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Friday Talking Points [411] -- Women Up For Grabs

[ Posted Friday, October 7th, 2016 – 17:09 PDT ]

Hoo boy. Every Friday morning, we sit down and review all the news stories from the past week, in preparation for writing this column. After spending a few hours reading and taking notes and copying URLs, the writing begins. But we've learned, over the years, to do a last-minute check on the headlines right before we stop reading the news and start typing. Because every so often, a big bombshell lands that simply cannot be ignored. This is, to put it mildly, one of those times we're glad we checked, because a bombshell just exploded all over the presidential race.

Donald Trump may be toast. We know, we know -- plenty of other people have made that prediction plenty of times over the past year and a half, but it has never actually come true. This time, we really think it might (we weren't among those predicting Trump's demise early on, we should mention -- we took Trump's campaign seriously all along, because we actually read the polls and believed them). But the old clip that somehow made its way to the Washington Post this afternoon might just be the gaffe that sinks Trump's ship for good.

To set the stage: Donald Trump and Billy Bush were both wearing microphones, in a bus that was bringing Trump to a soap opera show's taping, over a decade ago. Trump was going to do a cameo on a soap opera (playing himself), and Bush had either just interviewed Trump, or was about to, for Access Hollywood. But the microphones were still hot, and they caught some locker-room talk about some of the women walking around (assumably outside the bus). Trump just finished telling the story of being turned down by a married woman he had tried to hit on (with some disparaging comments about her "big phony tits"), when Bush and Trump got in a back-and-forth about one particular woman walking by who had just caught Trump's eye. Here's the transcript:

TRUMP: I've gotta use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful -- I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything.

BUSH: Whatever you want.

TRUMP: Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.

Hoo boy. Even without that last line, Trump's horrendous attitude towards women is on full display. He just sexually assaults random women because he knows he can get away with it? Wow. How presidential!

Suburban women who are still undecided about which candidate to vote for -- are you listening?

This is why we're wondering if this might just be the final straw for Donald Trump's chances of victory. The last time we wondered this -- even in private -- was when Trump objected to John McCain being called a hero "because he was captured." That was way back in the summer of 2015, we should mention. Trump not only did not collapse, his popularity actually went up, afterwards. This is when we realized that normal political rules just simply did not apply to Trump. It's why we ignored all the calls of "Trump's finished!" since, because when the rules don't apply then anything's possible.

This time, however, we're roughly one month away from Election Day. Trump has had a bad few weeks already, so this might be the point historians later look back on as when Trump's campaign really collapsed. Before the first debate, Trump looked like he was within reach of beating Hillary Clinton in the polling. He hadn't actually led yet, but he had narrowed the gap almost to a tie. Since then, Clinton has steadily pulled away from him by winning over women and independents.

Trump's vulgarities will quite likely not harm him among his strongest demographic, because white men who back Trump probably aren't going to be all that offended. They've been in a locker room or two themselves, to put this another way. But a lot of women are going to flee Trump's campaign, that's our guess. Especially those in the suburbs who normally vote Republican. This could be the edge of victory in a large number of states, in fact. So we'll just have to wait and see if Trump truly is toast this time around, but we'd put the chances of it being true higher than ever right now. To put it another way, a lot of women are now going to be "up for grabs." And not just because of the foul language -- more for the attitude towards women that Trump revealed.

There were plenty of other Trump gaffes and revelations during the week as well, but our guess is the Billy Bush comments are going to overshadow everything else for a while. During the course of the week, Trump's taxes were leaked, showing a billion-dollar loss. Trump implied soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder were weak. Trump's namesake foundation was ordered to stop raising money in New York (where it is headquartered) because it was not a registered charity. Trump was hit by a dozen women who worked on The Apprentice for his piggish behavior towards women in general. In Nevada, he instructed the local crowd how to pronounce their state's name correctly -- and he got it wrong. Trump held a practice town hall stuffed with his own supporters, and still couldn't put together a focused answer to a softball question.

On that last one, here's one write-up of how Trump did:

Asked by a recent college graduate who is struggling to find work how Trump's plans would help him, Trump got started by launching into a monologue about the heat in the room that lasted a full 30 seconds. Note that during that ramble, Trump also managed to segue into a complaint about "dishonest" media coverage that had portrayed him as "sweating" at a different previous event.

Trump did then spend a solid minute reiterating his message about trade and about how he'll stop companies like Apple from manufacturing parts of the iPhone in multiple other countries (presumably through Trumpian tariffs). But then, at a moment when he intended to extol the greatness of the people of this country, he veered off once again into a discussion of how big the crowds were at his rallies, and then into a discussion of how those crowds were bigger than those at Bernie Sanders’s rallies, and from there into still another discussion, of how Sanders "made a deal with the Devil" by endorsing Hillary Clinton. When Trump finally found his way back to his trade message, he wrapped up with only the most cursory nod to the person who had originally asked the question.

Oh, and Trump insisted that his warmup town hall was not in any way "debate prep," just for good measure. That was Trump's week, even before the Post released the bombshell on him. Though it all, Trump keeps falling in the polls.

The other big political news of the week was the vice-presidential debate. Few minds are made up while watching the veeps debate, so even the media proclaiming Mike Pence the winner is probably not going to help Trump stop his slide in the polls much, if at all. But we'll get to all that in a moment.

Before we move along, there were two other bits of news worth pointing out. Julian Assange "pulled a Trump" on the media, by breathlessly building anticipation that he was about to drop a big document leak chock-full of embarrassment for Hillary Clinton, and then doing nothing of the sort, even though he had a huge media audience in the middle of the night in America (he was broadcasting from London):

Over the course of two hours on Tuesday -- with the world's media and bleary-eyed Trump die-hards across the United States tuning in -- Assange and other WikiLeaks officials railed against "neo-McCarthyist hysteria," blasted the mainstream media, appealed for donations and plugged their books ("40 percent off!").

But what they didn't do was provide any new information about Clinton -- or about anything else, really.

The much-vaunted news conference, as it turned out, was little more than an extended infomercial for WikiLeaks on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of its founding.

Maybe "pulling a Trump" will become a phrase people use in the future to describe the media getting played like a fiddle in this fashion -- who knows?

And finally, on a somewhat sad note, it seems that the Libertarian presidential ticket has all but thrown in the towel. Gary Johnson just keeps forgetting things while being interviewed, and last week his running mate William Weld said on camera that he's "not sure anybody is more qualified than Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States." Ouch.

Since vice presidents were in the news this week, the Boston Globe wrote an article about Weld. It was pretty eyebrow-raising, since it reports that Weld is no longer even focused on the Libertarian ticket at all. Instead, he's committed to beating Trump however possible. And then bailing on the whole Libertarian thing altogether, afterwards:

While Weld insisted he still supports Johnson, he said he is now interested primarily in blocking Trump from winning the presidency and then potentially working with longtime Republican leaders such as Mitt Romney and Haley Barbour to create a new path for the party after the election.

In other words, look for Johnson's support in the polls to start crumbling.

All told, we're now rounding the final turn and coming into the homestretch, folks. And from where I sit, Hillary Clinton seems to be leading the race and even pulling away. Which is a good way to transition to our weekly awards, in fact.

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

For the second week in a row, Hillary Clinton wins the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award.

Hillary herself didn't do anything overly impressive this week, but then she didn't have to. This week brought the full reaction in the polls to her first debate performance last week, with a little reaction to Trump's leaked tax returns added in. Hillary has turned the entire campaign narrative around this week, because she has turned the polling trendlines around so successfully.

In national polling, Hillary is up by roughly five points. But even down at the state level, Hillary is firming up support across the map. A recent poll just put her up in Arizona, even. The best way to gauge a candidate's solid support is to take all the states where they have opened a lead of five points or better and add all their Electoral College votes together. This completely ignores all the battleground states and also ignores all the states where the polls are so close either candidate could win -- instead, it shows how strong a candidate's base support currently is. Take a look at the recent past to see how well Clinton is now doing: in 2012, exactly this many days out from the election, Barack Obama had 257 electoral votes in his pocket -- 13 short of the 270 needed to win. In 2008, Obama was doing even better and had 264 electoral votes sewn up. Right now, Hillary Clinton is doing better than Obama in either campaign, with 265 Electoral College votes currently in her column. Just before the debate, this number stood at only 206 for Clinton -- that's the magnitude of the shift we've seen this week.

Here's another measure of how dramatic this shift has become, which uses polling numbers from Quinnipiac:

The big reason she's extended her lead: Independent voters. In the poll conducted Sept. 22-25, Trump led them by 7 points, 42-35, and in a poll two weeks prior, he led them by 5.

But in the new poll, conducted Monday through Wednesday of this week, Clinton has asserted a 14-point lead among this previously Trump-friendly group, 46-32.

And if you exclude third-party candidates, Clinton has turned a four-point deficit before the debate into a 20-point lead, 57-37 -- a net shift of 24 points.

That is nothing short of stunning, mostly because it happened so fast. And the trend should continue, since vice-presidential debates rarely change anyone's mind. The only thing that could either accelerate this trend or turn it back towards Trump would be if he turned in a brilliant and calm debate performance on Sunday night. Since the chances of that happening are (to be polite) quite low, Clinton might just be on the brink of putting the entire election away.

That is impressive indeed. Two weeks ago, Democrats were getting awfully nervous about Hillary Clinton's poll numbers. Now, Democrats are getting more and more confident of her chances for victory. All week long, as the polling just got better and better, Hillary Clinton showed she was indeed the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week, in fact.

[It is our longstanding policy not to provide contact information for campaign sites, so you'll have to find the Clinton/Kaine website on your own, sorry.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

While Hillary had an impressive week, her running mate didn't. Tim Kaine's appearance in the only vice-presidential debate easily wins him the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week. But before we get to that, one side note is necessary.

