Open Thread: Presidential Debate #1

image featuring Hillary Clinton looking sanguine and Donald Trump screaming, labeled: 'Lady and the Trump: Nightmare Debatescape 2016!!!'

Well, it's finally here! The first presidential debate between the most qualified presidential candidate in the nation's history and the most unqualified presidential candidate in the nation's history. A history-making candidate and a legendary bigot. The first woman to inhabit this space and the galaxy's biggest misogynist.


Here's an open thread to discuss the debate—before, during, and after. I'll just be over here, biting my nails.

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

Mouse Rat: "The Pit"

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The Monday Blogaround

This blogaround brought to you by rainbows.

Recommended Reading:

Terrell: [Content Note: Police brutality; racism; death] I'm a Black Journalist Waiting for My Death to Trend on Twitter

Propane Jane: [CN: Police brutality; racism; death] From Anguish to Action: Rallies and Riots Must Become Votes and Legislation

Kenrya: [CN: Descriptions and images of racism] Performing Strong Black Womanhood at the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Chelsea: [CN: Misogyny] The Politics of Pockets

Michael: Do Only Humans Have Souls, or Do Animals Possess Them Too?

Lauren: These Elaborate Seashell Crowns Are Perfect for a Mermaid Queen

Leave your links and recommendations in comments. Self-promotion welcome and encouraged!

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Here Are Two Things I Just Saw Back-to-Back

[Content Note: Shooting; guns; Nazi reference and imagery.]

Don't tell me one thing has nothing to do with the other. Donald Trump's campaign of white nationalism has breathed legitimacy and feelings of safety into movements that we had successfully relegated to the margins for a very long time. That is not to say that white supremacy was not still active and present and harmful. It has always been deeply woven into the fabric of this country. But they are emboldened by a presidential candidate who has taken their messages of hate mainstream.

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Photos of the Day

image of a Latino man at a Clinton campaign event, holding his young daughter, who is dressed in red, white, and blue, wearing a white hat and a Hillary button, and holding up a sign that says STRONGER TOGETHER; they are both smiling

image of actress Sally Field at a Clinton campaign event, wearing a blue blazer and a Hillary button, standing in front of a STRONGER TOGETHER banner
NBD. Just Sally Field (Norma fucking Rae!) at a Clinton campaign event.

[Photo One: Michael Davidson for Hillary for America in Houston, Texas. Photo Two: Adam Schultz for Hillary for America in Youngstown, Ohio.]

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In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Mass shooting; death; domestic violence; racism] Twenty-year-old Arcan Cetin is in custody after fatally shooting five people at a mall in Burlington, Washington, and fleeing the scene. He has a history of domestic violence. Every. Damn. Time. And, once again, it's amazing that a non-Black man who committed a deadly mass shooting could be taken into custody alive, and yet Keith Lamont Scott, Terence Crutcher, Tyree King, and so many others are dead.

[CN: Images and descriptions of animal harm] This is so fascinating, mostly because of the man at the center of the story, whose efforts to figure out how to make this work are truly inspiring: "An Organic Chicken Farm in Georgia Has Become an Endless Buffet for Bald Eagles."

This is just a real headline in the world: "Jennifer Aniston Gets a Massage and Holds Hands With Husband Justin Theroux Amid Brangelina Divorce News." GOOD GRIEF.

RIP Bill Nunn: "Bill Nunn, a versatile actor best known for playing the role of Radio Raheem, the boombox-toting neighborhood philosopher killed by police officers in Spike Lee's 1989 film Do the Right Thing, died on Saturday in Pittsburgh. He was 63. ...Radio Raheem sits at the moral heart of the film, delivering a soliloquy directly to the camera on the ceaseless contest between love and hate, symbolized by the four-finger rings he wears on each hand."

[CN: Video autoplays at link] RIP Jose Fernandez: "Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Florida early Sunday morning. Spokesman Lorenzo Veloz of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a news conference Sunday that Fernandez, 24, was one of three men killed in the accident. ...Fernandez emigrated to the United States from Cuba in 2008 after three failed defection attempts, settling in Tampa, Florida. He became a United States citizen last year."

