -- giving fresh ammunition to Republican nominee Donald Trump, who lags in the polls, and spoiling a two-week offensive she had plotted before the first debate.... Had Clinton heeded her doctor's advice, she would not have gone to a glitzy fundraiser Friday night where she let her guard down and inartfully talked about Trump's supporters, nor would she have been spotted collapsing Sunday morning as she was rushed out of a 9/11 memorial ceremony.... Bill Clinton plans to appear in his wife's stead at two star-studded fundraisers Tuesday in Beverly Hills. He also will fill in for her at a campaign event in Nevada on Wednesday, aides said." -- CW ...

... Glenn Thrush & Brianna Ehley of Politico: "Hillary Clinton never lost consciousness, and never stopped talking on her phone -- and never put anyone else in danger -- after her near swoon at a Sept. 11 memorial on Sunday in New York, according to accounts offered by several people close to the candidate. The near-fainting spell, according to Clinton's staff, is a greater political problem than a physical one -- and the centerpiece of its Monday pushback strategy was a vow to release a far more detailed medical history of the 68-year-old candidate that proves she suffers from no previously undisclosed conditions.... On Sunday, Clinton began showing signs of light-headedness standing at the Sept. 11 memorial service next to New York Sens. Charles Schumer -- who on Monday disclosed that he too just got over a bout of pneumonia -- and Kirsten Gillibrand, the sources said, and they flagged aides to get her water. After a few minutes, the candidate and her staff determined that she needed to get out of the heat...." -- CW ...

... Oh, Good Grief! Kyle Cheney of Politico: "A former Democratic National Committee chairman says President Barack Obama and the party's congressional leaders should immediately come up with a process to identify a potential successor candidate for Hillary Clinton for the off-chance a health emergency forces her out of the race.... Don Fowler, who helmed the DNC from 1995 to 1997, during Bill Clinton's presidency, and has backed Hillary Clinton since her 2008 presidential bid, [said Monday], 'I think the plan should be developed by 6 o'clock this afternoon.'... 'She better get well before she gets back out there because if she gets back out there too soon, it might happen again,' he said." CW: Don Fowler is 81 years old, which might or might not help explain why he says such damned stupid things. ...

... Is That Ted Strickland's Excuse, Too? Darrel Rowland of the Columbus Dispatch: "... former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland [D], [a candidate for the U.S. Senate]..., said [Tim] Kaine is 'a wonderfully prepared person to be vice president, and to be the president if that ever became necessary.' The comment went viral after it was tweeted by The Dispatch...." CW: Strickland is 75. ...

... Adam Edelman of the New York Daily News: "Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) [who stood near Clinton at the 9/11 ceremony], revealed Monday that he, like Hillary Clinton, had also been diagnosed with pneumonia recently.... Schumer ... said he had been diagnosed with the illness several weeks ago.... Schumer spokesman Matt House told the Associated Press that the New York senator had also been diagnosed with pneumonia and took antibiotics and kept a lighter schedule while recovering." -- CW

... Yay! A Conspiracy Theory for Libruls. Cindy Boren of the Washington Post: "Bennet Omalu, the forensic pathologist who has made the NFL so uncomfortable with his discovery of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in the brains of deceased players, suggests that Hillary Clinton's campaign be checked for possible poisons after her collapse Sunday in New York.... 'I must advice the Clinton campaign to perform toxicologic analysis of Ms. Clinton's blood. It is possible she is being poisoned,' [Omalu tweeted, and later,] 'I do not trust Mr. Putin and Mr. Trump. With those two all things are possible.'" ...

... Crazy? Remember that Omalu, as Boren reports, "became known for the tenacity with which he pursued the deaths of several former Pittsburgh Steelers during his time in the city's medical examiner's office. Eventually, he convinced skeptics that players were suffering brain damage as the result of taking a number of blows to the head." CW: Boren doesn't report it, but it seems a number of Clinton's top staff also became ill at about the same time Clinton began showing symptoms. ...

     ... People: At least half a dozen senior staff were felled [by illnesses with similar symptoms,] including campaign manager Robby Mook. Two top advisers even needed emergency medical treatment, the source says. One top adviser diagnosed at a Brooklyn urgent-care center with a respiratory infection was being treated with antibiotics in the days before Clinton's diagnosis. Another top adviser was taken by ambulance to the ER after collapsing from what turned out to be severe dehydration, the source said." CW: So maybe not a totally nutty theory, though I'd guess it's more likely that a bug caused the illnesses rather than "Putin poisons Clinton."

** Annals of "Journalism," Ctd. Ta-Nehisi Coates of the Atlantic: "The media's criticism of Clinton's claim [about Trump's bigoted supporters] has been matched in vehemence only by their allergy to exploring it.... What they have yet to come to grips with is that Donald Trump is a democratic phenomenon, and that there are actual people -- not trolls under a bridge -- whom he, and his prejudices against Latinos, Muslims, and blacks, represent.... For much of this campaign journalists have attacked Hillary Clinton for being evasive and avoiding hard questioning from their ranks. And then the second Clinton is forthright and says something revealing, she is attacked -- not for the substance of what she's said -- but simply for having said it.... The shame reflects an ugly and lethal trend in this country's history -- an ever-present impulse to ignore and minimize racism, an aversion to calling it by its name." CW: Read the whole post.


By Driftglass.Alexander Burns & Maggie Haberman
of the New York Times: "Denouncing the allegation that his supporters were bigoted, Mr. Trump argued in a speech in Baltimore that Mrs. Clinton had shown 'contempt' for voters by deriding many of his supporters as racist and sexist, calling them a 'basket of deplorables' at a fund-raiser on Friday. At a rally on Monday night in North Carolina, Mr. Trump said Mrs. Clinton was running a 'hate-filled and negative campaign.'... He used a speech to the National Guard Association of the United States to defend his supporters at length.... 'If Hillary Clinton will not retract her comments in full, I don't see how she can credibly campaign any further,' Mr. Trump said, demanding an apology. He claimed that his campaign was doing 'amazingly well with African-American and Hispanic workers.'" -- CW ...

