Friday, September 30, 2016


Let me get this straight. Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and Newt Gingrich are going to go after Hillary because of her husband's infidelity. These guys? REALLY??
Women of America, this is how much leading Republicans hate you

Trump Not Worried About His Marriages Coming Up: 'I Have A Very Good History'

[NB: Men born without the irony gene, apparently.]

And the Corpulent Trio are going to attack Miss Universe Alicia Machado for gaining weight? (Where's Chris Christie?)

With the Clinton campaign’s help, Ms. Machado has gone on a publicity blitz since Mrs. Clinton told her story on the debate stage at Hofstra University. This explosion of interest is the combination of a political attack that resonates with two key constituencies for Mrs. Clinton — suburban women and Hispanics — and a made-for-television battle between the Republican nominee for president and a beauty queen.  In 48 hours, Ms. Machado has been written about in more than 150 print news articles, referred to on TV more than 6,023 times and mentioned on Twitter nearly 200,000 times. She appeared on NBC’s “Today” show, ABC’s “Good Morning America,” CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Univision and Telemundo. . . .

More iron(y) deficiencies
Buncha white guys sittin' around talkin' about wimminn gettin' fat
All-white Fox News panel: birtherism isn’t about race.

Miss Australia backs up Machado
“He said to me, ‘Suck your stomach in. Suck your gut in.’ He always wanted us to be sexy,” said Jodi Seal, Miss Australia in the 1996 Miss Universe pageant, the same year that Machado won the title while representing Venezuela.  “He was calling some girls some pretty horrible names as well,” she recounted. Calling Trump a “Mussolini-” grade tyrant who regularly mocked women about their bodies . . .

Trumpy lashes out at Machado again, says she has a "sex tape." I won't link here to the many nude and erotic photos Trump's wife Melania has made. I don't care that she has -- but I do care about hypocrisy

Suddenly, post-Ailes, the women of Fox World are taking on Trump's sexism

Trump says he is just too high-minded to traffic in slimy stories about Bill's infidelities. His son gets choked up about what a fine and principled stand this is. So Trump directs his proxies to shop the stories instead
The Donald Trump campaign has circulated a memo telling surrogates to bring up Bill Clinton's sex scandals . . .

Republicans beg Donald Trump to shut up about Monica Lewinsky, as Trump threatens to bring her up 

Trump's advisors are trying very hard to get through to him that he blew the debate and has to prepare better in the few days he has before the next one. So much that they were willing to leak it to the press. It still hasn't gotten through to him
“Donald Trump is angry that his aides and advisers have conceded to reporters — largely without attribution — that the Republican nominee struggled in his first presidential debate,” CNN reports.
“Why would we change if we won the debate?”  
      — Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, quoted by the Associated Press, on whether Donald Trump would change his tactics for the next debate. 

Wait, wait -- why are you complaining if you WON? The incoherent mixed messages of the Trump team
Trump: Debate Was "Rigged"
Civil War In The Trump Camp! Should Trump 'Prepare' For Debate Two? 

Trump's 12 worst moments of the debate:

A bit silly, but clever
"Super Careless, Fragile Ego, Extra Braggadocious"
Trumpy knows he blew it by admitting he doesn't pay taxes. Now he's scrambling desperately to deny what he said

Perhaps now would be a good time to note that “That makes me smart” and “That would make me smart” are not the same sentences.
"Some people loved that statement, and other people didn't. But the fact is that I think people are looking at it like maybe that's the kind of person we need. ... I think that's the kind of thinking we need in our country."

Trump Company Violated Cuba Embargo 

He didn't do it, and even if he did, it was too long ago! 

New York AG widens probe of Trump Foundation violations

And now even more:
“Donald Trump’s charitable foundation — which has been sustained for years by donors outside the Trump family — has never obtained the certification that New York requires before charities can solicit money from the public, according to the state attorney general’s office,” the Washington Post reports.

Republicans block investigations into Trump's ties to Russia and efforts to hack the election

It is  a signature conceit of this candidate, and this campaign, that they keep describing their weaknesses as strengths
Sam Clovis, Donald Trump’s national policy adviser and campaign co-chair, said Monday before the debate that voters don’t care about policy specifics and would be “bored to tears” by them. . . . 