RIP Arnold Palmer: "Arnold Palmer, one of the greatest players in the history of golf, has died at the age of 87, a source close to the family confirmed to magazine Golfweek. It was reported he died on Sunday in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. ...The son of a country club greenskeeper was also a trailblazer off the course... With his common touch and everyman persona, Palmer was also credited with breaking down the class barriers and democratising an elitist sport, introducing golf to a blue collar audience and sparking the popularity of the game amongst a legion of new fans who'd previously been shut out. 'If it wasn't for Arnold, golf wouldn't be as popular as it is now,' Tiger Woods said in 2004."

What have you been reading?

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Sophie the Torbie Cat lying on the floor with one paw on a giant plush duck
Sophie and Duckie.

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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Donald Trump: Failed Businessman

On Friday night, the Shareblue team debuted a new video, highlighting Donald Trump's ginormous failure as a businessman, despite his claims to the contrary. It has already been viewed more than 2 million times (and counting):

Video Description: Video clip of Donald Trump saying: "I'm really a good businessman. I'm so good at business."

Text onscreen over old footage of Trump: "FALSE. Over four decades, Donald Trump dramatically underperformed the market. Thanks to his family's wealth and connections, Trump was reportedly worth $100 million in 1978. Had he simply placed his money in a mutual fund and reinvested the dividends, he'd be worth billions more than he is today."

Text onscreen over footage of Trump making ridiculous expressions: "How bad is Trump at business?"

Text onscreen over footage of the Trump Taj Mahal: "Six of his hotels and casinos have filed for bankruptcy. BANKRUPT."

Video clip of Donald Trump saying: "It's a great time to start a mortgage company." Text onscreen: "Trump Mortgage FAILED. Closed in 18 months."

Video clip of Mitt Romney asking: "And whatever happened to Trump Airlines?" Text onscreen: "Trump Airlines FAILED. Trump defaulted on a $245 million loan and surrendered ownership."

Video clip of a TV ad for a Trump board game, featuring Trump saying, "My new game is Trump: The Game." Text onscreen: "Trump: The Game FAILED. Discontinued after sales were 60% lower than expected."

Video clip of Trump in a pitch for Trump Steaks saying: "I've just raised the stakes." Text onscreen: Trump Steaks FAILED. Pulled from shelves after two months."

Text onscreen over an image of Trump holding a bottle of Trump Vodka: "Trump Vodka FAILED. Production stopped after it failed to meet distribution requirements." Clip of a black man and a white woman trying Trump Vodka and gagging.

Video clip of Trump saying: "I've had many magazines." Text onscreen: "Trump Magazine FAILED. Publication stopped in its second year."

Text onscreen over image of Trump's travel website "Travel Website FAILED. Shut down within a year."

Video clip of a news story about Tour de Trump; in voiceover, a man says: "So while some of us think about buying a bike, Donald Trump has bought a bike race." Clip of Trump saying: "It can very much rival the Tour de France." Text onscreen: "Tour de Trump FAILED. Renamed after two years."

Video clip of Trump being interviewed about the USFL's New Jersey Generals: "It's gonna stay strong; gonna stay strong for a long time." Text onscreen: "USFL's New Jersey Generals FAILED. The league collapsed after taking Trump's business advice."

Video clip of Trump being interviewed about The Trump Network: "The Trump Network wants to give millions of people renewed hope, and with an exciting plan to opt out of the recession." Text onscreen: "Trump Network FAILED. This "multi-level marketing" project closed down in two years.

Text onscreen over image of Trump bottled water: "Trump Ice FAILED. Only available now on Trump properties."

Text onscreen: "It's no wonder he refuses to release his tax returns."
As I noted at Shareblue, Trump's "only asserted qualification for the U.S. presidency is that he's a successful businessman who will make 'the best deals.' But Trump's self-proclaimed business acumen is just another lie. The exposure of his grand fallacy leaves us with this: The Republican candidate has literally zero qualifications for the office he seeks."

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The Editors of the New York Times Give Clinton the Endorsement She Deserves

From the New York Times editors: "Hillary Clinton for President."

It's not surprising that the New York Times would endorse Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. What is surprising, however, is the quality of their endorsement.

It is, as I wrote at Shareblue, the endorsement of her career—and the endorsement she deserves.

This is the Clinton her supporters know, a woman who has taken risks where she assessed they could be taken and who has followed the path of pragmatism when required. A person and a politician who dares to be bold and refuses to be anything less than indomitable.