... Sean Sullivan of the Washington Post: "Trump spoke at an arena [in Asheville, N.C.,] where the atmosphere grew tense as protesters repeatedly interrupted his speech. Some of them made obscene gestures as they were removed from the premises. At one point, a man took a fighting stance and then pushed and grabbed male protesters and swatted at a female protester. The protesters appeared to be in an antagonistic verbal exchange with the man." -- CW ...

... Trump "Deplores" 50 Percent of Americans. David Corn of Mother Jones: "Despite Trump's purported outrage over the Clinton remark, the mogul has engaged in his own demonization of Americans that has echoed the '47 percent' comment that landed Mitt Romney in trouble during the 2012 campaign. More than once, [Trump] ... has dismissed tens of millions of Americans -- up to half of all Americans -- as shiftless people with no desire to work. During a June 2015 interview on Fox News with Sean Hannity, Trump declared: 'The problem we have right now -- we have a society that sits back and says we don't have to do anything. Eventually, the 50 percent cannot carry -- and it's unfair to them -- but cannot carry the other 50 percent.'" Corn cites numerous other similar Trump remarks. "Americans with no spirit, no desire to work, lazing about and feeling entitled -- Trump has long been deploring scores of millions of Americans. But for him and his backers, this is not a disqualification. Dismissing these Americans is no slip; it's a key feature of his campaign." ...

... CW: We should do the math. Trump deplores half of all Americans. Clinton deplores half of all Trump supporters. So, at the very least, Trump deplores twice as many Americans as Clinton does. Also, too, her remark was factual, while Trump's view that the "good people" half are carrying the "loser" half is bull. Of course in Right Wing World facts = what you want to believe or what you "feel." And self-proclaimed multi-billionaire Trump, BTW, isn't "carrying" anybody for all those years we can fairly assume he didn't pay income taxes (though of course even Trump can't evade all taxes -- like the sales taxes that he and all the "losers" pay).

... Henry Gomez of Cleveland.com: "I don't think it's a coincidence that, recently, readers have told me I should be 'on the other side of the wall' and that my background should 'disqualify' me from covering this election. These came ... from people using their real names.... Sadly, simply being a Gomez is enough to make you a target.... I have wondered how I can objectively point out that Trump encourages hate.... Perhaps I could show them messages like these ... 'Since we're stereotyping maybe we should start asking to see your green card. You a spic or a beaner?'" Gomez cites several other examples. Gomez is a third-generation American on both sides of his family. But still a "spic" or a "beaner." ...

... German Lopez of Vox: "It's impossible to say what's in people's hearts and minds, but we do have a lot of evidence from a number of nonpartisan polling firms.... The findings suggest a great majority of Trump supporters hold unfavorable views of Muslims and support a policy that bans Muslims from entering the US. Most of them support proposals that stifle immigration from Mexico, and they agree with Trump's comments that Mexican immigrants are criminals. And many -- but not a majority -- say that black people are less intelligent and more violent than their white peers." -- CW

... Dana Milbank: "Hillary Clinton may have been unwise to say half of Donald Trump's supporters are racists and other 'deplorables.' But she wasn't wrong. If anything, when it comes to Trump's racist support, she might have low-balled the number.... Research ... [has] found that Trump does best among Americans who express racial animus. Evidence indicates fear that white people are losing ground was the single greatest predictor of support for Trump.... Trump, on stage, rejected any notion of racism.... But moments later, he repeated the campaign slogan he borrowed from an anti-Semitic organization that opposed involvement in World War II. 'America First – remember that,' he said. 'America First. That's deplorable." -- CW ...

... Jonathan Chait: "The national media has spent a year and a quarter documenting in exquisite, redundant detail the rabid, anti-intellectual nationalistic bigotry of Trump's hard-core fanbase. But it has taken Hillary Clinton's affirmation to transform this by-now-banal observation into a scandal.... Clinton committed a gaffe because she acknowledged a reality that literally every other person in America, including Donald Trump himself, is permitted to speak aloud." CW: Read the whole post. ...

... Charles Pierce on the new, "reasonable" Donald Trump: "I think his ties to the lunatic right are so solid at this point that he doesn't have to worry about ginning them up any more than he already has. Doesn't mean he won't do it, but, if the elite political press continues to be his proxy in defending the kind of movement he's built, he shouldn't have to."

Calvin Trillin in a New Yorker "Shouts & Murmers" piece: Donald Trump "wears a floppy suit jacket and a baseball hat. What's he hiding? And have you noticed that his neckties -- wide neckties, really huge neckties, huge -- come clear down to his belt buckle? How does that happen with a man who is six feet three? That's all I'm asking. Is he malformed? Does he have a short upper body to go with the short fingers? Does he buy extra-long ties? Or are the neckties specially designed to hide the outlines of some stays around his midsection? I don't know, but that's what some people say." And so forth. Funny. -- CW ...

... Brian Beutler: "Hillary Clinton's gaffe was so bad it made Mike Pence refuse to call David Duke 'deplorable.'" When Wolf Blizter asked pence if he would call [former KKK grand wiz] David Duke deplorable, pence said, "No, I'm not in the name-calling business." "Republicans and no small number of pundits believe Hillary Clinton's dismissal of Donald Trump's 'basket of deplorables' is comparable to Mitt Romney's dismissal of people who pay no income taxes. There are many problems with this assumption, but the biggest is that the poor and working-class people Romney disparaged elicited sympathy, whereas the deplorables really are just that." ...

... CW: So I guess calling Hillary Clinton "the most dishonest candidate for President of the United States since Richard Nixon," as mike did last week, is not "name-calling." Aren't "deplorable" and "dishonest" both pejoratives? Or does mike think "most dishonest" is a compliment? ...

