HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Facebook: Digby Parton

Twitter:
@digby56
@Gaius_Publius
@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)
@spockosbrain



emails:
Digby:
thedigbyblog at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail
Gaius:
publius.gaius at gmail
Tom:
tpostsully at gmail
Spocko:
Spockosbrain at gmail
tristero:
Richardein at me.com








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic
Common Dreams
AmericanPoliticsJournal
Smirking Chimp
CJR Daily
consortium news

Blog-o-rama

Eschaton
BagNewsNotes
Daily Kos
Political Animal
Driftglass
Firedoglake
Taylor Marsh
Spocko's Brain
Talk Left
Suburban Guerrilla
Scoobie Davis
Echidne
Electrolite
Americablog
Tom Tomorrow
Left Coaster
Angry Bear
oilprice.com
Seeing the Forest
Cathie From Canada
Frontier River Guides
Brad DeLong
The Sideshow
Liberal Oasis
BartCop
Juan Cole
Rising Hegemon
alicublog
Unqualified Offerings
Alas, A Blog
RogerAiles
Lean Left
Oliver Willis
skippy the bush kangaroo
uggabugga
Crooked Timber
discourse.net
Amygdala
the talking dog
David E's Fablog
The Agonist


Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003 02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003 03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003 04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003 05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003 06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003 07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003 08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003 09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003 10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003 11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003 12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004 09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007 01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007 02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007 03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007 04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007 05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007 06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007 07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007 08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007 09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007 10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007 11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007 12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008 01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008 02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008 03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008 04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008 05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008 06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008 07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008 08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008 09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008 10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008 11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008 12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009 01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009 02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009 03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009 04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009 05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009 06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009 07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009 08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009 09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009 10/01/2009 - 11/01/2009 11/01/2009 - 12/01/2009 12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010 01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010 02/01/2010 - 03/01/2010 03/01/2010 - 04/01/2010 04/01/2010 - 05/01/2010 05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010 06/01/2010 - 07/01/2010 07/01/2010 - 08/01/2010 08/01/2010 - 09/01/2010 09/01/2010 - 10/01/2010 10/01/2010 - 11/01/2010 11/01/2010 - 12/01/2010 12/01/2010 - 01/01/2011 01/01/2011 - 02/01/2011 02/01/2011 - 03/01/2011 03/01/2011 - 04/01/2011 04/01/2011 - 05/01/2011 05/01/2011 - 06/01/2011 06/01/2011 - 07/01/2011 07/01/2011 - 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 - 09/01/2011 09/01/2011 - 10/01/2011 10/01/2011 - 11/01/2011 11/01/2011 - 12/01/2011 12/01/2011 - 01/01/2012 01/01/2012 - 02/01/2012 02/01/2012 - 03/01/2012 03/01/2012 - 04/01/2012 04/01/2012 - 05/01/2012 05/01/2012 - 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 - 07/01/2012 07/01/2012 - 08/01/2012 08/01/2012 - 09/01/2012 09/01/2012 - 10/01/2012 10/01/2012 - 11/01/2012 11/01/2012 - 12/01/2012 12/01/2012 - 01/01/2013 01/01/2013 - 02/01/2013 02/01/2013 - 03/01/2013 03/01/2013 - 04/01/2013 04/01/2013 - 05/01/2013 05/01/2013 - 06/01/2013 06/01/2013 - 07/01/2013 07/01/2013 - 08/01/2013 08/01/2013 - 09/01/2013 09/01/2013 - 10/01/2013 10/01/2013 - 11/01/2013 11/01/2013 - 12/01/2013 12/01/2013 - 01/01/2014 01/01/2014 - 02/01/2014 02/01/2014 - 03/01/2014 03/01/2014 - 04/01/2014 04/01/2014 - 05/01/2014 05/01/2014 - 06/01/2014 06/01/2014 - 07/01/2014 07/01/2014 - 08/01/2014 08/01/2014 - 09/01/2014 09/01/2014 - 10/01/2014 10/01/2014 - 11/01/2014 11/01/2014 - 12/01/2014 12/01/2014 - 01/01/2015 01/01/2015 - 02/01/2015 02/01/2015 - 03/01/2015 03/01/2015 - 04/01/2015 04/01/2015 - 05/01/2015 05/01/2015 - 06/01/2015 06/01/2015 - 07/01/2015 07/01/2015 - 08/01/2015 08/01/2015 - 09/01/2015 09/01/2015 - 10/01/2015 10/01/2015 - 11/01/2015 11/01/2015 - 12/01/2015 12/01/2015 - 01/01/2016 01/01/2016 - 02/01/2016 02/01/2016 - 03/01/2016 03/01/2016 - 04/01/2016 04/01/2016 - 05/01/2016 05/01/2016 - 06/01/2016 06/01/2016 - 07/01/2016 07/01/2016 - 08/01/2016 08/01/2016 - 09/01/2016 09/01/2016 - 10/01/2016


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Thursday, September 29, 2016

 
Trump's crude attempt at strategery

by digby














Trump's latest ad is so bad you have to wonder if it isn't a black market job by pals in the Russian mob:



This is Trump making a play for millennials. Or perhaps to be more precise, making an argument for millennials to stay home or vote third party, which is really their best chance to win at this point.

But as Jonathan Chait writes, it's a mistake to believe that Wall Street isn't backing Trump because they fear he will regulate them. He's promised the opposite:

A Gallup poll finds that, for voters under 35 years old, the only issue on which Trump beats Clinton is “government regulation of Wall Street and banks.” This is an understandable heuristic based on a combination of Clinton’s paid speeches to Goldman Sachs, Sanders positioning himself to her left on financial regulation, and the uncertainty with which Wall Street views Trump.

But the reality is thatClinton favors strengthening the already-tough regulations on Wall Street created by Dodd-Frank, by levying a risk fee on the largest banks and tightening the Volcker Rule. Trump, on the other hand, proposes “close to dismantling of Dodd-Frank,” which, he claims, “has made it impossible for bankers to function.” This is a conventional Republican policy agenda strongly endorsed by Wall Street. Now, it is true that Wall Street does not like Trump, but this is not because he would regulate their activity, but because he is a dangerous buffoon who might bring down the world economy and them with it.

In this case the Masters of the Universe see the bigger picture. Voters should too.

.
 
This is no joke kids

by digby


Michiko Kakutani in the New York Times reviewed this book. You might want to grab a shot of something and sit down before you read it:













How did Adolf Hitler — described by one eminent magazine editor in 1930 as a “half-insane rascal,” a “pathetic dunderhead,” a “nowhere fool,” a “big mouth” — rise to power in the land of Goethe and Beethoven? What persuaded millions of ordinary Germans to embrace him and his doctrine of hatred? How did this “most unlikely pretender to high state office” achieve absolute power in a once democratic country and set it on a course of monstrous horror?

A host of earlier biographers (most notably Alan Bullock, Joachim Fest and Ian Kershaw) have advanced theories about Hitler’s rise, and the dynamic between the man and his times. Some have focused on the social and political conditions in post-World War I Germany, which Hitler expertly exploited — bitterness over the harsh terms of the Treaty of Versailles and a yearning for a return to German greatness; unemployment and economic distress amid the worldwide Depression of the early 1930s; and longstanding ethnic prejudices and fears of “foreignization.”

Other writers — including the dictator’s latest biographer, the historian Volker Ullrich — have focused on Hitler as a politician who rose to power through demagoguery, showmanship and nativist appeals to the masses. In “Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939,” Mr. Ullrich sets out to strip away the mythology that Hitler created around himself in “Mein Kampf,” and he also tries to look at this “mysterious, calamitous figure” not as a monster or madman, but as a human being with “undeniable talents and obviously deep-seated psychological complexes.”

