Ellen Nakashima of the Washington Post: "The FBI is investigating a series of suspected foreign hacks of state election computer systems and websites, and has warned states to be on the alert for potential intrusions. The Aug. 18 warning, issued after two states suffered intrusions into their systems, comes amid heightened concern over Russian hacks of Democratic party organizations and possible meddling in the presidential election." CW: Looks as if the election could indeed be rigged -- in Trump's favor -- but they are giving Trump an excuse for losing if the rigging is ineffective. So, best of both worlds for Donaldovich.
Aaron Blake of the Washington Post: "On Friday, Donald Trump's doctor basically said that his letter stating that Trump was 'astonishingly' healthy was written under pressure and should not be taken at face value. Trump's response? A call for Hillary Clinton to release more of her health information.... [Trump's tweet, spelled out below] is a bit like calling on your opponent to release a detailed, five-point plan for dealing with immigration when you haven't even said where you stand on deportation." -- CW ...
... Hillary Clinton's campaign annotates the letter that Trump produced attesting to his "astonishingly excellent" health. For some reason, the Clinton camp thinks Trump wrote the letter. -- CW
Amy Chozick & Patrick Healy of the New York Times: "Hillary Clinton's closest aide, Huma Abedin, said Monday that she intended to separate from her husband, Anthony D. Weiner, the former congressman and New York City mayoral candidate, after it was reported that Mr. Weiner had exchanged suggestive images and messages with a woman while the couple's young child was beside him." CW: So glad to see that Huma took my advice. (Is that Trumpy enough for you? -- It's all about Me, Marie Burns, unprofessional marriage counselor.)
I used to be a Republican. -- CW Neighbor
That's a sentence we're likely to hear more and more often, at least outside confederate strongholds. -- Constant Weader
"A Pox on Both Their Jetliners." Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times: Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump allows the press to travel on their planes. Rutenberg devotes most of his column to complaints about Clinton's lack of accessability. (CW Translation: Both Sides Do It, but Clinton is worse because Trump writes stupid tweets & says idiotic things every day so we always have a story to file.) "An important to-be-fair paragraph: In addition to keeping reporters off his five-star resort of an airplane, Mr. Trump maintains a blacklist of reporters who are banished from the media plane that follows him; has refused to match Mrs. Clinton in sharing his tax returns; and has proposed loosening libel laws to make it easier for public figures to sue journalists, which is about as troubling as it gets.... But a candidate who doesn't want journalists around is a would-be president who presumably doesn't want to be transparent with his or her many millions of viewers and readers -- with you. You don't have to go too far back in history to find the rotten fruit that secrecy has seeded." ...
... CW: Get real, Rutenberg. Hillary doesn't want you to know she spends all her downtime snoozing, except when she's consulting with the doctors who keep her on life-support (okay, not true), and Donaldo doesn't want to get anywhere near your disgusting cooties (true).
Edward-Isaac Dovere of Politico: "The trick out of Brooklyn isn't just to make Hillary Clinton win but to make her win as something other than a brain-damaged crook who stole the election and will spend the next four years selling out the government from her deathbed. The Clinton de-legitimization project is now central to Donald Trump's campaign and ... a prime component of right-wing media.... 'We are already seeing an effort by the Trumpsters to undermine Hillary's presidency before it has even begun,' said longtime Clinton confidant Paul Begala.... 'When you see Trump and his forces at best trying to delegitimize her, at worst trying to delegitimize the entire democratic process, we're heading down a very dangerous path,' [Mo] Elleithee [who has bee a top aide to both Clinton & Kaine --] said." -- CW
Annals of "Journalism," Ctd. Judd Legum of Think Progress: "... the Associated Press obtained two years of Hillary Clinton's schedules from her tenure as Secretary of State. It culminated with this tweet on their findings: 'BREAKING: AP analysis: More than half those who met Clinton as Cabinet secretary gave money to Clinton Foundation.'... This tweet is completely inaccurate. Asked directly by [Brian] Stelter [of CNN] if she would agree that the tweet is 'inaccurate,' [Kathleen] Carroll[, the AP's executive editor,] said ... the tweet needed 'more precision.' Pressed by Stelter, Carroll said she did not 'regret' the tweet because, if she did, the AP would have deleted it. She then acknowledged that the tweet was 'sloppy.'... The AP's decision to stand by the tweet ... appears to violate their publicly stated 'news values' which apply to 'all media.'" -- CW
... CW: The Los Angeles Times has a similar Hillary Clinton guilt-by-association story. Maybe you can find something in it that Hillary did wrong, but as far as I can see, the only heavy in the story is Doug Band, Bill Clinton's long-time body man.