... Andrew Kaczynski of BuzzFeed: "Louisiana Senate candidate and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke says he's pleased that vice presidential nominee Mike Pence declined to call him 'deplorable' in an interview on Monday. 'It's good to see an individual like Pence and others start to reject this absolute controlled media,' Duke told BuzzFeed News. 'The truth is that the Republican Party in Louisiana -- I received the vast majority of Republican votes for United States senator before and for governor before that in my state. The truth is the Republican Party is big tent. I served in the Republican caucus. I was in the Republican caucus in the legislature. I had a perfect Republican voting record. It's ridiculous that they attack me because of my involvement in that nonviolent Klan four decades ago.'" -- CW: So hugs all around. Sweet. If you're wondering about the cause of pence's reticence, look no further than Duke's statement: pence doesn't want to cost Trump and himself any of the overt racist vote.

David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post: "... in at least five cases, the Trump Foundation may have reported making a donation that didn't seem to exist.... Five times, the Trump Foundation's tax filings described giving a specific amount of money to a specific charity -- in some cases, even including the recipient's address. But when The Post called, the charities listed said the tax filings appeared wrong. They'd never received anything from Trump or his foundation. [In one case,] the incorrect gift had been listed on the Trump Foundation's tax filings in a way that served to hide a real gift -- the improper donation to [Florida AG Pam] Bondi's group -- from the IRS." -- CW ...

... David Fahrenthold: "A spokeswoman for Donald Trump's presidential campaign, seeking to rebut criticism of the GOP nominee's history of charitable giving, said that Trump has given away 'tens of millions of dollars' over his life. But spokeswoman Hope Hicks offered no details about that number, beyond saying that it included donations from the Donald J. Trump Foundation -- a charity that, despite its name, has been filled almost entirely with other people's money in recent years. Hicks also provided no information about how much -- if any -- of the donations she was describing had come from Trump's own pocket." mike pence also claimed Monday that Trump had given away tens of millions. "But Pence, also, did not provide details to back up that estimate."-- CW

The Kremlin Konnection. Gene Robinson: "Why does Donald Trump say such nice things about Vladimir Putin and Russia? What is Trump hiding in the tax returns he refuses to release? And are those two questions related?... 'Reasons to wonder' normally do not qualify as legitimate fodder for journalism, but these are not normal circumstances. Trump has broken with four decades of precedent and adamantly refused to let voters see his tax returns. His excuse -- that he is under audit -- is bogus.... Trump's chest-thumping 'America First' attitude toward the rest of the world seems to make an exception for Russia, and we need to know why." CW: Worth reading the whole post. Robinson lays out some of the clues that might explain Trump's affinity for Putin.

Hannah Levintova of Mother Jones: "LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman just made Donald Trump an offer that should entice the GOP nominee who claims to have donated millions to veterans: If Trump releases his tax returns by October 19, the date of the last presidential debate, Hoffman will donate up to $5 million to veteran groups. The original idea came from a crowd-funding campaign started by Peter Kiernan, a veteran of the Marines who was once deployed to Afghanistan. Kiernan said he would donate to 10 veteran's groups should Trump release his taxes and began raising money to do so on Crowdpac.com. In a Medium post published on Monday afternoon, LinkedIn co-founder Hoffman expressed his support for Kiernan's campaign, and upped the ante by promising to quintuple the final total raised by Kiernan, up to $5 million." CW: Sorry, gentlemen, but your plan would have a much better chance of working if you had promised to make out the checks to Donald Trump, Most Awesome Human Being Ever. Donating to a bunch of "loser" veterans? Meh.

Other News & Views

Julie Davis of the New York Times: "The White House said on Monday that President Obama would veto legislation approved by Congress that would allow the families of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for any role in the plot, escalating a bipartisan dispute with lawmaker over the measure.... Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, said Mr. Obama ... and would work to persuade lawmakers in both parties to change course. If he cannot, the measure could lead to the first veto override of his presidency, as the legislation drew the backing of lopsided majorities in both the House and Senate.... 'The concept of sovereign immunity is one that protects the United States as much as any other country in the world,' Mr. Earnest said." -- CW

Misogynists, Inc. Emmarie Huetteman of the New York Times: "Republican leaders looking to avoid a government shutdown one month before Election Day will have to jump a familiar hurdle: demands from some of their members to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood. When Democrats balked once more last week at approving legislation to combat the Zika virus because the measure included limits on Planned Parenthood, some Republicans indicated a willingness to re-evaluate their position." -- CW

Too Bad for Bigots. Liam Stack of the New York Times: "The National Collegiate Athletic Association said on Monday that it would relocate all seven previously awarded championship events from North Carolina during the 2016-17 academic year because of concerns over laws passed by the state that it said violated the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The N.C.A.A. said the decision by its board of governors was based on 'the cumulative actions taken by the state concerning civil rights protections' that conflicted with the organization's commitment to 'fairness and inclusion.'" -- CW

Jana Kasperkevic of the Guardian: "Wells Fargo will eliminate sales goals for all of its retail banking products by January, the bank announced on Tuesday. The decision comes less than a week after the largest US bank reached a deal with regulators and agreed to pay $185m in penalties for its illegal sales practices." -- CW

Emily Yahr of the Washington Post: "... Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte's 'Dancing With the Stars' debut was interrupted Monday night when protesters stormed the stage and were escorted out by security. It's unclear exactly what happened because the ABC cameras did not show the incident.... E! reports that there was a row of people wearing 'anti-Lochte' shirts who stood up during the incident, and were also removed from the building." -- CW

Sunday
Sep112016

The Commentariat -- Sept. 12, 2016

Presidential Race

Annals of "Journalism," Ctd. Eli Stokols & Hadas Gold of Politico: "... news organizations are still struggling to square their approach to covering two candidates who couldn't be more different.... The result, Hillary Clinton's advisers lament and news executives admit, is a wide gap in what the public expects --- and accepts as credible -- from the country's top two presidential candidates. Trump's bar is undeniably far lower than Clinton's." CW: This is a straight news report and, especially for Politico, is surprisingly candid about the media's coverage of the race, even if the subhead misrepresents the thrust of the content.

