The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

What happens in Vegas doesn't always stay there

Recaps of the debate comprise just a few of the things I haven't had time to read today:

Back to my meetings.

Debate slow blogging 2016

Sigh. Here we go again.

21:14 EDT: Fifteen minutes on the 2nd Amendment, argued by someone who has never read the thing. And now, abortion, which apparently will be overturned "automatically" if he appoints pro-life judges.

21:19: No, Donald, you can't rip the baby out of the womb in the 9th month. I mean, FFS.

21:22: It took fully 15 minutes for him to descend into a stream-of-consciousness. That's pretty good self-control. (Did he just say "bad hombres?")

21:24: This, from my cousin.

21:26: No score after 4. Arguably more useful for the typical Chicagoan than this debate.

21:29: You know, in any other election, it would be really weird for a major candidate to say that the Russians have committed espionage against her campaign.

21:32: This is a long way from Lincoln-Douglas, isn't it?

21:36: "You're not going to find a quote from me." Oh, dearie dearie dear.

21:40: She's going to double my taxes? I'm absolutely certain that is mathematically impossible for me, but if she doubled your taxes it would still be...what, zero?

21:49: "Excuse me. My turn."

21:54: So...he's projecting the incitement to violence that he has perpetrated, onto her?

21:55: Apparently some people have objected to the Ewoks comment at 21:24. This only proves the Ewok Line.

22:01: Trump is calling the Clinton Foundation a "criminal enterprise." Half of all people being treated for HIV-AIDS in the world are getting it from the Foundation. Criminally, I suppose.

22:04: "There's no way to know if he's telling the truth" because he hasn't released his tax returns. "Undocumented immigrants in America are paying more in income tax than a billionaire."

22:06: "Will you absolutely accept the results of this election?" "I will look at it at the time."

22:16: "Google 'Donald Trump Iraq.'"

22:21: Trump keeps referring to "the Great Migration." Is he suggesting Clinton is responsible for African-Americans moving from the rural southern U.S. to northern cities?

22:25: Oh, FFS, Matthews. The national debt isn't in itself an issue. Why is this so hard for people? Read Krugman on IS = LM.

22:30: And the last question of this debate cycle is a right-wing hobby horse. Yes, there is bias in the media, and it's pro-Republican.

22:32: "Such a nasty woman." Projection much?

22:34: Final answer of the 2016 debates. Not a moment too soon.

22:37: That is the last time I will ever voluntarily listen to Donald Trump speak in my life. I know he'll be in the news for the next few weeks, but damn, I can't even.

Projection? No kidding

James Fallows says something that I've been thinking for a while:

To a first order of approximation, everything that Donald Trump has said about his opponents should be understood as projection, in the psychological sense of the term. That is, any defect Trump has complained about in his primary or general-election opponents, is more likely to seem an obvious flaw in himself.

Trump called Ted Cruz “Lyin’ Ted,” and Cruz has his moments. But no other politician of any party approaches Trump’s level of nonstop falsehood on matters large and small. Trump says that Hillary Clinton is secretive and scheming, and she too has her moments. But no other modern politician has matched Trump’s secrecy about his business operations or his taxes. He is hyper-attentive to other people’s weight gains, but is quite pudgy himself.

With that buildup, here is the latest what the hell? moment from the Trump campaign:  his suggestion today in New Hampshire that the candidates take a drug test before the third and final presidential debate.

I have no grounds for suggesting that Trump himself needs to be tested for drugs. But if anyone were to suggest that, wild claims like this would be part of the case.

Maybe all that sniffing at the first two debates had something to it...

Crazy likes crazy

Maine governor Paul LePage, who is certifiably insane, thinks we need authoritarian rule in the U.S. to "re-establish the rule of law," even though authoritarian rule is, by definition, its opposite.

Fortunately, we probably can breathe easier that Donald Trump's self-immolation continues apace, though Josh Marshall and Jeet Heer both raise alarms about what might happen November 9th, particularly given Trump's weeks-long ranting about how the election is rigged against him.

