1. says

  2. dianne says

    I’m going to go ahead and say it: I think Trump’s going to win the election. Consider:
    1. The US is freaking biased. Sure, a black guy got elected, but only because the economy was so terrible that people were willing to put aside their racism for a bit in the interests of not starving or becoming homeless. And it worked. The economy is better. Now people are likely to feel more free to return to their natural bias towards electing incompetent white men.
    2. The whole western world seems to be getting more right wing. A number of parties, from Koch to Putin, are encouraging and funding this trend, but I am inclined to say that the major underlying cause is global warming and the changes that global warming has caused to the world economy. More natural disasters, more wars because of destabilized political situations related to changes in climate and therefore agricultural yields, etc. Then there’s terrorism. Never mind that al Qaeda is pretty much a direct result of Reagan’s intervention in Afghanistan and ISIL only exists because of Bush’s intervention in Iraq and that more of the same will only produce yet more terrorists, “strong” leaders like Trump make people feel better. Why else would Bush have gotten re-elected?
    3. Trump is, in some ways, a tabula rosa. Oh, sure, he says stuff, but he says such random stuff that it’s hard to say what he would do if actually elected. So right wing people can fantasize that he’ll get the concentration camps going right away and the wall built the day after he’s sworn in while left wingers can imagine that he really has “New York values” and that his isolationism will make him less aggressive in terms of foreign policy than Clinton.
    4. Back to terrorism again. Suppose things aren’t going well for Trump in, oh, say, September. His polls look sickly. He keeps up the crazy late night tweets. All he has to do is arrange a little explosion somewhere and he’s in. And how hard would it be for a man with violent supporters on the streets to arrange a little explosion and blame it on “terrorists”? Not at all.
    5. I’ve noticed that even people on this board have gradually reclassified a Trump presidency from “worst possible outcome” to “really, not so bad”. See point 3 above. If this fairly well educated and sensible set of commentators is being influenced to that opinion, what are people who get their information from Fox news and CNN thinking about him?

    Maybe it won’t be “so bad”. Maybe Trump’s only Berlosconi and not actually Hitler. But I’m keeping my cv current and considering my possibilities in New Zealand. Just in case.

  3. says

    The Maine State Senate has a Republican majority, but even Republicans sometimes cannot stomach Governor Paul LePage, a Tea Party doofus. (See comment 354 in the previous chapter of this thread for background.)

    The good news:

    Maine lawmakers voted overwhelmingly Friday to override Gov. Paul LePage’s veto and allow pharmacists to dispense the drug overdose antidote naloxone without a prescription…. The House voted 132-14 and the Senate voted 29-5 to override LePage.

    Also known by the brand name Narcan, naloxone works to quickly counteract the potentially deadly symptoms of an overdose from heroin or other opiates.

    Portland Press Herald link

  4. says

    tomh in comment 500 in the previous chapter referenced Maureen Dowd’s anti-Clinton latest column in which Dowd repeated some myths and some lies as if they were truth. Here’s just one example:

    […] The prime example of commander-in-chief judgment Trump offers is the fact that, like [President Obama], he thought the invasion of Iraq was a stupid idea. […]

    You can actually envision a foreign policy debate between Trump and [Hillary Clinton] that sounds oddly like the one Obama and Clinton had in 2008, with Trump playing Obama, preening about his good judgment on Iraq. […]

    No, that’s not going to fly. Dowd is actually buying into a blatant lie told by Trump, expanded upon by Trump, and repeated hundreds of times by Trump. Still not true.

    […] a rather important problem with the entire argument: it’s based on a fairly obvious lie.

    Trump’s claim is that he, relying solely on his extraordinary instincts and unrivaled prognostication skills, recognized that the war in Iraq would be a disaster from the outset. […]

    Last fall, Trump went so far as to say, in multiple interviews, that he was so outspoken in his condemnations of the U.S. invasion plans in 2003 that officials from the Bush/Cheney White House actually reached out to him, urging him to tone down his criticism before he started turning Americans against the coming conflict.

    These are all important assertions in the 2016 race, which may impress Clinton’s critics, but which aren’t even remotely true. […] Trump is brazenly, shamelessly lying. There is literally no evidence to substantiate any of his claims, and extensive evidence that proves the opposite.

    On Sept. 11, 2002, for example, Howard Stern asked Trump, “Are you for invading Iraq?” Trump replied, “Yeah, I guess so.”

    One can certainly characterize this as lukewarm support for the disastrous war, but it’s hardly a position that can fairly be described as opposition. And for a New York Times columnist to tell readers that Trump “thought the invasion of Iraq was a stupid idea” is both wrong and bizarre. (As of this morning, Dowd’s error has not yet generated a correction.)

    […] Trump eventually criticized the war in Iraq, but only well after the Bush/Cheney policy took a devastating turn for the worse and it became painfully obvious to everyone that the U.S. invasion had been a terrible mistake. But by the time Trump acknowledged this, he was only repeating observations that had already dawned on much of the country.

    The larger dynamic to keep in mind is that some in the political world have not yet come to terms with Trump’s unique style of campaigning: (1) manufacture self-aggrandizing boast; (2) repeat said boast regularly; (3) wait for unsuspecting media professionals to accept boast at face value; (4) repeat.

    […] The likely Republican nominee will continue to make outrageous boasts with no basis in fact, counting on journalists to simply give him the benefit of the doubt, between now and Election Day. For those who’ve been fooled by Trump’s falsehoods, now would be an excellent time to re-adjust their b.s. detectors accordingly.


  5. blf says

    I’ve noticedassert without evidence] that even [some] people on this board have gradually reclassified a Trump presidency from “worst possible outcome” to “really, not so bad”.

    Two very important corrections!

  6. says

    I don’t know how many times we’ve documented the wackos that support Ted Cruz. Dozens? Well, here’s another. Ted Cruz is adding Micah Clark to the list of anti-LGBT extremists who support him for president. The company Cruz keeps is appalling.

    Here’s what Micah Clark said:

    “We always encourage people to vote their values,” said Micah Clark, Executive Director of the American Family Association of Indiana. “We encourage people of faith to look at a person’s record. Ted Cruz is the only truly pro-life, pro-family, and pro-religious freedom candidate for president, from either party. Ted Cruz is a true conservative champion for change.”

    Here’s what Cruz said:

    I am honored to earn the support of these leaders,” said Ted Cruz. “Hoosiers want a president they can trust. They are eager to see sanity restored in Washington, and our message of jobs, freedom, and security is resonating. Carly Fiorina and I look forward to bringing common sense Hoosier values to Washington.

    Sounds like typical political blather, right? The problem is Micah Clark’s record.

    [Clark says] homosexuality has “has no societal benefit” and is “individually destructive and dangerous.”

    He’s criticized rulings that allow gay people to recognize their spouses on their death certificates and suggested that employee benefit plans recognizing same-sex couples are “subsidizing homosexual sex.”

    [snipped Clark’s offensive comments about the Boy Scouts of America]

    Clark once joined a letter calling on schools not to “allow ‘gay-straight alliances,’ homosexual indoctrination programs, permission for use of opposite sex restrooms, and any of the other ridiculous demands of the ‘gay’ lobby” because they would “aid child corruption.”

    He attacked a fundraising campaign for a LGBT youth group by claiming that the organization “recruits teens into the homosexual lifestyle,” reprimanded a girl who wanted to wear a tuxedo to her school prom for trying to make “a sexual statement,” and encouraged LGBT young people to seek ex-gay therapy.


    Encouraging LGBT teenagers to seek ex-gay therapy is evil.

  7. dianne says

    @BLF: I’ll say “fair enough” to correction #2. I didn’t mean to imply that everyone on the board held that view, but intent is not magic and I suppose I did. My bad.

    As for correction #1, also fair, but the assertion came from the thread “#votebluenomatterwho” and from “Voting for Bernie” on Althian worldview. (Which is not Pharyngula, so I will also amend my original statement to say that it was on FTB, not Pharyngula in particular that gave me this impression. Again, my fault for being sloppy.)

    Particularly choice quotes:
    “Trump with a Democratic Congress (who is willing to hold him back) would be the best outcome. ” (VB#56)
    “It is obvious that he [Trump] does not care about abortion rights, transgender rights, gay rights or any of these social stuff because there is no money, no gain for him. ” (VB#68) This commenter seems to think that Trump wouldn’t press for repeal of marriage rights, abortion rights, etc because they believe Trump’s social conservatism is not heart felt. I doubt that. Trump will do it for cheap political gain and because he’s a misogynist homophobe.
    “And if nobody joins me, and America ends up electing someone like Trump, then maybe that’s the president we deserve.”(VfB, main document)
    “What is really so scary about Trump anyways?” (VfB, #8)
    I could go on, but dinner’s ready, so I’m going to stop documenting there.

