Monday, September 26, 2016

Debate Conventional Wisdom: Trump Should Lie Less, and Clinton Should Smile More!

Let me get this straight. If Trump lies less, and Clinton doesn't smile enough, Trump wins!

Holy America Losing Its Mind, Batman!

Okay, now I get it. As long as the rules are clear.

Trump Campaign Manager: Trump Didn't Lie Because He Didn't Know What He Was Talking About.

Kellyanne Conway has a new tack with the Donald's falsehoods. How can he lie if he doesn't know what he's saying? Sounds good to me!

Just because representing Donald Trump is stressful doesn't mean you get a pass.

Kellyanne Conway goes on Morning Joe hoping to defend Donald Trump's lies, and she did, sorta. (Trump had tweeted that Holt couldn't be neutral because he was a registered Democrat. Turns out Holt's a registered Republican.)
MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski then jumped in to ask Conway again "why he lied about Lester Holt."
"He didn't lie," Conway responded.
"I think he did," Brzezinski hit back.
Conway then said that "a lie would mean that he knew the man's party registration."
Alrighty then. Of course he wasn't lying. He'd have to know the facts first! I want him for our president!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Why the Media Must Call Donald Trump a Liar

The news isn't that Trump's opinions are different from ours. It's that his facts are.

I know, name-calling is wrong, but this is one lying motherfucker.

After the birther fiasco perpetrated by Donald Trump -- where he called a press conference only to promote his new hotel, and himself -- the news media finally popped a fuse. It may be too little too late, but it's still welcome.

The outlet to really make a "Trump's a liar" splash was the New York Times. Here's the Times today:
All politicians bend the truth to fit their purposes, including Hillary Clinton. But Donald J. Trump has unleashed a blizzard of falsehoods, exaggerations and outright lies in the general election, peppering his speeches, interviews and Twitter posts with untruths so frequent that they can seem flighty or random — even compulsive.
However, a closer examination, over the course of a week, revealed an unmistakable pattern: Virtually all of Mr. Trump’s falsehoods directly bolstered a powerful and self-aggrandizing narrative depicting him as a heroic savior for a nation menaced from every direction. Mike Murphy, a Republican strategist, described the practice as creating “an unreality bubble that he surrounds himself with.”
Good grief.

Slate has an article on why the Times decided call out Lyin' Donald Trump:
Were you part of the debate over whether to use the word lie in the paper?
Absolutely, and not only the discussion about using it, which I completely supported. Carolyn Ryan and Michael Barbaro, the editor and the reporter on the story, came to me and said, “We think this is the moment, and we want to write this.” I made the decision to make it the lead story, but they came to me and said, “Here’s the story we want to write,” and they described the story. Carolyn even said to me, “We want to put lie in the headline, are you comfortable with that,” and I said, “yeah, absolutely.”
You said you didn’t decide what was on the front page, and you—
Except in extraordinary cases. This was extraordinary.
Yes, the pure mendacity of Donald Trump is extraordinary.

PolitiFact has the graphs. WaPo Fact Checker has the count. Hillary Clinton drops a prebuttal on Trump at her website. Her hope, I'd imagine, is that moderators and reporters might study up on his lies. We can bet Hillary is working OT to memorize as many facts as possible in order to fact-check the Donald in real time.

It's going to be fascinating at the debate, just in the area of Trump's lies. Drinking game idea: a shot every time a Trump lie is challenged or debated. As Stephen Colbert might say: "Drunk in 30 minutes, or almost drunk in 30 minutes?"

Where do the candidates stand on "the truth?" Clinton is all for it, but Trump doesn't want fact-checking and has begun to warn the moderators, as in this Chicago Tribune article. The Trib falls solidly in favor of "the truth."
But the careful observer [of the review of Matt Lauer's town hall moderating] will note an important difference here. Many of those who criticized Lauer’s performance faulted him for failing to challenge Trump’s well-documented falsehoods in real time (in particular, his claim that he opposed the Iraq War). By contrast, Trump is telegraphing that his supporters will hammer the moderators if they do challenge his well-documented falsehoods in real time.
In other words, one side wants the moderators to hold the candidates accountable, and the other doesn’t. We can argue endlessly over whether those in the former camp are trying to game the debates so that Trump faces tougher questioning than Clinton. But the bottom line is that, given that it is simply true that Trump lies a lot more frequently, audaciously and egregiously than Clinton, and that it took many months before this was widely acknowledged in the press, most Clinton supporters would probably be just fine with equivalent treatment of both of their assertions at the debate, and if they aren’t, they should be.
Get the popcorn and the tequila ready. We're going to need it Monday.

