Saturday, July 30, 2016

Holy Mouth

RABA Research Poll

Slate: Clinton Takes the Lead in First Post–DNC Poll By Emily Tamkin
Among likely voters, Clinton is now polling at 46 percent; Donald Trump, 31 percent. Libertarian Gary Johnson’s polling at 7 percent; the Green Party’s Jill Stein, 2.

'It's A Terrible Thing'

Take a look at the word groupings in this statement from Trump -

“I watched her last night. I was falling asleep. It beats Sominex every time. She could barely beat Bernie. The system is rigged. It’s a terrible thing.”

This is an incoherent rambling string of 3 and 4 word sentences, loosely connected by some sort of imagined meaning. Let's put together something similar using the Trump formula -  

"I saw her. I fell asleep. It's good sleep medicine. Bernie almost won. The system is bad. This is bad."

See what I'm saying. It's baby talk.

Politico: Trump: I give Obama 'tremendous credit' By Rebecca Morin

Running Chronicle Of Hair Raising Trump Activity

The Playbook

  A must read

NY Times: How to Counter the Putin Playbook By MICHAEL A. McFAUL
Many are impressed and aim to copy the Putin playbook. Autocrats in Asia, the Middle East and Africa have emulated Mr. Putin’s draconian laws restricting civil society groups. The leader of France’s far-right National Front, Marine Le Pen, has praised Mr. Putin and his policies; her party has taken a $10 million loan from a Russian bank and seeks another $30 million for next year’s presidential election. Two champions of the Brexit campaign — Nigel Farage, the former leader of the anti-immigrant U.K. Independence Party, and Boris Johnson, a Conservative member of Parliament and now Britain’s foreign minister — have spoken fondly of Mr. Putin. So, too, does Hungary’s increasingly authoritarian prime minister, Viktor Orban. The Republican Party nominee for president, Donald J. Trump, has frequently praised Mr. Putin. “He’s a strong leader,” Mr. Trump said in December.

EU Sanctions

From June 17, 2016

Reuters: EU extends sanctions on Russia-annexed Crimea until mid-2017
Following the annexation of Crimea, Russia-backed rebels took up arms against Kiev in eastern Ukraine, where more than 9,000 people have been killed in fighting since the spring of 2014.

Sanctions 2014

From September 15, 2014, some historical context.

BBC: How far do EU-US sanctions on Russia go?
They have blacklisted dozens of senior Russian officials, separatist commanders and Russian firms accused of undermining Ukrainian sovereignty.

The EU sanctions announced on 12 September targeted Russia's state finances, energy and arms sectors. These are sectors managed by the powerful elite around President Vladimir Putin.

Trump, Business In Russia

  A little more background info.

Fortune: Donald Trump's Long, Fruitless Quest for Business in Russia by Geoffrey Smith
In fact, selling U.S. properties to Russians looking to move their money to a place where Putin’s tax collectors can’t get at it seems to be the one line of business that Trump has done in Russia.

Koch Money

NPR - After Hacking Claims, Here's The View From Russia On The U.S. Campaign

Trump's Russia

WTOP: Trump’s Russia reset ideas alarming allies, many in US
Foreign policy experts of all stripes “are left slack-jawed” by Trump’s pronouncements, said Derek Chollet, a senior adviser at the German Marshall Fund and former Pentagon official in the Obama administration.

“He looks at the world solely through the prism of business transactions, talking about allies as if they’re Atlantic City contractors that he can bilk,” said Chollet, who spoke out in favor of Clinton during her Democratic primary campaign against Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Heading Into A Foreign Policy Disaster

  Help, Trump doesn't know anything.

NY Times: What Trump Doesn’t Know About Allies By STEPHEN SESTANOVICH

Have An Excellent Saturday

photography by Robert Durlak

The Onion - Woman Who Doesn’t Use Facebook Completely Out Of Touch With Friends’ Prejudices

'Ecosystem Engineers'

Science Daily: New fossil evidence supports theory that first mass extinction engineered by early animals
summary - Newly discovered fossil evidence from Namibia strengthens the proposition that the world's first mass extinction was caused by 'ecosystem engineers' -- newly evolved biological organisms that altered the environment so radically it drove older species to extinction.

