October 25, 2016

A Furlong or Two From the Post

"Unlike the period from June 1 to today, we have no organized calendar of events for the next 14 days," Eisenberg said. "Rather, when the opportunity presents itself, we will have ad hoc fundraisers."

It is the the very essence of the proper highwayman, e.g., to engage in ad hoc fundraising whenever the opportunity presents itself, and likewise the core chore of the chancers and grifters improvising their way out of town as the situation warrants, as well.

October 23, 2016

The Odd Bit Of Politics

So often our opponents' policy proposals grow out of character flaws that lend themselves to succinct elucidation in public.

The Art Of The Email In The Age Of Mechanical Reproduction

Julian Assange has taken the unusual step of intervening in the US presidential election by releasing through his organization, Wikileaks, a trove of mind-numbingly boring political emails from the hacked files of John Podesta, currently chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential election campaign. Taken as a whole the emails prove conclusively that John Podesta is engaged in POLITICS!!!!! ON Hillary Clinton's!!! BEHALF!!!! A wet punk for what was presumably meant to be bombshell.

[The Roman Catholic Church, which, as an aside, looks down its nose at all Protestants, let alone evangelicals, probably split into progressive and reactionary wings around the first Lateran Council, so the fact that Podesta, a known liberal Catholic, took some swipes at the reactionary wing of his own faith in emails sent to a fellow Catholic is thin soup for scandal. p.r.]

Donald Trump boiled the matter down to "Hillary hates Catholics" somehow, a rudeness that presumably passes for wit among his ilk, in remarks at the Al (pretty famously Catholic) Smith Dinner this past week.

October 19, 2016

Election Update

Donald Trump's refusal tonight to say he will accept the results of the election is an invitation to civil war. And he has white men with guns.

October 10, 2016

This Week In Philandering

The recently disseminated copies of recorded remarks made by Donald Trump to Billy Bush back in 2005 have proved some kind of tipping point in this year's presidential election.

It has escaped no one's notice that following the revelation that he uses Tic Tacs to mitigate the imposition of his kisses on unsuspecting women, Donald Trump describes in this conversation the latitude granted to a star's behavior toward women. "You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything." Given those ground rules, pussy grabbing by a star is just not sexual assault. It just isn't. Not for a star. It's not clear that Trump admitted to the act or merely gestured toward the latitude of what you can get away with when you're a star, while strongly hinting at being one himself.

Speaking to Bush, he, Donald Trump, recently married to a then-pregnant wife, did admit to embarking on a predatory sexual adventure involving a married woman of their mutual acquaintance, which regrettably came to nothing in his account.

October 08, 2016

Mysteries of the Electorate Exposed

Caught in passing:
Throughout the campaign, white evangelicals have overwhelmingly supported Trump—often with higher majorities than Romney got from them.
This would be the traditional, unapologetic not-a-Mormon bonus given by white evangelicals to any candidate who isn't. Say what you will about Trump, he is obviously not a Mormon.

October 05, 2016

Giants 3, Mets 0

Wild Card Week has ended with a Giants victory over the New York Mets in the Wild Card Playoff Game, giving them the opportunity to advance to this year's five-game National League Division Series against the Chicago Cubs. The winner of that series will meet the winner of the Washington/Los Angeles Division Series in the seven-game National League Championship Series later this month.

Madison Bumgarner excelled against the Mets, excellence being standard for him in post season play, and Conor Gillaspie undoubtedly experienced the peak moment of his baseball career, a guy-out-of-nowhere at-bat that resulted in an utterly crushing ninth inning three-run homer in a victory ensured by Bumgarner's complete game shutout.

The bullpen cheered from a safe distance.

October 03, 2016

Nine Hundred Million In Fact And Fiction

Trump would point to a bum begging for handouts and quip: “That bum isn’t worth a dime, but at least he’s at zero. That puts him $900 million ahead of me.”

Fortune Magazine, quoting itself from an article on Trump published back in 1996

I'm guessing his 1995 tax returns were prepared in 1996, leaving the $900 million he quips about fresh in his mind.

October 02, 2016

The Sum of An Irregular Season

2010 92-70
2011 86-76
2012 94-68
2013 76-86
2014 88-74
2015 84-78
2016 87-75

For the San Francisco Giants, this year's regular season record is better than three recent Giants seasons and bested by three others. Those three better years resulted in World Series Championships. For now it remains to be seen if a Championship can be achieved by a team with fewer than 88 regular season wins. What seems to have been established by this year's lads is that a team that wins six more than half its games might just make the playoffs, where, as has been seen in even-numbered years so far, anything might happen.

The Game, Afoot

Now if Donald really has all those tax losses... the debt must be parked somewhere. There is a vehicle out there... effectively controlled by Donald Trump which owns over $900 million in debt and is not bothering to collect it [or write it off]. I do not have the time or energy to find that vehicle. But it is there.... There is a Pulitzer prize for whoever finds it...

Bradford deLong

October 01, 2016

The Playoffs Begin

An anonymous source sent the New York Times documents showing that Donald Trump reported a nearly $1 billion loss on his 1995 tax returns -- which could have helped him avoid paying any federal income taxes for 18 years, the paper reported on Saturday.


OK now. 95 and 18 carry the thirteen is 2013*: the earliest year he'd need to pay any tax on his first $50 million each year. The tax code patting him on the head for being such a titanically poor businessman, saying, here, you've destroyed a billion dollars in wealth, the next billion's on us, and hey, let's go and give you back the last three years worth of taxes you might have paid to get you back on your feet.

*But no, the count begins three years before the loss was incurred and lasts for 15 years after [this rule makes no sense to me but is attested by reputable sources]. So 2010 would be the earliest possible end of the freeloading.

All the Political Acumen Of The Guy At The End Of The Bar

“Yeah, I guess so. I wish the first time it was done correctly,” Trump responded. —Howard Stern Confirms Trump Said He Was For Iraq War In 2002

When Trump spoke those words, the hardline warhawk criticism of the first President Bush was, and had been for a decade, that he didn't "finish the job" in Iraq during Desert Storm. The warhawks went on about this endlessly. They've long comprised a considerable contingent of the two major American politicial parties, and make up a good portion of "independents" as well. They forever see a good excuse for war somewhere. Desert Storm, swift and decisive as it was, did not sate their wetted appetite for military conflict. They groused formally at the Project for a New American Century, where the blueprint for "finishing the job" was sketched out.

Trump's "I guess so," signals a wistful acquiescence to what, failing to be done before by the first Bush, must be corrected now by his son.

Ah, Sweet October

Saturday was Day 5 of NL Wild Card Week. The New York Mets won (87-74), securing home field in the win-or-go-home Wild Card playoff game scheduled for Wednesday. The St. Louis Cardinals (85-76) won as well, overcoming a three run deficit in the late innings. The San Francisco Giants (86-75) beat the best pitcher in baseball, Clayton Kershaw, behind rookie pitcher Ty Blach, who shut out Kershaw's Dodgers on three hits over eight innings. With one game left in the regular season, the Giants now have three shots at advancing to the Wild Card game: by winning tomorrow, by St. Louis losing tomorrow, or by beating St. Louis in a tie-breaker game on Monday.