The Times focuses solidly on Clinton's accomplishments, while not concealing that she has made mistakes. But crucially, they make note of how she has addressed and learned from these mistakes. It is not practical to expect a politician with a 40-year career to have been flawless, and the wholly unreasonable standards of perfection to which Clinton is frequently held are, refreshingly, not present here.

To acknowledge the complexity of her career, and her ability to come back from both error and defeat, does Clinton the great service of subverting the dehumanization facilitated by imposed perfectionism—and underscoring that she possesses one of the key qualities progressives do and should expect of their leaders: The capacity to progress.

What is most remarkable about the Times' endorsement is that it captures, in a way few major media endorsements have, who Clinton really is. From the spaces in between every word and line emerges a picture of the Hillary Clinton her millions of supporters know and admire.

...Finally, this is not an endorsement of Clinton despite, but an endorsement of Clinton because.
There is more at the link.

The NYT editors followed that up a day later with their anti-endorsement of Donald Trump: "Why Donald Trump Should Not Be President." There's a lot of information there, and still not a smidgen of the vast argument that can be made, and it ends bluntly: "Voters attracted by the force of the Trump personality should pause and take note of the precise qualities he exudes as an audaciously different politician: bluster, savage mockery of those who challenge him, degrading comments about women, mendacity, crude generalizations about nations and religions. Our presidents are role models for generations of our children. Is this the example we want for them?"

The truth is, that is precisely the role model many people want for their children. We must fervently hope they are fewer in number than those who prefer instead a history-making candidate who is also the most qualified person ever to run for the office.

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"I, too, am America."

In February, I mentioned that the Smithsonian Institution would be opening the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. on September 24.

At the opening ceremony this weekend, President Obama gave a stunning address, the complete transcript of which is available at the Washington Post. Here are just a few excerpts:

As Americans we rightfully passed on the tales of the giants who built this country, who led armies into battle, who raged seminal debates in the halls of Congress and the corridors of power. But too often we ignored or forgot the stories of millions upon millions of others, who built this nation just as surely; whose humble elegance, whose callused hands, whose steady drive helped to create cities, erect industries, build the arsenals of democracy.

And so this national museum helps to tell a richer and fuller story of who we are. It helps us better understand the lives, yes of the president, but also the slave; the industrialist but also the porter; the keeper of the status quo but also the activist seeking to overthrow that status quo; the teacher or the cook alongside the statesmen. And by knowing this other story, we better understand ourselves and each other. It binds us together. It reaffirms that all of us are American. That African American history is not somehow separate from our larger American story; it’s not the underside of the American story. It is central to the American story. That our glory derives not just from our most obvious triumphs but how we’ve rested triumph from tragedy and how we’ve been able to remake ourselves again and again and again, in accordance with our highest ideals.

I, too, am America.

The great historian John Hope Franklin, who helped to get this museum started once said “Good history is a good foundation for a better present and future.” He understood the best history doesn’t just sit behind a glass case. It helps us to understand what’s outside the case. The best history helps us recognize the mistakes that we’ve made in the dark corners of the human spirit that we need to guard against. And, yes, a clear-eyed view of history can make us uncomfortable. It’ll shake us out of familiar narratives, but it is precisely because of that discomfort that we learn and grow and harness our collective power to make this nation more perfect.

...This is the place to understand how protest and love of country don’t merely coexist, but inform each other.

...We are large, Walt Whitman told us, containing multitudes. We are large containing multitudes, full of contradictions. That’s America. That’s what makes us go.That’s what makes us extraordinary. And as is true for America, so is true for the African American experience. We’re not a burden on America or a stain on America, or an object of pity or charity for America. We’re America. And that’s what this museum explains.The fact that our stories have shaped every corner of our culture.

...The very fact of this day does not prove that America is perfect, but it does validate the ideas of our founders. That this country born of change, this country born of revolution, this country of we the people, this country can get better. And that’s why we celebrate it, mindful that our story is not yet done, mindful that we are just but on a weigh station on this common journey towards freedom. And how glorious it is that we enshrine it here on some of our nation’s most hallowed ground.

The same place where lives were once traded, but where hundreds and thousands of Americans of all colors and creeds once marched. How joyful it is that this story takes its rightful place alongside Jefferson who declared our independence; and Washington who made it real; alongside Lincoln, who saved our Union. The GIs who defended it. Alongside a new monument, to a king, gazing out toward, summoning us towards that mountain top. How righteous it is that we tell this story here.
There were a lot of great photos taken at the event. Perhaps the most talked-about was this image of First Lady Michelle Obama hugging former President George W. Bush.

