Sunday Roast: With Friends Like These…

Obviously presidential candidates can’t appear on every TV show to defend their own idiotic comments, so they have surrogates to do that for them. International con-artist and flamboyant jack-o’-lantern Donald J. Trump (who also happens to be the GOP Presidential nominee) has several of these surrogates going around the various TV shows trying to explain what Trump really meant when he said some of the things he said, even when he denied saying them. And we know he said them because we saw video of him saying them. He would say them, the media would report that he said them, there would be proper outrage over the things he said (or supposedly said, or supposedly did), and the surrogates would be out in the next few days telling us the media has distorted the whole situation and it’s not what everybody says it is. I can only think of one time when they were actually right about that. The crying baby. The New York Daily News, Rolling Stone Magazine, The New York Times, Salon, Wired, Baltimore Sun, and even Fox News all reported that Trump had ordered a crying baby removed from one of his rallies. Trump and his spokesjacks (spokespeople for the jack-o’-lantern) said the media was distorting what actually happened and for once they were right. Trump did say all the words you heard in the quotes, but what most of the media didn’t point out was that the woman was already packing up and leaving when Trump insultingly told her “Actually I was only kidding, you can get the baby out of here.” That was just Trump being a dick. The mother herself, Devan Ebert, said through a Facebook post that she wasn’t kicked out of the rally at all, that she was leaving anyway so her baby wouldn’t disrupt the rally, and that she still supports Trump. Okay, so Trump was right about that one. But it was one of the only ones. Trump has said many, many other even more horrible things and when he has, his campaign sent people out to talk to the media. And considering the way they have chosen to defend him, maybe he should rethink using them in the future.

Former Reagan Administration official Jeffrey Lord is a perfect example of the kind of friend Trump doesn’t need if he really wants to win this election, and there’s ample reason to believe he doesn’t. (For example, he picked Jeffrey Lord to be one of his spokesjacks early on. Lord was on CNN recently after Trump claimed, multiple times, that President Obama “founded ISIS.” Trump tried to say later that he was just being sarcastic, “but not really.” It took retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling to straighten Lord out on the facts and history of ISIS. But if you think this was one of Trump’s harmless diversions from reality, think again. Hassan Nazrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, has been using Trump’s comments to say that “there are admissions by US officials that they created ISIS.” He doesn’t understand that Trump is not a “U.S. official” and never will be.

Katrina Campins is a successful real estate agent and a participant on Season 1 of The Apprentice. She was sent to CNN to debate Trump’s economic policies with that network’s own economics analyst, Ali Velshi. Suffice to say Trump needs to pick better economic spokesjacks. Campins was unable to come up with a premise that made any sense, which made Velshi’s head spin. Trump’s economic policy includes, as you might have guessed, more tax cuts, as if that’s going to solve anything. It won’t. Tax cuts do nothing but hurt poorer people and help rich people get even richer. Trickle Down Economics (Supply Side Economics) has been proven to be a disastrous way to govern.

BTW, all these stupid things that Trump has been saying are not his fault at all, according to Kimberly Guilfoyle. She says that they’re President Obama’s and Sec Hillary Clinton’s fault. “It’s like the most unholy partnership of all time between the Obama Administration, Hillary Clinton, constantly making comments trying to bait Trump into saying something that will sidetrack him.” Of course they are. These people need to get it through their clearly addled minds that Trump doesn’t need any baiting to say stupid things. “Proceed, Mr. Trump.”

Kellyanne Conway, not one to shy away from making a false equivalence, tried to counter Trump’s famous “Second Amendment” remarks with the attendance of a certain person at one of Clinton’s rallies.

Where would you feel more safe? Would you feel more safe in at a rally where the speaker who is running for president says you have a right to protect yourself under your Second Amendment constitutional rights? Or would you feel more safe at a rally where the man who perpetrated the worst mass murder since 9/11 in America’s history was standing right behind the candidate?

