Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Mr. Sniffle Britches



Okay, this is childish and petty, but if Donald J. Trump had not denied the mucus-slurping and then upped the ante by suggesting a microphone conspiracy against him on Fox News, we might have been able to resist.

But, you know, childish and petty is in our wheelhouse!

Hattip: Wonkette.


She Got Game!

Photo Chuck Burton
Deborah Ross has broken out in a big way, both in-state in her race to unseat Dick Burr in the U.S. Senate and nationally, where she's attracting enthusiastic write-ups, like this one.

Ross was the keynote speaker at the 2015 Watauga Democratic Party Fall Rally. She energized that large crowd with both her out-going and infectious personality and with her grasp of policy. Many attended that rally last year because there was speculation that Ross would make her announcement  in Boone for the U.S. Senate. Several other candidates were already announced (Ross would end up running against three men in last March's primary), but we couldn't quite talk her into making history while she was in Boone.

A couple of weeks later, she was in the Senate race. We like to think that Watauga Democrats helped build a push for her. Watauga certainly did its part in the March primary, giving Ross over 72% of the vote.

She's making tracks. She's pulled even with Sen. Burr. In at least one poll, she's ahead of him. So much will depend on the turn-out of the demographic groups that have been consistently targeted for voter suppression by our Republican overlords ... particularly young people. If they push back against the voter suppression and get themselves to early voting, Deborah Ross could be our new senator in Washington.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Liveblogging the Debate

Lester Holt: No applauding, no cheering, no audible reactions of any kind. Yeah, let's see how that works out for you, Les.

9:03 Here we go!

Hillary in fire-engine red.

9:05 First q: Achieving prosperity ... jobs. Income inequality, despite several years of improving conditions.

Hillary: raise the minimum wage. Equal pay for women. Investment in national infrastructure. Paid family leave. Wealthy pay fair share. Close corporate loopholes.

Trump: Jobs fleeing the country. China, bad. Mexico, sucking our jobs. Leaving ... leaving ... leaving, the jobs. He's said "leaving" now at least six times. Does Trump have post-nasal drip?

Hillary: reward work and not just investment. Trump is talking "Trumped-up trickle-down." "Donald was very fortunate in his life" ... given $14 million by his father.

Lester follows up with Trump: How are you going to bring back 25 million manufacturing jobs.

Trump: Already riled about Hillary's saying his father gave him $14 million. It was, according to Trump, "a small amount of money."

Trump as chivalrous knight: Is it all right to call you "Secretary Clinton?" I want you to be happy. Very important to me.

Lester pressing on the question: How do you bring back 25 million jobs.

Trump isn't going to answer. He can't answer. Just stop businesses from leaving. That's Trump's answer.

"That's called business, by the way," Trump interrupts Hillary's recitation of Donald gloating over the housing crisis in 2008.

Hillary is boring in on Trump's past statements. He interrupts her again about clean energy, denying he said what he said.

20 minutes in, and it looks increasingly likely that Trump is gonna blow! Insult comic Trump showed up tonight.

Hillary: "Donald, I know you live in your own reality." About Trump's rendition of recent history as regards trade deals, especially NAFTA.

Lester Holt has already lost control of this. Trump filibustering.

Hillary: Raise taxes on the wealthy since they've been the only ones to benefit from the economy's turn-around.

9:26 Lester Holt finally gets to ask the second question. Mr. Trump, please defend your plan for tax cuts for the wealthy.

Trump comes out as defender of the wealthy who have hidden their cash in off-shore accounts. Wow.

Trump the bully. He's in da house!

Hillary talking about "the Trump loophole." Trump can't stop interrupting her. Hillary: I don't think top-down works in America. We don't need more advantages for those at the top.

Trump: We're in a big, fat ugly bubble. I believe it's his ego.

9:31 Lester Holt: Mr. Trump, you haven't released your tax returns. Trump's answer is all over the place. He goes back onto trade. Lester presses in on the tax return. Trump: I will release them as soon as the audit is over. As soon as she releases her emails, I'll release my tax returns. Some in crowd cheer.