Many people will have many different reactions to that photo. What I feel when I look at it is the hope that our former president has learned something in the time he has known the Obamas. Has softened, in some way. Has seen a need his particular life never obliged him to see before.

What I know for certain about it is that it captured First Lady Michelle Obama's warmth and decency.

And then there is this image of President Obama hugging Congressman John Lewis.

I don't even know how to put into words what I feel when I look at that image. It is a visiblized story of history, so profoundly intimate. I feel overwhelmed by its import, and called urgently by its promise.

What a day for this nation.

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Open Thread

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Hosted by a purple sofa. Have a seat and chat!

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The Virtual Pub Is Open

image of a pub Photoshopped to be named 'The I'm With Her Pub'
[Explanations: lol your fat. pathetic anger bread. hey your gay.]

TFIF, Shakers!

Belly up to the bar,
and name your poison!

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

The Rolling Stones: "Wild Horses"

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The Friday Blogaround

This blogaround brought to you by poetry.

Recommended Reading:

Chauncey: [Content Note: Racism; police brutality] The Hard Truth About Terence Crutcher and Tulsa: What Kind of White Person Do You Want to Be?

Tressie: [CN: Racism; police brutality] A Homegirl Reflecting on Charlotte Uprising

Maddy: [CN: White nationalism; harassment] Oculus Rift's Founder Funded a Group that Powers Pro-Trump Memes

Shena and Erin: [CN: Misogyny] Money, Power, and Respect: Challenges for Women's Groups in Complicated Times

Keith: [CN: Racism] U.S. Court Says It's Legal to Ban Dreadlocks in the Workplace

Maddie: The Sound of Fish Talking Is Weird as Hell

Leave your links and recommendations in comments. Self-promotion welcome and encouraged!

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In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Racism] I don't have a link for this, BECAUSE ALL OF THEM ARE SO TERRIBLE, but I've seen a number of public admonishments recently to professional athletes who are protesting police shootings of Black people to "stick to sports." And I just really need to say: STOP IT. That is just rank, dehumanizing trash. Essentially telling people "your humanity only matters to me so much as it is used to serve entertaining me" is absolutely vile. Enough.

[CN: Police brutality; racism] "Congressional Black Caucus: Use 'Full Weight of the Federal Government' in Investigations of Police Shootings: 'The killing of unarmed Black men and women by police is a crisis,' Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) said. 'It is an emergency. And it has not just affected those victims and families of those who were killed, it has affected every Black man and woman who wonders when they or someone they know will be killed next.'"

[CN: Carcerality; self-harm; transphobia] "Chelsea Manning sentenced to 14 days of solitary confinement for suicide attempt." Rage seethe boil. In a statement, Manning wrote, in part: "I am feeling hurt. I am feeling lonely. I am embarrassed by the decision. I don't know how to explain it. I am touched by your warm messages of love and support. This comforts me in my time of need."

[CN: Racism] "Yesterday, more than 50 First Nations from Canada and the United States signed a treaty to unify their fight against new pipelines that would increase dependence on oil sands from Alberta, Canada." The treaty states: "As sovereign Indigenous Nations, we enter this treaty pursuant to our inherent legal authority and responsibility to protect our respective territories from threats to our lands, waters, air and climate, but we do so knowing full well that it is in the best interest of all peoples, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to put a stop to the threat of Tar Sands expansion."

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] The Cincinnati Enquirer has endorsed Hillary Clinton, which is a pretty big deal: "The Enquirer has supported Republicans for president for almost a century—a tradition this editorial board doesn't take lightly. But this is not a traditional race, and these are not traditional times. Our country needs calm, thoughtful leadership to deal with the challenges we face at home and abroad. We need a leader who will bring out the best in all Americans, not the worst. That's why there is only one choice when we elect a president in November: Hillary Clinton." They haven't endorsed a Democrat in more than 90 years.

The LA Times has also endorsed Hillary Clinton, under the super subtle headline: "Hillary Clinton would make a sober, smart and pragmatic president. Donald Trump would be a catastrophe." But tell us how you REALLY feel!

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] The Clinton campaign gave one of its prime seats at the debate to Mark Cuban. LOL OMG that is going to get under Donald Trump's skin sooooo hard.

