Saturday, October 22, 2016

James O'Keefe is Kind of a Weird Gun to Hire.

Ok, so I will probably always think of little Jimmy O'Keefe from down the street as the weird asshole in the 1970's Blaxploitation version of a pimp costume who "took down ACORN" with what was basically a lie about whether they were registering people illegally. ACORN did no wrong.  O'Keefe was just a flea on the ass of a bigger picture on the right to pretend that maybe they were losing not because they couldn't craft messages to a broader audience than white and uptight, but because there was some rigging.

So, in other words, he started out trash. And the saddest thing of all for such a young man who maybe showed promise is, he stayed trash. So think about this--his outfit got paid by the Trump Foundation a minute before Trump threw his hat in. In pecunia veritas, maybe? I don't even know.  But his product as info regarding voter fraud or stirring stuff up at rallies? Meh.  It hasn't got specifics, just speculation doctored to look definitive.  Sure, some folks will want to believe his version, but I'm thinking if you don't already buy what this dude stands for, you should probably ponder all the valid reasons why he needs to be handled with the containment suit.

This boy lies for money. That's what he made his job. And anything out of his shop needs transparency.  Because this partisan performance artist thinks lies are just as good as reality. And they are not and never were.

As for the charge Democrats were ever starting shit at Trump rallies--you know what that sounds like to me? Locker room talk. You know how men do. If Team Offensive Orange can try denial, I don't see why I have different rules. Locker room talk. Sometimes people just brag and show off and whatnot. Sometimes they pretend more electoral involvement than is actually possible might be obtained because #tryinghard.  But that doesn't mean "proof positive"--does it?

See how it works? But based on the polling this isn't going to be close enough to steal, so find another reason to be, Trumplodytes.

Friday, October 21, 2016

"We're having some fun here tonight..."

"Some fun" isn't what you call Donald Trump's nasty and unfunny speech at last night's Al Smith dinner. He can't seem to resist aiming low. He doesn't realize how off-putting and bitter it seems.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Cinderella Left Her Shoe in the Pumpkin

So, this debate was less of a mess than I thought it would be--but Trump really didn't do anything to pull himself up in the polls. Actually, there were assorted things he said that he might have thought would resonate (many of them oft-debunked) but the words I think will linger were: "Such a nasty woman."

A "nasty woman" just bested Trump in the third debate. He can whine about that for the next couple of days, but it's true.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Frigging in the Rigging 2

It would be a lie to say that there are actually no daily newspapers that have endorsed Donald Trump for president--to date, there are two. But these papers stand as rare islands in what looks like a sea of Clinton endorsements, from papers that have seldom or never endorsed a Democrat before, or even publications that generally have no political bent whatsoever--like Vogue (?!) or who very seldom make presidential endorsements except at what their editorial staff deem to be an historic juncture.

It's no wonder, then, that Trump has been softening up the media all this time--look at them! In the tank for Hillary Clinton! in part blaming the media for the rigging of the election. His rhetoric has become so negative regarding the press that reporters at Trump rallies fear for their safety. (I don't think any of this bodes well for the First Amendment under a possible Trump presidency--could anyone?)

But "the media" is not some cozy monolith that can just lockstep into a conspiracy to get a given candidate elected. There was no bias for Clinton or against Trump displayed in the primaries in terms of media coverage (the opposite seems to have been the case). I hate to be the bearer of the fucking obvious, but when you read something like this that indicates that there is more "negative coverage" of a certain candidate (Trump)--it might just be because that candidate has generated more negative coverage by stupid things that he or she has actually done or said.  As in, Donald Trump has interesting stories about himself that he calls attention to and drags out in the media because that is who he is. And frankly--the email stories about Clinton are basically Yawn City at this point. That's not an indication of bias. It's what's current and what the audience might find interesting (yes, Virginia, there is a ratings clause). Trying to create balance where it does not exist would be, well, false.

So when Hillary Clinton gets endorsements from assorted GOP officials past and present, retired military figures, GOP national security experts, and Nobel Laureates in Science,  it might actually serve us to look at whether these endorsers are seeing a qualitative difference between the candidates. Numerous figures have pointed out that Hillary Clinton is simply the most qualified, by virtue of experience, candidate to have run for this office, while Donald Trump's ace card is his "outsider cred". As in--he has little relevant experience for the job at all. And he seems, to many observers, to be a petulant credulous man-baby with boundary issues, a fetish for self-aggrandizement, and an inability to admit he is wrong about obviously wrong shit. (Like his repeated claims he was originally right about the Iraq War, Libya, or whether the US is the most taxed nation on Earth. Sad!)

But beyond that, the "rigging" could only be evident if somehow the election results madly deviated from all the polls. Now, we know local polls can go all wonky--witness the incredible failure of polls to predict the primary loss of Eric Cantor to David Brat in VA a couple years back. But presidential polling is way more granular--there are more polls, different samples, they are taken more frequently, etc. And we can see that Trump has a deficiency with POC voters (Wow, really? Is this a source of shock to anyone at all, even his fans?) And young people are turned off by him. Even if you allow that POC and young voters might not turn out reliably--in general--they bloody well will for this election.

Add to all this the Trump campaign's lack of a strong ground game or strategic ad buys or logical campaigning strategy. There are obvious real-world indicators to point to if Trump loses that do not necessitate an assumption of "rigging".