TRNN - The Turkish Pivot Towards Russia



  Fascinating article on the LGBT community in NYC and the nightlife in Brooklyn. GHE20G0TH1K is pronounced - ghetto Gothic.

Guardian UK: At home in the club: the LGBT parties changing the face of Brooklyn's nightlife - With long lines of expectant attendees, these nights illustrate both the necessity and demand for ‘unapologetically open and inclusive’ clubs
The parties offer an alternative to Brooklyn’s rapidly whitening nightlife landscape – one more inclusive of a community now being displaced by increasing rents and cost of living. The neighborhoods where these parties are based are all included in the top 10 gentrifying areas on an annual housing and neighborhood data report released by the NYU Furman Center on Urban Policy.

Trump - From Russia With Hate

  Now ask yourself, why does Trump need to demonize Clinton as a 'criminal'. You could answer, because it's a tactic to win votes, you smear your opponent, this is politics. That may be true, but what is arising is the fact that Trump wants people to look the other way while he is engaged in utterly fishy business in Russia. This is coming to light and the implications are off the chart. Forget the Trump is a demagogue fascist stuff, Trump is a mad man.

Guardian UK: Donald Trump and Russia: a web that grows more tangled all the time - Frank Mermoud, a key figure at the recent Republican national convention, has strong business ties with Ukraine – the latest in a series of Trump staffers with worrying links to Russia and its interests, including the candidate himself
The party platform written at the convention in Cleveland last week removed references to arming Ukraine in its fight with Russia, which has supported separatists in eastern Ukraine. Trump’s links to Russia are under scrutiny after a hack of Democratic national committee emails, allegedly by Russian agents.

Frank Mermoud also has longstanding ties to Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who in 2010 helped pro-Russia Viktor Yanukovych refashion his image and win a presidential election in Ukraine. Manafort was brought in earlier this year to oversee the convention operations and its staffing.

Global Warming - Mitribah, Kuwait

Climate Central: Searing Kuwait Temp Could Rank Among World’s Hottest
On July 21, Mitribah, Kuwait, recorded a temperature of 129.2°F (54°C) during the height of the heat wave.

By The Numbers

Politico: 5 numbers that mattered this week By Steven Shepard
A Suffolk University poll taken over the first three days of the convention gave Clinton a 9-point lead in the state (Pennsylvania). And of the five most-recent polls that comprise POLITICO’s Battleground States polling average, Clinton has an advantage of 9 points or greater in four of them.

Trump, Russia, GOP Platform, Crimea

  Throw in the hacks of the DNC from Russia and this whole deal is starting to smell very fishy.

New Yorker: How the Republican Establishment Lost to Trump on Russia By Ryan Lizza
Crimea, a Ukrainian territory, was seized by Russia two years ago. The United Nations General Assembly, in a hundred-to-eleven vote, has called on countries not to recognize Crimea as part of Russia. Some prominent Republicans, including John McCain, were willing to go to war with Russia to defend the territory. Trump suggested that he might well let Putin have it.

The Hacks

  I suspect there will be more coming out on this.

NY Times: Computer Systems Used by Clinton Campaign Are Said to Be Hacked, Apparently by Russians By ERIC LICHTBLAU
The C.I.A. director, John O. Brennan, speaking at the Aspen Security Forum, declined to comment on the specific allegations but said that “obviously, interference in the U.S. election process is a very, very serious matter, and I think certainly this government would treat it with great seriousness.”

The Last Word - Capt. Khan’s Parents Remember Their Son

Alienates Everyone

Friday, July 29, 2016

'What's In It For Trump'

NY Times: The Real Plot Against America
What’s in it for Trump? Help at winning the ultimate throne of his gilded dreams. And maybe some investment money from Russian oligarchs close to Putin, one of many things Trump may be hiding in his tax returns. The two narcissists share a love of torture, authoritarian rule, and women on runways in bathing suits.

Tweet Tweet

Paraphrasing Alex Wagner - "Not only does Trump not have the temperament to be president but he may not have the temperament to Tweet."