Hillary: You've just seen another example of bait and switch. Maybe he's not as he says he is. Maybe he's not as charitable as he says he is. Or maybe he doesn't want the American people to know he hasn't paid any federal income taxes. There's something he's hiding.

Trump: Loves the smell of hidden emails! I'm extremely under leveraged, Trump says. What's he talking about? I could give you a list of banks, if that would help you. (No, that wouldn't help that much!) Suddenly, he's talking about how terrible American airports are. Dubai has better airports.

Hillary: If your main claim for the presidency is your business experience, then perhaps we ought to talk about that. We have an architect in the audience who designed one of your buildings, and he didn't get paid. Trump: Maybe he did a bad job. Hillary continues to bring it about Trump's business history.

Trump: We used certain laws that were there to take advantage of people by not paying them by our taking bankruptcy. Yes, he really admitted it.

9:44 Lester Holt: Let's talk about race. How do you heal the divide?

Hillary: Respect on both sides. Criminal justice reform. Guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them. Restore trust between communities and the people.

Trump: She doesn't want to use the words "law and order." (Richard Nixon just sat up in his grave.) He's talking about being endorsed by police assn. And now about how bad cities are. You walk down the street and you get shot. Apparently, he's not talking about black men being shot by police. Stop-and-frisk works very well, says Donald.

Lester: Stop-and-frisk ruled unconstitutional in New York. Trump: No you're wrong. Cue the fact-checkers! Trump: You have to have stop-and-frisk. We need law-and-order!

Hillary: It's really unfortunate that Donald paints such a dire picture of black communities in our nation. Stop-and-frisk was found to be unconstitutional. Plus it was ineffective. Crime is actually down. It's just a fact that if you're a young black man and you do the same thing as a young white man, you're more likely to be arrested, charged, and jailed for it. I believe that implicit bias is true of all of us, not just the police.

Trump agrees with Hillary about denying guns to people on no-fly lists.

Hillary: I think he just accused me of preparing for this debate. Yes, I did. I'll tell you something else I prepared for: being president.

9:59 Lester Holt: Birtherism. Trump deflecting everything back on to Sidney Blumenthal. Trump: I think I did a good job. I got him to produce the birth certificate. So the racist attack on Obama was a good deed! Now we know. This is Trump at his worst -- exposed and incapable of producing a rational answer.

Hillary: He has a long record of engaging in racist behavior. The birther lie was a very hurtful one.

Trump seems to be admitting that he got successfully sued for racial discrimination but successfully slipped away without damage.

10:05  Cyber attacks

Hillary: Russia, and Donald has praised Putin for hacking us. We're not going to sit idly by and allow state actors to go after our commerce, our culture, our political parties.

Trump has sort of slumped at this point, He's low energy now. The old Interrupter, Bully Trump seems to have gone to sleep. Or at least deflated to a significant degree.

Trump gets revved up again over whether he favored the Iraq War. He's rambling. "Nobody's called Sean Hannity."

Trump: "I've got much better temperament than Secretary Clinton." People in audience groan.

Hillary: Donald's cavalier attitude. Yes, we see that.

10:27: Last segment. Thank Gawd!

What is Trump talking about ... Iran ... China ... North Korea. China should invade North Korea? Word salad!

Trump now telling us that he planned to say something "extremely rough" about Hillary and her family, but I decided I wouldn't.

Holt: Mr. Trump, will you accept the outcome of the election as the will of the people? Trump doesn't answer, goes off on one of his tangents. Finally says he'll support her if she's elected. Whew! Dodged that bullet!



