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Monday, September 26, 2016

Hit the links

Folks, I'm not feeling the best right now. A subtle dizziness has crept up on me throughout this week, and a couple of hours ago it became a lot less subtle. You might say that I'm a victim of pre-debate "spin."

There is some possibility I'll be revisiting the doctor again tomorrow. If I end up in another bloody hospital room, I just hope they don't stash me within earshot of the debate, because the sound of that man's voice is the surest emetic on the market.

I can't write as much as I would like right now, but I do want to mention some of the many stories out there which deserve your attention. So let's go rapidly tripping through the hyperlinks...

Trump has a history of lying under oath. And he usually gets away with it.
What is most disturbing in Trump’s sworn statements is the amount of nonsense he spouts as he mangles the English language into meanings no rational person could accept. An unsuccessful “development by Donald Trump” is not a “development by Donald Trump.” A successful project built by another developer who paid to have Trump’s name on the building is a “Donald Trump development.” A payment of $400,000 equals a payment of $1 million. An ownership stake of 30 percent is actually a 50 percent stake. In a single sentence, he says he knows some people’s names but not their identities, as if talking about Batman and Superman. He studied résumés, but he only glanced at them. The list goes on, with one point in common: Every one of his answers, while under oath, depends not on the truth but on whether it makes him look good.
You can find a big, big batch of carefully fact-checked Trump lies right here. Yet for some reason Hillary is the one who has the rep for non-transparency...!

I suspect that stories like these are a kind of psy-war. Trump is probably preparing for the debate as diligently as he can, but he would prefer for reporters to think that he's winging it. 

Although I don't trust Brian Ross, you should read his latest on Trump's ties to Russians.

As you know, Trump campaign head honcho Steve Bannon (of Breitbart ill-fame) was caught illegally registered to vote in Florida, listing a fake address. So now he has re-registered at another address. Bannon's alleged "roommate," one Andrew Badolato, is a very interesting fellow. He ties into all sorts of other interesting individuals: Spooks and crooks and even a key figure in the infamous Skyway "coke jet" scandal. Some of you may recall that I devoted several previous posts to that bust; the key investigator was and is the remarkable Daniel Hopsicker, who looks into Bannon and his bud here. It is remarkable stuff.
Stock fraud, for example, an increasingly popular pastime in Florida, which provided links between Badolato and names already notorious for being part of an ongoing criminal conspiracy.

The location varies between Sarasota and St. Petersburg, Florida, home to St Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport, where at least two Badolato associates were involved with companies owning drug planes, which took off with some regularity from there on flights down to South America and back.
From the very beginning, I've always felt that there was something ultra-suspicious about Breitbart's site. It was always extraordinarily well-funded from Day One, even though I could see no comprehensible business model. Where did the money come from?

Who is Steve Bannon?

Who, for that matter, is Palmer Luckey, the wealthy creator of Oculus Rift and the secret power behind the successful Trumpian effort to control Reddit, Facebook and other forms of social media? His main helper is white nationalist freak Milo Yiannopoulos, who simultaneously functions as one of Steve Bannon's main propagandists. Here's a story demonstrating the connection between Luckey and the racist right.
Oculus founder Palmer Luckey financially backed a pro-Trump political organization called Nimble America, a self-described “social welfare 501(c)4 non-profit” in support of the Republican nominee.
Along with Luckey, Nimble America was founded by two moderators of Reddit’s r/The_Donald, which helped popularize Trump-themed white supremacist and anti-Semitic memes along with 4Chan and 8Chan. A questionnaire to become a moderator at r/The_Donald posted in March had applicants answer the questions “Is there a difference between white nationalism and white supremacy?” and “Was 9/11 an inside job?”
Also see The Verge.
Luckey still works at Facebook, the social network confirmed to The Verge, raising questions of objectivity within a social network that's been acting like a media company, with editorial teams and, more recently, algorithms defining the news its users see. Luckey is the second prominent person within Facebook's ranks to use their personal wealth to pull for Trump, after board member Peter Thiel pledged as a California delegate to the candidate and spoke in support of him at the Republican National Convention.
I don't know why Trump is even bothering with his massive final-month ad buy. TV no longer matters. Facebook matters, and Trump captured Facebook a long time ago.

