Just a little light musical fare to make the new week seem more bearable…
Or, as NPR had it, “In Closing Ads, Trump Goes Dark While Clinton Goes Cozy.”
These are the final ads of the two campaigns.
Trump’s is a deeply, profoundly, sweepingly paranoid view of our world. Apparently, we are all the victims of an enormous conspiracy that involves not only the corporations and billionayuhs Bernie was on about, but the leadership of every major country in the world, all engaged in a “global power structure” aimed at keeping us — or, at least, Trump’s base — down.
Hillary Clinton, who seems to be again clothed in what Alexandra Petri termed her “Saruman the White” look, goes for the approach of sitting us down, looking us in the eye and having a comforting heart-to-heart with us about the values that have always informed our country, and which make us great now, not in some distant past. In her view as presented here, we’re good enough, we’re smart enough, and doggone it; people like us.
It’s a pretty stark contrast. Either we’re all doomed, or we’ve got a pretty good thing going in this country, and have had all along.
And now we have to decide which makes sense to us.
One of the best directors in the ‘verse has stepped forward to try to get out the vote for next week.
I especially enjoy the one above, making appropriate fun of the notion that what all situations call for is a businessman.
But Doug and my other Libertarian (or should I say, “Browncoat“) friends should enjoy the one below, entitled, “If Congress was your co-worker…”
My favorite, though, might be this one, in which a Brit, thoroughly embarrassed by Brexit, begs us all to vote for Trump so we Yanks will go back to being the idiots the rest of the world looks down on. It starts, appropriately enough, with “Bit of a favor to ask…”
I don’t even know what to say; I’m just sharing on a Friday afternoon..
Donald Trump has “apologized” for the things he said on a hot mic on the above video in 2005 — before launching into an attack on the Clintons and saying there was no way he was going to drop out of the race, despite calls from some Republicans that he do so.
So, he’s determined to weather yet another storm that would end the political career of anyone else. Because, you know, he has no shame.
Fortunately, a lot of mainstream Republicans do, which is why Speaker Paul Ryan, regaining his pride and courage, refused to let Trump appear on a stage with him yesterday.
Oh, wait: Did I say Ryan had regained his pride and courage? Well, sorta, kinda. We don’t need to hold a ticker-tape parade for him or anything:
But Mr. Ryan did not go so far as to withdraw his support for Mr. Trump, which for now keeps him in the political purgatory of endorsing the Republican nominee for president while continually having to say why he finds his remarks and policy positions despicable….
On one level, I’m thinking, why is this even a news story? We all know this is what Trump is like. What’s new here? But for some, this has been the last straw, and the pressure on him actually went to the point that he had to issue a statement refusing to resign.
The shock and horror that some Republican supporters, or former supporters, are expressing is reminiscent of Captain Renault’s “shocked!” in “Casablanca.” Really? They didn’t know he was like this? Riiiigghhttt…
And do you think this will affect Trump’s support out among the hoi polloi? No, of course not. It never did before when things arose that should have caused his support to evaporate. Why would it happen now?
I wish this would have an effect on the polls; it would raise my estimation of the electorate somewhat from the depths to which it has sunk.
But I fear not.
So, as Trump said in his “apology” (below), on to Sunday night’s debate…
At the risk of making Trump supporters’ heads spin (They’re speaking Spanish in my presence! Make them stop!), I share with you this new Hillary Clinton ad, which features Carlos Gutierrez — who was George W. Bush’s commerce secretary for four years — explaining that he’s supporting Clinton in part because, as a lifelong Republican, he can’t possibly support Trump.
For you gringos, the translation:
“Donald Trump doesn’t have the qualities necessary to be president. I know, because I served in the Cabinet of George W. Bush for four years,” Gutierrez says in Spanish. “I was born in Cuba, but this country gave me my success. I’ve been a Republican my entire life, but first I’m an American. Vote for Trump? I can’t. It’s dangerous and we don’t want to go back. Hillary Clinton has the experience and I trust her. For me, country first, and then party.”…
It’s a good ad. I especially like the UnParty sentiment: “Primero país, y después partido.”
Here’s another like it…
My son shot this clip at a fund-raiser for Vincent Sheheen at James Smith’s law office on April 16, 2013, when he was just starting to gear up for his unsuccessful second run for governor.
