The Best People

There is this guy.  He’s running for president.  He himself is not particularly experienced at most (all) of what a president does, but we’re not to worry.

Why not?

Because he’s not the detail guy.  He’s the big picture guy, the boss.  He hires the folks who lift and tote.

But that’s OK.

Why?

Because:

“My motto is ‘Hire the best people…”  (Donald Trump: Think Big, 2007).

And now, let us savor:

Donald Trump’s new presidential campaign chief is registered to vote in a key swing state at an empty house where he does not live, in an apparent breach of election laws.

Stephen Bannon, the chief executive of Trump’s election campaign, has an active voter registration at the house in Miami-Dade County, Florida, which is vacant and due to be demolished to make way for a new development….

John_Sell_Cotman_-_Ruined_House_-_Google_Art_Project

Election officials in Miami-Dade make clear to prospective voters that they are required to actually live in the county and to use their home address in election paperwork. “You must reside in Miami-Dade County,” their website states. It adds: “When you register to vote, an actual residence address is required by law.” A county spokeswoman did not respond to questions relating to Bannon’s situation.

Three neighbors said the house where Bannon is currently registered to vote had been abandoned for three months. When the Guardian visited the property on Thursday a large window in the front aspect was missing. A soiled curtain was blowing through it. The driveway was a mess of tree branches and mud.

Bannon never appeared at the house, according to the neighbors.

What’s most striking is that this apparent prima facie  voter fraud — while the more likely to get Bannon into actual legal difficulties — is in a moral sense the lesser of two scandals that have dropped over the last twenty four hours.  Because we’ve also learned this:

Stephen K. Bannon, the new CEO of the Donald Trump campaign, was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, battery and dissuading a witness following an incident in early January 1996, though the case was ultimately dismissed, according to a police report and court documents.

That witness:

The Santa Monica, Calif., police report says that Bannon’s then-wife claimed he pulled at her neck and wrist during an altercation over their finances, and an officer reported witnessing red marks on her neck and wrist to bolster her account. Bannon also reportedly smashed the phone when she tried to call the police.

The details get uglier:

Bannon then got his lawyer on the case, who allegedly “threatened” Piccard and told her she “would have no money [and] no way to support the children” if the case went to trial.

Bannon then told Piccard to skip town.

He said “that if I wasn’t in town they couldn’t serve me and I wouldn’t have to go to court,” she claimed in the document.

Piccard left for two weeks before Bannon’s attorney said she could return, according to the declaration.

“Because I was not present at the trial, the case was dismissed,” she said in the documents.

That second quote is from The New York Post. That would be the Rupert Murdoch-owned Post, which is an added twist to this tale.  What is the true state of Trump-Murdoch relations?

But leave aside that kind of political inside baseball.  The most compelling element to the story of Bannon’s thuggery is that it is an unexpected, deep look into his character.  Through it we can discover what kind of person Donald Trump — a major party nominee for President, with a genuine, non-zero chance of achieving that office — thinks is one of  “the best people.”

It ain’t pretty.  The Post‘s coverage continues:

Bannon had allegedly also earlier told Picccard, who was then his girlfriend and the expectant mother of their twin girls, that he would only agree to marry her if the kids were “normal.”

He married her on April 14, 1995, three days before the twins were born.

George_Romney_-_Mother_and_Child_-_Google_Art_Project_(2220591)

Worst of all — at least it seems to me — Bannon is a man who would do this:

Piccard alleged in another document that Bannon believed in corporal punishment for the girls, even though he rarely saw them.

She cited as one example that Bannon allegedly spanked one of his toddler daughters to try to stop her from hitting her head against the crib.

Piccard claimed that when she intervened, he exploded, calling her “f—ing crazy” and saying if he hadn’t been interrupted, “she wouldn’t be banging her head anymore.”

Beating any adult is reprehensible.  Whacking on a child, a toddler? (And no, I don’t think “spanking” in this context is likely to have been a gentle swat on the bum.)  There are special circles of hell for those folks.

I left out the last half of the Trump quote at top.  In full, it reads “My motto is ‘Hire the best people, and don’t trust them.’”

As none should him.

Images:  John Sell Cotman, Ruined House betw. 1807 and 1810.

George Romney, Mother and Childundated, before 1802.



My Gob is Smacked Past All Smackeration. Thanks, Rudy

Just a quicky here, as I can’t resist this:

Speaking in Youngstown, Ohio ahead of Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, who was the mayor of New York City on 9/11, declared that Islamic extremists hadn’t carried out any terror attacks on American soil before Barack Obama’s presidency.