First of all, nobody but you can make you “feel safe.” It’s not the president’s job to do that, either. Because this is a free country and you are allowed to go where you want and do what you want as long as you don’t break any laws. But if you decide you do want to break some laws, like shooting people, you’ll probably be able to do it. Instead of a police state where people need the government’s permission to do things, we have a system of justice based on deterrence. It’s assumed you don’t want to go to jail, so the threat of losing your freedom is usually enough to keep 99% of people from breaking the law. But some people don’t care about that because they expect to die doing the crime they’re doing, and that’s how you get people like Omar Mateen shooting up the Pulse nightclub. Which brings me to the second point: “the man who perpetrated the worst mass murder since 9/11 in America’s history” is dead. He wasn’t sitting behind Clinton at that rally. It was his father, Seddique Mateen, and he has every legal reason to be there (despite what you’ll hear some RWers say.)

Even Dr. Ben Carson took time away from his busy schedule of public napping to defend Trump after the Republican nominee started disparaging the whole election process. Despite the fact that Democrats have won Pennsylvania the last few election cycles, and despite the fact that Clinton is leading Trump there by a significant margin, Trump told his audience that if he loses PA (and he will), it could only be because of cheating by the Democrats. These is a dangerous thing to say, and an especially irresponsible one because there’s no proof that the Democrats plan to cheat. There is, however, proof that the Republicans tried to cheat by passing their own version of a Voter ID bill (all of which are designed to prevent groups of likely Democratic voters from voting.) Carson started his rebuttal by referencing “voting irregularities” in the 2012 election in Philadelphia. The irregularities to which he refers are the fact that Romney got 0 votes in 59 voting districts in Philadelphia. To anyone who has paid attention to voting patterns in Philadelphia since the FDR administration, this came as no surprise, as Snopes points out. The districts are in areas with a heavy black population, and there are only about 300-500 people in each district. And while there are a handful of registered republicans in those districts according to voter registration records, attempts to locate them were mostly fruitless. Besides, the same thing happened to McCain in 2008 when he got 0 votes in 57 districts. Carson tried to justify Voter ID laws by claiming it’s the only way to prevent voter fraud. This is another favorite tactic of the right, to distort the meanings of words. They like to claim that every election irregularity is “voter fraud.” Voter fraud happens when someone tries to cast a vote posing as someone they aren’t, and it’s not in the least bit a serious problem no matter how many times the right says it is. So the Voter ID laws they like to pass, which by design disproportionately harm black people, college students from another state, and senior citizens, are passed to fix a problem that simply does not exist. Out of a billion votes cast, do you know how many cases of in-person voter fraud there have been? Thirty-one. That is hardly justification to make people travel many miles to get a specific form of ID just to cast a vote, when they had no problem voting before. Many times these laws don’t allow for college IDs to be used (even though they have pictures on them and can be used for every other state requirement of identification), but do allow for hunting licenses to be used (which often DON’T have a photo of the person on them, and are more likely to be obtained by conservatives rather than liberals. I base that on the fact that liberals tend to be more sympathetic to animals than conservatives, who aren’t sympathetic to anyone but conservatives.) But in the end, Carson wouldn’t come out and say that Trump was right, which means he wasn’t helping Trump, either.

Which brings us to perhaps the worst spokesjack a candidate could have, Katrina Pierson. In case you don’t recognize her by name, she’s the one who likes to show up on TV wearing a necklace made of bullets. Pierson was among those trying to defend Trump’s remarks about Obama being the founder of ISIS. When asked if Trump was being sarcastic, she tried to answer, “Yes and no.” She then tried to say that while it was true that Obama “didn’t fill out the paperwork to create ISIS” (note to readers, neither did ISIS because there is no form you fill out to create an organization of assholes hell-bent on murder), that he and Clinton did create the policies that led to the formation of ISIS (which is also not true as that would have been the Bush Administration’s policies; their policies led to the creation of al Qaeda in Iraq, which was the precursor of ISIL, also known as ISIS in some areas.) On another CNN program Pierson tried to re-write history by saying, “Remember, we weren’t even in Afghanistan by this time. Barack Obama went into Afghanistan, creating another problem.” Does it even need to be pointed out that Bush took us into Afghanistan before he illegally took us into Iraq? In addition to wanting to know how someone like this could possibly be helpful to Trump, I would also like to know why CNN keep having her on at all? Virtually nothing she says can be connected to Reality in any way.

Finally, lest you think I’m just picking and choosing a few incidents going all the way back to a year ago when Trump famously launched his campaign by saying Mexico was sending us rapists, I’m not. All of these stories are from within just the past few days. Trump used to brag that he only hired the best people to work for him. Either he hasn’t actually met them, or he was just lying again.