“In a sense,” he says in an introduction, “Hitler will be ‘normalized’ — although this will not make him seem more ‘normal.’ If anything, he will emerge as even more horrific.”

This is the first of two volumes (it ends in 1939 with the dictator’s 50th birthday) and there is little here that is substantially new. However, Mr. Ullrich offers a fascinating Shakespearean parable about how the confluence of circumstance, chance, a ruthless individual and the willful blindness of others can transform a country — and, in Hitler’s case, lead to an unimaginable nightmare for the world.

Mr. Ullrich, like other biographers, provides vivid insight into some factors that helped turn a “Munich rabble-rouser” — regarded by many as a self-obsessed “clown” with a strangely “scattershot, impulsive style” — into “the lord and master of the German Reich.”

• Hitler was often described as an egomaniac who “only loved himself” — a narcissist with a taste for self-dramatization and what Mr. Ullrich calls a “characteristic fondness for superlatives.” His manic speeches and penchant for taking all-or-nothing risks raised questions about his capacity for self-control, even his sanity. But Mr. Ullrich underscores Hitler’s shrewdness as a politician — with a “keen eye for the strengths and weaknesses of other people” and an ability to “instantaneously analyze and exploit situations.”

• Hitler was known, among colleagues, for a “bottomless mendacity” that would later be magnified by a slick propaganda machine that used the latest technology (radio, gramophone records, film) to spread his message. A former finance minister wrote that Hitler “was so thoroughly untruthful that he could no longer recognize the difference between lies and truth” and editors of one edition of “Mein Kampf” described it as a “swamp of lies, distortions, innuendoes, half-truths and real facts.”

• Hitler was an effective orator and actor, Mr. Ullrich reminds readers, adept at assuming various masks and feeding off the energy of his audiences. Although he concealed his anti-Semitism beneath a “mask of moderation” when trying to win the support of the socially liberal middle classes, he specialized in big, theatrical rallies staged with spectacular elements borrowed from the circus. Here, “Hitler adapted the content of his speeches to suit the tastes of his lower-middle-class, nationalist-conservative, ethnic-chauvinist and anti-Semitic listeners,” Mr. Ullrich writes. He peppered his speeches with coarse phrases and put-downs of hecklers. Even as he fomented chaos by playing to crowds’ fears and resentments, he offered himself as the visionary leader who could restore law and order.

• Hitler increasingly presented himself in messianic terms, promising “to lead Germany to a new era of national greatness,” though he was typically vague about his actual plans. He often harked back to a golden age for the country, Mr. Ullrich says, the better “to paint the present day in hues that were all the darker. Everywhere you looked now, there was only decline and decay.”

• Hitler’s repertoire of topics, Mr. Ullrich notes, was limited, and reading his speeches in retrospect, “it seems amazing that he attracted larger and larger audiences” with “repeated mantralike phrases” consisting largely of “accusations, vows of revenge and promises for the future.” But Hitler virtually wrote the modern playbook on demagoguery, arguing in “Mein Kampf” that propaganda must appeal to the emotions — not the reasoning powers — of the crowd. Its “purely intellectual level,” Hitler said, “will have to be that of the lowest mental common denominator among the public it is desired to reach.” Because the understanding of the masses “is feeble,” he went on, effective propaganda needed to be boiled down to a few slogans that should be “persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward.”

• Hitler’s rise was not inevitable, in Mr. Ullrich’s opinion. There were numerous points at which his ascent might have been derailed, he contends; even as late as January 1933, “it would have been eminently possible to prevent his nomination as Reich chancellor.” He benefited from a “constellation of crises that he was able to exploit cleverly and unscrupulously” — in addition to economic woes and unemployment, there was an “erosion of the political center” and a growing resentment of the elites. The unwillingness of Germany’s political parties to compromise had contributed to a perception of government dysfunction, Mr. Ullrich suggests, and the belief of Hitler supporters that the country needed “a man of iron” who could shake things up. “Why not give the National Socialists a chance?” a prominent banker said of the Nazis. “They seem pretty gutsy to me.”

• Hitler’s ascension was aided and abetted by the naïveté of domestic adversaries who failed to appreciate his ruthlessness and tenacity, and by foreign statesmen who believed they could control his aggression. Early on, revulsion at Hitler’s style and appearance, Mr. Ullrich writes, led some critics to underestimate the man and his popularity, while others dismissed him as a celebrity, a repellent but fascinating “evening’s entertainment.” Politicians, for their part, suffered from the delusion that the dominance of traditional conservatives in the cabinet would neutralize the threat of Nazi abuse of power and “fence Hitler in.” “As far as Hitler’s long-term wishes were concerned,” Mr. Ullrich observes, “his conservative coalition partners believed either that he was not serious or that they could exert a moderating influence on him. In any case, they were severely mistaken.”

• Hitler, it became obvious, could not be tamed — he needed only five months to consolidate absolute power after becoming chancellor. “Non-National Socialist German states” were brought into line, Mr. Ullrich writes, “with pressure from the party grass roots combining effectively with pseudo-legal measures ordered by the Reich government.” Many Germans jumped on the Nazi bandwagon not out of political conviction but in hopes of improving their career opportunities, he argues, while fear kept others from speaking out against the persecution of the Jews. The independent press was banned or suppressed and books deemed “un-German” were burned. By March 1933, Hitler had made it clear, Mr. Ullrich says, “that his government was going to do away with all norms of separation of powers and the rule of law.”

• Hitler had a dark, Darwinian view of the world. And he would not only become, in Mr. Ullrich’s words, “a mouthpiece of the cultural pessimism” growing in right-wing circles in the Weimar Republic, but also the avatar of what Thomas Mann identified as a turning away from reason and the fundamental principles of a civil society — namely, “liberty, equality, education, optimism and belief in progress.”
FYI:
Ivana Trump told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler's collected speeches, My New Order, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed. Kennedy now guards a copy of My New Order in a closet at his office, as if it were a grenade. Hitler's speeches, from his earliest days up through the Phony War of 1939, reveal his extraordinary ability as a master propagandist.

"Did your cousin John give you the Hitler speeches?" I asked Trump.

Trump hesitated. "Who told you that?"

"I don't remember," I said.

"Actually, it was my friend Marty Davis from Paramount who gave me a copy of Mein Kampf, and he's a Jew." ("I did give him a book about Hitler," Marty Davis said. "But it was My New Order, Hitler's speeches, not Mein Kampf. I thought he would find it interesting. I am his friend, but I'm not Jewish.")

Later, Trump returned to this subject. "If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them."

.
 
The difficulty of standing still

by digby

For those who missed the debate, Seth Myers has a fun recap:




.


 
You sir, are no Bernie Sanders

by digby














I wrote about Gary Johnson for Salon this morning:

As we hit the final stretch of the most incredible presidential campaign in modern memory, it appears that third-party candidates may end up being more consequential than they’ve been since Green Party candidate Ralph Nader in 2000. It’s very close, and there is a real possibility they could decide the election. With Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, the onetime Republican governor of New Mexico, at nearly 10 percent and pulling more people who say Clinton is their second choice, Donald Trump may be the beneficiary in the all-important battleground states.

After watching Johnson and his running mate Bill Weld, the former Republican governor of Massachusetts, in Wednesday night’s town-hall meeting with Chris Matthews, I think maybe they should let Johnson in the debates so more of these voters could see exactly what they’re voting for. The risk is that while Johnson would reveal himself as a bizarre and ignorant man, he might just make Republican presidential nominee Trump look smart and competent by comparison.

When Johnson was interviewed on “Morning Joe” in early September he made one of the more memorable gaffes in campaign history when his answer to “What would you do about Aleppo?” was “What is Aleppo?” He didn’t recognize it as the name of the second-largest city in Syria, which has been in the headlines for months as a battleground where the government is fighting rebel forces. On Wednesday, Johnson said he took responsibility for his Aleppo gaffe, but further explained that he doesn’t believe that just because “a politician can dot the I’s and cross the T’s on some geographic location or the name of some foreign dictator, now we should believe them when it comes to these interventions.”