New Poll

Nate's Latest

  At the moment Clinton appears to be holding a lead according to Five Thirty Eight. Today Five Thirty Eight has her with a 60% chance of winning in November. Hillary Clinton could get a typical bounce next week post convention, that would be in the range of 3 or 4 points, or she could get no bounce at all, or perhaps a large bounce of 9 points. So we have to wait and see.

Five Thirty Eight: Where The Election Goes From Here By Nate Silver


New Poll

  Some improvement for Clinton, but when you add in Johnson and Stein, it's tied. Next week's polls will be more telling.

Ipsos/Reuters: Ipsos/Reuters Poll (July 29): Core Political Approval


  Last night conservative Catholic political commentator and former editor of The New Republic, Andrew Sullivan wrote -
"The GOP must be shitting themselves. The Dems are taking everything – family values, patriotism, love of the military, the founding fathers and the constitution – in addition to everything they already own. If the GOP loses this election they’re left with… hate and ignorance."

Another Take

NPR: Clinton And The DNC: A Crisis Not Merely Survived, But Transcended by Ron Elving
It was obvious that the DNC controversies fed into a Rules Committee decision to reduce the future numbers of superdelegates (elected officials and party leaders who are uncommitted participants in the nominating convention and may vote their own conscience). In 2020, such delegates will be reduced from 720 to 250.

Up Late

Conservatives On The DNC

TPM: The Reviews Are In: Conservatives Say The DNC Was 'Disaster' For The GOP
Rich Galen, press secretary for Dick Cheney: How can it be that I am standing at my kitchen counter sobbing because of the messages being driven at the DNC? Where has the GOP gone?


Politico: Poll: Clinton, Trump in virtual tie in Missouri
Clinton leads Trump by just a single point, 41 percent to 40 percent...

The poll was conducted July 23 and 24, after the Republican National Convention in Cleveland had finished and before its Democratic counterpart in Philadelphia had begun.


  As far as I can tell, there are at least two major web spots for the serious Trump supporter, The Daily Caller and Breitbart. I'm sure there are others as well but these two are pronounced. You know who I'm talking about, the one guy who posts repeatedly against hundreds at the Raw Story or on Youtube, the one guy who is taking on the world, that level of Trump supporter. So just in case you are wondering how that crowd is headlining Hillary Clinton's speech, take a peek. I do not recommend visiting the site as it is loaded with junk that will stall your computer.

The Daily Caller: 'What A Disaster’: Boos, Catcalls Mar Hillary Clinton’s Coronation Speech

'A Vulgar, Splenetic Megalomaniac'

  Splenetic? Had to look it up - "bad-tempered; spiteful." He gets points for originality in describing the orange guy.

Chicago Tribune: Column: After Hillary Clinton's takedown of Donald Trump, will any Republicans be with her?
The political helium balloon lifting Clinton up is that she's running against a vulgar, splenetic megalomaniac in Republican business tycoon Donald Trump.


'I Just Showed Up'

  Trump is already distancing himself from the RNC.

NY Times: Clinton’s Convention Was Made for TV. Trump’s Was Made for Twitter. by Jim Rutenberg
Asked about the differences, Mr. Trump said he could not speak to them with much specificity, because “I didn’t produce our show — I just showed up for the final speech on Thursday.”

Have An Excellent Friday

photography by Robert Durlak

The Onion - Trump Sick And Tired Of Mainstream Media Always Trying To Put His Words Into Some Sort Of Context

A New Photosynthetic Solar Cell

  Another game changer.

Science Daily: Breakthrough solar cell captures carbon dioxide and sunlight, produces burnable fuel - 1,000-fold improved chemistry leads to 'artificial leaf' that makes syngas
summary - Researchers have engineered a potentially game-changing solar cell that cheaply and efficiently converts atmospheric carbon dioxide directly into usable hydrocarbon fuel, using only sunlight for energy.

TRNN - Tim Kaine Full Speech DNC Convention

Khizr Khan

The Guardian UK: Fallen Muslim American soldier's father scolds Trump: 'have you even read the constitution?' In response to Trump’s rhetoric about immigrants, Khizr Khan shames the Republican presidential nominee: ‘You have sacrificed nothing and no one’
Producing a pocket edition of the US constitution to huge cheers from the crowd, he added: “In this document, look for the words ‘liberty’ and ‘equal protection of law’.”

