An Incredible Admission from Donald Trump

[Content Note: Terrorism.]

My Shareblue colleague Tommy Christopher has a great piece on Trump's Top Secret Plan Which Definitely Exists to defeat ISIS. As Tommy notes, if Trump really had a foolproof plan to defeat ISIS, refusing to disclose it is costing countless lives.

Trump's claim has been he won't disclose it because he doesn't want to tip his hand to the terrorists, but Tommy found an interview in which Trump makes this incredible admission:

I know a way that would absolutely give us guaranteed victory. I’m going to say it, I guess I’ll be forced to say it at some time, but I hate to say it. Because as soon as you say it, they’re going to be – it’s an idea that in my opinion is foolproof. And I’m not talking about dropping bombs, I’m not talking about dropping the big nuke, I’m talking about something that would be unbelievable as an idea. The problem is, then everybody is going to take the idea, run with it, and then number one, people forget where it came from.
Emphasis mine.

Trump is literally admitting his own ego is more important to him than countless lives. Which has long been evident, but it's rather stunning to see him just flatly admit it, as if it isn't even controversial.

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Question of the Day

[I have to wrap up a little early today, because I've got some stuff to do later. I'll see you back here tomorrow!]

Suggested by Shaker austxgal: "What is your favorite cocktail?" Virgin cocktails count, too, natch!

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In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Bombing; terrorism; self-harm; injury and death] Fucking hell: "Three blasts killed at least 17 people and wounded more than 50 in predominantly Shi'ite Muslim districts of Baghdad on Tuesday, police and medical sources said. A suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest in a commercial street in the eastern Baghdad al-Jadida area of the Iraqi capital, killing nine people and wounding more than 30, they said. Another suicide attack hit a commercial street of Bayaa in western Baghdad, killing six and wounding 22, the sources said. A roadside bomb exploded near a gathering of cattle herders and merchants in al-Radhwaniya, also in western Baghdad, killing two people, they said." The Islamic State has already taken credit for two of the bombings. My condolences to the people of Baghdad. I am so angry, and I take up space in solidarity with Iraqis who are just trying to live their lives in peace.

[CN: Homophobia; violence] Goddammit: "Neil Frias and Jeff White, two New Yorkers who were visiting San Francisco over the weekend for the annual Folsom Street Fair, say they were attacked with pepper spray at the intersection of Golden Gate and Fillmore Streets in the city’s Western Addition neighborhood. ...[F]ive men pulled up in a blue minivan. 'They were saying, 'You fags are destroying family values,'' Frias said. ...'The thing that was the most remarkable about the situation is how unprovoked it was,' White said, still reeling from the encounter Sunday morning. 'I was literally tying my shoe when they came at me. It's mind-boggling.'" There is no behavior that could provoke a violent, homophobic attack. None.

[CN: Class warfare] Of course: "Republican officials nationwide want to stop enforcement of new overtime rules that make millions of people who work eligible for overtime pay."

I don't know how I feel about this! "The world's first baby to be born from a new procedure that combines the DNA of three people appears to be healthy, according to doctors in the US who oversaw the treatment."

[CN: Police brutality] Will definitely watch: "Add 'interview host' to Mary J. Blige's resume. The R&B icon has a new Apple Music show, appropriately titled 'The 411,' and her first guest is none other than Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton."

This forever: "Did anybody see that debate last night? [laughs heartily] Ohhhhh yes! One down; two to go!"

"Russian Photographer Captures the Cutest Squirrel Photo Session Ever." As advertised!

What have you been reading?

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Clinton Made Me Proud; Trump Made Me Scared

[Content Note: Misogyny; assault; fat hatred.]

I've got a new piece at Shareblue about the debate last night, and the stark difference made evident once again between the two candidates on issues of concern to women (and anyone who doesn't hold women in contempt):

Monday's presidential debate opened with a question about jobs. Hillary Clinton was the first to answer. She spoke about jobs, and then she spoke about equal pay for women. And about paid family leave. And about affordable childcare. Because an economy that works for women includes all of these things, not just a job.

Donald Trump launched into one of his typically grim rants about how America is losing, failing, collapsing. And then he promised to cut taxes, asserting that would create job growth, which is a favorite fairy tale of conservatives, no matter that it has been resoundingly discredited. He didn't mention women at all, nor employment policies that support families.

And so it went.

...Trump's only policy proposal for women still seems to be "treat them like sh*t."

There is simply no question that Hillary Clinton, who has spent her career advocating for women and children, has designed and proposed better policy for women than her opponent — which itself should be enough evidence that she also has more respect for women than her opponent.

But, as if to make it abundantly clear, Trump spent the debate repeatedly interrupting Clinton, and his worst moment of the evening came after the debate, when he grabbed the wrist of a female reporter asking him a question about young women who are nervous about voting for him.

The reporter, Alexi McCammond, wrote about the incident, describing what happened and noting: "So Trump never verbally answered my question about how he would respond to women who are nervous to vote for him, but I got the answer I needed."
There is much, much more at the link. And just not about why Donald Trump is terrible, but about why Hillary Clinton is great: "Clinton, as usual, had to be extraordinary and make it look effortless. It's a ridiculously tall order, and yet: She did it."

She did it.

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Matilda the Fuzzy Sealpoint Cat's floofy tail right in my face
"Get your tail out of my face!"
(A thing I say one million times a day.)

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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I Mean

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Presidential Debate #1 Wrap-Up

Well. She mopped the floor with him. I don't really have much more to say besides that. I did some tweeting during the debate, and I've Storified those tweets for anyone who wants to read them. But basically, it comes down to this:

Lester Holt did a good job of generally just staying out of the way and being a traffic cop and letting the candidates be themselves, which is what a moderator should do. People may feel like he could have done more instant fact-checking, or held the candidates more firmly to their allotted time, or whatever, but, for me, I thought he found a decent balance of asserting himself without inserting himself. Which allowed viewers to get very clear pictures of who each of these candidates are as people.

And that certainly didn't do Trump any favors.

Congratulations, Hillary Clinton. You were carrying a lot on your shoulders; being the first woman in the nation's history in this position, being the standard bearer for women and the envoy of millions of people's hopes to stop Trump. That was a hell of a lot of pressure, and, as always, you rose you to the occasion. Wow. And thank you.

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Open Thread

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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

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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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