From the hysterical headlines he generated this week, you might have thought Bill Clinton was in the running for the MDDOTW award, but you'd be wrong. Clinton made a long and cogent argument about one particular portion of Obamacare, and one quote from this was taken wildly out of context: "It's the craziest thing in the world." The headlines immediately screamed "Bill Clinton calls Obamacare crazy!" but this was not, in fact, the case. Read the full transcript of his remarks to see why. Clinton was talking about one particular group who were falling into one of those "doughnut holes" in coverage, and explaining how his wife would fix the problem. He was not talking about Obamacare as a whole, and he was explaining how to make it better -- a point most of the headline-writers chose to ignore. So we feel Bill doesn't even deserve a (Dis-)Honorable Mention, because when you read his remarks in context, there is nothing disappointing about them at all, no matter what headlines one cherry-picked phrase generated.

But back to the MDDOTW winner, Tim Kaine. This Tuesday we had the only vice-presidential debate of the season, and it was pretty hard to watch. We dutifully watched to the very end, but doubt many others made it that far. The entire thing had the flavor of two yappy little dogs going after each other at a dog park, in fact.

Both Tim Kaine and Mike Pence were selected for their boring qualities. Both the candidates at the top of the tickets did not want to be overshadowed by their running mates, so they both made ultra-conventional picks of ultra-conventional politicians. Seriously, outside of Indiana and Virginia, how many people even knew these guys' names before this summer?

To Kaine's credit, he did achieve the biggest goal he had for the night: tie Mike Pence to everything crazy Trump has ever said, and get Pence to deny reality. He scored a clean victory on both fronts. But he still "lost" the debate, according to the pundits.

Now, we don't even like the whole "won/lost" construct for debates, because the hair-splitting some pundits do in figuring these victories is so laughable, at times. But it does matter what the media says about the debate, because that is the storyline most people hear for the following week. And, according to this consensus, Kaine lost on style points. Oh, everyone agreed that Pence was in an alternate reality about the things that actually have come out of Trump's mouth, and the fact-checkers the next day were brutal.

But Kaine interrupted too much, the media mavens decreed. That handed the victory to Pence, who used to host a radio talk show (meaning he knows his way around a microphone better than Kaine).

Kaine, to put this another way, caused a lot of disappointment from a lot of sources this week. We wouldn't let that influence our MDDOTW selection all that much, but we're giving the award to Kaine anyway because he failed to attack Pence on a number of issues where Pence is quite weak -- such as gay rights (to name just one). Pence has a record in Indiana, but Kaine largely ignored it. The most cutting thing Kaine could have (and should have) said would have been: "You were overjoyed to become Trump's running mate, because everyone knows you would have lost if you had run for re-election as Indiana's governor."

We do understand that Kaine's strategy was to focus solely on Trump. But Pence wasn't just appearing as a vice-presidential candidate, but also as a possible 2020 candidate for president. Kaine could have done some serious damage to Pence's 2020 hopes, but didn't. That's what really disappointed us about his debate performance, and that's why Tim Kaine is our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week.

[It is our longstanding policy not to provide contact information for campaign sites, so you'll have to find the Clinton/Kaine website on your own, sorry.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 411 (10/7/16)

We've got kind of a mixed bag this week, with some debate reactions and some general reactions to Trump's flailing around on the campaign trail. Then at the end, some good news from polls that haven't gotten a whole lot of media attention at all (not yet, at least). Without further ado, here are this week's Democratic talking points.

 

1
   A nightmare indeed

Looking back on the week that happened before the debate, some Republicans are getting pretty desperate.

"Did you hear what the chairman of the Republican Party in the swing state of Ohio had to say after watching Trump's first debate and all the rest of Trump's bizarre behavior immediately afterward? Here's a direct quote on what Matt Borges thinks of this election season: 'Can this thing just end -- please? My God, what a nightmare.' And that's from a Trump supporter, mind you."

 

2
   Pence 2020?

We had to pick the snarkiest quip tweeted during the veep debate, just because.

"What I saw on stage Tuesday night was Mike Pence beginning his 2020 presidential run. To achieve this goal, he had to pretend that he wasn't actually currently running as Donald Trump's running mate. The best comment from debate night came from Katherine Miller, political editor for BuzzFeed, who tweeted: 'Mike Pence turning in a great performance for his imaginary running mate Mitt Romney.' That about summed it up, don't you think?"

 

3
   Pry his phone out of his hand! Quick!

Too, too funny.

"Did you hear that Donald Trump had to watch the veep debate surrounded by four aides? I guess it took four of them to grapple the phone out of Trump's hands before he could tweet some idiotic comment or another. Can you imagine how many Secret Service aides it would take to do the same thing on a daily basis, should he become president?"

 

4
   Tell us what you really feel!

As usual, we have a full anti-Trump talking point provided by Republicans. This week, it is from a letter 30 former GOP members of Congress signed, explaining why they cannot support their party's presidential nominee. Add them to the growing list of other Republicans bailing on Trump. Here's what they had to say:

In nominating Donald Trump, the Republican Party has asked the people of the United States to entrust their future to a man who insults women, mocks the handicapped, urges that dissent be met with violence, seeks to impose religious tests for entry into the United States, and applies a de facto ethnicity test to judges. He offends our allies and praises dictators. His public statements are peppered with lies. He belittles our heroes and insults the parents of men who have died serving our country. Every day brings a fresh revelation that highlights the unacceptable danger in electing him to lead our nation.

 

5
   You can say it, Ted!

Too, too funny (part 2)

"Ted Cruz is now calling voters up to convince them to vote. The only problem is, he can't seem to bring himself to even say Donald Trump's name. That's pretty sad, really. Cruz left his own credibility in tatters by backing Trump, and now he can't even say Trump's name in a call to voters to try to convince them to vote for a man he obviously hates with a passion. Cruz is essentially saying 'Please vote, for, you know, that guy. That guy that I despise.' It's pretty pathetic, really."

 

6
   How's that women's outreach going?

Let's hear from a regular voter, shall we?

"So how's Trump doing among women voters? Even before the embarrassing locker-room banter was released today, here's what one 56-year-old Republican voter had to say about Trump's attitudes towards women: 'You just want to smack him.' This is a woman who happily voted for Mitt Romney last time around, and she pretty much sums up Trump's enormous problem with women voters -- which certainly doesn't seem to be getting any better."

 

7
   Some good news

And finally, some good news to end on.

"In all five states where recreational marijuana legalization is on the ballot (and where polling exists), legalization is winning with the public. If it passes in all of them, the entire West Coast of the continental United States will have legal recreational marijuana sales -- from San Diego all the way up to Alaska. Two states on the East Coast -- Maine and Massachusetts -- will join them as well. I'm still waiting for the national politicians to wake up and smell the burning roach, because the message is quite clear. The people are sick and tired of the monstrous and wasteful War On Weed, and they want it to end, right now. Four states and the seat of our national government have already legalized marijuana for all adults, and the sky has not fallen. Five more states are on the brink of following this path, too. Sooner or later the politicians in Washington are going to have to start listening to what millions and millions of voters are trying to tell them. Either that, or we'll vote in some people who do get it."

 

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article credited Entertainment Tonight with the scoop. Billy Bush actually worked for Access Hollywood. It has been corrected in the text, and our apologies for the error.

 

-- Chris Weigant

 

All-time award winners leaderboard, by rank
Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

120 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [411] -- Women Up For Grabs”

  1. [1] 
    neilm wrote:

    Trump uninvited to Ryan event.

    You might be right CW - this might be terminal.

  2. [2] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Mr Trump made some unfortunate comments a long time ago. A youthful mistake. Jesus forgives him. Why can't you vultures?

  3. [3] 
    neilm wrote:

    My wife's response:

    "This isn't the last nail in the coffin. This is another dozen nails in a coffin that was permanently sealed months ago - why is this even a surprise?"

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Indeed.

  5. [5] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Trump is a groenfuher. Is the thing that causes the Republican
    Party to discretely dump him and concentrate on salvaging downticket races?

    The upcoming debate should be interesting, since
    Clinton will probably bring the issue up.

  6. [6] 
    Kick wrote:

    Okay.... well.... an interesting day, to say the least.

    The first thing that enters my mind is the question EM asked on 10/04 and the discussion that followed:

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2016/10/03/2016-electoral-math-hillary-begins-her-debate-bounce/#comment-86055

  7. [7] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Trump is dropping rapidly on the prediction markets, which have been leading the polls. The old bugger may be walking dead. The term "old bugger" may not be a fgure of speech. How low can he go?

  8. [8] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Wall Street speech transcripts ... coming soon, to a computer screen near you!

  9. [9] 
    Kick wrote:

    TS,

    Trump is a groenfuher. Is the thing that causes the Republican Party to discretely dump him and concentrate on salvaging downticket races?

    Too many states are already voting. If they substitute someone else in, Trump's votes don't automatically go to their new nominee (presumably Pence), right? I think.

    The upcoming debate should be interesting, since Clinton will probably bring the issue up.

    I think it would serve HRC well not to say a word about this at the debate, just let an audience member or someone else bring it up -- take the high road. If she is asked to comment on it, she should simply say she believes that America is already a great and decent country and that we need to elect a leader that will move this country forward for children and families instead of trying to take it back several decades.

  10. [10] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW

    I know you're new to politics, so you might actually believe that the recording of Trump just "made its way" to the Post today.

    In other words, give us a break by pretending that this recording wasn't being held for a strategically timed release. It's beneath you.

    Anyway, funny that you caught the last minute story on the recording, but missed the release by Wikileaks made at the same time.

    I didn't see any major bombshells in the early reporting on the material, but it definitely reinforces how pathetic Hillary is in her narrative about the massive fraud her donors committed, her embrace of the austerity pushing anti-Social Security/Medicare gang, and other corporatist establishment nonsense. It also reveals that she provided no unique insight on anything that would justify the millions she was being paid for those speeches.

    I guess your analysis of the release would have interfered with your typically establishment attack on Wikileaks. You deserve a big eye roll for that.

    We owe a huge debt to Wikileaks for revealing some of the secrets of our elites and government. We now know many things Americans deserved to know... things that the public never would have tolerated if publicly debated.
    They certainly deserve to celebrate their ten year anniversary too.

    As for Kaine, I would have thought that both VP candidates embracing "safe zones" in Syria might merit a mention beyond "disappointment from a lot of sources".

