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July 28, 2016


Hal Brown’s July blog
My photo blog is here. +++ Links to all the several dozen articles I cross-posted to Daily Kos with comments are here.

Monday, August 1, 2016
Just so you know:

Even the thesaurus doesn’t fully describe the character of the man who wants to be president.
Lost in the news cycle because of Trump’s double and
triple downing on his attacks against the Khans.
Read "Trump's Ukraine statements reveal staggering
 ignorance, frightening duplicity, or both

Morning TV: Trump surrogates dance away from directly addressing his insensitive remarks about Khan family.

Trump has a different standard for how his
male surrogates look than his female ones.
Katrina Pierson known mostly for appearing
on TV with her bullet necklace ..

Amazing how his surrogates scramble to translate all of Trump’s outlandish, unhinged utterances. 

Mark Cuban Rips Jag-Off Trump

"Leadership, leadership is not yelling and screaming and intimidating, right?" Cuban said during a campaign stop in Pittsburgh on Saturday. And he didn't hold much back.
"You know what we call a person like that, the screamers, the yellers, the people who try to intimidate you? You know what we call people like that in Pittsburgh? A jag-off. Is there any bigger jag-off in the world than Donald Trump?” (Cuban is a real multibillionaire who is star of reality show Shark Tank.)

Sunday, July 31, 2016
Quote without comment:
"She's a very dishonest person. I have one of the great temperaments. I have a winning temperament. She has a bad temperament. She's weak. I have a temperament where I know how to win. She doesn't know how to win.”

Speaking about the time he played golf with Michael “Let’s elect a sane and competent person”)  Bloomberg: "And I hit the ball a lot longer, a lot better.

Take that Fox News Department: 

Fox cut away from the DNC when Mr. Khan was speaking. Now Trump’s obscenely insensitive and bigoted reaction, and his lame damage repair, and the Khans remaining in the spotlight in subsequent interviews, forces Fox to reluctantly cover the story. Of course the other network shows have justifiably put this matter with the Khan family and Trump’s heartless reaction (as Jonathan Alter just put it) are focusing on what this says about Trump. Hillary, wisely, didn’t jump on Trump for this, but instead expressed puzzlement and left it up to others to draw their conclusions. 

Like every Democrat who writes or speaks about Trump, whether online or to friends, we find it difficult to find words to describe his latest outrages. I think Ezra Klein put it well here:

Trump listened to a speech by the bereaved father of a fallen Muslim soldier and used it to slander the fallen soldier’s family. That was his response. That is his character. 
At this point, I honestly don’t know what to say. I don’t have new language for this, I haven’t found another way of saying this isn’t okay, this isn’t kind, this isn’t decent. Instead, I’ll note James Fallows’s response
He quotes Joseph Welch, speaking to Senator Joseph McCarthy in 1954. 
"Until this moment," he said, "I think I never really gauged your cruelty.” link

Saturday, July 30, 2016
Stooping even lower department:
Just when you wonder if Trump can stoop any lower, and get away with this, he disparages the parents of a Muslim soldier, who sacrificed his life to save others. 
Trump Responds To Father Of Killed American Soldier, 
Can’t Name A Single Sacrifice
Speaking with ABC, the Republican nominee also took on Khan and his wife, Ghazala, suggesting she wasn’t allowed to speak at the convention. 
 “If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me,” Trump said. 
Ghazala Khan was in tears as she spoke about her son during an interview on MSNBC’s “The Last Word” on Friday. She said she told her son, “’be safe, and don’t become hero for me, just be my son, come back as a son.’ He came back as a hero.” 
Trump also suggested that Khan’s remarks were not his own but were written by Hillary Clinton’s campaign. In fact, Khan told The Huffington Post Friday the DNC allowed him to say whatever he wanted.

Trump said a basic F-You to the mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, comrades in arms…. and a grateful nation… whose loved ones sacrificed their lives for our nation, and likewise, to those whose loved ones and they themselves are currently in harms way.
He should have expressed his deepest sympathy, but then he’d have to have one ounce of conscience, compassion, and class (the three C’s he lacks) to do this. 
You don’t have to be too cynical to think Trump wishes he had thought of having two white parents whose child had been a decorated soldier hero killed in combat by Muslim extremists. Instead he manages to find the parents of children who were killed by an illegal immigrants to speak at his convention — try not to gag at this:

Father of son killed by illegal alien: 'Trump is sent from God'