  8. says

    MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, co-host of “Morning Joe,” has made stupid and incorrect statements before. Most recently, he said that Hillary Clinton ordered others to send classified information to her private server. I hope he walks that back, and soon.

    [Scarborough said] I mean, the fact of the matter is that she set it up so everybody, her subordinates, everybody else, had to send classified information through an unsecured server. […]


    The facts: Clinton never sent or received information marked classified on her private email. Among all the emails that have been released, several show members of Clinton’s State Department team talking to each other (emailing each other) about the fact that they can’t send classified information via email.

    Clinton viewed classified info in hard-copy format in her office. When traveling she used other, secure channels and not email. Some info has been re-classified after the fact, a procedure that also applies to other ex-Secretaries of State, like Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell.

    There are all kinds of judgement issues, and policy issues on which one can disagree with Clinton, but to have Republicans like Scarborough continually repeating lies is annoying.

  9. microraptor says

    dianne @6:

    As my biology professor in college was fond of saying, the plural of “anecdote” isn’t “data.”

  10. dianne says

    microraptor @8: Yeah, people keep saying that. But pithy and to the point and wrong in its implication. It all depends on what you’re trying to prove. If you’re trying to prove that X is the usual then it’s true: anecdote is useless. If you’re trying to prove that X exists then anecdote is sufficient. And there are people on FTB who are arguing that a Trump presidency would not be so bad.

    But if you’re looking for a more data driven argument, how about this: Trump is now winning more than 50% of the vote in the primaries. Early on he was getting no more than 30-40% and there were claims that he was unlikely to get second line votes from people whose preferred candidate dropped out.

    One of the interesting things in this election is that both the probable candidates have large “negatives”, that is, a large percentage of people who say that they would never vote for them no matter what. Whoever wins, it’s going to be a heck of a negative campaign because the winner is likely to be the one who can convince the voters that she/he should be less hated than the other.

  11. says

    The Governor of Virginia, a Democrat, restored voting rights to ex-felons in that state. Terry McAuliffe’s historic executive action would give voting rights back to about 206,000 citizens.

    Republicans are outraged. They’re not going to let this go.

    Virginia Republican leaders have hired a prominent conservative lawyer to lead an expected court challenge to Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s recent order restoring voting rights for 206,000 felons.

    General Assembly Republicans announced Monday that they have retained Charles J. Cooper, a former assistant attorney general under President Ronald Reagan who was once named “Republican lawyer of the year.” […]

    Richmond Times Dispatch link

    There are racist roots behind denying ex-felons the right to vote.

    Many of Jim Crow’s most pernicious aspects were swept away in a Second Reconstruction of sorts during the civil-rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. But those efforts had little effect on the criminal-justice system and its role in enforcing white supremacy, both in the South and beyond it. Disenfranchising people with criminal convictions was one of many vote-suppressing tools deployed in the state’s [Virginia’s] 1902 constitution, which was explicitly drafted and ratified to destroy black political power in the Old Dominion. […]

    Black political suppression was neither an accident nor a mistake; it was the central purpose of the convention. Newspapers plainly reported it and politicians eagerly campaigned on it. “I told the people of my county before they sent me here that I intended, as far as in me lay, to disenfranchise every negro that I could disenfranchise under the Constitution of the United States, and as few white people as possible,” R.L. Gordon told his fellow delegates during the suffrage debates. […]

    The Atlantic link

  12. says

    Campaign news:

    Indiana’s primary is tomorrow. Trump leads the Republican field in the polls, 49% to Cruz’s 34% and Kasich’s 13%. Clinton has a narrow lead over Sanders in Democratic polls, 50% to 46%.

    Donald Trump’s poorly organized ground game caused him to lose during delegate-selection in yet another state. This is a pattern. Trump wins the state primary and then fails to followup when the state’s Republicans meet for the convention that selects delegates. Expect him to whine again because Ted Cruz outmaneuvered him. In Arizona Trump lost about 40 of the 55 delegate slots. In Virginia, same thing: Cruz took 10 of the 13 delegate slots. In Missouri, same thing: Cruz took 18 of 24 delegates. Trump just cannot seem to get his act together.

    The Democratic candidates each raised about $26 million in April, and Clinton raised an additional $10 million for other democratic candidates running in state elections. Although this is a big drop for Sanders (almost 50% from the previous month), Sanders still has enough money to campaign in the remaining states, including California.

  13. microraptor says

    dianne @9:

    You quoted a couple of comments on someone’s blog and claimed that it indicated a trend.

  14. dianne says

    microraptor@12: Actually, when I re-read what I wrote, I more claimed it as a Bild-esque innuendo. So, if I accept that that was a lousy argument, overly influenced by personal experience without sound data backing, are you willing to address the fact that Trump is winning not just the plurality but the majority of votes in the most recent primary elections?

  15. says

    Donald Trump claims that Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, was with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before Oswald killed President John F. Kennedy. Trump’s claim is based on a National Enquirer story. The National Enquirer is a disreputable tabloid.

    His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being — you know, shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous. I mean, what was he doing — what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting? It’s horrible.

    Meanwhile, Cruz is bringing up Trump’s battles with venereal disease:

    … he’s proud to be a serial philanderer. He talks about his battles with venereal disease as his personal Vietnam.

    Congratulations Republicans, you have turned the GOP primary into a skit from Saturday Night Live.

    The quoted text of Trump speaking comes from a telephone interview on Fox News. The quote from Cruz comes from a rally in Indiana. It looks like Cruz is going to go down in flames in Indiana, losing to Trump by double digits today. After that, I predict he will eventually endorse Trump and will praise him for defeating all of those sexually-transmitted diseases.

  16. blf says

    [… teh crud] will eventually endorse [teh trum-prat] and will praise him for defeating all of those sexually-transmitted diseases.

    By building a wall and carpet-bombing, I assume.

  17. says

    blf @15: ha, yeah.

    Minimum wage news: This is good news, but I’m afraid that devious corporations will find a way around the recent Supreme Court decision not to hear a fast food industry lawsuit against Seattle. The lawsuit was intended to negate Seattle’s decision to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

    […] The decision upholds two previous rulings that Seattle’s law does not discriminate against franchise firms like McDonald’s. The case was the most prominent legal challenge to a large minimum wage hike in recent years, and one of several to fail.

    […] the hugely profitable industries [are] far from done fighting. […]

    With defeat in court long expected, opponents have turned instead to a more devious strategy: Cutting off working people’s primary avenue to economic independence before they even get to walk down it.

    […] corporate interests and their conservative allies are setting out to deny local communities the chance to even experiment with higher pay floors.

    Lawmakers in dozens of states have sought to preempt local employment laws of all kinds, from minimum wages to paid sick leave laws to anti-discrimination protections in the workplace.

    […] Statehouse preemptors have been putting thumbs in local eyes for more than a decade. The American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) “Living Wage Mandate Preemption Act” model legislation has been kicking around back rooms since the early 2000s.

    […] states have been barring local communities from forcing corporate interests to shift money from shareholders to workers. Florida barred its towns and counties from hiking wages all the way back in 2003, […]

    From 2011 to 2013, lawmakers in 31 states introduced 105 bills drafted by the corporate interests behind ALEC designed to chip away at wage standards at state and local levels. […]

    Business-friendly interests tried that [scare tactics] in Seattle, declaring it Apocalypse Now for the city’s beloved restaurant scene before the country’s first $15 minimum wage law had even begun its six-year sliding-scale march. The doomsayers were wrong, according to both the actual data and the specific restaurant owners who they had cited as examples. Even Investors Business Daily, a reliably right-wing economics rag, acknowledged in March that data indicate job growth defies conservative expectations post-wage-hike in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. […]

    Think Progress link.

  18. says

    While trying to solve problems that don’t exist, rightwing conservatives create other problems.

    Last month, Liberty Counsel President Anita Staver said that she plans on “taking a Glock .45 to the ladies room” after Target announced a new policy prohibiting discrimination against transgender customers.

    Liberty Counsel is a notorious anti-LGBT group that has taken credit for shaping discriminatory laws such as North Carolina’s discriminatory HB2.