Sunday, September 25, 2016

31 Ways of Looking Like a Jerk

1
He said a supportive crowd chanted, “Let him speak!” when a black pastor in Flint, Mich., asked Mr. Trump not to give a political speech in the church.
FOX NEWS INTERVIEW, SEPT. 15.
There were no such chants.
2
“I was against going into the war in Iraq.”
SPEECH IN FLORIDA, SEPT. 19.
This is not getting any truer with repetition. He never publicly expressed opposition to the war before it began, and he made supportive remarks to Howard Stern.
3
He said any supportive comments he made about the Iraq war came “long before” the war began.
FOX NEWS INTERVIEW, SEPT. 18.
He expressed support for the war in September 2002, when Congress was debating whether to authorize military action.
4
He said he had publicly opposed the Iraq war in an Esquire interview “pretty quickly after the war started.”
FOX NEWS INTERVIEW, SEPT. 18.
The Esquire interview appeared in the August 2004 edition, 17 months after the war began.
5
Before the Iraq invasion, he said, he had told the Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto something “pretty close” to: “Don’t go in, and don’t make the mistake of going in.”
FOX NEWS INTERVIEW, SEPT. 18.
Not remotely close. He told Mr. Cavuto that President George W. Bush had to take decisive action.
6
He said that when Howard Stern asked him about Iraq in 2002, it was “the first time the word Iraq was ever mentioned to me.”
FOX NEWS INTERVIEW, SEPT. 18.
Mr. Trump expressed alarm about Saddam Hussein and the situation in Iraq in 2000 in his own book.


