Open Thread: Killed by Their Own Superbug

The Repubs created the Trump virus, a hardened iteration of every ugly racist misogynist xenophobic trope they’ve been doing their best to mainstream since at least 1965. And now the superbug might actually manage to destroy — or at least seriously weaken — its host incubator.

Could not happen to a more deserving bunch of scheming thugs.

Apart from our daily dose of schadenfreude, what’s on the agenda for the day?
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Open Thread: Donald Trump Has A New Good-Luck Charm

UKIP founder Nigel Farage, the original “Mr. Brexit”. Per Politico:

The former head of the United Kingdom Independence Party will not offer an endorsement of Trump, a source close to Farage said, but will instead offer remarks on how to beat the odds and win an election.

“It came about after his visit to the Cleveland convention,” the source said. “He’s not here to endorse Trump but explain the Brexit story which has similar parallels to the current presidential race — he is going to be talking to grassroots activists about Brexit.”

The Trump campaign did not respond to requests for comment.

Farage was already in Mississippi Wednesday morning, where he did an in-studio radio interview. The source close to him said he will attend a private reception with Trump and 600 Republican donors Wednesday, where he will also be joined by Aaron Banks, a friend of Farage’s and a multimillionaire who bankrolled the U.K. Independence Party…

“Donald Trump dares to talk about things other people want to brush under the carpet,” Farage said in a CNN interview last June. “I think for the United Kingdom, I think Trump will be better for us than Barack Obama’s been. Of that, there is no doubt.”…

To quote NYMag‘s Jon Chait, “There’s Just One Flaw in Donald Trump’s New Plan to Show He’s Not Racist“:

The main difficulty Trump faces in dispelling the impression that he is a racist is that Trump is, in fact, a gigantic racist. His first appearance in the New York Times came in the context of his being caught refusing to rent apartments to African-Americans. A former Trump employee has detailed a series of private racist statements and acts — saying “laziness is a trait in blacks,” objecting to black people working for him in accounting, his staff shooing black people off the casino floor when he arrived. Trump has replied that the comments were “probably true,” but berated the person who made them as a “loser.” He has questioned the legitimacy of President Obama’s birth certificate, called him a “terrible student,” and implied he only made it into Harvard Law School due to affirmative action…



Open Thread: It’s A Grift, All the Way Down



Open Thread: Trump Berates African-American Voters

Apparently it has been discovered that some people, despite Trump’s explicit appeal to “my African-American,” do not realize voting for Deadbeat Don is their last chance at the lottery ticket to a better life. (His new campaign manager, after all, runs a site well known for being not at all hostile to people of color.) The Washington Post dissects Trump’s latest appeal to African-Americans with far more seriousness than it actually deserves — “It’s hard to imagine a much worse pitch Donald Trump could have made for the black vote”:

Consider: Black Americans are not “living in poverty” as a general rule. A quarter of the black population is, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, about the same as the percentage of Hispanics. In Michigan, the figure is slightly higher. Most black Americans don’t live in poverty, just as most white Americans don’t.

Consider: The unemployment rate in the black community is higher than that in the white community, as it has been since the Department of Labor started keeping track. Among young blacks, though, the figure is not 59 percent — unless (as PolitiFact noted) you consider not the labor force but every young black American, including high school students…

Consider: Black voters are perfectly able to evaluate candidates on qualities other than their political parties. Black voters began supporting the Democratic Party heavily thanks to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Since then, they have consistently voted for the party — a party that is one-fifth black and which since 1964 has elected the vast majority of the black members of Congress…. Democrats win the support of black voters consistently because those voters like the work that they do and like the fights that they fight…

Apart from {facepalm} x n, what’s on the agenda for the end of the weekend?



Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread

If Trump doesn’t lose, and resoundingly, we won’t be able to say he didn’t warn us exactly what to expect.

Phillip Bump, in the Washington Post, “After dismissing intelligence experts, Donald Trump heads in for his classified briefing”:

… In an interview with “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday, Trump expressed skepticism of his own: about prominent members of the intelligence community. Asked if he “trusted intelligence,” Trump replied, “Not so much from the people that have been doing it for our country.”

“I mean, look what’s happened over the last 10 years,” he said, referring to the war in Iraq. “Look what’s happened over the years. I mean, it’s been catastrophic. In fact, I won’t use some of the people that are standards — you know, just use them, use them, use them, very easy to use them, but I won’t use them because they’ve made such bad decisions.”

This is probably mostly a reference to a letter released earlier this month in which 50 members of the Republican national security establishment warned of a Trump presidency. Many of them were involved in the decision-making process before the Iraq War…

Politico, “Trump makes intel community queasy”:

… Asked about Trump’s criticisms, the CIA deferred comment to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which in turn declined to comment. Such reticence is in line with the agencies’ traditional mandate to stay out of the political realm. And in many ways, most people in the intelligence community’s rank and file will follow that mandate no matter what happens in the campaign or on Election Day, analysts said.

