Stephen Colbert had a good monologue on the lowlights.
As I expected, Trump’s refusal to condemn white supremacy in last night’s disgraceful apology for a debate has been the main topic of conversation today. You have to really see that exchange to appreciate it. Watch Trump get that hunted look in his eyes when he is asked if he will condemn white supremacists, as he tries desperately to think of a way to wriggle out of doing so. Notice that moderator Chris Wallace asks him “”Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down…” But Trump responds with the infamous line to the Proud Boys to “Stand back and stand by“, that they are now gleefully taking as an endorsement of them.
Chris Wallace: "Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down…"
Trump: "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by! But I'll tell you what, somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left." pic.twitter.com/4vrPocKzcu
— Axios (@axios) September 30, 2020
I watched the first presidential ‘debate’ last night between Joe Biden and Donald Trump with the idea of taking notes for an analytic blog post but within the first few minutes I gave up because what was happening was, to put it mildly, an utter disgrace. It was not a debate. It was a display of childish, petulant, rude behavior by a man-child that happens to be the president of the United States.
From the beginning Trump had an angry, choleric look, florid, scowling, and pouting, constantly interrupting and talking over Joe Biden and the moderator Chris Wallace. (Don’t they put make up on people so that they do not look so red?) Wallace was reduced to pleading with Trump to follow the rules that his team had agreed to and let the other person speak but it was no use. Trump simply raged on. Wallace has been criticized for losing control of the debate but it is not clear what he could have done other than simply get up and walk off, since Trump was so out of control. And I really mean out of control. Trump did not look like someone who was carrying out a pre-planned strategy of interrupting to throw Biden off balance. It was the other way around. Not only did Biden not get rattled, he would laugh at Trump and call him a clown and a racist and that seemed to enrage Trump even more. Trump looked like a man who is angry and thinks he is going to lose the election because he is being treated unfairly by everyone, including people in his own administration, and just let all his grievances pour out. It was a litany of the applause lines that he gives the audience at his rallies and on twitter but in the context of the debate they just seemed like random rants that had no connective tissue.
In an article titled The Big Tech Extortion Racket in the September 2020 issue of Harper’s Magazine, Barry C. Lynn discusses how much information Facebook and Google have on us and how their renting out this information to anyone willing to pay results in us being exploited. He says that by rolling back the anti-monopoly protections that had been in place, Congress has given them enormous power over the digital marketplace.
Samantha Bee makes the powerful case that these are breeding grounds for appalling abuses and should be abolished. Furthermore, because of the profit motive driving them, people are kept there longer and treated terribly, just so that the corporations that own them can make more money. She goes further and says that ICE should also be shut down because it is part of the problem.
Lost in the news about how Trump is both a tax avoider and a failure as a businessman comes the story that police were called to the home of Trump’s former campaign manager and now campaign aide Brad Parscale by his wife because he was heavily armed and had made threats about causing self-harm.
Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale has been hospitalised after he threatened to harm himself, according to Florida police and campaign officials.
Police were called to the home in Desota Drive in the Seven Isles community of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, late on Sunday afternoon. The home is owned by Bradley and Candice Parscale.
“When officers arrived on scene, they made contact with the reportee (wife of armed subject) who advised her husband was armed, had access to multiple firearms inside the residence and was threatening to harm himself,” Fort Lauderdale police said in a statement.
“Officers determined the only occupant inside the home was the adult male. Officers made contact with the male, developed a rapport, and safely negotiated for him to exit the home.”
Trump has long tried to hide his taxes from public view, putting forward one bogus excuse after another. It was never quite clear what he was hiding, whether that he was not as wealthy as he claimed or that he cheated on his taxes or, more likely, both. The New York Times seems to have finally got the information and has released a report that says that Trump paid next to no taxes in the past ten years. They are going to publish analyses of his taxes but not the documents themselves I order to protect the source.
I tend to be fairly good at spotting internet scams. I also never click on any attachments or links that are in emails or texts unless I was expecting them or I can be sure it is genuine because the email also contains a personalized message that could not have been generated by a bot. I also tell everyone that I delete unread any link or attachment that is unaccompanied by such a message. But even after being told that, people seem to be so anxious to forward things that they find interesting, that they fire them off that I still keep getting such emails and texts that are promptly deleted.
Then there are those scam messages where the sender’s name is someone you know and they claim that they are stuck in some foreign country where their passport and wallet were lost or stolen and they urgently need money to get home and asking you to help by wiring them money. That is an obvious scam but I have read that elderly people have been persuaded to send money to people they thought were their stranded grandchildren.
Yesterday I received the following message
Just reaching out. Hope you are keeping safe on this pandemic?