    In an interview with Alan Colmes that was posted online today, she repeated her claim that women should take their firearms while out shopping in order to “prepare for predators that might be in the restroom.”

    When Colmes asked if she could name any cases of crimes that have occurred as a result of states states adopting LGBT nondiscrimination laws, Staver was unable to name any. […]


  19. says

    Disgraced coal baron Don Blankenship showed up to protest Hillary Clinton in West Virginia.

    […] Coal baron Don Blankenship. The former CEO of Massey Energy was sentenced in April to a year in prison for federal mine safety violations. In 2010, 29 coal workers died in an accident at one of Massey’s West Virginia mines. Blankenship is, to put it mildly, a controversial figure among West Virginia’s coal community, as my colleague Tim Murphy reported last fall:

    Blankenship cultivated an image as a Mingo County son made good—a good ol’ boy who ran a multibillion-dollar company from a double-wide trailer. And he saw himself as a heroic figure who brought jobs to the depressed enclaves of his native West Virginia. But with his gaze fixed on the bottom line, Blankenship crushed the mine workers union that was baptized in his backyard.

    Voluminous court records and government investigations show that he presided over a company that padded its profits by running some of the most dangerous workplaces in the country. Massey polluted the waterways that had sustained Blankenship’s forebears, rained coal dust on the schoolyards where his miners’ children played, and subjected the men he grew up with in southern West Virginia to unsafe working conditions.

    At the same time, Blankenship has played an outsized role in coal country politics:

    A mascot of the coal industry’s worst excesses, Blankenship pumped millions of dollars into West Virginia’s political system to promote an anti-regulatory agenda and curry favor with state lawmakers and officials.

    So you can imagine Clinton’s surprise to see Blankenship, who hasn’t publicly endorsed a presidential candidate, mingling with miners outside her event. (Blankenship is due to report to prison on May 12.) […]


  20. says

    One segment on Jimmy Kimmel’s “Live!” show featured more scientists discussing climate change than were seen all year on ABC’s evening news show “World News Tonight.”

    To view the Kimmel segment, and read a partial transcript, see the Media Matters coverage.

  21. microraptor says

    dianne @13:

    I’m confused now. I thought the claim was that most voter were supporting Trump now, not just most Republican voters.

  22. says

    A journalist recently postulated that we would soon see “Republican Women for Hillary” groups forming. LA Times link. We are already seeing some white males abandoning the Republican Party:

    A former senior adviser for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign expressed his frustration with the state of the race and suggested Tuesday that he would vote for Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton over increasingly likely Republican nominee Donald Trump.

    “The GOP is going to nominate for President a guy who reads the National Enquirer and thinks it’s on the level,” Mark Salter tweeted Tuesday. “I’m with her.”

    Salter’s tweet followed Trump calling into Fox News earlier in the morning and espousing a conspiracy theory that Rafael Cruz, the father of rival Ted Cruz, was with Lee Harvey Oswald on the day he assassinated President John F. Kennedy. […]

    Politico link

  23. says

    A rightwing lawyer is advising governors to enforce abortion prohibitions even if those prohibitions have been deemed unconstitutional by the courts. Sheesh. How can a guy be a “Christian Reconstructionist” and a person with a law degree? Note the connection to Judge Roy Moore. There’s also a Ted Cruz connection.

    Herb Titus, a Christian Reconstructionist attorney and longtime lawyer for Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, spoke to a radical anti-abortion conference last month, where he called on governors and other state officials to defy Roe v. Wade and enforce prohibitions on abortions in their states.

    […] [The] speakers — all male — urged elected officials to ignore the federal courts and enforce criminal penalties for abortion. Also speaking at the conference were […] and Joel McDurmon, a Christian Reconstructionist who has advocated the death penalty for homosexuality and who shared a conference stage last year with Sen. Ted Cruz.

    […] Titus said, “[…] it’s very important to disabuse people thinking that Roe v. Wade legalized abortion. That’s impossible. That’s impossible. The court can’t make straight what God has made crooked, they can’t deny to a baby the full protection of laws prohibiting homicide, it just simply isn’t true. […].”

    He added that “lower magistrates” such as governors and attorneys general must “interpose” themselves to prevent the enforcement of an unjust court decision and instead continue to enforce their state’s unconstitutional abortion bans. […]

    “It’s extremely important for the states to step up to the plate and get back to the business of protecting innocent life and not allow the federal courts to push them around,” he added. […]


  24. says

    Today is primary voting day in Indiana. A record turnout is expected. So how did state officials prepare? They decided to keep polling sites open only until 6 p.m. And Indiana is not one of those states that requires employers to give employees time off to vote.

    And thats not all. Like Arizona, the state severely cut the number of available polling sites. For example, in Wells County (the county with the highest turnout rate in Indiana) officials cut the number of voting sites from fifteen to five.

    In addition to the built-in difficulties imposed by state officials, several other glitches have already surfaced.

    […] A polling place in Marion County opened late because a poll worker couldn’t find childcare. Voting equipment glitches were reported in Rush County, Hancock County, and Johnson County. […]

    [Voters were told] to not be turned away if poll workers say they don’t appear on the rolls.

    “Always ask for the inactive list or supplemental poll book,” she advised. “If you haven’t voted in four years, you may have been put on one of those lists, and you can still cast a regular ballot.”

    State government in Indiana is dominated by Republicans, with Governor Mike Pence at the head.

  25. says

    Recent national polls have, for the first time, shown Trump breaking 50% support among Republican voters. That does not mean that Trump is the most popular presidential candidate overall. He is not the most popular choice nationwide. I think his 50% rating among Republicans is shaky.

    In a head-to-head matchup with Hillary Clinton, five out of six polls show Clinton beating Trump. Two polls show Clinton beating Trump by double digits. The average of all six polls shows Clinton beating Trump by 6.2 points. All of these polls will change over time. In other words, this is a snapshot of the race now.

    A lot will change after the nominees of the two major parties are selected.

  26. raven says

    Washington Post
    Indiana primary: Donald Trump projected to win, Cruz drops out of race

    Latest headline. Cruz has dropped out meaning, Trump is the GOP nominee.

    I really don’t know what to say. I’ve been working on survival plans for a while now. We non-Trumpists (AKA normal people) will be the new Doomsday Preppers.

  27. says

    Donald Trump won in Indiana. Ted Cruz suspended his campaign, but he also gave a long speech in which he sort of proclaimed himself as the leader of the conservative “movement” in the coming years.

    I’ll report percentages tomorrow because we still don’t have all of the Indiana vote counted. However, it does look like Trump won by at least 15 points. Republican officials are now calling Trump the “presumptive nominee.” Trump has been provisionally awarded 45 Indiana delegates out of 57.

    The Indiana contest for Democrats is still too close to call, but Bernie Sanders is leading right now.

  28. says

    This is a followup to comment 28.

    Sanders is now the projected winner on the Democratic side of the Indiana primary. The Democratic race was close enough that it make little difference in the delegate counts of the two candidates. so far 42 Democratic delegates have been awarded to Sanders; and 36 have been awarded to Clinton. This brings Clinton’s delegate count to 2,201; and Sanders has 1,399 delegates.

    On the Republican side, it looks like Trump will get all 57 delegates from Indiana.

  29. says

    Percentages associated with the Indiana primary vote:
    Trump 53.2%
    Cruz 36.6%
    Katich 7.6%

    Sanders 52.4%
    Clinton 47.6%

  30. dianne says

    In a head-to-head matchup with Hillary Clinton, five out of six polls show Clinton beating Trump.

    I give these polls some credibility, but not much, for the following reasons:
    1. A lot of US-Americans just haven’t thought about it yet. Asking them who they would vote for for president is like asking me who I think should win the NBA’s player of the year award (is there even any such thing? pretend there is for now): If given a selection of names, I’d probably pick the one I thought sounded the best, since I have no idea at all who they actually are. I think (many) US voters are responding to election polls in the same way. Remember the infamous “30% of people think Cruz might be the Zodiac Killer” poll? That suggests that people just don’t know who these people are yet.
    OTOH, if the “average US-American” (whoever she is) knows one Republican candidate, it is Trump. If she knows on Democratic candidate, it is Clinton. So the polls have more validity than a poll asking whether people would vote for Sanders or Cruz (who and who?) would. Sanders, I fear, is leading in Sanders versus R polls because people don’t know who he is yet. When they do start to think about it, who will they choose?
    2. IIRC, at this point in the election, Dukakis was leading. Kerry was leading. Gore was leading, though that hardly counts given that he won. There is a lot of time between now and the election for the Republicans to throw mud. Inevitably some of it will stick. This is where, again, Clinton may actually have an advantage: She has been slimed by the Republicans and Democrats for so long that she’s probably at least internally resistant and probably everyone who is going to think less of her for (Benghazi, her health care reform, not divorcing Bill, being a baby eating lesbian, being a Republican, whatever else people can come up with) already does so. There may not be much room for the Republicans to corrupt her image further. Also, she’s demonstrated that she can handle it and come out looking like the only adult in DC. Probably a better practical choice than Sanders who has been relatively protected from that sort of thing by his gender.
    3. People tend to lie in polls if they think their choice is not socially acceptable. But in the voting booth, they’ll do what they want. So Trump may well do better than the polls say.