    Safe zones would require three things-
    - boots on the ground in territory where even the al Qaida affiliated Sunni Wahhabi militant "good rebels" will attack US troops
    - a no-fly zone to protect the safe zone (you can't have one without the other)... and a resulting direct confrontation with Russia who will not go along
    - a military intervention without authorization by the UN Security Council... in other words, illegal.

    So, yes, Kaine was weak for not attacking Pence on LGBT rights.
    But you ignoring the bipartisan clamoring (supported by both Hillary and Trump too) for another pretext for an illegal regime change posing as a humanitarian war (see Carlin, f**king for virginity) is wonk malpractice.

    Illegal US military adventurism is worthy of some condemnation from someone who ostensibly represents the leftish spectrum of policy.

    Waiting to push back until the PR campaign for more war is at full steam when our sitting Democratic president has articulated why such a policy would be bad for America doesn't make any sense.

    Let's face it, criticizing Hillary a little while showing a little respect for Obama isn't going to swing this election to Trump.

    Are you on team Hillary, or team Democrat?

    A

  11. [11] 
    Kick wrote:

    I'm beginning to wonder if Poor Donald will even have the cojones to show up at the debate on Sunday.

    This is going to snowball. Trump is now an orange... beginning a long roll downhill... picking up snow as he rolls down the cliff.

    The GOP who criticized Obama for putting his feet on a desk and saluting with a cup (among other things) will look like a bunch of fools if they even try to defend him. Trump is done.

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Al,

    Concerning WikiLeaks - in general, and regarding Hillary's Wall Street speeches, in particular ...

    You should always consider what really motivates Assange and remember that context is very important but largely missing in most of his document dumps, to say nothing of the source for the release of these Wall Street speech excerpts being Russian intelligence.

  13. [13] 
    Kick wrote:

    Okay, just saw Trump's video wherein he basically "apologizes/not apologizes" and says he's "not that person" and that it doesn't matter anyway and is just a distraction. Then Trump basically promises to go on the attack against Bill Clinton and blames Hillary for everything wrong in America and for Bill Clinton's actions.

    Obama must be relieved that not everything is his fault anymore.

    Trump was already done before today, in my opinion... he still is toast.

  14. [14] 
    Paula wrote:

    Well what a week!

    My husband and I volunteered at a Hillary rally Monday and spent the rest of the week playing catch-up. Then we went out tonight to a concert -- came back and this Trump hot mic thing had exploded.

    Wow.

    We had a great time Monday except for the times we were accosted by nasty Trumpies. We were assigned to work the waiting line. Doors were to open at 3:45 and Hillary would speak at 5:45 and people started lining up at 2:00. So there was going to be a long wait, and then after the doors opened everyone had to go through metal detectors etc. Our job was to have people fill out a "ticket" form which they handed in at the door, which outlined volunteer opportunities. They could also fill out a postcard that had all the early voting hours listed which would then be sent to them to remind them to vote early. We had a spiel to give them about the benefits of voting early. We also head voter registration forms and were to ask people if they were registered and if anyone wasn't they could complete the registration form. (Every single person I asked said they were already registered.) So there were about twenty of us with clipboards working our way down the line as people were arriving. Everyone was friendly and festive and it was a beautiful day.

    There was a Trumpie across the street who was waving a sign with a nasty Hillary slogan on it and he kept screaming at us. No on paid attention so he came over and started waving his phone at us yelling he was filming us all and we were breaking the law registering people to vote. He plunged right into us, screaming. I went up to him and he -- honest to God -- had a white ring around his mouth. I said to him: "you're foaming at the mouth" -- it was weird. I was just shocked. I raised my hand and kind of pointed at his mouth and he screamed "don't touch me!" and ran back across the street.

    Totally surreal.

    There were a couple of "Veterans For Trump" waving signs and yelling for a bit too. One guy started shouting about abortion and God's law and the Bible. My husband chatted with one for awhile, asking him if he'd ever read the Constitution. Guy said "yes". Hubby asked where in the Constitution did it say anything about Biblical law? They left at that point. Score one for hubby!

    A few times some pick-up trucks went by, covered in Trump signs. Men in those trucks screamed at us.

    OTOH, several Hillary supporters drove by, honking and waving and giving thumbs up.

    Once in we went into the auditorium which filled up. About 3,000 people. Hillary arrived on the dot, came out, was enthusiastically received. There were no protestors inside. She spoke for 45 minutes. I couldn't help constantly comparing her to Trump in that she spoke in complete sentences -- indeed, paragraphs -- and her entire talk made sense. She made some jokes: "friends don't let friends vote for Trump", talked a bit about local hero LeBron James who had just endorsed her, etc. When she was done, she worked the crowd down on the floor, doing selfies with people. We weren't in the section so we didn't get to do that. We did get some photos.

    Then the rest of the week happened, ending with tonight's big story.

    If, while I'm writing, Trump has stepped down, I'll be shocked. He did, I believe, some kind of taped apology?

    I hope, hope, hope he doesn't quit and I hope, hope, hope he does Sunday's debate. But I guess we'll see...

  15. [15] 
    Kick wrote:

    Paula,

    Nice recap of your week. Thanks. It sounds like really crazy good times.

    Based on his "apology," Trump is going after Bill Clinton and blaming Hillary. So...

  16. [16] 
    Paula wrote:

    I'm seeing stuff saying the wikileaks email dump has forged emails in it -- here's one: http://www.dailynewsbin.com/news/intelligence-expert-confirms-latest-hillary-clinton-email-dump-from-wikileaks-is-full-of-forgeries/26242/

    If true, that attempt at an October Surprise drops with a thud.

    [15] Yeah, in his inimitable fashion Trump's "apology" is forced out of him -- he reads the words then moves on to insulting Bill/Hillary. Sunday is going to be one for the history books -- if he shows.

  17. [17] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Kick-9

    I think we more or less agree. I used the word drop, meaning cease to support, with money, organizational skills, endorsements etc. Reallocate resouces down ticket. Trump is on the state ballots, and as far as I can determine, and everybody else in the world is stuck with that.

    You can feel all the people some of the tme, you can feel some of the people all the time, but you can't feel all the people all the time, especially if your nasty habit gets out on the internet. Trump is not your father's Lincoln .

  18. [18] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW.-

    I applaud you did not sanitize the offensive language with cartoon bubble symbols. The words need to be seen intact to fully appreciate the vulgarity of the man-child-punk.

  19. [19] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    altohone [10]

    In other words, give us a break by pretending that this recording wasn't being held for a strategically timed release. It's beneath you.

    Where did you read that Chris believed the video wasn't a strategically timed release? Do you have any evidence that the Post has been holding onto this video and intentionally chose not to report on it until now? Why would a news agency wait and risk having someone else breaking the story before them?

    I am sure that the video wasn't "just discovered" by whoever sent it to the Post. Heck, I am sure that we will be having more and more of these revealing releases the closer we get to Election Day. Chris wasn't reporting that the video wasn't a strategically timed release by someone, only that the Post claimed to have received it today.

    Falsely accusing someone of doing something that they didn't actually do....wait...are you Michale's temporary replacement?

  20. [20] 
    neilm wrote:

    Paula you have an enviable voice. I always enjoy your long posts. Keep them up please.

  21. [21] 
    TheStig wrote:

    I think this may the first scandal since Watergate that the mainstream press doesn't suffix with "gate."

  22. [22] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    altohone [10] -

    Um, well, when I wrote this article, nobody knew how the tape got to the Post and the Hillary/WikiLeaks thing hadn't even happened yet. Does that help?

    I assumed (but didn't add to this article) that the tape came straight from the Clinton campaign. They've been saying for months now that they've got a ton of oppo research that they were going to hold onto until the closing days of the campaign, so I just figured this was the first "leak" of this type.

    But I was wrong. Turns out Entertainment Tonight discovered the film in their files, and was planning on dropping the scoop themselves. Someone (presumably who works for the show) leaked it to the Post before they could do this. Makes sense, since that's where the footage came from (who else would have access to their archives?).

    AS for WL, I am left wondering why they didn't release their scoop earlier, during their press conference. They had the world's attention, and they didn't deliver. But, like I said, that story hadn't broken when I wrote this. I can't write about stuff that hasn't happened yet...

    Paula [14] -

    Nice story! Thanks for sharing it...

    TheStig [18] -

    My CW.com policy is to avoid vulgar and obscene language at all times in my writing. Except, of course, when it is a direct quote. Then I consider it a public service to report exactly what was said.

    :-)

    -CW

  23. [23] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    TheStig [21] -

    Since you brought it up, I went for a stroll through my own archives. You're welcome!

    :-)

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2014/01/09/bridgegate-really/

    -CW

  24. [24] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW -23

    I remember that column (cue harp music).

    I Googled Pussygate, and it IS a thing, but only in the less fashionable neighborhoods of the media multiverse.

  25. [25] 
    Kick wrote:

    [17] TS,

    I think we more or less agree. I used the word drop, meaning cease to support, with money, organizational skills, endorsements etc. Reallocate resouces down ticket. Trump is on the state ballots, and as far as I can determine, and everybody else in the world is stuck with that.

    Oh, I see... but what if they can actually replace Trump if he quits? Argh... I hope they're stuck with him.

    Now I have to tell on myself. So... it's Friday night/Saturday morning, having a nice glass of wine with my significant other and reading all the posts to him and get to the ones about p-gate, and I told him: OMG, they can't call it that on television, they're going to have to call it Bushgate for Billy Bush. So he spews his wine across the room, and I ask him what's so dang funny... and he says Bushgate... Bush-gate... Bush... gate!

    Sometimes I am apparently funny without even trying. :)

  26. [26] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Trump cherishes pussy.

  27. [27] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    If you're hoping that the (D)s will re-take control of the senate, then this should disappoint you. This guy is running against Rant Paul!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1j9Lq1l0eo

    Does that remind you of anyone? WTF?

  28. [28] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Obama tried to stop Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan from jacking up gas prices.

    That would be a good Dem talking point had they themselves not foolishly participated in jacking them up.