When the epitaph is written for the Trump campaign, one thing that will be clear is that he never surrounded himself with people who would really challenge him and force him to change his ways -- and he wouldn't listen when they tried 

Someone has studied philosophy!
The question of what Donald Trump “really believes” has no answer. It is a category error. . . [read on]

Theocracy watch
Trump Asks Iowa Crowd If He Should Let Non-Christians Stay At Rally

You can read back from Trumpy's daily conspiracy nonsense to guess where he is getting his "information"
Kellyanne has a very rough day
Megyn Kelly Destroys Kellyanne Conway's Defense Of Trump's Misogyny

Kellyanne Conway Refers To Trump's 'Abuse..Er, Record On Women'
‘The View’ Corners Trump Campaign Manager Kellyanne Conway: ‘Don’t B.S. a B.S.-er’

You can tell a lot about their spin messages by which surrogate they roll out to deliver them. For a long time they tasked Hurricane Katrina with the heavy lifting for the most outrageous BS, but now it's Betsy McCaughey -- she'll say ANYTHING
Trump Ally: Actually, Hillary Clinton Body-Shamed Girls In Anti-Trump Ad

CNN has been utterly irresponsible in the Corey Lewandowski case. Now they tell us everything is fine because he's not being paid by Trump . . . ANY MORE
CNN: Ex-Donald Trump aide Corey Lewandowski is no longer being paid by his campaign
It's fine now, the Trump campaign's paid him in advance!

Then why is he still parroting the campaign's talking points?

You don't have to look very deep to see where these folks are coming from
Republican gun club raffles AR-15, ammo—and picture of Hillary

Election updates
Is Ohio No Longer a Battleground?
Russia Actively Trying to Undermine the U.S. Election
Why No One Should Vote for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein

USA Today doesn't endorse candidates. Never has. Until now
This year, the choice isn’t between two capable major party nominees who happen to have significant ideological differences. This year, one of the candidates — Republican nominee Donald Trump — is, by unanimous consensus of the Editorial Board, unfit for the presidency.      From the day he declared his candidacy 15 months ago through this week’s first presidential debate, Trump has demonstrated repeatedly that he lacks the temperament, knowledge, steadiness and honesty that America needs from its presidents. . . .

In other news . . .
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Thursday, September 29, 2016


I am guessing that Alicia Machado is going to be very visible in the days and weeks to come. Ellen, The View, all over daytime TV, cover stories on women's magazines. She's attractive, articulate, and has a story to tell that many women will identify with




A citizen and a voter:

Another video interview:

You can easily see why Clinton’s campaign decided this was the perfect anecdote to display his grotesque personal qualities. It contains several elements all at once. There is Trump’s lecherous habit of creeping around beauty contestants, which is its own deep vein of gross behavior. There is the cruel reduction of women to their appearance. And there is the anti-Latina racism.

But what truly made the set piece work was Trump’s response, which Clinton could not have scripted better if she tried. . . . You can watch the Fox hosts cringe as Trump launches into the diatribe, and then, as they gently try to steer him away, insists on returning to the subject. They can see him destroying himself again, in real time, in exactly the way they begged him to stop doing earlier in the summer, yet they cannot stop it. Life rarely works out in such a simple and dramatically perfect way. Terrible human beings usually know how to conceal their terribleness. Even a villain as impulsive and egotistical as Trump has the benefit of an entire political party and associated media apparatus throwing itself behind the task of concealing his hideous character through Election Day. Trump, however, is not only a horrible human being but a congenitally incompetent one. . . . [read on]
“Trump’s ill-advised feud with Machado fits into a pattern we’ve noticed throughout the campaign: When Trump is in a bad period like this, he makes it worse for himself by refusing to back down. Particularly in the face of poor reviews (remember the Khan fight after his convention message was panned by pundits?), Trump has a tendency to spiral downward for a few days until he’s convinced to stop lashing out or punching down. Our question is: how long does bad stretch for Trump last?”

Of course, in the right-wing world: You attack our guy, we destroy you
Miss Universe 'fat-shamed' by Donald Trump was accused of threatening to kill a judge and being an accomplice to a MURDER bid in her native Venezuela 

“You know, I have my past. Of course, everybody has a past. I’m not a saint girl. But that is not the point now.”  
       — Former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, in a CNN interview, when asked about suggestions by the Trump campaign that she was once an accomplice to murder. 

