59 thoughts on “Racist Midterm?”

  1. “I have not called the president a racist, but there are racists in his sympathizers who believe he may be, which is why they go to his aid, which is why he has provided them cover. I believe his cover has led to much of the degradation in our political discourse,” Gillum said Thursday on CNN.

  2. last night on PBS Newshour:

    Did the involvement of Russian trolls and hackers swing the 2016 presidential election? Kathleen Hall Jamieson, author of “Cyberwar,” believes it is “highly probable” that they did. She joins Judy Woodruff to discuss her research on how the Russians found the right messages and delivered them to key audiences using social media–as well as how we can manage foreign election meddling in the future.


    Kathleen Hall Jamieson:
    I believe it’s highly probable that they did, not certain, but highly probable.

    Judy Woodruff:
    And what do you base it on?

    Kathleen Hall Jamieson:
    Three arguments.
    First, the social media intervention, which is the Russian trolls marauding around in cyberspace, pretending they’re U.S. citizens, had a message aligned with candidate Trump’s. They had identified the right voters they needed to mobilize, demobilize and shift in order to help elect him.
    They had messages that had a lot of viral exposure, so they reached a lot of people. But we’re not completely sure, although they did have the entire Democratic playbook, and so they had the means, whether they actually reached the right voters in the three key states. The case is tentative.

    Kathleen Hall Jamieson:
    My theory of how the election outcome was changed is that the discourse climate was changed.
    So, we know from our past research that, when you change the balance of the messages, so you have more negative messages about one candidate than the other, you shift votes, not massive numbers, but you shift enough to decide a close election.
    And what that means is that, if you can get the number of messages out there to be highly negative, compared to where they would have been, in social media — that’s the trolls — and in mainstream and conservative media — that’s the hackers — to shift in both cases against Secretary Clinton, candidate Clinton, you’re more likely to move votes against her.
    That’s why I call them discourse saboteurs.

    udy Woodruff:
    What is so striking to about this book, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, is, it’s about the Russians, yes, but it’s also about the way the American news media covers politics.
    And you talk about the tendency, the strong tendency we have in the last many decades to focus more on personalities and on process than we do on policy. How did that play into what the Russians were doing?

    Kathleen Hall Jamieson:
    When the Russian hackers illegally stole the Democratic content and released it into the media stream, they were coming into an environment in which our reporters are preoccupied with getting the real story, the difference between what the candidates are really like and they really plan to do, as opposed to what they appear to be like and they say they’re going to do.
    So there was a press narrative that was already sitting there, and very comfortably, and amplified by that move to drop the hacked content in.
    And Hillary Clinton helped make that possible by not releasing her speech text when Bernie Sanders asked for them. And so once those speech texts are released, they become fodder for a press narrative that’s already preset. And what it does is creates a narrative that says, she said one thing in public and another thing in private.
    Unfortunately, some of the press uses of the evidence took the actual hacked content out of context to make the case that that’s what she had done, when, in those instances, she actually hadn’t.

    udy Woodruff:
    And your point is that, if the Russians had been doing what they have been doing, but if the media hasn’t cooperated, this wouldn’t have happened.

    Kathleen Hall Jamieson:
    First, if the media had said, every time we’re going to say WikiLeaks, instead, we will say Russian stolen content hacked from Democratic accounts illegally, or Russian stolen content given us by Julian Assange, who wanted to see Hillary Clinton defeated, because Hillary Clinton wanted him prosecuted for his use of national security data, the source and the message would have stayed tied.
    By calling it WikiLeaks, the press made us assume that this was just normal content, and was — that it came from a news source, a legitimate source, not from the Russians.
    Well, it’s exactly what happened. They hacked the material, gave it to WikiLeaks, came into our media. And we lost track of the fact that it was Russian-sourced.


  3. she makes an excellent point here: “By calling it WikiLeaks, the press made us assume that this was just normal content, and was — that it came from a news source, a legitimate source, not from the Russians”

    don’t remember exactly but think I was not fully aware at the time that russians were behind the WikiLeaks stuff

  4. glad you pulled the Gillum quote, Pat. Thanks. I saw it live and was going to transcribe it but got busy grilling steaks for me and david. For anyone who hasn’t seen this guy in action he is a major up and comer. Ha, if he were white I wouldn’t hesitate to say he is very articulate, but I remember Biden got in trouble saying that about Obama. Maybe we’re past that. So there: Gillum is very articulate.