  31. dianne says

    Has someone posted this already? The Economist considers the election of Trump to be one of the greatest risks to the world at the present. It is actually rated above the risk of jihadist terrorism in terms of threat.

  32. says

    Cross posted from the “Cruz quits” thread.

    Taking a realistic look at Bernie Sanders’ path to the Democratic nomination:

    […] If Sanders won each of the remaining primaries and caucuses by 30 points each — an improbable task, to be sure — he’d still come up short. That’s how significant his current [delegate] deficit it. None of this, by the way, factors superdelegates into the equation. I’m referring only to pledged delegates, earned exclusively through nominating contests decided by rank-and-file voters.

    […] this equation includes Indiana, where he prevailed last night with a six-point victory, but where he needed a win that was vastly larger if he intends to catch up to the rival he trails. It may seem counter-intuitive, but a modest win in Indiana actually leaves Sanders worse off than he was 24 hours ago – it was not only too narrow a victory, it also shrinks the number of remaining opportunities he’ll have to close the gap. […] the underlying arithmetic […] remains stubborn.


    Bernie Sanders ended up with 52.7% of the vote in Indiana; Clinton took 47.3% of the vote. Sanders has 43 Indiana delegates. Clinton has 37.

    Looking only at the pledged delegate totals so far:
    Clinton has 1,682
    Sanders has 1,361

    The number of delegates needed for the nomination is 2,383

    Adding the super delegates to the candidates’ total delegate counts so far:
    Clinton has 2,202
    Sanders has 1,400

    In the popular vote recorded so far in the primaries, Clinton holds a 3.1 million person lead over Sanders. Link

    A bigger problem might be turnout for the general election. The Democratic nominee (whoever that is) needs to start worrying about turnout. So far, in state after state the Republican turnout has shown big increases over the primary voter turnout in 2012; conversely, the Democratic turnout has been lower in state after state (Bernie’s enthusiastic supporters have not increased turnout).

  33. says

    Tweets from Rachael Maddow:

    Obama lost Indiana to Clinton in 08 but still got more votes in that primary than Clinton&Sanders got *combined* last night #DemTurnoutSucks
    Despite Dems wishing and hoping, Dem turnout for this primary is staggeringly low compared with 08. And yes, it’s ok to compare with 08.
    Dems may hope anti-Trump feeling will drive “no” voters in the general, but neither Clinton nor Sanders has driven turnout for “yes” voters.
    Dems may hope anti-Trump feeling will drive “no” voters in the general, but neither Clinton nor Sanders has driven turnout for “yes” voters.

  34. says

    New Jersey is one of the states that will vote soon in the presidential primary race. In that state, current polls show Hillary Clinton leading Bernie Sanders 60% to 32%.

    A new Siena poll shows Clinton leading Trump in a general election match-up, 56% to 30%.

    Bobby Jindal, the former governor of Louisiana and a former Republican presidential candidate, once described Trump as “an unserious, unstable, narcissistic egomaniac.” Yesterday, Jindal said that he will vote for Trump.

    In other news, the looming possibility of an all-Trump-all-the-time Republican nomination for President, (which some people say increases Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will not be moved. He intends to maintain his obstruction to Merrick Garland’s appointment to the Supreme Court. McConnell thinks Trump will win. The only conclusion one can come to is that McConnell thinks it is a good idea to let Donald Trump shape the Supreme Court. [shudder]

  35. says

    Donald Trump says that Ben Carson is going to help pick a Vice Presidential candidate for him.

    Trump needs some kind of help, but I don’t think he’ll get it from Ben Carson.

    Here’s Trump rambling about a gaffe he made when discussing abortion:

    WILLIE GEIST: What about what you told Chris Matthews a few weeks ago, which is that women who get abortions should be punished? Do you still believe that to be true?

    TRUMP: No, he was asking me a theoretical, or just a question in theory, and I talked about it only from that standpoint. Of course not. And that was done, he said, you know, I guess it was theoretically, but he was asking a rhetorical question, and I gave an answer. And by the way, people thought from an academic standpoint, and, asked rhetorically, people said that answer was an unbelievable academic answer! But of course not, and I said that afterwards.

    Very Sarah Palinesque of you, Donald.

  36. Saad says

    No, he was asking me a theoretical, or just a question in theory, and I talked about it only from that standpoint. Of course not. And that was done, he said, you know, I guess it was theoretically, but he was asking a rhetorical question, and I gave an answer. And by the way, people thought from an academic standpoint, and, asked rhetorically, people said that answer was an unbelievable academic answer! But of course not, and I said that afterwards.

    Holy shit. Millions upon millions of people want this to be their president.


    You keep using those words. I do not think they mean what you think they mean.

  37. blf says

    The only conclusion one can come to is that McConnell thinks it is a good idea to let Donald Trump shape the Supreme Court.

    That assumes (1) Something resembling a logical thought process is operating; and (2) There isn’t a severe case of Obama Derangement Syndrome.

  38. blf says

    If you haven’t already seen the photograph, then you should, Woman who defied 300 neo-Nazis at Swedish rally speaks of anger:

    Tess Asplund, who was photographed with fist raised in lone protest against far-right activists, says she acted on impulse

    The lone protest of a woman defying a march of 300 uniformed neo-Nazis is set to become an iconic image of resistance to the rise of the far-right in Scandinavia.

    A photograph of Tess Asplund […] with fist raised against the shaven-headed leadership of the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) in Borlänge, central Sweden, on Sunday has gone viral in the country.

    “It was an impulse. I was so angry, I just went out into the street,” Asplund told the Guardian. “I was thinking: hell no, they can’t march here! I had this adrenaline. No Nazi is going to march here, it’s not okay.”


    The NRM is known for targeting anti-racists, says Asplund. “I have friends who have been attacked by them and who have had to change their address. I have had calls at night from private numbers, screaming at me. It is hard to talk about the hate,” she says.


    Asplund, who describes herself as Afro-Swedish, is unemployed, and active in the group Afrophobia Focus. Sweden was identified by the UN last year as having a particular problem with afrophobia, defined as hostility towards people with a background from sub-Saharan Africa.

    “Racism has been normalised in Sweden, it’s become okay to say the N-word,” she says, recounting how a man on the subway used the racial slur while shouting and telling her to hurry up. “But nobody paid any attention. I thought Sweden in 2016 would be more open minded, but something has happened,” Asplund says.

    “I hope something positive will come out of the picture. Maybe what I did can be a symbol that we can do something – if one person can do it, anyone can.”

  39. blf says

    I don’t know enough about Ozland politics to “get” many of the details / references in this First Dog on the Moon, but it’s clear “Australia’s only Walkley award-winning marsupial-based cartoonist” is not too impressed, If this budget was a tomato in a shop you would leave it there, it is a bad tomato (cartoon): “Budget 2016 is a tinkering around the edges budget. It is a beige curtain in a funeral home of a budget.”

    Perhaps the best panel: “They cut so much out of everything before and now they are putting tiny bits of it back. I think the idea seems to be that Australia should be grateful the government has stopped punching it in the head.”

  40. Morgan!? ♥ ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ says

    No, he was asking me a theoretical, or just a question in theory, and I talked about it only from that standpoint. Of course not. And that was done, he said, you know, I guess it was theoretically, but he was asking a rhetorical question, and I gave an answer. And by the way, people thought from an academic standpoint, and, asked rhetorically, people said that answer was an unbelievable academic answer! But of course not, and I said that afterwards.

    Do any of our English language mavens want to attempt to diagram that sentence? Thought not.

  41. says

    blf @40, that’s a great photo. I couldn’t help thinking that it was a good thing Tess Ashland was not at a Trump rally.

