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Thursday, September 29, 2016

The latest

Clinton received a post-debate bounce. Thank God.

538 puts Florida back in Clinton column (as does -- and although I doubt that she can keep it there, at least her chances of winning have risen, once again, past the 60 percent mark. We can't start to feel comfortable until she recaptures Ohio, North Carolina or Nevada -- preferably all three. TPM's Polltracker has expanded her lead nationally, though not by enough points to allow for an easy night's sleep. The best news: Of all the polls tracked, only the USC/LA Times poll puts Trump ahead, and that poll has consistently skewed GOP.

Everyone is saying that Clinton has finally -- finally -- begun to win back the millennials. Yes, she's breaking through to those doltish young Bernie-ites who always think that they're the smartest cookies in the cookie jar even though they've proven themselves to be gullible shitlings ready to buy into any nonsense they just read on social media. Even they can't justify Trump's history of calling a Spanish-speaking young woman "Miss Piggy" and "Miss Housekeeping." Who can tolerate the hypocrisy of a fat-shamer who would be the tubbiest prez since Taft?

Meanwhile, in an interview with Chris Matthews, Gary Johnson had another self-described "Aleppo moment," thereby cementing his rep as the kind of guy who needs to consult a YouTube instructional video before he can tie his shoes. Millennials are not smart, but they like to think that they are smart, and they don't want to vote for someone who makes Forrest Gump look like Sheldon Cooper. My hope is that, by election day, Johnson's vote will have shrunk to the gen-yoo-ine Libertarians, along with a contingent of Republican Never Trumpers.

(Johnson couldn't name a single foreign leader he admires. Frankly, even I might have had a hard time with that one. Not long ago, I would have pointed to Aung San Suu Kyi -- but even she has let me down. Does Mother Agnes of Syria count as a "leader"? I might have mentioned Angela Merkel, just to piss off the Alt-Rightists.)

The fact that so many young "progressive" Clintonphobes could swing from socialism to libertarianism tells us much about millennial mis-education. The BernieBots continually assured us that the American people were ready for a socialist, despite all the polling evidence which emphatically said otherwise. Reality check: Right now, the majority of American voters want either Donald Trump -- a man who champions lower wages for workers, lower taxes on the rich, few regulations on banks, and an end to the EPA and the FDA -- or Gary Johnson, one of the numbest numbskulls ever to worship at the altar of St. Ayn. Sorry, bros, but I don't think that this country is quite ready to warble "Come comrades, come rally."

I've seen a lot of talk that Donald Trump plans to shame Hillary by airing her husband's soiled laundry (as it were). Really? How is any of that Hillary's fault? The word I keep seeing is "enabling." Sorry, but to forgive is not to enable. I, for one, get angry every time someone uses the terminology of pop psychology to disguise old-fashioned misogyny.

Does Donald Trump really want to go there? Not only did this guy cheat on Ivana with Marla Maples, he actually planted a story in the New York Post in which Marla (supposedly) describes Trump as the best lover she's ever had. That story was deliberately intended to humiliate the woman to whom he was still technically married. (Trump, ever the class act, later summarized Marla with these words: "Nice tits; no brains.") In fact, he had not yet divorced Ivana when he posed as "John Miller" (or "John Barron") in order to brag -- falsely -- that famous women like Madonna lusted for him.

Meanwhile, TPM says that the NY Attorney General's office is expanding its investigation of the Trump Foundation. They plan to go beyond the Pam Bondi "bribery" case, and will also look at the Foundation money that went to pay off the "hole in one" contest winner who got stiffed.

But there's so much more! As I noted in a previous post...
On his website, Trump claims that he is raising money for veterans. Presumably, this goal is why Marvel Comics CEO Ike Perlmutter made a million-dollar donation. The money raised by online appeals goes directly to the Trump Foundation, not to any non-private group known for helping vets.

But do veterans or other good causes get the money? From the Federalist:
Trump’s personal non-profit foundation, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, does not have a history of donating much money to veterans or to veterans’ causes. According to a recent analysis of the organization’s spending history by the Weekly Standard, Trump’s non-profit donated more money to the Clinton Foundation than it did to veterans causes.
Isn't that taking money under false pretenses?

About the video embedded above: I had sworn never to listen to Randi Rhodes ever again after the despicable shit she pulled in 2008. But this may be the best interview with David Cay Johnston you'll find. It touches on a lot of topics that deserve greater attention, including:

1. Donald Trump's close association with cocaine trafficker Joseph Weichselbaum. In the interview, Randi tries to tie this to possible coke use by Donald, but Johnston insists that he could find no evidence of such. Certain irresponsible scoundrels on the internet have suggested that anyone hoping to find evidence might want to look at Trump's debate performance. SNIFFF!

2. The many contractors who have sued Trump for lack of payment.

3. Father Fred's filthy fortune. After WWII, Fred Trump was a profiteer when it came to federally-subsidized housing; his antics pissed off Ike and put him in the gunsights of a Senate Banking Committee investigation.

4. Model misbehavior. Although everyone is talking about the way Trump insulted a young Alicia Machado, most have ignored her allegation that he stole money owed to her. This claim is of a piece with what Johnston has to say about the way Trump's so-called "modelling agency" works. The models basically have said that they were held in conditions that amount to slavery.

