Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Thinking: Not Just for "Elites"

    The pundits handicapping tonight's Trump-Clinton debate were slowly driving me insane, and now they've speeded up. The debate is not a fair fight, and should not be. A guy who doesn't know anything is supposed to lose a debate against a smart person who knows a lot. Anything that makes those people an "even" match is a fix. But the craven attempts to frame Trump v. Clinton as an even-money proposition has finally put my finger on something that's been bugging me for a long time: the insistence that being smart is elitist.

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Hillary, Choose Your Trump

    Inquiring minds want to know, which Donald Trump will show up to the debate tonight? The name-calling bully? The xenophobic scaremonger? The misogynist jerk? The entertaining clown? The pathological liar? The dog-whistling bigot? The reckless lunatic? The shallow narcissist? Or some new incarnation of softer, smarter Trump who uses big words.

    Chris Matthews doesn't know. Mark Halperin doesn't know.  Ed Kilgore doesn't know. Some editor at the Atlantic doesn't know. Hillary Clinton doesn't know.

    She literally said, "I do not know which Donald Trump will show up."

    Well, she better figure it out, quick. Because if she hopes to triumph at the debate tonight, she can't wait and see which Trump shows up at the lectern. She must choose her Trump.

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    Ramona's picture

    A Deplorable Thought: Trump Could Win

    I was standing in line at the grocery store yesterday looking at this National Enquirer cover, trying to convince myself I'm too old to be horrified by these things anymore. It made me queasy and a little breathless but I managed to get past it and move my groceries from my cart to the belt.
     

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    The Grey Lady Takes the Gloves Off

    "Breaking News," tweeted the New York Times yesterday, "Trump backed off birther claims: 'President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period.'"

    Typical of the Times' election reporting, the tweet made no mention of Trump's lies or his dishonest attempt to shift the blame onto Hillary Clinton. (By contrast, the Washington Post called it straight: "Breaking: Trump admits Obama born in U.S. but falsely blames Clinton for starting rumors.")

    But today, the Grey Lady took her gloves off. The headline for the lead story on the front page provocatively declares, "Trump Gives Up Lie But Refuses to Repent."

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    The New Normal

    Everyone wants someone to blame for the election of 2016. It's the media's fault that Donald Trump is running neck and neck with Hillary Clinton. No, it's Hillary's secretiveness and her Wall Street connections. No, it's the bankers. No, it's the economy, stupid. No, it's sexism, racism, reality television. And so on.

    Many of these factors do affect the race, but none of them really explains the Trump phenomenon. Sure, Hillary would be further ahead if she were more charismatic or if the press were easier on her, but the real mystery is how a man like Donald Trump is in the race at all.

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    Ramona's picture

    How Hillary Can Appease the Press

    I've been thinking for a long time about the ways Hillary Clinton might possibly appease the press and get them to look at her as a living, breathing whole person and not just Bad Hillary. I think I've finally got it.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Doubts of Hazard

    Today, Richard Cohen visits Hazard, Kentucky to profile Trump supporters.  The long and short of it seems to be that eight years of Obama's Environmental Protection Agency pushing the country away from coal asn an energy source has destroyed Eastern Kentucky's economy.  No doubt that, along with low oil and natural gas prices, have taken their toll on the region.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Balanced Coverage and Baseball

    So today, Paul Krugman told it like it is about the newspaper that employs him and its strange "balance via bias" coverage of the Clinton and Trump campaigns, in which the Grey Lady tries to give both candidates equivalent amounts of negative coverage.

    Ramona's picture

    On The Idea of Labor Day: Why It Matters.

    Every Labor Day I feel more and more like I'm at a labor union wake and all I can do is pay tribute to what once was a living, breathing, cherished part of so many of our lives.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Did Trump fake his own "medical report"?

    The media has been puzzling for months over Donald Trump's so-called medical record in which his doctor declared, "If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency."

    According to Josh Marshall's theory of Trump's Razor, we should conclude "the stupidest possible scenario that can be reconciled with the available facts."

