We had nearly-perfect weather this past weekend, so I'm just dumping a bunch of links right now while I catch up with work:
Back to the mines.
This evening's Times:
Back in 1968, at the age of 22, Donald J. Trump seemed the picture of health.
He stood 188 cm with an athletic build; had played football, tennis and squash; and was taking up golf. His medical history was unblemished, aside from a routine appendectomy when he was 10.
But after he graduated from college in the spring of 1968, making him eligible to be drafted and sent to Vietnam, he received a diagnosis that would change his path: bone spurs in his heels.
The diagnosis resulted in a coveted 1-Y medical deferment that fall, exempting him from military service as the United States was undertaking huge troop deployments to Southeast Asia, inducting about 300,000 men into the military that year.
The deferment was one of five Mr. Trump received during Vietnam.
And he has the chutzpah to call out John McCain?
Now, I disagree with almost all of McCain's policies, but I have to say, it would make me happy to stick Trump in Viet Cong prison camp for four years and see how he turns out.
All the political norms Trump has broken, all the taboos he's crapped on, all the damage he's inflicted on the American body politic...even if Hillary Clinton wins, is she just the finger in the dam? What happens in 2020? Are we going to go through all this again?
Items of note:
Off to the meeting. More later.
Brian Beutler argues that Hillary Clinton needs to put the "lock her up" crap to rest:
It’s a problem to have this stench lingering in the air, but just as difficult to address without playing into the hands of her opponents, who’d love nothing more than to turn “lock her up” into a matter of partisan debate. (“Should Clinton be jailed? Some say yes, some say no!”) But a deft communicator could discredit “lock her up” not by protesting too much on Clinton’s behalf, but by treating it as the unhinged chant of a pitchfork-wielding mob that would claim power by imprisoning political enemies. They couldn’t beat Obama, so they questioned his eligibility for office; they’re losing to Clinton, so they want her dead or in jail. These are authoritarian instincts that must be opposed.
Predicting the political fallout of an event like the RNC or of a new ubiquitous talking point like “lock her up” is pure guesswork, and it might be the case that the air of vigilantism around the whole thing will make non-Republicans more sympathetic to Clinton. But on top of all the troubling democratic implications of a major political party believing the opposition party’s leader belongs in prison, Republicans may have successfully damaged Clinton with a false but powerful narrative. And if that’s the case, she will need to be prepared to deal with it.
Meanwhile, Josh Marshall (and others) are finding more connections between Russian president Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump:
To put this all into perspective, if Vladimir Putin were simply the CEO of a major American corporation and there was this much money flowing in Trump's direction, combined with this much solicitousness of Putin's policy agenda, it would set off alarm bells galore. That is not hyperbole or exaggeration. And yet Putin is not the CEO of an American corporation. He's the autocrat who rules a foreign state, with an increasingly hostile posture towards the United States and a substantial stockpile of nuclear weapons. The stakes involved in finding out 'what's going on' as Trump might put it are quite a bit higher.
There is something between a non-trivial and a substantial amount of circumstantial evidence for a financial relationship between Trump and Putin or a non-tacit alliance between the two men. Even if you draw no adverse conclusions, Trump's financial empire is heavily leveraged and has a deep reliance on capital infusions from oligarchs and other sources of wealth aligned with Putin. That's simply not something that can be waved off or ignored.
This is the scariest election of my lifetime.
Ah, I can finally take a few minutes to read through my backlog of articles, which have a common theme coming off this past week's events:
That, plus a tour of the Laguintas Brewery this afternoon (the one here, not the one in Petaluma), ought to keep me busy.
Forty-seven years, almost to the day, after we put a man on the moon, a major political party nominated Donald Trump for the office of President.
Two small illustrations of the choice we face November 8th: the Clinton campaign yesterday posted a comparison of Trump's resume and Clinton's. ("1997: Trump ponders Miss Universe swimsuit sizes. Hillary gets health insurance for 8 million kids.") And Clinton staffers posted a video in which they listed all 5,500 lawsuits in which Trump is a party—which took almost four hours.
In related news, New Zealand is still offering Skilled Migrant Visas...
Because I need to read all of these and have to do my actual job first:
I'll get to these this evening. I hope.
Scott Adams believes Donald Trump will be the next president, because of Trump's ability to persuade people. Adams claims not to want this outcome, but all evidence suggests he supports Trump more than he's letting on. So I was surprised to agree with parts of Adams' analysis of James Comey's presser Tuesday:
The folks who support Clinton are sheepishly relieved and keeping their heads down. But the anti-Clinton people think the government is totally broken and the system is rigged. That’s an enormous credibility problem.
But what was the alternative?
The alternative was the head of the FBI deciding for the the people of the United States who would be their next president. A criminal indictment against Clinton probably would have cost her the election.
How credible would a future President Trump be if he won the election by the FBI’s actions instead of the vote of the public? That would be the worst case scenario even if you are a Trump supporter. The public would never accept the result as credible.
Comey might have saved the country. He sacrificed his reputation and his career to keep the nation’s government credible.
It was the right decision.
I think Comey made the right call too. I disagree with Adams, however, that the FBI's recommendation was "absurd." But that's another post.
Once again, here's a list of news items I haven't fully digested but want to when I have a few free minutes:
There's another major story that I'm following, about which I'll post in a few minutes.