Monday, October 31, 2016

Bookworm Corner: Newt Gingrich's "Treason"

Fiction lovers rejoice!  It seems serial adulterer and neo- fascist ninny Donald "Rump" Trump surrogate Newt "Poot" Gingrich has a new vanity novel out called "Treason." Since Poot isn't known for subtlety, it's not a shock that a main character is a "ditsy" female President (surprisingly not named Killary Hinton) that he's carried over from his last dud piece of work. To save you the trouble of deciding whether to buy this future cult classic, we're providing excepts from a review by Richard Lipez at the Washington Post (rim shots not provided):
-- One thing can be said for this topical thriller written by former House speaker Newt Gingrich: It’s not quite the lardy snooze-fest its prequel was.
-- To say that the characters in this dud of a novel are cardboard would be an insult to boxes. 
-- There is little actual sex in “Treason,” and what’s there is embarrassing. One character asks another, “Have you bedded her yet?” Bedded! Has anybody in real life ever actually used that term?  [Ed. note: perhaps it's Gingrich's form of locker room talk.]
-- As for the element of suspense, I figured out who the spy was in fewer than 100 pages and read on to write this review and out of mild curiosity. If you are a fan of the publishing arm of the Newt Political-Industrial Complex and wish to help place “Treason” on the bestseller lists, go ahead, but do not expect any surprises — or any good fiction writing. 
We think that's enough of a taste.

"Treason," a new novel by Newt Gingrich, coming to a bargain bin near you!

"How Does He Make You Feel?"

To remind us about what's really scandalous in this election, this is a new battleground state ad from Priorities USA:

"Moral Vanity" Quote of the Day (UPDATED)

"What [FBI Director James] Comey’s behavior makes clear – and has made clear to observers of differing political stripes – is that a public official can do great harm through the expression of a kind of self-important moral vanity. Comey has proved to be the quintessential bureaucrat, always focused on protecting his own back. That seems to be Comey’s prime motivation and appears to be fueling his intense drive to appear completely 'transparent.'” (emphasis added) -- Suzanne Garment, commenting in Reuters News today. "Moral vanity" could be the motivation, or caving to partisan FBI officials wanting to damage Democrats and threatening leaks. It could also be intense pressure from Rethug Hillary-haters like wingnut hack Rep. Jason "Inspector Clouseau" Chaffetz, who has promised four years of "investigations" by his House Committee if Secretary Clinton is elected, thereby ensuring his Party will remain in the fever swamps of lunacy, blind hate, obstructionism and conspiracy.

UPDATE:  Apparently, Comey's moral vanity took a different tack when it came to a potentially damaging disclosure pertaining to the campaign of neo- fascist Putin pal Donald "Rump" Trump:
FBI Director James Comey argued privately that it was too close to Election Day for the United States government to name Russia as meddling in the U.S. election and ultimately ensured that the FBI's name was not on the document that the U.S. government put out, a former FBI official tells CNBC. 
The official said some government insiders are perplexed as to why Comey would have election timing concerns with the Russian disclosure but not with the Huma Abedin email discovery disclosure he made Friday.
Hmmm.  We believe that falls under the heading of "situational ethics."

Time To Drop The Bomb(s)

A few weeks ago, after  neo- fascist sex offender (allegedly!) Donald "Rump" Trump was bombarded by multiple accusations of sexual assault, Republican strategist (and #NeverTrump -er) Liz Mair tweeted this:

As far as we can tell, those stories still haven't dropped. Perhaps they involve more sex crimes; perhaps they involve Rump's ties to Russia ("Is it responsible to speculate? It is irresponsible not to."). Far be it for us to advise the Clinton campaign professionals, but if their opposition research folks have more Rump bombshells tucked away (and we think they do), now would be the time to go "bombs away!" and let the nitwit corporate media feast on that for the next seven days.

BONUS:  Here's your musical accompaniment.

The Media Fails Again

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(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

Here's an excerpt from Variety's Sonia Saraiya's article on media organizations' (notably cable news) eagerness to turn the c.y.a. Comey letter into the "game changer" of this election, and how it reflects on them:
That has not stopped media organizations, in the full flush of pre-election coverage, to make this some kind of “October surprise” for the Clinton campaign, seizing on it as a turning point in the narrative of election 2016. And due to the confluence of Comey’s inept attempt at transparency and the media’s appetite for inflated controversy, Comey’s letter has had the effect of lighter fluid on the finally cooling embers of a house fire.  [snip] 
In lieu of actual reportage, cable news — which always needs material to fill its 24-hour mandate — has had to fall back on hours on end of pure speculation. Comey said, in his internal memo, that he was trying to be careful in how he disseminated this information on the eve of an acrimonious election. But he does not seem to have understood that in this era of constant news he created a perfect storm for confusion, misinformation, and — in some sectors — unhinged conspiracy. There is an appalling disconnect on cable news between what has actually been said and what is being implied or perceived, and it is doubling back on itself and expanding. As CNN airs an entire Trump rally in which he conflates Clinton’s corruption, Weiner’s sexting, and aide Huma Abedin’s religion as part of the same web of purported lies — adding, wildly, that he hopes Abedin was not promised immunity — MSNBC features panicked comments from DNC chair Donna Brazile and handwringing speculation over how the campaign is coping. It’s difficult to even isolate individual instances from the major networks that are indicative of how distorted cable news’ perspective is, because it is as much about tone and coverage time as it is about content. How many multi-head panels can the major networks field, most of whom are circling the same two or three questions of trustworthiness and judgment, before it begins to feel like freaking out has become the primary pastime of the news media? [snip] 
... But 10 days away from the resolution of this election, one way or another, the news media is demonstrating serious weakness with reporting uncertainty and ambiguity. At the risk of sounding too naïve about the role of truth in journalism, it would be appreciated if clarity were prized over controversy. But then again, this election has been defined by the breakdown of our best intentions in the Byzantine political-media complex, where time must be filled, takes must be filed, and we as a nation have struggled to wholly apprehend what we have become.
We've noted many, many times how our amoral corporate news media operates.  It traffics in gossip. It peddles lies and disinformation in the guise of "balance" and "impartiality." It creates narratives and then finds whatever nonsense it can to feed those narratives.  It places profit and audience share over its responsibilities to not do further damage to an increasingly fragile democracy.  Seven days to go to an election with existential implications for our country, and the corporate media is once again choosing "inflated controversy" over truth and clarity. We won't forget.

BONUS:  Even the "liberal" New York Effing Times is engaging in this distortion.