  5. Trump’s racist ad shows how low Republicans have sunk
    Jennifer Rubin (Washington Post):

    “To all the Republicans who think that words don’t matter, who rationalize support for the president because of judges or tax cuts, who insist that domestic terrorism is unrelated to normalization of virulent racist rhetoric and who remain silent believing they have no moral responsibility for this brand of politics, I would say this is reason enough to vote …  against each and every Republican on the ballot.”

  6. huffpo:
    Stephen Colbert wasn’t about to cut Fox News host Chris Wallace any slack when the newsman defended President Donald Trump on “The Late Show” Thursday.

    A debate over Trump’s harsh reaction to the migrant caravan and U.S. asylum laws led to Wallace declaring, “I’m not going to attack him.”

    “If he lies all the time, why wouldn’t you attack him?” Colbert shot back.

    “Because there are good things and bad things,” Wallace responded.

    ″If you pour poison in a cup of water, there’s still water in there,” Colbert said. “But I’m not gonna drink it because I’ll be poisoned.”

    ‘Fox News Sunday’ host Chris Wallace doesn’t think there was an ‘October surprise; ahead of the midterms. He thinks there were two.


  7. bink, FYI, they’re still active getting out the vote.  here’s an example earlier this week of what’s happening on a lot of campuses (campi?) across the country.

    herald tribune:
    SARASOTA — As Ringling College of Art and Design students made their way on Tuesday morning across the campus’ crosswalk that serves as a sort of central thoroughfare, they looked up from their cell phones or conversations with their friends to see someone who could have been a fellow student urging them to vote.
    His white shirt was emblazoned with an image that looked simply like the American flag but doubled as a QR code that would lead students directly to a voter registration site once they scanned the image with their cell phones. In some cases, he asked them if they had voted or if they planned to vote. It wasn’t his first time urging students to get out the vote and it certainly wasn’t his largest audience. This was David Hogg, a survivor of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and one of the movement’s most vocal and public activists.
    Hogg was in Sarasota along with about 8 other students from Parkland as part of the group’s fall segment of their Vote for Our Lives bus tour. The students spent Tuesday morning coloring the sidewalks of Ringling College with chalk, adding the words “Vote” wherever they could. After leaving Ringling, the students went to University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee and Siesta Key for a beach barbecue, according to the schedule posted on their website.
    “We are trying to come to places where this typically wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t here,” said 18-year-old Parkland student Sofie Whitney.

  8. axios:

    Parkland students blend QR and fashion to register voters


    In their most recent popularization in the U.S., QRs are front and center in the anti-gun violence movement from March for Our Lives, launched by students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Fla.
    After the February massacre at the school, in which a gunman killed 17 students and teachers, Jammal Lemy, 20, a local t-shirt designer and former Stoneman student, was asked by movement leaders to design merchandise to help fund their national tour.

    The students decided to model their merchandise after that sold by the National Rifle Association, which rallies its supporters using patriotism. “We said, ‘We are patriotic too’ — that Americans have the right to dwell in public spaces peacefully and safely,” Lemy tells Axios.
    The students’ main objective is registering youth voters for the November midterms.
    These two factors came together late one night, when, after numerous rejections of his design ideas, Lemy envisioned an American flag in which a QR code took the place of the stars.

    The idea was that 38 states allow online registration, so if you scan the t-shirt’s QR — which Lemy thought would be an irresistible impulse — you would be taken instantly to a voter registration page.

    The impact: The Parkland students say some 10,000 people have registered using the t-shirts. “It’s being politically active with swag,” Lemy said.

  9. Question for the gang – If we get the result we want, with Democrats taking control of the House and maybe even grabbing the majority in the Senate, do you think that Republican politicians will finally start to dial back on the racist, homophobic, and misogynistic tactics?

    I’m not talking about the old school jackasses. I’m talking about politicians who lean conservative in the sense of what that term used to mean. I’m wondering if there is a “new breed” of Republican even possible. Or will they all just double down and go back into “party of no” mode, and continue pandering to a dwindling nutjob base?

