I go away for one lousy day, and look what happens...
Trump now considers himself unshackled from the GOP, freedom being just another word for nothing left to lose. (Will Kellyanne continue to put up with Donnie's Dick Club? Please return to decent society, Ms. Conway. We've all learned to admire your talent, even though we hate the guy you work for.)
Trump's numbers are in free-fall. A Politico poll says that Hillary handily won the second debate. There's a ten-point spread in the TPM tracking poll. One respectable poll gives Hillary an 11-point lead. By some polls, even Arizona has gone blue. Trump's campaign is pulling swing state ads -- and yet, bizarrely, I've recently seen Trump ads running here in true-blue Maryland.
I think Donnie plans to pocket the campaign money. He needs it to keep Melania in Manolos. New data buttresses the theory that Trump has a lot (meaning a LOT) less money than even his critics have suggested.
(How much longer do you think he can retain ownership of that hotel he built in the Old Post Office Building? Few one-percenters now seek any association with the soiled Trump name, and only a limited universe of people can afford the sky-high room rates.)
All semblance of party unity has evaporated: Mere anarchy is loosed upon the Republican Party. There is talk that the GOP may lose both the House and the Senate. Is that talk just psy-war? Maybe. But it's certainly welcome psy-war.
Gateway Pundit is blaming a Paul Ryan aide for the "p-word" tape leak -- an accusation I do not believe, although it confirms that Ryan is now an official Bad Guy in Trumpland.
Meanwhile, Gloria Allred is collecting the stories of women who claim that Donald Trump made "inappropriate contact" with them.
The Putin/Trump link has become flabbergastingly obvious, and is blowing up in Trump's face. First, there's this piece by Kurt Eichenwald -- a complex story in which Eichenwald's words were falsely attributed to Sydney Blumenthal by Putin's dunderheaded cyber-goons, who thought that they could get away with it. Also see here:
News from Russian propaganda sources are pervasive in the alt-right/neo-Nazi web. As a secondary matter we know from Adrian Chen's work that there are a decent number of faux 'pro-Trump' accounts on Twitter that are actually run from troll farms operated by Russian intelligence services. By whichever path, Russian propaganda is ubiquitous on the alt-right/racist web - particularly on Twitter, Reddit, 4chan and similar sites.
It happens that we know the Trump world is awash in the alt-right/neo-Nazi web. After all, that's where all the retweeting of #WhiteGenocide accounts and the like comes from. So anything is possible. Perhaps there's a more complex explanation. But the simplest one is that it's organic. Russian propaganda stories from outlets like RT, Sputniknews and other similar sites spread freely on the alt-right/white supremacist web. And that's where the Trump camp lives. So it's entirely plausible that that's why material that appears only on these Russian propaganda sites shows up so frequently in Trump's speeches.
ON FRIDAY, while much of the country was preoccupied with the latest revelations about Donald Trump, the U.S. intelligence community made an alarming and unprecedented announcement: Russia was seeking “to interfere with the U.S. election process” through the hacking of political organizations and individuals, including the Democratic National Committee. The statement rightly alarmed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who said in Sunday night’s debate that “we have never in the history of our country been in a situation where an adversary, a foreign power, is working so hard to influence the outcome of the election.”
And Mr. Trump? Once again, the GOP nominee played the part of Vladimir Putin’s lawyer. “She doesn’t know if it’s the Russians doing the hacking,” he said of Ms. Clinton. “Maybe there is no hacking.” Mr. Trump is receiving classified intelligence briefings, so he is certainly aware of the evidence that hackers backed by Moscow have stolen email and other records from the DNC and tried to penetrate state electoral systems. So why does he deny it?
Savor the hypocrisy. Trump is a guy whose normal standard for evidence is "People are saying" and "It's on the internet." Yet reports from the CIA and the NSA aren't good enough for him.
Trump also has made clear his disdain for the United States’ alliances around the world. Demonstrating his misunderstanding of how NATO works, Trump has demanded that other NATO members essentially pay us for protection, making many of our allies, especially in the eastern part of Europe, nervous about his commitment to defend them. Trump has also disparaged our allies in Asia, creating new opportunities for Russian influence. On trade, Trump’s promises to disrupt our agreements also play right into Putin’s agenda. From Putin’s perspective, what could be a better way to start the New Year than a trade war between the United States and China or Mexico? Trump’s threats to stop paying our debts also would radically undermine our credibility as a lender, another desirable outcome for Putin.