Trump to Make "You (Miserable) People" Speech. Kevin Cirilli of Bloomberg: "Donald Trump is planning to visit Detroit next weekend to make his first appearance before a predominantly African-American audience as his campaign makes a bid for support from black voters. Trump will visit the Great Faith Ministries on Saturday in Detroit, a predominantly black church located in the heart of the city, said Pastor Mark Burns, a Trump supporter...." -- CW
Cyra Master of the Hill: "Amid swirling and unfounded rumors about Hillary Clinton's health, Donald Trump tweeted Sunday night 'I think that both candidates, Crooked Hillary and myself, should release detailed medical records. I have no problem in doing so! Hillary?'" CW: Yeah, you show me yours, Donald (and not a fake this time), and I'll show you mine.
Paulina Firozi of the Hill: "... Donald Trump shared a tweet that tied his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, to the Ku Klux Klan.... The tweet was a reference to the late West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd (D), who was a former KKK member. In 2010, Clinton mourned his death and said Byrd was 'a true American original, my friend and mentor,' CNN reported." -- CW (Also linked yesterday afternoon.) ...
... Dan Evon of Snopes: "Robert Byrd was a member of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1940s and helped establish the hate group's chapter in Sophia, West Virginia. However, in 1952 Byrd avowed that 'After about a year, I became disinterested [in the KKK], quit paying my dues, and dropped my membership in the organization,' and throughout his long political career (he& served for 57 years in the United States Congress) he repeatedly apologized for his involvement with the KKK.... In 2010, even the NAACP released a statement honoring Senator Byrd and mourning his passing: 'Senator Byrd reflects the transformative power of this nation,' stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. 'Senator Byrd went from being an active member of the KKK to a being a stalwart supporter of the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act and many other pieces of seminal legislation that advanced the civil rights and liberties of our country.'" -- CW (Also linked yesterday afternoon.)
Isaac Arnsdorf of Politico: "'We have a psychopath running for president,' David Plouffe said in an interview on NBC News' 'Meet the Press'.... 'I mean, he meets the clinical definition, OK?' After [host Chuck] Todd pushed back that Plouffe isn't a psychologist and that such claims frustrate voters, Plouffe elaborated, 'The grandiose notion of self-worth, pathological lying, lack of empathy and remorse. So I think he does; right, I don't have a degree in psychology.'" -- CW (Also linked yesterday afternoon.)
Amber Phillips of the Washington Post: "... when [ABC's 'This Week" host Martha Raddatz asked ... New Jersey governor [Chris Christie] whether he agrees with Trump that Clinton is a 'bigot,' Christie launched into a kind of non sequitur that politicians and elementary schoolchildren are particularly good at: He said Clinton 'started' it.... Except..., Clinton didn't start this. Trump actually did.... Trump has been referring to the 'bigotry' of Clinton for several weeks. And he outright called Clinton a 'bigot' a day before she launched a full-scale attack on the racist overtones in the Trump campaign. (Though she stopped short of directly labeling Trump a 'racist' or 'bigot.) Phillips provides a timeline. -- CW
Isaac Arnsdorf: Donald Trump's new campaign manager on Sunday moved to clarify his new immigration policy, focusing on 'being fair and humane' instead of deporting all undocumented immigrants. The new plan is, 'if you want to be here legally, you have to apply to be here legally,' Kellyanne Conway told John Dickerson on CBS News' 'Face the Nation.'... That's a clear break from Trump's earlier position, which emphasized removing everyone who was in the country illegally, regardless of their individual circumstances. Conway said Trump's new stance wouldn't cost him voters who were drawn to that hard line because 'this isn't just a referendum on Donald Trump's immigration policy, you have to contrast him to Hillary Clinton's.'" CW: Wait for Trump to contradict her in a tweet. (Also linked yesterday.) ...
