The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

The lede says it all

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?

Another first-time-ever Trump loss

This year's Republican National Convention is the first one in modern times after which the nominee polled lower than before it:

Gallup has surveyed on this question since 1984, and the 2016 GOP convention was the first time where a candidate ended up in negative territory.

The voters who felt less likely to vote Trump after the convention outnumbered those who felt even more motivated for the GOP nominee, 51-36, according to a Gallup poll.

The closest a convention came to such unfavorable closing percentages was the 2012 RNC, when 40 percent of adults felt more likely to vote for Mitt Romney and 38 percent felt more wary after the convention, according to Gallup.

Meanwhile, Fallows' 66th Trump Time Capsule post has so many things in it I just can't list them all right now.

Sunday morning reading

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.

History

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...

The Sociopath

Tony Schwartz, who ghost-wrote Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal, has broken his silence about the experience:

Starting in late 1985, Schwartz spent eighteen months with Trump—camping out in his office, joining him on his helicopter, tagging along at meetings, and spending weekends with him at his Manhattan apartment and his Florida estate. During that period, Schwartz felt, he had got to know him better than almost anyone else outside the Trump family. ... It had never been his ambition to be a ghostwriter, and he had been glad to move on. But, as he watched a replay of the new candidate holding forth for forty-five minutes, he noticed something strange: over the decades, Trump appeared to have convinced himself that he had written the book. Schwartz recalls thinking, “If he could lie about that on Day One—when it was so easily refuted—he is likely to lie about anything.”

If he were writing “The Art of the Deal” today, Schwartz said, it would be a very different book with a very different title. Asked what he would call it, he answered, “The Sociopath.”

It's worth reading this article, since it discusses in detail the man who one of our two main political parties is about to nominate for President of the United States.

 

Fun weekend

Pitchfork was a good way to spend most of Saturday (and the weather was perfect). Hanging out with friends and running errands was a good way to spend yesterday. And now I'm back at work.

With the Republican National Convention going on this week, I expect I'll have regular posts*. But it's starting to look like July might be my slowest month for posting since I finished my MBA.

* For instance, what does it say about the Republican Party that Cleveland felt it necessary to quadruple its police force for the week?

Too many browser windows open at work

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.

Sure Happy It's Thursday link round-up

For a couple of odd timing reasons, this is my first full 5-day week at my new job...and it's already a 5½-day week. So I've barely enough time to jot these articles down for future reading:

Have fun. I'll catch up to these in a day or two.

You're stuck with him now

Jeet Heer reminds Republicans that Donald Trump isn't going to disappear on November 9th:

[W]ill Trump really cease to matter in November? After all, no human being loves the spotlight more, and he’s chased after media attention since he was a young man. Being the nominee of a major party is a dream job for him, because it means people will hang on his every word. Even if he loses badly in November, Trump will likely cling to his status as the strangest “party elder” ever—and convert it into new, attention-grabbing and lucrative projects. He has indicated, for one thing, that he wants to monetize his ability to generate attention with his controversial views by creating Trump TV (whatever the election results). Don’t scoff: Sarah Palin was number two on a losing ticket in 2008 and embarrassed herself spectacularly in the process, but she still commanded millions of followers when the election was over—enough, in fact, that she became a precursor to Trump in her merger of politics and reality shows, as well as one of his key surrogates.

Donald Trump will not go gentle into that good night. Nor will he curse the dying of the light. Instead he’ll keep pursuing the klieg lights of the media circus, and through his televised antics continue to dominate the political conversation on the Republican side. He’ll be helped by his unusually loyal and rabid fan base. As Trump rightly said, even shooting someone in broad daylight on 5th Avenue wouldn’t warn them away. In order to maintain that fan base, Trump is, based on past precedent, likely to nurture a stabbed-in-the-back myth against the Republican and media “elites” if he loses.

It looks less and less likely he'll actually win the election, but he'll be around for many years poisoning the debate. Good work, Republicans.

Ideologically stupid

Oh, Wisconsin. You gave the world Robert La Follette, but also Joseph McCarthy; Frank Zeidler, and Paul Ryan; and, of course, Scott Walker, whose latest rigidly-ideological imbecile move will keep Wisconsin firmly in the 20th century:

Gov. Scott Walker’s decision to hand back $810 million to the federal government — money that would have built a fast train from Madison to Milwaukee and Chicago — remains one of the most unfortunate and stupid acts in recent Wisconsin history. Not only did Walker deprive Wisconsin of a modern rail system, his ideological rigidity cost our state thousands of jobs and tens of millions of dollars.

Walker’s decision, supposedly based on avoiding about $5 million a year in operating costs, has cost the taxpayers plenty. Because the federal grant would have made necessary repairs to the Hiawatha line from Milwaukee to Chicago, returning the federal money has meant that the state has had to spend tens of millions of Wisconsin taxpayer dollars instead. The cancellation of the rail link also meant that the state was out $50 million to the train manufacturer Talgo for trains that were built but never used, plus a large punitive settlement.

It wasn’t just tax dollars we lost. In a state that has fallen behind the rest of the nation in job creation, we also forfeited a large number of employment opportunities. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, rail-related employment would have peaked at 4,732 jobs, largely in construction of the line. Operating and maintaining the trains would have created 55 permanent jobs. On top of that, the train manufacturer Talgo laid off its workforce and moved out of state. Talgo employed 150 workers in a section of Milwaukee that desperately needs jobs and held promise to expand future employment significantly. Also, a modern transportation system is a big draw for high-tech companies.

Progressive administrations are also draws for high-tech companies (or, rather, their employees), as North Carolina is finding out.

I wonder if voters will ever figure out that the Republican Party is killing their economic opportunities every chance they get?