The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Maine is sorry

After Maine Governor Paul LePage (the Rob Ford of New England) made yet more inappropriate comments into a recording device earlier this week, the Portland Press Herald has apologized to the rest of the U.S. for electing him:

Dear America: Maine here. Please forgive us – we made a terrible mistake. We managed to elect and re-elect a governor who is unfit for high office.

You probably heard about the latest episode. He was asked about the toxic racial environment that he created in the state with insensitive statements about people of color. The questioner, an entrepreneur from New York, wondered how he could ever bring a business here.

The question was an opportunity for the governor to undo some of the damage that he has caused by giving members of minority groups around the country the impression that Maine is a white state where no one else is welcome.

Instead, the governor repeated one of his worst libels: That Maine’s drug crisis is the fault of black and brown transient thugs who come here not only to sell their poison but also to take advantage of “white Maine women.”

At least he's term-limited. Though he probably won't live up to everyone's favorite recent promise, that he'll resign.

Ah, the poor GOP

I'll have more Schadenfreude after November 8th (assuming things go as the polls suggest), but right now I'll just pass on NBC's analysis of what might happen to the Republican Party over the next four years:

Whether or not Trump prevails in November, the GOP is set for a rebuilding process like none in recent memory. If he wins, he’ll face a Congress whose leaders have largely distanced themselves from his brand and who oppose much of his agenda. If he loses, his one-of-a-kind candidacy offers each faction of the party a credible argument that its approach would have carried the election instead.

How to achieve that ideal was another story. Participants disagreed sharply on the policies that constitute true conservatism, the changes needed to secure its political future, and, above all, what Trump’s emergence meant to them. Was he a malevolent force that needed to be purged? A prophet heralding necessary changes? A freak occurrence with no greater meaning at all? Or some mix of all of the above?

In the course of these conversations, four broad paths emerged, each pointing to different agendas, different messages, different coalitions of voters and a different conception of what it means to be a Republican.

Meanwhile, it turns out that the Minnesota Republican Party failed to get any Republican candidates on the state-wide ballot because they missed the filing deadline. As James Fallows said, "Managerial excellence is of course central to Donald Trump’s promises of what he would do in office. What he’s managing now is his campaign."

Later, when I'm done with all this coding...

Some articles to read:

That's all for now. More conference calls...

Cracks in the wall

Voters in Kansas yesterday called borderline-crazy Tea Partier Tim Huelskamp home from the U.S. House:

Frustrated voters in a sprawling Kansas congressional district sent a blunt message on Tuesday that might yet break through the din of this election: At some point the government needs to do something for them.

That sentiment was delivered in the harshest possible terms to Representative Tim Huelskamp, a firebrand Tea Party conservative who lost in a primary landslide after spending most of his six years in Washington feuding with his own leaders. He was so difficult to work with and troublesome that he was kicked off the Agriculture Committee.

The loss of that crucial legislative post, and his vote against a long-term farm bill, did not endear him to the powerful farming interests in a state that likes its federal agricultural aid.

Farm groups joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and another deep-pocketed advocacy group to get behind Roger Marshall, a political novice who promised to work on behalf of Kansas rather than rabble rouse.

In other words, he got fired for lack of job performance. Good riddance. And a dozen other races in Kansas went to moderates, smacking ideologue governor Sam Brownback over the nose with a newspaper.

Could this be the beginning of the end of the crazy?

Later this afternoon, I'll have time to read...

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.