  29. [29] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Terd Cruz has to be thrilled now that he's no longer not in the habit of supporting people who attack his wife and father. Now he's in the habit of supporting somebody who called his wife ugly, his father an assassin, and brags about sexually assaulting women. Sad!

  30. [30] 
    John From Censornati wrote:
  31. [31] 
    Kick wrote:

    [30] JFC,

    Trump groping on film

    *LOL*

    I hope somebody at the town hall debate asks Trump about groping Bill Clinton at the golf course:

    http://thememoryhole2.org/blog/trump-clinton-photos

  32. [32] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @CW,

    yikes. was the title of this article a pun?

    JL

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am seriously touched by the out-pouring of well-wishes.. Thank you all, I mean that.. I will do my best to remember such kindness in the coming weeks.. :D

    We're running off of a generator right now and I have to curtail my pooter time to be able to run the TV for the grandkids and mundane stuff like a small AC unit and refrigerator etc etc...

    As to the storm itself, it wasn't too bad. We lost some shingles off the roof, pool fence was blown down and a fair strong gust over-pressured the house (we had the door open for ventilation. 3 adults and 4 children in a confined space with no running water for a day...well, you can imagine it gets pretty ripe.. :D) anyways, the over pressure blew out the living room windows... Next year, I am thinking plywood.. :D

    Other than that, everything seemed to be good.. No major problem. We're at a higher elevation than the surrounding area so flooding is usually never a problem...

    So, we're good.. I'll be checking in when we're back to normal..

    Thanx again for all the well wishes...

    Humbly...

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    altohone wrote:

    Listen
    19

    I didn't falsely accuse CW of anything... see his response.
    And I didn't say the Post was sitting on it.
    Pretty funny that you compare me to the troll after displaying reading comprehension issues.

    "I am sure that the video wasn't "just discovered" by whoever sent it to the Post"
    There ya go... is reality so hard to admit?

    Of course, Entertainment Tonight can't legally air the foul language, and may indeed have faced legal consequences if they had even just aired a censored version... and nobody in Hollywood knows the Clintons right?

    A

  35. [35] 
    TheStig wrote:

    The same mass media that raised Trump up is now busy knocking him down. This is an old story in the USA. It's what sells papers, to put it archaically. It's a reality show, in the sense that the characters are real, but it is a show because there is a lot of editing going on.

    Trump is currently having a meltdown on the prediction markets. He's had a total of five meltdowns, but he eventually recovered from each of the first four, a little stronger than he went in. Still, he never cracked a 30% chance of winning the WH for very long. This 5th nosedive is different, it's steeper, deeper (he's dropped 20 probability points in about 24 hrs), and he is showing no signs of pulling out. The markets are imperfect predictors, but they tend to be a reliable leading indicator about where the polls are going.

    There's an important debate tomorrow night. The election is about a month away. (I'll be voting in about a week). Trump is pulling out of reserved ad buys, he looks short of money. Before this is all over save the shouting (and possibly mob violence, I kid, I kid...I hope) I see the Donald going into election eve as something near a 1 to 10 long shot.

    It's been weird. It will probably get weirder.

  36. [36] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    12

    "You should always consider what really motivates Assange and remember that context is very important but largely missing in most of his document dumps, to say nothing of the source for the release of these Wall Street speech excerpts being Russian intelligence"

    Thanks for pointing out to me the things I am failing to consider... your concern is very endearing. In the same spirit... don't put your hand on a hot stove.

    Please do share what "really motivates Assange".
    I didn't know you had such info, or I would've asked long ago.
    From what he has stated publicly, he seems to be motivated by disgust about the secrecy, hypocrisy and corruption by the governments and leaders in this world.
    Establishment defenders are plainly comfortable with it.
    Not me.
    I share his disgust.

    Given that the documents Wikileaks has released are about events/issues/policies from known history, we do have the "context".
    Thousands of journalists (even quite a few from outlets you deem credible) have used those documents to deliver reports that they and their organizations deemed important and in the public interest. This journalism provided both analysis and even more context.

    You may not feel the releases and journalism are newsworthy, but every major media outlet and the professionals who work there disagree.
    Some of them may rag on Assange, and do their best to paint the releases in the most favorable light possible for the establishment they serve... but they still use the documents.

    As for the "Russian intelligence" bit...

    ... way to emphasize the point CW highlighted in his post... "neo-McCarthyist hysteria".

    Some people, despite the evidence, believe that the government shares the truth and doesn't lie to us.
    Some people believe that having those truths and lies exposed is bad.
    Some people want other people to ignore those truths and lies by pointing to dangling shiny objects.

    A

  37. [37] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Absolution is out of the question
    It makes no sense to apologize
    The words I thought I brought I left behind
    So never mind
    It's all over but the shouting
    Just a waste of time

    Paul Westerberg

  38. [38] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    The Orange One's "apology" video looked a lot like a phony politician in a hostage video reading the puppet-master's words off the TelePrompTer. Unconvincing!

  39. [39] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW
    22

    Better safe than sorry... not knowing who released the recording makes all the difference to the point I was making.

    I guess the time stamp on one of the articles (recording/WL/your post) was inaccurate or one of them had been updated or it was a time zone thing. My mistake.

    And, you're right... Wikileaks missing a deadline and a prime opportunity for wider exposure (hardly any outlets are covering the latest release now) was very unprofessional.
    Or crafty.

    No comment on Hillary/Kaine joining with Trump/Pence in going against Obama on Syria?
    Interesting.
    It's going to be a long four years.

    A

  40. [40] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    And I didn't say the Post was sitting on it.
    Pretty funny that you compare me to the troll after displaying reading comprehension issues.

    Hmmmm, reading comprehension issues? Let's see....

    I know you're new to politics, so you might actually believe that the recording of Trump just "made its way" to the Post today.

    In other words, give us a break by pretending that this recording wasn't being held for a strategically timed release. It's beneath you.

    I apologize if I mistook this to mean you thought Chris was foolish to believe the Post had just received the video today. I guess my taking your words literally was the problem. I'll work on that.

  41. [41] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:
  42. [42] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    I'm looking forward to some defensive hate tweeting from Ann Coulter on the Grab It video. Does anybody know if she's spoken up yet? She's said that the only unforgivable sin would be for Trump to change his immigration policies. I can just imagine it:

    "If it has fake tits, it's asking for a chick magnet like Trump to sexually assault it by grabbing its crotch."

    This could probably work for Palin and Blingrich as well.

  43. [43] 
    altohone wrote:

    Listen
    40

    A non-apology apology?
    You're stooping lower.

    First, the "new to politics" part is a clue to put your thinking cap on...

    You may want to work on that comprehension thing.
    You didn't take my words literally.

    I didn't say it was the Post holding on to the recording as you falsely claimed.

    I also said "just "made its way" to the Post today"...
    ... not "just today "made its way" to the post".

    I can see why you might not catch the distinction though. I should have left off the word "today" just to avoid the problem... since the timing of when it happened is irrelevant to the point.
    Read the sentence without the word "today" if you still can't grasp it.

    Did you notice that CW (22) knew exactly what I meant?

    A

  44. [44] 
    neilm wrote:

    Mr Trump said that "these words don't reflect who I am... I apologise".

    No Donald, these words reflect exactly who you are, and we've known it for a long time.

    Trump is only sorry because he got caught.

  45. [45] 
    neilm wrote:

    "I just start kissing them," he said. "I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything."

    What is the statute of limitations on sexual assault in NY?

  46. [46] 
    Paula wrote:

    [20] neilm: thanks!

    All: Can we call it "Gropergate?"

  47. [47] 
    Steedo wrote:

    Sometimes events transpire in a manner that illustrates that the universe is a strange and wonderful place. There is a fun new question that should be asked of a variety of Trump supporters: Did Donald Trump ever grab your pussy? It should be asked of Kellyann Conway, Ann Coulter, Megan Kelly, Melania, Ivanka, Ted Cruz' wife, Mike Pence's wife and all Trump ex-wives. Should probably ask Christie, Guliani and Gingrich too. If anybody is printing T-shirts that say "Donald Trump Grabbed my Pussy" please reserve me an XXL. Call in the dogs and piss on the fire, this one is done.

  48. [48] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    nypoet22 [32] -

    Writing headlines is the most fun part of this job. Heh.

    Michale [33] -

    Another county heard from! Glad you and yours survived... good luck with the cleanup and rebuild...

    altohone [34] -

    I imagine the folks at the top at ET are mighty annoyed right now. They could have gotten the scoop of the entire campaign, and showed all the "news" shows up. Kind of like how the Natl Enquirer broke the John Edwards love child story. But now we'll all remember the Post guy for breaking the story... like I said, if I was an ET executive, I'd be spitting mad right now!

    TheStig [35] -

    It's been weird. It will probably get weirder.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
    -Hunter S. Thompson

    Heh.

    John From Censornati [38] -

    Funniest thing I've heard yet: "I bet Kellyann Conway was holding a gun to his head, just off screen."

    altohone [39] -

    No problem -- I'm on West Coast Time. I was just glad I caught ONE of the bombshells... worst thing is when you write a whole column, post it, then go and read the headlines and realize you've utterly missed the boat. See my first paragraph... at least I caught one of them this time.

    As for Syria, I commented quite a bit on Hillary's hawkishness in the primary season, as I recall. And the danger that a "no fly zone" could lead to Russian/US dogfights in the skies. I didn't think it was that notable during the debates, because I think everyone's accepted the fact that neither candidate has much of a clue what to do next in Syria. Just like pretty much everyone else -- there is no easy answer, at this point.

    ListenWhenYouHear [40] -

    OK, here's the final word for you two. I wrote "somehow made its way" to subtly imply that OF COURSE it was leaked by Team Clinton. Too subtle by half, but that was my intent. Turned out to be a good thing, since TC apparently wasn't even involved. The reporter knows who leaked it to him, but he isn't talking. The Post ran a story on how it got the leak, I can dig it up if anyone's interested.