A new Vox piece identifies Trump as part and parcel of a worldwide trend toward white nationalism.
These politicians share Trump’s populist contempt for the traditional political elite. They share his authoritarian views on crime and justice. But most importantly, they share his xenophobia: They despise immigrants, vowing to close the borders to refugees and economic migrants alike, and are open in their belief that Muslims are inherently dangerous.

These parties’ values are too similar, and their victories coming too quickly, for their success to be coincidental. Their platforms, a right-wing radicalism somewhere between traditional conservatism and the naked racism of the Nazis and Ku Klux Klan, have attracted widespread support in countries with wildly different cultures and histories.
The piece identifies France's Jean-Marie Le Pen as the father of today's international far-right movement.
In fact, the FN’s rhetoric is often quite similar to Trump’s. "Tomorrow the immigrants will move in with you, eat your soup, and they will sleep with your wife, your daughter or your son," Le Pen famously warned in 1984.

The party’s triumph that year proved that a new kind of far-right politics, with an electoral strategy rooted in xenophobic populism, could succeed in the postwar era.
"FN" stands for National Front, the infuriatingly successful quasi-neo-fascist party in France

We should always remember that Vladimir Putin now funds the National Front.
That shows the continent is moving toward a political realignment more favorable to the Kremlin, according to Konstantin Malofeev, a Russian multimillionaire whose former employees played major roles in Ukraine’s rebellion and who now advocates for closer ties with Europe’s far right.

“This is the start of the end of the system,” Malofeev said in Moscow.
Also see here.

Obviously, electing Trump would be Putin's crowning achievement. Although Trump has sent mixed signals on NATO, I think that he spoke his true feelings when he called NATO "obsolete" and seemed to welcome the breakup of the organization. Trump also seems to want rid of the United Nations.

Parting shot: Trump keeps increasing his numbers, slowly but steadily, while Clinton's percentage holds steady. It's clear that much of Trump's surge has come not from disaffected Clintonites but from Gary Johnson supporters. Heretofore, Johnson had captured both unhappy Democrats -- mostly BernieBros -- and unhappy Republicans. From what I've read, the major party voters who decided to go Libertarian were split about 50/50, D-vs-R.

That was the case until about a month ago. Alas, in more recent times, the anti-Trump Republicans began drifting back to Trumpland. Meanwhile, the BernieBros will never ever give up on their anti-Hillary tizzy fit.

After all, she gave speeches to Goldman Sachs executives. Unforgivable!

So now these snotty young purists have decided to vote for the Libertarian, who would remove all regulations from Goldman. Of course, any "liberal" who voted for Johnson is really voting for Trump. President Trump, being a dimwit, will no doubt hand over much of the workload to Steve Bannon -- formerly of Goldman.

I may be feeling lightheaded right now, but I can still see the world more clearly than can any of the ignorant, immature mucus-monsters who have joined the "Bernie or Bust" brigade.
Hope you feel better soon! Since you wanted to filter the debate through your readers, maybe simply set up a pseudo "Live Blog" post where people can leave comments as they watch?
As a Johnson voter, let me make my case: I simply won't be a part of the "lesser of two evils" campaign. I won't pick D vs R with the sole reasoning of, "We can't let the other side win" because I believe neither D or R are capable of successfully running this country.

This year, both major parties have propped up the absolute worst choices imaginable as their nominee. Neither is acceptable. This means I either stay home, or I pick someone else who I feel is at vaguely capable of expressing part of the policies I want as my President.

Guilting me into voting for your choice (regardless of which brand of wingnuttery you subscribe to) is not a valid campaign strategy. Telling me I'm stupid isn't, either, which is one of the many reasons people are going with Trump after being repeatedly beaten over the head with their supposed ignorance.

There's simply no reason that the Democratic Party should be even this close to losing to Donald Trump, except you propped up HRC as the nominee. Not in 2008, and not in 2016. Couldn't been Sanders, O'Malley, even Joe f'ckin Biden would've gone better. You even had a potential health scare that could've re-adjusted your ticket before it was too late and avoided Sanders because he'd quit the Party by this point, but nope...

This entire election is a farce. Also, as a consumer of "main stream media," I'm getting tired of being told how stupid I am for not supporting Clinton. It's the same mindset that's just locking-in Trump voters harder than ever. The entire Democrat strategy is built around elitism, and it's failing. You guys have only yourselves to thank for President Trump on November 8th.