BONUS II:  Charles Pierce on our elite media twisting history into a pretzel.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Comey's Troubles Mount

In another twist on Friday's letter to Congress from FBI Director James Comey regarding e-mails reportedly found on the laptop used by skeevy, disturbed Anthony "Carlos Danger" Weiner and his estranged wife and Clinton aide Huma Abedin, the FBI has reportedly had the e-mails in question for weeks, adding to the suspicious timing of the letter 11 days before the election. Comey is under fire from former prosecutors and the Clinton campaign for the letter sent to Congressional Committees that was vague enough to create wild speculation among Rethuglican partisans about the nature and relevance of the discovered e-mails.

To add to Comey's problems, by sending the letter before an election, he may have violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits Federal employees from engaging in partisan activities or using their position to influence an election. A former Bush Administration chief ethics official, Richard Painter, has filed a complaint against Comey with both the Office of Special Counsel and the Office of Government Ethics alleging he abused his power in influencing an election. Painter states in the complaint that:
"We cannot allow F.B.I. or Justice Department officials to unnecessarily publicize pending investigations concerning candidates of either party while an election is underway. That is an abuse of power. Allowing such a precedent to stand will invite more, and even worse, abuses of power in the future."
In his unprecedented and unsanctioned act, Comey, instead of covering his rear end with the Rethugs in Congress, may well have violated Federal law.

UPDATE:  Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) is on Comey's case too, for potential violations of the Hatch Act, in a letter sent to him today. Here's an extra kicker in Reid's letter for Comey (and the media) to digest:
"In my communications with you and other top officials in the national security community, it has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government – a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States, which Trump praises at every opportunity. The public has a right to know this information. I wrote to you months ago calling for this information to be released to the public." (emphasis added)

Across The Universe, Cont. - A Milky Way Globular Cluster

(click on image to enlarge)

From NASA/ ESA, October 24, 2016:  Globular clusters offer some of the most spectacular sights in the night sky. These ornate spheres contain hundreds of thousands of stars, and reside in the outskirts of galaxies. The Milky Way contains over 150 such clusters — and the one shown in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image, named NGC 362, is one of the more unusual ones.

As stars make their way through life they fuse elements together in their cores, creating heavier and heavier elements — known in astronomy as metals — in the process. When these stars die, they flood their surroundings with the material they have formed during their lifetimes, enriching the interstellar medium with metals. Stars that form later therefore contain higher proportions of metals than their older relatives.

By studying the different elements present within individual stars in NGC 362, astronomers discovered that the cluster boasts a surprisingly high metal content, indicating that it is younger than expected. Although most globular clusters are much older than the majority of stars in their host galaxy, NGC 362 bucks the trend, with an age lying between 10 and 11 billion years old. For reference, the age of the Milky Way is estimated to be above 13 billion years.

This image, in which you can view NGC 362’s individual stars, was taken by Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS).

Credit:  ESA/Hubble & NASA

In case we haven't mentioned it lately: Best. Investment. Ever.

Time For A Deep Breath, Courtesy Of Sam Wang (And Prof. Hubbard)

Polling guru Sam Wang at Princeton Election Consortium has some words of wisdom for us in the wake of Comeygate:
1. The national race will not change meaningfully. Maybe by 1 percentage point when aggregated…2 points max. It doesn’t change the high likelihood of a Clinton win. 
2. Journalists and pundits will continue to feed hysterics by fussing over the Comey story. They may even attempt to use polling evidence to justify their coverage. However, note that national polls had already tightened by 1-2 percentage points, even before Comeygate. This is a phenomenon known as regression to the mean, and is a central assumption of PEC’s model. 
3. Keep your eye on the ball, which is downticket. In the Senate, key races in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Nevada, and North Carolina will determine control of that chamber. Small changes mean a lot: early voting, get-out-the-vote, bad weather…maybe even the Comey story.
Wang generally chalks up the static nature of the trend lines to political polarization. Well, we can certainly attest to the fact that Comeygate (had we not already early voted) would have propelled us to the polls in righteous, polarized anger at the events of the last 48 hours.  In fact, just the thought of neo- fascist moron Donald "Rump" Trump gaining any ground from this bungle would be motivation enough to re- double our efforts to see that he's defeated, and we think that goes for tens of millions of Democrats and other sane people.

BONUS:  Professor Hubbard (who has a better record than 538's Nate Silver) has more to soothe the troubled soul.  Caveat:  we need to get out the vote to make this reality; it doesn't happen because someone's calculations said so.

Sunday Cartoon Twofer

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(Jim Morin, Miami Herald)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Selected Sunday Reading

As a possible antidote to the ravings on the Sunday "news" shows, here's some suggested non- Comey reading to get us back to the real issues in the election. As always, the entire pieces are worth the time.

First, Susan Faludi has a great, illuminating read on the origins of and motivation for the blind hatred of Hillary Clinton by the frothing knuckle- draggers in the Republican base.  Here's a taste:
Donald J. Trump and his supporters posit their antipathy as a reaction to Mrs. Clinton’s accumulated record over “30 years in power.” It’s important to recall that she was deranging Republicans on Day 1. Understanding her demonization requires admitting her full significance in our political history, for she is not simply a pioneering woman fighting an Ur-misogyny. Mrs. Clinton faces a two-headed Cerberus, an artificial conjoining that occurred in the early 1990s, of wounded Republican invincibility and wounded male prerogative. Our current political crisis won’t be resolved until those forces are separated and the Cerberus slain.
Few current observers seem to recall the wrath that greeted Bill Clinton’s ascension. To the left, “Clintonism” implies accommodation and calculation. But to the right in 1992, it meant usurpation. Reaganism held almost religious significance, and its reign was supposed to be transformative and permanent. For the One True Way to be restored, Clintonism had to be delegitimized. 
That delegitimization ushered in the politics of party restoration at whatever cost, governance and country be damned. This led first to an attempted legislative coup in 1998 and then to a judicial coup in 2000. And to all the more recent outrages of birtherism, government shutdowns, delayed Supreme Court confirmations and, ultimately, the rise of a would-be autocrat as a party nominee. 
Next, Leonard Pitts explains why it's essential that the Republican Party go down to a crashing defeat:
I don’t want the Republican Party defeated next week. 
This is written, just so you know, following an email exchange with a reader who suggested a recent column had been penned in consultation with the White House to soften the ground for a new presidential directive. It is written in the wake of a conservative talk show host telling his audience that the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape that damaged Donald Trump’s candidacy was a setup by CIA agent Billy Bush. It is written as the Internet is in a state of mass arousal over a rumor that candidate Obama “flaunted his erection” to women reporters on his campaign plane in 2008. 
It is written, in other words, on an average day in the pest-ridden, plague-infected swamp of rumor, rancor, conspiracy and flat-out bollocks that now counts as Republican political discourse. More to the point, it is written out of concern over what and how the country will be after next week’s election.
Finally, Harold Meyerson on what distinguishes us from Republicans (and the fact that it all preceded neo- fascist demagogue Donald "Rump" Trump by decades):
It’s during the homestretch of campaigns that political parties often reveal their deepest identities, and that’s never been truer than it is this year. What really distinguishes the Democrats from the Republicans this fall isn’t their ideologies, their platforms, or even their candidates, though there’s contrast aplenty in each of those. What really distinguishes the two parties is what they’re actually doing in the campaign’s final weeks. 
The Democrats are trying to get out the vote. 
The Republicans are trying to suppress it.
If you're young, Latino or African American, the Republicans really don't want you showing up, standing in line, and voting.  The response to that collection of "deplorables" known as the Republican Party must be, borrowing from Leonard Pitts, "Nuke it."