Special Note for those who wonder if Trump can win (either the debate or the presidency): Read this column by Gail Collins:
What we have here is a candidate for president of the United States who makes stuff up all the time, but is either incapable of realizing that he’s telling a lie, or constitutionally unable to take blame for being untruthful.
Yet, according to the polls, Hillary Clinton’s biggest problem is that the public thinks she’s dishonest. Amazing.
Amazing indeed.

Bernie, Liz, Barack and Michelle, Even Papi Bush, Are for Hillary. Why Aren't You?

I'm not speaking to the "deplorables," of course, but to the hypothetical "you" who's either independent or yet to come home to the Democratic Party.

All the adults on the left want Hillary. Just sayin'.

(Let me say in front that my thesis is that there are enough people out there to elect Hillary Clinton, but there's a question about whether or not they'll show up, for a variety of reasons.)

I've looked at Hillary Clinton from all directions, and, frankly, I don't see what all the fuss is about. I discount the fake scandals, and you should, too.

Okay, I get that "the system is rigged." Of course it is. Candidates aren't chosen in proverbial smoke-filled rooms anymore, but they're still chosen through a system where elite politicians and financial backers have more clout than the rest of us.

It's that way in order to guard against nominating another really unelectable candidate like George McGovern. Yes, Bernie Sanders looked pretty electable, but then that's just speculation. It's not often a socialist from Vermont can make hay on a larger stage.

But the real germane point is that the DNC didn't conspire to stop Bernie. They were simply "Ready for Hillary." It was her turn. By the way, millions more thought so, too, than thought Bernie's the one.

But fine. In an odd twist, it was the GOP that taught us this cycle that the world could be turned on its head and SOMEONE COMPLETELY UNUSUAL COULD BE NOMINATED. How many Republicans are concerned about that?

Practically every one with a brain or a conscience. Okay, not that many, but still...

That's not our problem. Our problem is bringing the sane progressives back to the roost in time to avoid a Trump presidency.

So, I point out that Bernie Sanders, Liz Warren, the Obamas, apparently all the living ex-presidents, tons of diplomats and national security advisers, the list goes on, do support Hillary Clinton.

Forget Wall Street connections, forget the vote that advanced us toward the Iraq War, forget her "damn emails." Who do you want, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? The choice is clear, and, by the way, that IS the choice, unless you absolutely want to burn the house down, hoping to build another one.

Holy crap.

So, millennials, disaffected Democrats, Bernie folks who feel stung, Real Independents, and anybody who fancies themselves to be either on the left or just a thoughtful person: Vote for Hillary Clinton this cycle.

If you don't, that would be, er, deplorable. Or at least the outcome might be.

Bonus question: Just how far away politically, philosophically, practically, are you from Hillary Clinton? Hmm. I thought so. Ask the same question about Trump. See?

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Mike Pence Reminds Us How White He Is. (Pretty White...)

Black men continue to be gunned down by the cops, generally when they're unarmed and barely moving. That's messed up. To Mike Pence, we're overemphasizing race. Huh??

Okay, fine, pink. But pink is the new white. (Yeah, sometimes also orange...)

Talking Points Memo points to a suggestion by leading white man, Veep candidate Mike Pence, that we should 'set aside this talk' of racism around the recent police killings:
Just days after two black men were fatally shot by police in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Charlotte, North Carolina, vice presidential hopeful Mike Pence on Thursday urged an audience of evangelical leaders to "set aside talk" of institutional racism, the Associated Press reported.
Maybe this is a tag-team strategy. Trump reaches out to black people by reminding them their lives suck hard, and Mike Pence reaches out to white people by reminding people how white he is. Smart!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Stephen Colbert Interviews Michelle Obama. What Could Go Right? (Everything.)

Two stars in the firmament, Stephen Colbert and Michelle Obama. Talk about a natural act.

When he went from "Stephen Colbert" to Stephen Colbert, I worried. I shouldn't
have. As for Michelle Obama, she rocks our American culture, like a legit queen.

As we used to say, let's go to the tape:

White Working-Class Men: Finally Proof That Republicans Are Playing You

Donald Trump -- citing a poll showing non-college white men support him by a decent margin -- shouted out at a rally: "I love the poorly educated!"

Working-class white men have been voting against their own self-interests
for most of their lives. As Stephen Colbert might ask: funny, or almost funny?

 (Thanks to Paul Krugman and Vox...)

This is something I've been watching since the Reagan years, and wondering what part of "Most of the new wealth during the 80s went to the already wealthy" don't you people get? (I think it was the part of you that was busy thinking about how much you hate unions, with their negotiating higher wages for you, and all that stuff...)

Now, Vox puts it into a neat and tidy graph:

Holy crap. Read the complete story here.

And for more perspective, read this about how Paul Ryan  -- champion of the people! -- plans on screwing the working class some more.

Fucking what the fuck...