Polling Goodies, Plus Right for the Wrong Reasons

New polling results released by Bloomberg today look good for Clinton:


An excerpt from the accompanying analysis:

Democrat Hillary Clinton leads Trump by 9 percentage points in the survey of likely voters, taken after a leaked video prompted a series of women to come forward alleging the Republican made unwanted sexual advances.

Support for Trump among critical groups of voters, including men and the less educated, has weakened in the campaign’s closing days, a trajectory that could translate into a landslide loss for Republicans in the Electoral College and setbacks in down-ballot races that will determine control of the House and Senate.

“This poll shows movement toward Clinton with all the right groups it takes to win—including men and those without a college degree,” said pollster J. Ann Selzer, who oversaw the survey ahead of the final debate Wednesday. “Their alignment with Clinton is a formidable change in the algebra.”

And to think I used to hate algebra!

In other good news from an unexpected quarter, Lil’ Marco is apparently immune to the Assange fanboi fever that has gripped the rest of the GOP:

Sen. Marco Rubio tells ABC News Republicans are making a mistake by jumping on allegedly hacked emails released by Wikileaks to criticize Hillary Clinton. In fact, he says he won’t talk about the hacked emails at all.

“As our intelligence agencies have said, these leaks are an effort by a foreign government to interfere with our electoral process and I will not indulge it,” Rubio tells ABC news. “Further, I want to warn my fellow Republicans who may want to capitalize politically on these leaks: Today it is the Democrats. Tomorrow it could be us.”

Now, we know Lil’ Marco lacks the courage of any conviction except his belief that he should be reelected to the no-show senate job he is on record disdaining. He has endorsed the presidential candidate he once rightly called out as a dangerous, unqualified conman in a transparent attempt to save his own bacon.

So why is he willing to indulge in truth-telling about WikiLeaks and its role as Putin’s cat’s paw as Russia attempts to interfere with a U.S. election? My guess is he’s seen polling that scares the bejeebus out of him and is attempting to micro-target specific groups in Florida.

Rubio is walking a tightrope over twin vats of boiling acid — the Trumpenproletariet in the Florida interior and panhandle on one side and reflexive Cold Warriors in South Florida on the other. He dares not offend the former by repudiating Trump and is attempting to curry favor with the latter by taking a shot at the revanchist Putin.

Lil’ Marco might also be optimistically calculating that when he runs against President Hillary Clinton in 2020, Putin might prefer to continue to deal with the incumbent rather than a callow, empty suit who built his political identity around a phony “Cuban exile” story. Ironically, Rubio may be the rare case where WikiLeaks apologists like Greenwald and Billmon, who like to tar fellow Democrats with the “red baiter” brush, might actually have a point.

But however he arrived at it, Rubio is correct to reject attempts by a foreign power to screw with our election. So is the nation of Ecuador, which has done us the favor of putting the proper name to that exercise while our own Beltway press mostly ignores Putin’s brazen power play in favor of hunting bits of salacious political gossip.

PBO to Trump: Stop Whining

PBO calls out Trump on his lies about the rigged election, and it’s glorious:

A partial transcript in case you can’t watch:

I have ever seen in my lifetime or in modern political history any presidential candidate trying to discredit the elections and the election process before the votes take place. It’s unprecedented…

You start whining before the game’s even over? If, whenever things are going bad for you and you lose, you start blaming somebody else? You don’t have what it takes to do this job… I’d advise Mr. Trump to stop whining and go make his case to get votes.

BOOM. The president also pointed out that elections are run by state and local officials, so if there’s a massive con job going on, people like Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Trump supporter (and possible alien life form from Planet Reptar) would have to be in on it.

I would only add that there is an ongoing attempt to rig this election, one that cleverly bypasses local voting mechanisms that are hard to corrupt nationwide due to decentralization. The genuine attempt to rig this election is being carried out by a foreign power, Russia, using a hostile third party, WikiLeaks, to disseminate stolen information timed to maximize damage to Democrats.

If anyone on earth should STFU about rigged elections, it’s Donald J. Trump. He’s the beneficiary of an attempted heist on a scale we’ve never seen before.

