Gov. LePage to Trump: “Get over yourself”

lepageYou know Trump is having a difficult time when even the idiot governor of Maine Paul LePage thinks he is making a fool of himself. Apparently LePage is smart enough to understand that it is not good politics for a candidate to suggest he or she might not honour election results, this according to Politico.

Said LePage: “Not accepting the results, I think, is just a stupid comment… I mean, c’mon. Get over yourself.”

Good one.

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On the Hustings

hillary-clinton-screenshot-800x430New York Times: Hillary Clinton, mocking and taunting in debate, turns the tormentor

Bloomberg Politics: Poll shows Republicans less committed to Trump in defeat

The Hill: Trump: “I’ll accept election results – if I win”

Monmouth University Polling Institution: Clinton stays ahead; Feingold with Smaller lead in Wisconsin

Quinnipiac University Poll: Clinton tops Trump by 7 points; Most voters say media biased against Trump

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Donald Trump confirms he is a danger to our democracy

debate-150x150There are many things one could say about tonight’s presidential debate but there is probably only one thing everyone will be talking about tomorrow. When asked directly by debate moderator Chris Wallace if he would accept the results of next month’s presidential election, Donald Trump said, “I will look at it at the time.” (Apparently some members of the audience gasped when he said this).

Certainly we have been listening to Trump talk about how there is massive voter fraud across the country, despite no evidence to support this. We have listened to him speak of the election being rigged and might have anticipated he would express doubts about the fairness of the process once it was over, should he lose, which appears likely. But it was quite jarring to hear him say the words that he would not promise to accept the final results of the democratic process should his candidacy be unsuccessful.

The words that we will all hear said over and over again tomorrow are some variant these: The peaceful transfer of power is one of the most fundamental principles of American democracy.

Perhaps we will also hear many people say that a candidate who does not believe this is surely not qualified to be president of the United States.

There will be some discussion on various news sites and panel shows about Putin, reproductive rights, the treatment of women, Iran, Syria, ISIS, etc. Perhaps some will devote a few lines to how Hillary Clinton was her competent if somewhat dull self, and Donald Trump, though starting out more or less coherent, eventually became his typically obnoxious, blathering self. Steve Schmidt on MSNBC probably said it best when he described Trump as like an old man in the park feeding squirrels and arguing with himself.

But, again, Trump’s comments on perhaps not respecting the outcome of the electoral process confirms what we always knew. Donald Trump doesn’t understand what it means to love anything more than he loves himself. It is richly ironic that a candidate who promises to make American great again would endanger one of America’s most important ideals. That he would, in an earlier part of the debate, refer in such grand terms to the intentions of the framers of the Constitution only to later disrespect so much of what they intended for future generations with his noxious formulation, is beyond reprehensible.

So, Hillary won the debate. Donald Trump is an ass. He needs to go away, and soon.

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What does the right-track/wrong-track metric actually mean?

imageI recognize that most people with an intetest in politics are focusing on tonight’s presidential debate, which is as it should be.

For the moment I am fixated on a short piece Steve Benen wrote today on how people interpret the right-track/wrong-track measure which typically indicates that 70 percent of the electorate think we are on the wrong track.

Trump and his friends like to say this means we are in a “change” election cycle in which vast numbers of people are of a mind to kick out anyone currently in a position of power, especially those associated with our sitting president.

But maybe that’s way too simple, Mr. Benen opines. He writes that the answer to the question does not address what kind of change voters might want and what it is specifically they are unhappy about. For example:

If a poll respondent is unsatisfied with the country’s direction, is he/she a conservative who disapproves of President Obama or a liberal who opposes the Republican Congress? Or perhaps an independent who’s outraged by the rise of Donald Trump as a competitive presidential hopeful?

We know Mrs. Clinton is starting to put some distance between herself and Mr. Trump. We know increasing numbers of people are terrified of the kind of change Trump might bring. And we know President Obams is a pretty popular guy at this point in his presidency.

