SEPTEMBER 2016

9.30 Governor Cuomo: “The central plank of my administration has always been about public integrity and zero tolerance for any waste, fraud or abuse. If anything, I hold a friend to a higher standard,” he said in Buffalo on Friday. “It’s the first time since we lost my father that I didn’t miss him being here yesterday, because it would’ve broken his heart.”
9.29 Chris Cilizza in the Washington Post: “Donald Trump is one of two people who will be president next JanuaryMonday night was, inarguably, the most important day of the general election campaign to date. Every person in politics — and not — had circled the first debate as a major moment in the campaign, Trump’s best chance to fight back against the narrative that he lacks the policy chops and the temperament to be president of the United States. The audience for the debate was expected to be somewhere between 80 and 100 million, the largest for a political event ever. All of these things pointed to the absolute necessity for Trump to perform well. And, what happened? His debate prep team couldn’t get him to pay attention. That is, literally, stunning. Put yourself in a comparable situation. You are applying for a job you really want. Your interview is in five days. You hire an interview coach to help you do well. Then you just can’t bring yourself to pay attention to the advice he or she gives you. It’s hard to imagine that happening, right? After all, it’s your dream job. You’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a long time. You know it won’t likely come around again. With all that in the balance, you would be far more likely to overprepare than underprepare, right? Can you imagine simply not being able to bring yourself to pay attention with the most important day of your professional life on the horizon?’’
9.29 Clinton brought up Alicia Machado. Machado alleges that Trump called her names such as “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping” when she gained weight after winning the Miss Universe crown in 1996. Trump could have brushed off the question and moved on the next morning, but instead he engaged. “She was the worst we ever had. The worst. The absolute worst. She was impossible,” Trump said of Machado on Fox. “She was the winner, and she gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem. We had a real problem.”
9.29 President Obama‘s statement was poetic: “Shimon Peres was the essence of Israel itself—the courage of Israel’s fight for independence, the optimism he shared with his wife Sonya as they helped make the desert bloom, and the perseverance that led him to serve his nation in virtually every position in government across the entire life of the State of Israel. No one did more over so many years as Shimon Peres to build the alliance between our two countries—an unbreakable alliance that today is closer and stronger than it has ever been.”
9.29 Alyssa Rosenberg in The Washington Post: “During the debate, pollster Frank Luntz shared a text that he said he’d received from a Republican member of Congress saying Clinton “just comes across as my [b—–] wife/mother.” Totally aside from the fact that defining Clinton’s collected, occasionally funny, performance in a debate where she was constantly interrupted and lied about as shrill or unpleasant suggests that there is literally nothing a woman can do that won’t cause some moron offense, this is an astonishingly nasty thing to say about one’s own spouse or mother.”
9.29 Mark Cuban: “You have to realize that this is a country that’s been great to us and you can’t just take, take, take, take, take, take take.”
9.28 Sen. John Warner, endorsing Hillary Clinton: ““We have today the strongest military in the world. No one can compare to us. … It is not in shambles. … No one should have the audacity to stand up and degrade the Purple Heart, degrade military families or talk about the military being in a state of disaster.”
9.28 Michelle Obama at LaSalle University: “There is no “perfect candidate. When I hear folks say they don’t feel inspired, I have to disagree. Either Hillary Clinton or her opponent will be elected president this year. And if you vote for someone other than Hillary or if you don’t vote at all, you are helping to elect Hillary’s opponent.”
9.28 Gary “Aleppo’’ Johnson, with his running mate Bill Weld, being interviewed by Chris Matthews:
Matthews: Who’s your favorite foreign leader?
Johnson: Who’s my favorite?”
Matthews: Anywhere in the continents. Any country. Name one foreign leader that you look up to.
Weld: I’m with Shimon Peres.
Matthews: I’m talking about living, okay? You gotta do this. Any continent. Canada, Mexico?
Johnson: I guess I’m having an Aleppo moment.
Matthews: In the whole world! Anybody in the world.
Johnson: I know, I know.
Matthews: Pick any leader.
Johnson: The former president of Mexico.
Matthews: Which one?
Johnson: I’m having a brain freeze.
Weld: Fox? Zedillo? Calderon?
Johnson: Fox! He was terrific.