I’m not sure who believes that just because someone has educated herself about geography and foreign leadership that her ideas must automatically be followed. It’s just that most of us used to think that presidents should have some basic knowledge of facts before they propose policies. The campaign of 2016 has revealed that such qualifications are no longer considered a requirement for the job — at least not by the half of the electorate who claim to be voting for Trump or Johnson.

And then Johnson did it again. Matthews asked him to name his favorite foreign leader, and Johnson again drew a blank, finally admitting, “I guess I’m having an Aleppo moment.” Unfortunately, the exchange went on and on, with Matthews pushing and Johnson floundering, until Weld finally stepped in to cite Chancellor Angela Merkel as his favorite and the whole thing mercifully came to an end.

When asked by one of the fresh-faced young people in the crowd what he said to people who claim that a vote for Johnson is a wasted vote, the candidate told him, “A wasted vote is a vote for someone you don’t believe in.” Matthews came back with a quote from President Barack Obama from earlier in the day:
If you don’t vote, that’s a vote for Trump. If you vote for a third-party candidate who’s got no chance to win, that’s a vote for Trump.
Johnson’s bizarre nonresponse was to say that Clinton and Trump are doing nothing about Medicare and Medicaid and that “we’re headed to bankruptcy with the size and scope of government.”

When asked about his views on climate change, Johnson rambled on about the coal industry going bankrupt and said he believes the free market is going to fix the problem. How would he make college more accessible to students, a matter central to the Democratic primary campaign and now integral to Hillary Clinton’s platform? Johnson said that the reason why college costs so much is that government-guaranteed student loans have “skewed supply and demand.” In other words, if fewer people go to college, tuition will go down.

A young woman asked if a Johnson administration would cut Planned Parenthood funds, and Johnson said he plans to submit a balanced budget in the first 100 days that would require 20 percent trims across the board. Asked about money in politics, he said he believes there should be no restrictions on campaign contributions. A young man asked him if he would consider rethinking his support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and Johnson said absolutely not. He made it very clear that he intends to eliminate every trade barrier he can find.

The theme that Johnson returned to over and over is that he believes in balanced budgets, cutting entitlements and reducing debt over everything else.

Johnson did express the standard libertarian belief that he believes in civil liberties and gay rights, although he fudged his answer about abortion rights. He left out the fact that although he believes in a woman’s right to choose he also believes in a state’s right to take it away, with horrific consequences for women.

He portrayed Hillary Clinton as a psycho who is going to start a nuclear war. When asked about it again later in the broadcast, Johnson said that would happen because Clinton refuses to be “seen as weak” and “she will shoot.” It was yet another absurd statement in a long line of them. There’s only one candidate who’s threatening to start a nuclear war and it isn’t Clinton.

Many young people become attracted to libertarianism for a time after they read Ayn Rand’s novels and are exposed to the seductive lure of selfishness as a philosophy. Some stick with it for a while, or become standard Republicans as time goes on. But judging from the questions at Wednesday’s town hall event, this audience was not a bunch of Rand acolytes eager to talk about the moochers at Planned Parenthood or the parasites who want free college. With the exception of one or two questioners, most sounded like earnest progressives who may have voted for Sen. Bernie Sanders during the primary season.

Johnson’s libertarianism is very, very different from Sanders’ altruistic democratic socialism. Sanders believes that government has an affirmative duty to help people. Johnson believes that government is an impediment to the natural working of the free market. It’s overwhelmingly obvious that Clinton comes much closer to the Sanders philosophy than does Johnson.

Given how close the election is in certain key states, a few protest votes could put Trump in the White House. As Sanders is telling anyone who will listen, “Before you cast a protest vote — because either Clinton or Trump will become president — think hard about it. This is not a governor’s race. It’s not a state legislative race. This is the presidency of the United States.”

It’s also the future of the planet.




.
 
Buncha white guys sittin' around talkin' about wimminn gettin' fat

by digby
















All those fine fellows in that picture "weighed in" on the fat shaming issue yesterday. I'm sure they had a great deal of insight.

So did this one:
On Wednesday night, Gingrich defended Trump by saying essentially that he had every right to call Machado fat because she did get fat.

“You’re not supposed to gain 60 pounds during the year that you’re Miss Universe,” Gingrich said, according to Politico. Gingrich was speaking in front of the Log Cabin Republicans, a group devoted to representing LGBT conservatives and allies.

Trump also defended his comments on Wednesday night, telling Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly that he “saved her job because they wanted to fire her for putting on so much weight.” Trump commented that despite wanting to save her job, he never really spoke to her.

“I’ll bet you if you put up and added up all the time I spoke to her, it was probably less than five minutes,” he said, according to Talking Points Memo. “I had nothing to do with this person.”

It's insane to have to get into this but it seems important for the record. Here's a picture of Machado on the day Trump ambushed her by bringing a bunch of reporters to her gym and talking about her weight gain on camera:

















Does that look like someone who is 60 pounds overweight? It's ridiculous.

Machado says she gained 19 pounds during that first year because she'd lost that much in the run-up to the contest. I think many women can relate to going on a strict diet to lose weight for an event and not being able to keep it off once it was over. That he had to turn it into a public show of dominance, making her smile and accept the humiliation says everything you need to know.

But then Trump doesn't only believe that women are ornaments that must meet his personal specifications in beauty contests:
After the Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes opened for play in 2005, its world-famous owner didn’t stop by more than a few times a year to visit the course hugging the coast of the Pacific.

When Trump did visit, the club’s managers went on alert. They scheduled the young, thin, pretty women on staff to work the clubhouse restaurant — because when Trump saw less-attractive women working at his club, according to court records, he wanted them fired.

"I had witnessed Donald Trump tell managers many times while he was visiting the club that restaurant hostesses were 'not pretty enough' and that they should be fired and replaced with more attractive women,” Hayley Strozier, who was director of catering at the club until 2008, said in a sworn declaration.

Trump told managers to fire restaurant hostesses who were “not pretty enough” and replace them with “more attractive women,” Hayley Strozier, former catering director at the golf club, said in her court declaration.

Initially, Trump gave this command “almost every time” he visited, Strozier said. Managers eventually changed employee schedules “so that the most attractive women were scheduled to work when Mr. Trump was scheduled to be at the club," she said.

A similar story is told by former Trump employees in court documents filed in 2012 in a broad labor relations lawsuit brought against one of Trump’s development companies in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The employees’ declarations in support of the lawsuit, which have not been reported in detail until now, show the extent to which they believed Trump, now the Republican presidential nominee, pressured subordinates at one of his businesses to create and enforce a culture of beauty, where female employees’ appearances were prized over their skills.

A Trump Organization attorney, in a statement to The Times, called the allegations “meritless.”

In a 2009 court filing, the company said that any “allegedly wrongful or discriminatory acts” by its employees, if any occurred, would be in violation of company policy and were not authorized.

Employees said in their declarations that the apparent preference for attractive women came from the top.

“Donald Trump always wanted good looking women working at the club,” said Sue Kwiatkowski, a restaurant manager at the club until 2009, in a declaration. "I know this because one time he took me aside and said, ‘I want you to get some good looking hostesses here. People like to see good looking people when they come in.’ ”

As a result, Kwiatkowski said, "I and the other managers always tried to have our most attractive hostesses working when Mr. Trump was in town and going to be on the premises."
[...]
As part of the lawsuit over a lack of meal and rest breaks at Trump’s golf club about 30 miles south of downtown Los Angeles — his largest real estate holding in Southern California — several employees said managers staffed Trump’s clubhouse restaurant with attractive young women rather than more experienced employees in order to please Trump.

