Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Morning Reading

Here's a sampling of worthwhile reads this morning (as always, go to the links for the full context).

-- Dana Milbank on the fallout from vicious right- wing lies being spread by neo- fascist demagogue Donald "Rump" Trump, members of his transition team and the crackpots they listen to:
There was a time when threats against journalists, like threats of any sort of political violence, were exceedingly rare. But in Trump’s America, such threats are neither rare nor idle. 
If you doubt that, consider the events in recent days at Comet Ping Pong, the family pizza place in Northwest Washington I’ve been frequenting with my daughter ever since she was a toddler a decade ago. Lately, the owner and staff at Comet — and those of other businesses on the block — have been getting death threats, spurred by radio host Alex Jones, a conspiracy theorist with close ties to the president-elect. 
Jones has been whipping up a bogus and bizarre accusation that Comet is a front for a Hillary Clinton-affiliated pedophilia ring, and the resulting calls and messages threaten a “public lynching” of this nonexistent ring. “I pray someone comes to Comet pizza with automatic weapons and kills everyone inside,” wrote one. “I just may cut your throat. . . . I truly hope someone blows your brains all over Comet pizza.”
Milbank wonders if this is now the "new normal," to which we'd respond, "You did see the past 18 months of Rump and his rallies full of hateful, economically anxious knuckle- draggers, didn't you? Did you think they'd suddenly go away?"

-- A Texas Republican elector takes to the New York Effing Times to explain why he won't be casting his vote for Rump (albeit with some misguided plaudits for Dumbya and St. Ronnie of Hollywood):
The United States was set up as a republic. Alexander Hamilton provided a blueprint for states’ votes. Federalist 68 argued that an Electoral College should determine if candidates are qualified, not engaged in demagogy, and independent from foreign influence. Mr. Trump shows us again and again that he does not meet these standards. Given his own public statements, it isn’t clear how the Electoral College can ignore these issues, and so it should reject him.
None of this is going to get Hillary Clinton's electoral vote up, of course.  Rump will win the Electoral College but will decisively lose the popular vote... because Democracy!

-- Finally, from the "I hear the crowds cheering in my head" files, we have this early lead balloon for 2020:
Vice President Joe Biden told a small group of reporters Monday that he may run for president in 2020. 
"Yeah, I am. I am going to run in 2020," Biden said when asked if he would run for office again. When asked what role he would seek, the 74-year-old vice president responded: "For president. And also, you know so, what the hell man, anyway." 
The vice president said, however, he wasn't making a commitment to run when reporters asked if he was kidding. 
"I'm not committing not to run. I'm not committed to anything. I learned a long time ago, fate has a strange way of intervening," he said. 
Biden would be 77 years old on Election Day in 2020.
We like Joe as much as anyone, but please.

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