explained by the Editorial Board of the New York Times:
Donald Trump’s rallies once drew their share of benign conservatives, offbeat libertarians and plain curiosity seekers. But as time and Mr. Trump’s act have worn on, many of them have no doubt gone the way of his poll numbers. Mr. Trump’s crowds remain big and loud, but they’re angrier and more malevolent, and so is Mr. Trump.
The mood is captured in a photo--the brief display by supporters of the Confederate flag at a rally in Florida--or in a story that goes back to an earlier campaign event, when a livid Trump castigated a woman reporter, by name, and pointed to where she was standing. The crowd got hostile, Secret Service agents escorted her out, and she's been receiving death threats ever since.
These latest crowd-pleasers about Obama and Clinton have already incited followers to even more extreme charges, as the Times editorial found on Twitter:
Another posted a faked photo of Mr. Obama in the Oval Office, with the black flag of ISIS behind him, dressed in what appears to be Islamic clerical garb, with the message, “Founder of ISIS: Barack Hussein Obama has directly and indirectly financed and armed ISIS.”
The "good news" is that Trump is down to his core haters. (As the Times reports, Trump no longer quiets the crowd when they start chanting "Lock her up!") That of course is also the bad news, as he and they get more extreme and violent. This is the core, one analyst believes, that longs for authoritarian rule. Rolling out the Nazi flag may be next.
Here's another good news/bad news story. A letter is circulating with at least 70 signatures so far from Republicans to the Republican National Committee demanding that the RNC essentially abandon funding the Trump campaign and pay more attention to the down-ballot races that Trump's doomed candidacy endangers.
This coupled with Republican defections, especially among national security veterans and experienced administrators means that if Trump actually won, he would not have the top tier of his own party to tap to staff his government. Given the beliefs of many of these folks that's hardly a tragedy, but it would force him to hire less experienced people, more like him. Certain Republicans elected President in recent decades weren't the brightest bulbs, but they had access to people with the skills to run the government. So we face the prospect of the least knowledgeable candidate in modern history, with few credible allies to do the basic work of governing. It really would be "I alone can do this."
Okay, let's change the subject. Back to the absurdity. Wednesday gave us a classic. A campaign event at which Trump went into great detail criticizing Clinton for having the father of the Orlando shooter clearly visible at her Florida campaign event. Her claim that she had no idea he was there was not credible, Trump brayed, nobody gets that close without the campaign knowing who he is.
Meanwhile, just behind Trump, was Mark Foley, the disgraced former congressman famous for explicit texts to underage congressional pages. Trump at one time looked right at him, to show how it was impossible for Clinton not to know who was at her rally.
Then there is the tale Sean Hannity tells--confirmed by the Trump campaign--of Trump coming to the rescue of Marines. Not to shock you or anything but it isn't true, and the way it isn't true is almost as absurd as the Foley folly.
Poll news: Trump trails Clinton among Latinos--by 46 points. More than 80% disapprove of him.
More evidence of the Clinton strategy I suggested awhile back: she does local events, gets local media, mostly stays off the national radar so Trump gets all the attention. She has, however, forcefully called him out on his Second Amendment solution, and on accusing President Obama of being the founder of ISIL.
Clinton is about to release her tax returns--why doesn't Trump? What's he hiding? Some shady deals and partners? Or just the amount of taxes he actually pays? The NY Times checks with experts who say, it could very well be zero.
On a somber international note, another story about things heating up between Russia and the Ukraine. The Bloomberg story notes that Russia often has initiated military action in August, and not coincidentally.
Beginner's Mind - Finding a very nice hardback copy of Bruce Chatwin's last book in a bargain bin, a kind of miscellany of previously uncollected pieces called What Am I Doi...
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