Dylan Matthews has a wonderful piece up on Vox, Taking Trump voters’ concerns seriously means listening to what they’re actually saying, which points out that in order to heal the great divide in the United States we’re going to have to admit what Trump’s popularity is all about: a fading, racist white majority is struggling to maintain primacy. (Link.)

The fuckers have been saying this since Nixon empowered them in the 60s. Without these scum, the GOP couldn’t elect anyone. Which is to say, racism is still endemic.

Actual voter fraud is a thing, what you could call wrongful disenfranchisement. And this actual voter fraud would help Trump. So if he loses, it’s proof that there’s less fraud than believed, not that he lost because of fraud.

He’d lose because he’s a hated piece of shit, hated by tens of millions. And by his last episode, the ratings for his TV show were awful.

And there’s this:

The supposed billionaire who claims he paid no taxes for 18 years complains about something being rigged? An electoral system that has had exactly 31 instances of voter fraud in over a billion votes. The specific type of fraud that voter ID requirementscan prevent — voter impersonation — actually never happens — well, okay, 0.000031% of the time.

In the real, fact-based world, that would be case closed.

Sofia Song was doing what financial analysts often do. She’d been consulted by Bloomberg ’s letter, and limit this response, after distillation, to what appear to be the salient questions at hand,” wrote Glasser. The core of the Glasser letter took issue with the very notion that a story about brand trends could even approach the realm of defamation:
“The underlying thrust (and one might surmise the motivational force) of Mr. Garten’s threatening letter seems to be that the article is somehow unfair to Mr. Trump, because it is not a one-sided public-relations piece about Mr. Trump’s business successes. That seems to be what Mr. Garten is demanding, and we cannot accommodate this request. Rather, we have an obligation to present both sides of such questions, and we did so responsibly.
“Because the letters threaten litigation, it is worth reminding you that, as a threshold matter, the complained-of statements do not meet black-letter standards for defamatory meaning: “A statement is defamatory if it tends to expose a person to hatred, contempt, or aversion, or to induce an evil or unsavory opinion of him in the minds of a substantial number in the community or tends to disparage a person in the way of his office, profession or trade.” Levin v. McPhee, 917 F. Supp. 230 (S.D.N.Y. 1996) aff’d 119 F.3d 189 (2d Cir. 1997). Nothing in the Article remotely shames or disparages Mr. Trump or rises to the level of inciting “contempt” or “scorn.” It is an exploration about the current –and obviously disputed — state of the brand value and nothing more.” (Link.)

How a decent person would respond is obvious. Trump doubled-down, because that’s what awful people like him do.


Read the rest if you have the stomach.

New York’s feared former Superintendent of Financial Services, Benjamin Lawsky, appears to have left a mark on the agency. Yesterday, the agency issued a blistering report on the failings of the New York State Comptroller in managing the state pension fund system’s “alternative” investments, specifically hedge funds and private equity funds. * *
The entire report is worth reading if nothing else for its exceptional direct style and harsh criticism. The DFS, which supervises state pension funds, found no excuse for the fact that the two state pension funds, which together make New York State the fourth biggest public pension fund in the US, were overpaying for hedge fund duds: over $1 billion in excess fees to hedge fund managers who underperformed to the tune of $2.8 billion.” Even worse, the state only now has gotten around to addressing the fact that many of its managers charge hefty fees for the privilege of lagging the stock market, while most other public pension funds have woken up to the problems with hedge funds and have been cutting allocations to or firing doggy fund managers. (Link.)

Louise Goldsberry, a Florida nurse, was washing dishes when she looked outside her window and saw a man pointing a gun at her face. Goldsberry screamed, dropped to the floor, and crawled to her bedroom to get her revolver. A standoff ensued with the gunman — who turned out to be an agent with the U.S. Marshals’ fugitive division.
Goldsberry, who had no connection to a suspect that police were looking for, eventually surrendered and was later released. Police claimed that they raided her apartment because they had a “tip” about the apartment complex. But, according to Slate, the reason the “tip” was so broad was because the police had obtained only the approximate location of the suspect’s phone — using a “Stingray” phone tracker, a little-understood surveillance device that has quietly spread from the world of national security into that of domestic law enforcement.
Goldsberry’s story illustrates a potential harm of Stingrays not often considered: increased police contact for people who get caught in the wide dragnets of these interceptions. To get a sense of the scope of this surveillance, CityLab mapped police data from three major cities across the U.S., and found that this burden is not shared equally. (Link.)

