Friday, October 21, 2016
With polls showing Donald Trump hurtling toward a landslide loss to Hillary Clinton, the Republican presidential nominee is already calling for a do-over. Whether it’s to save face or to set the stage for a post-election media play, Trump has effectively stopped talking about any policy issues, instead focusing his fire on the “rigged” electoral system itself. It is a message he reiterated Wednesday night during the final presidential debate, when he refused to say whether he’d accept the results of the election if he loses. “I will keep you in suspense,” he said.
A growing number of concerned Republicans are standing up and speaking out.
Among them is Chris Ashby, a lawyer specializing in election law, who has monitored elections in the United States for over 15 years. “The election is not rigged. In fact, it’s anti-rigged,” Ashby wrote in an article and in a series of tweets that went viral earlier this week. “To rig an election, you would need technological capabilities that exist only in Mission Impossible movies,” he explained—and implying otherwise risks damaging Americans’ faith in the electoral system.
We called Ashby up to walk us through why Trump’s “rigged election” rhetoric is wrong, and how it could continue to resonate beyond November 8.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
2016 Sample Ballot for Albemarle County in Virginia:
A note on the "Whatever" thing - we can carve out an exemption in the Tax Code for this. There's no need for an amendment to the state constitution - this always looks like more GOP grandstanding. That said - whatever.
Google your state's Sec'y of State, or your party's local office, or the Voter Registration Office for your county.
Be ready to vote your interests, and don't get fooled - this is politics, which can make people do some shitty things. Read it. Understand it. Do your best.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
It happens almost every time. "Conventional wisdom" has it that the "liberal bias" is working against the noble "conservatives" and they never get a break because of course - Hillary's buddies own all the media and they'd never say anything bad about her.
But they talk shit about her all the time because fuck if I know. False flag?
Donald Trump loves to put his name on buildings, but there are no hospital wings named for him. No museums have a piece of artwork with a plaque reading “A Gift of Donald J. Trump.” No buildings at the University of Pennsylvania bear his name, even though he constantly cites his graduation from its Wharton School as a sign of his intelligence. (Contrary to Trump’s suggestion, he attended the school for only two years as an undergraduate and did not obtain a degree from Wharton’s far more prestigious graduate business program.)
Trump bears little resemblance to prominent billionaires such as Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Bloomberg or Charles Francis Feeney, who have dedicated huge sums of their wealth to aiding the less fortunate. There is no evidence that Trump has done much of anything to make the world a better place; what he has left behind is some buildings, along with a lot of wreckage and rancor.
Trump regularly cheats at golf, even revising his scorecard after a match to transform defeat into victory, according to two people who have played with him. He persuaded an elderly couple who ran a Florida antique store to let him “try out” two valuable pieces, then refused to return or pay for them, according to someone close to the Trump family. He bought expensive jewelry at Bulgari on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, then colluded with the store to have empty boxes supposedly containing his purchase shipped out of state so he could dodge New York sales tax, court records show. After dragging a buddy through years of litigation, Trump told the man he had filed the suit only because he was angry the friend had not given him enough public credit for his success, according to a person who witnessed the conversation.
When business executives came to his office, Trump bragged about his current wife, Melania, and showed them nude photographs from her modeling days, two bankers say. Trump encourages staff at the Trump Organization to tell him the faults of co-workers who are standing there, creating a vicious corporate environment, a former executive says. His niece and nephew sued him, alleging Trump used his influence over his then-demented father to rewrite his will and cut out his brother’s side of the family. Enraged by the suit, Trump reneged on a family commitment to pay the medical bills for his nephew’s sick baby. (They settled under confidential terms.)If I thought he was "legitimately" sick, I'd have to feel a little sorry for him. But he's not sick so much as he's a sick fuck - one really really sick fuck.
Monday, October 17, 2016
Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone:
Trump's shocking rise and spectacular fall have been a singular disaster for U.S. politics. Built up in the press as the American Hitler, he was unmasked in the end as a pathetic little prankster who ruined himself, his family and half of America's two-party political system for what was probably a half-assed ego trip all along, adventure tourism for the idiot rich.
That such a small man would have such an awesome impact on our nation's history is terrible, but it makes sense if you believe in the essential ridiculousness of the human experience. Trump picked exactly the wrong time to launch his mirror-gazing rampage to nowhere. He ran at a time when Americans on both sides of the aisle were experiencing a deep sense of betrayal by the political class, anger that was finally ready to express itself at the ballot box.
The only thing that could get in the way of real change – if not now, then surely very soon – was a rebellion so maladroit, ill-conceived and irresponsible that even the severest critics of the system would become zealots for the status quo.As is usual for Taibbi, it's kind of long and navel-gaze-y and it's a bit emotionally nihilistic, but there's a truth to it that needs to be said, which is not just "Stoopid GOP - what the hell happened to you guys!?!"
It is in fact partly that, but it's mostly: Hillary's not the horrible thing so many people are so eager to identify her as being, but she's also not the change agent so many of us think we need (at least she hasn't been for quite a while).
And for my own bad self, even though it's almost certain she'll win this thing, don't get happy. Don't start thinking we can hire her into the Oval Office and every shitty thing the GOP's been trying to pull will magically disappear. The GOP will go on trying to pull shitty things, and a good politician like Hillary Clinton will go along with some of them in order to get a deal on some of things she wants to do.
Constant public pressure and the election of "left-leaning" congress critters will help Hillary stay with what we think we're electing her to do.
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Democrat Hillary Clinton has opened a 15-point lead over Republican Donald Trump in Virginia among likely voters following the release of a 2005 tape in which Trump bragged about groping women, according to a new tracking survey by Christopher Newport University.
In the CNU survey out Sunday, Clinton leads statewide among likely voters with 44 percent to 29 percent for Trump, 11 percent for Libertarian Gary Johnson, 3 percent for independent Evan McMullin and 2 percent for Green Party nominee Jill Stein.But did you catch that delicate undertone?
Clinton has more than doubled her advantage in Virginia since CNU released its first tracking poll on Sept. 26.
“It’s crystal clear why the Trump campaign pulled staff out of Virginia this week,” said Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center for Public Policy at CNU.
If it holds - and if it indicates a strategy of the anti-Trump establishment GOP to help the vote-splitting 3rd parties maintain a double-digit total - this opens the shitty little negativity narrative of "Hillary has no mandate - too many Americans don't like her / don't trust her / think she's always lying etc etc etc".
Gingrich and Lott (I think) used the plurality thing against Bill Clinton in the 90s. There's no reason for me to think we shouldn't expect McConnell and Ryan et al to come out with "Someone has to represent the x% of Americans who didn't vote for Mrs Clinton".
Whatever that percentage actually is, they're likely to do their damnedest to spin it twist it and warp it into something they can pretend is a majority. Just listen for one of their favorite weasel-terms - "the American people" - and know they're simply inviting the inference that they have the majority on their side and those "others" are trying to steal things away from us and blah blah blah.
And here we go again.
Ya heard it here first, kids.
The guy can't help himself. Nothing goes by without a response. He has no sense of proportionality - correction: he has no sense at all.
Watched Saturday Night Live hit job on me.Time to retire the boring and unfunny show. Alec Baldwin portrayal stinks. Media rigging election!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2016
Trump was wearing his underwear when I gave him notes at SNL and believe me, I wasn't impressed.— Paula Pell (@perlapell) October 15, 2016