    Anyway, so that's the whole story: I thought it was Team Clinton, but when I wrote this article the breaking news had JUST broken -- there wasn't anything other than the initial story up at the Post, and nobody knew where the video came from. So I just went with "somehow made its way" which, looking back, seems to cover all the bases pretty well for how little I knew at the time.

    Sometimes being vague turns out to be the smart way to go, I guess that's the moral of the story.

    Paula [46] -

    When Arnold Schwarzenegger was running for governor out here and had groping accusations against him, he swore he'd investigate the whole thing if elected (ha!) and we all started calling him Gropenfuhrer. Still (cautionary note), he did win his election.

    -CW

  49. [49] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    CW wrote:

    Bush had either just interviewed Trump, or was about to, for Entertainment Tonight. But the microphones were still hot, and they caught some locker-room talk about some of the women walking around (assumably outside the bus).

    Far be it for me to be picky, but:

    I thought the show was Access Hollywood, an Entertainment Tonight-type show that apparently everyone (including me! see my posts at the end of the previous thread) can't remember the name of most of the time.

    My impression was that Trump, et. al, were discussing the blonde PR girl that meets with them at the end of the video. She's waiting just out of camera view. Another girl walks by, and someone says,'get out of the way honey' a few seconds later, because they've been looking at the publicist's legs, and the second girl was blocking their view. At the very end of the video, Trump kisses her on the cheek and then looks pointedly at Billy Bush as if to say, "See that? I kissed her like I said I would."

    Just as any other stud-wannabe would do in high school..

  50. [50] 
    Paula wrote:

    Saint Pence releases his statement:

    As a husband and father, I was offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump in the eleven-year-old video released yesterday. I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them. I am grateful that he has expressed remorse and apologized to the American people. We pray for his family and look forward to the opportunity he has to show what is in his heart when he goes before the nation tomorrow night.

    I guess since the tape is "from eleven years ago" that means it's ok. Of course, anything Bill or Hillary did or said from the minute they were born is still fair game. (Or were accused of doing, no matter how many times/ways they've been found innocent.)

    And, of course, more stories are coming out. Someone on CNN talking about a friend of hers being groped by the Donald in 2010. And there will be more.

    But hey, Saint Pence finds it in his deeply Christian heart to forgive the Donald. The Donald is despicable. Pence, the sanctimonious enabler/accomplice? Worse.

  51. [51] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Paula: "Saint Pence", I like it!

    Let's parse that statement, shall we?

    As a husband and father, I was offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump in the eleven-year-old video released yesterday. I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them.

    That was a long time ago, but yeah, even I winced.

    I am grateful that he has expressed remorse and apologized to the American people.

    ..and hopeful that he'll get a pass on this one too.

    We pray for his family

    Think of Trump's wife and children! Oh, right..

    and look forward to the opportunity he has to show what is in his heart when he goes before the nation tomorrow night.

    We have a team locked away to craft a totally accurate statement about what's in Trump's heart. With any luck it will be more detailed than his medical report.

  52. [52] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Paula [50],

    "Saint Pence releases his statement"

    I beat him to it. See [2].

  53. [53] 
    Paula wrote:

    [52] You did!

    They are so predictable, aren't they?

    {51} Balthasar: Yep!

  54. [54] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    John [52] Credit where credit is due. You nailed it.

  55. [55] 
    TheStig wrote:

    If I'm reading the latest headlines correctly, it appears the Republican Party is cutting Trump adrift. The party will focus resources on savaging the downt ticket races. Cowardice and lack of effectve leadershp during the primaries are coming home to roost.

    Will Trump even show up at the Sunday debate? Trump has got to realize that the scandal containment module has blown a gasket. I think it is Game Over. Does he want to spend his own money on looking the fooll?

  56. [56] 
    Kick wrote:

    I just heard Melania's statement regarding her husband's words being "unacceptable and offensive" to her. Well, why didn't she just say:

    "Display it, don't say it."

    So... your campaign is being hammered about past statements regarding your treatment of women as objects. Who is the dim bulb in the Trump campaign who decided to highlight Ms. Strumpet?

  57. [57] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW

    "As for Syria, I commented quite a bit on Hillary's hawkishness in the primary season, as I recall. And the danger that a "no fly zone" could lead to Russian/US dogfights in the skies. I didn't think it was that notable during the debates, because I think everyone's accepted the fact that neither candidate has much of a clue what to do next in Syria. Just like pretty much everyone else -- there is no easy answer, at this point"

    First, NOT setting up a safe zone/no fly zone, NOT violating international law and NOT provoking a war with Russia (we aren't just risking "dogfights in the skies") is actually the easy answer on that particular detail in Syria.
    And quoting Obama to support that position is the easy answer for a pundit who believes in rule of law and not starting crazy wars.

    Second, Hillary being "hawkish" in the primary debates and Hillary/Kaine agreeing with Trump/Pence now is a distinction worthy of debate.
    Trump and Pence are wacko, and every sane person should be concerned about Hillary and Kaine sharing their wacko policy.

    Third, on the Syria issue in general, cutting off our support for the "rebels" is also an easy answer.
    Al Qaida and all groups that cooperate with them and share their ideology are our enemies.
    Admitting that Assad defending his country from al Qaida is EXACTLY WHAT WE WOULD DO shouldn't be difficult for any sane person either.
    Admitting that if a foreign power was funding and arming 160,000 foreign militants in an attack on America, we would react just as harshly against them and any Americans who joined or supported them also shouldn't be difficult for any sane person.

    Fourth, we should tell Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Jordan and Israel to go suck an egg and make it clear that due to the evolving circumstances on the ground, their aspirations for regime change in Syria will no longer be supported.
    Friends don't let friends support al Qaida.
    Admittedly, this is a harder answer with probable repercussions, but a huge majority of Americans would support it with a few reminders about 9/11.

    Fifth, we should keep supporting the Kurds in reclaiming and defending the areas where they have traditionally been the majority.
    They are the only group in Syria who are not anti-American, and we should leave it up to them to decide if they want autonomy within Syria or independence.

    At the moment, I would be happy with some sane acknowledgement on my first point though.
    It's a no brainer.
    Legal, not crazy.
    Obama is right.

    But it needs to be said because the interests who dismiss legalities are pushing hard into crazy town.

    A

  58. [58] 
    altohone wrote:

    BTW CW

    What's up with HuffPo changing the awesome headline of FTP this week?

    Very weak.

    A

  59. [59] 
    Paula wrote:

    The point that needs hammering is "the words" are not the problem, offensive as they are. It is the actions being depicted that are the problem. Trump is bragging that he accosts/molests women with impunity. He presents it as "here's what I always do" which means he did it over and over. And we have no reason to assume he didn't accost some woman yesterday.

  60. [60] 
    TheStig wrote:

    The prediction markets seem to be seeing what I'm seeing. Trump shares are in free fall.

    Pence has condemned Trump. Is Pence going to resign? Or is going to stay on in hope of becoming the desinated successor. I'm no sure how that happens.

    Going back to an earlier thought, things have gotten weirder. A lot weirder. Professional grade.

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Al,

    I have long since grown tired of your endless sarcasm and/or self-righteousness. That's my territory, after all. Ahem.

    Also, try to be a little more respectful toward our always gracious host.

    Thanking you in advance, as always.

  62. [62] 
    chaszzzbrown wrote:

    [33] Michale

    Glad to hear you're OK! Despite the way you talk about it, it must have been pretty scary when the window blew in. Here's to hoping for sunny skies in your near future!

  63. [63] 
    chaszzzbrown wrote:

    [6] Kick

    Okay.... well.... an interesting day, to say the least.

    Believe it or not, that's Trumps most recent tweet:

    "Certainly has been an interesting 24 hours!"

    As far as black swans go, PEC has an interesting take:

    http://election.princeton.edu/2016/10/08/what-color-is-the-swan/

    He sees this as a 'white swan': it's not like it's particularly surprising, given Trump's earlier statements, that he would say something like this. But the revelation of his comments comes at a time when it's becoming increasingly obvious that there's not a lot of upside to being on the Trump Train anymore - so expect to see the passengers jumping off despite any potential risk of broken legs...

  64. [64] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You know what a broken window means, don'tcha Michale?

  65. [65] 
    Kick wrote:

    [59] Paula,

    The point that needs hammering is "the words" are not the problem, offensive as they are. It is the actions being depicted that are the problem. Trump is bragging that he accosts/molests women with impunity. He presents it as "here's what I always do" which means he did it over and over. And we have no reason to assume he didn't accost some woman yesterday.

    I know, right? That's sort of what I was trying to say about Melania's statement:

    "The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me. This does not represent the man that I know. He has the heart and mind of a leader. I hope people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world."

    How does this not represent him? Trump allowed his girlfriend (now wife) to be photographed nude in and around his private aircraft and distributed worldwide. Trump has always objectified women (which is sometimes a woman's choice, to be sure), but let's now take issue with his "words"? Ms. Strumpet doesn't mind the actions, but the words are "unacceptable and offensive" to her: "Display it, don't say it."

  66. [66] 
    neilm wrote:

    The Basket of Deplorables just became the Basket of Inconsolables.

    :)

    Credit: https://twitter.com/AdrienMenielle/status/784809316419330048

  67. [67] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Balthasar [49] -

    Damn! You are entirely right, and we certainly invite such pickiness here. Lemme go fix it...

    -CW

  68. [68] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Balthasar -

    There. Fixed! Correction note appended at the end. Thanks for the eagle eye, too!

    :-)

    -CW

  69. [69] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Balthasar [49] -

    That's the impression I got, too. The one in the purple, that Billy Bush called "hot shit" or whatever.

    Does anyone have a link to the full, unedited video? All the clips I've seen on teevee cut a bunch of stuff out, and not only the vulgarities. I'd like to see it from beginning to end...

    Paula [50] -

    Pence, the naked opportunist. That's how I'd put it. But sometimes tying your dinghy to a sinking ship turns out badly, so we'll just have to wait and see...

    TheStig [55] -

    The GOP is going to give Trump the Dole treatment? Hadn't heard that yet... this just gets better and better!