  10. Along the thread topic lines, Wapo put up an article about IMPOTUS’ racist full court press in the last days of this campaign.

    COLUMBIA, Mo. — President Trump, joined by many Republican candidates, is dramatically escalating his efforts to take advantage of racial divisions and cultural fears in the final days of the midterm campaign, part of an overt attempt to rally white supporters to the polls and preserve the GOP’s congressional majorities.

    On Thursday, Trump ratcheted up the anti-immigrant rhetoric that has been the centerpiece of his midterm push by portraying a slow-moving migrant caravan, consisting mostly of families traveling on foot through Mexico, as a dangerous “invasion” and suggesting that if any migrants throw rocks they could be shot by the troops that he has deployed at the border. The president also vowed to take action next week to construct “massive tent cities” aimed at holding migrants indefinitely and making it more difficult for them to remain in the country.

    “If you don’t want America to be overrun by masses of illegal aliens and giant caravans, you better vote Republican,” Trump said at a rally here Thursday evening.


    Trump has repeatedly cast the migrants as “bad thugs” and criminals while asserting without evidence that the caravan contains “unknown Middle Easterners” — apparently meant to suggest there are terrorists mixed in with the families fleeing violence in Honduras and other Central American nations and seeking asylum in the United States. The president also said Wednesday that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if liberal donor George Soros had funded the migrant groups — echoing the conspiracy theory that is thought to have influenced the accused Pittsburgh shooter.


    He also called birthright citizenship a “crazy, lunatic policy,” warning that it could allow people such as “a dictator who we hate and who’s against us” to have a baby on American soil, and “congratulations, your son or daughter is now an American citizen.”


    As Trump has intensified his rhetoric, a growing number of Republican candidates across the country have followed suit. Some feature graphic anti-immigrant messages and images in their campaign ads, while others have been accused of inciting anti-Semitic or anti-Muslim sentiment.

    In Tennesseea recent ad for Republican Senate nominee Marsha Blackburn features footage of the caravan and warns that it includes “gang members, known criminals, people from the Middle East, possibly even terrorists.” The ad also slams Blackburn’s Democratic opponent, Phil Bredesen, for stating that the caravan is “not a threat to our security.”

    An ad released Thursday by Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial nominee Scott Wagner features ominous music along with footage of the caravan. “A dangerous caravan of illegals careens to the border, two more behind it, and liberal Tom Wolf is laying out the welcome mat,” the ad declares, referring to the state’s Democratic governor.

    Facebook ad being run by the campaign of Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.) features a photo of three heavily tattooed Latino men with the message, “I will protect Georgia from violent criminal gangs.”

    And in California, the campaign of Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (R-Calif.), who has been indicted on charges of alleged misuse of campaign funds, has called his opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar, a “national security threat” with “close family connections” to Islamist militant groups. The 29-year-old Democrat’s grandfather, who died 16 years before he was born, was a key planner of the 1972 attack on Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. Campa-Najjar has condemned the attack.

    Steve King would be proud.

  11. “…will they all just double down and go back into “party of no” mode…?”

    X-R,  “go back” ?   when did they ever stop being the No party?

  12. the hill:
    “We all know what’s happening. It’s all about revving up the base, using fear to stimulate people to come out at the polls,” Corker told reporters in Nashville on Wednesday.
    He also laughed off suggestions from some on the right that the group of migrants were being funded by a wealthy Democratic donor. 
    “If anybody’s funding it, it’s some Republican donor, because it has obviously turned into an election issue that has benefited the Republican side,” Corker said.
    Corker has not endorsed Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn in her race to replace him
    He told the Chattanooga crowd that he was friends with both Blackburn and Democrat Phil Bredesen and thought they would both be a good senator to Tennessee.


  13. The GOP will find themselves between a rock and a hard place. They will still have their magats to contend with…….the gop politicians,  as we know, will say whatever they feel they have to, but they will be very confused about what they need to say.  Whatever they come up with, though, they will say the hell out of it.

  14. This is sixties style racism aided and abetted indeed instigated by the White House.Those who don’t see it are simply wearing blinders. And yes it is effective. George Wallace and Lester Maddox would be so proud.

  15. Travis – you ask a question I have wondered about for a while.  I think some of it depends on which greedy old perverts are out of the Congress.  With only talking head appearances for the most rabid who lost their seats the power of hate would be down a bit.  However, I think SFB might go off the deep edge requiring the Dems get him put in a padded cell.