Joe--I hope you feel better soon.

"Independent"--I hope for your sake that Putin is paying you directly, because Trump is notorious for stiffing his contractors. ;)
First and foremost, take care of yourself.
If you want and can, leave the comments open. If not, we will wait for you.
I agree with 'a left leaning independent'.

Democrats nominated the one candidate who could lose to Trump. The one candidate who has worse honest and trustworthy numbers -amazing
"Left leaning" Johnson voter, you are not stupid, you are deliberately mean and sexist and if you don't realize that you're still not stupid, you are lying, maybe even also to yourself. Sorry your penis is so threatened by a qualified woman who would work tirelessly to move our country forward. This election is not about you, o wounded feelings privileged one.
I am watching! !
She looks incredible. I wish I could look as good at her age. No sign of weakness or illness.
Lester Holt is doing a good job so far.
Donnie just went there....stop and frisk.
And he advertised his latest hotel.
He said, I will get to Pensilvania Ave one way or another. WOW
He just mentioned that he has the support of the police and NRA and then he went back to stop and frisk
Pz and Joe.

First of all I hope Joe is OK. Look after yourself Joe.

Secondly, Prowlerzee, I feared that what the commenter says might be so -that a minority of Dem and Independent support might not back HRC. The fact that one voter feels like that proves nothing. But if 5% of the independent potential support felt that way then it's a problem. Telling such people they have little penises may well be how you feel, and it may even be true. But it isn't a way to persuade people to support a candidate they arnt convinced by.

Is there really any upside to abusing those who leaning left but came to a different conclusion? Maybe they will change their mind again?

He is pandering to blacks now.
She just gave a zinger!
I think he is un-nerved.
He went there.....Blumenthal, birther, the wall....he going there....
He is pandering to blacks now.
She just gave a zinger!
I think he is un-nerved.
He went there.....Blumenthal, birther, the wall....he going there....
She is going there now...Russia hacking our institutions. ....his approval of Putin....Donnie inviting Putin to hack. ...
He is going after his endorsements ....ICE...the Generals
He just insulted fat people
He is rambling...cyber....he sounds ignorant
He brought up ISIS
Now they are onto ISIS...
Holt asked about home grown terrorists...
He is saying we should have taken the Oil...zinger from Hillary
No oil no ISIS he says

He is taking credit for something. ...NATO....he is being grilled about his stance about Iraq....Sean Hanity....I was against the war....Sean Hanity....believe me.....I have much better judgment temperment
He just went on a rant
Now Hillary's turn
She went there.....nuclear war...temperment. ..finger on the launch pad...
He sounded crazy
He is rambling.....China, N koria...Iran...Kerry....Cash....bad deal with Iran.....Bibi...Israel
She is now re-assuring our allies that we will honor our promises
She is going there.....the only plan is no plan with regards to ISIS, Iran, N Koria
Back to ISIS.....Japan...we are losing money, she doesn't know about money
He is wounded.......really wounded
He is going to explode
She is cool....
He lost it
She got under his skin
Now....the MSM may have a different take
But I am proud of Hillary. She held her ground. She didn't lose it.
The Deplorables will declare him the winner.
I think he was he usual ass notwithstanding all the preparation.
Joseph, I just finished watching the PBS live-stream of the Presidential debate. Hillary categorically won this. Trump imploded and hurt himself, perhaps worse than ever before. I cannot imagine a scenario in which he comes out on top this November. If he won, I really would wonder if our elections are rigged, by Silicon Valley proto-fascist "libertarians" (some are calling themselves "voluntaryists") like Peter Thiel, Palmer Luckey, John Carmack and other nasty (and I do mean, fucking nasty), greasy, pasty men. The kind of guys that, if you're a gay male, will have you running to the arms of your opposite gender. And this election, every gay male should be running to the arms of Hillary Clinton. You can be sure that I'll be voting for her and voting against Trump, with a vengeance. I will be proud to vote for and support Hillary, more proud to vote for her than anyone I have ever voted for, by a long shot.
Please be well. Take your meds, etc. Youre needed. Thanks for all your work!
I was too unnerved to watch....until I saw the live blog notes coming in.

So I watched from the middle on, and then went back and watched from the beginning.

Donald lost. And lost it. Bigly, to put it in his terms. And that is being semi-precise, to use another of his terms.