After 50 years of assaulting our institutions, the Republican Party have nominated someone who wants to overthrow those institutions altogether. He's not alone. I just hope the country doesn't come apart completely before I can get someplace safe from it.

Debate reactions

Some beauties, and some that I wasn't expecting, from:

And, not for nothing, the voters.

All in all, just about everyone who weighed in on it said it was a disaster for Trump, for the Republican Party, and for American Democracy. I concur.

Round Two

I was out of town all weekend without much Internet access. Lots of driving, some hiking, and a very fun wedding instead of blogging? Well, duh.

And here we are, a few minutes from the second presidential debate, watching "Frontline" on both of the candidates. It's not changing any opinions at Inner Drive Technology World Headquarters, nor, do I expect, will the debate itself. Buckle up.

21:02 EDT: "This could be one of the most repulsive debates in American history."—David Brooks. And here we go.

21:05: "I've heard from parents and teachers about their concerns about things being done in this campaign." Yep.

21:08: "I agree with everything she said." I hate to say it, but that's because she didn't say anything controversial. And then...inventing statistics about Obamacare, the Iran deal, etc.

21:10: "You bragged that you committed sexual assault." "No, it's just locker-room talk. ... We're going to defeat ISIS with locker-room talk." Donald Trump did not deny that he assaulted women. I'll have transcripts tomorrow.

21:14: "This is who Donald Trump is." Yes it is. Can't wait for the response...

21:15: Oh. Of course. He's simply not going to address what she just said at all.

21:20: "He never apologized." This is a good refrain, and it lets her get all his crap into the debate. And it gets right to his narcissism.

21:23: The Roman Republic fell, in part, because people kept getting sued and prosecuted the moment they left office—so they stopped leaving office. So basically, what we're seeing is the beginning of that here in the U.S. Trump very likely has committed crimes; he's saying he'll prosecute Clinton if he wins. Great.

21:29: "Oh, he can answer it first. Go ahead, Donald."

21:33: Watch out! The government is going to give you free health care if you vote for Hillary!

21:37: I don't have enough booze in my house to make this pain go away.

21:39: "Islamophobia is bad, and that is why my administration will make all of them wear yellow crescents on their clothes."

21:44: Hillary Clinton plays chess. She just moved her bishop to Russia-4. Watch for the knight...and watch Donald Trump try to jump the queen.

21:50: Clinton's linking of Putin to influencing the election might sound crazy to people. But it's true. Does anyone care?

21:51: "I think it would be great if we could get along with Russia, because maybe they could help us fight ISIS." Trump doesn't understand this, but the President might say exactly the same thing right now.

21:55: "He lives in an alternative reality. ... It's amusing hearing someone who hasn't paid taxes in 20 years tell us what he's going to do. ... Donald always takes care of Donald." And then she used math.

21:58: "Of course I do."—Trump answering the question about whether he used his $915m loss to avoid taxes. But it's OK, because everyone else does.

22:02: "Because you have to be able to get along with people to get things done in Washington." Zing.

22:06: "We're old and tired in terms of nuclear." Russia has about a third of the submarines and half the bombers we have. And we have an attack boat about a hundred meters behind every one of their submarines, and a satellite looking at every one of their bombers. But you see, in order to understand what that means, you'd have to know what the triad is.

22:08: "Mr. Trump, let me repeat the question."

22:09: "You disagree with your running mate." Not a question; just summarizing what he said.

22:09: Aleppo has already fallen. So fuck 'em.

22:11: Did Patton and MacArthur endorse Trump? Weren't both Patton and MacArthur fired for insubordination?

22:14: "Do you believe you can be president to everyone?" "Yes, I'll grab all their pussies."

22:17: Shorter Trump on inner cities:

22:21: Trump's answer about the 3am Tweet...I mean, I just...What? The? Fuck?