As part of the Republican National Convention's day one theme, "Keep America Safe Again," three parents who lost children at the hands of illegal aliens told delegates, media and American voters Monday night why they are supporting Donald Trump for president.
Jamiel Shaw lost his son Jas in 2008 to a Mexican gang member who had been released from jail 24 hours earlier. Shaw said politicians rallied around him and his family for a couple weeks following the incident, but no one stuck around to help him fight for immigration reforms that would improve Americans' security until Donald Trump launched his campaign last June.
"Only Trump called me on the phone one day to see how I was doing. Only Trump will stand against terrorists and illegal immigration," Shaw told attendees. "Trump is sent from God.
"I've been talking about illegal immigration since 2012, and no one listened until Donald Trump," said Sabine Durden, who lost her son Dominic to a criminal illegal immigrant who had been driving drunk. "Donald Trump is not only my hero, he's my life saver. Hillary Clinton, or as we know her, Crooked Hillary, always talks about what she will do for illegal aliens and what she will do for refugees. Well, Donald Trump talks about what he will do for America."
Mary Ann Mendoza agreed with Shaw's comments, telling viewers she did not want Hillary Clinton to win the election because it would endanger the lives of children.
Mendoza lost her police officer son, Brandon, when a drunk illegal alien crashed head-on into him two years ago. The assailant was only given 35 days jail time for killing her son under the influence, a punishment she said was not sufficient for the crime he committed.
"It's time that we have an administration that cares more about Americans than about illegals," Mendoza said. "A vote for Hillary is putting all of our children's lives at risk. It's time for Donald Trump.”

Quote of the day:
Joseph Schmitz, a foreign policy adviser to Trump, denied there was any direct relationship between the campaign and the Kremlin. “We had to negotiate with Joseph Stalin when we had a common enemy called Hitler,” he said. “Bill Clinton went on vacation in Russia when he was a Rhodes scholar. That’s a fact. If anyone is in bed with Russia, it’s the Clintons.” “Donald Trump and Russia: a web that grows..” The Guardian

Ezra Klein says what I’ve been hoping to hear more of from the media:
But in this year’s presidential election, the difference is more fundamental than that: The Democratic Party is a normal political party that has nominated a normal presidential candidate, and the Republican Party has become an abnormal political party that has nominated an abnormal presidential candidate. Read more
 And while most Republicans fear Democrats keeping the White House enough to unhappily support Trump, it’s worth listening to what they’ve said about him.
Ted Cruz called Trump a "pathological liar," "utterly amoral," and "a narcissist at a level I don't think this country's ever seen."
Rick Perry said Trump’s candidacy was "a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised, and discarded."
National Review, the flagship journal of American conservatism, said Trump "is a menace to American conservatism."
Rand Paul said Trump is "a delusional narcissist and an orange-faced windbag. A speck of dirt is way more qualified to be president."
A list like this could go on, and on, and on. But here’s the point: These aren’t normal political condemnations. This isn’t normal political language. Republicans know they’ve nominated a dangerous man. They tried to warn their voters in the strongest terms possible that Trump is unqualified, untrustworthy, and amoral.
Michael Bloomberg, the former Republican mayor of New York City, put it simply in a speech endorsing Clinton. "Together, let's elect a sane, competent person," he said. That is what an endorsement sounds like when the choice shifts from left versus right to normal versus abnormal.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Breaking news - why are the Democrats hacker targets?
Second Democratic organization hacked! First the DNC and now the DCCC. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) on Friday confirmed reports that it had been hacked, saying the breach is similar to the one that hit the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Donald Trump say he has no plans to release his tax return….
Hillary and Tim should continue to take a page from the Trump book of innuendo and strongly suggest that he must have something to hide since it is so easy to instruct your accountant to release his taxes. I can think of a few sarcastic lines about this, unless they are hand-written and need to be scanned into PDF format.

In fact, I think that most people figure he does have something to hide. Is it something he didn’t do, like give to charity, or doesn’t have, like several billion dollars, or something that he DID DO, like try to deduct an expensive gift to Putin as a business expense?
"Most people don't care about it. I’ve had very, very little pressure.”
Will there be a post-convention bounce? Stay tuned.

Some Trump surrogate, one of those rotund men he has on Morning Joe periodically, criticized Hillary by saying “I doubt she drives her own car…." (uhh-oh he must have thought as he quickly added “I guess Donald Trump is driven around.” Really?

Thursday, Day Four, July 28, 2016
Star Power on Day Four:
Singing You’ve Got a Friend written by her old friend James Taylor.

Generally considered the best take-downs of Trump on day three:
Also in the news from N. Korea,
“U.S. has crossed the red line,
relations now on a war footing."