The bulk of the lawsuit was settled in 2013, when golf course management, without admitting any wrongdoing, agreed to pay $475,000 to employees who had complained about break policies. An employee’s claim that she was fired after complaining about the company’s treatment of women was settled separately; its terms remain confidential.

The former employees’ statements primarily describe the club’s work culture from the mid- to late 2000s. The Times spoke at length to one of the ex-employees, who described in detail the allegations about workplace culture. The person declined to be quoted by name, citing a fear of being sued.

In their sworn declarations, some employees described how Trump, during his stays in Southern California, made inappropriate and patronizing statements to the women working for him.

On one visit, Trump saw “a young, attractive hostess working named Nicole ... and directed that she be brought to a place where he was meeting with a group of men,” former Trump restaurant manager Charles West said in his declaration.

“After this woman had been presented to him, Mr. Trump said to his guests something like, 'See, you don't have to go to Hollywood to find beautiful women,'” West said. “He also turned to Nicole and asked her, ‘Do you like Jewish men?’"
He's a fucking pimp.

And then there's this:
Female employees said they faced additional pressures.

Strozier, the former catering director, said Vincent Stellio — a former Trump bodyguard who had risen to become a Trump Organization vice president — approached her in 2003 about an employee that Strozier thought was talented.

Stellio wanted the employee fired because she was overweight, Strozier said in her legal filing.

"Mr. Stellio told me to do this because 'Mr. Trump doesn't like fat people' and that he would not like seeing [the employee] when he was on the premises,” wrote Strozier, who said she refused the request. (Stellio died in 2010.)

Hayley Strozier, the former catering director, said a vice president from the Trump Organization told her to fire an employee because “Mr. Trump doesn’t like fat people.”

A year later, Mike van der Goes — a golf pro who had been promoted to be Trump National’s general manager — made a similar request to fire the same overweight employee, Strozier said.

“Mr. van der Goes told me that he wanted me to do this because of [the employee's] appearance and the fact that Mr. Trump didn't like people that looked like her,” Strozier wrote.

When Strozier protested, Van der Goes returned a week later “and announced he had a plan of hiding [the employee] whenever Mr. Trump was on the premises,” Strozier wrote.

West, who worked as a restaurant manager at the club until 2008, wrote that Van der Goes ordered him “to hire young, attractive women to be hostesses.” West also said Van der Goes insisted that he “would need to meet all such job applicants first to determine if they were sufficiently pretty."

What a disgusting meat market. But lean meat only! Even by Hollywood standards he's a crude piece of work.

But I have to say at the very least, he and Newt Gingrich and all those men on that panel in the picture above are in super shape so they're setting a great example:


.










This man is so odious it's almost beyond belief that anyone would agree to be in the same room with him much less that the Republican Party has nominated him to compete against the nation's first woman nominee for president.  I guess Andrew Dice Clay's repulsive character from the 1980s wasn't available.

.
 
This is what the Trumpies hear

by digby












Seconds after the presidential debate ended, Hillary Clinton couldn’t get off the stage fast enough. She went through the proper motions of thanking the moderator and waving at the few fans she had in the audience before her handler whisked her out of the room and down a private tunnel to her car without realizing that a surveillance camera caught what she tried to hide.

Many viewers speculated that Hillary was heavily medicated while on stage to get her through the public event and hide her illness that’s been a plague on her campaign. With the perpetual grin that she displayed but is not usually known to have, slow blinking as she tried to talk, and even a few seconds of appearing as her brain “short-circuited,” she all but had a seizure to prove what many conservatives have been saying for months. Perhaps the medication was starting to wear off after 90-minutes, which was why she was swept away quicker than her counterpart.

Hillary made a beeline to her medically equipped ride through a special tunnel which she thought was private. The ailing Democratic candidate likely wouldn’t have made it to the vehicle had it not been for a special tool, which a security camera caught, exposing what she thought she had disguised well on stage with drugs and prepared answers that she simply had to recite. Secret Service lit the way for Hillary using pointer lights on the ground specifically designed for those with Parkinson’s disease.





The use of these exact lights was discussed by Dr. Ted Noel days before the debate, as seen in this video here. Another thing the camera caught was Donald Trump exiting through the exact same tunnel after Hillary, but no special lights were used to guide him.

With this side-by-side comparison, along with the facts about these pointers, it’s these things against Hillary’s word that she’s healthy. Americans have the right to know if a candidate isn’t equipped for the job. We’ve had eight years of failed leadership, and we don’t need another liar in the White House who can’t even walk without help, let alone run a country. Her desire to be president is to fulfill a personal need for control and power, and that’s not what this country needs after Barack Obama.

I don't know what you do about stuff like this although it might be helpful if mainstream outlets stopped internalizing Drudge's crazy.

.
 
"Super Careless, Fragile Ego, Extra Braggadocious"

by Gaius Publius


I couldn't help passing this along. There's a lot of piling on to the veering-off-the-tracks Trump Train, and plenty of eager folks to do it, so I've been mainly looking at other things.

But this is just too good, a terrific parody song by Randy Rainbow. Enjoy!




This is Randy Rainbow:




He's new to me, but what a find. Bio here.

GP



.
 

Surreal to a surrealist

by Tom Sullivan


Still from Un Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog), 1929, by Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel.

Luis Buñuel would have found this election surreal.

Josh Marshall at TPM last night:

In the situation Donald Trump is in with former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, any media professional or really anyone with a conscience would say this: "We quarreled many years ago. It's in the past. I truly wish her the best." Done and done.

But just an hour ago Trump went on O'Reilly to again trash Machado, now saying that he saved her job, gave her a shot at not being fat and this is the thanks he gets. Yes, he really said that. "You know, they wanted to fire her. The company itself wanted to fire her. I saved her job ... I saved her job because I said that's going to -- I did that with a number of young ladies. The staff itself [wanted to fire her]. Look what happened. Look what I get out of it. I get nothing. A lot of things are coming out about her."
"Why Would You Vote for a Man This Insecure?" asked the headline on a Charlie Pierce post from Tuesday. Trump's campaign tried to change the subject to Clinton's health or to make her husband's sexual history a campaign issue.

Chris Cillizza tweeted last night "Well I have now seen everything in this election" in response to this:

Dave Weigel replied, "Yes, that is the verified account of the biggest swing state GOP linking InfoWars."

Tuesday morning in the red-state town where I work, two women coming down in the elevator at lunch were speculating whether the careful, measured way Hillary Clinton answered questions during the debate meant she was using a hidden teleprompter. I guess they don't read InfoWars.

Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) suggested to FBI Director James Comey that "Hillary Clinton had broken her college’s honor code" from 40 years ago by using a private email server.

And in case you missed this tweet on Monday night:

You might need a bottle of Absinthe to weather the next few weeks.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

 
His assets are yuge. Believe me. It's not a problem

by digby


















 .
 
About that White House "delegation" that came to Trump about Iraq

by digby













As expected, it didn't happen:
Trump has repeatedly brought up his opposition to the Iraq invasion. As he put it during the second G.O.P. debate last September: “I think it’s important, because it’s about judgment.”

Much as he did against Clinton, Trump in that earlier debate cited proof that he was, in his words, “the only person that fought very, very hard against” invading Iraq. First, he said, “I’ll give you 25 different stories” — though the only article his campaign would later offer was an interview in Esquire that took place fully a year after the invasion. Intriguingly, Trump also claimed he had a meeting with George W. Bush administration officials to discuss his opposition to the war. “In fact, a delegation” — from the administration, he would later elaborate — “was sent to my office to see me because I was so vocal about it.”

I recently reached out to Trump’s spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, for more details about this meeting. She didn’t provide any, but a high-ranking former Bush White House senior official told me categorically that no such meeting ever happened, and that no one from the administration was deputized to talk to Trump.