... Alexander Bolton of the Hill: "Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus announced Sunday that Donald Trump ... will deliver prepared remarks clarifying his views on immigration. 'You're going to find out from Donald Trump very shortly. He's going to be giving prepared remarks on this issue, I think very soon,' Priebus told Chuck Todd, host of NBC's 'Meet the Press.' 'His position is going to be tough. His position is going to be fair. His position is going to be humane,' he said." CW: Wait for Trump to contradict him in an ad lib. (Also linked yesterday afternoon.) ...
... Alex Zielinski of Think Progress: "The Only Thing Trump's Campaign Knows About His Immigration Plan Is That It Will Be 'Humane.'" ...
... Trip Gabriel of the New York Times makes a stab at deciphering what-all Trump's team said Sunday (as if it matters): "A parade of surrogates for backed away on Sunday from a primary element of his immigration policy, further muddying an issue on which Mr. Trump himself sowed confusion in recent days. Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana ... would not affirm that their administration would expel the estimated 11 million immigrants who are in the country illegally, a campaign-defining stance that helped Mr. Trump vanquish opponents in the primary race. Asked if Mr. Trump still sought a 'deportation force,' which he called for last year, Mr. Pence said Mr. Trump was speaking of 'a mechanism, not a policy.' He also backed away from Mr. Trump's opposition to automatic citizenship for children born in the United States to illegal immigrants.... On Sunday evening, Mr. Trump posted on Twitter that he will make a 'major speech' about the issue in Arizona on Wednesday." CW: I'm sure he'll straighten out everything. ...
Hillary Clinton is a bigot who sees people of color only as votes, not as human beings. -- Donald Trump, read from a teleprompter August 24
Dwayne Wade's cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago, Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP! -- Donald Trump, tweet August 27
[Trump] is, in a rather literal sense, doing exactly what he accused Clinton of doing a few days earlier. -- Steve Benen
David Edwards of the Raw Story: "CNN contributor and Trump campaign surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes accused Hillary Clinton of the meeting the 'definition of bigotry' for speaking out against racists and white supremacy.... 'Bigotry, if you look at the definition, it's about someone who's small-minded and sits there and directs hate towards a certain group,' she explained. 'Hillary Clinton's speech [attacking alt-right conservatives] was all about hate towards a group that, while my fellow counterpart might consider them to be very racist, it's the exact opposite.'" CW: Yep, they're "the exact opposite" of "very racist"; why, they want black people to have their very own "coloreds only" restrooms & drinking fountains and specially-designated seats at the back of the bus, the way they used to have in the good ole days when America was great.
A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the Gospel. -- Pope Francis, February 2016
For a religious leader to question a person's faith is disgraceful. I am proud to be a Christian and as President I will not allow Christianity to be consistently attacked and weakened, unlike what is happening now, with our current President. -- Donald Trump, responding to Francis's remarks ...
... Aaron Blake of the Washington Post: "Much has been made of Donald Trump's problems with a few voting groups -- female voters, blacks and Hispanics, and young voters, in particular. And, to be sure, they are all problems. But relatively speaking, his biggest problem actually appears to be with a different group: Catholics. Yes, the man who once feuded with the pope (how soon we forget that actually happened) is cratering among Catholics.... Catholics have long been a swing vote in presidential elections, and right now they're swinging hard for Clinton." -- CW
All the Best Words. "Trump and the Dark History of Straight Talk." Mark Thompson of the New York Times takes the long view of Trump's "anti-rhetorical" style of speaking. And by long view, I mean back to Julius Caesar: "Veni, vidi, vici." -- CW ...
... digby: "... Trump is not just a garden variety racist demagogue in the mode of George Wallace. His nationalism isn't isolationist --- it's aggressive militarism. He doesn't care about continuing the post-war security consensus to be sure. Alliances are fine as long as they pay protection and he feels like they 'deserve' it. He's got some other ideas. He will make America great again by making the world 'respect' us again. Trump is all ab[o]ut dominance." -- CW
Joe Scarborough, in a Washington Post op-ed has a sad because today's Republican presidential nominee is so unlike George H.W. Bush. CW: Ever so surprisingly, Scarborough takes no credit for his role in the devolution of the GOP into a House of Crackpots, nor for his early eagerness to cater to candidate Trump. Read Scarborough's Wikipage to find out just how confederate that ole boy is. ...