    In other news about civil rights and about people standing up against bigotry, we should have a monument to the gay rights struggle soon.

    President Obama is poised to declare the first-ever national monument recognizing the struggle for gay rights, singling out a sliver of green space and part of the surrounding Greenwich Village neighborhood as the birthplace of America’s modern gay liberation movement.

    While most national monuments have highlighted iconic wild landscapes or historic sites from centuries ago, this reflects the country’s diversity of terrain and peoples in a different vein: It would be the first national monument anchored by a dive bar and surrounded by a warren of narrow streets that long has been regarded the historic center of gay cultural life in New York City. […]

    Washington Post link

  42. Morgan!? ♥ ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ says

    I propose a contest: Submit your pick for The Donald’s perfect running mate, and the reasons for your choice. The winner will be decided by popular acclaim. The prize is the sweet knowledge that you are the snarkiest hordling on the ‘net.

  43. says

    The U.S. Department of Justice told Governor Pat McCrory of North Carolina that his anti-LGBT law violates the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

    […] HB2, a sweeping piece of legislation that prevents cities and counties from passing their own anti-discrimination laws and eliminated the right to sue for workplace discrimination of any kind, was rushed through the state legislature and signed by McCrory in late March. The law has been heavily criticized by LGBT advocates and provoked boycotts of the state from major corporations and musicians.

    “The State is engaging in a pattern or practice of discrimination against transgender state employees and both you, in your official capacity, and the State are engaging in a pattern or practice of resistance to the full enjoyment of Title VII rights by transgender employees of public agencies,” […]

    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits an employer from discriminating against an individual based on sex. The DOJ alleged that HB2 also violates Title IX, which prohibits education discrimination based on sex. […]

  44. chigau (違う) says

    Using googltranslate, I translated that Trump quote into Japanese and back again.
    No, he is me in theory to theory, or had simply asked the question, and I talked about it from that point of view. of course not. And, it is I think it was a theory, he said, you know, it was done, he had asked the rhetorical question, and I gave the answer. By the way, people think from an academic point of view, and, asked rhetorical, people told me that it is scientific answer about the answer can not believe! But, of course not, and I was then said.
    I hope this makes it clearer.

    Does the runnning mate need to be alive?
    or a real person?

  45. says

    Morgan @44, Trump needs someone who knows more than he does about foreign policy, but we know he doesn’t want to be shown up too much, plus he likes shapely women. I suggest that Trump choose Kim Kardashian as his V.P.

    She has boobs, and she knows the top fashion designers in all of the world’s nations. Trump could claim that naming Kim shows how much he loves and respects women. The two candidates would understand each other because they are both into hair and makeup, they are both reality TV stars, and they have huge numbers of social media followers. In fact, Kim, has more followers than Trump. It’s a no-brainer.

  46. Morgan!? ♥ ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ says

    chigau @ 46, I kinda like the Japanese translation better. More melodic, methinks. And no, the proposed perfect need not be alive, or even human. Have at it.

    Lynna, amazing. Kim Kardashian was my first pick.

  47. says

    Hillary Clinton’s campaign released her first anti-Trump, general election ad. It’s good, and it’s sneaky. The ad relies entirely on unkind things famous Republicans have said about Trump.

    […] Mitt Romney calls Trump a misogynist, Marco Rubio claims he’s the most “vulgar person to ever aspire to the presidency,” and Jeb Bush says Trump needs therapy. […]

    Mother Jones link. Video is available at the link.

  48. tomh says

    @ #49
    Count on Republicans to do likewise with quotes from Sanders. “Unqualified” will be repeated ad nauseam.

  49. Morgan!? ♥ ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ says

    chigau, well done. Here is my fav description from Wikipedia

    Gríma serves as an archetypal sycophant, flatterer, liar, and manipulator.

  50. Morgan!? ♥ ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ says

    I was going to suggest Iago as the Trump’s running mate but is he suitably evil enough?

  51. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Tony! #54

    Like I said on Facebook: Trump/Shkreli 2016.

    I think I would need an electron microscope to find a shred of ethics or guilt in that ticket.

  52. tomh says

    Not scared enough by President Trump?
    In an interview with Fox News’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” the presumptive GOP nominee says he’d consider naming former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani secretary of homeland security, Gov. Chris Christie attorney general and Dr. Ben Carson secretary of health and human services.

  53. dianne says

    I think I would need an electron microscope to find a shred of ethics or guilt in that ticket.

    I think you’re being overly optimistic. For something to be visible on an electron microscope, it has to actually exist. You can’t find unicorns, god, or Trump’s ethics with an electron microscope.

  54. dianne says

    I suggest that Trump choose Kim Kardashian as his V.P.

    At least then there’d be a successful businessperson on the ticket.

  55. blf says

    In teh trum-prat’s rent-seeking worldview, the vice-loon is his to hire and fire (and insult) as he pleases. And to blame when he looses the election. So any “running mate” won’t be himself, despite his ego and stupidity being large enough for two positions, but — if he has a “running-mate” — a yes-Sir! lackey, who (in his mind) can be fired as soon as The Rest of the Universe tells teh wazzock to feck off.

    We know the thugs don’t bother with considerations like being a sensible president if something happens (Palin, Quayle, Agnew, …), and teh trum-prat won’t accept anybody who is more competent than him (which means just about everybody and everything, including the rotten banana I threw out this morning).

    A look at the few people known to be interested (Christie, as one example) confirms it’s already a scrapping-bottom-of-corroded-barrel-of-toxic-sludge “process”. (The International New York Times had an article a few days about about the rather large number of thugs who have publicly, or all-but-publicly, said “NO!“, some even more emphatically than that.)

    Oh Good Grief! A pigeon (Aerial rattus) just flew into the house and can’t seem to find the way back out. I wonder if it’s auditioning for role…

  56. Saad says

    dianne, #59

    At least then there’d be a successful businessperson on the ticket.


  57. says

    Seth Meyers produced a segment that focused on Trump as the presumptive Republican candidate for president:

    […] They’re handing their nomination to a race-baiting, xenophobic serial liar who peddles conspiracy theories […]

    Salon link. Video and a partial transcript are available at the link.

  58. says

    In the past, Trump has not been as rabidly anti-abortion as anti-abortion activists would like. To make up for that, Trump named a new advisor, total dunderhead John Mashburn:

    […] “If I were running for president, I would want John Mashburn as a top advisor, too,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, wrote […] “Congratulations on your new hire, Mr. Trump. If elected, no doubt John Mashburn will serve you well as you fulfill your campaign promises to defund Planned Parenthood, advance and sign into law the popular Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and appoint Justices to the bench who will protect and defend the Constitution.”

    Penny Nance, president and CEO of Concerned Women for America, meanwhile, called Mashburn a “rock solid pro-lifer” and “someone we can work with,” […]

    Their approval comes after Trump repeatedly roiled anti-abortion activists by wobbling on some of their stances or even blowing up their talking points. He caught flack last year for speaking positively of Planned Parenthood, […] They jumped on Trump again this spring for the opposite reason, saying something too extreme: that women should be punishing for seeking abortions if the procedure is outlawed. […] he antagonized them yet again last month, when he said he would change the GOP’s anti-abortion platform to permit exceptions in cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother […]

  59. says

    Republican representatives in the House of Congress proposed an “improving child nutrition” bill to take food away from 3.4 million children.

    Republican Representative Todd Rokita is probably best known for despising humanity. Specifically, he despises the kind of humanity that isn’t white and doesn’t have a considerable amount of wealth. He made a tiny dent of a name a couple of years ago by looking like an out-of-touch and heartless jackass during Paul Ryan’s infamous War on Poverty hearings. At those hearings he questioned the validity of a single mother who had pulled herself up from homelessness to get work and take care of her family with the help of public assistance. Yes, it was as abhorrent as it sounds. Not one to let go of trying to kick people when they are down, Todd Rokita has introduced H.R. 5003, the Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016.


    [The Bill, H.R.5003] includes a provision that would severely restrict schools’ eligibility for community eligibility, an option within the national school lunch and breakfast programs allowing high-poverty schools to provide meals at no charge to all students.[1] If this bill becomes law, 7,022 schools now using community eligibility to simplify their meal programs and improve access for low-income students could have to reinstate applications and return to monitoring eligibility in the lunch line within two years.[2] These schools serve nearly 3.4 million students. Another 11,647, schools that qualify for community eligibility but have not yet adopted it could lose eligibility. […]

    Under federal law, certain students are automatically enrolled for free meals without an application because they are at special risk for food insecurity and other consequences of living in poverty. They include: students in households participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance program, or the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), as well as students who are homeless, migrant, runaway, in Head Start, or in foster care. […]

    CBPP research link.