Saturday, October 29, 2016

"What's Wrong With You, Man?" Tweet And Link*

This tweet refers to another exemplary report from David Fahrenthold, this time on neo- fascist demagogue Donald "Rump" Trump's (understatement alert) lack of charity.  This is more proof, if more were needed, that this "thing" that (allegedly!) FBI Director Comey and parts of the puerile media seem determined to give a boost to, is a sociopathic narcissist.  Please read Fahrenthold's article -- guaranteed to make your blood boil.

* You need to go to the link to see the context of the quote.

How Banana Republics Do Elections

Here's Digby's perspective on the state of affairs of the 2016 election:
We have outside forces, possibly foreign governments, interfering in the election on behalf of one party with the Wikileaks dumps. We have a candidate of that party declaring his opponent is guilty of crimes and promising to jail her if he wins, suggesting that any other outcome is illegitimate. Now we have the director of the government's most powerful police force ignoring his own bosses and abandoning all norms and precedent to interfere in the election just ten days before it is to take place, benefitting the same party. And we have a media which is ready and willing to run with all of this as it's being fed to them with virtually no concern that they are being used to undermine our democratic processes excusing themselves with the fatuous "it's out there" and "that's our job." 
This is the way banana republics do "elections." That's what we are becoming. Maybe we already are.
In other words, we have vicious, destructive adherents of an alternate reality that are pulling out all the stops to take us down into their hell hole, and others who are perfectly willing not only to go along for the ride, but to grease the wheels.

Sic transit gloria, America.

"Definite Proof" Cartoon of the Day

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Brace for the furious sh*tstorm of reckless accusations and inflamed rhetoric from the right. This is also a major test for our broken political media's coverage: factual and fair, or inaccurate and sensational. We're not optimistic.

(cartoon: Darrin Bell, via

Those "Damn E-Mails" and "Problematic Men" (UPDATED)

Yesterday's letter from FBI Director James Comey to Congress saying that "the FBI has learned of the existence of e-mails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation" of Secretary Clinton's use of a private e-mail server was an unprecedented move by them just 10 days before the election.  In fact, the e-mails that Comey referred to were those uncovered in an investigation of sleazy, disturbed former Rep. Anthony "Carlos Danger" Weiner for sexting an underage female.  Weiner is the estranged husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin, who apparently used his laptop to send e-mails as part of her State Department duties. Whether or not classified material was stored or transmitted improperly on that laptop is the focus of the FBI review.

Comey has come under fire from former prosecutors and Justice Department officials for his public disclosure of the new information while an investigation is proceeding, and at the height of an important election. By publicizing the new e-mails without a determination of their relevance or importance to the FBI's previous investigation, the FBI has facilitated Clinton's political and media enemies to engage in speculation and reckless charges before anything is known.  To address yesterday's kerfuffle, Clinton urged the FBI to release "the full and complete facts" of their e-mail review, but Comey's letter indicated that he had no estimate as to when the review would be completed, that last part to the delight of Rethuglicans scrambling to salvage the election.

Last night on "All In With Chris Hayes," New York Magazine writer Rebecca Traister discussed the role that bad behavior by men is having on the first female candidate for President. Whether it's sociopathic groper Donald "Rump" Trump, or misbehaving former President Bill Clinton, or serial adulterers and Rump surrogates Newt "Poot" Gingrich and Rudy "Noun Verb 9-11" Giuliani, or sexting "Carlos Danger" Weiner, the bad conduct of men toward women keeps reverberating through this campaign. Comey's behavior, while not salacious, is at best questionable. As Traister memorably said, "it's like the festival of problematic men."

BONUS:  Erin Gloria Ryan makes the same point, as does T. Becket Adams:

UPDATE:  Comey felt the need to clarify his actions in a letter to FBI employees on Friday, which read in part:
Of course, we don’t ordinarily tell Congress about ongoing investigations, but here I feel an obligation to do so given that I testified repeatedly in recent months that our investigation was completed. I also think it would be misleading to the American people were we not to supplement the record.  At the same time, however, given that we don’t know the significance of this newly discovered collection of emails, I don’t want to create a misleading impression.  In trying to strike that balance, in a brief letter and in the middle of an election season, there is significant risk of being misunderstood, but I wanted you to hear directly from me about it. (our emphasis)
"Misunderstood." Ya think, Sherlock?

UPDATE II:  Four Democratic Senators have asked Comey and the Department of Justice for more information about the investigation and emails by October 31, saying that Comey's letter had been misunderstood and was being used for partisan purposes just 10 days before the election.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Weekend Promised Land Song

Rock and roll founding father Chuck Berry turned a robust 90 last week (October 18), and he's still going strong.  It's hard to imagine any significant rock musician he hasn't influenced, from the Beatles and Rolling Stones to Bruce Springsteen. He's releasing his new album --"Chuck"-- next year, but we're going to feature a song from 1964 that name- checks places in a trip across the United States, before getting to the "Promised Land" of Los Angeles. Keep in mind when he mentions Birmingham, Alabama, and Louisiana, this was in the heat of the civil rights movement when people were struggling against embedded segregation - gives the lyrics special meaning. Enjoy your weekend.