Forever classy:

Over the weekend, Donald Trump suggested that Hillary Clinton should be forced to take a drug test before the next debate, because she clearly got “pumped up” before the last one.
Among the many reasons these remarks were strange was the fact that it was Trump — not Clinton — who had exhibited one of the primary symptoms of recent cocaine use at each of the presidential debates….
(Notably, the GOP nominee’s sniffling problem was far more conspicuous at the first two presidential debates than it was at any of the campaign events he held in between them.) (Link.)

More class:

Trump’s company encouraged its employees to invest their retirement savings in company stock, according to a class-action lawsuit filed by employees against Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts following its 2004 bankruptcy. Then, when the stock price was near its nadir as bankruptcy loomed, the company forced the employees to sell their stock at a huge loss. More than 400 employees lost a total of more than $2 million from their retirement accounts, the lawsuit states.

Mystery: Why does everyone hate Trump?

It is now clear that as a loss looms, Donald Trump will only escalate his rolling claims that the election is rigged against him. The conspiracy now includes the media, numerous women who allege inappropriate sexual advances, their friends and relatives, immigration officials, international bankers, and elections officials across the country.

Query: When Trump supporters praise leaders with balls, do they mean this, or just a blustering shithead?

McCain promised that Republicans would be “united against any Supreme Court nominee” put forth by Clinton.
“I promise you that we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up,” McCain said. “I promise you. This is where we need the majority and Pat Toomey is probably as articulate and effective on the floor of the Senate as anyone I have encountered.”

Continuing to attract only the best people:

So, I can still vote for Trump?
— Paul Stribling Conger, Jr., a former Alabama Social Security Administration judge who pleaded guilty to theft, obstruction, and accepting gratuity charges related to an incident involving sex with a woman before him in a federal courthouse. The plea means Conger will be a convicted felon, and no longer have the right to vote. However, the plea will be will not be formally accepted until February, so the judge will still be able to case his vote in November. (Link.)

Insight from the smartest Republican ever, Newt Gingrich:

Washington Post bias so total they have “after trump”as cover of opinion section.why wait for American people when you plan to rig election

Same old, same old:

But Trump’s plan to fund all this spending hasn’t been adequately articulated, except for in a couple of offhand comments he’s made on the campaign trial. According to The Hill, over the summer Trump told Fox Business Network’s Stuart Varney that he’d set up a fund to finance his infrastructure projects, offering only that “people, investors,” would be the primary contributors to that fund.
“We’ll get a fund, we’ll make a phenomenal deal with the low interest rates and rebuild our infrastructure,” Trump told Varney. “The citizens would put money into the fund… and it will be a great investment, and it’s going to put a lot of people to work.” The Republican candidate explained that the money for the fund would come from selling infrastructure bonds. (Link.)

And future generations will pay more than were this financed in real time, as it were. Financing by bonds is the most expensive way of financing. And, of course, at payment time, the federal government can’t file for bankruptcy and screw bondholders like Trump himself did.

And then there’s this: Awful as GOP financial policy has been, Trump wants an even greater disaster.

Moral: When Trump does mention substance, it’s awful, awful crap.

Here are some things that the current Republican nominee for president has asserted:
(1) That it’s unclear whether Barack Obama was born in the United States.
(2) That “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”
(3) That Ted Cruz’s father Raphael met with Lee Harvey Oswald, and may have been part of a conspiracy that assassinated John F. Kennedy.
(4) That “Hillary Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers, her special-interest friends, and her donors.”
(5) That President Obama founded ISIS. (When they first heard this claim a lot of people, including me, just assumed this claim had to be some sort of figurative claim — that he meant Obama “founded” ISIS by allowing a power vacuum to grow in Iraq and so forth. Actually Trump meant this claim to be taken completely literally. Only after days of incredulous criticism did he reverse course and claim he was being “sarcastic” [sic]).
(6) That the Department of Labor employment numbers are faked by the federal government, to make people believe the unemployment rate is nearly ten times lower than it actually is.
(7) That the Department of Justice colluded with Hillary Clinton to exonerate her when it investigated her use of a private e-mail server while she was the Secretary of State.
(8) That the American mainstream media are conspiring to deny him the presidency by rigging the election.
(9) That the 2016 presidential election is already being rigged “at many polling places.” (Link.)

Republican vice presidential candidate and man reconsidering his life choices Mike Pence went on Meet the Press this morning to reassure the American public that his ticket would, in fact, respect the results of the November election no matter what. (Link.)