    […] Raising the threshold would save a little bit of money, as fewer students would qualify for free school meals, but the overall savings of about $1.6 billion over 10 years wouldn’t come close to offsetting the administrative burden, increased social stigma for low-income students, and negative health and academic effects it could create. […]

    Washington Post link.

  60. says

    A female artist, Illma Gore, was punched in the face by a Trump supporter. Her crime? She painted Donald Trump naked. Daily Kos link.

    Today I was punched in the face by a man who got out of his car and yelled, “Trump 2016!” […]

    Though I encourage passion, opinion and emotion, especially though art, I think violence is disgusting.

    To live in a place where Facebook has given my address to an anonymous third party makes me feel like I am homeless again.

    This type of violence makes creatives feel like we live in a world where our individual creative input isn’t safe.

    I am sad that this is the state of our America right now. I am sad that Trump, and many of his supporters, don’t find words enough to express their opinions – they need walls, waterboarding and punches. @realdonaldtrump

    Please stop glamorizing and perpetuating violence.

    Make America Decent Again! #makeamericadecentagain No, they have not been caught…

    “Art is the lie that allows us to see the truth.” Pablo Picasso.

    I am not deterred by this.

    Thanks for everyone’s support. If anyone saw anything on La Cienega on Friday, please let the local authorities know. Black Honda Civic with a group of people in the car.

    From an interview on Fusion:

    At one point Gore mentions that among her death threats, some said they would drag her out into the street and stone her to death. […]

    Photos of the damage done by the punch are available at the Daily Kos link.

  61. says

    What won’t Trump stoop to? The list is getting shorter. He is currently pretending to eat taco bowls in order to suck up to Hispanics, while at the same time, he is advertising restaurants in Trump Tower.

    Trump posted a photo of himself with a taco bowl and the tweet:

    Happy #CincoDeMayo! the best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!

    Trump Grill does not have taco bowls on the menu. Trump Café does offer taco bowls. In case you want to eat Tex-Mex food at Trump Tower, now you know.

  62. says

    Today, President Obama commuted the sentences of 58 federal prisoners. These were prisoners convicted of drug crimes, and some were serving life sentences.
    The Hill link

    […] “I’ve been working to bring about a more effective approach to our criminal justice system, particularly when it comes to drug crimes,” Obama wrote […]

    It’s the second batch of commutations for drug offenders the White House has announced this year.

    In March, Obama cut short the sentences of 61 drug offenders.

    The president has commuted the sentences of 306 people during his seven-plus years in office, more than double the previous six presidents combined, according to the White House. […]

    Reducing sentences for nonviolent drug offenders is central to Obama’s push to rewrite the country’s sentencing laws.

    Senators in both parties working on an overhaul last week announced a new compromise proposal. They believe the new plan addresses conservative complaints that the changes would result in violent criminals returning to the streets in droves.

    But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has yet to commit to holding a vote on the legislation this year. […]

  63. microraptor says

    So, in the existentially terrifying scenario that Trump actually does manage to get elected in November, who do you think will be his choices for members of his cabinet?

    My guess for Secretary of Defense is Joe Arpaio.

    I’m also sure he’d appoint Alex Jones to something, but I’m not sure what. Probably Department of Homeland Security or the CIA.

  64. dianne says

    My god! I see it all now. It’s so clear and yet we missed it.

    The danger isn’t Trump. It isn’t even Cruz. It’s Kasich!

    Kasich’s strategy is clear: He stays in the race, despite clearly never having a path to victory. His motive? To establish himself as “the sane one”, in contrast to Cruz and Trump. His long campaign gives him recognition that, say, Chris Christie or Jeb Bush now lack because of their early dropping out. Yet Kasich, despite being “the sane one” in the media’s eyes, is also acceptable to the right wing because of his anti-choice views and economy destroying economic policy. In short, he’d be a perfect VP for Trump: moderate for the moderates, right wing for the right wingers, a politician for those worried about Trump’s lack of experience, a “gray” personality who will not compete with Trump’s flamboyance and threaten his ego. Yes, a perfect candidate.

    Then, the convention. Trump makes his yuge and very presidential acceptance speech and announces that his VP will be Kasich. Kasich graciously accepts. They’re standing on stage together, the perfect photo op (for those with a taste for photos of really ugly white men) when a shot rings out. Trump is killed on national television! Kasich, poor martyred Trump’s blood still on his shirt, gives a rousing speech about not giving in to terrorism, completing the quest, freedom, and AM-ER-I-CA over all! He wins every state but New York and DC. The house and senate turn bright red on his coattails.

    Then, Kasich shows his true colors by building Trump’s wall, gutting the NIH, overturning the ACA and Roe v Wade, and sending “terrorists” to camps by the trainload. The US’s press freedom index drops below that of Viet Nam and Venezuela. Life expectancy drops to 50. No one even notices that there isn’t an election in 2020.

    Okay, so maybe this is actually the plot of The Manchurian Candidate. You’ve got to admit, it would make a lot of sense.

  65. says

    Regarding a vice presidential pick for Trump, how about Rick Perry? He has already rolled over.

    In July, Perry said:

    My fellow Republicans, beware of false prophets. Do not let itching ears be tickled by messengers who appeal to anger, division and resentment. I will not go quiet when this cancer on conservatism threatens to metastasize into a movement of mean-spirited politics that will send the Republican Party to the same place it sent the Whig Party in 1854: the graveyard. […] [Trump offers a] toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued.

    Yesterday Perry said,

    He [Trump] is not a perfect man. But what I do believe is that he loves this country and he will surround himself with capable, experienced people and he will listen to them. He wasn’t my first choice, wasn’t my second choice, but he is the people’s choice. […] He is one of the most talented people who has ever run for the president I have ever seen.

    Kasich may be out of the running:

    “Never,” said Chris Schrimpf, a spokesman for Gov. John Kasich of Ohio. “No chance.”

    Jeb Bush’s team responded to inquiries about a vice presidential slot with, “Hahahahahahahahaha.”

  66. says

    More on Trump’s V.P. pick:

    Gov. Paul LePage hopes Donald Trump picks him to be part of his administration if he is elected to office.

    If not, he’ll run against Angus King for U.S. Senate in 2018. That’s what the governor said at his town hall meeting in Lewiston on Wednesday night.

    WMTW Portland link.

    Actually, LePage would take any job in a Trump Administration.

    Yeah, that Paul LePage. See comment 4.

    “Your opponents deserve the delicious schadenfreude of watching the Hindenberg-level disaster that a LePage Senate campaign will deliver,” reads a new petition.

  67. says

    The job growth records for April were good but not great. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 160,000 jobs were added. March was the 67th consecutive month of positive job growth (the best job growth record since 1939), and it was also the 74th consecutive month of private-sector job growth (the longest on record).

    What do you think Republicans will make of that?

  68. says

    President Obama told this joke during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner:

    The Republican establishment is incredulous that [Trump] is their most likely nominee — incredulous, shocking. They say Donald lacks the foreign policy experience to be president. But, in fairness, he has spent years meeting with leaders from around the world: Miss Sweden, Miss Argentina, Miss Azerbaijan….

    Yesterday, Trump was interviewed on Fox News:

    BAIER: About Russia, you were asked yesterday if you’ve ever spoken to Vladimir Putin, and you said, “I don’t want to say.”

    TRUMP: Yeah, I have no comment on that. No comment. I was in Russia —

    BAIER: But one of the thing people like about is to answer any question.

    TRUMP: Yeah, but I don’t want to comment because, let’s assume I did. Perhaps it was personal. You know, I don’t want to hurt his confidence. But I know Russia well. I had a major event in Russia two or three years ago — Miss Universe contest — which is a big, incredible event, and incredible success. I got to meet a lot of people. And you know what? They want to be friendly with the United States. Wouldn’t it be nice if we actually got with somebody?

    Yes, Trump does think that running beauty pageants gives him foreign policy experience.

  69. says

    Rachel Maddow performs anti-Trump Republican anguish as poetry.

    Rachel Maddow discusses the risk of Democrats being overconfident in assessing their chances against Trump in the General Election.

    Rachel Maddow points out that Trump has turned to the dark side when it comes to choosing a campaign finance chairman for his general election campaign.

  70. says

    Legislators in Missouri think a zygote should have the same constitutional rights as adult human beings.