    The stupidest possible scenario is so stupid that it did not even occur to me until now: Trump wrote his own doctor's note and then got his doctor to sign it.

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    Ramona's picture

    Something Wicked This Way Comes

    Trump again. I know. I'm obsessed with who he is, how he got here, where he's going, and who's going down with him. Day by day, in every way, it's as if the planet has tilted and those of us still upright are experiencing an existential vertigo.  (In other words, "What the hell is happening??")

    In a matter of a precious few months Donald Trump vanquished more than a dozen barely worthy but infinitely better opponents and now he's as astonished as anyone that it's looking less like a political coup and more like a damned junta!

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Stop Hating on the Clinton Foundation

    On a slow news Friday in August both Slate and New York ran thumb suckers calling on the Clintons to shut down their foundation.  This is in response to a Clinton promise that the foundation would take no foreign donations during a Clinton presidency. Look, I get it.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Horse Race? Or Hindenburg?

    Donald Trump is clearly losing this election. What is the media going to do about it?

    Even Trump understands that he's way behind in the polls and that those polls are on the level. That's why he shook up his campaign staff this morning to make it more Trump-y. (New campaign motto: "Let Trump be Trump. We're out of other options.") He's doing much worse than Mitt Romney was four years ago, and Romney lost by a solid margin.

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    Ramona's picture

    I'm Offended by my Country

    As a denizen of the Internets given to spouting personal opinions I'm not easily offended.  I can't afford to be. It's hard enough to write without having to do it curled up in a fetal position, tears in my eyes, sucking my thumb.

    But I'm offended by my country.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Outsourcing Political Violence: Trump and Daesh

    There are still three months to go and we've already gotten to the smirking-death-threats portion of our general election. I can't even say that I'm surprised Trump did it. I just never expected it so early, and I'm sickened by the thought of how much lower the man will sink by November 8. It will get even worse. I mean, of course it will. There's no doubt. But I'm not looking forward to it.

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Chasing the Weasel

    How many times will we play the same game? Here's how it goes:

    1. Donald Trump says something outrageous
    2. Outrage ensues
    3. Trump pretends to be misinterpreted.
    4. Pundits argue about whether Trump was misinterpreted

    ...and repeat.

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    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Donald Trump: The King Who Could Be President?

    French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist Jacques Lacan wrote that, “A madman isn't just a beggar who thinks he's a king - he's also a king who thinks he's a king.” His point being that anyone who has bought into our artificially created social structures enough to believe that their birth or social standing makes them a king is living the illusion the beggar is trying to create. We enter into the world blank canvases that society paints on.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Would You vote for Ted Cruz to Keep Sean Penn out of the White House?

    Slate has run with a thought experiment that serves as a kind of counter to calls by people like President Obama for Republicans to repudiate their own nominee, for the good of the country.  The idea here is that if populist Democrats had somehow handed the nomination to somebody like Sean Penn, people left of center would not take kindly to being told to vote for Ted Cruz in the name of apple pie and American values.

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    Ramona's picture

    Coming Soon: The Trump Show Finale

    "Donald Trump has asked why I did not speak at the Democratic convention. He said he would like to hear from me. Here is my answer to Donald Trump: Because without saying a thing, all the world, all America, felt my pain. I am a Gold Star mother. Whoever saw me felt me in their heart."

    Ghazala Khan, grieving mother of Army captain Humayun Kahn, killed in action in Iraq trying to save his soldiers and innocent civilians.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Watch Donald Crack

    I enjoyed that Democratic Convention a lot, and mostly for the right reasons. In fact, I'm still enjoying it, because I'm currently five time zones ahead of Philly time and so watch the major speeches the next day. [SPOILER ALERT: Don't tell me who they nominate in the finale!] The Democrats presented a positive vision about candidate, cause, and country: inspiring reminders about what they are about, what we are about, and what America is about. It's great, and also I'm walking around London with Stevie's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" stuck in my head. I am one happy Democrat.

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