Open Thread: Affirmatively Pro-HRC

Yeah, just because Hillary voters weren’t seeking out chances to yell LOCK HIM UP on camera, doesn’t mean they didn’t exist. From Politico, ten days ago, “Revenge of the White Working-Class Woman“:

… The first polls to emerge since the release of the “Access Hollwood” videotape now show a historic gender gap splitting what might be the GOP’s most important constituency. The fracture was already apparent back in August, when a four-way poll showed Trump’s lead over Clinton among white men without a college degree was 40 percent, but only 12 percent among women without a college degree. This week, after the 2005 videotape was released, that number stayed roughly the same for blue-collar men—Trump is still up in that group by 43 percentage points—but it tanked for women, to a low that hasn’t been seen since the 1960s, with the exception of Bill Clinton in 1996. According to the first post-videotape poll, among white women without a college degree, Hillary Clinton had pulled even.

It might be easy to write off blue-collar women as a special interest group, like the 18-25 demographic of some slice of suburbia. But the situation is almost exactly the opposite: If you look at the white working class—Americans without a college degree—the majority, 53 percent, are women. Right now, the numbers suggest that within that group, women’s interests appear to be diverging so quickly from their male counterparts they could stop whatever momentum Trump has left. “The rationale for [Trump’s] candidacy is that he is the champion of the hardworking Americans that the elitists have left behind. But many of those hardworking Americans are women,” says John J. Pitney Jr., an American politics professor at Claremont McKenna College…

Monday Evening Open Thread: Vladimir’s Men Are Very Disappointed

Their choice of catspaws just aren’t doing the job of relitigating the Cold War. But the gentlemen at Foreign Affairs permit themselves a small frosty smile concerning “Russia’s October Surprise“:

The month of October is never a quiet one in a U.S. presidential election year. But this time, the run-up to the vote has been marked by a series of high-stakes cyber-skirmishes between Washington and Moscow. Over the summer, intent on derailing the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Russia released damning emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC), leading to the resignation of chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Hoping to create yet another stir, Russia then handed over a batch of Clinton’s e-mails to WikiLeaks on October 7. But much to Moscow’s chagrin, Washington was able to rob Moscow of the element of surprise, and Russia’s “October surprise” fizzled.

Just before the WikiLeaks dump, the White House released a statement in which it directly accused Russia for the first time of hacking the e-mails of DNC and Democratic Party members. The unexpected and unprecedented announcement dominated the headlines, leaving Russia’s and WikiLeaks’ attempts to show Clinton as shifty and close to Wall Street as a sideshow….

The failure of Russia’s long-planned October surprise to tip the election appears to have angered Moscow, which had planned this operation well in advance in hopes of destroying Clinton’s chance of winning the presidency.
While news of the DNC hacks first surfaced in June, it was widely reported that they had taken place months earlier, and the e-mails were purposely released in July just before the Democratic National Convention. On July 27, Trump explicitly welcomed Russia’s release of the hacked e-mails, stating, “I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. . . . I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” When the leaked e-mails failed to get sufficient attention, Trump supporters were deeply disappointed. Trump associate Roger Stone tweeted on October 1, “@HillaryClinton is done. #Wikileaks.” There is every reason to believe that Russian hackers and their sponsors felt the same way and were disappointed when Hillary’s support surged after the release, while Donald Trump’s campaign hit the shoals…

Trump’s continued decline in the polls throughout October suggests that Russia’s saber rattling has not had any clear electoral impact. International affairs are simply not central to most voters in this election. This is a fact that is hard for average Russians to understand, as their television propaganda keeps them on high alert to the possibility of a Western invasion. As a result, they tend to believe that Americans are also centrally focused on Russia, which is clearly not the case…

On October 17, a British bank announced that it was shutting down the United Kingdom­–based bank accounts of Russia Today, a pro-Kremlin media channel. Although the measure will not take Russia Today off the air in Europe, it will most likely make it extremely difficult for the Russian state propaganda network to operate in the United Kingdom. This is the first time that a Western government apparently intervened directly in the media to curb Russian English-language propaganda stations. The move comes just before France and Germany face vitally important elections in the next year. Russian hackers are also suspected of stealing the e-mails of Germany’s Christian Democrat Union parliamentarians, who face a challenge from pro-Russia right-wing extremists. There will probably be selective releases of e-mails from the incumbents there, too, as the election approaches.