    The Republican-dominated Missouri House of Representatives passed a “personhood” bill Thursday and sent it to the Missouri Senate, where it seems likely to pass since there are only eight Democrats in that 34-seat body.

    The bill would ask voters to approve an amendment to the state constitution to “protect pregnant women and unborn children by recognizing that an unborn child is a person with a right to life which cannot be deprived by state or private action without due process and equal protection of law.” It states that fertilized eggs “have a natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the enjoyment of the gains of their own industry.”

    Zygotes, embyros and fetuses have plans for vacation homes and tax havens. Who knew? […]


  71. dianne says

    Legislators in Missouri think a zygote should have the same constitutional rights as adult human beings.

    But children have fewer rights than adults so do you lose rights at birth?

  72. dianne says

    Also, what industry can an embryo engage in and how is it able to enjoy the fruits of said industry?

  73. says

    OMG, ignorance. Trumpian ignorance. Trump threatened to default on U.S. debt and to crash the global economy.

    […] Asked whether the United States needed to pay its debts in full, or whether he could negotiate a partial repayment, Mr. Trump told the cable network CNBC, “I would borrow, knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal.”

    He added, “And if the economy was good, it was good. So, therefore, you can’t lose.”

    CNBC link.

    That won’t work Mr. Trump. U.S. debt does not work the same way that your real estate developer debt works.

    […] Applying this idea to the United States would destroy the economy […]

    Trump is a businessman, and in terms of thinking like a businessman his idea makes sense…

    The United States of America, however, is not a real estate development company. If a real estate company defaults on its debts and its creditors lose money, that’s their problem.

    Every assessment of risk in the financial system is based on the idea that the least risky thing is lending money to the federal government. If that turns out to be much riskier than previously thought, then everything else becomes much riskier too. Business investment will collapse, state and local finances will be crushed, and shockwaves will emanate to a whole range of foreign countries that borrow dollars.

    Remember 2008, when the markets went from thinking housing debt was low-risk to thinking it was high-risk, and a global financial crisis was the result? This would be like that, but much worse — US government debt is the very foundation of low-risk investments. […]

    Trump also suggested that Puerto Rico declare bankruptcy, but that is illegal. Trump tried to apply his basically unethical but legal business skills to the government of Puerto Rico. Doesn’t work.

  74. says

    Lindsey Graham talks about Donald trump:

    […] I’ve got a hard time supporting somebody for president who spent thousands of dollars of their own money trying to find out if President Obama was born in Kenya versus Hawaii. I think that’s crazy. I’m just glad we’re having the convention in Cleveland, not Area 51. I think Donald Trump is going to places where very few people have gone and I’m not going with him. […]

    Eating a taco is probably not going to fix the problems we have with Hispanics. I think embracing Donald Trump is embracing demographic death […]

  75. says

    Good news: Sadiq Khan was elected mayor of London. He is the first Muslim to serve in that post. He replaces a dunderhead who was sort of like a U.K. version of Trump.

    Hmmm. If Trump becomes president of the U.S., he would ban Sadiq Khan from entering the country. Or maybe Trump would make an exception for Khan, similar to the exceptions Trump told us he would make for him Muslim friends in Dubai.

    […] The Labour Party’s Sadiq Khan, 45, an MP and son of working class Pakistani immigrants, defeated the Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith, who is the son of a billionaire. London’s 8.6 million overwhelmingly elected Khan, despite attacks that portrayed him as a “radical” and linked him to “extremist” figures.

    “Critics have suggested the core strategy of Mr Goldsmith’s campaign is to draw attention to Mr Khan’s faith,” the Independent reported last month. On Sunday, Goldsmith published an op-ed in the Mail with a picture of a bus destroyed in the 7/7 attacks, criticizing Khan and Labour by saying they are a party where “terrorists are its friends.”

    Current London Mayor Boris Johnson [dunderhead], who is a Conservative, tried to link Khan to former London mayor and Labour party member Ken Livingstone — recently lambasted and later suspended for saying Hitler was a supporter of Zionism in the 1930s. Prime Minister David Cameron has also attacked Khan under similar pretenses. […]

  76. says

    What happens when Trump refuses to disavow or to disagree with his supporters on the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer? The neo-Nazi’s celebrate:

    Asked by the disgusting and evil Jewish parasite Wolf Blitzer to denounce the Stormer Troll Army, The Glorious Leader declined.

    The Jew Wolf was attempting to Stump the Trump, bringing up stormer attacks on Jew terrorist Julia Ioffe. Trump responded to the request with “I have no message to the fans” which might as well have been “Hail Victory, Comrades!”

    Media Matters link

  77. says

    This is a followup to comment 79.

    Josh Marshall, editor of Talking Points Memo, weighed in Trump’s idea that he would reduce the national debt by having bond holders accept “haircuts.” Excerpts below (emphasis mine).

    […] To be clear what that means, he’ll try to get people who own US Treasury bonds and are owned X to accept X/2, or some reduced amount of what they are owed.

    That’s called defaulting on a debt obligation. […]

    […] the United States is not a struggling casino. It’s a sovereign nation with sovereign debt.

    It is not too much to say that centuries of American prosperity have been undergirded by the “full faith and credit of the United States.” In other words, the US always pays its debts in full and on time. Indeed, it’s black letter text in the US constitution that the country’s debt can never even be questioned. Defaulting on the national debt would clearly be unconstitutional.

    […] the entire architecture of the global economy and the United States place in it rests on the certainty and basic risklessness of US government debt obligations. It’s as simple as that. (This has actually allowed the US to in effect have people pay the Treasury to hold on to their money since 2008.)

    Introducing the idea that the US might pay back only a portion of the returns on Treasury bonds would basically disrupt the entire global economy, have massive and traumatic knock-on effects on the US economy and its ability to service its own debt. It would be catastrophic, an entirely self-inflicted wound.

    To be clear, this will never happen. But the fact that Trump is proposing it shows that when it comes to macro-economics and global economics Trump is a huge ignoramus who shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the Treasury. […] Not just stupid but someone who simply knows nothing about how the economy works.

  78. says

    Why does a university endorse a presidential candidate? That seems un-university-like to me. But that’s what conservative christian Liberty University did. The evangelical school endorsed Donald Trump for president.

    Not all of the university’s board members agree. Mark DeMoss, public affairs executive, resigned because he does not agree with Liberty President Jerry Falwell Jr.

    While the decision to leave the committee I chaired was not mine, the decision to step down from the board was mine.

    The president/chancellor and the board chair and new executive committee chair were suggesting my motive for speaking to the Post was entirely political (that I was a political pawn of rival campaigns), rather than a genuine concern for the reputation of the university we trustees have (had) a fiduciary responsibility to protect. I concluded if they could not accept the reasons I gave them there was not sufficient trust to continue serving together. […]

    Trump does not represent Christ-like behavior […]

    Religion News Service link

  79. says

    A trial in which Trump will be required to testify has been postponed until after the November election.

    In a Friday ruling, a U.S. district court judge delayed Donald Trump’s testimony in a federal class-action trial accusing the presumptive GOP presidential candidate and his now-defunct Trump University of defrauding those who paid up to $35,000 for a real-estate program. U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel set a new trial start date for Nov. 28, several weeks after the general election. According to Trump’s attorneys, Trump plans to attend and testify at the California iteration.

    The three lawsuits, two pending in federal court in San Diego and one in state court in New York City, claim that Trump University lied about instructors being well-versed and experienced in real-estate and hand-picked by Trump.

    The New York version of the Trump U. trial is still set to begin before the election.


  80. says

    Rachel Maddow interviewed Bernie Sanders yesterday. Here is a link to one of the segments. The segment begins with coverage of protestors at a Clinton rally in California.

    From the the link above, you can choose to watch the other interview segments as well.

  81. says

    Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore earned this suspension from the bench. His anti-gay activism is catching up with him.

    Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore — ousted from office more than a decade ago over a Ten Commandments display — now faces possible removal from the bench over his effort to block gay marriage from coming to that state after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

    The Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission on Friday filed ethics charges against Moore, saying that the state chief justice abused the power of his office and displayed disrespect for the judiciary. Moore, 69, has been automatically suspended from the bench until there is a resolution.

    The charges stem from a Jan. 6 administrative order Moore sent to probate judges telling them an Alabama court order and law banning same-sex marriages remained in full force and effect even though the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges effectively legalized gay marriage six months prior. […]

    The Court of the Judiciary will decide whether Moore is guilty of violating judicial ethics. If found guilty, he could face removal from office.