E.J. Dionne makes the case (which isn't all that difficult) that Hillary Clinton is the "faith-based" candidate in this race. CW: This kind of argument makes me uncomfortable, but Dionne does somewhat explain a major difference between liberal theology (love) & fundamentalist theology (fear & trembling). Another element of fundamentalism that Dionne doesn't touch is the exclusionary nature of fundamentalist belief: people (including children) who don't embrace their specific form of Christianity are all going to hell & these "other" people are scary heathens. ...

... Ed Kilgore: "... like a long-suffering spouse, the Christian Right is sticking with Donald Trump ... because he is convincingly the enemy of its enemies and is willing to make a few key gestures in the direction of the righteous, albeit in a clumsy and offhand way. None of the Christian conservative leaders who have made opposition to Trump (e.g., Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention) a matter of conscience were allowed near the podium of the [Values Voter Summit this weekend in Washington, D.C]." -- CW: And let's be fair -- a pile (no percentage specified) of so-called Christian conservatives are racists, though probably not so often of the overt, supremacist ilk. ...

... Greg Sargent: "Clinton did err to some degree, particularly in making the precise claim that 'half' of Trump's supporters are driven by Islamophobia, sexism, or racism..., which is also the part that she subsequently walked back, while allowing the rest of her comments to stand. But Clinton's underlying case -- that Trump is running a campaign fueled in part by bigoted appeals, and in the process, he is mainstreaming fringe sentiments -- is simply inarguable. And forcing a public discussion of that aspect of her argument in particular isn't necessarily a political loser for her." -- CW

Jonathan Martin & Amy Chozick of the New York Times: "Hillary Clinton on Sunday abruptly left a ceremony in New York marking the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks before it concluded because she became 'overheated,' according to a campaign spokesman.... Mrs. Clinton had arrived at the commemoration event around 8 a.m. and left at about 9:30. But for over an hour after that, her campaign would not offer any information about why she left early or where she was.... At about 11:40 a.m., Mrs. Clinton, wearing sunglasses, emerged from [her daughter's] apartment in New York's Flatiron district. She waved to onlookers and posed for pictures with a little girl on the sidewalk. 'I'm feeling great,' Mrs. Clinton said. 'It's a beautiful day in New York.'... Video from the event taken by an attendee captured Mrs. Clinton struggling to steady herself and then stumbling as she stepped off a curb. She required assistance from two Secret Service agents to get into her van. The video, which was posted on Twitter, immediately ricocheted across the internet." -- CW (Also linked yesterday afternoon.) ...

     ... New Lede: "Hillary Clinton on Sunday abruptly left a ceremony in New York marking the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, and a video appeared to show her struggling to maintain her balance as a pair of Secret Service agents lifted her into a van. The incident, according to a statement from her physician, was related to pneumonia and dehydration." -- CW ...

Abby Phillip & Anne Gearan of the Washington Post: "Clinton's campaign issued a statement from her doctor later Sunday revealing that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia two days earlier. 'Secretary Clinton has been experiencing a cough related to allergies,' Dr. Lisa R. Bardack said in the statement. 'On Friday, during follow up evaluation of her prolonged cough, she was diagnosed with pneumonia. She was put on antibiotics, and advised to rest and modify her schedule. While at this morning's event, she became overheated and dehydrated. I have just examined her and she is now re-hydrated and recovering nicely.'A planned trip to California and Nevada wearly this week is now under review." -- CW ...

     ... Update. Gabriel Debenedetti of Politico: "At 10:16 p.m., the campaign said that 'Clinton will not be traveling to California tomorrow or Tuesday.' Clinton was scheduled to raise cash in both Los Angeles and San Francisco, and her campaign had previewed that she would also deliver a speech on the economy Tuesday. Clinton's Wednesday trip to Las Vegas is, for now, still on her schedule. Around midnight, however, fundraisers who were planning to attend Clinton's San Francisco event on Monday received an email saying the event is still on, but that Clinton would now appear via teleconference. Frustration with the Clinton campaign's handling of the incident boiled over among political journalists on Twitter." CW: Yo, "journalists": Boo-fucking-hoo.

... Ezra Klein: "Will [Bardack's statement] quiet speculation about Clinton's health, particularly amongst those who were certain the candidate was hiding a serious illness even before she exhibited symptoms? I doubt it.... It's very, very hard for me to believe that anyone keeping [the] kind of schedule [Clinton has kept], for this long, is secretly ill.... Bardack's note fits the evidence we have a lot better than the wild conspiracy theories we've heard." -- CW ...

... Annals of "Journalism," Ctd. The Mainstream Media? Not So Much. Laurel Raymond of Think Progress: "Pivoting off of conspiracy theories that have been playing out in the media for weeks now..., news networks immediately seized upon Clinton's departure and began speculating about larger questions about her health." CW: Raymond cites some right-wing media like Fox "News" & the New York Pest, as well as CNN & NBC, but the Washington Post (that jerk Chris Cillizza) & Politico (Annie Karni) are just as bad. This is how the nut jobs drive the news. As Raymond points out, "President George W. Bush ... once fainted after choking on a pretzel, while his father fainted at state dinner in Japan (he had the flu). At the time, Bush (I)'s doctor said 'The President is human; he gets sick.'" ...

... CW: So far (Sunday afternoon) Trump is behaving himself on this. We'll see what happens. (Also linked yesterday afternoon.) ...

     ... Update. Rebecca Savransky of the Hill: "... Donald Trump early Monday weighed in on Democratic rival Hillary Clinton's pneumonia diagnosis, saying 'something's going on.' 'I hope she gets well soon. I don't know what's going on,' Trump said on 'Fox & Friends.' 'Like you, I see what I see...Something's going on but I just hope she gets well and gets back on the trail and we'll be seeing her at the debate.'... Trump said Monday he thinks health is an issue now and he plans to release some medical records soon." -- CW ...