    I'm wondering about Trump showing up, too. Maybe if he blows it off, Hillary will get the full time to herself!

    altohone [57] -

    I already expect Hillary to disappoint me on foreign policy, maybe that's why it's not as big a deal to me as it seems to be with you. But I am interested: if we told Turkey to go suck eggs, would you have us support an independent Kurdistan if they decided to declare one (in pieces of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran)? Right now, Turkey seems to be the only reason why we wouldn't, although keeping our relationship with the Iraqi government would probably be a secondary reason. Anyway, interested on your take, since you've obviously thought about it a lot.

    [58] -

    As for HuffPost, I gave up a long time ago trying to figure them out. The headline is changed only on the front page link, as far as I can tell. When you click through to the page (at least, as of last night), my original headline appears (minus the volume number, I gave up that fight a long time ago with them).

    -CW

  70. [70] 
    Kick wrote:

    [63] chaszzzbrown,

    Believe it or not, that's Trumps most recent tweet:

    "Certainly has been an interesting 24 hours!"

    Okay, now you've gone and compared me to BO... "Big Orange." Well you better watch it bud... because I will have you know that there is this guy who posted this most excellent and totally functional Tamper Monkey device that allows me to block out posters...... Heh, just kidding!

    I loaded your Monkey, and it totally works.

    Thank you, Charlie Brown! :)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOCrBa8peCg

  71. [71] 
    chaszzzbrown wrote:

    [55] TheStig

    They may try a la Dole; but just no good options for the GOPe at this point. Ryan et al were heckled by the crowd today in Wisconsin, and Nevada Senate-hopeful Joe Heck got booed for saying Trump should step down.

    http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/10/8/13212650/gop-elites-renouncing-trump-voters-heckle

    I imagine John Boehner is have a nice chuckle over his bourbon on the rocks at the moment...

  72. [72] 
    chaszzzbrown wrote:

    [70] Kick

    Well, to be honest, I don't use it to actually block out anyone; just to turn the volume down a tad during tornados :). There is such a thing as too much cow bell!

    Thank you, Charlie Brown! :)

    Unsurprisingly, I'm a huge Vince Guaraldi fan. This time of year, I prefer 10 hours of the Great Pumpkin Waltz :).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flWB-WaKm5U

  73. [73] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    61

    Sarcasm and snark are my bread and butter... but I don't mind sharing.
    But give, and you shall receive... even if it comes at a cost... yes, I noticed that your reply was not a response.

    While I have your exhausted attention, which part of the evidence about Russian involvement in the hacking did you find most convincing?
    Oh, silly me.
    I completely forgot that they didn't present any evidence... never mind.
    I think the quote they put out was "we believe"... like faith... no evidence required.
    I think Bush used the same terminology for WMDs in Iraq.

    Anyway, do you support a boots on the ground military intervention in Syria without UN authorization even though it would be illegal?
    Again, like Bush in Iraq.

    Weird pattern, huh?

    As for CW, the same rules apply.
    Equal opportunity, and sometimes too subtle by half.

    But, you know (sorry, Hillary's speech excerpts got that stuck in my head) graciousness can be a double edged sword like so many things.
    Graciousness to the establishment is partially to blame for the current state of affairs... and more graciousness is required when I call it out.
    It's a vicious circle.

    But like I said, it's going to be a long four years with neolibcon Hillary being defended by supposed Democrats... assuming she doesn't solve all of our problems with a blinding flash in a tiff with Russia... or take me out with a drone like she wanted to do with Assange.

    Maybe this will cheer you up.
    I just read that Wikileaks only released 2,000 of the 50,000 emails so far... more to come!
    I wonder if there are enough Trump tapes to distract people?
    Folks at the other website I frequent are pretty pissed off already. You would not like it there one bit. Lots of lawyers who would really tire you out. I'm lighthearted and easy going by comparison.
    No, really.

    A

  74. [74] 
    Kick wrote:

    [72] CB,

    Well, to be honest, I don't use it to actually block out anyone; just to turn the volume down a tad during tornados :). There is such a thing as too much cow bell!

    I haven't blocked anyone either......... yet ;)

    Oh, tornadoes... being that I live in Texas, I have a most excellent storm shelter that I call my Hobbit Hole. You never know when you're going to need it... just like your Monkey. :)

  75. [75] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Al,

    What's the other website that you frequent?

  76. [76] 
    TheStig wrote:

    chaszzzbrown-71

    You are right, the GOP really doesn't have any great options-but some bad options are better than others.

    By writing off a weak shot at the White House, the GOP can better control the Congress. Keep playing the obstruction game they played so well against Obama. That impacts the Supreme Court makeup. Why mess up the latter trying to prop up a weak Presidential hopeful who will be a loose cannon if he somehow defies odds and wins?

    It's a mistake to take rally crowds too seriously. They do not reflect the broader electorate. Live events draw in the Blue Light Covenanteers...the take no prisoners crowd. The slice of the electorate the GOP needs to pin down and capture is more pragmatic...and sensitive to the possibility that Trump just might be a con artist. Which the GOP pros know to be mostly true.

    CW-69

    Clinton is showing surprising strength post the 1st debate. It's hard to see this in raw polling data, but when I look at state by state probabilities of Clinton victory(NYT UpShot summary table), Clinton looks to have an 80-90% chance of racking up 270 plus EC votes. Florida, Nevada, and North Carolina provide some cushion in the 60-70% range, and even Ohio is looking to lean a bit Democrat. Republican pros can read the UpShot as well anybody and act accordingly.

    I am playing a bunch o' hunches, but taken together, the signal looks consistent to me. Trump has fallen like a rock. His current chances of winning the WH look about the same as when he was competing in a 4 man GOP primary battle. The question is how much he can recover with just a month to go...filtered through two more debates ...which seems to suck at.

  77. [77] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW
    69

    Accepting disappointment from Hillary ensures it will happen, and that doesn't sit well with me. So, I rail against Obama, I will continue to go after Hillary, and I will continue to be after you to speak up too.

    The idea that Dems can pursue the same objectives as the neocons and completely go against the ideals they claim to value without any consequences from the Democratic rank and file (or pundits) just amazes me.
    Oh, it's just foreign policy...

    Uh, yeah, but there's NEVER going to be money for Dem domestic policies if we keep flushing trillions down the toilet abroad.

    It bothers me watching good people getting played by the two party, one system establishment. And it bothers me even more to see the death and destruction the indifference and ignorance allows in our names.

    Remaining silent isn't an option.

    The suck eggs comment was actually directed toward Turkish support for the "rebels" not their ongoing hostilities with Kurds, but since you asked, Erdogan would never go for it. But if a wise leader ever takes over in Turkey, I think they would be well advised to give up a nominal sliver of land for an independent Kurdistan in exchange for peace. The benefits for Turkey would be huge.

    Resistance from Iran would be just as great, though a nominal sliver could be negotiated somehow, and Kurdish areas in Iran are much smaller to begin with... but that should probably be set aside until hostilities with Turkey and Syria are resolved. The Shiites in Iraq owe the Kurds big time right now, and they already had an autonomy agreement before the Islamic State created an existential threat, so as long as the Kurds don't demand the whole pie I think an agreement for independence is possible. Syria isn't in any position to make demands or stop the Kurds, but the Kurds settling for less than the whole pie and a non-aggression pact would probably head off future conflicts. That is of course with Assad... if the "rebels" take over Syria, the Kurds will be in their crosshairs indefinitely.

    The Kurds have paid a heavy price, but they are in the best position they've ever been in.
    But we've betrayed them before, and that's probably the biggest risk they still face... despite our current good relations and military aid.

    In any case, theorizing about the future of the Kurds needs to take a back seat to stopping a disastrous US military intervention in Syria.

    Whenever Hillary or whoever talks about a safe zone or no fly zone while ignoring international law and the consequences, people need to challenge it and in the end ask what Obama asked-
    "Then what?"

    A

  78. [78] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    75

    Another reply without a response and you want me to answer your question?

    Is it wrong that I'm irked?

    Throw me a bone.

    A

  79. [79] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz

    One question?

    Are you with Hillary/Kaine/Trump?Pence for the Syria no fly zone, or are you with Obama against it?

    No sarcasm...

    A

  80. [80] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    CW [69]: Does anyone have a link to the full, unedited video? All the clips I've seen on teevee cut a bunch of stuff out, and not only the vulgarities. I'd like to see it from beginning to end...

    This Chris, I think, is the full video:

    http://ns8.ns.twc.com.edgesuite.net/news/NY1/2016/10/trump-uncensored-full-video_22053642_18_31_09.mp4

  81. [81] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Al [77]: That won't happen because, in the minds of the Kurds, "Kurdistan" already exists, and the rest of the world just doesn't realize it yet. It looks like this (note that I chose a topographical map for a reason:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B6HsTbbIAAAlZwr.jpg

    Do you see why giving up some sliver of land won't get the Turks anywhere? The Kurds lay claim to somewhere in the vicinity of a fourth of Turkey, and portions of four other countries besides. They're not going to settle for a token strip of land, like they're the Cherokee Nation or something. In their minds, they're talking homeland, and they're playing the long game.

    Honestly, it's a wonder that a secular, democratic, optimistic group of people like the Kurds even exist in that portion of the world. It's very hard to even sympathize with the Turks, especially given all of the anti-democratic things their present president has done, and been allowed to do in that ostensibly 'democratic' country.

  82. [82] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    altohone
    43

    I don't make apologies that are not apologies. I took your comments literally and thought you were just being condescending towards CW. For misinterpreting the intent of your words, I apologize. For wrongly accusing you, I apologize. I hope you will accept this in the spirit that it is offered.

    Russ

  83. [83] 
    John M wrote:

    altohone wrote:

    "Anyway, do you support a boots on the ground military intervention in Syria without UN authorization even though it would be illegal?
    Again, like Bush in Iraq."

    Since you seem to put a lot of stock in UN approval making military actions "legal" I would like your take on a possible scenario:

    What if North Korea were to attack and/or invade South Korea again, it goes to the Security Council, and either one or both China and Russia veto any UN action? Because of that, would then any South Korean or American military action in defense of South Korea being "invaded" then be "illegal" because it lacked any UN "sanction?"