Long story short--Trump might want to imply that there has been substantial rigging--but he's frigging wrong.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Frigging in the Rigging

There's so much actual stupid in this one Tweet regarding whether voter fraud is an actual thing that I struggle to know where to start--of course Republicans are admitting there is humungous voter fraud--take a look at all the voter ID laws and so forth they have put in place over lo! so many years! The GOP has been willing to smite all kinds of voters off the books to strain at gnats, basically. There really isn't this voter fraud of which Trump speaks--in fact, the illusion that there ever was was really a big old GOP whoop-de-do. This is not how voting works.  It doesn't matter what spokesghoul Rudy Giuliani, who decries the problems of voting in the inner cities whilst having been a Mayor of NYC elected twice (so suburban, NYC, what?) and thinks dead people are doing so much of the voting, says.   He, like Trump, should know better (and Giuliani probably does--Trump, not so much).

All elections are run on the state level. There is no overriding national vote frigging rigging. The elections have bipartisan oversight, and state government comes in both flavors: Republican and Democrat. It's just appallingly untrue for Trump to speculate about, and his saying it seems like a balm for his poll-wounded ego more than anything else.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Trump Unshackled

What, pray tell, took off the shackles of Donald Trump, anyway? Because he said this alarming thing on October 11, I would suppose this was a reaction to a combination of awfulness that hit him in succession: the 2005 "grab'em in the pussy" tape release, the not nearly what he needed debate performance, and then, the night of the long memories, when it turned out that some of the attention that he paid to people in his orbit was not appreciated at all. It seems like his first line of offense would be to cow the establishment GOP, who aren't supporting him the hell enough (as if they don't have their own electoral battles to think about. (Who even knew he felt shackled at all? He's basically had the least reigning-in by GOP leadership--they don't lecture, they roll their eyes and whistle, near as I can tell.)

But now that he's being hit by several accusations regarding his general sleaziness, he wants to lash out in a funny old narrative-killing way. See, he gathered about himself the accusers of Bill Clinton for sex-related misdoings and that one person from a case Mrs. Clinton had so many years ago, alleging that women need to be believed and that the very worst thing that could be done is to slander and insult them and make their lives more difficult--

So how does he confront the perfectly reasonable allegations of women, many of whom can be proven to have been associated with him, some having leveled complaints a good while before the last weeks of the presidential campaign--but were uniquely empowered by the words out of Trump's own mouth that he did "grab'em by the pussy"? He insults them and accuses them of being part of an international conspiracy involving bankers, the media, and a Mexican billionaire.  He alleges these women were never hot enough for him to assault them anyway--as if there is some degree of hotness at which--oh boy! he so would?

Now, I'm being a little charitable here. Hillary Clinton faced the slings and arrows of outrageous media misfortune for years before she reached for a "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy", and the truth be told, you could straight up follow that money regarding the Scaifes and sundry others in funding a local takedown--

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Keeping Up With Trump is Exhausting 2

So, the story that Donald Trump would stroll into  the dressing area where half or even wholly naked beauty contestants were changing turned from moderately gross, to mind-blowingly weird when it turns out he also took this kind of stroll into the dressing area of the Miss Teen USA contestants, who were as young as 15.  This would be underage, but very attractive girls. I think the line from the Buzzfeed story that kind of kills me is that one of the young ladies recalls talking about this with Ivanka Trump, who allegedly said, "Yeah, he does that." This is the Ivanka who saw her mother thrown over for a younger wife, and who asked her father not to date anyone younger than herself. Like this young lady already knew her dad was kind of weird about young females.

It got worse though, and at a pace that I should be used to by now. A clip came out that revealed Trump making an inappropriate comment about very young girls--that in ten years, he'd be dating them. But that's just talk, right? That kind of locker room banter that led him to describe, unbidden, his forcing himself on women without their consent, or his comment that it doesn't matter what the media writes, so long as one has "a young and beautiful piece of ass." But then it came out that there were two accusers who said that Trump did force himself on them (in the same way he did Jill Harth).  And then another, a former beauty queen, who also alleged other inappropriate pageant-related sexism. And then an accuser who alleges she was attacked at Mar-A-Lago.  Then, a People reporter admitted this happened to her too, in a harrowing, personal story. And a court date was set regarding rape accusations against Trump regarding an assault on an underage girl.

It's hard to know what to make of so many allegations coming about so swiftly--maybe all this attention to who Trump is finally told the women who had stories that they were not alone, and maybe now they would be believed. Some might suppose that this was engineered to derail Trump's campaign--I have a hard time with this rationale, though.

Coming forward with this sort of thing in your own name and with the political environment being what it is has a lot of risks. Reporters have certainly related that they have gotten some nasty and even downright threatening emails and phone calls regarding their coverage of Donald Trump from his followers, and I can't help but think that his accusers may bear a similar risk--but here they are choosing to take it even though Trump has tried to insist he is not what his own words have said he is, and tried to cover himself by deflecting with the allegations against former president Clinton.  I don't know how long that can work for him--especially if he tries to lash out at the outlets who broke these stories with lawsuits. That might put him under oath, and extract some information that would paint himself in a light he would not want.

It's a damn shame we can't have an issues-driven election, where both sides were concerned with the policies that would improve life for millions of Americans. But the primaries decided otherwise, and here we are. With one of the most capable and experienced politicians to run, and with a seedy egomaniacal "playboy billionaire" whose baggage just caught up with the train. And while he has defenders, they don't sound so good.  Not to these ears, anyway.