  16. Maybe it’s my naive idealism coming to the fore, but I keep thinking that if there aren’t candidates spouting hate and fear, or there are fewer and fewer each election cycle, then those people who hate and are afraid just have no one to keep feeding the hate and fear. And then maybe they’ll start listening to something other than “hate those people” and “be afraid of those people”.

    After all, 3 million more voters repudiated hate and fear in 2016. We’re going to see how many more voters do that on Tuesday. At some point, I wonder if the law of diminishing returns finally kicks in.

    Yeah, probably just my naive idealism.

  17. If dems fail to take back either chamber ( more likely with each passing day) look for Trumpland to start talking about validation. Should dems flipthe House look for the same people to scream about rigged results and illegal voting by those pesky minorities.

    Am pinning my hopes on governorraces across the country that seems like our best chance. I want as many Democratic governors in place as possible during the next two years especially on Election Day 2020.

  18. from ad age:
    In a new get-out-the-vote ad from Comedy Central, an average guy says “How will I know I should vote…”—and then an average woman completes his thought with “… if celebrities don’t tell me to?” Good question! Other average people in the ad then serve up more specific questions, such as “Does Emma Stone think I should vote?,” “What about John Krasinsky?” and “Tom Holland, Tom Hardy, Thomas the Tank Engine—should I vote?”
    Near the end of the ad, one of the self-described “normal people” addresses the celebrity population at large, saying “Your silence is deafening.” That makes this PSA a spoof of not only all the celebrity-stuffed advocacy ads we’ve been seeing for years, but one particular recent get-out-the-vote spot from HBO in particular, in which all the fabulous famous people remained literally silent; see “Kumail Nanjiani, Ed Harris, Lena Dunham and others give you the voter registration staredown.”
    Added bonus: Comedy Central’s ad tacks on a call-to-action with a screen that reads “Tag your favorite celebrity #ShouldWeVote,” which has prompted at least one actual famous person to chime in:



    Yes, for the love of god, you should vote!


  19. If the rippers lose, the trumpistos will claim massive cheating, which would be correct, but they’d blame it on the wrong side. The cheating myth will breed some violence, and probably a few deaths. The rippers have been living in an increasingly tightened echo chamber since george herbert walker bush & the inception of the fakkks news mob. They cannot change their thinking merely because they lose. Losing fairly is not part of their ‘reality’. Therefore, a defeat has to be the result of cheating.

    Btw, if the caravan peters out, trump will claim that he beat them with his toughness. If they don’t stop, he’ll house them in a tent camp, possibly set up on the other side of the ‘wall’ for the purpose of political optics.

    Btw2, Ms Pat, I am honored to be mistaken for Mr TravisC.

  20. flatus, thanks for the alert.  here’s some of it from cbs live:

    Former President Obama is campaigning in Florida for Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who’s running for governor, and Sen. Bill Nelson, the three-time incumbent Democratic senator from Florida seeking his fourth term. At the moment, Nelson is the only Democrat holding statewide office in Florida. Should Gillum win, he will be Florida’s first black governor.
    Obama gently chastised a heckler for using profanity in front of children. The protester then started blowing a whistle and Obama addressed the individual again.
    “If you support the other candidates, then you should support the other candidates,” Obama said. “Go to their rallies.”
    Periodically the crowd would chant to drown out the protester, “Bring it home,” they chanted.
    We have seen rhetoric designed to divide us, the former president said.
    Andrew Gillum will expand Medicaid coverage, Obama told the voters, and he promised Democrats won’t let Republicans gut your health care.
    Right at election time, the former president said, Republicans have started to say they’ll protect pre-existing conditions, when they’ve been doing the opposite.
    “Let’s call that what it is: it’s a lie,” Obama said.
    “In four days, you can be a check on that kind of behavior,” Obama said in a speech that embraced themes of inclusivity and social justice. You can choose a more generous vision of America, “where love and hope conquer hate,” he said.

  21. The best counter attack for Dems would be to accuse putin of funding the caravan to help his racist republikkkan employees’ campaigns.

    But the Dems are running out of time to turn the tables.