This was moments before some Democratic Party operatives asked us to stop shooting video, which was a disappointment. (I’ve found that while lots of campaigns don’t mind if I slip into one of these friends-and-family affairs and mingle, they hate it if I shoot video — and with my son Matt’s big, professional camera, we were doing so ostentatiously on this occasion. The people I interviewed, such as Fred, didn’t mind a bit. It was the hired hands who didn’t like it.)
As it happened, we never used any of the footage until now. I’d like to team up with my son more for video for the blog — so much better than what I shoot with my phone — but I hate to ask him to take time away from his family. When he did the video on the flag rally last year — which I think came out wonderfully — he had to spend most of the night editing it. That was a special occasion.
Anyway, I share this now with Fred’s friends and family, as a little postscript on Vincent’s moving eulogy yesterday. It shows Fred with characteristic confidence and commitment, eager to roll up his sleeves and help his boy get elected. We know now that it didn’t work out, but Fred had good reason to think it was doable, as he explains.
Enjoy, and remember…
All of y’all probably saw this already, but I would have missed it if Kathryn Fenner had not brought it to my attention via Facebook over the weekend.
Of course, Facebook being Facebook, I had to go hunting elsewhere to find an embed code. (I couldn’t even find it at the White House, which is where Kathryn had gotten it — apparently, they only posted it on FB — unless I’m just looking in all the wrong places on the website.)
It was great to see her back in the saddle. And seeing her as press secretary instead of chief of staff takes us to those wonderful days when Leo was still alive. Sigh…
I was a bit disappointed in her when she ducked the one question she got from the actual reporters assembled: “Who is President Bartlet supporting in the Democratic primary?”
But she ducked it with typical C.J. aplomb…
How is the Red Cross like the late Alan Rickman?
This way: They keep calling me and saying, “You. Our place. 5:30. And bring a friend!” (See above video.)
OK, I’ll admit, they’re a LOT more polite about it than that, but if you boil it down, that’s the gist. They call and ask me to give again, and to schedule it at the earliest possible time (because the need is great). And at some point in the conversation, they say, “And bring a friend!”
So, this is me inviting my friends.
I’m scheduled to give platelets at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. And just in case I’m inclined to put it off in any way, they sent me an email yesterday that includes this image:
So I plan to be there, because the guilt trip thing works on me.
But why should it just be me? Nobility loves company.
I’ve been honest with y’all about the fact that giving platelets is a bit of a hassle — it takes at least a couple of hours. So it would be especially awesome if more of y’all would agree to do it, and take some of the pressure off of me.
That said, if you haven’t given blood at all before, I urge you to go and at least give whole blood, the easiest process of all (I’ve given whole blood in just over five minutes).
And now they’ve got a new thing where you can answer all those prying questions (like whether you’ve been paid for sex, even once…) online ahead of time, meaning less time spent at the Red Cross facility on Bull Street.
So… consider it. The need is always there…
Not that that’s much comfort, but since we had that awful incident here, I thought y’all might be interested in seeing this.
It happened in San Antonio, and the officer was fired:
A Texas school police officer who became enmeshed in controversy after he was captured on video seemingly body-slamming a sixth-grade girl has been fired from the San Antonio Independent School District.
District officials said officer Joshua Kehm was terminated Monday amid an investigation into an incident last month at Rhodes Middle School, in which he appeared to restrain and then throw down 12-year-old Janissa Valdez.
“We understand that situations can sometimes escalate to the point of requiring a physical response; however, in this situation we believe that the extent of the response was absolutely unwarranted,” Superintendent Pedro Martinez said in a statement. “Additionally, the officer’s report was inconsistent with the video and it was also delayed, which is not in accordance with the general operating procedures of the police department….
Doug should enjoy this.
It came along with the following release from U.S. Term Limits:
Jack Abramoff Backs Term Limits in New Video
The man once known as “America’s most notorious lobbyist” is speaking out in a new video for congressional term limits. Jack Abramoff now says “Congress will never be fixed without term limits” in a video produced for U.S. Term Limits’ “Term Limits Convention” campaign.
According to Abramoff, term limits would reduce special interests’ influence in Washington by disrupting their relationships with long-serving incumbents.