Query: Did Pence discuss this with Trump (like Syria) or is he pulling it out of his ass? For that matter, did Pence clear it with Trump’s supporters?

Speaking of which:

As Donald Trump continues his assertions that the November election is “absolutely being rigged” against him, both “by the dishonest media” and at “many polling places”, let’s take a moment here to marvel at the rank cowardice of, in particular, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Everyone with a scrap of dignity left is emphasizing just how irresponsible Trump and his surrogates (Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, Sen. Jeff Sessions, and assorted allied conspiracy theorists) is being with this particular lie. Top Republicans, however, aren’t among those people. Mitch McConnell has clammed up completely, refusing to discuss Trump, while Paul Ryan’s office managed only a short, mealymouthed statement that he is “fully confident the states will carry out this election with integrity”. (Link.)

Trump bitch Chris Christie found a fine use for taxpayer moneys: enriching a GOP operative:

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie wants to bring sports gambling to his state. He’s asked Ted Olson to take the fight to the Supreme Court, where he’ll argue that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act is an unconstitutional assault on state sovereignty. What’s your over/under bet on this split decision?

I have a problem: Dunno why I shouldn’t have some contempt for a bloc of voters who, for decades and generations now, have consistently voted against their own interests, America’s and the world’s as well. I refer, of course, to evangelicals and their ilk — and Mike Pence doesn’t seem to have much more respect for them than I do.

And these people shouldn’t be entitled to much respect either:

“I’m a guy, I’ve done worse,” said Henry Dupuis, who told me he was an immigrant from Canada. “Absolutely, me and my buddies? I’m serious about that.”
Worse than sexual assault, really?
“No, I’m just saying, well call it…it’s just words,” Dupuis said. “It’s no action, compared to Bill Clinton. It’s just words.” (Link.)

Then there’s these:

Here is what Trump’s followers are doing right now:
In Virginia two guys with guns show up outside a democrat’s office to protest Hillary saying, “We’re not a threat to anybody, the only threat is ignorance, and ignorance breeds fear.”
Another Trump guy calls for a bloody coup and hopes someone shoots Hillary. (Link.)


On Sunday, the head of an Arizona newspaper that endorsed Hillary Clinton revealed some of the threats that she and her staff have received from angry Trump supporters and resolved to stand firm.


Despite finding his comments about women “deplorable,” the co-founder of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has supplied a PAC supporting GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump with $6 million, reports the Washington Post. (Link.)

And more right wing intellectual rigor here. (By rigor I of course mean disconnect from reality, let’s say.)

Of course, the rot starts at the head — Trump is of course clinically insane.

Listen: I worked for over a decade amongst modern conservatives. When it came to politics, they were clinically delusional. Healthy people don’t deny reality.

At the outset of his exclusive interview yesterday with Danney Williams — the man who claims to be the “love child” of Bill Clinton and an Arkansas street prostitute — “Infowars” chieftain Alex Jones told viewers that he believed his guest’s story was “very, very credible.”
After saluting Williams’s aunt as a “church lady” and “hard worker,” Jones vouched for the 30-year-old Williams: “You yourself got three children. No record. Hard working guy.”
Well, Alex, not exactly.
Williams is actually a convicted felon and ex-con who fathered five children by the age of 21 and has been sued by state officials for failing to pay child support. He was released last year from state prison, has been busted for passing bad checks, repeatedly violated probation, and copped to the frequent use of marijuana (which he began smoking at age nine). (Link.)

Found! Actual Republican state-sponsored voter fraud:

Reporting in The Nation and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, based on DMV recordings provided by VoteRiders, confirmed that across the state Wisconsin was systematically failing to promptly issue IDs for voting as required by the court order. […]
[D]espite the well-documented problems, one of the country’s worst voter-ID laws will be in effect for November and the very state agencies that have been non-compliant with federal court orders will be relied upon to implement it. […]
Ohio has purged more than 2 million voters since 2011, more than any other state, and refused to mail absentee ballots to 1 million registered voters. A federal struck down the state’s voter purge in late September and ordered the voters to be put back onto the rolls. But Ohio is now refusing to reinstate many of the purged voters before the election, according to Think Progress. “This is shameless behavior that endangers our democratic process,” says State Rep. Kathleen Clyde.
In Texas, a federal court ordered the state to relax its voter-ID law and allow those without strict forms of photo ID to cast a ballot. But even after the court order, the state has issued misleading information for voters and is now threatening to prosecute voters who sign an affidavit instead of showing photo ID.
In North Carolina, after a federal court restored a week of early voting, the North Carolina Republican Party called on GOP-controlled county boards of elections to further cut early voting hours and days. “Republican can and should make party line changes to early voting,” wrote executive director Dallas Woodhouse, which included adopting fewer early-voting days and prohibiting Sunday voting, when black churches hold “Souls to the Polls” mobilization drives, and polling places on college campuses. The state board of election rejected many of these cuts, but five major counties in the state will state have reduced early voting. (Link.)