  22. The fact is that the republicans have sown the wind and are about to reap the whirlwind.    You can quote me quoting that.

  23. They just have too many freaks, and most of America are just not that stupid.

    It’s gonna be a triple whammy.

  24. Been a Dodger fan for 43 years. I’ve seen guys come and go. Some departures have been devastating in the moment, like losing the Garvey-Cey-Lopes-Russell infield. They were my first favorite Dodgers. And Mike Piazza. Wow, that one really hurt for awhile.

    So it’s really wonderful when a true Dodger stays a Dodger. Clayton Kershaw is on the downward side of his career. But he’s a true Dodger and he’ll adjust to the lost velocity on his fastball, and make effective use of his curve/slider combination. He knows how to pitch to movement and location. Take the pressure off him at the top of the rotation, and I think he can still be special for awhile. So I think the front office did the right thing. They signed him to a 3 year extension, so barring anything wonky he will be a Dodger for life.

    That just makes me happy.

  25. Greetings from Massachusetts! It’s been a while. This will be a short update as I’m still working on recovering my health. I was sick for several months and things got progressively worse while I was self diagnosing and thinking I could make it all go away. By the time fall rolled around I was deteriorated to the point where I could barely take care of myself. It all came to a head on Oct 1, I said uncle & my son brought me to the er. I was in acute kidney failure & heart failure and it’s been a rough month of hospital & rehab. Also getting used to dialysis treatments which are like a horrible full time job I never applied for. Still hoping for a  positive turn around on my kidneys now that all my ailments are being treated and after another month of dialysis they will reevaluate in the hopes that I won’t have to have dialysis permanently. This is my hope and prayer and any prayers sent to the universe on my behalf will be appreciated. I’m writing this as a warning to anyone who is like I was and taking such good care of my self that I had literally stopped receiving regular medical attention. Apparently the high blood pressure was there, undiagnosed, for some time and may have triggered the rest of the breakdown of my body leading ultimately to the kidneys shutting down. I’ve learned my lesson and even after my positive, hoped for, recovery I pledge to get regular check ups and monitoring for the rest of my life. I am still week as a kitten. Just got home Wed. Aside from dialysis 3 days a week I have all kinds of people in and out of my home all week long, PT, OT, VNA doctors appointment on Mon with my new primary care doc. Yes, I didn’t even have one of those!

    Thanks for letting me vent and warn others not to be as stupid as I was.

    Love, Sue (aka granny)

  26. Granny – Sue – well now you are on the mend.  Time for happiness. And, you get to talk about the medical arts and how they tend to be lost in their own little worlds.

    At this point in the voting time line I am very surprised at so many republican leaders telling their groupies to vote Dem.  The last time I saw heavy movement from r to Dem was during the second campaign of Bush II the VI.  We had r’s showing up at county headquarters offering to help in any way.  We were concerned about them being less than honest.  All of them understood they were not trusted and did whatever they could.  Drive routes to drop off lit and volunteers.  Deliver water, and in all ways support getting the VI out of the WH.

    To those thinking that guy would be better in the WH.  Forget it.  He was bad and dangerous.  He let others, think Cheney, run the WH and we ended up in wars we did not have to be in.  And we are still there!!!!

  27. vanity fair: 
    Michael Cohen Says Trump Repeatedly Used Racist Language Before His Presidency
    As he awaits sentencing, Trump’s former lawyer says that he wants to clear his conscience and warn voters about what he sees as the president’s true nature in advance of the midterm elections.