It is Important to Bear Witness: This Shall Not Go Unremarked

I’ve done a couple of these  so far. One dealing with that whacked out sentence in the rape case in California. One in regard to anti-Semites threatening a reporter on twitter.

Earlier today, during her interview with Anderson Cooper, Melania Trump indicated that if she becomes First Lady she intends to focus on combating the negativity on social media.

Perhaps she should ask her step son in law why this is unacceptable and then speak with her husband and ask him to publicly tell his supporters that this is unacceptable. And it cannot go unremarked.

I do not know Ms. Gold, but she needs to know that others will stand up with and for her if necessary. And the same to anyone else who is being threatened like this on twitter and other social media platforms regardless of their ethnicity or religion or gender or sexuality.

Stuff like this is also why the owners of Twitter can’t get anyone to actually buy it.

Press Secretary Josh Earnest FTW

Behold, a real-life WH press secretary worthy of fictional counterpart CJ Cregg:

In case you can’t watch, a reporter asked our hero about Trump’s ridiculous call for Hillary Clinton to take a drug test prior to the next debate because she was all “pumped up” during the last (presumably, “pumped up” being a euphemism for “kicked Trump’s ass”). Earnest replied:

You’re telling me that the candidate who snorted his way through the first two debates is accusing the other candidate of taking drugs? That’s a curious development in the campaign.

Boom. He clarified in the follow up that he was just kidding. But it seems the NFLTG virus is spreading…

The Battle to Liberate DC Has Begun

Well, battle plans are being drawn, anyway. Please forgive the Politico link:

As Democrats aim to capitalize on this year’s Republican turmoil and start building back their own decimated bench, former Attorney General Eric Holder will chair a new umbrella group focused on redistricting reform—with the aim of taking on the gerrymandering that’s left the party behind in statehouses and made winning a House majority far more difficult.

The new group, called the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, was developed in close consultation with the White House. President Barack Obama himself has now identified the group—which will coordinate campaign strategy, direct fundraising, organize ballot initiatives and put together legal challenges to state redistricting maps—as the main focus of his political activity once he leaves office.

It’s hard to overestimate just how B a FD this could be if PBO and AG Holder put their considerable talents and influence behind it — and get the rest of us onboard, as a good community organizer will surely do. I know several of you have joined me in hoping that President Obama would choose something huge and truly change-making to focus on when he leaves the White House as a relatively young man with enormous popularity.

I was thinking voting rights, which could certainly fall under the purview of the initiative described above. What are these feels I’m feeling? Could it be…hope?

The Election Is Not Rigged & It Is Not Going To Be Rigged

A quick note from Speaker Ryan (R-Profile in Courage!):

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Saturday dismissed Donald Trump’s repeated claims that the November elections will be rigged.

“Our democracy relies on confidence in election results, and the speaker is fully confident the states will carry out this election with integrity,” Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong toldBuzzFeed.

It is important to note and remember that 23 states are led by Republican governors that also have Republican legislatures – both chambers, referred to as the trifecta. Another 11 states have Republican governors and just 7 states are under Democratic control -the trifecta of a Democratic governor and legislature. There are 20 states total that share control – either GOP governor, Democratic legislature, or vice versa. Apparently the Trump campaign is suggesting that the Republican Party is rigging elections against the Republican nominee at the state level… Wait, what were we talking about again?

A somewhat more definitive explanation of the process of just how hard it would be to actually rig US elections has been provided by the Ashby Law firm, which focuses on electoral law and primarily works for Republican clients:

Read more

Yesterday in American Sedition: (Not Actually Mentioned in the) Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers & Senators Too Edition

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke had some interesting thoughts he decided to share on social media yesterday:

You remember Sheriff Clark, the (sheriffs aren’t actualyl mentioned in the) Constitutional Sheriff and Peace Officers Association Law Enforcer of the Year Award Winner? You know, the tough guy that tried to call in the Wisconsin National Guard about six weeks ago even though he was not the law enforcement officer in charge of what was happening in Milwaukee with demonstrations, protests, and riots? The actual officer in charge would be Milwaukee Chief of Police Edward A Flynn. And he had this to say about Sheriff Clarke:

“Nobody has got more to say about law enforcement and less to do with it,” Flynn said of Clarke, calling him a self-serving man who seeks “celebrity.”