Republicans Aren't Racist, Cont. - Illinois Senate Race Edition

Republican Sen. Mark "Jerk" Kirk (R- Skunk) let his racist flag fly in a debate with Democratic challenger (and front- runner) Rep. Tammy Duckworth yesterday.  After Duckworth finished a statement about her family's military service dating back to the American Revolution, Jerk had this rejoinder:
“I forgot that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington.”
Duckworth's mother is an immigrant from Thailand;  her father's family traces its service to the country back to the American Revolution. Duckworth is a member of Daughters of the American Revolution who lost both legs serving as an Army helicopter pilot in Iraq.

Racist Jerk?  He has other nasty habits:  he's been caught numerous times embellishing his own military record.  He's also opportunistically put his finger in the wind and decided not to endorse neo- fascist demagogue Donald "Rump" Trump because Rump is (irony alert) "too bigoted and racist." 

This desperate, soulless little man needs to go. He's a stain on humanity.

Shocker: Bundy Brothers, Five Others Acquitted

Seditionists and sagebrush moochers Ammon and Ryan Bundy and their five co- defendant militia nuts were (shockingly) acquitted of multiple charges related to their armed take-over of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters earlier this year. The jury's verdict was announced yesterday in Federal court in Portland, Oregon.  The Bundys still face charges in Nevada along with their father Cliven "Hoof" Bundy over a standoff at the Bundy ranch in 2014 over unpaid grazing fees.

Karoli at Crooks & Liars tells us the acquittal might have been the result of prosecutorial overreach:
Apparently the reason for the acquittal relates to the structure of the charges. Instead of going for the straightforward charge of possessing firearms on federal property, prosecutors went for intent to commit a crime, and didn't prove it.
In any event, we share the sentiments of Jennifer Rokala, executive director of the Center for Western Priorities, on the impact of the verdicts:
"We are deeply disappointed in today's verdict, which puts our park rangers and scientists at further risk just for doing their jobs. The outcome of today's trial will undoubtedly embolden extremist groups,'' Rokala said. " It's imperative that local, state, and federal law enforcement ensure the safety of our land managers.''
The timing of this verdict is also dangerous to all of us.  It's not a stretch to say that future acts against the government by Bundy- style armed nitwits will be the direct outgrowth of this verdict.  With violent, eliminationist talk (see post below) already a fixture of the shampaign of neo- fascist loon Donald "Rump" Trump and his alt-right supporters, this will be interpreted as a green light to act out if and when Rump goes down the crapper on November 8.

Meanwhile, this sums up the message being sent, once again:

Stay tuned for more reactions.

(Photo:  Such nice people;  such nice Constitutional experts; such nice mugshots)

Look Who's Flirting With Sedition

Put teabagging former Rethuglican Congressman and permanent a-hole Joe "Deadbeat Dad" Walsh in that group of extremists that are threatening violence if sociopathic authoritarian Donald "Rump" Trump isn't elected on November 8. Walsh pinched off a tweet-turd the other day with this classic wingnuttery:

That caught the attention of an anti-Rump coalition, who has reported Walsh's tweet to the FBI.  It's not the first time the Deadbeat Dad has made violent threats; earlier this year he tweeted a threat against President Obama and Black Lives Matter after the shooting of police officers in Dallas. In 2014 he was kicked off of his own radio show for uttering racial slurs.

This won't be the last time Walsh promotes violence or racial hatred. It's his brand. But one day, someone who listens to this moronic hack may go off and kill or injure someone, and that will be entirely on him.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Non-Endorsement Of The Day

Well played!

(click to enlarge)

Republican War on Women, Cont'd.

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After his epic takedown by Fux's Megyn Kelly a couple of days ago, right-wing culture warrior Newt "Poot" Gingrich -- who may be one of the most despised characters in politics -- has had to comfort himself with off-hand praise from his political master, neo-fascist bigot Donald "Rump" Trump. At the opening of his soon-to-go-bankrupt white elephant hotel in Washington, D.C., Rump laughably congratulated Poot on the "amazing interview" with Kelly (which left Poot sputtering in finger-wagging rage).

Michelle Goldberg has an interesting piece in Slate that looks at a burgeoning gender war within the Rethuglican / New Confederate / Stupid / Shooters Party that's been fueled by the nomination of misogynist groper and sexual assault braggart Rump. Goldberg notes that Kelly's confrontation of Poot was,
" important moment in one of the more interesting subplots in this election—the dawning realization by at least some conservative women that many of the men in their movement are not on their side."
Poot, who's been married three times and who had affairs during his first two marriages, is the face of the Rethuglican and Trumpist movement's attitude toward women: reactionary, dismissive and predatory. It's dawning of some Rethug women that, to paraphrase Pogo, we have met the enemy and they are our men.

(cartoon: Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, via

Polls Looking Good For Clinton, But --

For all this to approach reality, you have to get turnout, so don't take anything for granted.  Vote!

With only a dozen days to go before the election, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has ratcheted up her lead over Republican nominee Donald Trump to 9 points, according to the latest CNBC All-America Economic Survey, nearly doubling her advantage from the last poll.
A new Associated Press-GfK poll released Wednesday finds the Democratic nominee has grabbed a number of significant advantages over her Republican rival with just 12 days left before Election Day. [snip]
Overall, the poll shows Clinton leading Trump nationally by a staggering 14 percentage points among likely voters, 51-37. While that is one of her largest margins among recent national surveys, most show the former secretary of state with a substantial national lead over the billionaire businessman. [Ed. note: "billionaire businessman" - snicker]
USA Today/ Suffolk
As the most caustic campaign in modern American history nears its close, Hillary Clinton has built a formidable lead over Donald Trump approaching 10 percentage points, a USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll finds. 
You can find other polls with a smaller margin (more in the 4 - 7 point range), that would still have Secretary Clinton drubbing neo- fascist loser Donald "Rump" Trump in 2008 or 2012 terms.  But, as we note in the post below, getting an 8 percent margin of victory would increase the chances of flipping not only the Senate, but the House.  We all need to do whatever we can to get as close to this margin (if not over it) as possible because, as President Obama has said, "Democracy is on the ballot."

Why You Should Vote Straight Ticket Democrat, Cont.

