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    • On Wikileaks Actions In This Election
      The last post, a guest post by Mandos, on Wikileaks releases concerning Clinton, has spawned a lot of controversy in comments. All of which we both expected. So here’s my quick take on Wikileaks. First, Wikileaks failure at redaction in Turkey was bad. Really bad. I am not going to defend Wikileaks on releasing almost […]
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Stay out of it, Melania

Melania is in the news today. She’s threatening to sue People Magazine because their writer Natasha Stoynoff gave a first hand account of being groped by Donald Trump. He shoved her against a wall and forced his tongue in her mouth then whispered, ” We’re going to have an affair “.  

All together now. 


Melania says it never happened. This was just around the time she had given birth to Baron. But it sure sounds like Donald’s MO. So, she’s going to sue. I don’t know why she feels she has a case. The New York Times wrote an amazing retort to Trump’s lawyers about who tarnished Donald’s reputation. Read it here. That’s going to leave marks. 

Anyway, Melania, just stay out of it. We were all starting to sympathize with you, imagining what your life must be like with The Donald. Does he weigh you everyday? Portion out your carrot sticks and nonfat yogurt? Does he compare you to younger models? (No pun intended) 

Just don’t go there. You still have a reputation left. You may need it when this is over. 

Election Day Ground Zero

Pennsylvania looks like it’s breaking away in terms of who is leading but we’re not in the clear yet. 

Our organizer told us that Allegheny County is one of the most important counties in the country. If Hillary doesn’t win Allegheny County, she probably won’t win PA. And if she doesn’t win PA, well, I don’t even want to think about it. 

Another reason why PA is a special case is because 1.) we do not have early voting 2.) voter ID laws were struck down here and 3.) it’s an open carry state. That’s right, Trump motivated poll watching ammosexuals can carry their guns into the polling stations. Isn’t that special? 

The cumliminstion of these three things means that minority voters won’t be able to trickle in to a polling station early. No, we’ll all be voting on the same day, during the same hours were there will be concentrations of voters in particular spots throughout a diverse city and county. And because there is no voter ID law, the ridiculous accusations of voter fraud will get even louder. And then there are the Donald’s droogs looking for fun. 

Hell yeah I’m nervous. But it’s not going to stop me helping with the GOTV efforts. 

Nevertheless, the New York Times writes this morning that Trump is encouraging his supporters to aggressively monitor the polls. 

So, there’s that…

Update: The Washington Post wrote a beautiful, enthusiastic endorsement of Clinton based on her own merits. I read it on the bus and it brought tears to my eyes. Highly recommended. 


I’m hearing that Trump may have done just enuf last night to keep his candidacy alive and that Hillary failed to deliver a knock out blow despite her many opportunities to do so.

One observation on this seems to ring true. Hillary doesn’t want to finish him off. She wants to keep him in the game and let him “bleed out”. That is, let his campaign slowly lose more and more support until there’s no way for him to recover. That leaves the Republican Party with no options.

If she had finished him off last night, there might have been more calls from Republicans to pressure him to drop out.

Maybe they still will pressure him to drop out.

In any case, what we saw last night was that Trump was a looming, menacing presence, hovering over her and making all of us very uncomfortable, even if it didn’t seem to rattle her. It was creepy. He can not conceal his hatred and contempt.

The Cheese Stands Alone


Hillary Rodham, then, now, forever.

What’s in a name?

According to recent history, Hillary Rodham changed her name, the name she loved and was determined to keep since she was a child, in order to help her husband win re-election to be Governor of Arkansas. This article from The Atlantic explains why she did it:

When The New York Times profiled the newly-elected Governor Clinton, it noted that he “is married to an ardent feminist, Hillary Rodham, who will certainly be the first First Lady of Arkansas to keep her maiden name.” The Arkansas Democrat reported, “Despite the fact that she keeps her maiden name, the wife of Arkansas’s new governor, Bill Clinton, claims she’s really an old-fashioned girl.” (I’m indebted to Karen Blumenthal’s forthcoming biography for these anecdotes.) Clinton himself later told The New Yorker’s Connie Bruck, “Hillary told me she was nine years old when she decided she would keep her own name when she got married. It had nothing to do with the feminist movement or anything. She said, ‘I like my name. I was interested in my family. I didn’t want to give it up.’”

Bill Clinton lost reelection in 1980, but decided to run to reclaim his seat two years later. That’s when Hillary Rodham decided it was time to take on Bill’s name, to assist the effort. Here’s how Bill Clinton explained it to Bruck:

“When she came to me and said she wanted to change, I could see in her eyes that she had made the decision to do it. And I said, “I do not want you resenting me. I would a lot rather lose the election than lose you.” She said, “I’m not going anywhere.” I said, “I know, but I don’t want you to resent this for the rest of your life. You made this decision when you were a child. I like it. I approve of the decision. I don’t care about it.” And she said, “Look, Bill, we cannot—this is stupid! We shouldn’t lose the election over this issue. We shouldn’t run this risk. What if it’s one per cent of the vote? What if it’s two per cent? You might win or lose the election by two per cent.”

Two paths in a golden wood and she took the one most travelled by when it comes to names. Were it not for Bill’s re-election, we would be electing President Rodham this year. With the decision to change her name, she tied her fortunes to his.

And this points to what I think is the last barrier between women and the White House. No one who has acceded to the Oval Office has defined himself in terms of another person. Hillary has been associated with Bill Clinton as his wife as much as she has as senator, Secretary of State and presidential nominee. This is what the Republicans and Donald Trump are counting on.