     ... CW: Annals of "Journalism," Ctd. If you think New York Times coverage is "fair and balanced," read Savransky's report in the Hill, then look at how the Times covered that same Trump call-in interview on Fox "News": Alan Rappeport: "Donald J. Trump tried to strike a magnanimous tone about the illness that overtook Hillary Clinton this weekend, saying on Monday that he hopes his rival for the presidency recovers soon from a bout of pneumonia and promising to release his own detailed health report this week. 'I just hope she gets well and gets back on the trail and we'll be seeing her at the debate,' Mr. Trump said on Fox News." That's it for the Fox "News" report. Several grafs down, Rappeport does note a refrain from the "Something's Going On" theme song when Trump spoke to CNBC later this morning. See also the discussion in today's Comments. Those by Akhilleus, Marvin S. & me were all written before the Times published Rappeport's "report" about Trump's "try[ing] to strike a magnanimous tone." ...

... Aaron Blake of the Washington Post: "Surprise! Donald Trump suggests he still has doubts about Clinton's health explanation.... Appearing on CNBC, Trump ... suggested quite strongly that a pneumonia diagnosis, which the Clinton campaign announced Sunday, two days after it was diagnosed, might not be the whole story. 'You know, it was interesting because they say pneumonia on Friday, but she was coughing very, very badly a week ago, and even before that, if you remember. This wasn't the first time,' Trump said. 'So it's very interesting to see what is going on.'... And he seemed to hint, while saying that campaigning is 'grueling work,' that Clinton's campaigning wasn't nearly as demanding as his. 'If you look at my scheduling and compare to anybody else's scheduling, there's not a contest.' These comments were tossed into a bunch of boilerplate about Trump wanting Clinton to feel better and return to the campaign trail. But it's classic Trump: He's suggesting something is amiss without saying it directly." -- CW ...

... Jenna Johnson of the Washington Post: "A day after Hillary Clinton fell ill at a 9/11 memorial ceremony in New York, Donald Trump announced on Monday that he underwent a physical last week and will release 'very, very specific' results this week. 'Hopefully they're going to be good. I think they're going to be good,' Trump said on Fox News on Monday morning." CW: Wait! Wait! Why didn't we hear about this sooner? Trump had a physical way last week and we didn't hear about it till Monday??? Something's going on. ...

... CW: Republicans should have nominated Marco Rubio. He has a real case against Clinton: he knows how to hydrate in all situations:

... AND There's This. Jessie Hellmann of the Hill: "Embattled ex-pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli showed up outside of Chelsea Clinton's New York City apartment Sunday to taunt Hillary Clinton.... After resting at her daughter's apartment, she emerged, telling reporters she felt great. Shkreli stood outside yelling and telling her to drop out of the presidential race. 'Do you need pharma bro's help?' Shkreli yelled at Clinton, according to a video he posted on YouTube." -- CW

Philip Bump of the Washington Post: "At 58 percent, [President] Obama's approval is 15 points higher than it was on the eve of the 2014 elections, where his party got blown out. Hillary Clinton's hope is that the reversal of opinions on Obama two years later will also lead to a reversal of fortunes for other Democrats -- and there's reason to think that it will." -- CW

There is no failed policy more in need of urgent change than our government-run education monopoly. -- Donald Trump in an "education" speech, Thursday ...

... Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post: "With that line..., Donald Trump placed himself firmly in the camp of school 'reformers' who want to break up the public education system in America. Trump declared his intent to use public funds for students to attend private schools and to promote the growth of charter schools, employing the language of Republicans who refuse to call public schools public schools and instead refer to them as 'government-run education monopolies.' (Former Florida governor Jeb Bush is a leader in this, often calling public schools 'government-run monopolies run by unions.'" What's more, Trump made his speech at a scandal-plagued Cleveland, Ohio, charter school that also has done a worse job at educating students than the local public schools. -- CW

Former Acting CIA Director Michael Morell & former Undersecretary of Defense Mike Vickers, in a Washington Post "open letter," try to explain Vladimir Putin to Donald Trump. Somehow, I don't think Donaldovich will heed the message. ...

... ** Paul Krugman does quite a nice job of explaining what a lousy leader Vladimir Putin is: "When Mr. Trump and others praise Mr. Putin as a 'strong leader,' they don't mean that he has made Russia great again, because he hasn't. He has accomplished little on the economic front, and his conquests, such as they are, are fairly pitiful. What he has done, however, is crush his domestic rivals: Oppose the Putin regime, and you're likely to end up imprisoned or dead. Strong!" -- CW

Theodoric Meyer of Politico: "CIA Director John Brennan pushed back against Donald Trump's claim that he could read disapproval of President Barack Obama's policies in the body language of the intelligence officers who gave him a confidential national security briefing.... Brennan said..., '"I know the briefers that have been briefing the candidates.'... Brennan said he was "fully confident" they [had not telegraphed a negative view of the President's policies]...." -- CW (Also linked yesterday afternoon.)

Philip Bump checks on how Donald Trump's "outreach" to minority voters went: "The new Washington Post-ABC News poll allows us to see. And it went about as well as expected. The margin between Trump and Hillary Clinton in polling that included the four major candidates shows that white voters did indeed shift a bit back toward Trump -- but nonwhite voters moved further away.... Trump spent a month putting a focus on black voters and dallying briefly with softening his position on immigration in an apparent attempt to build a strong relationship with Hispanics. It didn't work." -- CW

Proud to Be Standing with White Supremacists & Nut Jobs. Dave Weigel of the Washington Post: "Donald Trump Jr., an adviser and surrogate for his father's presidential campaign, told followers on Instagram this weekend that he'd 'made the cut' as one of the 'deplorables' denounced by Hillary Clinton -- and shared an image that portrayed Donald Trump and his running mate alongside fringe radio host Alex Jones and a cartoon icon associated with the white nationalist alt-right.... The image included Jones, a conspiracy theorist, in mid-scream, alongside Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos and the cartoon frog Pepe. The latter, as the Daily Beast's Olivia Nuzzi reported in May, had been adopted by anonymous alt-right followers as a sort of mascot, sometimes portrayed in a Nazi get-up, other times with skinhead tattoos." The image was a re-tweet of a tweet by conspiracy theorist and goon Roger Stone, whom Junior didn't identify by name but called "a friend." -- CW