... Nick Gass of Politico: "The time has come for a mental health professional to take a look at Donald Trump on the air, MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski said Monday during a frank discussion of the Republican nominee's well-being.... 'Morning Joe' devoted a significant portion of its opening block to discussing Trump's mental health, a day after President Barack Obama's former campaign manager David Plouffe described him as a 'psychopath.'... Plouffe misspoke, [Joe] Scarborough added, suggesting that he should have said 'sociopath.'" -- CW
Jeff Toobin of the New Yorker: Gossip columnist Liz Smith, now 93, remembers Donald Trump back in the day: "I never took him seriously. I didn't even think he would last in New York, because people hated him once they got to know him. He was a horse's ass. Still is." -- CW
Other News & Views
Paul Krugman: The doubling of the mortality rate of pregnant women in Texas "should be seen against the general background of Texas policy, which is extremely hostile toward anything that helps low-income residents.... The economic case for being cruel to the unfortunate has lost whatever slight credibility it may once have had. Yet the cruelty goes on. Why?... It's about race.... In the specific case of Planned Parenthood, this usual answer is overlaid with ... a substantial infusion of misogyny.... America would become a better place if more of us started paying attention to politics beyond the presidential race." -- CW
Rebecca Rosenberg & Bruce Golding of the New York Post: Anthony Weiner is still sharing dickpix & sexting with young women. CW: Get out, Huma!
Beyond the Beltway
Charley Lanyon of New York: "Chicago police are reporting that two suspects have been charged in the shooting death of Nykea Aldridge, a 32-year-old mother of four and cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade. The suspects are two brothers -- Darwin Sorrells Jr., 26, and Derren Sorrells, 22 -- both convicted felons and 'documented gang members' who were out on parole when the shooting took place. They are being charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder. Police say the pair were trying to shoot an Uber driver dropping off passengers from a nearby car Friday afternoon when they accidentally shot Aldridge. She was killed while pushing her baby in a stroller on the way to register her other children for elementary school." -- CW
Kale Williams of the Oregonian: "The widow of Lavoy Finicum, the 54-year-old Arizona rancher and key figure in the Malheur Wildlife Refuge occupation earlier this year, plans to sue the Oregon State Police and FBI for civil rights violations relating to his death, her lawyer told The Oregonian/OregonLive on Saturday." -- CW
Dennis Hoey of the Portland (Maine) Press Herald: "The political pressure on Gov. Paul LePage over his recent controversial comments and threats grew over the weekend as Democratic legislative leaders suggested that Republican leadership persuade him to resign, a Senate Republican said a censure of him by the Legislature seemed appropriate, and an online petition signed by thousands of people urged him to step down." -- CW ...
... Missed this. German Lopez of Vox: "In defending himself from accusations of racism and homophobia on Friday, Maine Gov. Paul LePage made yet another explicitly racist comment -- arguing that people of color or of Hispanic origin are 'the enemy' and suggesting that they should be shot." CW: Yeah, and the legislature should impeach & convict him for the remark. ...
AP: "A ceasefire has been declared in Colombia after the commander of the country's Farc guerrillas said its fighters would permanently cease hostilities with the government from the first minute of Monday local time. Timoleón Jimenez, head of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, made the announcement on Sunday in Havana, Cuba, where the two sides negotiated for four years before announcing a peace accord for ending five decades of war." -- CW
New York Times: "Gene Wilder, who established himself as one of America's foremost comic actors with his delightfully neurotic performances in three films directed by Mel Brooks; his eccentric star turn in the family classic 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory'; and his winning chemistry with Richard Pryor in the box-office smash 'Stir Crazy,' died early Monday morning at his home in Stamford, Conn. He was 83."
New York Times: "An Australian aid worker who was kidnapped in Afghanistan and held for four months has been released and is doing well, Australia's foreign minister, Julie Bishop, said on Monday. The aid worker, Kerry Jane Wilson, who is in her 60s and is also known as Katherine Jane, had been working in Afghanistan for about 20 years and had most recently run Zardozi, an organization that promoted the work of Afghan artisans, particularly women.... Afghanistan's intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security, said in a brief statement that its special forces had carried out a raid to free Ms. Wilson." -- CW