“I’m a New Yorker, and I know a con when we see one!" 
“Let’s elect a sane, competent person,” he said.
The normally soft-spoken owner of Bloomberg financial-news service excoriated his fellow New Yorker, labeling him a “dangerous demagogue,” a hypocrite, a con, and—slashing at the core of Trump’s self-worth—a horrible businessman.
“Throughout his career,” Bloomberg said in his prime-time address. “Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies and thousands of lawsuits and angry shareholders and contractors who feel cheated and disillusioned customers who feel ripped off. Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s run his business. God help us!” 
“Truth be told, the richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy!”
Bloomberg said America is greater than Trump suggests and needs a better president than Trump could be. “I understand the appeal of a businessman president. But Trump’s business plan is a disaster in the making,” he said. 
“The bottom line is: Trump is a risky, reckless, and radical choice. And we can't afford to make that choice!” 
Michael Bloomberg

Millions of people are seeing the National Enquirer front page (scroll down); but this is what millions of New Yorkers are seeing today on newsstands:
It gets worse, and beyond belief… Trump seemed to back Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea:
Donald Trump’s call on Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails Wednesday resulted in widespread criticism. But his comments on Crimea, coupled with ones he made last week on NATO, are likely to have greater significance if he is elected president in November.
The question came from Mareike Aden, a German reporter, who asked him whether a President Trump would recognize Crimea as Russian and lift sanctions on Moscow imposed after its 2014 annexation of the Ukrainian territory. The candidate’s reply: “Yes. We would be looking at that.”
That response is likely to spread much cheer through Russia—already buoyant about the prospect of a Trump victory in November. But it could spread at least an equal amount of dread in the former Soviet republics. In a matter of two weeks, the man who could become the next American president has not only questioned the utility of NATO, thereby repudiating the post-World War II security consensus, he also has seemingly removed whatever fig leaf of protection from Russia the U.S. offered the post-Soviet republics and Moscow’s former allies in the Eastern bloc. The Atlantic

Wednesday, Day Three, July 27, 2016

ON the checkout aisle at Freddie’s: National Enquirer “reveals” Trumps secret plan to defeat Hillary. He will reveal:
1)  her “lesbian shenanigans 
2) that she spent time in a mental hospital after Bill had sex with a woman at their engagement party
3) that Bill has a son from his affair with childhood sweetheart Dolly Kyle Browning named Anthony Peterson
4) more about Monica
5) that the Clintons have a $100 divorce pact that assures they will stay married during the campaign
6) that there are audio recordings of staffers warning Gennifer Flowers to lie
7) that there’s a secret recording and transcript of Bill’s meeting with Loretta Lynch that has him cutting a deal to assure Hillary doesn’t go to prison in return for Lynch remaining on at Attorney General

Full Frontal's Samantha Bee recaps the cringe-inducing lows of the 2016 Election thus far in a scathing stroll down memory lane.

Tuesday, Day Two, July 26, 2016
Some stations cut away from this so you may have missed it:
Featured in the video: Aisha Tyler, Alan Cumming, America Ferrera, Ben Platt, Billy Porter, Chrissie Fit, Connie Britton, Elizabeth Banks, Ellen Greene, Esther Dean, Eva Longoria, Garrett Clayton, Hana Mae Lee, Ian Somerholder, Idina Menzel, Jaime King, Jane Fonda, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, John Michael Higgens, Josh Lucas, Julie Bowen, Kathy Najimy, Kelly Jackle, Kristin Chenoweth, Mandy Moore, Mary McCormack, Mary-Louise Parker, Mike Thompkins, Nikki Read, Rachel Platten, Renee Fleming, Rob Reiner, Shelley Regner, Sia, TR Knight..

On the Bernie or busters:
Bernie or bust really means Bernie or Trump. When participants in the Okalhoma Land Rush in 1889 said "Oklahoma or bust" they knew that "or bust" might mean getting killed by the indians whose land they were stealing with government sanction. Now the "or bust" means giving the election to a proto-fascist.
UPDATE: Bernie just told his supporters that it is now “Hillary or bust.” Now somebody has to convince these holdouts that there are two meanings of “or bust.” There's the personal, the “I plan to pack my bags and go home” or bust. And most significantly, there’s the giving the election to Donald Trump “or bust."