We're seeing more and more reasons why voting a straight Democratic ticket is the only option to restore some measure of sanity to our federal government.  This remains a good reason. And this. Here's another:
Jason Chaffetz, the Utah congressman wrapping up his first term atop the powerful House Oversight Committee, unendorsed Donald Trump weeks ago. That freed him up to prepare for something else: spending years, come January, probing the record of a President Hillary Clinton. 
“It’s a target-rich environment,” the Republican said in an interview in Salt Lake City’s suburbs. “Even before we get to Day One, we’ve got two years’ worth of material already lined up. She has four years of history at the State Department, and it ain’t good.” 
In a tweet Wednesday night, Chaffetz reaffirmed his distaste for Clinton and his refusal to endorse Trump — but reversed his plans not to vote for the Republican nominee. 
If Republicans retain control of the House, something that GOP-friendly maps make possible even in the event of a Trump loss, Clinton will become the first president since George H.W. Bush to immediately face a House Oversight Committee controlled by the opposition party. (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama lost Congress later in their presidencies.) 
And other Republican leaders say they support Chaffetz’s efforts — raising the specter of more partisan acrimony between them and the White House for the next four years.
That would be the same publicity hound Rep. Jason "Clouseau" Chaffetz who made a fool of himself this past summer in his quest to kneecap Secretary Clinton with FBI Director (and lifelong Republican) James Comey playing the uncooperative witness.  He also likes to bully women who testify before his committee, again with disastrous results. So, planning more witch hunts seems like a recipe for further humiliation for young Jason.

Of course, Chaffetz and his fellow nihilistic troglodytes are only concerned with doing their part to obstruct and delegitimatize yet another Democratic president. (He's too much of a spineless coward to stand up to neo- fascist nitwit Donald "Rump" Trump, but he's ruff and tuff when it comes to his plans to hamstring a future President Clinton!) Since he and many of his colleagues are in deep red states or are gerrymandered into safe seats by Republican state legislatures, they have nothing to lose and everything to gain by once again refusing to be part of a functioning government. Does that sound like something you want for another 4 to 8 years?

But, while it's unlikely Democrats will pick up enough seats to win back the House (the average predicted is 8 - 12 seats, not the 30 needed), it's still within the realm of possibility.  What matters is turnout, the margin of Clinton's victory (over 8% could flip the House), and whether those Clinton voters vote straight Democratic ticket.  We hope enough people are tired of the games being played that undercut democratic governance and harm us as a nation to vote Republicans out. The problem goes way beyond Rump and needs to be rooted out, one election at a time.

BONUS: Jamelle Bouie's smart take on this: "The Republican Party has decided to react to Trump by recreating the conditions for another Trump."

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Humor Break

James Franco has a little fun with the iconic Dos Equis ad campaign, while promoting the WomenVOTEProject and a certain candidate:

Then there's this, via Betty Cracker at Balloon Juice (click on image to enlarge):


In a saner world, there wouldn't be any question about the right choice on November 8. This (which is apparently one of the campaign's first closing argument ads) boils it down nicely:

Arpaio Charged With Criminal Contempt (UPDATED)

The vigilante right-wing sheriff of Maricopa County, AZ, Joe "The Profiler" Arpaio, has been formally charged with criminal contempt of court for racial profiling. If convicted, the charge carries a penalty of up to 6 months in jail. U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton signed the documents to charge The Profiler yesterday, signaling that the extremist sheriff is not above the law even if he apparently thinks he is.

The Profiler, an ardent supporter of neo-fascist xenophobe Donald "Rump" Trump, is up for reelection to an seventh term as sheriff, but is facing a major challenge from Democrat Paul Penzone. With Democratic registration and voter interest on the upswing, Arizona is being targeted by Dems for upsets this election year, and The Profiler should be near the top of their list.

(See comments for update.)

Today's Going Out Of Business Tweet


(via Balloon Juice)

A campaign that's spent more on hats than on polling.

A campaign that's stopped its high- dollar fundraising, dealing a blow to Republican get- out- the- vote efforts.

This must be what "winning" looks like, huh.

Photo Of The Day - "Nasty Woman" (UPDATED)

(click on photo to enlarge)

Pop superstar Katy Perry (third from left, as if you didn't know) goes door- to- door this past weekend at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, canvassing for Hillary Clinton in her "Nasty Woman" t- shirt (recalling this slur by Trump). Katy, who performed at the Democratic National Convention in August, had the most Twitter followers in the world in 2015 (71.4 million), and with over 20 million more added since then, she likely still rules.  She also celebrated her 32nd birthday yesterday by early voting for Clinton.

You can get the "Nasty Woman" t-shirt at Google Ghost for $25, with 50% of the proceeds going to Planned Parenthood.

The Clinton campaign also had Miley Cyrus knocking on student dorm rooms in Virginia this past weekend. That's some millennial firepower there!

As for Katy, you have to love a person who says "It's not where you came from, it's what you grow into."

UPDATE:  Looks like Hillary's got Adele with her, too.  Is that the trifecta?

Mid-Week Soul Vibe Song

In a lapse of musical taste, we haven't featured British-born / Los Angeles-based jazz guitarist Chris Standring's cool jazz work here before. He released a new album, "TEN", a few weeks ago, and a cut off of that album is gaining more and more airplay.  Enjoy his "Soul Vibration."

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

"Donald Trump Needs Senators Like Kelly Ayotte"

Flip- flop- flipper Sen. Kelly "Can I Have It Both Ways?" Ayotte (R-NH) has been desperately trying to distance herself from Republican neo- fascist sexual predator Donald "Rump" Trump (while not offending his Stormtrumpers, mind you) to save her unimpressive career.  The "Metternich of Manchester" (h/t Charles Pierce) wasn't helped in that effort by the New Hampshire Republican Party when they sent out this mailer (notice the language on the left edge of the mailer):

(Attribution: James Pindell, Twitter screenshot, via Daily Kos)

Oops! You just can't escape The Groper's embrace, Senator.

Let's hope the New Hampshire Democratic Party uses this to let people in that state know what they'd be getting with a vote for Ayotte -- someone "Donald Trump needs."

Huggy Tweet of the Day

Is it a crime for sexual predator and tax evader Donald "Grab Them By The P*ssy" Trump to hug the flag?  It should be.

BONUS:  Stephen Colbert has a hilarious segment telling us "Don't Let Your American Flag Near Donald Trump."

The Overdue Fall Of Rudy Noun Verb 9-11, Cont'd.

One of the most obvious characteristics of Rethuglican politics in the past 30 plus years has been the coarsening of their language, their policies and their leaders. Enabled by hacks like Lee Atwater and Karl Rove, and by a growing "nutwork" of right-wing media, the right-wing Rethug ecological system has given rise to minor league demagogues like Pat Buchanan and Sarah Palin. Now, they may have reached the nadir of nasty in their nominee, sociopathic liar Donald "Rump" Trump.

