This starts as follows, with Jon
Schwartz (and I selected a few from quite a few more, and had one
principle: Persons citing Twitters are excluded ):
The United States is unique in many
ways, but the most important is that we have had 240 years of
uninterrupted peaceful, democratic transitions of power. The military
follows civilian orders, so we’ve never had a coup. Presidents who are
voted out leave office, so we’ve never had an armed revolution.
No other country in the world comes
close. It’s by far American citizens’ most valuable
So it shouldn’t be any surprise that
Donald Trump just declared that he’s happy to throw it all away, like
an underperforming casino or a 40-year-old first wife.
When asked by moderator Chris Wallace
whether he would “absolutely accept the result of the election,” Trump
replied “I will look at it at the time” — and then launched into a
long diatribe about how the election is unfairly rigged against him.
Yes, indeed. Schwartz's contribution ends
Lots of people and things get
called “un-American” and it’s almost never true. But Donald
Trump is genuinely, deeply un-American.
I think that is fair. Here is Alex Emmons about Hillary Clinton:
Among other things, the Wikileaks emails
show Clinton smearing
the anti-fracking movement as a Russian-backed conspiracy, and
saying that Wall Street reform should come from industry executives.
When asked about those comments, she should not be able to
deflect by pointing to how they were disclosed.
Richard Nixon adopted similar
distraction tactics in response to the Pentagon Papers, accusing
the New York Times of printing “stolen goods.” Many of the
most influential leaks
in U.S. history have come from stolen property — like when
activists in 1970 broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, and
discovered that agents were infiltrating activist groups.
The Wikileaks disclosures may have
been a grand strategy by Russia to influence the U.S. election. That
does not mean that Clinton gets a free pass for what she said
while touring the country, getting paid millions of dollars to give closed-door speeches
to moneyed interest groups,
Yes, indeed. And here is Zaid Jilani
with a brief but quite valid point:
Democratic president, Barack Obama has
deported millions of people. Indeed, Obama has deported
more people than any modern president.
Jilani illustrates the point with a
graphic which I will not reproduce, but here are some numbers taken
- Between 08 and 14 Obama deported around
400,000 persons each year (more than 1 per
- Between 00 and 08 Bush Jr. deported
between 200,000 and 250,000 persons each year;
- From 1970 till 1995 around 25,000
persons were deported, per year.
I say. There is considerably more in the
original, that is recommended.
2. Trump Crosses a Red Line in 3rd Debate, Refusing to Say
Whether He Would Accept Election Results
The second item is by Steven Rosenfeld on AlterNet:
This starts as follows:
Donald Trump told Americans on
Wednesday night they would have to wait and see if he would recognize
the results of the presidential election, suggesting in 2016’s last
debate there may not be a peaceful transition of power if Hillary
Clinton were declared the winner on November 8.
“I will look at it at the time,” Trump
said, when pressed by the debate moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News,
before reciting one of the Republican Party’s big and thoroughly
on voter fraud. “If you look at your voter rolls, you will find
millions of people there that are registered that shouldn't be
registered to vote.”
Trump then abruptly pivoted and declared
that Hillary Clinton “shouldn’t be allowed to run—she is guilty of a
serious crime… in that respect, it is rigged.”
Wallace then again asked Trump if there
would be a peaceful transition of political power.
“I will tell you at the time,” he replied.
“I will keep you in suspense.”
Note that Donald Trump is threatening a revolution
here: "there may not be a peaceful transition of
power if Hillary Clinton were declared the winner on November 8".
What do I think about Trump's chances of "winning" the
elections after he is defeated? I think they are very small,
but there may be considerable amounts of violence in November,
simply because millions seem to believe Trump's lies that the
elections are rigged.
Then there is this on Trump's falling apart during the debate:
That outburst and Clinton’s
response was indicative of the much of what unfolded in the final
debate of the presidential campaign. Trump started the evening sounding
composed and more serious, but slowly began to unravel, interrupting
Clinton, insulting her, repeatedly calling her a liar, and then jumping
erratically from topic to topic in his two-minute answers.