22:28: So, he's "invested" $100m of his own money in becoming president? "Invested?" What an interesting thing to say by a person who views the world transactionally. What will he consider a return on that investment?

22:31: "China is illegally dumping steel in the United States and Donald Trump is buying it." This hurts, if you care about policy. If not, eh?

22:34: "Would you say one thing that you respect about your opponent?" Hardest question of the evening. And I'm cringing in advance of his response...

22:39: What do I think about this debate? Splash of Vermouth, jigger of gin, 30 more days of this...

22:43: Mark Shields on PBS: "He doesn't have an embarrassment gene in his body. ... I was amazed he showed up tonight."

Heading into the weekend

Wow, my blogging velocity has been crap this month. And here I go, doing it crappier:

There will be more later, I'm sure.

A hint of things to come

The International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro, N.C., has received threats of violence since denying Donald Trump's campaign access to the building for a photo-op:

“We made it known to Mr. Trump’s campaign that we were not going to grant a request of suspending our operations so he could somehow try to legitimize his ideological positions,” [Museum CEO John] Swaine told The News & Observer. “The landmark is very important – it’s not just a political backdrop.”

The museum is in the former F.W. Woolworth building, the site of the 1960 lunch counter sit-in protest against segregated eating establishments. The facility seeks to commemorate the historic sit-in and to promote equality today.

He said that since news of the museum’s decision broke last week, museum staff members have received threats via phone calls and social media.

“The callers were threatening to come over and burn down the building and to shoot up the building,” he said. “They’ve lessened in frequency this week, but they’re still coming in.”

I can't imagine why the museum denied the request. And then there's this observation from one of James Fallows' readers:

[A]fter the campaign is over and the election lost, Trump faces trouble unprecedented in American history. It’s conceivable that Trump could face civil or criminal prosecution on several fronts: federal income tax evasion, mail fraud connected with Trump University, fraud connected to his charitable foundation, espionage associated with Wikileaks, illegal lobbying associated with Russia.

We can easily imagine that some of these matters might arrive in federal or state court in the coming years. Whatever the outcome of those cases, Trump supporters will believe that the charges are Hillary Clinton’s personal retribution. And, next time the Democrats lose the White House, they will call for matching prosecutions of the losing candidate. “Lock Her Up” may have awful echoes.

As you know, this mirrors one of the defects that led to the collapse of the Roman Republic.

His entire comment is worth reading.

Beliefs? We don't need no stinkin' beliefs

David Roberts, writing for Vox, says that trying to understand what Donald Trump really believes is a category error:

The question presumes that Trump has beliefs, "views" that reflect his assessment of the facts, "positions" that remain stable over time, woven into some sort of coherent worldview. There is no evidence that Trump has such things. That is not how he uses language.

When he utters words, his primary intent is not to say something, to describe a set of facts in the world; his primary intent is to do something, i.e., to position himself in a social hierarchy. This essential distinction explains why Trump has so flummoxed the media and its fact-checkers; it’s as though they are critiquing the color choices of someone who is colorblind.

What he’s doing is trying to establish dominance — to win, in his words. That’s what he uses words for. That’s how he sees every interaction in which he is involved. He is attuned only to what the words are doing, whether they are winning or losing, not to what they mean.

This point helps explain why Trump cannot ever admit a mistake or an error. He can only process accusations — of dishonesty, of cruelty — as social gambits, not as factual claims. To him, the demand that he apologize or admit error is nothing more than a dominance play. Apologizing is losing.

That the party of Lincoln nominated this person for president will go down in history as the turning point in American civilization, I think.

Starting my day

I took a personal day yesterday to get my teeth cleaned (still no cavities, ever!) and to fork over a ton of cash to Parker's vet (five shots, three routine tests, heartworm pills, one biopsy, $843.49). That and other distractions made it a full personal day.

So as I start another work day with the half-day of stuff I planned to do yesterday right in front of me, I'm queuing up some articles again:

OK, my day is officially begun. To the mines!