“When I was a lobbyist, I hated the idea that a congressman who I had bought with years of contributions would decide to retire,” Abramoff says. “That meant I had to start all over again with a new member, losing all the control I had bought with years of checks.”
Abramoff’s comments debunk the arguments made by anti-term limits politicians, who’ve long claimed that lobbyists like term limits.
“Career politicians often smear term limits by claiming lobbyists are for it,” said U.S. Term Limits President Philip Blumel. “But the opposite is true. Whenever lobbyists get involved in a term limits campaign, all of their money goes to the side trying to prevent, weaken or abolish term limits. That’s why we’re glad Jack Abramoff is speaking out.”
Abramoff’s video closes on this note, as he warns “if you want to see pigs screeching at the trough, tell them they can’t stay there forever. There’s no trough as dangerous as the one in Washington.”
The ex-lobbyist volunteered his opinions and was not compensated by U.S. Term Limits. His remarks will be used to raise awareness for the Term Limits Convention, a new campaign to term limit Congress using an Article V amendment convention.
The campaign, launched in January, requires 34 state legislatures to pass bills calling for term limits on Congress, before a convention can be called to propose a congressional term limits amendment. Florida was the first state to pass the resolution but several others are considering it now.
Watch the Abramoff Video here.
Of course, it doesn’t change my mind. I still have problems with telling the voters who they can and can’t re-elect if they so choose.
There are good arguments in favor of term limits — ones that I find more persuasive than Abramoff’s “everybody’s a crook like me” thesis. For instance, it might increase political courage — representatives daring to do the right thing, rather than the popular thing so they can get re-elected.
Most people who favor term limits think it would be a way to bind elected officials more to the popular will. They have it backwards. It could free them from slavish adherence to the popular idea of the moment. And that could be a could thing. It could also be a bad thing, if it freed pols to do something unpopular that was also a terrible idea.
But in any case, I remain unconvinced, and mostly for the reason that drives Doug the craziest: I believe that experience is valuable in public service, just as it is in every other field of human endeavor. And a mindless mechanism that would throw out the very best representatives along with the very worst is not a good idea.
Yes, that sounds a tad hyperbolic. Maybe it’s so awesome to me because I’m an abnormally huge fan of “Office Space.”
But… it’s just so spot on! It works so well! And it’s such frame-by-frame match with the original! The rapper is so authentic-sounding! Very nicely done.
I’ll admit that I was a bit slow on the uptake. For about two second, I wondered, Why are they smashing a CPU? (You’ll recall that, in the movie, it was a printer.)
And then I’m like, Oh! The email server!
Which made me appreciate it all the more…
Below is the original. Excuse the language. Yeah, the milder (but still N-word-laced) “Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangster” was memorably used in a different scene. But it’s so closely associated with the movie that it works, beautifully, in the ad.
Remember, real gangsta-ass Clintons don’t flex nuts, ’cause real gangsta-ass Clintons know they got ’em…
Some of you may think the best thing on TV was a football game, but I beg to differ.
The above and the below beat that by a mile.
As wonderful as good satire (below) can be, in this year it’s hard for deliberate comedy to match real life (above) on the campaign trail…
The full video of the Spring Valley High School Police Officer brutally assaulting a peaceful student. pic.twitter.com/oHIS8GrtSS
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) October 26, 2015
Again, South Carolina makes national news, and again, it’s in a bad way.
It’s early in the discernment process, and we lack any context (whatever the context may be), but the extremely brief video is a kick in the gut, especially the instant when the desk flips backward in a way that almost seems to defy physical laws. It’s amazing that the student wasn’t injured, a fact we can only chalk up to the resilience of youth.
Here, from The State, are the skimpy facts, which tell us next to nothing:
The Richland County Sheriff’s Department is investigating an incident between a school resource officer and a female student at Spring Valley High School on Monday, after a video showing a confrontation was posted online.
The female student and a male student were arrested for disturbing the peace, said Richland County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Lt. Curtis Wilson. The resource officer, Senior Deputy Ben Fields, has been placed on administrative duties with pay pending the investigation’s results, according to Wilson.
While Fields will work at the Sheriff’s Department, he won’t be performing any duties at area schools. In a statement, the Richland 2 school district said it had “directed the school resource officer not return to any school in the district.”