Of course not. Because he wasn't speaking out against the war, number one. And nobody in the White House gave a damn about what he was saying about anything anyway.

This man is truly delusional. And that's not just rhetorical hyperbole. He is literally delusional.

Not that we didn't know that:



.
 
Colbert on the debate

by digby





















Just so good:





.



 
He said people who pay taxes are stupid

by digby





The Washington Post reported on a debate focus group:
Trump’s response Monday night when Hillary Clinton accused him of not paying a cent of federal tax left Townley appalled.

“That makes me smart,” Trump said, unapologetic and smiling, during the presidential debate, held in Hempstead, N.Y.

Hillary Clinton suggested a few reasons why Donald Trump is not releasing his tax returns during the first presidential debate, suggesting "maybe he’s not as rich as he says he is" and that he doesn't pay federal income taxes. "That makes me smart," Trump interjected. 
That comment caused a gasp in the hotel conference room where Townley and five other undecided voters in this ­battleground state were watching the debate.

“That’s offensive. I pay taxes,” said Townley, 52, a program ­director for a local council of governments.

“Another person would be in jail for that,” said Jamilla Hawkins, 33, who was sitting beside him in the Crescent conference room at the Embassy Suites in this city of 150,000 near Raleigh.
That focus group of undecided voters mostly seemed to be people who had never seen Donald Trump before.

.
 
First a black man, now a woman and it's just too much

by digby



















I wrote about the problem of the one-two punch for Salon today:

It has always seemed to me that the extremely close presidential primary campaign of 2008 signaled that America was at a pivotal moment in its history. As the vehicle for social progress and the home of most racial minorities and women, the Democratic Party was naturally the institution that would advance two breakthrough leaders in succession. The time had come, the country had changed and I naively thought it would be easy.

As it turned out, there was an immediate, fierce backlash against the ascendancy of Barack Obama to the presidency called the Tea Party. It was portrayed as a revolutionary anti-government movement but when scholars studied these folks, it turned out that they were simply garden-variety conservatives after all — and they were very, very angry. Harvard’s Theda Skocpol, author of “The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism,” with Vanessa Williamson, explained to Salon in 2013 that Tea Party attitudes about taxes and government reflected something deeper:
There’s no question that at the grass roots, approximately half of all Republican-identifiers who think of themselves as Tea Partyers are a very conservative-minded old group of white people, some of whom do go all the way back to [Barry] Goldwater and the [John] Birch Society. They are skeptical of the Republican Party as it has been run in recent years. But they both hate and fear the Democratic Party and Obama. We argued in many ways that anger comes from alarm on the part of these older conservatives that they’re losing their country — that’s what they say. That they’re the true Americans, and they’re losing control of American politics.
Nothing symbolized that “loss of control” more than the African-American president sitting in the White House. Sadly, it turns out that these older, more affluent conservatives weren’t the only ones who felt that way. White working-class Americans, particularly men, were growing more and more angry about losing their place in the hierarchy of privilege. These two groups make up the Republican coalition that is now expressing the right-wing backlash in the form of explicit white nationalism.

After dealing with a black president and his family occupying the White House for eight long years, accepting a woman taking the job immediately thereafter is more than they can bear. As the National Rifle Association’s president, Wayne LaPierre, quipped, “I have to tell you, eight years of one demographically symbolic president is enough.”

The right-wing opposition’s response to the “demographically symbolic” female candidate has been to nominate a famously crude misogynist to restore white male authority once and for all. Rebecca Traister memorably explained it in this Hillary Clinton profile in New York magazine a few months back:
There is an Indiana Jones–style, “It had to be snakes” inevitability about the fact that Donald Trump is Clinton’s Republican rival. Of course Hillary Clinton is going to have to run against a man who seems both to embody and have attracted the support of everything male, white and angry about the ascension of women and black people in America. . . . Of course a woman who wants to land in the Oval Office is going to have to get past an aggressive reality-TV star who has literally talked about his penis in a debate.
Because, of course, conservatives on the right was not going to be able to tolerate yet another living symbol of progress that they see as forcing them further back in the line.

This explains to some extent why we don’t see the kind of rapturous excitement at this “first” that we saw in 2008 for Obama. The sense of violence and hostility that was bubbling just under the surface then and that churned throughout the Obama years has now exploded. It’s frightening and disorienting and it forces optimism to the down-low. The atmosphere is more like a war than a movement.

Clinton’s ad campaign shows the terrain on which this war is being fought. There have been plenty of standard issues ads and character studies, but her most effective spots are those that simply use Donald Trump’s own words against him, showing him insulting people and expressing himself in crude, bullying fashion. They’re presented from the point of view of kids, veterans, seniors, individuals with disabilities, people of color and women who can see how this man who tells his voters, “I am your voice” talks about them.

The ads are not about Clinton and they aren’t really about Trump. They are about us and what Trump’s followers really think of us.

This one, called “Mirrors,” is one of the most powerful:




Many fathers who see the ad are appalled that their daughters have to live in a world where someone like Donald Trump is an acceptable leader. That’s why the experience of Alicia Machado, the former Miss Universe who has come forward with her story of being humiliated at Trump’s hands, has such resonance with women and Latinos.

It’s why people with disabilities and their families are frightened by Trump’s cruel mockery of a reporter. It’s the reason that African-Americans feel a chill down their spines when they hear Trump say that the way to achieve racial healing is “law and order” and “stop-and-frisk.” It’s why millions of Americans of all races and creeds were stunned at his blithe dismissal of Khan family members and their sacrifice. These are the people on the other side of all that angry white grievance.

It’s not a coincidence that the first African-American president may be followed by the first woman president. Progress requires that you let the momentum carry you when you have it. But it also shouldn’t be a surprise that the first would enter office on a high note of inspiration and the second would face the inevitable backlash. We should have seen it coming. I get the feeling that Hillary Clinton did.

.
 
It's not about her "health"

by digby














Hopefully her debate performance set some minds at ease but I doubt it will have affected many men's point of view on this. It's not about "health" it's a that a woman doesn't have balls and they mean that literally. They just don't think a woman has can do a "man's job."

The "stamina," the "look": A new poll suggests voters are buying in to Donald Trump's insinuations about Hillary Clinton's health. They're ignoring the medical reports.

Voters — especially men — have more confidence that Trump is healthy enough for the presidency than Clinton, according to the Associated Press-GfK poll.

It's a disconnect considering Clinton has released more medical information than Trump, and that outside doctors who've looked at the available data say both candidates seem fine. But it shows the political points Trump scored after the Democratic nominee's much-publicized mild case of pneumonia.

Another gender divide: Nearly half of women but just 4 in 10 men think Clinton's health is getting too much attention, found the poll, which was taken before the presidential candidates' debate on Monday.

"Everybody gets sick," said Sherri Smart, 56, of New York. She said she hasn't decided who to vote for but wishes the candidates would discuss issues instead of sniping about who's most vigorous.

"What's important is, what are you going to do for me?" Smart said.

The AP-GfK poll found 51 percent of voters are very or extremely confident that Trump is healthy enough to be president. In contrast, just over a third of voters — 36 percent — had the same confidence in Clinton's health.

Men are more likely to question Clinton's physical fitness for the job, with 45 percent saying they're only slightly or not at all confident compared to 34 percent of women. Men and women are about equally likely to express confidence in Trump's health. More Democrats are confident of Trump's health than Republicans are of Clinton's.

Health is a legitimate issue as the nation is poised to elect one of its oldest presidents. Trump, 70, for months held off disclosing much about his own fitness while stoking questions about a woman in the White House with his assertion, repeated on national TV Monday, that Clinton lacks the look and stamina for the job. (As for his apparent sniffles during Monday's debate, he blamed a bad microphone.)