Trump surrogates are hard at work to assassinate her character
On cable television, Kayleigh McEnany didn't care about the lack of charges. Her job is to defend Trump, so launched the first salvo to smear Machado.  "When you fact check this woman Alicia Machado, ex-Miss Universe accused of threats," she recited from her script on her iPad. "This woman called him and set threatened to end his career and life in February 1998. This is a he said, she said."  Panelist Maria Cardona shot back, "It's actually not." . . . [read on]

CNN Trump Surrogate Kayleigh McEnany Compares Miss Universe To Terror Suspect
‘C’mon, this is so beneath you’: CNN guest shames Scottie Nell Hughes for trashing Alicia Machado

And Trumpy. Just. Can't. Let. It. Go
In the situation Donald Trump is in with former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, any media professional or really anyone with a conscience would say this: "We quarreled many years ago. It's in the past. I truly wish her the best." Done and done. But just an hour ago Trump went on O'Reilly to again trash Machado, now saying that he saved her job, gave her a shot at not being fat and this is the thanks he gets. Yes, he really said that. "You know, they wanted to fire her. The company itself wanted to fire her. I saved her job ... I saved her job because I said that's going to -- I did that with a number of young ladies. The staff itself [wanted to fire her]. Look what happened. Look what I get out of it. I get nothing. A lot of things are coming out about her." . . .

The kind of man he is
Los Angeles Times: “After the Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes opened for play in 2005, its world-famous owner didn’t stop by more than a few times a year to visit the course hugging the coast of the Pacific.”  “When Trump did visit, the club’s managers went on alert. They scheduled the young, thin, pretty women on staff to work the clubhouse restaurant  — because when Trump saw less-attractive women working at his club, according to court records, he wanted them fired.”

Donald Trump is, without question, the most misogynistic presidential candidate in modern American history. . . . [read on]
Whatever they are saying publicly, Trumpy's debate performance was a disaster, and his team knows it
Seven campaign aides and advisors who spoke to the Times on condition of anonymity attributed the subpar performance to Trump’s lack of focus in prep meetings, unwillingness to practice using a podium or doing mock debates, and reliance on advisers like retired Army general Michael Flynn, who has no experience with presidential debates. . . .
There were early efforts to run a more standard form of general election debate-prep camp, led by Roger Ailes, the ousted Fox News chief, at Mr. Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, N.J. But Mr. Trump found it hard to focus during those meetings… That left Mr. Ailes, who at the time was deeply distracted by his removal from Fox and the news media reports surrounding it, discussing his own problems as well as recounting political war stories, according to two people present for the sessions. . . .

Now what?
Trump desperately tries to spin away his debate loss
Trump Campaign Doesn’t Have Many Good Options Going Forward

Drawing the wrong lessons, obviously
Politico had a separate report this morning on the fact that “threats emanated from Trump Tower on Tuesday that the Republican nominee was preparing to name-check Bill Clinton’s mistresses.”  Some skepticism is probably in order – largely because I find it hard to imagine Democrats getting this lucky. . . . [read on]
[T]his is nothing new, it has not worked in the past as an attack on Hillary Clinton—and in this case, it plays into Clinton’s message that Trump is a misogynist creep:     

If the thrice-married Trump hits Hillary Clinton for her husband's infidelity, he's effectively taking her bait again. "He's walking right into her trap," Packer said. "She's making the case that he bullies, degrades and humiliated women. And this will be Exhibit A." 

Rudy Giuliani as a messenger?

Chelsea Clinton is not impressed that Trumpy says he held up his comments about Bill's affairs because he was worried about offending her


The debate will be a gold mine for pro-Clinton videos and ads. Here they come
Top Democrats say they’re planning to escalate their attacks on one of the most glaring missteps Donald Trump committed during the debate on Monday night: When confronted over whether he pays nothing in federal taxes, he not only didn’t deny it — he seemed to openly boast about it.  The pro-Clinton Super PAC Priorities U.S.A. is jump-starting the campaign with this new digital ad . . .
Watch Trump Make A Fool Of Himself As He Repeatedly Interrupts Clinton

Michelle Obama in new Clinton ad: 'Hillary will be a president our kids can look up to'

Here's one woman who isn't bothered by Trump's debate performance. Judge for yourself
Barb Haag of West Chester, a retired teacher of the emotionally disturbed, said Mr. Trump’s interruptions did not bother her. “Kids interrupt you all the time if they have a point to make,” she said.