7
“You see what’s happening with my poll numbers with African-Americans. They’re going, like, high.”
SPEECH IN NORTH CAROLINA, SEPT. 20; MADE SAME CLAIM IN OHIO, SEPT. 21.
Polls show him winning virtually no support from African-Americans.
8
“Almost, it seems, everybody agrees” with his position on immigration.
REMARKS IN TEXAS, SEPT. 17.
Most Americans oppose his signature positions on immigration.
9
He has made “a lot of progress” with Hispanic and black voters, and “you see that in the polls.
FRED DICKER RADIO SHOW, SEPT. 15.
No major poll has shown him making up significant ground with black or Hispanic voters.
10
He was “never a fan” of Colin Powell.
FOX NEWS INTERVIEW, SEPT. 18.
In his book “The America We Deserve,” he named Mr. Powell as among the “best and brightest”in American society.
11
Mr. Trump said that after The Times published an article scrutinizing his relationships with women, “All the women came out and said they think Donald Trump is terrific.”
FOX NEWS INTERVIEW, SEPT. 18.
Only one woman who was quoted in the article came to his defense after its publication.
12
“Unlike other people” who only raise money for themselves during presidential campaigns, he also raises money for the Republican Party.
FOX NEWS INTERVIEW, SEPT. 15.
Every presidential nominee forms a joint fund-raising agreement to share money with his or her national party.
13
In the primaries, Mr. Kasich “won one and, by the way, didn’t win it by much — that was Ohio.”
FOX NEWS INTERVIEW, SEPT. 19.
Mr. Kasich crushed him in Ohio, winning by 11 percentage points.
14
Lester Holt, the NBC anchor and debate moderator, “is a Democrat.”
FOX NEWS INTERVIEW, SEPT. 19.
Mr. Holt is a registered Republican, New York City records show.
15
The presidential debate moderators “are all Democrats.” “It’s a very unfair system.”
FOX NEWS INTERVIEW, SEPT. 19.
Only one, Chris Wallace of Fox News, is a registered Democrat.
16
He said it “hasn’t been reported” that Mrs. Clinton called some Trump supporters “deplorable.”
SPEECH IN NORTH CAROLINA, SEPT. 20.
It would be difficult to find a news organization that didn’t report her remark.
17
“Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it.”
REMARKS IN WASHINGTON, SEPT. 16.
Mrs. Clinton and her campaign never publicly questioned President Obama’s birthplace; Mr. Trump made it his signature cause for five years.
18
Mrs. Clinton had “the power and the duty” to stop the release of unauthorized immigrants whose home countries would not accept their deportation after they were released from prison.
NUMEROUS SPEECHES, INCLUDING IN COLORADO, SEPT. 17, AND FLORIDA, SEPT. 19.
The secretary of state does not have the power to detain convicted criminals after they have served their sentences, and has little power to make foreign countries accept deportees.
19
Mrs. Clinton has not criticized jihadists and foreign governments that oppress and kill women, gay people and non-Muslims. “Has Hillary Clinton ever called people who support these practices deplorable and irredeemable? No.”
SPEECH IN FLORIDA, SEPT. 19.
She has denounced jihadists and foreign countries on the same grounds, if not necessarily using the same words.
20
“Do people notice Hillary is copying my airplane rallies — she puts the plane behind her like I have been doing from the beginning.” 
TWITTER, SEPT. 20.
He did not invent the tarmac rally or the campaign-plane backdrop.
21
Mrs. Clinton destroyed 13 smartphones with a hammer while she was secretary of state.
SPEECHES IN FLORIDA, SEPT. 15 AND SEPT. 19.
An aide told the F.B.I. of only two occasions in which phones were destroyed with a hammer.
22
He said Mrs. Clinton is calling for “total amnesty in the first 100 days,” including “a virtual end to immigration enforcement” and for unauthorized immigrants to receive Social Security and Medicare.
SPEECH IN COLORADO, SEPT. 17.
She has not proposed this.
23
Mrs. Clinton is “effectively proposing to abolish the borders around the country.”
NUMEROUS SPEECHES, INCLUDING IN TEXAS, SEPT. 17.
She is not even proposing to cut funding for the Border Patrol.
24
“Hillary Clinton’s plan would bring in 620,000 refugees in her first term alone,” and would cost $400 billion.
NUMEROUS SPEECHES, INCLUDING IN NORTH CAROLINA, SEPT. 20.
She endorsed admitting 65,000 Syrian refugees this year, on top of other admissions. Mr. Trump is falsely claiming that she wants to do this every year and is estimating the cost accordingly.
25
“Our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before — ever, ever, ever.”
SPEECH IN NORTH CAROLINA, SEPT. 20.
No measurement supports this characterization of black America.
26
Fifty-eight percent of black youth are not working.
NUMEROUS SPEECHES, INCLUDING IN FLORIDA, SEPT. 16, AND COLORADO, SEPT. 17.
This misleading statistic counts high school students as out of work. Black youth unemployment actually was 20.6 percent in July.
27
Many dangerous refugees are being welcomed by the Obama administration. “Hundreds of thousands of people are being approved to pour into the country. We have no idea who they are.”
NEW HAMPSHIRE SPEECH, SEPT. 15.
The Obama administration has admitted more than 10,000 Syrian refugees, using an extensive screening process.
28
“We have cities that are far more dangerous than Afghanistan.”
NUMEROUS SPEECHES, INCLUDING IN FLORIDA, SEPT. 16; COLORADO, SEPT. 17; NORTH CAROLINA, SEPT. 20; OHIO, SEPT. 21; AND A FOX NEWS INTERVIEW ON SEPT. 21.
No American city resembles a war zone, though crime has risen lately in some, like Chicago. Urban violence has fallen precipitously over the past 25 years.
29
Ford plans to cut American jobs by relocating small-car production to Mexico, and may move all production outside the United States.
FOX NEWS INTERVIEW AND NEW HAMPSHIRE SPEECH, SEPT. 15.
Mark Fields, Ford’s chief executive, said it was not cutting American jobs.
30
“We have a trade deficit this year with China of approximately $500 billion.”
NORTH CAROLINA SPEECH, SEPT. 20.
He has made this claim repeatedly, but the trade deficit with China is significantly smaller.
31
Senator Bernie Sanders fell victim to “a rigged system with the superdelegates.
SPEECHES IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, SEPT. 15, AND NORTH CAROLINA, SEPT. 20.
Mr. Sanders did not lose the Democratic nomination because of superdelegates. Mrs. Clinton beat him in pledged delegates, too.