Rump's bullhorn racism / misogyny / xenophobia has embarrassed traditional Rethug figures, who prefer to use a dog whistle to deliver essentially the same messages. One Rethug, however, has not only stood by Rump in his present decline, but has doubled down on the vitriolic, poisonous rhetoric most often found on far-right blog comment threads: his despicable surrogate Rudy "Noun Verb 9-11" Giuliani. His frothing, almost deranged speeches and remarks are Rump on steroids. For example, his recent line of attack has been to reinforce the bogus "lock her up" mantra of the most fevered Rump supporters. On Philadelphia's WPHT radio,  Rudy 9-11 had this to say this morning:
"When I see (Clinton), I see her in an orange jumpsuit, I'm sorry, or at least a striped one. I'd have prosecuted her a year ago and probably convicted her by now."
So he continues to peddle this garbage, notwithstanding the FBI's investigative report on Secretary Clinton's e-mails which took many months to complete, and which cleared her of any security violations that could result in her prosecution (a report which he falsely claims was "cooked.")

This is the last hope for Rudy 9-11 in political terms. He failed to gain support in his 2008 run for the Presidency after a pathetic campaign, and now he's living vicariously in Rump's reflected orange glow, perhaps hoping for a Cabinet position in a Rump Administration. But at best, he always will be a small man in search of a balcony, looking for a crowd that will listen to his vicious ranting in the twilight of his life.

Tweet Of The Day - "Republicans Aren't Racists!"

This speaks for itself (see also post below).

That's the Republican National Committee's spokesshit Sean Spicer (on the left) and Fox's Bill Hemmer delivering the "good news."

November 8 -- time to take out the trash.

Morning Reading - The Media And Trump

Two interesting reads this morning on the role of the media ("mainstream" and right-wing) in the rise of neo- fascist demagogue Donald "Rump" Trump.

Catherine Rampell says the only antidote to Trumpism in the Republican Party is to "dismantle" the right- wing media machine.
The sickness in today’s Republican Party is not confined to its current standard-bearer. It is therefore not curable by merely disavowing, however belatedly, the soon-to-be-defeated nominee. The sickness has taken over the Republican base, and there’s only one antidote.  
If Republicans truly want to save the Republican Party, they need to go to war with right-wing media. That is, they need to dismantle the media machine persuading their base to believe completely bonkers, bigoted garbage. 
It is, after all, the right-wing radio, TV and Internet fever swamps that have gotten them into this mess, that have led to massive misinformation, disinformation and cynicism among Republican voters. And draining those fever swamps is the only way to get them out of it. [snip]
In other words, Trump is not some black swan, whose unique cocktail of charisma, telegenicism and political fluidity landed him the nomination. His nomination is the product of years of race-baiting, conspiracy-theorizing, expert-delegitimizing right-wing media nonsense, which Republican politicians aided and abetted because it seemed politically expedient at the time. They helped the alt-right create the alternate reality that made a Trump nomination inevitable. 
And unless the party establishment grapples with its own complicity in misinforming, misleading and frightening the masses, it’s doomed to field more Donald Trumps in the future.  (our emphasis)
Somehow, we don't see the party establishment going to war with the likes of Fox "News," Drudge and Breitbart.  If nothing else, this election has proven how absolutely craven that "establishment" is in not wanting to offend its Stormtrumper base that lives and breathes in the right- wing media bubble, a monster it's created and encouraged for 40 years or more.  It would also require some level of honesty and introspection, traits we don't associate with today's Republican Party. So, not likely.

Focusing on the "mainstream media," Dana Milbank calls out the "lap dogs" of "horserace journalism" (which we've come to associate most closely with his friend and colleague Chris "Lizard" Cillizza, by the way), and goes after one particularly rotten apple:
“Morning Joe” has come in for a large share of criticism for cheering on the rise of Trump. And contributor [Mark] Halperin’s praise for Trump’s tactical genius has been particularly soulless. 
In March, Halperin declared on “Morning Joe” that Trump is “one of the two most talented presidential candidates any of us have covered.” In January, also on “Morning Joe,” he said Trump’s attacks on the Clintons were “politically brilliant.” 
In June on his Bloomberg TV show, “With All Due Respect,” Halperin asserted that “it’s not racial” for Trump to attempt to disqualify an Indiana-born federal judge as a “Mexican” because of his ancestry. His reason: “Mexico isn’t a race.” 
When Trump named Stephen Bannon to head his campaign, coverage noted the publisher’s strong ties to the racist alt-right. Halperin argued that Bannon “should not have let himself be so defined by others. The guy’s got an impressive résumé.” 
Earlier this month, when a New York Times lawyer responded to Trump’s threat to sue the newspaper, Halperin said the lawyer’s letter was a “big mistake” because “we have to be fair and even in this campaign and not basically take sides.” 
And when Trump was widely panned for calling on Russia to find Clinton’s missing emails, Halperin said, “There is a lot of fault on both sides.”
Halperin has long been viewed by progressives as a soulless and hardly neutral observer of politics (see here, here, and here just for the un- appetizer). It's good to see he's finally being called out on the pages of the Washington Post. Milbank goes on to explain why the attempt by many in the media to be neutral only served to "legitimatize the illegitimate."

But Halperin (and, Dana, feel free to call out your colleague Lizard in the future) is one rotten apple in a barrel of rotten apples that populate the cable channels, op/ ed pages, and internet. Once this election is over, the stain on their reputations that we would see as indelible may fade quickly as diversionary scapegoats (Rump as black swan event, as Rampell puts it), and the necessity for our political and its handmaiden media culture to "heal," push the question of culpability for Rump into the background.  We'll end up with the same cast of loathsome characters after as we had before, both in the media and the Republican Party, because it'll continue to work for them.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Did Trump Commit Insurance Fraud (Allegedly!)?

Perhaps we can add "insurance fraud" to the list of crimes and misdemeanors committed by neo- fascist con artist Donald "Rump" Trump:
PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Donald Trump said he received a $17 million insurance payment in 2005 for hurricane damage to Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Palm Beach, but The Associated Press found little evidence of such large-scale damage. 
Two years after a series of storms, the real estate tycoon said he didn't know how much had been spent on repairs but acknowledged he pocketed some of the money. Trump transferred funds into his personal accounts, saying that under the terms of his policy, "you didn't have to reinvest it." 
In a deposition in an unrelated civil lawsuit, Trump said he got the cash from a "very good insurance policy" and cited ongoing work to the historic home.
We'd love to have the totally legit insurance broker and the totally legit adjuster for that totally legit insurance company get us a sweet, sweet deal like that!

This guy is Bernie Madoff, Benito Mussolini and Gordon Gekko rolled into one weaselheaded f*cknugget.