It seems as if Trump's - crazy -
demand that both
candidates were to be drugs-tested before the last debate came to
nothing, and I have seen none of the debates (I am sorry: I don't
have the patience to swallow those amounts of lies for that
time), but I have read that several who did see the debates and
who have said
that Trump may have been running on cocaine.
I don't know, and Trump's unravelling may also
have been due to his very short attention space.
Then there is this about sexual assaults by Trump (who has
that he can grab women "by the pussy" because he can do
simply because he "is famous"):
When Trump was asked why nine
women had come forward to accuse of him of groping or touching them
sexually in uninvited ways, he said they were all lying—and ludicrously
accused the Clinton campaign of fabricating the accusations.
As to the sexual assaults: Either you
9 women (I think more, but let's say 9) who are not
who risk the ire of a revenge-oriented crazy billionaire,
believe the revenge-oriented, insane, 80% lying candidate who has
that he can grab women "by the pussy"
because he can do "anything" simply because he "is famous".
But the debate ended in a way that
perfectly encapsulated the campaign Americans have had to endure for
more than a year. Clinton, in her remarks, took the high road, and said
that she was hoping to be the president of all Americans and stand up
for average people against the country’s most powerful interests, while
helping to crate jobs and solve many problems.
And Trump, as has been the case, painted a
dark apocalyptic picture of America falling apart, and demeaned many of
the institutions that traditionally have been part of the GOP’s base.
He called the military depleted. He said illegal immigrants were
getting treated better than veterans. He called for law and order, and
said that American inner cities were cauldrons of violence and despair
and he “will do more than she can in 10 lifetimes… we will make America
I believe the women.
As to the rest: Both candidates lied. Here is the end of the
Trump is now polling in the low
40s, which means that in a election where perhaps 125 million people
vote, that he will receive upwards of 50 million votes. Trump signaled
that he is likely to tell those people that the White House is being
stolen from him. How that plays out politically remains to be seen, but
you can bet that he is not going to leave the public stage and large
audiences will still follow him.
50 million people - voting for an insane
neofascist also, as I think - are a lot of people.
My guess is that Trump still has sufficient amounts of
self-interest not to say, after he is defeated "Grab your guns,
million: We will take the government because we have been rigged!"
But he may, because I think he is insane (and I am a
psychologist). And this is a recommended
TAKE BACK THE SENATE!
The third item is by Robert Reich on his site:
This starts as
Amid all the focus on the presidential
race it’s also important
to keep in mind Democrats have a fighting chance to take back the
November. There are at least 12 races in play. Win five, and Democrats
control regardless of the outcome of the presidential election.
Many of of the Democrats on the ballot
this year are
progressives who have been fighting to raise the minimum wage, expand
Security, provide paid sick leave and paid parental leave. Many are
people of color who will make the Senate look more like the rest of
Win five of these races and we’d have a
chance for a Supreme
Court that would prioritize the rights and needs of average Americans
than big corporations and overturn Citizens United!
Win five of these races and we’d put
Senate oversight of the
government back into the hands of people who care that government
I agree, but this is speculation.
again, as Citizen United has shown, the present Supreme Court judge politically
rather than legally, and it is very important
to have a
decent Supreme Court.
Here is some more by Reich:
A Democratic Senate would also give us a
line of defense, a
countervailing power in budget showdowns, foreign policy lock downs,
threatened government shutdowns.
If Hillary Clinton becomes president, a
Democratic Senate will
help push her positive agenda, and hold her accountable if she veers
it. If Donald Trump becomes president – well, let’s just say we’ll
Democratic Senate more than ever.
So please remember what’s at stake. And
Vote on November 8th!
I must say that I don't have much
belief in Reich's "a Democratic Senate will
help push her positive agenda, and hold her accountable if she veers
for the simple reasons that (i) there are only 100 senators, and (ii)
for each senator there seem to be from 10 to 100 lobbyists.
OK - one may dream, and Reich is more or less justified in dreaming,
because it seems likely Clinton will win the presidency.