“Under those 8 years, before Obama came along, we didn’t have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attack in the US,” Giuliani told the crowd. “They all started when Clinton and Obama came into office.”

Video here.

Just as a reminder.  That would be Rudy “Noun, Verb, 9/11” Giuliani.

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This is beyond hateful.  This is, as Charles Pierce has often said, yet more evidence that the GOP has been consumed by prion disease.  It’s just…pitiable…

Wretched…

Terrifying…

Absurd…

…Aw, hell. I got nuthin’.  You?

Image: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, The Rage of Achilles1757.



Time to Borrow Khan’s Constitution Again

nothowitworks

This guy:

A President Donald Trump might push for Americans accused of terrorism to be tried in military tribunal at the U.S. Navy base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the Republican nominee told the Miami Herald on Thursday.

“I would say they could be tried there, that would be fine,” Trump said in a brief interview ahead of his speech to home builders in Miami Beach.

Under current federal law, it’s illegal to try U.S. citizens at military commissions. Changing the law would require an act of Congress.

In the wide-ranging interview focused on key South Florida issues, Trump continued to question climate change caused by humans. He said he plans to soon sit down with Cuban Americans in Miami to hash out a Cuba policy. And for the first time, he said Congress should set aside money to combat the Zika virus.

Asked about Guantánamo in the past, Trump has said he would like to “load it up with bad dudes.” He wouldn’t specify to the Herald whether as president he would again allow terrorism suspects captured abroad to be transferred to the detention center.

“I want to make sure that if we have radical Islamic terrorists, we have a very safe place to keep them,” he said. President Barack Obama, he added, is “allowing people to get out that are terrible people.”

“Would you try to get the military commissions — the trial court there — to try U.S. citizens?” a reporter asked.

“Well, I know that they want to try them in our regular court systems, and I don’t like that at all. I don’t like that at all,” he said. “I would say they could be tried there, that would be fine.”

I honestly think this guy might be dumber than Sarah Palin.








Those Who Fail to Learn From History are Doomed to Say Stupid Shit

Good grief:

Republican Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie defended his support for Donald Trump in a radio interview on Wednesday, saying that the Republican nominee would bring change — though he also said he didn’t know the change would necessarily be good.

In the interview with host Brian Thomas on 55KRC Ohio radio, Massie said he was “more excited to vote for Trump than I was to vote for Romney-Ryan.”

“I think you’re more likely to get change,” he explained. “I don’t know if it’s gonna be a good change, but you gotta break eggs to make an omelette.”

Where have I heard that before. Oh, yeah (from Stalin’s Apologists):

Duranty was a chain-smoking, Scotch drinking vulgar sort of man who made no apologies for his admiration of Stalin. He was held in awe by other journalists, especially young female journalists. He did not fail to use the awe to his advantage, or rather their disadvantage. As Fascism rose in Europe, and Japanese jingoism emerged in the East, Duranty wrote glowing accounts of Stalin’s Five-Year Plan. Almost single-handedly did Duranty aid and abet one of the world’s most prolific mass murderers, knowing all the while what was going on, but refraining from saying precisely what he knew to be true. He had swallowed the ends-justifies-the-means-argument hook, line and sinker. Duranty loved to repeat, when Stalin’s atrocities were brought to light, “you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.” Those “eggs” were the heads of men, women and children, and those “few” were merely tens of millions.

It’s worth noting that this is the almost the same brand of nihilism and disregard for those who will be hurt that people offer when they say it’s ok to vote your “conscience” and vote Green because “Hey, we don’t know what could happen, but argle bargle heighten the contradictions and then profit!”








Compare and Contrast

Seems like we could use a little more thread to chew upon, so here’s some not-quite-random material to masticate:

Hillary, today in the Church of Latter-Day Saints owned Deseret News:

Trump’s Muslim ban would undo centuries of American tradition and values. To this day, I wonder if he even understands the implications of his proposal. This policy would literally undo what made America great in the first place.

But you don’t have to take it from me. Listen to Mitt Romney, who said Trump “fired before aiming” when he decided a blanket religious ban was a solution to the threat of terrorism.

Listen to former Sen. Larry Pressler, who said Trump’s plan reminded him of when Missouri Gov. Lilburn Boggs singled out Mormons in his infamous extermination order of 1838.

Or listen to your governor, who saw Trump’s statement as a reminder of President Rutherford B. Hayes’ attempt to limit Mormon immigration to America in 1879.

Instead of giving into demagoguery, Gov. Gary Herbert is setting a compassionate example and welcoming Syrian refugees fleeing religious persecution and terrorism. Once they’ve gone through a rigorous screening process, he is opening your state’s doors to some of the most vulnerable people in the world.