Trumpy is bragging about winning the online surveys following the debate (I won't call them "polls"). They mean NOTHING

Trump supporters vote multiple times in fake online polls, use that to claim he 'won' the debate
Fox News executives forced to warn pro-Trump Fox News hosts against citing bogus online polls

And when the polls don't say what he wants, he just makes them up
“So I understand that we have a Reuters poll where we’re 10 points up!” he bellowed.

Polls, grain of salt, etc etc. But let's see what is happening to the real numbers post-debate
Clinton Gains 4 Points on Trump in First Post-Debate Poll
Hillary Clinton takes a six-point lead over Donald Trump, coming back from a recent tie in the Ipsos/Reuters national tracking poll. But the new numbers come from before the first presidential debate held Monday, so the impact of that event is not measured.
Hillary's numbers among non-college whites go WAY up post-debate (in one focus group) 

Five swing states:
Lots more:
Clinton Demolished Trump
Prepping for the next debate: Here's the problem. The only way to prepare him is to get him used to digs and criticisms that he doesn't want to hear or respond to. He'd much rather sit around eating "bacon cheeseburgers" and practicing "zingers." He doesn't want to have to sustain attention for 90 minutes at a time and practice the simple focus and discipline of real time run-throughs. He isn't used to engaging women, and he only has one trusted female advisor (Kellyanne Conway) who probably doesn't want to play that role with him

[NB: I suppose we should encourage Trumpy to believe all those phony web surveys that say he won. Yes, Donald, you were GREAT! You totally dominated her! No need to practice, just keep doing exactly the same thing next time! You'll win again, for sure!]

It's already working!
Trump Resists Changing Debate Approach  

Really? Is that the best you got, dude?
Trump Mocks Clinton for Her 9/11 Memorial ‘Medical Episode’

Notice a pattern here?
You need a better community, you know, relation. You don't have good community relations in Chicago. It's terrible. I have property there. It's terrible what's going on in Chicago. ...  And when I look at what's going on in Charlotte, a city I love, a city where I have investments, when I look at what's going on throughout various parts of our country, whether it's -- I mean, I can just keep naming them all day long -- we need law and order in our country. 

Crooked Donald
Donald Trump’s history of corruption: a comprehensive review 

The Trump Foundation looks like a personal piggy bank

What Trumpy doesn't understand about "stop and frisk"

Trumpy whips up anger against the media at a Florida rally -- predictable consequences follow 

By the way, audits or not, Trumpy has been perfectly willing to release his tax returns -- when it has suited him


Let's just put a few pieces together. Trump Inc. is today less about building things, and more about branding the Trump label. His kids are soon to take over the business, whether he wins (NO WAY) or not. They need to keep the brand shiny and bright. They have become his primary advisors in the campaign, which as you know is totally intermingled with the business and is channeling campaign money into Trump companies. 

Now it turns out they're very concerned that the way the campaign is going is hurting that brand. And they blame, not Trump himself . . . but his other advisors. Popcorn! 

New Trump PAC lets people donate to him anonymously. You know why

All the talk about Hillary's health? You know, it isn't really about her health

From the fever swamps: Hillary was giving the debate moderator secret signals!

Trumpy thinks Google is part of a conspiracy against him 

Here's the growing list of GOPers backing Clinton over Trump

In other news . . .

Taxing the 1%

The economy, overall, is in pretty good shape -- but no one wants to say so

Congress overrides Obama veto, for the first time

In case you're considering Gary Johnson
Johnson Fails To Name Single Foreign Leader: ‘I’m Having An Aleppo Moment’ 

Bonus item: "It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools" (thanks to JT for the link)
Go ahead and laugh at Donald Trump’s claims that he was foiled by a finicky microphone on Monday night, but I can relate. When I write a bad column, it’s all my keyboard’s fault. . . . [read on]

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL:

I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***