    On Tuesday, mourners gathered in Pittsburgh to honor the victims of the harrowing attack on the Tree of Life synagogue. Days earlier, as they observed Shabbat, 11 Jews were murdered. Robert Bowers, the alleged suspect, later told a SWAT officer that he wanted all Jews to die. (Bowers has since pleaded not guilty.) The tragedy united thousands of Jews in Pittsburgh, who peacefully protested Donald Trump’s visit to the synagogue earlier this week. It also consumed a far larger constituency, which remained aghast that the alleged killer was motivated by fear fanned by the president of the United States.
    Michael Cohen, the president’s former lawyer, was among those closely following the story. The son of a Holocaust survivor, Cohen has remained largely silent since the F.B.I. executed search warrants on his home, hotel room, and office this past spring. In August, he pleaded guilty to charges related to campaign-finance violations and tax fraud, and at the advice of counsel, he has not spoken publicly about his case or his relationship with the president ever since. Privately, he has been cooperating with investigators in the Southern District of New York, the special counsel’s office, and New York State. (He faces sentencing in the Southern District next month.) Yet Cohen wanted to express himself in the wake of the tragedy. Shortly after the sun rose on Tuesday, he tweeted, “In honor of those sadly being buried today resulting from #AntiSemitism #PittsburghSynagogueShooting, let’s follow the wisdom and thoughtful words of #RabbiJeffreyMyers ‘it can’t just be to say we need to stop hate. We need to do, we need to act to tone down rhetoric.’”
    Like many, Cohen has observed the president’s scorched-earth campaign tactics as the midterm elections approach, and as the prospect of a Democratic House majority beckons, with its attendant promise of investigations and inquiries. He has heard Trump’s constant invocation of the migrant caravan moving through Central America; he’s noticed the president threaten to revoke birthright citizenship; he’s noted Trump’s tweet calling Florida’s African-American gubernatorial candidate, Andrew Gillum, a “thief,” without any evidence. He also watched Trump shirk responsibility after it was discovered that Bowers invoked the caravan in posts online ahead of the mass murder in Pittsburgh, and after one of his ardent supporters was charged last week with mailing pipe bombs to notable Democrats and other frequent Trumpian targets. (The suspect plans to plead not guilty.) On Twitter and during rallies, Trump has referred to the media as “the enemy of the people,” blaming the free press for “the anger we see today in our society.”
    That message rang hollow to those most familiar with the president and his language, including Cohen, who said he has spent the last several months quietly reflecting on his former boss and his own role in the Trump Organization. Amid the president’s recent tirades, Cohen has re-registered as a Democrat and urged people on Twitter to vote in the
    midterm elections, calling it possibly “the most important vote in our lifetime.” He said that events also activated within him an urge to reveal details from his tenure at the Trump Organization, during which he said the president privately uttered chilling, racist language in one-on-one conversations. On Tuesday, the day of the first funerals in Pittsburgh, he shared some of these memories.
    Certainly, Cohen is aggrieved, and his credibility has been questioned by the president, his lawyers, and others. His allegations could inflame the very divisions that he’s said he wants to diffuse. Through the president’s public attacks against him, he stayed silent, as his lawyers advised, and he’s taken a risk in sharing these recollections on the record. When I asked him why he was coming forward now with such uncomfortable claims, Cohen was clear: he knew that the president’s private comments were worse than his public rhetoric, and he wanted to offer potential voters what he believed was evidence of Trump’s character in advance of the midterm elections.
    During our conversation, Cohen recalled a discussion at Trump Tower, following the then-candidate’s return from a campaign rally during the 2016 election cycle. Cohen had watched the rally on TV and noticed that the crowd was largely Caucasian. He offered this
    observation to his boss. “I told Trump that the rally looked vanilla on television. Trump responded, ‘That’s because black people are too stupid to vote for me.’” (The White House did not respond to multiple requests for comment.)