Friday, September 23, 2016

"Don't-Believe-Your-Lying-Eyes" Quote of the Week

Anne Marie Yates, Chair of the Watauga County Board of Elections, on the sorts of people she looks for to appoint to the local Board of Elections (quoted by the Watauga Democrat):
“I look first for people who can do the job, and have the time to do it,” Yates said. “Then I look for discerning people, and people who have proven themselves to be fair and equitable and not overly partisan.”

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Number 194 and Number 972

194: Keith Lamont Scott was the 194th black man killed by police this year. Charlotte has erupted over his death.

972: NC House Bill 972, passed and signed by the governor this past summer, prevents the release of police body-cam footage without a court order.

That ridiculous law comes into full focus because of the killing of Keith Lamont Scott. The officer who shot Scott was not wearing a body-cam. According to reports, it is Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department policy that all police officers should be wearing a body-cam during an arrest. Why wasn't the shooting officer?

HB972 comes into focus right now, even though it isn't in effect until October 1, precisely because of an incident like the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. According to the Charlotte Observer, Scott's family today is being shown body-cam and dash-cam footage taken from other police officers on the scene. If HB972 were in effect, it would take a court order to see that footage.

Why would the Republicans in the NC General Assembly pass such a law, and why would the governor sign it? McCrory took pen in hand to sign HB972 and said he was balancing "public trust" with "the rights and safety of police officers." The governor said the new law will promote "uniformity, clarity and transparency." No, he really said that.

We believe that the law will promote precisely the opposite of "clarity and transparency," though, yes, perhaps it will give total "uniformity" to future police cover-ups.

We await reports of what the other body-cams show about this shooting. In the meantime, we ruminate on where our Republican masters have taken and continue to take this state.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Republican County Commissioners Come Unglued

Stella Anderson, the lone Democrat on the Watauga Board of Elections (BOE), appeared before the County Commission last night and requested that Stacy C. Eggers IV ("Four") be relieved of his duty as counsel to the BOE and that another attorney be found to advise the board. Anderson's reasons included the thoroughly partisan nature of Four Eggers' involvement with the BOE and a pattern of misrepresentation or manipulation of election law for partisan Republican advantage.

The Republicans on the Commish starting yelling, particularly the two Republicans up for reelection, Perry Yates and David Blust. The bottom-line: These guys want everyone to know that they're perfectly happy with the activities of Four Eggers, and they intend to cling to him, even as the ship goes down.

Commissioner Perry Yates accused Anderson of impugning Four Eggers' reputation. I believe the Winston-Salem Journal, in a front-page investigation in 2013, beat Anderson to that punch. As did the revelation of emails between Four Eggers and then State Board of Elections member Paul Foley, which revealed the behind-the-scenes scheming and manipulation of the county attorney.

Commissioner David Blust was all righteous indignation: I have never tried to suppress the votes of anyone! But for the record, here he is, on video, telling AppState students directly that he did not think they had any right to vote in local elections, in which he was running at the time:



Since our county government intends to protect Four Eggers at all costs, it will take the voters to change county government, at which point Four Eggers will be history.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Gov. Squishy, Melting Under the Heat Lamp

"He’s so unsure of himself that he plants his own questions and runs from the media at a crucial time."
--Taylor Batten, Charlotte Observer, describing Gov. McCrory's cowardly performance at a Charlotte lunch event
What happened? This:

At a luncheon where he was supposed to take questions from the audience, Gov. McCrory instead insisted on written questions only, except that unbeknownst to the audience, his staff was slipping in their own pre-written softballs that McCrory wanted to answer. He got caught, too.

Taylor Batten of the Charlotte Observer stood up and tried to ask an actual unsanctioned question about HB2, but The Guv cut him off, saying that he'd already answered three questions from the Charlotte Observer. Only those three questions weren't from the Charlotte Observer. They were planted by The Guv himself.

"I think you guys dominate the news enough,” McCrory said to Batten, thus doubling down on the lie that the governor was being open and honest. McCrory had started off the Q and A with this: "Ask anything you like. No filter here.”

If McCrory wasn't totally pathetic, his dishonesty would be really funny.

W
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/taylor-batten/article102315532.html#storylink=cpy