Sure, people want change but that fact tells us absolutely nothing about the kind of change they are looking for or who they think is best positioned to make it happen.

It reminds me of top line numbers on the popularity of Obamacare, which fail to separate out those who favour a single-payer system from those who prefer to let people who can’t pay for healthcare die in the street.

First you get the numbers and then you do the hard work of figuring out what they mean. Is that too much to ask?

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This Day In American History: October 5, 1921 – The first radio broadcast of a World Series game

Grantland Rice

Grantland Rice

KDKA and WJZ of Newark broadcast the first World Series on the radio, with Grantland Rice and Tommy Cowan calling the games for KDKA and WJZ, respectively.  \

Just like in the movie Bull Durham the broadcasters were not actually at the game but reported based on a telegraph wire.

The New York Giants played the New York Yankees. The Yankees won that first game 3-0. It was played at the Polo Ground, and attendance was 30,203. But the Giants went on to win the series 5 games to 3 (best 5 of 9), and also the first World Series appearance by the Yankees, who I understand make it back a few times.

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Al Gore to court millennials for Hillary (God help us all)

451526006-0-0By now we have heard that former vice-president, failed presidential candidate, and famed eco-warrior Al Gore has agreed to act as a campaign surrogate for Hillary Clinton in an attempt to appeal to millennial voters who are worried about climate change.

Polling shows that third-party candidates like Jill Stein and Gary Johnson could potentially have a disastrous impact on the final results, just as Ralph Nader did in 2000 when Florida was awarded to George W. One poll found that 44 percent of voters 18-34 said that they would vote for one of the two third-party challengers.

I fully understand that Hillary Clinton is no one’s idea of exciting, especially when compared to President Obama. Although, as I think about that, she might be considered off-the-map thrilling when compared to Mr. Gore.

It’s a little bit like your grandparent’s dropping a band name from thirty years ago that no one remembers just to show how “with it” they are when conversing with the grandkids. Yes, I hear that Al Gore is really popular with the young’uns today.

Somewhat less cheekily, as Jeff Stein at Vox writes:

… the millennials most likely to have any personal connection to Gore as a public figure are the young voters already likely to vote for Clinton. Clinton is performing relatively well among “older millennials” — or those roughly ages 26 to 35. It’s the “young millennials,” those ages 18 to 25, who are turning away from the Democratic Party’s nominee.

This second group likely doesn’t have much of a grasp of Gore’s story — after all, most of them were toddlers when the Bill Clinton–Al Gore ticket first ran, in elementary school during the 2000 recount, and in middle school for the 2006 release of An Inconvenient Truth.

Not a bad call to talk up climate change, just maybe not the best messenger.

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USA TODAY says Trump unfit to be president

imageI’m not suggesting newspaper endorsements for the presidency matter very much or the fact that some papers which always endorse the Republucan candidate are backing Clinton this time will have an impact on the final outcome.

Heck, that is fairly obviously a part of Trump’s master plan, to run against elites at every opportunity including the media.

It is however strangely soothing to see a paper that has never made a presidential endorsement in its 34-year history make one now, at least to the extent they are a indicating their displeasure with Trump’s candidacy, even if they are not therefore endorsing Clinton.

USA Today is hardly a highbrow publication, so maybe that makes their advice that much more interesting. Kind of makes you wonder who Trump’s supporters are if this easy-to-read -and-understand rag is considered a part of the hated elites.

No matter. This is what their editorial board had to say.

This year, the choice isn’t between two capable major party nominees who happen to have significant ideological differences. This year, one of the candidates — Republican nominee Donald Trump — is, by unanimous consensus of the Editorial Board, unfit for the presidency.

From the day he declared his candidacy 15 months ago through this week’s first presidential debate, Trump has demonstrated repeatedly that he lacks the temperament, knowledge, steadiness and honesty that America needs from its presidents.

Never in the course of human events has a position been so obviously true on the state of a presidential election, yet here we are as October approaches.