4. Missing From the Debates: Climate Change, Poverty,
Campaign Finance and More
This starts as follows, and
was clearly written before the debate last night, but is
a fine article:
fourth item today is by Karin Kamp on Common Dreams:
If you plan to tune in tonight to watch
the final presidential
debate, you probably won’t hear anything about some of our
country’s most pressing concerns, like climate change, poverty and
campaign finance. Again.
The final debate will be moderated by Fox
News’ Chris Wallace, who has announced he will ask questions on
debt and entitlements, immigration, the economy, the Supreme Court,
foreign hot spots and the candidates’ fitness to be president (push-ups
on stage — yes!). If these topics sound familiar, that’s because, for
the most part, they’ve already been widely covered in previous debates.
Yes, indeed. And what has not been
discussed is global warming (apart from being mentioned three
times, by Clinton):
While global warming tops the list of
potential threats to the global economy in 2016, according to a World
Economic Forum survey
of global experts, it’s only been mentioned three times in the
debates (by Hillary Clinton, in passing, notes FAIR).
We the people are concerned about
climate change, with 73
percent of all registered voters saying they care either “a great
deal” or “some” about the issue, according to Pew Research. Fifty-two
percent of registered voters say the environment is “very important” to
their voting decision in 2016. On Open Debates,
the forum for submitting questions for the second debate, a climate
change question was the fourth most popular. But there hasn’t been —
nor is there expected to be — one single question on the issue at the
I don't think this was discussed. What has
also not been discussed is poverty:
45 million Americans = between 10 and 15%
of all Americans. And 1 in 5 of American children grow up in
poverty. But I don't think this was discussed.
Despite over 45 million Americans
currently living in poverty, not a single question has been asked about
that either, and the issue has barely been mentioned. In fact,
Democrats had no questions on poverty in any of their primary debates,
according to the
Child poverty rates in the United
States, at 21.6 percent, are nearly double
the OECD average of 12.4 percent. Before running for president, in
Huffington Post blog post, Bernie Sanders
called poverty one of the “great moral and economic issues” that we
face. He wrote that after the Census revealed that the number of
Americans living in poverty had increased to over 46 million, the
highest number ever (it has since dropped to 43 million). “Poverty in
America today leads not only to anxiety, unhappiness, discomfort and a
lack of material goods. It leads to death,” Sanders writes.
But the candidates have faced not one
question on a deep problem that affects so many.
What has also hardly been discussed is campaign finance:
That leads us to the mother of all
issues — campaign finance. The fifth most
popular question on Open Debates was: Would you act to repeal Citizens
It’s an issue that unites us. Eighty-four
percent of Americans think money has too much influence in our
political campaigns. But moderators have asked not one question about
it, and there’s only been one mention so far in the debates.
This, as Clinton and Trump have raised a
million and $423 million respectively, including money from super
PACs. In state and local races across the country, donors have poured more
than $1 billion so far this year.
This week, as part of his five-point
plan for ethics reform, released on Monday (making it newsworthy!),
Trump said he supports campaign finance reform that would keep
registered foreign lobbyists from raising money in US elections. He
also announced a number of proposals for reforming the revolving doors
between government and the interests that they lobby.
The one campaign finance mention in the
debates thus far came from Hillary Clinton, when she
said in the second debate that she wants to “see the Supreme Court
reverse Citizens United and get dark, unaccountable money out
of our politics.”
In fact, I tend to believe Clinton
on Citizens United (one must be careful, since Obama won his
presidential campaigns by promising many things he did not really do
anything about when elected), and I tend to disbelieve her
about her desire to "get dark, unaccountable
money out of our politics" simply because she has
been funded by millions from Wall Street bankers, and because at
present one needs millions to become president.
If you think these were all the
that either were not or hardly mentioned in any presidential debate,
you are mistaken: There also are (I copied): China,
gun control, education, student debt, voting
rights, drugs, abortion, reproductive health,
NSA/privacy/surveillance, Native Americans and
The other issues that were either barely
mentioned or not mentioned at all, and where not one single question
was asked: China, gun control, education, student debt, voting rights,
drugs, abortion, reproductive health, NSA/privacy/ surveillance, Native
Americans and LGBTQ.