Speaking of the debates, this New York Times piece contrasting the debate prep styles of the two candidates is quite a read! Honestly, if I knew nothing about either one of them, I could make a decision about for whom to vote on this article alone.

Uhhhh lol. "Donald Rumsfeld, 84, Says George HW Bush, 92, is Voting for Clinton Because 'He's Up in Years.'"

This collection of photos of mama bears with their cubs is breathtakingly adorable.

What have you been reading?

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Olivia the White Farm Cat sitting on the arm of a chair with her back to me, peeking over her shoulder
Fuzzy little monster! ♥

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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The Choice Is So Clear

[Content Note: Misogyny; body policing.]

I've got a new piece at Shareblue about Hillary Clinton's new ad and how Donald Trump's words about women's bodies and appearances don't exist in a vacuum, but in a world where girls (and women) hear them and are affected by them. And also about how any dude who think women aren't his equal can't be trusted to protect our rights.

"Is this the president we want for our daughters?" asks the ad.

Trump does not respect women. (Nor does his running mate.) His vile comments about women's appearance and their primary value as property are legendary. His policies regarding women's healthcare and earnings are grim.

...A person who doesn't view women as equal cannot be entrusted to lead the nation in a way that ensures our legal equality is respected and enforced. We cannot be assured that even our most basic rights will be upheld by a man who believes we are inferior; who uses us to insult other men.
Head on over to read the whole thing.

I can't even begin to convey how deeply upsetting it will be if this guy is elected instead of a woman who has dedicated her life to improving the lives of women and children.

First female feminist president, or dude who uses "little girl" to insult other men? Maude help us. How is this even a choice?

(That, of course, is rhetorical.)

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President Obama's Debate Advice for Hillary Clinton

President Obama is going to appear on Good Morning America this morning (or maybe already has) (I have no idea what time that show is on) (I literally don't think I've ever seen it) (this is irrelevant) (anyway) and here is a clip of him talking about his friend Hillary with GMA co-anchor Robin Roberts:

Roberts, referring to next Monday's first presidential debate: It's Monday night. It's game time. Secretary Clinton's about to take the stage [at] the debate. What would you want to say to her before walking out for that first debate?

Obama: Be yourself and explain what motivates you. Because, I will tell you, I've gotten to know Hillary, and seen her work, and seen her in tough times and in good times. She's in this for the right reasons. I think there's a reason why we haven't had a woman president before, and so she's having to break down some barriers. There is a level of mistrust and a caricature of her that just doesn't jibe with who I know, this person that cares deeply about kids.
He also said, though it is not in this clip, that she would make an "outstanding president" and that she "is motivated by a deep desire to make things better for people."

He also gave her this piece of advice for the debate: "To the degree to which she can talk not just about policy, but talk about why she has been able to despite all the slings and arrows that have been cast at her, just keep on going. It would be good for the American people to see that and be reminded of that."

Yes, yes it would.

It's funny, isn't it, how President Obama's advice sounds a lot less like advice for Hillary Clinton than it does advice to us about listening to Hillary when she tries to tell us who she is.

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Officer Charged in Terence Crutcher's Killing

[Content Note: Police brutality; racism; death.]

On Tuesday, I wrote about Terence Crutcher, who was fatally shot by a police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Crutcher, a 40-year-old Black man, was killed by Officer Betty Shelby who approached him after his vehicle stalled in the middle of a road.


The Tulsa County District Attorney Stephen Kunzweiler announced he charged Officer Betty Shelby with first-degree manslaughter in the death of Terence Crutcher.

On the formal charge filed with the county, it says Officer Betty Shelby's actions last Friday, which resulted from her fear of Terence Crutcher, were unreasonable.

...If convicted, the first-degree manslaughter charge carries a minimum punishment of four years in prison.
The Department of Justice is also investigating.

The charge and its accompanying minimum sentence seem insufficient to me, but I'm guessing the prosecutor brought the charge he thought his office would best be able to successfully prosecute. Normally I wouldn't be inclined to give the D.A. the benefit of the doubt, but the fact that charges were brought so quickly is a pretty good sign.

Still. Goddamn. None of this looks like justice. Justice will look like no more Black people being killed by police.

In related news: Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence says "there is too much talk of 'institutional racism and institutional bias' in the wake of unrest following police shootings in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Charlotte, North Carolina." He is a horrible person.

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Open Thread

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Hosted by a pink sofa. Have a seat and chat!

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