This is our daily open thread. Eat up.

41 thoughts on “Sunday Roast: With Friends Like These…

  1. How did I miss this ‘detail’?

    FBI: No evidence Clinton’s email was hacked by foreign powers, but it could have been (July 5)

    The FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server found no evidence that her communications were hacked while she was secretary of state, but it made clear that “hostile actors” here and abroad could have done so.

    Clinton “used her personal email extensively while outside of the United States,” FBI Director James B. Comey said, including “in the territory of sophisticated adversaries.”

    It was “possible” that they accessed her account, he said. But “given the nature of the system and the actors potentially involved, we assess we would be unlikely to see such direct evidence.”

    I was watching Charlie Rose this morning, and David Sanger stated this simple fact in a report. Out of all the coverage of the FBI report, I never heard this stated so simply that I got it in my head. ‘No evidence’ is just that. It doesn’t matter what else is true. We know government computers have been hacked. We know DNC and RNC computers have been hacked. But we don’t know the Clinton server was hacked? This just shows you how hard it is to get the real story from corporate media.

  2. One more gaffe by Pierson, and perhaps her worst, was her claim that Obama/Clinton rules of engagement likely led to the death of Capt. Humayun Khan, which happened in 2004.

    • Oh, yeah. When I was looking for examples of bad spokesfolks, I was looking only at articles from the past few days. We could back several more weeks and months and find a lot more, especially from her, the one Larry Wilmore calls a “spokesgoblin.”

      • Today’s Reliable Sources on CNN had Senior Communications Adviser Jason Miller, from the Trump Campaign. Brian Stelter maybe oversold the impartiality of the media, in defending against Miller’s assertions that Trump gets all the negative press. Might be a good source for a follow-up on today’s post but Miller isn’t as looney as most of them. He’s still got a tough job selling Trump on a good day.

  3. What kind of ‘favors’ could foreign ‘donors’ to the Clinton Foundation expect from Hillary Clinton as SoS? Other than supporting arms sales, which the US MIC always approves of and lobbys for, I can’t find any way she could facilitate any other kind of favor without clearance from the White House in the first place.

  4. On FNS, Claire McCaskill did a nice job of tying Assad policies in Syria as being the reason for the rise of ISIL there, and Putin being a supporter of both Assad and Trump, that they were more likely responsible for the creation of the problems there.

  5. I still don’t like Windows 10, although I am discovering more workarounds, they are still annoying compared to the ease of Seven.

    • With Windows 10 and Google’s Chrome browser animated gifs like the popping bubble above don’t work. I need to use the Edge browser to view animated gifs and to make the orange notification in the upper right corner on this page go away.

      • I found out what made my notifications go back to working when I got this Lenovo. I changed my privacy to block third party cookies in options, and the notifications stopped working. Changed it back, and it worked again. With the old Gateway, I had the third party cookies blocked and the notifications originally worked, then WP did something, and they stopped, so I didn’t know what to change.
        Having third party cookies blocked made chatango chat rooms fail to display in Chrome, but they worked in IE on the old Gateway, so I never found that out. I used to have to unblock the third party cookies to use the Facebook commenting system at Think Progress too.

    • We have Windows 8. I tried to download 10, but I think it requires a touch screen to work, and we don’t have those. Which is just as well because whenever they upgrade Windows, they change EVERYTHING and I have to relearn how to do the simplest things.

      • This Lenovo came with 10, and it doesn’t have touchscreen.

        I’m still the most irritated that Alt-E-V won’t move a file. Several other hotkey combos cause it to wig out like opening a window in Edge, even if I’m in explorer.

  6. On Reliable Sources, John Huey, former Editor in Chief at Time, gave a classic definition of a demagogue, tying it to Trump on each facet.

    • Her audio difficulty was her lips were moving and her voice was being heard.

      Miller is the guy I mentioned above.

  7. And now for something completely different. An avant-garde collaboration between Les Claypool and Sean Lennon. It’s uncanny how much Sean sounds like his dad.

  8. The Hezbolla guy got it wrong
    “there are admissions by US officials that they created ISIS.”
    should have been “there are admissions by US offal that they created ISIS.”

    • Using that “logic,” it’s not freedom of speech when Donald Dumpster can say whatever he wants, even if it’s completely false.

      Yeah, have a seat, Dump.

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