    Moore issued a statement Friday night saying […]
    “The JIC has chosen to listen to people like Ambrosia Starling, a professed transvestite, and other gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals, as well as organizations which support their agenda. We intend to fight this agenda vigorously and expect to prevail,” Moore said.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civils rights legal advocacy group, filed the complaint against Moore that led to Friday’s charges.

    “Moore has disgraced his office for far too long,” SPLC President Richard Cohen said. “He’s such a religious zealot, such an egomaniac that he thinks he doesn’t have to follow federal court rulings he disagrees with. For the good of the state, he should be kicked out of office.” […]

    I would like to see Roy Moore removed from office.

  82. says

    Donald Trump decided to insult Elizabeth Warren some more. Trump’s new adjective to describe Warren is “Goofy.” Warren is standing up to the bully.

    A few excerpts from Trump’s tweets:

    I hope corrupt Hillary Clinton chooses goofy Elizabeth Warren as her running mate. I will defeat them both.
    Let’s properly check goofy Elizabeth Warren’s records to see if she is Native American. I say she’s a fraud!
    Goofy Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton’s flunky, has a career that is totally based on a lie. She is not Native American.

    A few excerpts from Warren’s tweets:

    I called out @realDonaldTrump on Tuesday. 45 million saw it. He’s so confident about his “counter punch” he waited until Friday night. Lame.
    “Goofy,” @realDonaldTrump? For a guy with “the best words” that’s a pretty lame nickname.
    We saw when Scott Brown attacked my family & his staff made tomahawk chops & war whoops. They lost big. MA voters knew better.
    We saw what happened when birthers like @realDonaldTrump attacked @BarackObama. They lost big. American voters knew better.
    .@realDonaldTrump spews insults and lies because he can’t have an honest conversation about his dangerous vision for America.
    But here’s the thing. You can beat a bully — not by tucking tail and running, but by holding your ground.
    If you think recycling Scott Brown’s hate-filled attacks on my family is going to shut me up, @realDonaldTrump, think again buddy. Weak.
    .@realDonaldTrump lied his way through the primaries without being held accountable. That’s over.
    Whatever @realDonaldTrump says, we won’t shut up. We won’t back down. This election is too important, & he won’t step foot in White House.

    Warren’s criticism of Trump on Wednesday was that his campaign is founded in “racism, sexism, and xenophobia.” She pointed out that Trump has more solid support from KKK leaders than from leaders of the Republican party.

  83. says

    In order to promote themselves, a soccer team from Argentina produced a promotional video that mocks Donald Trump. The video is just over 1 minute long. Funny and well-done.

    Daily Kos link

  84. says

    Trump recently told an NBC host that he was going to run a dignified, high-level general election campaign. He said he would be fair to Clinton if she was fair to him. He said he would focus on the issues.

    Here’s some of what he said yesterday at a rally in Oregon:

    She’s [Hillary Clinton’s] been the total enabler. She would go after these women and destroy their lives. She was an unbelievably nasty, mean enabler, and what she did to a lot of those women is disgraceful.

    Nobody respects women more than me. Nobody in this country, and maybe in the history of the country politically, was worse than Bill Clinton with women.

    Have you ever read what Hillary Clinton did to the women that Bill Clinton had affairs with? And they’re going after me with women?

    [Clinton has] been hitting me really hard with the woman card.

  85. says

    Here’s an updated delegate count for the Democratic candidates:
    Hillary Clinton: 2,229
    Bernie Sanders: 1,453

    If you only take into account the pledged delegates:
    Hillary Clinton: 1,706
    Bernie Sanders: 1,414

  86. blf says

    This somewhat reminds me of teh crud’s plan to finance the government by taxing itself, Zimbabwe to print local ‘US dollar’ to ease severe cash crunch:

    Currency shortage prompts national reserve to introduce new notes, currently in the ‘design stage’

    Zimbabweans are forming long queues outside banks amid a cash shortage that has prompted the government to announce plans to print a local version of the US dollar and to limit withdrawals.

    The government adopted US and South African currencies in 2009 after hyperinflation rendered the national currency unusable as the economy collapsed.

    [… Reserve Bank Governor John] Mangudya said that the central bank would also print its own dollar-equivalent bond notes — “which are currently at the design stage” — to ease the cash crunch.

    Mangudya denied the new banknotes were a step towards re-introducing the tarnished Zimbabwe dollar, but the plan was still criticised by some experts.

    “This is extremely damaging to the interests of everyone and very dangerous to the economy,” independent economist John Robertson said in Harare.

    “It won’t be long before this becomes another inflation story. People will refuse to be paid their wages in bond notes.

    “Shops will not accept them as they cannot be used to restock [from abroad]. I am hoping that the government can be talked out of it.”


    Zimbabwe once removed 12 zeros from its battered currency at the height of hyper-inflation in 2009 when the largest note was the $100 trillion denomination.

    The seizure of white-owned farms starting in 2000 left the agricultural sector in ruin, and triggered a sharp economic slowdown, with mass unemployment, emigration and many business closures.

    President Robert Mugabe, 92, has ruled the country, which relies on imports for even basic commodities, since independence in 1980.

    Not entirely tongue-in-cheek, Mugabe is probably annoyed his portrait wasn’t chosen to replace Jackson. (Yes, he really is that much of a megalomaniac!)

  87. blf says

    Ozland is having an election sometime soon, so First Dog on the Moon offers this handy primer, Everything you need to know about the Australian election brought to you by Snitty the Cassowary (cartoon): “Australia is going to the polls! Here’s everything you need to know with Guardian Australia’s senior psephological correspondent, Snitty the Cassowary”.†

    First up, a warning! Do not go hear this federal election. While Australia is a beautiful country full of occasionally well-meaning people, it is also jam-packed full of poisonous flora and fauna that want you to die. This includes our various democratic processes, do not touch anything or look anything in the eye. […]

      † “The Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius) is a prehistoric death bird that kills people.”

  88. says

    Trump talks about science, sort of:

    “I think that climate change is just a very, very expensive form of tax. A lot of people are making a lot of money. I know much about climate change,” Trump said. “I’ve received many environmental awards. And I often joke that this is done for the benefit of China — obviously I joke — but this done for the benefit of China.” … Trump has for years used words like “hoax,” “canard,” “mythical,” “con job,” “nonexistent,” and “bulls—” to reject mainstream climate science.

    Quoted text above is from an interview with the Business Insider.

    In brief, Trump said that NASA “has been one of the most important agencies in the United States government for most of my lifetime” and he wants it to remain that way. But in response to a question about whether the United States is spending the proper amount of money on NASA, he demurred: “I am not sure that is the right question. What we spend on NASA should be appropriate for what we are asking them to do. … Our first priority is to restore a strong economic base to this country. Then, we can have a discussion about spending. … but we have to fix our potholes.”

    Space Policy link

    Trump is a prime example of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

  89. says

    Excerpts from President Obama’s commencement speech at Howard University:

    […] If you want to make life fair, then you have to start with the world as it is. […]

    Democracy requires compromise, even when you are 100% right. This is hard to explain sometimes. You can be completely right and you still have to engage folks who disagree with you. If you think that the only way forward is to be as uncompromising as possible, you will feel good about yourself, you will enjoy a certain moral security, but you will not get what you want.

    If you do not get what you want long enough, you will eventually think the whole system is rigged. That will lead to more cynicism, not participation — and less participation and a downward spiral of more injustice, anger and despair. And that has never been a source of progress. That is how we cheat ourselves of progress. […]

    You have to go through life with more than just passion for change. You need a strategy. I will repeat that. You have to have a strategy. Not just awareness but action. Not just hashtags but votes. You see, change requires more than talking, it requires a program and organizing.

    To shape our collective future [we need to] bend it in the direction of justice, freedom and equality.

    You know what? I will take better every time. I always tell my staff, better is good because you can consolidate your gains and then you move on to the next fight from a stronger position.

    And people wonder, how come Obama has not got this or that done? In 2014, only two out of five Americans turned out [to vote]. You do not think that made the difference in terms of the Congress I have got to deal with? You do not think that made a difference? What would have happened if you turned out at 50%, 60%,70% all across this country? People try to make this political thing really complicated. Oh, what kind of reforms do we need and how do we have to do that? You know what? Just vote. It is math. If you had more votes than the other guy, you get to do what you want. It is not that complicated. […]

    C-Span link