Archive | September 2016

Donald the One-Trick Pony


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


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


“$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


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?


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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Small Gaffes and Big Miscalculations


Trump could not let Clinton’s “deplorables” comment go without a self-serving tweet:

Donald J. Trump 


While Hillary said horrible things about my supporters, and while many of her supporters will never vote for me, I still respect them all!

2:18 PM – 10 Sep 2016

And that tweet became an opening for Clinton to retort:

Hillary Clinton 


Except for African Americans, Muslims, Latinos, immigrants, women, veterans—and any so-called “losers” or “dummies. “ …

3:04 PM – 10 Sep 2016

Worse for Trump, David Duke weighed in with this image:


The equally obvious and oblivious play on the film franchise, The Expendables, makes the phrase “unintended ironies” seem woefully insufficient.

But, in this context, Clinton’s apology seems pretty shrewd, whether it was intended to be so or not.

By the way, in the ever-thicker folder of items that demonstrate how Trump can make any individual or…

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An Apology from Whom?


The New York Times has culled the following video montage from film of several Trump rallies. I have linked to it here in response to this weekend’s “controversy.”

In case you missed it, Hillary Clinton has apologized for describing a large portion of Trump supporters as “deplorables.” But if the behavior and attitudes exhibited in this video cannot be denounced as “deplorable,” then the word had lost all meaning. So the gist of the complaint against Clinton seems to be that she used a noun when she should have used an adjective. She slipped into categorization, rather than remaining descriptive.

This contrived controversy demonstrates again how the two sides are very clearly being held to very different standards. It means that the one guy in the video has a point: if you incite supporters to shout “Fuck political correctness!,” then almost no one will hold you responsible for anything that…

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Quotation of the Day


While introducing Donald Trump and Mike Pence, Rudy Giuliani asserted, “Before Obama came along, we didn’t have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attack in the United States.”

Perhaps this is the flip side of the claim that President Obama and his supporters refuse to use the phrase “radical Islamic terrorists”: that is, perhaps, it is a phrase that can be used to describe only terrorist attacks that have occurred since President Obama took office.

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“America First”: Trump Probably Just Likes the Sound of It


The America First Committee was a loose confederation fairly autonomous local chapters that in some states gathered for statewide meetings. Emphatically isolationist, it was established in late 1939 in response to the start of the Second World War in Europe, and its members were committed to keeping the United States out of the war by developing such a strong defensive posture that the warring powers would hesitate to provoke any sort of armed response. A large portion of its members were young people, especially young college students, but it had support from several prominent corporate leaders. Both communists and fascists attempted to infiltrate its ranks and influence its public postures. Paradoxically, the communists, like the fascists, advocated for isolationism until the summer of 1941; then, with the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, the communists suddenly became staunch interventionists. The group probably received public attention much out of proportion to…

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