Archive for October 7th, 2016

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You can’t blame the wreck on the train (2)

October 7, 2016

Who didn’t see this one coming? The WSJ reports on the hot political news of the day.

Donald Trump’s Lewd Comments About Women Spark Uproar
Republican candidate apologizes for 2005 recording, but party leaders and evangelicals are severely critical

Donald Trump’s Republican presidential campaign was in damage control late Friday after a decade-old recording emerged in which he speaks in crude sexual terms about women.

Mr. Trump quickly apologized for the comments, which included talk about grabbing and kissing women, saying they were “locker-room banter.” But the recording drew blunt rebukes from both the Republican Party’s top elected official and the head of the GOP, and didn’t sit well with some of Mr. Trump’s evangelical supporters.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) said he was “sickened” by the recording and uninvited Mr. Trump to a campaign event in his state scheduled for Saturday. Mr. Trump said in a statement that he would send his running mate, Mike Pence, in his place, and instead spend the day in debate preparations. […]

Anyone else remember Earl Butz? Now imagine if Nixon had said what Butz said.

Erick Erickson, for one, saw it coming last February. And he didn’t even mention Mr. Trump’s sexual midadventures. (My emphasis below.)

He [Trump] will not win in November. He will not win because he turns off a large number of Republicans; he turns off women; he turns off hispanic voters; he turns off black voters; and the blue collar voters who support him are not a sufficient base of support to carry him over the finish line. […]

Trump is also a con-artist and the media, which has built his campaign is going to destroy his campaign. After he secures the Republican nomination, the media will trot out every victim and perceived victim of Trump’s actions. All the people hurt by repeated strategic bankruptcies, all the people swindled by Trump University, and anyone who got food poisoning from Trump steaks will be in a 24/7 cavalcade on national television.

It’s a pity. There are some good Republicans in the Congress. I have a lot of respect for Paul Ryan, for example. People like Ryan deserved a lot better candidate for their party than Donald Trump.

Vote for the least of the evils.


Update 10/8/16: Scott Adams responds to a challenge from Erick Erickson. It’s worth your time to read.

Why Does This Happen on My Vacation? (The Trump Tapes)

By now you know about the Access Hollywood recording in which Donald Trump said bad things eleven years ago. Many of my readers asked me to weigh in. One of the requests came from anti-Trump GOP elite person Erick Erickson. (Middle name Erick, I assume.) This was his polite request and my response. Read it from bottom to top.

adams-erickson-tweet
Challenge accepted!

I’ll give you my thoughts, in no particular order. […]

Mr. Adams stands by his claim that Trump has a “98% chance of winning.” Maybe he knows something RCP and ElectionBettingOdds don’t know.

And maybe I should ask if he’s interested in a little action on the side.


Update 10/9/16: I made a trip to visit my parents today and spotted a couple of interesting reactions on the election. The first was a gasoline station with “Alfred E. Neuman for President” on its animated sign. (Who’s Alfred E. Neuman?)

I came across the second in the letters-to-the-editor section of the Peoria Journal-Star. Someone wrote a short letter about Trump and the gist of it (I’m paraphrasing) is that the Republicans should have heeded the advice of Abe Lincoln (the first Republican President). Lincoln said, "What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself."

I was very amused by that letter. Well played, Mr./Ms. Letter Writer.


Update 10/11/16: I’ve been wondering when someone would make this comparison.

Glenn Beck: Trump is the GOP’s Anthony Weiner

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Curiouser and curiouser

October 7, 2016

Here’s interesting news from CNN about hacked voting systems, publishing hacked DNC documents, and the coming election.

US accuses Russia of trying to interfere with 2016 election
US officially blames Russia for political hacks

Washington (CNN)The Obama administration said Friday it was “confident” that Russia was behind recent hackings of emails about upcoming US elections in an attempt to interfere with the process.

The announcement marks the first time the US administration has officially accused Russia of hacking into US political systems. Earlier in the week, the two countries broke off formal talks about a ceasefire in Syria.

“We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities,” the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a joint statement.

“The recent disclosures of alleged hacked emails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts,” the statement added. “These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow — the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there.”

The announcement was referring to the breach of Democratic National Committee emails and the sites of other Democratic Party-linked organizations disclosed over the summer. […]

I’m not sure what to make of this report. Taking it at face value leaves me wondering what the Russian intent is. Do they want to discredit the Democrats (and thus Clinton) by releasing hacked documents and so sway voters to elect Trump? Would Putin prefer Trump as his counterpart? That seems the obvious conclusion – if the Russian Federation really is behind the hacking.

Or maybe the situation’s like a spy novel and there are wheels within wheels here. Is the Obama administration making this announcement with the hope that people will reach the conclusion above? Does the White House want to make sure people think that Russia favors Trump and so sway voters to Clinton? President Obama has endorsed Clinton after all.

That seems a bit of a stretch, since it’s sure to cause another kerfuffle with the Russians – at a time when relations are already a bit sour over Syria.

It all leaves me wondering who’s playing whom here. And I suppose that’s a third point: that I’m not confident I can trust this administration to play "straight baseball".

After all, it wouldn’t be the first time the President’s administration gamed the American public.


Update: Wow, this was quick. The WSJ reports this evening (~10 PM EST):

WikiLeaks Stirs Up Trouble for Hillary Clinton
Email correspondence is said to show excerpts of paid speeches before her presidential bid

The organization WikiLeaks on Friday released what it claimed to be Clinton campaign email correspondence revealing excerpts from paid speeches that Hillary Clinton gave in recent years, before her presidential bid.

A Clinton campaign spokesman declined to verify whether the documents are authentic.

The emails appear to show Mrs. Clinton taking a tone in private that is more favorable to free trade and to banks than she has often taken on the campaign trail. The emails also suggest she was aware of security concerns regarding electronic devices, which could feed into criticism that Mrs. Clinton was careless with national secrets when she was secretary of state.

The release marks the latest time WikiLeaks has inserted itself into this year’s presidential campaign, and it came the same day the U.S. intelligence community accused the Russian government of trying to interfere in the U.S. elections by purposefully leaking emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee and other entities. The intelligence agencies alleged the hacks were directed by the most senior officials in the Russian government, with WikiLeaks one of the entities whose methods are consistent with those of a Russia-directed effort.

“Earlier today the U.S. government removed any reasonable doubt that the Kremlin has weaponized WikiLeaks to meddle in our election and benefit Donald Trump’s candidacy,” said Clinton spokesman Glen Caplin in a statement. “We are not going to confirm the authenticity of stolen documents released by [WikiLeaks founder] Julian Assange who has made no secret of his desire to damage Hillary Clinton.”

Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, whose emails were WikiLeaks’s primary target, sent several tweets on the subject late Friday.

“I’m not happy about being hacked by the Russians in their quest to throw the election to Donald Trump,” he wrote. “Don’t have time to figure out which docs are real and which are faked.” […]

Obviously, the Democrats want us to think that Wikileaks is trying to get Trump elected. I think it’s a safe guess that the president agrees with that. So the question left is whether the Russians are coordinating and/or controlling what Wikileaks is doing as the administration claims.

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