Americans don’t have to agree on everything. We never have. But when it comes to religion, we strive to be accepting of everyone around us. That’s because we need each other. And we know that it so often takes a village — or a ward — working together to build the change we hope to see.

 

The Polyester Cockwomble, uttering word-like strings of sound in the Old Dominion State:

Trump himself made a veiled reference to the flap during a rally Wednesday in Abingdon, Va., protesting media coverage and drawing loud applause by telling the crowd that “the Second Amendment is under siege” from Clinton and other politicians.

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Thomas Friedman in today’s The New York Times (sic! I know):

During the Republican convention, with its repeated chants about Clinton of “lock her up,” a U.S.-based columnist for Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, Chemi Shalev, wrote: “Like the extreme right in Israel, many Republicans conveniently ignore the fact that words can kill. There are enough people with a tendency for violence that cannot distinguish between political stagecraft and practical exhortations to rescue the country by any available means. If anyone has doubts, they could use a short session with Yigal Amir, Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin, who was inspired by the rabid rhetoric hurled at the Israeli prime minister in the wake of the Oslo accords.”

People are playing with fire here, and there is no bigger flamethrower than Donald Trump. Forget politics; he is a disgusting human being. His children should be ashamed of him. I only pray that he is not simply defeated, but that he loses all 50 states so that the message goes out across the land — unambiguously, loud and clear: The likes of you should never come this way again.

Me, on the subject of  the “inarticulate” excuse for Trump’s “Who will rid me…” meditation on political assassination:

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The first Tuesday in November can’t come too soon.

Image:  Paul Cezanne, The Murder, 1867-70.



New C(h)oke

Hilarious:

Key Republicans close to Donald Trump’s orbit are plotting an intervention with the candidate after a disastrous 48 hours led some influential voices in the party to question whether Trump can stay at the top of the Republican ticket without catastrophic consequences for his campaign and the GOP at large.

Republican National Committee head Reince Priebus, former Republican New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are among the Trump endorsers hoping to talk the real estate mogul into a dramatic reset of his campaign in the coming days, sources tell NBC News.

The group of GOP heavyweights hopes to enlist the help of Trump’s children – who comprise much of his innermost circle of influential advisers – to aid in the attempt to rescue his candidacy. Trump’s family is considered to have by far the most influence over the candidate’s thinking at what could be a make-or-break moment for his campaign.

Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort said Wednesday he had heard nothing of such a meeting and disputed that it would be at all necessary, saying on FOX News that “the only need we have for an intervention is with some media types who keep saying things that aren’t true.”

“The candidate’s in control of his own campaign,” he said.

The idea of an intervention is in its early stages, and there’s no guarantee that Trump’s team would entertain a conversation requiring such comprehensive changes for a candidate who has resisted calls to moderate his tone or reel in his most outlandish political positions.

We’re in the first week of the general election, people. It’s the first week of August. And he is not going to step down or quit. Obligatory:



Master Baited

Betty Cracker noted that President Obama used his Jedi mind tricks and employed his weapons grade troll fu on the tangelo tyrant, and as usual, it worked, provoking an immediate response. Unable to display even the slightest bit of self control, the mandarain manchild rushed to his keyboard (Size EXTRA SMALL) and used his dainty digits to furiously pound out a heap of bullshit:

““President Obama has been a failed leader who along with Secretary of State Clinton created a foreign policy that has destabilized the world and made it an unsafe place. He is the one who is unfit to be President and Hillary Clinton is equally unfit.

Obama-Clinton have single-handedly destabilized the Middle East, handed Iraq, Libya and Syria to ISIS, and allowed our personnel to be slaughtered at Benghazi. Then they put Iran on the path to nuclear weapons. Then they allowed dozens of veterans to die waiting for medical care that never came. Hillary Clinton put the whole country at risk with her illegal email server, deleted evidence of her crime, and lied repeatedly about her conduct which endangered us all. They released criminal aliens into our country who killed one innocent American after another — like Sarah Root and Kate Steinle — and have repeatedly admitted migrants later implicated in terrorism. They have produced the worst recovery since the Great Depression. They have shipped millions of our best jobs overseas to appease their global special interests. They have betrayed our security and our workers, and Hillary Clinton has proven herself unfit to serve in any government office.

She is reckless with her emails, reckless with regime change, and reckless with American lives. Our nation has been humiliated abroad and compromised by radical Islam brought onto our shores. We need change now.” – Donald J. Trump

Sad!