Sheriff Clarke would be the tough guy that had an inmate die of thirst in the jail*, the oversight of which is one of his few actual primary responsibilities, because his subordinates specifically and purposely cut off water to the inmates cell – an inmate who was mentally ill.

So what is it that Sheriff Clarke actually does/is actually supposed to be doing? His actual jurisdiction is running the jail, providing security at municipal facilities, and patrolling the part of the interstate as it runs through Milwaukee County.

“By statute and by practice, the sheriff plays only a limited role as a traditional law enforcement agency,” Abele said in his budget remarks to the County Board on Sept. 29, 2011.

“For example, in 2009 the sheriff reported only 12 crimes to the FBI, compared to 41,000 for the City of Milwaukee and 3,200 for West Allis, and even 242 for the UWM Police Department.”

There are no unincorporated areas in Milwaukee County and each of these incorporated municipalities have their own police departments.

Last year, the administration of Milwaukee County ExecutiveChris Abele released some eyebrow-raising statistics on the Sheriff’s Department, noting that:

  • Milwaukee is the state’s only county with no unincorporated area, meaning there are municipal police patrolling every part of the county. Besides Milwaukee, there are 18 suburban police forces in action.
  • In 2009, the sheriff reported only 19 crimes to the FBI, compared to 41,375 for the Milwaukee police, 3,288 for West Allis police, 1,908 for Wauwatosa and even 242 for the UW-Milwaukee police. That’s right, the UWM campus police handled 12 times more criminals than the Sheriff’s Department.
  • Just 10 percent of Sheriff David Clarke’s requested property tax levy was for police services. As Abele put it, “the sheriff plays only a limited role as a traditional law enforcement agency.”

The deputy sheriffs staff the Milwaukee County Jail and County Correctional Facility South (formerly House of Correction), handle the courthouse’s system of bailiffs, and patrol the freeways.

Earlier in the day he was complaining about how long it took his NICS check to go through so he could buy a new AR pattern rifle. Insinuating that this is not how law enforcement should be treated (because, you know, they’re not just citizens too or something).

In case anyone was wondering, NICS checks for gun purchases are done by the FBI – law enforcement genius!

Anyone else get in the game yesterday? Why yes, yes indeed. Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, III.

You know, this Senator Sessions.

And thus an uncomfortable light shined once again on a man plainly hidden in the ranks of the Senate for a dozen years now. A man known to be one of the most consistently conservative legislators on Capitol Hill. A man noted for hisobstructionist tendencies. A man with a chequered history linked to America’s racist past. A man, who has been, arguably, waiting for this moment for the last two decades.

Sessions’s first national exposure was, surely, mortifying for the would-be federal judge. It was 1986, and the then-39-year-old US attorney for the Southern District of Alabama was a Reagan nominee to the federal bench. Sessions had good reason to believe he’d be rubber-stamped through to a judgeship – some 200 of the Gipper’s judges had already been heavily sprinkled throughout the federal judicial system. But Sessions stopped up the works. The young lawyer became only the second man in 50 years to be rejected by the Senate judiciary committee.

The reasons for his rejection, as I explained in this 2002 New Republic story had to do with a soupy mix of dubious and arguably racist moves, comments and motivations on the part of the Alabama native that led senator Ted Kennedy to announce it was “inconceivable … that a person of this attitude is qualified to be a US attorney, let alone a United States federal judge.”

And finally a quick update by addition (unintentional omission) from Friday’s Today in Hashtag Violence, Terrorism, and Leaderless Resistance post:

Two Texas men, working in California, have been charged in a brutal assault and battery on Maan Singh Khalsa – a Sikh-American. They first threw something at his car, then followed him and at a stop light pulled him from his car, beat him, ripped off his dastar (turban), and cut/pulled out some of his hair. The attackers have had the hate crime additions added to the charges they face.

Just 24 days (inclusive of today) to go until the election. Stay frosty!

* The Journal-Sentinel did a deep dive into deaths in the Milwaukee County Jail from 2008 to 2014,