On the whole, Trump advocates isolationist policies and an abdication of U.S. leadership in the world. He cares little about promoting democracy and human rights. A U.S. retreat from global affairs fits precisely with Putin’s international interests. And if Mr. Trump becomes president, experts on U.S. politics predict a tumultuous period domestically. If a President Trump tried to implement his radical ideas regarding immigration or walling off our southern border, a serious push-back effort would ensue, both in Congress and in the country as a whole. A United States convulsed by infighting over Trump’s deeply divisive policy proposals gives Putin more freedom to act around the world.
It was all supposed to be very different. Trump was sure that Juanita and her "comrades-in-accusation" were going to turn the election around. When those women gave their press conference with Trump, where was Roger Stone? I like to think that he was lurking somewhere backstage, repeating the immortal words of Roger Ebert: "It's my happening and it freaks me out!"
In Stone's view, all elections should be like this: Rape and smears and filth and mud and dirty tricks and rape.
(Remember Blazing Saddles? "You said rape twice." "I like rape.")
Stone's plan was to make this the Rape election. Right now, he's probably thinking: "And I might have gotten away with it, if not for that meddling GOP Establishment!"
Maybe he would have.
Or maybe his time has come and gone.
Maybe the Trumpers didn't understand that it was a bad idea for the "Clinton Rape Ladies" to extoll the glories of Donald Trump in such an obvious way. Those ladies might as well have been wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the message "WE TOOK THE PAY-OFF!" The problem with Team Trump is that they never learned the virtues of subtlety.
Maybe the men in Trump's inner circle have lost touch with reality. Maybe if you live a debauched life in constant pursuit of orgasm and coke-fueled highs, you begin to misunderstand the ordinary citizen's appetite for sleaze. Maybe -- just maybe -- the American people are a little more civilized than Team Trump presumed.
Speaking of Stonian weirdness: Yes, I've been keeping an eye on the "Katie Johnson" rape allegation against Trump. Floating around out there on the internets is a pixelated video of Katie in a blonde wig. (I think it's a guy in drag.) Certain journalists have received ultra-weird emails from her in which she breaks character and starts to refer to herself in the third person. Her story is being pushed by someone using the name "Bianca Manix" and by a conspiracy-crazed oddball calling himself Al Taylor. "Bianca Manix" = "White man." Get it? The whole thing was always a bizarre red herring. I'd bet a dozen donuts that the personage behind it all is Roger Stone's good buddy Robert Morrow -- a.k.a. "Bianca," a.k.a. "Al," a.k.a. "Katie."
You all know Bob, right? He's the guy who likes to cover his weird hairdo with a jester's hat.
Wow. What a day.
I wish I had more time to write. For now, these videos should suffice...
If Trump considers himself to be "unshackled" from the Republicans, doesn't that support the sedevacantist view that the position of Republican presidential nominee is now vacant? If so, the party should apply its Rule 9 and choose a replacement.
One or more tapes will come out soon, I think.
posted by b : 6:00 PM
b: I tend to believe that the rumored N-word tape is real. It's just a matter of paying the money, right? Figure five million to pay the fine, plus another five million to keep the leaker in wine-and-cheese for the rest of his life. $10,000,000. That amount should be easy enough to raise.
("BUT IT WOULD BE WRONG," as Nixon said when he suddenly remembered that the mics were hot.)
At this point both Team Hillary and the Republican Party have excellent motivation to pay the money.
Trump says he'll fight the release of more tape of him talking "inappropriately" by further throwing dirt at the Clintons. He doesn't get it. Women are a far more subjugated group than black people: sexism and misogyny are widely considered more acceptable than racism and white supremacism. He can imply that it's normal when men get together in "locker rooms" for them to boast about grabbing women's vaginas without their consent. It isn't, and it's good that male US athletes reject the slur against them, but far from having to drop out of the race for having uttered such misogynistic crap, he manages to stay in. But he won't get away with it if he implies that whenever white people get together they sound off about "n*****s". What might he say instead of "locker rooms"? That that kind of talk is common when white people get together at robe and hood parties? "It was only a bit of banter at a robe and hood party before the burning crosses came out? Anyone who's offended is a self-righteous hypocrite."
He has now tweeted a disgusting video that concentrates on showing Hillary Clinton stumbling up steps and near-collapsing when she had pneumonia.