"Stamina is a code word for maybe not physically up to the job," said New York University bioethicist Arthur Caplan, who has called for an independent panel to certify the health of presidential candidates. "There's something of a bias about men versus women that subtly Trump has played to, that men are more fit, tough enough to do the job."

Clinton, 68, last year released more detail about her own health history only to buy trouble earlier this month by refusing to take a sick day until a public stumble forced her to reveal the pneumonia diagnosis. But Monday she rebutted Trump's talk of stamina by wondering if he could match her grueling schedule as a secretary of state — traveling to 112 countries, negotiating peace deals, spending 11 hours testifying before a congressional committee.

What exactly do we know about their health? Neither has released their actual medical records, just a summary from their personal physicians with no way to know if anything important was left out.

Yet another disconnect: The AP-GfK poll found nearly 4 in 10 voters don't consider such a release important, and another 2 in 10 say it's only moderately important.

Trump's gastroenterologist in December released a four-paragraph letter saying the GOP nominee would be "the healthiest individual ever elected." Earlier this month, Trump took to "The Dr. Oz Show" to say he felt great, while releasing a bit more detail, such as his cholesterol levels and cancer screenings.

Bottom line: Trump takes a cholesterol-lowering statin medication and a baby aspirin, has some mild plaque in his arteries and is overweight — but was declared generally in good health.

Last summer, Clinton's internist released a two-page letter detailing her family history, prior exams including lab test results, and some prior ailments that have healed — including a 2012 concussion and blood clot Clinton suffered after becoming dehydrated from a stomach virus and fainting. This month, a second letter outlined the mild pneumonia and revealed some updated check-up results.

Bottom line: Clinton takes a blood thinner as a precaution given a history of blood clots, as well as a thyroid medication and allergy relievers — but also was declared generally in good health.

Meanwhile, Trump's obvious mental problems are no big deal and neither is the fact that his primary care "doctor" is a gastro-enterolgist who looks and acts like a character from an R. Crumb comic. This raises no red flags for these people, apparently. But then he has reassured them that he has a huge dick and his testosterone level are through the roof!

This is Drudge's doing all the way.

.
 
And Trump had the nerve to call women pigs

by digby












I would call him and his disgusting surrogate Rudy Giuliani pigs but it would be an insult to the animals which actually have a much higher level of intelligence:
The former New York City mayor made the remark, captured on video and posted to Twitter by Elite Daily writer Alexandra Svokos, in response to a question about Clinton’s attack on Trump’s past comments about women. Giuliani defended Trump, labeling him a “feminist” because of how he treats the women he employs, and said he would have responded to Clinton’s attacks much more harshly than the GOP nominee did.

“I sure would’ve talked about what she did to Monica Lewinsky, what that woman standing there did to Monica Lewinsky, trying to paint her as an insane young woman when in fact Monica Lewinsky was an intern,” Giuliani said. “The president of the United States, her husband, disgraced this country with what he did in the Oval Office and she didn’t just stand by him, she attacked Monica Lewinsky. And after being married to Bill Clinton for 20 years, if you didn’t know the moment Monica Lewinsky said that Bill Clinton violated her that she was telling the truth, then you’re too stupid to be president.”



Back when his marriage to Donna Hanover fell apart in 2000, Hanover cited Giuliani's relationship with a staffer just hours after Giuliani suddenly announced their separation. From the Times back then:

Three hours later, Ms. Hanover appeared outside Gracie Mansion and, with a wavering voice and tears in her eyes, said: ''Today's turn of events brings me great sadness. I had hoped to keep this marriage together. For several years, it was difficult to participate in Rudy's public life because of his relationship with one staff member.''

Joannie Danielides, Ms. Hanover's press secretary, said Ms. Hanover was referring to Cristyne Lategano-Nicholas, Mr. Giuliani's former communications director who is now president of NYC and Company, the city's tourism bureau. Friends of Ms. Hanover's said yesterday that she had described the relationship between her husband and Ms. Lategano-Nicholas as intimate while Ms. Lategano-Nicholas worked at City Hall. The mayor has denied having had a romantic relationship with Ms. Lategano-Nicholas, who left City Hall last May and married Nicholas Nicholas, a sports writer, in February.

Apart from the allegation made by Hanover, Giuliani was also having an affair at the time with Judith Nathan, who later become his wife. It was later reported by Politico's Ben Smith, during Giuliani's 2007 presidential run, that Giuliani had been billing "obscure city agencies for tens of thousands of dollars in security expenses amassed during the time when he was beginning an extramarital relationship with future wife Judith Nathan in the Hamptons."

This is merely the latest example of top Trump advisers and supporters broaching a topic that Trump himself hasn't yet embraced for a whole host of reasons — not least of which are his own indiscretions.

Giuliani's sex life was the subject of tabloids for years as was Trump's. These old white guys have a lot of nerve making moral judgments.

.








 
TTIP "trade" agreement talks indefinitely suspended

by Gaius Publius

Count this as a victory. It looks like the Atlantic version of TPP, called TTIP, has failed.


Despite the fervent best wishes of the U.S. corporate class, President Barack Obama, and other aligned politicians, it looks like the people of Europe have killed TTIP. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber; source)


Background: The U.S. corporate world has been aching to pass three "trade" mega-deals — TPP, TTIP and TiSA.

  • The first, TPP, ropes in nations bordering the Pacific, including the U.S. Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile and much of Asia (but deliberately not China). 
  • The second, TTIP is the same kind of treaty on the Altantic side and includes the U.S., the U.K, and the European Union. 
  • TiSA, a more or less global "trade in services" agreement, is the worst of the three and deserves its own, separate treatment. TiSA would radically open local markets to foreign companies that offer "services" — everything from law firms to companies that supply imported contract labor.

    (Think about that — companies that supply imported contract labor. Under TiSA, I think unions are instantly dead. You don't have to export jobs to slave labor, very-low-wage, countries if you can import the slave labor here under treaty-mandated expedited visas.)

The citizens of the U.S., both on the left and the right of the political spectrum, have been opposed to these kinds of agreements for years, ever since the devastation caused by Bill Clinton's NAFTA became apparent. Both the Trump campaign and the Sanders campaign were strongly opposed (or in Trump's case, said they were strongly opposed), which accounts for much of their ascendancy.

Opposition to corporate-written "trade" agreements is a huge part of what makes this election a "change election."


A good, brief Wikileaks-produced video explaining these three "trade" mega-deals


Now, thanks mainly to the frustration of the negotiators in Europe — and strong opposition from European citizens — TTIP talks have not just broken down; they've been indefinitely suspended.

This is not complete victory; they could be revived. But momentum has definitely stalled, and this could well be the death knell for this one. Michelle Chen writing at the The Nation:
Another Free-Trade Deal Bites the Dust

Negotiations surrounding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership have been indefinitely suspended.

What if a trade deal died and nobody noticed? The presidential campaign trail has been awash in angry backlash against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the latest in a slew of controversial free-trade deals that symbolize to American voters the evils of corporate globalization. But another trade deal collapsed silently on the other side of the globe. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) was supposed to be the Atlantic world’s analog to the TPP, but after three years of frustrated negotiations, it was just pronounced dead by key ministers, or at least temporarily moribund, overwhelmed by a phalanx of populist opposition across the continent. How’d that happen?
Chen goes on to explain:
Though smaller in scope than the TPP, TTIP paralleled the Pacific agreement in that it built on trade-agreement proposals that had stalled in previous discussions, ultimately collapsed during the round of World Trade Organization negotiations that began in 2001, and have fizzled out in the years since. EU and US trade ministers had hoped to sell it as a boon to global trade. But an increasingly cynical European public wasn’t buying it, seeing it instead as another pathway to more deregulation and corporate impunity.