Other News & Views

Brian Beutler: "Hillary Clinton's ballyhooed comments at a fundraiser in Manhattan on Friday night, when she said that 'you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables,' were a Rorschach test for the political class. And perhaps the most disappointing reactions came from anti-Trump conservatives who nevertheless believe it was rude of Clinton to call his racist followers racist.... Those who wish to dislodge Trump and Trumpism from the party face an enormous challenge because for all his flaws as a candidate, he is proof of concept that performative bigotry is a ticket to a loyal following.... The entire GOP, from House Speaker Paul Ryan on down, is in a holding pattern, waiting for the results of the election to determine what their best future course will be." -- CW

Cristina Marcos & Jordain Carney of the Hill: "Congress is eyeing a short-term spending bill this week to avoid a government shutdown on Oct. 1 and potentially make an early getaway from Washington. The Senate will likely make the first move on a short-term appropriations bill, also known as a continuing resolution.... Over in the House, conservatives in the meantime are expected to force a vote this week on impeaching Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen in defiance of GOP leaders." CW: When you got nothin', impeach the IRS!

Saturday
Sep102016

The Commentariat -- Sept. 11, 2016

Afternoon Update:

Jonathan Martin & Amy Chozick of the New York Times: "Hillary Clinton on Sunday abruptly left a ceremony in New York marking the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks before it concluded because she became 'overheated,' according to a campaign spokesman.... Mrs. Clinton had arrived at the commemoration event around 8 a.m. and left at about 9:30. But for over an hour after that, her campaign would not offer any information about why she left early or where she was.... At about 11:40 a.m., Mrs. Clinton, wearing sunglasses, emerged from [her daughter's] apartment in New York's Flatiron district. She waved to onlookers and posed for pictures with a little girl on the sidewalk. 'I'm feeling great,' Mrs. Clinton said. 'It's a beautiful day in New York.'... Video from the event taken by an attendee captured Mrs. Clinton struggling to steady herself and then stumbling as she stepped off a curb. She required assistance from two Secret Service agents to get into her van. The video, which was posted on Twitter, immediately ricocheted across the internet." -- CW ...

... CW: So far Trump is behaving himself on this. We'll see what happens.

Theodoric Meyer of Politico: "CIA Director John Brennan pushed back against Donald Trump's claim that he could read disapproval of President Barack Obama's policies in the body language of the intelligence officers who gave him a confidential national security briefing.... Brennan said..., '"I know the briefers that have been briefing the candidates.'... Brennan said he was "fully confident" they [had not telegraphed a negative view of the President's policies]...." -- CW

*****

Kayla Epstein of the Washington Post: "The yearly ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial commemorating the victims at Ground Zero began at 8:40 a.m. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was in attendance, as were ... Hillary Clinton, who was a U.S. senator for New York when the attack occurred, and Donald Trump." -- CW

AP: "President Barack Obama is joining the nation in remembering the nearly 3,000 people who died in the Sept. 11 attacks 15 years ago. Obama is observing the somber anniversary with a moment of silence in the White House residence at 8:46 a.m. EDT. That's when the first of four hijacked airplanes slammed into the north tower of New York City's World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Afterward, Obama will address a Pentagon memorial service." -- CW

Joanna Walters of the Guardian: "Christine Todd Whitman [R], who as head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under George W Bush at the time of the 9/11 attacks told the public the air around Ground Zero in New York was safe to breathe, has admitted for the first time she was wrong.... Whitman made an unprecedented apology to those affected but denied she had ever lied about the air quality or known at the time it was dangerous.... A week after two hijacked passenger jets were flown into the towers of the World Trade Center..., Whitman issued a statement. It said: 'I am glad to reassure the people of New York ... that their air is safe to breathe and their water is safe to drink.'... In 2003, the EPA inspector general criticized the agency's handling of the crisis, finding that the EPA had no basis for its swift pronouncements about air quality. Politicians, including the then New York senator Hillary Clinton, laid into the Bush administration, accusing it of deceiving the public." BTW, Whitman also gets in a dig at Rudy A-Noun-a-Verb-and-9/11 Giuliani, whom she blames for allowing workers to work on Ground Zero without respirators, as the EPA recommended. CW

Renae Merle of the Washington Post: "U.S. officials tout [Medtronics] as one of America's finest [companies]. It's actually based in Ireland.... The move ... has saved Medtronic more than $3 billion in taxes and helped the company fund an acquisition spree as it emerged as the world's largest medical device maker.... What Medtronic hasn't done is give up many perks of being a U.S. company. In addition to attending U.S. trade missions, which can help it find customers, Medtronic still holds dozens of government contracts. Since its inversion, it has been awarded more than $40 million in contracts, according to federal procurement data." ...

     ... CW: Congress could fix this. Thanks to little factors like, "The firm spent a record $5.3 million on its lobbying efforts in 2014, according to Opensecrets.org, including hiring former Sens. Trent Lott and John Breaux to help defend it against anti-inversion legislation introduced in Congress." You can also see the huge advantage this practice gives to big U.S. corporations that can afford to move operations (or shell operations) to low-taxing countries.

Samantha Sunne in a Washington Post op-ed, says she was arrested, cuffed & thrown in a New York City holding cell for four hours because she had put her feet up on the seat in front of her in an A-train subway car. (She was arrested around 2:30 am, so I presume the car was nearly empty.) "I was lucky I was white.... Criminalizing small acts can have major consequences for nonwhite and low-income people, who are disproportionately arrested and convicted for these infractions.... 'The kinds of things that [people of color] get arrested for, these innocuous acts, have been virtually decriminalized among white communities,' said Robert Gangi, director of the Police Reform Organizing Project." -- CW

Betsy Woodruff of the Daily Beast: "In a windowless room in a swanky hotel half a block from the White House on Friday afternoon, three of the most visible leaders of the alt-right movement held a two-hour press conference to discuss their affection for Donald Trump and their hopes for a white homeland.... The three alt-right leaders ... made two things very clear: They think white people are genetically predisposed to be more moral and intelligent than black people, and they do not want to share their envisioned utopian ethno-state with folks of the Jewish persuasion." Um, something about whitey-white people having better "microbes in their mouths." CW: More later. I have to go get my magnifying mirror, open wide & admire my super-microbes. I bet they're swell. Meanwhile, see more below on these "hard-working, amazing" anti-Semitic, racist Trump supporters.