(I'll say it again: It's hard to believe that Trump is an actual billionaire when his scams are so low and petty.)

5. Trump's connection to Russian mob boss Felix Sater. Although Trump now tries to claim that he would not recognize Sater, they traveled the world together, they were photographed together often, and Sater had an office next to Trump's suite in Trump tower. Sater is now involved in a quarter-billion dollar tax fraud case which involves Donald Trump.

Let's close with a couple of offerings from Keith Olbermann (another prog who screwed up royally in 2008, but whose anti-Trump efforts have earned our forgiveness)...

I just finished listening to The Making of Donald Trump, downloaded for free from my library. It shows that Donald Trump is one of the sleaziest jerks to have ever been in the national spotlight.
Foreign leader to respect and admire?
Pope Francis.
Selfless, gracious, heart full of love and compassion...Christ-like.
Best pope in modern times, maybe in all time.
If more leaders were like him, the world's problems would go away.
You don't even have to be Catholic to say that. (I'm not.)

I used to admire Evo Morales in Bolivia until I learnt about the Red Ponchos. I still admire the way both he and Hugo Chavez in Venezuela broke off diplomatic relations with Israel in response to one of the massacres in Gaza. No government in any first-world country had the guts to do the same, and several did the exact opposite - not condemning the massacre and the terrorist campaign conducted against hundreds of thousands of people but cheering the attackers on as if they were innocents defending themselves. The only countries in Latin America with almost full literacy are Cuba (achieved within a few years after Castro came to power), Venezuela (ditto, Chavez), and Bolivia (Morales). I'm not sure whether Ecuador (Correa) can be added to the list - it probably can - but I'm suspicious of Rafael Correa having gained economics degrees in the US. Throughout the region, the oligarchies view a sizeable proportion of the population as scum who don't deserve to learn to read well, or get proper education or health treatment. You gotta support the new regimes which, whatever their faults, to varying extents stand opposed to the oligarchies.
Just for argument's sake and without any homage to truth, let's suppose that only the most important people, in the United States and all over the world, ultimately determine who will be the 'elected' US President. I'm too young and a lightweight to weigh in on the Dewey-Truman election (Truman established the National Security State in 1947). It's settled history that Nixon defeated Kennedy and would not challenge the results, in the same way that Kerry would not challenge the 2004 results. Gore won but was not 'elected'. Carter won only because Ford would not offer a bone or crumb to minority voters: one legitimately switched vote in every precinct would have elected Ford; but whoever won in 1976 would preside over the runaway inflation train and assure the election of the other party in 1980. I cannot be contradicted when I assert that Reagan was the least-qualified president of the 20th century; I won't bother arguing the fact that he hardly and barely presided at all (in the same way that FDR, being disabled and dying, left post-war policy to advisers and staff before, at, and after Yalta). How and why Obama got elected has less to do with his being "clean" and "articulate" (according to Biden's deck of playing cards) than with a successful attempt to block Hillary Clinton (and hopefully to humiliate her into political oblivion). Her opponents in all parties and everywhere surely imagined her playbook would include payback if she were elected. No First Lady before or after Hillary was ever virtually gang raped, but she was. There's no word or expression for what she is made of; stamina, fortitude, strength, courage are inadequate at best. "Grace under pressure" (Hemingway) also fails. The only image that comes to mind is bloodied, defeated Jake LaMotta telling Sugar Ray Robinson: "I never went down, Ray. You never got me down".

Digressing, I would suggest that we ought to be thankful for the way David Petraeus was set up and prevented from being the Republican candidate of this election (so, Thank You, NSA and President Obama).

Now, the mature Hillary has a score more of scores to settle, while the most-immature-presidential-candidate-ever Trump worries no one with payback, so to say figuratively only.

Sad to say, but too many very important people are scared witless of Hillary as President, and their secondary reason is that she can be hilariously funny with people she trusts.

In my bubble-gum card collection of Great Leaders In American History, she is included as the first-ever Wellesley College student to speak at the college's commencement.
"Reality check: Right now, the majority of American voters want either Donald Trump -- a man who champions lower wages for workers, lower taxes on the rich, few regulations on banks, and an end to the EPA and the FDA -- or Gary Johnson, one of the numbest numbskulls ever to worship at the altar of St. Ayn."

Quoted for truth.

We are a sick nation. Well beyond sick and mentally ill, actually. What a sad and sick civilization we are and we have. Misogyny and anti-feminism rue the day and that's what makes Hillary Clinton's battle for hearts and minds a Sisyphean, uphill struggle, almost like a vertical cliff wall.

Almost all of YouTube, Reddit, 4chan and the like are littered with extreme anti-feminist propaganda. If you ask Youtubers, Redditors or 4channers what's wrong with the world, they will tell you things like feminism, women's suffrage, females not knowing their stations in life and not staying in it. It's sickening, to see females get blamed for everything. Most of the opposition to Hillary Clinton is fascist anti-feminism. Virulent misogyny it at the root of Hillary's image issues.
Foriegn leader to respect and admire? Easy- Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, prime minister of Iceland 2009-2013.
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