The video shows Fields approach the female student seated in a desk. The resource officer proceeds to place his left hand on the female student’s left arm, before putting his right arm around her neck. Fields then flips the desk over, with the student still seated, before spinning it around and forcibly removing the student and trying to restrain her at the front of the classroom.
Wilson said no one was injured in the incident – neither the students nor Fields.
Wilson said prior to what is shown in the video, the female student was asked to leave the classroom and refused. Wilson said that was when the resource officer was called in….
The official response to the incident seems appropriately cautious so far. The sheriff is out of town. The mayor wants an independent investigation. The school district’s one response, saying it doesn’t want that officer back in the classroom, seems appropriate under the circumstances.
All we have now is a video that shocks the viewer as much as it seems to have shocked the bystanders, who react not at all — their stillness is almost eerie — except for the one who shot these 15 seconds.
Hey, it gives me goose bumps. Here’s a story about the video. Excerpt:
It comes from the “Yale Day” speech Biden delivered the day before the Ivy League school’s commencement, as he knew his son’s fight with cancer was unlikely to succeed. Beau Biden died two weeks after that speech.
Possibly because of that timing, or something, it reminds me of that famous recording of Bobby Kennedy announcing the death of Martin Luther King, just a month before his own death…
End of last week, The Washington Post had a story headlined, “Clinton’s team went from nonchalant to nervous over e-mail controversy.”
An anti-Clinton video from the America Rising PAC helps illustrate, in a visceral way, why that might be. Imagine you’re a Clinton campaign staffer, and feel your guts tighten up as you watch.
The video was brought to my attention by Jennifer Rubin, who described it this way:
New AR PAC Video: “Failed Leadership” https://t.co/BTwQMc55zh Umm, pretty harsh … cause it’s true
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) August 17, 2015
“Raw” in more ways than one.
Bill Castronuovo, also a former editor at The State, shared with me this video that he shot on July 1, 2000, the day that the Confederate flag atop the dome was lowered, and the new one raised behind the soldier monument on the State House grounds.
As you can see, it was not the most dignified of occasions. A lot of rebel yells: Including, oddly enough, when the one on the dome came down. Was that flag opponents cheering, paradoxically, in a Confederate fashion, or the neoConfederates cheering because they knew another one was about to go up, in a more visible location? Or maybe they liked seeing the American and state flags lowered with it. I don’t know, and there’s no way to tell.
Anyway, I think that anyone in the House who wants to replace the current flag with another one in this location, or to fly this flag at the museum, should watch this and contemplate it — and ask, “Do I really want another 15 years of this?”
There’s only one way to put this all behind us: Pass the Senate bill as is. And let’s move on.
When Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) celebrated his retirement from the Air National Guard last week after 33 years of military service, he was greeted at the ceremony by an unexpected guest: Vice President Joe Biden.
Though they hail from opposing parties, Graham and Biden have long had a close friendship, going back to their years serving together in the Senate. The South Carolina senator and 2016 Republican presidential candidate was particularly touched that the vice president attended his military sendoff.
Over the weekend, The Huffington Post spent a day with Graham on the campaign trail in Iowa for the latest installment of our original series, ’16 And President. We’ll have the full episode up next week, but the above clip is a short preview of what’s to come….
In it, our senior senator chokes up talking about Joe Biden, about whom Graham says:
If you can’t admire Joe Biden as a person, then it’s probably… you’ve got a problem. You need to do some self-evaluation. What’s not to like?… He’s THE nicest person I think that I’ve ever met in politics. He is as good a man as God ever created…
This is one of the more touching illustrations I’ve seen of my oft-stated thesis that politicians — despite what you may firmly believe — are people, and not monolithic representations of good and evil, as most partisan rhetoric would have it.
Remember the short video that my son Matt made about the flag rally Saturday before last?
Well, a friend of his has made another one to promote the rally coming up this Saturday, July 4th.
This one has a slightly better-known narrator. I’m not sure he’s the best narrator for persuading any Republicans who are still on the fence on this issue, but hey: It’s effective.
My son Matt shot a lot of video at the Take the flag down SC! rally at the State House Saturday.
He edited it down to this, to which I added a little bit of voiceover commentary, and he shared it with me today on this Father’s Day.
And now I share it with you…