Following months of gridlock and protests, and despite a meeting scheduled for next month in New York to continue discussions, negotiations have effectively ground to a halt. (October’s meetings are apparently aimed at redirecting talks toward a smaller-scale, preliminary pact as a substitute to the full TTIP. This is seen as progress, if not outright victory, for campaigns mobilizing against the EU free trade agenda deal by deal.)

It could be that corporate lobbyists and ministers are just hoping for a more opportune political climate, but the demise of this version of TTIP illustrates that, in real-life political terms, trade deals could mostly prove useless at best for trade and devastating at worst for democracy....
"Another pathway to more deregulation and corporate impunity" it certainly is — in fact all of them are that. Makes you wonder why any U.S. president would push so hard to pass them. Isn't that person sworn to "protect and defend the Constitution" and not subvert it? But things are what they are, as are the people doing them. We each have our tasks, I guess.

I would call victory on this one and celebrate. The Europeans brought down TTIP. Can we do the same for TPP? One down and two to go. Onward.

(A version of this piece appeared at Down With Tyranny. GP article archive here.)

GP
 

.
 

A citizen and a voter

by Tom Sullivan

Digby linked yesterday to a video about Alicia Machado, the former Miss Universe whose treatment by Donald Trump became an issue late in Monday's debate. Clinton unnerved Trump when she brought up how he had called Machado "Miss Piggy" after she gained weight after the 1996 pageant, and "Miss Housekeeping" in reference to her being a Latina.

Clinton's mention of Alicia Machado got so under his Trump's skin that on Fox and Friends Tuesday Trump doubled down on the decades-old weight-shaming smears that led to years of anorexia and bulimia for Machado.

The Guardian profiles how Machado and her struggles figure into the presidential campaign:

But it isn’t 1996 any more; Machado, far from being a girl, is a 39-year-old woman, and if body-shaming constituted good press for Trump’s fledgling beauty pageant business then, it seems less of a good look for his presidential campaign today. It’s a similar case with his continued insistence on how right he is to call women out for their weight. Machado understands this, perhaps even more acutely than Clinton, because she’s lived it; and she is willing to relive and keep reliving this painful episode if it means shedding light on a man she feels has no business anywhere near the Oval Office.

On a call organized by the Clinton campaign on Tuesday afternoon billed as a chance to let Machado respond to Trump’s most recent attacks, the former beauty queen was much more interested in talking about his Democratic rival, whose mention of her story in the debate the night before had moved her to tears. She “never imagined it would matter to someone so powerful”, she said.

But as someone who straddles two powerful voting blocs this election cycle, Machado is a double threat to Trump, and she feels that her celebrity means she has a responsibility to speak up about her experiences when they can help people. “If I can be a voice for my Latino community in this moment, I will do it,” she told the Guardian.
For a man so focused on appearances and weight, Trump is in no position to criticize. There are lots of less than good looks to his candidacy:




Tuesday, September 27, 2016

 
The late inning slump

by digby

This one's a doozy:


I don't know about you but she looked pretty energized to me.  On the other hand, by the end of the debate he was slumping and hanging on to the podium like he'd been hit with an animal tranquilizer dart:








I'm just saying. Between that and his ongoing sniffling problem is it irresponsible to question whether his "report" from his quack doctor might not be telling the whole story? As Peggy Noonan famously said, it would be irresponsible not to.



*By the way, Trump's sniffing is something he does all the time. It's actually a verbal tic, like "uhm" or "you know." But after the way his campaign has behaved and the despicable way the press treated her when she caught the bug going through her campaign, the least they can do is follow their usual "both sides do it" in this one case. Just because he's a strapping man doesn't mean he shouldn't be questioned as thoroughly. He is orange, after all. That's really not normal.




.



 
Oh look, a policy

by digby












I know that people find Clinton's Tracy Flick wonkiness to be boring and wish she wouldn't get into the weeds the way she does, but this is important and I am really glad she's engaged the subject and brought it up before more than 80 million people last night:
It came after moderator Lester Holt asked whether or not police are implicitly biased against black people.

“I’ve met with a group of very distinguished, experienced police chiefs a few weeks ago,” Clinton said. “They admit it’s an issue.”

And according to the police chiefs Clinton consulted, a second pressing problem for law enforcement officers is insufficient training on how to interact with mentally ill constituents in crisis situations. While this is a separate issue from race, discrimination against the mentally ill is widespread and extends beyond policing.

“Police are having to handle a lot of really difficult mental health problems on the street,” Clinton explained. “They want support, they want more training, they want more assistance. And I think the federal government could be in a position where we would offer and provide that.”

If elected, Clinton promises to allocate $1 billion of her first federal budget to law enforcement training programs to reduce implicit bias, according to NPR.

Law enforcement training on bias is actually part of Clinton’s larger mental health plan, which calls for more funding for community mental health centers, increased research on the brain and behavior, and better access to care and insurance coverage for psychiatric disorders.

The police are right to want more training in this regard. According to a Washington Post investigation tracking fatal shootings by police last year, one in four police killings involved a person with mental illness.

In fact, police officers typically only receive about 16 total hours of de-escalation and crisis intervention training, compared to approximately 60 hours of firearms training, according to a 2015 survey by the nonprofit Police Executive Research Forum.

Even worse, some techniques that police are taught, such as yelling commands and pointing their weapons at suspects, can backfire.

Such tactics are “like pouring gasoline on a fire when you do that with the mentally ill,” Ron Honberg, policy director with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, told The Washington Post.

Some police forces have increased their crisis intervention trainings to a 40-hour program, which includes scenario-based training and techniques to diffuse potentially violent interactions between officers and mentally ill community members. But for now, there are no national requirements on CIT training for new recruits.

Trump, who angered critics by touting New York City’s controversial and unconstitutional stop-and-frisk policy, didn’t mention mental health in the context of policing and doesn’t have a policy about it on his website.

I hope that some people heard this and saw that she was showing compassion for mental health sufferers and the dangers they face in our mean streets, but also compassion fro police who are often charged with dealing with such problems without training and support. Between this and the proliferation of guns we have a terrible epidemic on our hands. And Clinton is showing leadership by proposing a multi-dimensional set of possible solutions. That ought to be worth something.

.


 
QOTD: Richard Engel

by digby















MSNBC had their expert reporters do some fact checking of the debate last night and NBC's top foreign correspondent Richard Engel came in looking rather shell shocked by what he'd heard. He had a lot to say but this stuck out at me because it tracks with one of my greatest fears about all this lunacy:

A lot of things Donald Trump was proposing were frankly destabilizing, dangerous, dangerous to the United States, dangerous to the world order, if you will. The United States foreign policy is based on agreements often long negotiated agreements sometimes negotiated over decades and longer.

If you listen to the debate he's basically saying that he's a business man and he's going to tear up the old agreements and negotiate better deals. If you're a foreign country and you're listening to this and you're listening to this and you have an agreement whether NATO or a nuclear deal or a protection agreement or a sovereignty agreement or a trade agreement and you suddenly think, "is the leading world power just going to tear up the agreement that we've had for decades?" What is that going to mean for me? Are my neighbors going to invade?

There are dozens of reason why Trump must be defeated but this, I believe, is number one. If he wins we will wake up the morning after the election to a changed world and it's unlikely to be changed in a positive way. In fact, it's likely to be the beginning of a very dangerous military build-up.

.
 
Many eyeballs

by digby




















Monday night was the most-watched debate in American history.

More than 80 million people tuned in to see Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump face off, setting a new record in the sixty year history of televised presidential debates.

The final numbers are still being tallied by Nielsen. But the debate averaged a total of 80.9 million viewers across 12 of the channels that carried it live.

Nielsen traditionally measures viewers who watch via traditional TV at home. That means people who watched the debate at parties, bars, restaurants, and offices were not counted.

Nor does the 80.9 million viewer total include PBS and C-SPAN. Ratings for PBS will be available later Tuesday.

Many millions also watched the debate via the Internet.