    This conversation, he noted, was reminiscent of an exchange that the two men had engaged in years earlier, after Nelson Mandela’s death. “[Trump] said to me, ‘Name one country run by a black person that’s not a shithole,’ and then he added, ‘Name one city,’” Cohen recalled, a statement that echoed the president’s alleged comments about African nations earlier this year. (White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied those comments at the time. She added that “no one here is going to pretend like the president is always politically correct—he isn’t.” She subsequently noted that it was “one of the reasons the American people love him.”)
    Cohen also recounted a conversation he had with Trump in the late 2000s, while they were traveling to Chicago for a Trump International Hotel board meeting. “We were going from the airport to the hotel, and we drove through what looked like a rougher neighborhood. Trump made a comment to me, saying that only the blacks could live like this.” After the first few seasons of The Apprentice, Cohen recalled how he and Trump were discussing the reality show and past season winners. The conversation wended its way back to the show’s first season, which ended in a head-to-head between two contestants, Bill Rancic and Kwame Jackson. “Trump was explaining his back-and-forth about not picking Jackson,” an African-American investment manager who had graduated from Harvard Business School. “He said, ‘There’s no way I can let this black f-g win.’” (Jackson told me that he had heard that the president made such a comment. “My response to President Trump is simple and Wakandan,” he said, referring to the fictional African country where Black Panther hails from. “‘Not today, colonizer!’”)
    In retrospect, Cohen told me that he wishes he had quit the Trump Organization when he heard these offensive remarks. “I should have been a bigger person, and I should have left,” he said. He didn’t, he said, because he grew numb to the language and, in awe of the job, forgave his boss’s sins. Cohen, in fact, even defended the president publicly against charges of racism. Last year, he explicitly tweeted as much. Cohen explained that he defended the president because he thought the magnitude of the office would eventually force him to be more judicious with his words. “I truly thought the office would change him,” he said. But it hasn’t, Cohen continued. In fact, he said, it has exacerbated his rhetoric.
    Cohen’s claims would damage most presidents. Trump, however, survived the Access Hollywood tape in the run-up to the presidential election in 2016. His supporters stayed with him after his jarring “both sides” comment regarding the racial violence in Charlottesville, and didn’t bend when Omarosa Manigault Newman accused him of using vile racial language after she left the White House. (Trump referred to her as “that dog” after her book came out.) When Trump portrayed Brett Kavanaugh as a man under siege, his poll numbers went up. Trump seems to perform best with his base when he appears like his back is up against the wall. For Cohen’s part, he said he is hoping that people bear his words in mind as they cast their ballots on Tuesday. He will.

  28. GrannyM…  I too was stupid and didn’t trust the medical system at one time.  Thank god I woke up and realized that it was just as much a denial of science as climate change deniers.  I got the help I needed and healed.  I wish you much wellness and happiness on your new journey.

  29. The ads against BETO are getting ugly.  The way they tell it, he wants an America full of heroin addicts & illegal immigrants who have stolen our healthcare.

    They can’t run a positive Cruz ad & BETO has too much traction with voters, so they went low.

    I think it’s a good sign for BETO that the GOOPERZ are so desperate that they will run vile ads like that.

  30. Sue, best thoughts to you. Simultaneous kidney and heart failure is a frequently deadly combination. Had a good friend who was on the 3 day/wk dialysis regimen. By the time he died he was one well read sumbitch.

  31. Granny

    Lots of good thoughts

    As to the dialysis, it is a bit like I told Mrs Jack after she woke up from surgery and found out they had remove all he stomach,

    “Don’t worry we will deal with it”

    So far 35 days later we still are, small steps day by day.

    Be sure to celebrate the  milestones and victories.


  32. Best wishes for amazing recoveries to Granny and Missus WhiskeyJack.  I am not going for the $3.99 per month ap that blocks robo calls in hopes they will stop by Tuesday.  Lately I have just had to shut down my phone for hours at a time.  That dumb registry for prevention is a joke.  Robo firms figured that out years ago.

    I heard an amazing stat minutes ago…in Georgia early voting numbers have already exceeded the total numbers of voters from the previous mid-term election.  Personally, I enjoy voting on election day and then heading to the local coffee shoppe for the banter.

  33. Bill recaps the top stories of the week, including good omens for the midterm election and fear-mongering over the migrant caravan.

  34. maher:  “Fox News treats this like it’s the zombie apocalypse. But zombies eat brains, why would they be heading toward America?”

  35. Two dead, several others injured in Tallahassee shooting
    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — The Tallahassee Police Department says two people have died and five are injured following a Friday afternoon shooting near Bradford Road and Thomasville Road.
    TPD says they responded to a shooting at the Hot Yoga in the Betton Hills Complex on Bradford Road around 5:37 p.m.
    Officers say upon arrival they found multiple victims at the scene and five were transported to TMH to be treated.
    Authorities say there were seven total victims, two of which have died. They have been identified as Nancy Van Vessem and Maura Binkley.
    Officials say two victims are currently admitted at TMH and are in stable condition and three others have been treated and released.
    TPD says patrons inside the yoga studio fought back against the gunman once he entered the building.
    Officials say the suspected gunman has died due to an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
    TPD has identified the shooter as Scott Paul Beierle, 40, of Deltona, Florida.
    Officers say they are searching Beierle’s car, phone and social media profiles for a possible motive.
    Court records show he has two prior battery arrests in Tallahassee for inappropriately touching women.
    Authorities asking anyone who was near the incident between 5 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. to contact TPD at 850-891-4200 or Crimestoppers at 850-574-TIPS.


