How to Invite Satire That Hurts

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This is from Brian Stetler’s Reliable Sources daily newsletter from CNN for Sunday, October 16:

“Trump Turns on SNL

“Sunday’s funniest (?) story is about SNL and specifically about Trump’s reaction to the show. On Sunday morning, after watching the skits, he tweeted, ‘Watched Saturday Night Live hit job on me. Time to retire the boring and unfunny show. Alec Baldwin portrayal stinks. Media rigging election!’

“Lorne Michaels and Co. must have loved this tweet. A year ago, they were getting criticized for letting Trump host SNL. Back then, he was thrilled to be a part of the iconic show, calling it an ‘amazing evening.’ He even said that ‘part of the reason I’m here is that I know how to take a joke.’ And he has heaped praise on Michaels in the past. . . .


“In fairness to Trump, [the] ‘Melanianade’ digital short is the show’s harshest anti-Trump spot yet. The parody…

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Dumbing Down “Genius”

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Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle


























If you have not been following the news, here are the opening paragraphs of an article written by David A. Graham for The Atlantic and distributed with its Politics and Policy daily newsletter:

The Trump Team’s ‘Genius’ Spin on Unpaid Taxes

The idea that the Republican candidate showed his business acumen by avoiding tax obligations may resonate with many of his supporters.

What’s a presidential candidate to do when he’s caught red-handed—or, as the case might be, nearly $1 billion in the red?

Trump Tower had to reckon with that question this weekend, after The New York Times on Saturday night published a story suggesting that Donald Trump likely paid no taxes for nearly two decades, thanks to a $916 million loss in 1995. By Sunday morning, the campaign line was clear: This…

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Irony of the Day

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An alternative title to this post might be “’Redefining The Takers.’”

The New York Times has reported the possibility that Donald Trump may have avoided paying federal income taxes for more than two decades because of a $913,000,000 loss reported in 1995.

In response to the story, Trump has asserted that he has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in state and local and property taxes.

In 2012, when Mitt Romney made his damaging observation on the 47% of Americans who would never vote for him because of their dependence on the government, Trump doubled down on the observation by opining that both the ballooning federal deficit and the crumbling infrastructure could be attributed to the high percentage of Americans who were not paying federal income taxes.

Many progressive think tanks countered such arguments by pointing out that the poorest Americans are paying a much higher percentage of their incomes…

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Irony of the Day

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This short item was written by Andrew Kaczynski for BuzzFeed:

“Guests at several of Republican nominee Donald Trump’s hotels woke up to a complimentary copy of USA Today’s blistering editorial that concluded Trump was “unfit” to be president.

“The newspaper’s editorial board weighed in on the presidential race for the first time in its history—declaring Trump ‘unfit for the presidency’ by ‘unanimous consensus.’

“Representatives for four Trump-branded hotels—Trump International Hotel & Tower in New York, Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago, Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, and Trump Doral in Miami—told BuzzFeed News that guests are provided a complimentary copy of the paper.

“The front page of Friday’s edition featured a tease of the editorial, with the headline ‘TRUMP UNFIT FOR THE PRESIDENCY.’

“At two properties, Trump Waikiki in Hawaii and Trump International Hotel Las Vegas, the newspaper is sold at the property in the hotel shop. A…

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Donald the One-Trick Pony

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This is an excerpt from Dylan Matthews’ article for Vox, “Three Winners and Two Losers from the First Presidential Debate.” I think that it complements Kelly Wilz’s widely read post to this blog, “A Feminist’s Guide to Critiquing Hillary Clinton” [].


Loser: Donald Trump

trump-at-first-debate Rough night. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Say what you will about Donald Trump, but he is always exactly who you expect him to be.

On Monday night, he was bombastic, dismissive of moderation and decorum, passionate, seemingly unrehearsed, and extremely attentive to perceived insults to himself or his businesses. He was, that is, Donald Trump.

And it’s possible to imagine a debate where that Donald Trump would win. Indeed, you don’t even have to imagine. Just go watch any of the plethora of GOP primary debates where he ate Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz’s lunch. He made them seem overeager, petty…

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Juxtaposition of the Day

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Trump Jr. to Trib: Dad Will ‘Separate’ from Business Interests if Elected

BY TOM FONTAINE  | Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016, 7:39 p.m.

Donald Trump Jr. dismissed a new report Wednesday that his family’s international business interests could present conflicts and ethical quandaries should his father be elected president.

“My father is going to be a government official, and he’s going to separate himself” from the Trump Organization’s business interests, Trump Jr., 38, said during a meeting with Tribune-Review editors and reporters.

Trump Jr., who helped open a Pennsylvania campaign office in Washington County in the morning, said creating a blind trust would prevent the elder Trump from knowing how the company’s assets are managed.

Trump Jr., the Trump Organization’s executive vice president, said he and other family members involved in the company would not be part of their father’s would-be administration and would not do business directly with foreign governments that might…

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Statistic of the Day

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“$100,000 For Inauguration Night at Trump’s D.C. Hotel: That’s a tremendous amount, but apparently that’s what it will cost to stay at the Trump International Hotel, Washington, D.C., for the night in the Presidential Suite. That said, the hotel’s perch on Pennsylvania Ave is as front-row as you can get for the parade.”

Kate Bennet, The Political Edit for 17 Aug. 2016.

Inside view of a room at Trump’s DC Hotel:


The New Trump hotel in Washington, Wednesday, July 8, 2015, continues being rehabbed for it's 2016 opening. Celebrity chef Jose Andres is backing out of a plan to open a flagship restaurant in Donald Trump's new hotel under construction in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The hotel opened yesterday (September 12, 2016), and the event drew a gathering of protesters:


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Quotation of the Day

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CNN contributor and Trump campaign surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes has accused Hillary Clinton of deserving to be called a “bigot” because she has denounced racists and white supremacists:

“’Bigotry, if you look at the definition, it’s about someone who’s small-minded and sits there and directs hate towards a certain group. Hillary Clinton’s speech [attacking alt-right conservatives] was all about hate towards a group that, while my fellow [pundits] might consider them to be very racist, it’s the exact opposite.

“’These are God-fearing, baby-loving, gun-toting, military-supporting, school choice-advocating Americans! And just because maybe there might be some, a part of a very small fringe group [of white supremacists] that read Breitbart–by sitting there and saying the entire website is white supremacy is kind of ridiculous as saying just because you have people that are anarchists and communists that read the Huffington Post, calling that newspaper establishment, [is like] saying…

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Is It Really an Honor to Have a Parasite Named after You?

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This item appeared in the HuffPost Hill daily newsletter for September 8, 2016:

WHAT YOUR REPUBLICAN UNCLE WILL BE EMAILING YOU IN A WEEK OR SO–Seth Borenstein: “It’s no Nobel Peace Prize, but Barack Obama has a new honor to brag about. Scientists have named a parasite after him—and there’s no worming out of it. Meet Baracktrema obamai, a tiny parasitic flatworm that lives in turtles’ blood. A new study officially names the two-inch-long, hair-thin creature after Obama. Thomas Platt, the newly retired biology professor at Saint Mary’s College in Indiana who chose the name, says it’s an honor, not an insult. Really.” [AP]


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