Presidential Race

The Clinton & Trump campaigns are on hiatus today, so we could just have a day where Trump doesn't say some crazy shit. But don't count on it.

Michael Kruse of Politico: On September 11, 2001, Donald Trump boasted that with the fall of the Twin Towers, he once again owned the tallest building in Manhattan. Also ,"A decade and a half before pledging to 'bomb the shit out of' ISIS and proposing a deportation force and a Muslim ban, Trump didn't talk about retribution or leap to conclusions about who was responsible. In fact, he avoided identifying potential enemies -- any terrorist organization or Muslims in general. He spoke cogently and even poignantly about New York's changed skyline and the need to never forget.... As nightfall approached, Hillary Clinton joined congressional colleagues on the steps of the Capitol, standing next to some of her fiercest political opponents, singing 'God Bless America' with tears in her eyes. But maybe the most surprising difference between Clinton and Trump on September 11 and in the nerve-racking days and weeks that followed: She, not he, sounded like the tougher talker." -- CW ...

Nick Corasaniti of the New York Times: "For decades, news organizations have refrained from releasing early results in presidential battleground states on Election Day, adhering to a strict, time-honored embargo until a majority of polls there have closed. Now, a group of data scientists, journalists and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs is seeking to upend that reporting tradition, providing detailed projections of who is winning at any given time on Election Day in key swing states.... The company spearheading the effort, VoteCastr, plans real-time projections of presidential and Senate races in Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It plans to publish a map and tables of its projected results on Slate...." -- CW

Michael Grynbaum of the New York Times: "For the anchors chosen to preside over this fall's presidential debates, the excoriation of [Matt] Lauer was a wake-up call signaling what modern viewers now expect from a moderator -- and a stark example of how media figures can become partisan flash points in a hyper-polarized election.... [Chris] Wallace raised eyebrows after saying that he did not consider fact-checking -- or 'truth-squading,' in his words -- to be a central component of his moderating role. His comments circulated again in the days after what was arguably Mr. Lauer's most memorable misstep, when he failed to challenge Mr. Trump's false claim that he had opposed the Iraq war.... There is also the presence of Mr. Trump, a candidate who freely dissembles in a manner rarely seen in a presidential campaign." ...

     ... CW Fact-Check: "Wallace raised eyebrows": No, Grynbaum, eyebrows weren't raised; ire was. "... dissembles in a manner rarely seen in a presidential campaign." How rarely? Absolutely never.

Theodoric Meyer of Politico: "Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both paused their campaign ads on Sunday, the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, a day when politics is traditionally set aside. But Clinton didn't hold back from criticizing her GOP opponent in a pre-taped interview with Chris Cuomo on CNN's 'State of the Union,' saying that Trump's rhetoric has made it harder to protect the country from future attacks. 'What unfortunately Donald Trump has done is made our job harder, and given a lot of aid and comfort to ISIS operative, even ISIS officials, who want to create this as some kind of clash of civilizations, a religious war,' Clinton said. 'It's not, and we can't let it become that.'... CNN's Jake Tapper said the network reached out to Trump about also making a Sept. 11 appearance, but that he declined." -- CW

Amy Chozick of the New York Times: "Republicans ... pounced Saturday on Hillary Clinton's remarks that half of Donald J. Trump's supporters fit into a 'basket of deplorables,' saying it showed she was out of touch with an economically hard-hit electorate.... By Saturday morning, #BasketofDeplorables was trending on Twitter as Mr. Trump's campaign demanded an apology.... By Saturday afternoon, Mrs. Clinton had acknowledged her stumble. 'Last night I was "grossly generalistic," and that's never a good idea,' she said in a statement. 'I regret saying "half" -- that was wrong.' She then used the opportunity to double down on her criticism of her opponent. 'It's deplorable that Trump has built his campaign largely on prejudice and paranoia,' she said, 'and given a national platform to hateful views and voices, including by retweeting fringe bigots with a few dozen followers and spreading their message to 11 million people.'" ...

... Hillary Clinton, at a fundraiser, Friday:

... CW: I think the percentage of Trump supporters who fit into that basket is greater than 50. It is impossible for a non-racist, non-sexist, etc. person to support Trump. ...

     ... Update. As I Was Saying... Judd Legum of Think Progress: "... whether Clinton is correct is a factual matter. Let's look at the polling data.... About two-thirds of Trump supporters believe Obama is a Muslim.... 59 percent of Trump supporters believe Obama was not born in the United States.... [A Reuters poll conducted in June] found that 40% of Trump supporters believed that blacks were more 'lazy' than whites and nearly 50% believed blacks were more 'violent' than whites.... A PPP poll of South Carolina voters in February found that 31 percent of Trump backers] supported banning LGBT people from the United States [& another 16% were 'not sure'].... Clinton appears to be more likely to be downplaying the issue than overstating it." -- CW ...

     ... Ta-Nehisi Coates of the Atlantic: "... nearly 60 percent of Trump's supporters hold 'unfavorable views' of Islam, and 76 percent support a ban on Muslims entering the United States." But don't expect mainstream reporters to fact-check Clinton on this: "... a reporter or an outlet pointing out the evidenced racism of Trump's supporters in response to a statement made by his rival risks being seen as having taken a side not just against Trump, not just against racism, but against his supporters too." So, report the controversy as a "both sides" story. ...

... John Wagner of the Washington Post: "Hillary Clinton's assertion that half of Donald Trump's supporters fit into a 'basket of deplorables' is not something for which she needs to apologize, her Democratic running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.), said Saturday in an interview. 'She said, "Look, I'm generalizing here, but a lot of his support is coming from this odd place, that he's given a platform to the alt-right and white nationalists,"' Kaine said in an interview with The Washington Post. 'But then she went on to say, "Look, there's also a number of his supporters that have economic anxieties, and we've got to speak to those."'" -- CW ...