Ecuador’s decision to deny WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange Internet access should probably be read in the same light. Although the circumstances of Ecuador’s decision remain unknown, there is every reason to suspect that it capitulated to Western government pressure, given the sensitive timing of Assange’s involvement in the U.S. presidential campaign. After all, external efforts to covertly undermine democratic elections have an unfortunate resonance in Latin America…


Once having acknowledged that the 1960s are never coming back, thankfully, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

Obama Ices Issa

Some of y’all mentioned this in earlier threads, but additional details about the Obama-on-Issa smack-down make it all the more delicious. Via Jezebel:

California Rep. and wheezing obstructionist Rep. Darrell Issa (R), locked in the closest race of his congressional career thanks to the half-melted pile of candy corn from Halloween ‘83 that he endorsed for president, has proven himself rather immune to irony; most recently, Issa tried to praise President Obama, the man he’s spent 8 years demonizing, in a campaign mailer. Unfortunately for Issa, Obama is about to leave office and has nothing to lose.

Last week, Issa sent out a mailer that included, according to the Los Angeles Times, “a nice photo of Obama at his desk” and a quote from Issa saying he was “very pleased” that Obama signed the Survivors Bill of Rights into law. At a fundraiser on Sunday night for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Obama praised Issa’s opponent, retired Marine Col. Doug Applegate, and called Issa “shameless.”

“Let me just point out that as far as I can tell, Issa’s primary contribution to the United States Congress has been to obstruct and to waste taxpayer dollars on trumped up investigations that have led nowhere,” Obama said, referring to Issa’s use of his image as “the definition of chutzpah.”

THWACK! I hadn’t realized the smarmy car thief was trying to hide behind PBO’s coattails. Yeah, “chutzpah” is the word, alright.

Issa was reduced to bleating about Benghazi in a follow-up statement, a sure sign that President Obama’s haymaker floored the slimy congressman. It would be great to see that sanctimonious, hypocritical prick Issa hit the bricks. C’mon California!

You’ve been so kind and generous

We blew way past our 50K goal, and now past our 75K goal. Let’s keep it going.

Goal Thermometer


This is hilarious:

The Trump campaign built a large policy shop in Washington that has now largely melted away because of neglect, mismanagement and promises of pay that were never honored. Many of the team’s former members say the campaign leadership never took the Washington office seriously and let it wither away after squeezing it dry.

Donald Trump often brags about having experts and senior former officials advising him. Wednesday night in a forum on national security, he said, “We have admirals, we have generals, we have colonels. We have a lot of people that I respect.” It’s true that Trump is getting high-level policy advice on a regular basis from senior experts such as Rudy Giuliani and retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn. But Trump has never acknowledged the policy shop based in Washington that has been doing huge amounts of grunt work for months without recognition or compensation.

Since April, advisers never named in campaign press releases have been working in an Alexandria-based office, writing policy memos, organizing briefings, managing surrogates and placing op-eds. They put in long hours before and during the Republican National Convention to help the campaign look like a professional operation.

But in August, shortly after the convention, most of the policy shop’s most active staffers quit. Although they signed non-disclosure agreements, several of them told me on background that the Trump policy effort has been a mess from start to finish.

“It’s a complete disaster,” one disgruntled former adviser told me. “They use and abuse people. The policy office fell apart in August when the promised checks weren’t delivered.”


One Vote in Florida Banked for Hillary Rodham Clinton


Today is the first day of early voting in Florida, and I was there within an hour of the polls opening. I was more moved and excited about the chance to vote for the first woman president than expected this morning. To mark the occasion, I decided to wear all white in honor of the suffragettes — as Hillary herself has done.

I was much less fancy, of course — decked out in white shorts, white t-shirt and white oxford button-down against the 70-degree morning chill. This being Florida, anyone who noticed my snowy ensemble probably assumed I’m a surprisingly Caucasian-looking Santeria initiate. But it meant something to me.

vote-2016Anyhoo, our election day polling place is right around the corner at a church, but the early voting location is at a library several miles away and near a fairly sizable retirement community. There were no lines before 8 AM, but the polling place was doing a brisk business. There were signs for candidates lining the driveway and thickly planted in every grassy median in the parking lot, mostly for Republicans.

There were two electioneering ladies in the parking lot, one holding a conventional sign for the more conservative-leaning candidate running for a non-partisan circuit court seat, and the other holding a three-tiered tribute to Trump-Pence. The latter featured a standard yard sign plus two homemade signs fore and aft, all held aloft on a single yardstick.

I suspect the holder of the Trump-Pence sign compelled her grandchildren to construct the homemade components, given the quality of the penmanship and the volume of glitter and streamers. That lady was wearing Mickey Mouse ears; I shit you not.

So, I voted. And for the next 15 days, I’m going to do whatever I can to make sure other Democrats vote too. Let’s win this thing — bigly.

Monday Morning Open Thread: We’re Great Already (Could Always Be Better, Though!)


Another Canadian, the editor of TNR:

Apart from all that, what’s on the agenda as we start another week?