Very Strange Bedfellows

Armin Rosen has a good read at Tablet on why neo- fascist white nationalist Donald "Rump" Trump is likely to get a majority of the Orthodox Jewish vote next month.  Rosen boils this disturbing phenomenon down to its essence: Orthodox Jews are more religiously observant than other Jews, and church- going, or in this case synagogue- going is the biggest predictor of Republican political identity.  Fortunately, American Jews support Hillary Clinton by an overwhelming 3- to- 1 margin, but one has to wonder just what it would take for this small but influential subset of American Jewry to see the danger to them that Rump and his followers represent.  (The Clinton campaign has even resorted to dispatching - gag - "No Labels" Joe Lieberman to Florida to speak to Orthodox audiences about the stakes in the election.)

In the meantime, Peter Dreier at Alternet covers Rump's history as a serial anti- Semite, including:
Trump's comment about Clinton's ties to an international banking conspiracy was not an offhand remark. He has a history of making anti-Semitic remarks, including this comment in a speech during this campaign to the Republican Jewish Coalition (a tiny group): "I know why you're not going to support me. You're not going to support me because I don't want your money ... Look, I'm a negotiator like you folks, we're negotiators." 
In an interview where he was asked if he'd read any of Hitler's speeches, Trump said: "If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them... My friend Marty Davis from Paramount gave me a copy of Mein Kampf, and he's a Jew." (Davis is not Jewish.) 
Trump's frequent references at his rallies and during the debates to Sidney Blumenthal, George Soros and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz—Jewish supporters of Hillary Clinton—is no accident. This is not random name-dropping; these are dog whistles aimed at his racist and anti-Semitic supporters.
To say the least, Orthodox Jews voting for Rump have some strange bedfellows:
She had seen her face superimposed on the body of a concentration camp inmate. She had been called “a slimy Jewess.” She had been told she “deserved the oven.” One anonymous individual had electronically harassed her for 19 hours straight. 
Things got so bad that Bethany Mandel, a 30-year-old freelance writer in Highland Park, N.J., decided one afternoon last spring to drive to a nearby gun shop. A mother of two small children, she now keeps a .22 in her home. 
What had she done to provoke so much vitriol? She posted some messages on Twitter drawing attention to the fact that Donald J. Trump seemed to have a lot of anti-Semitic supporters. [snip]
Anti-Semitism has been resurgent in Europe for years. But it has taken on a new dimension in the United States with the emergence of the Trump campaign, whose battle against political correctness has provided a kind of on-ramp for bigotry to enter the political mainstream.
That's just the tip of the iceberg, unfortunately.  Any canvassing of Twitter or other social media will turn up many vicious anti- Semitic slurs and threats against anyone (Jew or perceived Jew) opposing Rump. Back to Peter Dreier:
In response to Trump's repeated claim about the election being rigged, the popular right-wing site Daily Stormer wrote that "People aren't going to quietly go home if the Jews steal this election from us." Other sites supporting Trump have posted similar slurs. 
Anti-Semitic comments on social media have skyrocketed, because Trump is bringing these ugly stereotypes, once relegated to the lunatic fringe of the internet, into the mainstream. A new Anti-Defamation League uncovered more than 2.6 million tweets with anti-Semitic comments and images between August 2015 and July 2016, a huge upsurge from the previous year. Many of them identified themselves as Trump supporters or Clinton haters, and many (including death threats) were directed at Jewish journalists who had been critical of Trump. 
Beyond an argument for self- preservation and self-interest, one also has to ask about the moral dimension of a vote for this unfit, white nationalist demagogue.  It's the same question we would ask of "Christian" evangelicals who not only put party above country, but party above their purported religious tenets.  For there can be no doubt that Rump is an evil, dark element in our politics who is enabling hatred and bigotry to come into the light and flourish. It's disheartening that this subset of American Jewry is deaf and blind to the danger posed by its new bedfellows.

"Hello? Dang These Things" Quote of the Day

When you look at a state like North Carolina, the Clinton campaign and the Democrats generally have an enormous ground game there. Their entire focus is early voting, knocking on people’s doors, saying, ‘Have you early voted, do you know when to do it, do you know where to do it?' The Trump campaign has no such operation. I dropped in on two ground game operations, I guess you could say. The Clinton operation was buzzing like a beehive. And the Donald Trump campaign had one man learning how to use the phones in North Carolina.” (emphasis added) -- Roll Call columnist Patricia Murphy, observing the difference in ground games in North Carolina, a swing state which is moving toward the Clinton column. Make Rotary Phones Great Again!

Today's Cartoon Twofer - Wahhh!

(click on images to enlarge)

(Steve Sack, Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

(David Horsey, Los Angeles Times)

"Morning Joke" Wants You To Forget Something

With the exception of the despicable alt rightist bigot Sean "Heil" Hannity on Fux "News," there's no one in the world of cable that's more responsible for the rise of sociopathic misogynist Donald "Rump" Trump than the cozy couple on "Morning Joke", Joe "Squint" Scarborough and Mika "Meat Puppet" Brzezinski. * The estimable Matt Taibbi chronicled their lapdog loyalty to Rump last February in Rolling Stone, providing Rump with millions of dollars worth of airtime while either tossing soft ball questions to him or flattering his out-of-control ego. And that was just up to February.

It's been satisfying watching these two celebrity hacks backpedaling from their earlier fluffing of Rump's candidacy over the past year, and falsely claiming that they had nothing to do with promoting his candidacy. On their show last week, neocon chickenhawk William "Wee Willie" Kristol brought up Squint's and Meat Puppet's fawning accommodation of Rump for months, which caused the couple to go ballistic on Wee Willie for sharing that obvious news. This morning, Meat Puppet was flying solo on the program but was reliably echoing her partner Squint, and hypocritically blamed Rethug hacks Ben Ginsberg and Michael Steele for not speaking up against Rump earlier.  Steele managed to get out a brief rejoinder that she & Squint said lots of nice things about Rump before Meat Puppet cut him off. Recall that as late as mid-September, Squint and Meat Puppet were trying to patch things up with Rump after a summer chill set into their symbiotic relationship.

The abject failure of these two hacks to see Rump with clear eyes from the beginning (birtherism? what's that?) won't be concealed by their attempts to rewrite history. The Rethuglican / New Confederate / Stupid / Shooters Party will have their own reckoning after the election, and so too should Rump's enablers in the media. We won't let them -- or MSNBC -- off the hook.
* Thanks to Charles Pierce,, for the monikers.