Various live streams on YouTube together registered more than 2.5 million simultaneous viewers. Live streams on other sites also reached millions of people.

This means the actual total audience is significantly higher than 80 million.

On the TV side, CNN and other cable news channels saw big increases over past election years. So did the broadcast networks.

NBC had the biggest audience overall, partly because "NBC Nightly News" anchor Lester Holt was the moderator of the debate. Upwards of 18 million people watched the debate on NBC.

Nielsen data confirms that viewership stayed high the entire time. Contrary to some speculation, there was not a big drop-off after the first hour of the 98-minute debate.

The first Obama-Romney debate in 2012 averaged 67 million viewers.

The debate viewership number to beat was 81 million, set back in 1980, when Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan debated just once before the election.

Anticipation for the Clinton-Trump meeting had been mounting for months. On Monday nightTwitter said it was the "most tweeted debate ever."

On both Twitter and Facebook, Trump was a livelier subject than Clinton. Twitter said the "final share of conversation around the candidates on stage" was 62% for Trump and 38% for Clinton.

On Facebook, the results were even more lopsided, with Trump earning 79% share of conversation and Clinton having the remaining 21%.

I guess any publicity might be considered good publicity but it really doesn't appear that the "conversation" about Trump is generally positive. That big audience saw an arrogant, lazy, belligerent, petulant ignoramus "debating" an intelligent, mature mainstream politician. Sure, a large number of Americans probably prefer the ignoramus. They like that in a person. But it's hard to imagine that a majority does.

.
 
The Real Donald

by digby




















Here he is:




I asked, "How would you respond to young women who are nervous about voting for you?" This question was inspired by the countless students I spoke to earlier that day who told me they were nervous about the future of women's rights if Trump were elected. My phone was out and already recording in anticipation of the answer Trump would hopefully give me to my question. Instead, another reporter behind me yelled a question to him (something about what he'd say to the people of Westchester, New York). He then looked at me, grabbed my right wrist (which was the hand holding the phone), said, "Put that down" and pushed my hand down.

I should be clear that it didn't hurt — physically or emotionally, as some on Twitter have blamed me for the incident saying I "woke up as a victim waiting to happen." It's my job as a reporter to point out what happens at these types of events, and I take what I do very seriously.

So Trump never verbally answered my question about how he would respond to women who are nervous to vote for him, but I got the answer I needed.
.
 
About "Miss Housekeeping"

by digby

When Clinton brought this up last night it rattled Trump so badly that he started stammering:




Apparently he went on Fox & Friends this morning and said she was "a problem" and "gained a tremendous amount of weight" and was the worst Miss Universe they ever had.

Let's just say that isn't something that women appreciate hearing. Or Latinos. Or any decent person.

He treated her like a piece of meat.

.
 
The worst debate performance in history

by digby











I wrote about the debate for Salon of course:

If someone had told me 10 years ago that the first general election presidential debate of 2016 would feature a CNN chyron that said “Awaiting the Historic Clinton-Trump Debate,” I would have thought you were crazy. If you had told me the polls would be tied going into that debate I would have thought the world had gone crazy. But that’s where we are and last night’s debate showed how far we’ve gone down the rabbit hole.

My preview of the debate yesterday focused on the fact that Trump’s “serious” debates at the end of the primaries, when there were fewer rivals, gave us some clues about how he might perform in the main event. He was aggressively incoherent and sometimes completely unintelligible, proving repeatedly that he had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. This has actually been obvious from the beginning of his campaign if you watched his rallies and interviews. It’s just that his personality is so remarkably bizarre that I think the lack of substance is easy to overlook. (I confess I have been somewhat surprised that so many people find his rambling “braggadociousness” appealing enough that they fail to notice that he is ignorant about everything important to the job of president.)

In recent days with the hiring of campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and CEO Steve Bannon as well as sage advice from his pal Roger Ailes, Trump has been tamed just enough to read a stump speech on a Teleprompter, and he’s sounded a bit more intelligible. So there was always the possibility that he would have done a little bit of prep work, read a briefing paper or two and otherwise taken the debate seriously. It is the most important office in the world, after all. It wouldn’t hurt to do a little cramming on the details before appearing in front of 100 million people to make the case for why you are the best person for the job.

Trump’s campaign made it very clear that he wasn’t doing any of that, but I think many political professionals assumed there was a large element of spin involved. He had to have at least done some practice debates, right? But it turns out that for the first time his campaign was telling the whole truth. Last night Donald Trump demonstrated not only that he didn’t prepare but that he has no underlying knowledge of the subjects a president is required to know. He simply tried to bluff his way through with incoherent misdirection, hostility and sarcasm, even as he made the absurd claimed that his temperament is his best quality. He gave the worst debate performance of his short political career. In fact, it may have been the worst debate performance of any political career.

I wasn’t sure whether or not Hillary Clinton would be able to handle him. It’s disorienting to see someone spout gibberish at such an important event, particularly when it’s combined with Trump’s narcissism, as when he oddly asserted that Clinton only started talking about jobs in response to his candidacy, or that NATO created a terrorism policy because he goaded them into it. (That’s ludicrous, of course.) But she handled him well, with humor and authority, proving that it can be done.

The reviews all seemed to indicate that Trump’s best moments were his early comments on trade policy. Which is probably true but it’s actually not saying much. He name-checked some Rust Belt states where the issue is particularly salient, which shows that he may have had some coaching, but his obsession with the subject, to the exclusion of all other economic concerns, is one-dimensional to say the least. In fact, it doesn’t seem to be economic at all, and is better seen as an illustration of his crude nationalism. He shows no interest in workers as people. They are nothing more than statistics that prove America is being screwed over by foreigners. Trump seems to think that screwing workers is an American billionaire’s prerogative.


In fact, Clinton deftly turned the tables on his populism by painting him out as a rich Republican swell just like all the rest, hitting him repeatedly on his business practices and failures. As Washington Post reporter Robert Costa said on MSNBC after the debate:


She yanked him toward the Republican Party. She said, “You’re not going to be able to run as an outsider, you can’t be a populist.” She said, “You’re just like George W. Bush, you’re trickle-down economics like Ronald Reagan, you’re supply-side, Trumped up. This is a candidate whose real appeal is that he’s non ideological, that he’s not running as a partisan Mitt Romney, George W. Bush Republican, and she said “I’m not going to let you.”


I don’t know whether anyone was convinced by that but it was one of many moments that confused Trump and pushed him off his game. When Clinton hit him for saying he hoped for the housing collapse, he reacted with a very plutocratic answer: “That’s called business, by the way.” He made the same mistake later when she pointed out that there were times when he hadn’t paid any taxes by saying, “That makes me smart.” These were just two of many errors, lies and flashes of ignorance, temper and petulance that characterized Trump’s embarrassing performance.

The simple fact is that Hillary Clinton dominated him. The debate was all her thrusting and him parrying over and over again. By the end he was visibly slumping and seemed confused. And since being a “winner” is so central to his candidacy and his personality, the loss is even more devastating.

The pundits are all wondering if that means Trump will bother to prepare for the next two debates (if he deigns to show up at all). But that may not be something he’s actually capable of doing. His former co-writer Tony Schwartz, who knows him well, says that Trump has an extremely short attention span and is unable to study or learn in any concentrated way. But just because he has no interest in or ability to learn any substance, it doesn’t mean Trump won’t make changes. From his comments at the end of the debate and later in the spin room, it appears that he believes Clinton wasn’t “nice,” so he plans to attack her personally by bringing up her husband’s infidelities at their next meeting. He won’t be better informed or more controlled, he’s just going to take the gloves off. But she’s got a much thicker skin than he does, and unless he learns how to take a hit it’s highly likely she’ll be able to get the best of him next time too. It turns out that along with a thin skin, Trump has a glass jaw.