It was jaw-dropping, the things he said. When he said Hillary did not have the temperament to be president, and how that was the best thing about him, his temperament, everyone laughed, including Hillary, who could say no more than "Alrighty, then!"

And he snifffed and drank water throughout. And jabbed his finger in the air nonstop. While Hillary looked wonderful, poised and articulate and to the point.

Hard to pull a best moment out, but one of them was her response when he tried to sidestep having said she did not "look" presidential and claim he meant/said she did not have the stamina to be president.

At that point it was difficult to believe he was not actually trying to throw the debate on purpose, even before her perfect comeback.

I'm sure the internet will have a lot of fun with the "400 pound" hacker Donald dreamt up while opining on how "we have to get very, very tough on cyber."

I hope you are on the mend, Joseph, and this news will be a spot of cheer.

Harry, I understand your point, but I was never a "catch more flies with honey" type. I'm steadfastly in the call a sexist a sexist camp.

Even moreso in this instance. Anyone thinking they can claim "left leaning" as they vote for Gary Johnson needs their ass handed to them. They are flat out sexist, whether they are trolling or simply deceiving themselves.

Trump: "The computer aspect of cyber is very very tough".
He has no clue of what he is talking about.

And to Clinton: "(Y)ou've been fighting ISIS your entire adult life."
ISIS was founded in 1999.

She bested him. But we aren't even into October yet.
b: I agree. But consider: Her popularity shot up after the Dem convention. I suspect that her popularity will rise after this debate.

Perhaps we are seeing the same pattern we saw during the Bill Clinton years: Bill would become a hated figure when he allowed his enemies (and the media) to paint a dark picture of "Bill Clinton, the conspiratorial fiend hired by the Illuminati to destroy America." But whenever Bill got a chance to address the nation directly -- during a SOTU address, at the Oklahoma City memorial, even the broadcast of his Grand Jury testimony -- he would mend his image.

By the way, I did not see the doctor, although I am feeling somewhat lightheaded. I've been watching a lot of old Randolph Scott movies while feeling -- well, a bit high. It's the only way to fly!

One of these days, when we don't have to worry about The Donald anymore, I'll devote a Sunday post to the "Ranown" films. Great stuff.
Howard Dean suggests that Trump is on drugs
From the Desk of the @PoliticalVandal (AKA the Student on the Sofa):

"My strongest asset is my temperament." ~ Donald "Excrement" Trump

If that's your best, we sure as hell don't deserve you at your worst. (quote shamelessly stolen from Marilyn Monroe. And re-written for contemporary events.)
Bill won the presidency when he went on Arsenio and played the sax. This morning the news is playing Hillary's shimmy after Don said her temperament was bad. Is it enough? It definitely disrupted the narrative of her.

There's already hints that the Donald will not debate her again.

btw, I was being "semi-exact" in an earlier post, not semi-precise. Semi-exact is trending. We'll have to wait to see how bigly.
Dear Prowlerzee:

I'm not sure how I was categorized as "deliberately evil and sexist" because I don't support your choice of canidate. I'm actually confused how I become sexist at all considering at no point did gender come into my argument until you just assumed I had a penis, and I was somehow endangered of being emasculated by a woman President.

You're incorrect. I don't really care what gender, orientation, or race my President is. Naturally, you won't believe me, you'll continue to shrilly denounce me as clearly sexist because I don't immediately pick a woman because she's a woman.

Matter of fact, the first time sexism entered into this dialogue is when you attempted to bully me into voting for your personal choice because if I didn't I'm sexist. That's pretty odd, don't you think? Hey, you know how that old joke goes? "When did you stop beating your wife, Prowlerzee?"

You also insinuated that this election wasn't about me, but that's where you're wrong. It is. It's always about me. Or you. Or Joe. Or everyone. The power to vote is what the founders of this country gave me to speak my voice, and I'm unsure why anyone would willingly surrender that vote, their voice, simply because the other team is even worse than your own. That's exactly what I was getting at. The best thing Democrats have offered me, an independent who has no affiliation, is that Clinton is better than Trump.

And breast cancer is better than liver cancer, too, but y'know what: I don't want to have any form of cancer.

This election is absolutely about me, and what's best for me as I am what makes up this country. I'm sorry that you're too short-sighted or hiveminded to understand that your voice is unique and shouldn't be sold out for someone else's dream.