    Governor candidate, FL


    I’m deeply appreciative of law enforcement’s quick response to the shooting at the yoga facility in Tallahassee today. No act of gun violence is acceptable. I’m in close communication with law enforcement officials and will be returning to Tallahassee tonight.

    6:37 PM – Nov 2, 2018


    Mayor Andrew Gillum left a Shabbat prayer session in South Florida in memory of 11 people killed in a Pittsburgh synagogue gun massacre a week ago to return to Tallahassee to reckon with a hometown shooting that left two people dead and five others injured.
    Gillum, who was on the final push of his Democratic gubernatorial campaign, said he had met at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare — alongside Gov. Rick Scott —  with two women who suffered gunshots at Hot Yoga studio on Thomasville and Bradford roads Friday evening.
    “It reminds us that these occurrences are far too frequent and often times render us speechless as we try to figure out what’s going on what happened and why,” Gillum said, standing across the street from the plaza where the shooting occurred.
    He said he met with a woman who had been shot nine times in the incident and another who had a bullet pass through her body.

    “We’re still at a traumatic place because when these kinds of events happen all of our hearts go out,” he said. “We all feel a sense of added vulnerability.”
    Gillum thanked Scott, a Republican in a fierce battle for U.S. Senate with Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, whose policies Gillum has frequently criticized on the campaign trail.
    “I want to thank him for the care and concern that he has shown at this time and the support that he’s offered to assist law enforcement,” Gillum said.
    Gillum encouraged Tallahassee to continue to show love and support as investigators try to piece together what led to the shooting.
    “It’s my sincere hope that we’ll all reflect on why that might be,” he said. “But in the immediate term would ask that the community continue to lift up the victims.”

    [Gillum suspends campaigning]

  36. some good news in wapo:
    A federal judge on Friday denied President Trump’s request to stay a lawsuit alleging he is violating the Constitution by doing business with foreign governments, a decision that paves the way for plaintiffs to seek information about customers at his hotel in the District.

    U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte in Greenbelt, Md., denied the Justice Department’s request that he pause the case to allow a higher court to intervene. And Messitte sharply questioned the president’s position that his business does not improperly accept gifts or payments — called emoluments — as defined by the Constitution.

    By Trump’s analysis, Messitte wrote, the term emoluments is the subject of such “substantial grounds of disagreement” that payments his business received from foreign governments could not qualify. The judge did not agree: “The Court finds this a dubious proposition.”
    The judge found that, “the President’s ownership interest in the Trump International Hotel and his apparent receipt of benefits from at least some foreign and state governments, as well as from the Federal Government itself, suggest that he has received ‘emoluments’ in violation of the Constitution.”
    In an earlier ruling, Messitte had found that the definition of word emoluments, in the context of the late 1700s, was broad enough to include sales of goods or services. By the judge’s logic, that definition meant that Trump could be taking emoluments merely by renting ballrooms to foreign-government customers.
    Trump had objected, saying that the word should be defined more narrowly, to mean only payments made to Trump specifically to influence his behavior as president.
    “By every reasonable metric, [Trump’s definition] appears to describe what is tantamount to a bribe,” the judge wrote in the Friday decision, calling that interpretation “exceedingly strained.”
    Trump’s legal team has some options to prevent discovery from proceeding, but they are dwindling. The judge directed Frosh and Racine to submit a schedule for discovery within 20 days.
    “We will soon provide the court a new schedule to begin the process of getting information about how President Trump is profiting from the presidency,” Racine said in a statement.
    Frosh and Racine will seek details about spending at Trump’s hotel in the District by foreign governments, state governments and the federal government. They want to look inside the finances of Trump’s company to see how money flows through individual Trump businesses to Trump.
    They also want to seek information from Trump on “his communications with foreign, state and domestic government officials” regarding the District hotel. And they want information about Trump’s lease with the federal government, as his hotel is located in a federally owned historic building, which Trump leased long before he ran for office.
    Trump’s lawyers have asked for their own discovery — demanding details about whether the District or Maryland governments have been harmed, financially, by foreign-government customers leaving other hotels for Trump’s.

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