It’s too late for Hillary to change her name back but it’s not too late to reclaim her identity as a person of merit, accomplishment and dignity upon whose shoulders we can rest the heavy weight of the burdens and responsibilities of the most powerful nation of the world.

When she becomes president, it will be she alone who will have the authority and power. hqdefaultTo break the last glass ceiling, she needs to define herself as her own person without reference to any man in her life.

She has the heart of a president, and a President of the United States too. This is the night to show it.

The Tipping Point Thread

A month away from the election and we have finally reached the end of the Trump campaign. I guess he could still run, go thru the motions, flail like a screaming flaming swamp monster at tomorrow’s debate. But something tells me the Republicans will have made some monumental decision by then to save their own skins. 

It’s a lot to take in and discuss. Happily, I am at a wedding this weekend in a beautiful wooded setting. But I’m going to leave this thread open because I want to hear what you’re thinking. 

Here are some of the things I’m thinking about: 

1.) If you haven’t seen Ana Navarro pointing out Scotty Hughe’s unbelievable hypocrisy on CNN last night, stop right now and watch it. That is the closest thing I have seen to the “Have you no decency at long last, sir?” moment we have had since the 50s. 

2.) The Republicans have been running on the anti-PC meme for several years before Trump decided to run for President in 2016. It has been Rush Limbaugh’s golden ticket for decades. Religion and bigotry has been their business model since Reagan. Let’s not let them off the hook because Trump has exposed them in the ugliest possible way. They had their chance to stop him before the nomination and they didn’t. They should all hang together. 

3.) There is now talk that the GOP is thinking about forcing Trump off the top spot and moving Pence up. For all we know they’re the ones who brought their own candidate down. There are two problems with this, both of which should trouble us greatly. The first is that the ballots are already printed in every state. I’m guessing that each party has a back up plan in case their nominee can’t do the job, or they should have after what happened to RFK in 1968. But this swaparoo feels too conveeeenient. In fact, looking back on the VP debate, you can almost see Pence setting himself up. We thought he was going to run in 2020. But maybe the GOP is trying to slide  a stealth candidate in to replace Trump and hard ass, low tax, anti-government, publicly pious, sexist Pence is more to their liking. 

But that would mean that Pence didn’t get the thorough vetting that the other Republican candidates did in 2016 primary races. What we know about him is unpleasant enough. What else don’t we know? That’s the problem that I have with this scenario. It’s tricky, sneaky, deceptive and not at all beneath Republicans. We shouldn’t allow them to get away with it. They were a private party during the primaries. But the general election is an official, blessed, constitutionally mandated event. We should avoid any more turmoil like the kind we had in 2000. The world needs the US to be a reliable example of stability. As  painful as it may be for Republicans, they need to swallow their losses this year for the good of the country. 

Don’t expect them to be responsible or gracious. 

4.) Hillary is probably going to win. Nothing is for certain so we can’t relax. But I feel bad for her that the candidate she had to run against is so unqualified and destructive that just about any average politician looks good in comparison. She deserved better than this. She deserved to look like the best candidate we have had on both sides of the aisle for two decades. 

But at this point, the media should be sobered up. It dodged a bullet this year. A Trump presidency would have murdered the first amendment. They need to appreciate the candidate who won for the person she is. 

Your turn. 

Tim Kaine won but who cares what I think?

The media wants a photo finish. 

But Kaine won anyway because:

  1. He actually knew what he was talking about. He had a 5 point plan for the economy that included infrastructure, increasing the minimum wage, better job training, focus on small businesses. I don’t have to remember all 5. I remembered 4. He made a big deal out of Social Security- there will be no plans to privatize. He outlined a two pronged approach to tackling ISIS. 
  2. I can’t remember any policy proposals from Pence but he and Trump sure know how to play the victim card. Who knew they were such fragile, delicate flowers. After insulting more than half of the population for a year, they have the chutzpah to accuse Hillary of being mean. That takes a special kind of insincerity. That’s debate preparation. 
  3. Yeah, Kaine interrupted Pence a lot. But did you notice that when the female moderator told him to shut up he did?  That’s respect. 
  4. Kaine showcased Hillary again and again. 
  5. Pence did not praise Trump. Let’s face it, Pence will be the de facto president if Trump wins. But Trump will be the one itching to press the nuclear button to see what happens because he just won’t be happy if he can’t blow shit up. 
  6. Trump’s taxes are important. They’re much more important than Hillary’s trouble with the state department IT department. And Clinton’s foundation is actually a charitable foundation that helps millions whereas Trump’s foundation is a charitable foundation that helps billionaires. Billionaires who like portraits of themselves that they buy with other people’s contributions. Did we mention that Trump’s foundation was instructed to stop operating because it didn’t have a license? Yeah, you’d think that would be significant. 

Anyway, that’s the way I saw it. So what if Kaine interrupted Pence? Trump and his minions of soulless automatons have bogarted the microphone for way too long on every possible show imaginable. There seems to be 3 times more Trump surrogates than Clinton surrogates. It’s overkill. I’m sick of hearing them cut people off ALL. THE. TIME.  They’re awful people. At least Kaine had something valuable to say while Pence just threw The Donald under the bus over and over again. 

Cold, quiet reptilian Pence is just waiting for his chance. He’s loathesome and so is his nitwit running mate. 

Tolkien to Tim

Tolkien is my favorite Catholic. Here are two of my favorite quotes by him:

I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.y

“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.


The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.

Make us proud, Tim.