Americans beset by 'economic anxieties' voting for any Republican is like going to Bernie Madoff for investment advice. -- Akhilleus, in today's Comments

... Josh Marshall of TPM: "Donald Trump has not only brought haters into the mainstream, he has normalized hate for a much broader swathe of the population who were perhaps already disaffected but had their grievances and latent prejudices held in check by social norms.... Trump is in the midst of a making one of the country's two major parties into a white nationalist hate group.... This election has become a battle to combat the moral and civic cancer Trump has injecting into the body politic.... Backing down would make Clinton appear weak, accomplish nothing of value and confuse what is actually at stake in the election." -- CW ...

... Issac Bailey, in a CNN opinion piece, lists some of Trump's "deplorables." "But what's most deplorable is the knee-jerk pushback against anyone who dares point out this reality, as though exposing the deplorable is worse than the deplorable things themselves.... (Trump) has lifted [the alt-right] up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people -- now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric. Now, some of those folks -- they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America,' Clinton said. Trump has lifted them up. He has given them voice.... The only debate seems to be what percentage of Trump's followers are animated by his bigotry." -- CW ...

Wow, Hillary Clinton was SO INSULTING to my supporters, millions of amazing, hard working people. I think it will cost her at the Polls! -- Donald Trump, in a tweet

An "amazing" (whatever that means) and "hard-working" person can be a bigot, too. -- Constant Weader

... Dave Weigel: "... in the first real test of how the quote could be weaponized, [Mike] Pence came up with a fistful of nothing." First, he lost his notes & took a while to find them. Then he couldn't read them in a way that makes sense, so his audience had no idea what he was talking about. -- CW

David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post: "The Donald J. Trump Foundation is not like other charities.... For one thing, nearly all of its money comes from people other than Trump. In tax records, the last gift from Trump was in 2008. Since then, all of the donations have been other people's money -- an arrangement that experts say is almost unheard of for a family foundation.... In many cases, [Trump] passes it on to other charities, which often are under the impression that it is Trump's own money. In two cases, he has used money from his charity to buy himself a gift.... Money from the Trump Foundation has also been used for political purposes, which is against the law.... Trump's foundation appears to have repeatedly broken IRS rules.... In five cases, the Trump Foundation told the IRS that it had given a gift to a charity whose leaders told The Post that they had never received it.... The Trump Foundation still gives out small, scattered gifts -- which seem driven by the demands of Trump's businesses and social life, rather than a desire to support charitable causes.... [Trump] transform[ed] the foundation from a standard-issue rich person's philanthropy into a charity that allowed a rich man to be philanthropic for free." Read the examples Fahrenthold includes. -- CW ...

... Scammer-in-Chief, Ctd. Cameron Joseph of the New York Daily News: "Donald Trump's tale about why he took $150,000 in 9/11 money is as tall as the Downtown skyscraper he says he used in recovery efforts, according to government records. Though [Trump] ... has repeatedly suggested he got that money for helping others out after the attacks, documents obtained by the Daily News show that Trump's account was just a huge lie. Records from the Empire State Development Corp., which administered the recovery program, show that Trump's company asked for those funds for 'rent loss,' 'cleanup' and 'repair' -- not to recuperate money lost in helping people.... Trump's organization was one of a number of well-heeled companies that received funds from a state program aimed at helping local businesses whose bottom lines were hurt by the terror attacks.... It's unclear what, if any, help Trump provided to those affected by 9/11." -- CW

CW: I guess this is not politicking. Rebecca Savransky of the Hill: Donald "Trump visited Ground Zero early Sunday morning, where he spoke to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and New York Rep. Peter King (R). 'Fifteen years ago, America suffered the worst terrorist attack in its history. Thousands of mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and innocent American children were murdered by radical Islamic terrorists,' Trump ... said in a statement."

Cristiano Lima of Politico: "Larry King on Friday rebutted the Donald Trump campaign's assertion that the Republican candidate didn't know he had agreed to speak on Russian state television when King interviewed him." King said he was not in on the negotiations to do the interview, but Trump had appeared on his show before, so he should have known it would be broadcast on the RT network. -- CW

By Driftglass.Chas Danner of New York: "Speaking at a campaign rally in Pensacola, Florida on Friday night Donald Trump indicated that, as president, he would attack Iran if their sailors made improper gestures towards the U.S. Navy.... 'When [the Iranians] circle our beautiful destroyers with their little boats, and they make gestures at our people that they shouldn't be allowed to make, they will be shot out of the water.'... But while it's indeed worrisome, if not exactly news, that the apparent body-language expert is unable to follow plans, or scripts, or basic political norms -- in this case Trump, a major-party's presidential candidate, indicated that he would be willing to start an armed conflict with another country, not to defend America's citizens, interests, or allies -- but over injured pride.... Trump also questioned Hillary Clinton's mental health again on Friday, saying that he thinks she is 'an unstable person' and 'trigger-happy.' Earlier in the day, Trump had addressed the Values Voter Summit in Washington D.C. and criticized Clinton for being 'just too quick to intervene, invade, or to push for regime change with people we don't even know who they are, they take over, and they're far worse.'" -- CW

Amy Davidson of the New Yorker: "That, within a six-month span, Trump's estimates [of the 'real' unemployment rate] ranged from twenty, or 'close to twenty,' per cent all the way up to forty-two per cent suggest he's not using an overly rigorous model.... While a few of Trump's claims about the labor force might generously be considered merely hyperbole or gross exaggeration, the unemployment numbers he cites appear to be wholesale inventions." -- CW

More Notes from the Stupid File. A recent photo shows Donald Trump standing very close to a black man so he can't be a racist because "No racist would ever do that." CW: So there's a Trump supporter I guess you could label "amazing" (although not as "amazing" as Dom from Florida who won't vote for Clinton because he just knows she doesn't shave her arms & legs. See yesterday's Commentariat.).