I don't think any of this matters, though. You've got your talking points, and you've got your goal in mind. By any means neccessary, even if it means continually dividing and splitting people against themselves.

Good luck in your future endeavours, Prowlerzee. I mean that. I suspect you're going to be very angry at America in the near future for not agreeing with you. I would suggest that you spend those next four years not just licking your wounds, but trying to learn the lessons from what happened, and I would make the same suggestions to those on the right, as well, as it appears the runaway train you've unleashed is going to bowl right through your carefully scripted plans, as well.

@Still a left leaning Independent,

I know you think you're smart, intelligence and renegade. But you're none of those things and you don't know what you're doing. You're playing with fire and you're going to get burned. You're really fucked up for supporting Gary Johnson. There isn't anything left leaning or independent about Gary Johnson.

Everyone, if you are even considering Gary Johnson, I implore you to read up on this corrupt, vile creep. Please read this article:

The Gary Johnson Swindle and the Degradation of Third Party Politics (by Mark Ames)

If you read that article and learn the real story behind 'libertarian' Gary Johnson, and you still choose to vote for him. You're corrupt to your very soul and you have seared your conscience and distilled yourself of all humanity.

If you really dig into it, the alleged crimes and scandals of Hillary Clinton are bogus and have been debunked.

Also, if you were actually "Left Leaning" (which I don't believe, I think you're a right wing sociopath), you would vote for Jill Stein. Not scum like Johnson and his nasty dick.

As for me, I'm with Hillary. I think she's fantastic.
Why is anyone assuming that "Independent" is what s/he says s/he is, politically?

Or that s/he is even really an American?
"Still a left leaning Independent". You know, it's funny, I actually AM a left leaning Independent and have been since I was old enough to vote. Yet I will not allow myself to avoid the bigger picture, as you seem to want to do. If the Republican was anyone other than Trump, I would be voting for Jill Stein, or writing in Bernie Sanders. I sure as hell wouldn't vote for an Ayn Rand worshiper like Gary Johnson. Sure, he has a few domestic policy platforms I agree with, but Stein has FAR more in that area. Hillary shares many of them. Trump is the antithesis of everything that I believe in, of nearly every principle I hold dear. I will do my part to keep him out of office. Even if Hillary was as bad as the right wing detractors (and now left wing as well) say she is, I would probably vote for her for the sole purpose of keeping the mentally unstable sociopath that is Trump out of office. He is totally and completely unqualified to be dog catcher, let alone President. Luckily, Hillary is not nearly as bad as the right and some of the left have been brainwashed into believing she is. She is far from my ideal candidate, but no such candidate will ever exist under any circumstances, so for now, she will have to do. If there was a chance that a 3rd party candidate could win this, then I would probably go that route (unfortunately the two major parties have made it extremely difficult for a 3rd party candidate to have any chance at all). I'm also a realist, and this is the reality we have to deal with right now.
I agree with you.
Says Trump: "There were no sniffles". That's what he told Fox, according to this piece published by Breitbart. One or more October surprises are coming, for sure!

He also complained that he couldn't find a way to bring up Benghazi: "Don’t forget, you are asked a question as to progress or as to something, and it’s hard to get off to Benghazi sometimes the way the questions were framed."

Well, let's look at it. He managed to say that Clinton had been fighting ISIS all her adult life, which is ridiculous and untrue because Clinton had been an adult for more than 30 years in 1999 when ISIS was founded. My guess is that he had prepared the line "you have been (doing something) ... all your adult life ... without success" in some other context, and that he was so flustered that he decided off the hoof to apply it to ISIS. But since they were talking about ISIS, that was an excellent opportunity for him to say

"Your efforts when you were in office as Secretary of State were nothing but a prolonged failure - you assisted the rise of ISIS and you were directly responsible for the attack on Benghazi which killed so many US citizens".

I don't believe that. In fact I think it's utter rubbish, but it is what Trump says and of course he did have a chance to say it, if he'd handled himself with more competence. He could have pumped one of his big talking points, while making the big generalisation that Clinton is crap in public office. She couldn't have said "Oops, sorry, my bad", as she did in connection with the emails. Who advises this guy?

Instead he blames other people for his own mistakes, he actually does so in public, and he convinces himself there was no sniffing. Lying to those who you know are aware of the truth is a hallmark of a certain type of nutcase.

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