(photo: From the author of "Know Your Value," a flirty Meat Puppet shows her partner her value; Vanity Fair photo)

We've Got Your Response To Alt-Right Trolls

Here's your cudgel, courtesy of Brian Earp.  It's scientifically proven and applies to any social media platform.
BONUS:  Also applies to neo- fascist loser Donald "Rump" Trump. Sad!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Across The Universe, Cont. - Stars As Diamond Clusters

(click on image to enlarge)

From NASA/ ESA, October 17, 2016:  It may be famous for hosting spectacular sights such as the Tucana Dwarf Galaxy and 47 Tucanae (heic1510), the second brightest globular cluster in the night sky, but the southern constellation of Tucana (The Toucan) also possesses a variety of unsung cosmic beauties.

One such beauty is NGC 299, an open star cluster located within the Small Magellanic Cloud just under 200 000 light-years away. Open clusters such as this are collections of stars weakly bound by the shackles of gravity, all of which formed from the same massive molecular cloud of gas and dust. Because of this, all the stars have the same age and composition, but vary in their mass because they formed at different positions within the cloud.

This unique property not only ensures a spectacular sight when viewed through a sophisticated instrument attached to a telescope such as Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys, but gives astronomers a cosmic laboratory in which to study the formation and evolution of stars — a process that is thought to depend strongly on a star’s mass.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

Tweets Of The Day - Voting (Is That Actually A Thing?)

Bob then helpfully offers a snark message to Stormtrumpers:

By all means, Stormtrumpers, keep a close eye on those "others" on November 8. Then, as your brilliant leader urged you, you can vote on November 28.  That's the ticket!

Cyrus Campaigns For Clinton In Virginia

Music star Miley Cyrus, at George Mason University in Virginia yesterday, knocking on dorm room doors snd mingling with delighted students to get out the vote for Hillary Clinton.

Poll Has Clinton With 12-Point Lead

A little over two weeks before the election, a new ABC News 2016 tracking poll just released this morning shows likely voters preferring Secretary Hillary Clinton over narcissistic sociopath Donald "Rump" Trump by a 50 to 38 margin. The poll indicates that voters are increasingly turned off (69 - 24) by Rump's sexual misconduct as alleged by 14 women (so far) and his response (he says he'll sue them). Voters also reject (59%) Rump's claim that the election will be rigged, and reject (65%) his petulant refusal to accept the outcome of the vote on November 8. The 12-point spread is the most that Clinton has led by, and suggests Rump's support is eroding over time. Clinton has gained 4 points since October 13. (If the 12 point spread holds through Election Day, historically a margin of that size would mean not only the Senate, but the House of Representatives would flip.)

Again, with the usual caveats that time still remains for the polls to tighten, this is bad news for Rump, and will almost certainly send him into a paranoid tailspin where he lashes out and goes off script to settle scores before an almost certain defeat.

BONUS:  Even Karl "Romney Wins Ohio!" Rove is saying Rump is toast. When you've even lost Turdblossom...

Sunday Reading - Giving Trump And Republicans A Proper Electoral Burial

Lots of good reads out there this morning.  As always, we hope you read the entire pieces.

Let's start with Leonard Pitts who connects neo- fascist narcissist Donald "Rump" Trump and his "rigged election" whining with a long tradition in Republican politics:
It is important to note that Trump did not spring from nowhere. Rather, he is the logical byproduct of a GOP that has spent the last quarter century telling its acolytes they were victims: of “media elites,” Hollywood values and science, to name just a few. And if you’re looking for election rigging, look no further than the party that has thrown up arbitrary legal barriers designed to make voting harder for African-Americans and other non-Republican constituencies. 
Donald Trump, in all his preening infamy, is the end result of the GOP’s years of hypocrisy and reality avoidance. Shame on anyone who takes seriously his piteous moaning about the vast forces conspiring against him. 
American democracy is the only victim here.  (our emphasis)
Speaking of voter intimidation (as we have), Colbert King wants us to know Democrats aren't going to be passive defending voting rights on Election Day:
In June, I wrote that with this election, nothing — not rallies, conventions, debates — mattered more than “getting out the vote.” 
Trump and his posse make GOTV all the more urgent. 
National civil rights groups, led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, intend to come out in force nationwide with volunteers trained to serve as a first line of defense against the intimidators. 
Others need to swing into action.  (our emphasis)
Frequent blind squirrel Dana Milbank tells us why it's important to American democracy that Rump be dealt a "humiliating defeat":
The need to deal Trump a humiliating defeat has a sociological basis in the “degradation ceremony,” in which the perpetrator (Trump) is held by denouncers (officeholders and others in positions of influence) to be morally unacceptable, and witnesses (the public) agree that the perpetrator is no longer held in good standing. 
Psychologist Wynn Schwartz, who teaches at Harvard Medical School, explained to me that what’s needed to have a successful degradation of Trump is an epic defeat. “If it is lopsided enough,” he said, “you don’t have critical masses of people who feel disenfranchised” or “who feel justified in saying that it was stolen.” 
But if Clinton’s victory is narrow, the degradation ceremony fails, because a large chunk of the population feels swindled and remains loyal to Trump. “The margin matters a lot,” Schwartz said.  (our emphasis)
 Let the New York Daily News express itself, too:

Saturday, October 22, 2016

This Should Make You Proud To Be A Progressive And A Clinton Supporter

The next time someone says something "nasty" about Hillary Clinton or says that progressive programs aren't any good or haven't made a difference, please sit their uninformed ass down and have them watch this (thank you!):

A Challenge to Hispanic Voters

Speaking to the Boston Globe yesterday, Former Arizona Governor and sun-damaged airhead Jan "Witch's" Brewer dismissed the impact of Democratic-leaning Hispanic voters in her state when she said of them, “Nah, they don’t get out and vote.’’ A surrogate for sociopathic liar Donald "Rump" Trump, Witch's Brewer isn't the brightest bulb in the chandelier, recalling her embarrassing freeze in 2010 when trying to describe what she's done for the state. She's also remembered for her rude and arrogant finger-poking of President Obama on the tarmac in 2012. Clearly, she has no respect for people of color, her leathery orange face notwithstanding.

Let's hope that Hispanic voters in Arizona (and across the U.S. for that matter) take Witch's Brewer's casual, condescending insult as a challenge to turn out in record numbers. They only need remember who she's supporting: a xenophobic bigot who wants to round up and deport their kin.

(photo: Orange crush)

The "Suspense" Is Killing Us: Cartoons of the Day

(click on images to enlarge)

(top, Clay Jones,, bottom, Signe Wilkinson, Philadelphia Daily News)