 I doubt this hopefully small minority saying they may vote for Trump will ever be convinced to vote for Hillary. It is interesting from a psychological perspective to listen to them. These people aren’t reacting emotionally to Bernie’s losing. They have what they believe to be rational reasons for considering voting for Trump. 
New Yorker article Excerpt (emphasis mine):
From “White Plight” in The New Yorker
For many, the 2008 election of Barack Obama seemed as if it might be an “ending” of sorts. But of what? On a purely demographic level, Obama’s rise embodied an inevitable future: by 2055, the majority of Americans would be nonwhite. He had merely arrived ahead of schedule. Still, one election wouldn’t erase the structures and ideologies that had kept the country’s wealth in white hands. Maybe what was ending was a bit more abstract. There was, in Obama’s manner of carrying himself, something that upended traditional status relations. An early sign of this came while Obama was on the campaign trail. At a meeting with wealthy Democratic donors, he described the plight of the white working class in Midwestern small towns, where “the jobs have been gone now for twenty-five years and nothing’s replaced them,” and remarked, “It’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” This certainly wasn’t the first time an authority figure had spoken patronizingly of the white working class. But now the authority figure was black, and had spoken with the confidence that the future belonged to people like him. Obama, in essence, had given poor and working-class white people the language to think of themselves as outsiders. After all, they weren’t the kind of people who would have been in the room with him that day. Within the more responsive spheres of media and entertainment, of course, Obama’s rise has helped us imagine how America will see itself once “white” and mainstream are no longer synonymous. One might point to cultural touchstones like Beyonc√©, “Hamilton,” and “Scandal” as a preview of what this future will look like. In these somewhat rarefied realms, whiteness is, in ways big and small, constantly being treated as a problem, from this year’s #OscarsSoWhite outrage to calls to strip university buildings of the names of their more vexing white forefathers. Whiteness, among those with a title to it, is invoked only in a dance of disavowal. Away from these predominantly liberal arenas, however, white identity has found a more potent form of salience. For poor and working-class whites, skin color no longer feels like an implicit guarantor of privilege. There is a sense that others, thanks to affirmative action or lax immigration policies, have nudged ahead of them on the ladder of social ascent. Their whiteness is, in fact, the very reason they suspect that they are under siege. Marginalized by a black President, as they imagine, and alienated by urbane √©lites of every hue, they have begun to understand themselves in terms of identity politics. It almost doesn’t matter whether their suspicions are true in a strictly material sense. The accident of white skin still brings with it economic and social advantages, but resentment is a powerful engine, particularly when the view from below feels unprecedented. 

Monday, DNC Convention week, July 25, 2016: Are angry Sanders supporters telling pollsters they will vote for Trump, and will they really vote for Hillary? Let’s hope so.
Latest poll
First take: Debbie Wasserman-Schultz speaks to group in Florida and is booed by Bernie supporters. Is this a sign of what will happen at the convention? Talk is that DWS should not be on the stage at the convention tonight. There are still a number of Bernie supporters who are so angry that they are willing to disrupt the convention with their message of “Bernie or Bust.” Let’s not forget the that the “or Bust” part of this means electing Donald Trump.

Sunday, July 24, 2016 First watch:
….a window into a reality that has a lot of liberals and Democrats just as nervous: thousands of people who gathered in Cleveland this past week — and many more around the country — actually believe the scary rhetoric that spewed from the stage of Quicken Loans Arena. Wherever the ideas originated, they are not just talking points to the millions of Americans who made Donald Trump the leader of the Republican Party. They are “facts.”  “Boy, that’s a scary thought,” said Mike Huey, a bluff, friendly 56-year-old from Illinois who was nevertheless willing to sport a button that read “Life’s a bitch. Don’t vote for one.”He was among many Trump supporters asked by The Huffington Post in Cleveland how they would feel if Clinton wins, and the country becomes Hillary’s America. Many of them expressed fear, and not just your garden variety fear of political disappointment, but more your arm-yourself-to-the-teeth kind of fear. “Well, I would run to the store as fast as I could and get as much ammo as I could and buckle down,” said Pamela Nicolay, a central Californian who last voted for a president when it was Ronald Reagan. HuffPo
First read reaction: On reading these words in a Huffington Post article
In his first public comments on Roger Ailes’ departure from Fox News following an investigation into alleged sexual harassment, Donald Trump declined to say whether or not the media mogul is helping his campaign.
“Well, I don’t want to comment,” the Republican nominee told Chuck Todd in an interview airing on NBC’s “Meet The Press” Sunday. “But he’s been a friend of mine for a long time.”
Trump goes on to say that Ailes has helped the women who are now “complaining.”
“And when they write books that are fairly recently released, and they say wonderful things about him,” he said. “And now all of a sudden they’re saying these horrible things about him. It’s very sad. Because he’s a very good person. I’ve always found him to be just a very, very good person.”
it hit me that for Trump, and apparently his supporters

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