“It’s probably, within the agency, extremely apolitical,” said Soufan Group analyst Patrick Skinner of the CIA, where he used to be a case officer. “You really just don’t talk about it.”

Skinner, added, however, that people at senior levels in the agencies “might be wondering about priorities.” He and others also said a Trump win in November won’t necessarily repel future recruits nor lead to mass retirements, at least not immediately.

“If there is a President Trump — that’s kind of a funny sentence to say — then there will probably be a lot of hope that the directors — all the top appointees — would be very diligent in their duties,” Skinner said. “There has to be some kind of faith that the system works, but he’s running on a no-faith-in-the-system campaign.”…

Within the broader intelligence industry — which includes companies that produce the technology and weaponry used by the various agencies — people are “incredulous,” according to a consultant with extensive contacts in that field. “People can hardly believe that it’s happening.”

“What people like is predictable outcomes,” the consultant said, pointing to Trump’s mercurial policy shifts as especially problematic for an industry that craves certainty. That being said, he added, “If the public indicates or seems to show that they’re going to vote for Trump, I would think that businessmen would revert to their typical behavior and figure out how they can get their share.”…



Trump’s “Heil Mary” Pass*

I’m going to expand on a comment in an earlier thread and disagree somewhat with distinguished colleague Tim F on what the Trump-Breitbart merger means. Replacing campaign veterans like Manafort (odious, second-rate and disreputable though they may be) with an alt-right circle-jerk might look like Trump giving up on winning the presidency. But it’s just a change in tactics.

What’s happened is that the Trump scampaign has realized that they will never win by making Trump conventionally “presidential.” He can’t pull that off. Instead, they’ll seek victory by trying to drag Hillary Clinton down to Trump’s level in the public’s perception and eke out 270 electoral votes on anti-establishment sentiment alone.

We should pause here and take in the fact that a major party nominee has openly embraced white nationalism, which the Trump-Breitbart merger confirms. We knew that already, of course, but with the Breitbart affiliation, there can now be no doubt, and it will be interesting to see how the Beltway press responds to that phenomenon.

Joy Reid, subbing for Chris Hayes last night, ably grilled a Trump scampaign surrogate on the kooky Breitbart angle, confronting him with that organization’s batshit crazy extremism. Here’s a screen grab of the Breitbart headlines Reid referenced to demonstrate what a pack of pinwheel-eyed kooks they are:

2016-08-18

But Trump’s brain trust is counting on the fact that most Americans don’t know that Breitbart is a white nationalist fever swamp, and indeed, they don’t. The Trump shill on Reid’s show ducked questions about the nature of Breitbart while telegraphing the reason Trump brought Bannon on board: to smear Clinton.

Trump may be hoping that even if he can’t attract more voters to himself, he can slime Clinton enough to drive disaffected Republicans and independents away from her and into the Johnson or Stein camps and squeak out a win that way. I don’t think it will work because Trump is an embarrassing buffoon.

But at this point, he’s pinning all his hopes on making Hillary Clinton as toxic as himself. So get ready for a tsunami of slime that may be unprecedented in our lifetimes. That’s the only play the Trump people have left, and thus the Trump-Breitbart merger is not 100% stupid or self-indulgent. It’s the vast right-wing conspiracy — retooled.

*Stolen from valued commenter GregB.



But SERIOUSLY : #ManafortCash

I’m writing this in the small hours, intend to schedule it to post at mid-morning, by which time it may already be out of date. For the record, though… Note the person tweeting this:

Handwritten ledgers show $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments designated for Mr. Manafort from Mr. Yanukovych’s pro-Russian political party from 2007 to 2012, according to Ukraine’s newly formed National Anti-Corruption Bureau. Investigators assert that the disbursements were part of an illegal off-the-books system whose recipients also included election officials.

In addition, criminal prosecutors are investigating a group of offshore shell companies that helped members of Mr. Yanukovych’s inner circle finance their lavish lifestyles, including a palatial presidential residence with a private zoo, golf course and tennis court. Among the hundreds of murky transactions these companies engaged in was an $18 million deal to sell Ukrainian cable television assets to a partnership put together by Mr. Manafort and a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, a close ally of President Vladimir V. Putin.

Mr. Manafort’s involvement with moneyed interests in Russia and Ukraine had previously come to light. But as American relationships there become a rising issue in the presidential campaign — from Mr. Trump’s favorable statements about Mr. Putin and his annexation of Crimea to the suspected Russian hacking of Democrats’ emails — an examination of Mr. Manafort’s activities offers new details of how he mixed politics and business out of public view and benefited from powerful interests now under scrutiny by the new government in Kiev…

“He understood what was happening in Ukraine,” said Vitaliy Kasko, a former senior official with the general prosecutor’s office in Kiev. “It would have to be clear to any reasonable person that the Yanukovych clan, when it came to power, was engaged in corruption.”

Mr. Kasko added, “It’s impossible to imagine a person would look at this and think, ‘Everything is all right.’”…


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