While we are on the topic of “newspaper” endorsements, you may have missed the fact that The National Enquirer endorsed Trump last March with these words:

“Our readers have a great affection and fondness for Donald Trump,” editor-in-chief Dylan Howard said in a recent imageinterview. “It’s a readership that is disenfranchised. They do not like the political establishment. They see Donald Trump as someone who will champion their cause, just like the National Enquirer has championed their cause for many decades.”

And Elvis’s alien baby hopes you’ll register to vote today.

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Trump may go all Lewinsky on Hillary in the next debate

New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin attend a news conference in New York July 23, 2013. Weiner, with Abedin by his side, said he is staying in the race after confirming on Tuesday that some newly revealed sexually explicit online chats and photos, published this week by a gossip website, were sent by him. REUTERS/Eric Thayer (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS MEDIA ELECTIONS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTX11WM7

There are few people unaware of the fact that Bill Clinton has a past when it come to stepping out. There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton has told a few lies over the decades in order to minimize the political damage to her husband caused by said philandering. One could argue that she did not know the affairs had actually happened when she lashed out at the accusers, but that is hardly a credible assertion.  It’s never been a great situation.

Today, The Washington Post reports that “Donald Trump and his surrogates have signalled that he may bring up the subject in the next presidential debate.”

The same story cites a 2000 interview with Hillary Clinton when she was running for a New York Senate seat in New York in which she was “asked whether she mislead the public in defending her husband.”

“It is something that I deeply regret that anyone had to go through,” she said. “And I wish that we could all look at it from the perspective of history, but we can’t.”

For that and similar statements Trump has called her an enabler.

If he does bring it up in the debates, my guess is that she will repeat what she said in her convention speech, which is that she and Bill have had many challenges in their marriage but have chosen to work them out and stay together.

It will make her an object of sympathy and remind people that Trump is in no position to criticize. In other words, he would be a fool to go there, but he is after all a fool.

What we know about Trump is that he always thinks he can make his case no matter how incoherent. He did it on his taxes in Monday’s debate and on his defence of birtherism.  He’ll do it again on the issue of Bill’s infidelity with the same result because that is what defines the man. He thinks he can successfully litigate every issue even when his advisors would probably rather he move on.

I can perfectly visualize the exchange including her picture perfect presentation and his goofy facial expressions. She wins. He loses.

The only thing the electorate will see is a bully blaming a woman for the fact that her husband had been unfaithful.

Whatever else may be true, it is better for Hillary and her supporters that he talk about anything other than economic nationalism and a general taste for change. That is his winning hand and he is too stupid, thin skinned, and undisciplined to make it work for him.

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When is a poll not a poll?

polls2I suspect many people were confused after Monday’s presidential debate to discover that several “on-line” polls found Donald Trump to be the winner by an overwhelming margin. It turns out that the  polls which support this claim are really just for the purposes of entertainment and have no credibility in the world of legitimate scientific polling.

One news executive, at Fox no less, cautioned staff and producers in a memo that such polls “do not meet our editorial standards.”

Dana Blanton, the vice-president of public opinion research at Fox News, explained in the memo … that “on-line polls like the ones in Drudge, Time, etc., where people can opt in or self-select … are really just for fun.”

He continued,

“As most of the publications themselves clearly state, the sample obviously can’t be representative of the electorate because they only reflect the views of those Internet users who have chosen to participate.

That didn’t stop various Fox personalities like Sean Hannity and Brian Kilmeade from citing them, but they were citing nonsense, as is most usually the case at Fox. In fact, polls conducted in a manner consistent with scientific methodology found that Clinton beat Trump, and rather badly.

I wouldn’t want to go as far as to say that even Fox News is getting nervous about the lies habitually told on their network, but it seems something moved them to express concern.

Unfortunately once these claims, based on nothing, are made public, they are believed by those who need to believe them, and nothing can put the genie back in the bottle.

No one reads a retraction, not that Hannity, et. al., are offering one.

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This Day in American History: September 28, 1781 – The Battle of Yorktown Begins


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