    My contention would be that just because "some" military action sometimes lacks UN "sanction" does not "automatically" or necessarily make such military action "illegal." I think, in fact, it would be highly "context" specific.

    As another example, suppose the USA HAD intervened militarily in Rwanda in order to halt the genocide that took place there, without UN approval? Would that have been "illegal" also?

    Bear in mind, I am not arguing the merits of the case of direct American military intervention in Syria. I in fact, think such an American intervention would be a mistake also and make things even worse.

  84. [84] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Al,

    Anyway, do you support a boots on the ground military intervention in Syria without UN authorization even though it would be illegal?

    I strongly believe that a US boots on the ground military intervention or imposition of a no fly zone would be inordinately counterproductive in terms of both ending the Syrian proxy-driven civil war and defeating IS and the ideology that underpins it.

    Therefore, I would not support any such measure to further intervene militarily in Syria.

    President Obama and Secretary Kerry (and, especially, Secretary Clinton) must understand that there is no credible US military threat in Syria and that a functioning Assad regime that is allowed the space to clean up this mess while EVERYONE acts to dispense with the IS cadre is better that what's there now - by a bloody long shot and for a bloody long time already!

    What Kerry should be discussing with his counterparts from Syria, Russia, Iran and others at a serious meeting of the major stakeholders is an end to all of the proxy wars and an all in effort to defeat IS in Syria and Iraq, once and for all.

    Of course,the necessary leadership for this does not exist in theatre or anywhere near it, for that matter. And, so, President Obama should take the lead and meet with Putin, Assad and other regional leaders and issue a joint statement confirming the reality of the situation and a plan to end the proxy-driven civil war and heartbreaking human suffering in Syria.

    And, that's just for starters, assuming any of these world leaders are serious about effectively handling the refugee crisis and defeating the violently deranged Islamist extremists.

    I'm told that the Arabs in the region, especially the Saudis, would go nuts if such a scenario played out. I say it's time for a serious reassessment of the US-Saudi relationship.

  85. [85] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Over the next 30 days I think the collapsing Trump Campaign is going to act like an enormous Black Hole sucking up what remains of campaign donation$ into the Trump Family Fortune. Most of this will occur by pouring the donation$ into very classy and very expensive Trump owned services at 4X their market value. Some of the donation$ will be given to a Woman's Charity (still in the works) headed by his daughter. I forget her name, the one he calls "Piece of Ass."

    Art of the Deal Baby!

  86. [86] 
    TheStig wrote:

    RE - 85

    Political scientists will be looking for gravity waves caused by the disappearance of so much money.
    I see a Nobel Prize in Political Physics!

  87. [87] 
    altohone wrote:

    Listen

    I really appreciate it.
    Thank you.

    I'm sorry my sloppy writing left it open to misinterpretation.

    A

  88. [88] 
    neilm wrote:

    a functioning Assad regime that is allowed the space to clean up this mess

    One of the first books I read on the Middle East was "From Beirut to Jerusalem" by Thomas Friedman - and frankly I think it is his only book that is of any value.

    Anyway, there is a chapter called "Hama Rules" that gives a good idea what the Assad family think cleaning up a rebellion looks like.

    I'm not ready to give Assad unfettered power over Syria in a hurry.

  89. [89] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So, what would you suggest then, Neil, to end the human suffering and proxy-driven civil war in Syria?

    By the way, I'm a huge fan of Tom Friedman and I think all of his books are well worth the read.

  90. [90] 
    neilm wrote:

    Over the next 30 days I think the collapsing Trump Campaign is going to act like an enormous Black Hole sucking up what remains of campaign donation$ into the [remains of the] Trump Family Fortune

    I think you are right. I also think the big secret in the taxes is that Trump is bust. I think he is living of loans to dodgy characters and his tax returns will show far too little income to justify his pretend lifestyle.

  91. [91] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, I don't believe I mentioned or implied giving Assad "unfettered power" or anything of the sort ...

  92. [92] 
    neilm wrote:

    I think he is living of loans to dodgy characters

    ->

    I think he is living off loans from dodgy characters

    Whoever is asking for a 5 minute edit feature has my support.

  93. [93] 
    neilm wrote:

    I took the space to clean up this mess as unfettered control.

    You meant something difference - can you elaborate?

  94. [94] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That would be me. And, I'd actually suggest a 30 minute delay before making a comment permanently etched in stone. :)

  95. [95] 
    neilm wrote:

    I don't have an answer for Syria, but I think that letting Assad take full control of the country will result in a lot of revenge killing by a regime that has a history of such behavior.

  96. [96] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You first ... what is your idea of a good way to end the Syrian conflict in a way that doesn't include Assad remaining in power ...

  97. [97] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Neil,

    A little nuance may be appropriate here as I explain what I meant in [84] ...

    As with most comments here, [84] needs to be read and understood in its entirety without taking small bits of it out of context resulting in misinterpretation.

    I think the US needs to accept the reality of the situation in Syria. Which is to say that the US has no credible military threat with which to apply leverage over Russia and Iran to encourage one outcome or another.

    To be clear, there is no military solution to this problem. Perhaps, if this is said often enough and loud enough then people in the White House and Pentagon will be more able to accept the reality of the situation and move on to another strategy that has any prospect of being successful.

    I am talking about a diplomatic solution that will involve all of the major stakeholders reaching a consensus that all of them can live with and be moved to live up to. And, that includes the Assad regime.

  98. [98] 
    altohone wrote:

    Balthy
    81

    I've been to Turkey three times for a total of around 4 months.

    Kurds live everywhere in Turkey.
    They are for the most part well integrated and not treated as interlopers, and most are satisfied with their lives in a fairly safe country with decent opportunities. The violent fight for independence was mostly limited to the predominantly Kurdish areas in the south east of Turkey, and was being conducted by a minority of the Kurdish population within Turkey. After a long period of fighting, negotiations had basically ended the violence. Kurdish could be taught in the schools in their areas and they could run for political office.

    Erdogan was in danger of losing an election, so he went all nationalistic Trump on the Kurds for political reasons, using an attack by al Qaida or IS (it may have even been a false flag operation)to falsely accuse the Kurds in order to look tough and keep his job. Unfortunately it worked. He launched a crackdown that triggered a violent response, and he escalated further and the violence has been ongoing ever since.

    Some Kurds do want to reclaim all of the areas where they have historically predominated, but most are well aware that they will not be able to beat Turkey militarily.

    An independent homeland comprised mainly of northern Iraq and north eastern Syria would be acceptable to most Kurds, and would be such a huge advance that it already qualifies as a major victory.

    A peace deal with Turkey (not going to happen with Erdogan) that added a sliver of Turkish land would basically be a symbolic gesture, not so much for the sake of a Kurdistan, but rather for reasons of internal stability among the Kurds that would remain in Turkey.

    At the moment, it's a pipe dream.
    Erdogan isn't the only barrier either. His beliefs are shared by many, and such a deal would also open up a can of worms with the Armenians in north eastern Turkey and the genocide issue.
    I think the Kurds who want a quarter of Turkey are the easiest problem to deal with.

    BTW, I don't know if you caught the news from a couple of days ago, but one Kurdish political group in northern Iraq is currently cooperating with Erdogan. Turkish troops have been "invited in" to the area to "help fight IS" to the chagrin of many Kurds, and with the Iraqi government launching a formal protest at the UN.

    Like the situation wasn't complicated enough.

    A

  99. [99] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hi Liz
    84, 97

    OK... I just fell in love with you all over again.

    Despite comment 89.

    I think you've got it right on Syria.
    Diplomacy and international cooperation, reevaluating our relationship with the Saudis... sorry AIPAC... the alternatives to Assad are just not acceptable or even achievable without an even larger humanitarian disaster.

    I hope your wisdom spreads, and quickly.

    The other website I frequent is The Intercept.
    They've got a 4 part series called Code of Silence up right now that is really well written and intriguing. I think part 4 is at the top of the page now, so you have to scroll down to start at the beginning.
    Heads up, their comment section is a cross between a Mensa meeting, the wild west, and a funny farm... with an unusual influx of rather twisted Trump supporters recently.

    A

  100. [100] 
    neilm wrote:

    Elizabeth [97]

    We have tried a negotiated cease fire, but to no avail. Saddam thinks he can win this war and so will prosecute it until he thinks otherwise.

    Frankly, at the moment that will only be when Russia stops supporting him. The only way to get Russia to back off is to find some lever that can be applied to make them. Since they are winning the propaganda war at home with their "brave pilots" and also forcing a refugee crisis on the EU, it is a win-win for them for the lever is going to have to be pretty compelling.

    Sanctions are not going to do it this time. A no-fly zone would stop the air bombardment, but the Russians would simply replace that with long range guns. And even if Russia is forced out, Iran will stand behind Assad.

    Europe better by prepared for more Syrian refugees, and we should take a lot more of them ourselves.

    Or we could send the troops in to settle it (which they could, pretty quickly) and we could be responsible for another Iraq.

    I think there is more we can do to help stop the slaughter in Yemen at the moment.

  101. [101] 
    neilm wrote:

    Saddam -> Assad

  102. [102] 
    altohone wrote:

    John M
    83

    I am very pleased you do not support a US intervention in Syria.

    The US was the driving force in creating the UN... so all Americans should put a lot of stock in the organization.
    The UN didn't create the international laws (that we were also a driving force in establishing and are bound by) but it is the venue where international consensus for action within the law can be achieved.
    (that paragraph needs a whole lot of qualifiers and clarifications, but that's the basic gist)

    In your first example in Korea, no Security Council action is needed. International law guarantees the right to self defense. And legal self defense would begin before you could even say the words Security Council.
    If S Korea provoked a response somehow using illegal methods, then it's probable a claim of self defense wouldn't be valid. The Germans used that approach repeatedly in WWII and the courts didn't buy their legal claims. At Nuremburg, more Germans were prosecuted for illegal wars of aggression than for crimes against humanity.

    A US military intervention in Syria doesn't come anywhere near the concept of self defense... though I don't think you were trying to make a comparison.