Made for each other: Trump is now famously thin-skinned — that is, it was sort of known because it takes a thin-skinned person to be involved in 3,500-odd lawsuits and god knows (but doesn’t care) how many threatening letters from lawyers — and his supporters are thin-skinned too:

On Sunday night about 200 people walked out of Amy Schumer’s show at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida after she called Donald Trump, among other things, an “orange, sexual assaulting, fake college starting monster.”

And what kept the next president awake Saturday night:

A moment of silence for Alec Baldwin, please. Saturday Night Live’s newest Donald Trump impressionist maestro has so far done an array of sketches about today’s political climate — you can find them here, here, and here — but his latest debate parodyseems to have brought Trump himself to a breaking point. Taking to Twitter on Sunday morning, the Republican presidential nominee expressed major dissatisfaction over Baldwin’s portrayal, and even accused SNL of now being part of the media’s attempt to rig the election. (As a reminder, Trump hosted the show in 2015 and 2004.) Sad! “Watched Saturday Night Live hit job on me,” he said. “Time to retire the boring and unfunny show. Alec Baldwin portrayal stinks. Media rigging election!” What’s the old saying? A man who can be provoked by a late-night, American, sketch-comedy show should not have his hands anywhere near the nuclear codes? (Link.)

Not at all immature, thin-skinned and full of shit.

Oh, Teddy White, you should have only lived long enough to write about this cycle:

David Axelrod, one of President Barack Obama’s top strategists, floated the idea that maybe Hillary Clinton should skip the final presidential debate.
‘Drug testing?!? You have to wonder if @HillaryClinton will/should reconsider next debate, given the depths to which this has sunk,’ the political operative who helped Obama get to the White House twice tweeted Saturday.
Axelrod was referring to comments Clinton’s Republican rival Donald Trump made on the campaign trail earlier that day. (Link.)

What else burns my butt: Most history. In a wee nutshell: Takes shaky original sources, doesn’t verify them; original lies and misstatements get reinforced.

Then there’s the bias of the so-called historian. More specifically, the phallocentrism, only people with dicks can accomplish anything. Like this exclusion of women’s contributions to science.

The Susan Komen operation: Only 20% for looking for a cure, rest of the money goes nowhere important. And a demonstration why the private sector is not a substitute for public policy.

Good news/bad news: Walking in the street when the sidewalk is closed while Black is a crime, but at least it’s not a capital crime. Gotta keep them in their place because heritage is more important than equality.

Internet of things or internet of disaster?

This week, the US government-backed ICS-CERT warned that the troubling new generation of computer attacks is powered by malware that can infect cellular modems used to connect automotive and industrial equipment to the Internet. (Link.)

The way of the world:

When it comes to something like Brexit, I am part of the liberal-media London bubble, and so to me voting to leave was madness. My perspective was that it was cutting off your nose to spite your face. Yet in the run-up to the referendum, as soon as you went outside of London there were “Vote Leave” banners up everywhere. So you’d have to have been blind not to notice the huge sway of public opinion. There was a huge complacency on the “Remain” side, and the “Leave” side was extremely angry and enthusiastic about voting for their side, and as a result they won. Then, immediately afterwards, there were a lot of people who went, What happened? We’re going to be dealing with that for generations. (Link.)

Twitter has its virtues. Anyone who confuses the value of the service with a fucking stock price is either an insider, investor or ignoramus. That said, the company should only sell to themselves, that is, go private.

Finally, a little good news:

A judge has refused to sign off on proposed riot charges against Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman. In September, Goodman and her crew filmed an ongoing protest by thousands of American Indian activists against a planned North Dakota pipeline. A prosecutor first charged Goodman with criminal trespass, then attempted to upgrade the charges to participating in a riot.
Goodman went back to North Dakota Monday to appear in court; shortly before she was due there, a Democracy Now! producer reported that Judge John Grinsteiner had rejected the riot charge. (Link.)