He went on: “Have you ever been to Arlington cemetery? Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America – you will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”


The Guardian UK: Hillary Clinton accepts nomination with 'boundless confidence in America's promise' - ‘To drive real progress, you have to change both hearts and laws’ she says in laying out a liberal and populist vision amid a thorough takedown of Trump
“Imagine him, if you dare, imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons,” anticipated Clinton.

Global Warming - North America's Next Three Months, A Forecast

Climate Central: Forecast First: Warmer Temps Favored Across Entire U.S.
Driving that outlook are the warm sea surface temperatures across the globe, including in the Pacific, along the coast of Alaska, and in the Atlantic.

Clinton, Poised And Confident

  She was indeed poised and indeed confident, she is as presidential as it can be.

AlterNet: Poised and Confident, Hillary Clinton's DNC Speech Lays Out a Progressive Agenda—Will the Sanders Insurgency Buy In? After a week of snubs, their grassroots revolution is acknowledged. By Steven Rosenfeld
“And to all of your supporters here and around the country: I want you to know, I've heard you,” she continued. “Your cause is our cause. Our country needs your ideas, energy, and passion. That's the only way we can turn our progressive platform into real change for America. We wrote it together—now let's go out there and make it happen together.”

The Market On Friday

  Good morning. It is a muggy 72 degrees and it is cloudy here in the Upper Hudson Valley. The forecast predicts a partly cloudy day with temperatures in the high 80s this afternoon. Well the news of the morning has to be the DNC, and last night's speeches topped off with Hillary Clinton's acceptance speech. I watched in it's entirety from about 8 p.m. on. I cannot gauge the mood of the entire country as a whole but I would suspect that some people were favorably taken by last night. How about the Muslim mom and dad of the fallen soldier and his offer to share his copy of the Constitution. Republicans speaking out against Trump, it was quite a presentation, and Clinton delivered a very strong speech. I was prepared to not be overly impressed because Hillary Clinton up to this point is not a great campaigner but she may very well have turned the corner on that. The speech was captivating and inspiring. We have a distinct difference going on here, the RNC seemed like a wake for a long gone comrade, the DNC was cheerful, celebratory, and motivating.

  At 9:00 a.m. ET futures are moderately lower and the price of oil per barrel is down. The market is poised to open lower.

  That pesky first report on the second quarter GDP came through this morning with lower than expected numbers. The global economy is sputtering along, hanging on. Enjoy the weekend!

CNN: Stocks: 6 things to know before the open by Alanna Petroff
Investors are set to find out how well the U.S. economy performed in the second quarter. The first estimate of national GDP is due at 8:30 a.m. ET from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
CNBC: Futures mixed after GDP miss; energy stocks weigh
The advance read on second-quarter GDP showed a 1.2 percent annualized growth rate, well below expectations for 2.6 percent. Consumer spending, which accounted for most of the GDP rebound in the second quarter, increased at a 4.2 percent rate, the fastest since the fourth quarter of 2014, Reuters said. Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity,

Schumer's Prediction

Politico: Chuck Schumer's audacious prediction - Forget 2016: Democrats are on the cusp of a golden era, the incoming Democratic Senate leader says in a POLITICO interview. By Burgess Everett and Edward-Isaac Dovere
“We’re going to have a Democratic generation. [President Barack Obama] helped create it. But it’s just where America’s moving demographically, ideologically and in every way,” Schumer told POLITICO in a lengthy interview this week at the Democratic National Convention. “We’ll have a mandate to get something done.”


NY Times: Hillary Clinton Warns of ‘Moment of Reckoning’ in Speech Accepting Nomination By PATRICK HEALY and AMY CHOZICK
“Powerful forces are threatening to pull us apart, bonds of trust and respect are fraying,” said Mrs. Clinton, who worked on the speech until the early hours of Thursday morning. “And just as with our founders there are no guarantees. It truly is up to us. We have to decide whether we all will work together so we all can rise together.”

Trump - A Big Nothing

Beyond The Pale