    The false WMD claims in Iraq were invented as a pretext for making the US invasion legal, but since they were lies and since the UN didn't buy it (referring there to the second UN resolution that Bush abandoned while pretending that the first one was sufficient), our war was an illegal war of aggression which under international law is a war crime.

    Likewise, in Libya, a UN resolution authorizing a no fly zone was then used to justify a bombing campaign to effect an illegal regime change... a war of aggression which under international law is a war crime.

    Your contention about context is valid, but the international laws of war are fairly clear on a wide range of situations, so there isn't much wiggle room.
    The major exception at the moment is drone warfare, and our actions have been based on a rather tenuous interpretation of laws that might apply.

    Of course, the real problem we face is that US leaders (and some other countries too) have a habit of breaking international laws whenever they see fit, because there isn't an effective method of holding us or anyone with a veto or a protector on the UN Security Council accountable.

    The only occasionally effective check on our president is vocal opposition from Americans... which is one of the reasons why I'm here.

    As for the Rwanda example, I'm not sure.
    I've never read an analysis on such a situation.
    I suspect that a peace keeping mission falls into a different category assuming we don't go in guns blazing, and I also suspect that UN authorization and international cooperation would have been forthcoming... but that's just a wild guess with nothing backing it up.

    A

  103. [103] 
    altohone wrote:

    neil
    100

    Absent from your analysis is any mention of culpability for the foreign militant al Qaida and affiliated "rebels" or the US and our "allies" who are arming and funding them.

    Their attacks on Syrian police and soldiers is what started the "civil war".

    Blaming the Russians for the refugee crisis when they didn't even get into the fight until after millions had already been displaced is nonsense.

    I don't think a "lever" to make the Russians abandon Syria exists.

    And a "negotiated cease fire" which the Wahhabi Sunni "rebels" wouldn't abide by does not seem to be what Liz was proposing.

    Using that failure to preclude other diplomatic efforts doesn't make any sense.

    A

  104. [104] 
    TheStig wrote:

    I visited the NYT UpShot page early this AM and copied the state probabilities from the NYT, 538, DailyKos, HuffPO, PredictWise and Princeton Electoral Consortium (AKA "The Six Tenors"). I'll do it again tomorrow and see how the needle moves after the debate.

  105. [105] 
    neilm wrote:

    Absent from your analysis is any mention of culpability for the foreign militant al Qaida and affiliated "rebels" or the US and our "allies" who are arming and funding them.

    Yes, because we are discussing the current situation here, not trying be apologists for Russian aggression.

  106. [106] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Al,

    Was it as good as the first time? Heh. Sorry, I couldn't resist. I'm not that strong. :)

    Seriously, we are often on the same page. Speaking of which, what is there not to like about reading Tom Friedman's NYTimes pieces?

    I will check out the Intercept but, I'm not a big fan of Glenn Greenwald. Isn't he the guy who gave us the Snowden document dump? Say no more. You probably don't want to get me started on that whole sad episode as we may not even been in the same book on that one!

    I'm hoping that Obama and Kerry will see the light and be guided in a good direction Re. Syria before the administration runs out of time. If Biden has anything to say about it, then they won't leave it for the next administration to deal with.

  107. [107] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Neil,
    The kind of diplomatic solution that I'm proposing is the very kind of diplomatic solution that hasn't been tried. One of the stumbling blocks to my proposal is the Obama administration's stubborn opposition to Assad staying in power, short or long term and the idea within the administration that bad military options are the only available options.

    All of which continues to surprise as much as disappoint me, considering that most of what I believe about how the US should conduct foreign policy I learned from and was influenced by none other than Vice President Biden over the course of his long and illustrious senate career

  108. [108] 
    neilm wrote:

    Elizabeth [107]

    I fear for the people of Syria if Assad gets control of the country again. This is a regime with a lot of scores to settle and little or no restraint when it comes to torturing people to death and mass murder of whole communities.

  109. [109] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The Syrian people are suffering right now and the refugee crisis is getting worse.

    There is only one path to end the suffering and that is to bring the proxy-driven civil war in Syria to an end.

    There would be restraint under my proposal and a big role for the United Nations as well.

  110. [110] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Balthasar [80] -

    Thanks!

    :-)

    -CW

    To everyone -

    I probably won't post an article after tonight's debate. Then Monday will be "look at the map and the EVs" day.

    Unless something wild happens, then I may just have to post some comments tonight! But probably not, just in case anyone's wondering. Maybe I'll post a blank article, just so we can have a lively commentary thread during the debate separate from this one... maybe that's the ticket...

    -CW

  111. [111] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, went ahead and did so.

    For everyone wishing to comment on the upcoming debate (2.5 hours to go, and counting...), please click on over to the open debate thread to do so:

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2016/10/09/open-debate-thread/

    :-)

    -CW

  112. [112] 
    altohone wrote:

    neilm
    105

    "Yes, because we are discussing the current situation here, not trying be apologists for Russian aggression."

    So, according to you, the "rebels" don't exist in the "current situation" and anybody who dares to step into reality is an "apologist for Russian aggression"?

    I guess that would make you an apologist for al Qaida?

    Is that how a "discussion" should proceed?

    A

  113. [113] 
    altohone wrote:

    neilm
    108

    -I fear for the people of Syria if al Qaida gets control of the country. This is a group with a lot of scores to settle and little or no restraint when it comes to torturing people to death and mass murder of whole communities.-

    I fixed it for you.
    An undeniable reality that is well documented.

    As a reminder, you may recall that the people pushing for regime change in Syria are the same people who partnered with Assad in the US rendition program (aka torture), and are now funding and arming "rebels" who collaborate with the people who attacked us on 9/11.

    If morality is to be the justification for our new policy, the immorality of our old and current policies can't be ignored in an honest debate.

    Similarly, the morality behind the justification for our new policy should not only be doubted as the actual motivation due to our tarnished history, it also needs to be compared to the immoral consequences of the new policy.

    A

  114. [114] 
    neilm wrote:

    A [113]

    I agree. I don't want Al Qaida to be in control either. But that isn't the two choices.

    Frankly, Elizabeth is right, we need a negotiated peace that safeguards all the players who are not crazy extremists.

    The problem is, who defines who is an extremist and who isn't.

  115. [115] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    106

    I couldn't resist either... and it was so much better this time.

    Friedman... pffft.

    As for The Intercept, you will find many supporters and many critics of Greenwald there.
    You will also discover that you are only rarely on the same page as most of his critics.
    And, as a bonus, the comment policy allows you to speak your mind and be as disrespectful as you please... though that holds true for the responses you will receive too. It's mostly civilized though.

    It can be liberating, and painful.
    But the opinions are often informative... and some of the characters will have you rolling on the floor.
    And much of the journalism is top notch.

    A

  116. [116] 
    altohone wrote:

    neilm
    114

    Good question.
    Do you think people who start illegal wars are extremists?

    A

  117. [117] 
    Michale wrote:

    Paparazzi, catch my fly, and my cocky fresh
    I’m so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress (stylin’)
    Oh yeah, baby, oh yeah I, ohhhhh, oh, yes, I like that
    I did not come to play with you hoes, haha
    I came to slay, bitch
    When he fuck me good I take his ass to Red Lobster, cause I slay
    If he hit it right, I might take him on a flight on my chopper, cause I slay
    Drop him off at the mall, let him buy some J’s, let him shop up, cause I slay
    I might get your song played on the radio station, cause I slay

    -Beyonce

    You know I thug em, fuck em, love em, leave em
    Cause I don’t fuckin need em
    Take em out the hood, keep em lookin good
    But I don’t fuckin feed em
    First time they fuss I’m breezin
    Talkin bout, “What’s the reasons?”
    I’m a pimp in every sense of the word, bitch
    Better trust than believe em
    In the cut where I keep em
    til I need a nut, til I need to beat the guts
    Then it’s, beep beep and I’m pickin em up
    Let em play with the dick in the truck
    Many chicks wanna put Jigga fist in cuffs
    Divorce him and split his bucks
    Just because you got good head, I’m a break bread
    so you can be livin it up? Shit I
    parts with nothin, y’all be frontin
    Me give my heart to a woman?
    Not for nothin, never happen.

    -Jay Z

    'nuff said about the Left Wingery faux "outrage" over Trumps locker room talk from a decade ago...

    Anyone who gives a pass to Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton for their real and tangible attacks on women has absolutely NO MORAL FOUNDATION to condemn Trump for his *words*....

    Trump TALKED about sexual assault...

    Bill Clinton COMMITTED sexual assaults and rape. And Hillary Clinton aided and abetted sexual assaults and rape and committed character assassinations of Bill's victims...

    Until the Left Wingery acknowledges these facts and condemns these actions, they have no moral authority to condemn Trump.

    It's really that simple...

    Michale

  118. [118] 
    Michale wrote:

    https://www.facebook.com/DonaldTrump/videos/10157857037430725/

    It's amazing how many women support Trump....

    But they are just irredeemable deplorables, AKA Patriotic Americans, so they don't really matter much.. :^/

    Michale

  119. [119] 
    Michale wrote:

    Trump TALKED about sexual assault...

    Bill Clinton COMMITTED sexual assaults and rape. And Hillary Clinton aided and abetted sexual assaults and rape and committed character assassinations of Bill's victims...

    Until the Left Wingery acknowledges these facts and condemns these actions, they have no moral authority to condemn Trump.

    In short, my fellow Weigantians..

    If you refuse to hold Bill and Hillary Clinton accountable, you don't get to hold Trump accountable..

    It's that simple...

    Michale

  120. [120] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh carp!!

    Trump TALKED about sexual assault...

    Bill Clinton COMMITTED sexual assaults and rape. And Hillary Clinton aided and abetted sexual assaults and rape and committed character assassinations of Bill's victims...

    Until the Left Wingery acknowledges these facts and condemns these actions, they have no moral authority to condemn Trump.

    In short, my fellow Weigantians..

    If you refuse to hold Bill and Hillary Clinton accountable, you don't get to hold Trump accountable..

    It's that simple...

    Michale

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