As Bill Moyers and
Michael Winship recently wrote about the presidential debates, “We
can’t go on like this. We can no longer leave the electoral process to
the two parties or the media conglomerates with whom they’re in
cahoots. The stakes are too high.”
I agree with Moyers and Winship -
but these elections as well were organized by "two parties or the media conglomerates with whom they’re in
And this is a recommended article.
5. A Candidate Unhinged: Trump Targets the Essence of America
fifth and last item today is by Charles Hawley on Spiegel International:
This is from near the beginning (and I like
it - as a psychologist, who has been saying this for nearly eight months now - that
Trump is called "Unhinged", for the simple reason that I
think he is unhinged):
One of the great shocks of our current
election cycle has been the discovery that the American national myth
-- that American democracy -- isn't as robust as we thought. Donald
Trump is threatening to destroy both.
To be sure, he is merely the extremely
grotesque manifestation of the growing disdain for democracy that has
developed in recent years on the American right wing, fostered by a
Republican Party that never truly recognized Barack Obama as the
rightfully elected president of the United States. (Indeed, at a
campaign appearance on Saturday, Trump referred to Obama as the "quote
'president.'") He is the product of government shutdowns, of radio talk
show hosts who have spent years spouting conspiracy theory after
conspiracy theory, of Tea Party Republicans who rejected the notion of
democratic consensus and of the opportunistic anti- intellectualism
that has become so entrenched in the Republican Party that anyone with
any kind of expertise, particularly journalists, is automatically
viewed with suspicion and outright hostility.
Hm, yes and no: It was not a
"shock" - let alone "a great shock" - for me to discover that "the American national myth -- that American democracy --
isn't as robust as we thought": I haven't
believed in the robustness of "American democracy" for fifty years
Then again, I mostly agree with
the second paragraph, and especially with "the
opportunistic anti-intellectualism that has become so entrenched in the
Republican Party", indeed not because I
am so very much for "intellectuals"  but because
I see it as a sign of massive stupidity
and/or massive ignorance
that moves many of the around 50 million potential Trump
And Charles Hawley seems mostly right
on Trump's sexual predatorship and on his "rhetoric of dictatorship":
All it took to reveal the lengths to
which Trump is prepared to go was the half-hearted retreat of a few
leading Republicans when it became no longer possible to ignore that
their nominee was a sexual predator. But now that he has been
"unshackled," as he himself has said, it is becoming apparent that Nov.
8 will very likely not be the end of what he has taken to calling his
The rhetoric that Trump has begun using
with ever increasing frequency -- that he would lock up Hillary Clinton
if he won, that the election is rigged, that his followers should
monitor the polls and "watch other communities," that he would rein in
the "corrupt" media -- is the rhetoric of dictatorship. But it also
appeals directly to a significant chunk of the population, one that
feels abandoned by the country's leadership, left behind by
globalization and threatened by demographics.
And here is one of the reasons Charles
Hawley calls Trump "unhinged", in which I think he is quite
On October 13, Trump held one of his
most unhinged campaign speeches yet. At an event in West Palm Beach,
Florida, Trump said that there is a "global power structure" that has
robbed the American working class. He also said that Clinton "meets in
secret with international banks to plot the destruction of US
sovereignty" and that the election may be "in fact controlled by a
small handful of global special interests rigging the system."
If you believe these lies, I take it you
are about as "unhinged" as Donald Trump is - but then there may
be 50 million Americans (!!) who may believe it.
The article ends as follows:
Having unleashed the promise of a
white-power America, it seems doubtful that his followers will slide
back into the background after this election. Even if Trump declines
the strongman roll he has developed for himself, the movement, the
alternative definition of America, will continue.
History has taught us that changing
definitions, altering national myths, is an extremely difficult and
often bloody proposition. That though -- that and the consequences such
a shift necessarily engenders -- will be the true Trump legacy. And it
is a horrifying one to contemplate.
Hm. I agree mostly with the first
paragraph. The second paragraph I do not understand (I have
read history, for one example) but I guess the reason is that it is intentionally
unclear: I take it Hawley had in mind what Steven
Rosenfeld said, but I don't know.
In any case, for Spiegel International
this was a fairly decent article.