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9.28 Mark Teixeira has hit 409 home runs in his career and if he doesn’t hit another over the next four games — the last he will ever play in the big leagues — he says that’s fine with him. After all, he said, No. 409 will be hard to beat.Teixeira hit his first-ever regular season walk-off home run Wednesday night, a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Boston Red Sox 5-3 and keep the Yankees faint playoff hopes alive, a shot deep into the night that cleared the right-center wall at Yankee Stadium helping New York erase a 3-0 deficit heading into the final frame against one of baseball’s best closers, Craig Kimbrel. “That was fun, that’s as good as it gets right there,” said Teixeira. “I guess if you hit one to win the World Series it might be just as much fun, but for the kind of season we’ve had, we’ve been fighting all year
9.28 Justin Barasky, a spokesman for Priorities U.S.A.: “While a majority of our efforts will continue highlighting how divisive and dangerous Donald Trump is, the fact that he didn’t pay any money in federal income taxes is an important issue that could break through among all the other noise about him. Voters don’t like when you cheat on your taxes, and they certainly don’t like when you brag about how smart you are after admitting you did it.”
9.27 The Yankees’ sensational rookie Gary Sanchez hits his 20th home run.
9.27 Ross Douthat in the Times: “Donald Trump won the first 25 minutes of the first presidential debate. He was too bullying and shout-y, too prone to interrupt, but he seized on an issue, trade, where Hillary Clinton was awkward and defensive, and he hammered away at his strongest campaign theme: linking his opponent to every establishment failure and disappointment, and trying to make her experience a liability rather than a strength. In response, Clinton stumbled through a series of politician’s tics — trying out a canned phrase (“trumped-up trickle-down”), urging people to go to her website and read her campaign book, reaching for the wonders of solar panels when the discussion turned to jobs, and urging the fact-checkers to get to work on her opponent rather than filleting him herself. He seemed passionate; she seemed stilted. His message seemed clear (if, yes, demagogic); hers seemed like a career politician’s bob and weave. But then the rest of the debate happened, and Trump simply couldn’t keep it up. As one might have surmised from watching how he handled tough questioning in the primary debates, he lacked the … well, stamina to talk about policy in the sustained way required of a one-on-one presidential tilt. So he ended up serving up word salad more and more as the debate wore on, until Clinton’s stiltedness sounded like eloquence by contrast.”
9.27 Thomas B. Edsall in the Times: “Trump was erratic, inconsistent and incoherent. He did not make a memorable case on any issue except perhaps his call for law and order. His justification for refusing to release his taxes, his claim that “my strongest asset by far is my temperament,” his defense of his bankruptcies, his use of debt and his failure to pay creditors, his support for reducing taxes on the wealthy, and his failure to document such broad claims as “we have the greatest mess you have even seen” all rang weak.
This same pattern became obvious as Trump tried to claim he actually did Obama a favor by pushing for the release of his birth certificate and failed to explain why he continued to make birther claims for years afterward.
9.27 Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol: “I’m not positive Hillary actually won the debate. But I’m sure Trump lost it. He choked.”
9.27 GOP lobbyist Ed Rogers: “Even if you are a Trump supporter, you have to think that he left a lot on the table. He didn’t see the openings and he didn’t swing at the softballs that came his way. He never used the word ‘change,’ he didn’t bore in on Hillary’s email scandal and he never got around to the Clinton Foundation and Hillary’s suspect integrity. Trump was inarticulate and rarely hit the bull’s eye.”
9.27 John Podhoretz in the Post: “He was exciting but embarrassingly undisciplined. He began with his strongest argument — that the political class represented by her has failed us and it’s time to look to a successful dealmaker for leadership — and kept to it pretty well for the first 20 minutes. Then due to the vanity and laziness that led him to think he could wing the most important 95 minutes of his life, he lost the thread of his argument, he lost control of his temper and he lost the perspective necessary to correct these mistakes as he went. By the end … Trump was reduced to a sputtering mess blathering about Rosie O’Donnell and about how he hasn’t yet said the mean things about Hillary that he is thinking.”
9.27 David French in National Review: “After the first 20 minutes, it may have been the most lopsided debate I’ve ever seen — and not because Clinton was particularly effective. But you don’t need to be good when your opponent is bad. Why didn’t he have a better answer ready for the birther nonsense? Has he still not done any homework on foreign policy? I felt like I was watching the political Titanic hit the iceberg, back up, and hit it again. Just for fun.”
9.27 EJ Dionee Jr in the Washington Post: “The surprise of the debate was that Clinton put before them a new Trump to dislike. Trump has campaigned as a populist paladin of the working class. But the Trump that Clinton described was a plutocrat who walked away from debts and obligations to his own employees. She pushed the debate into an extended discussion of how Trump had become wealthy and turned what he sees as one of his central assets, his business acumen, into what could become a big liability as the campaign goes forward.”
9.26 Hillary Clinton: “As soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a cease fire, a release of dissidents, an opening of new opportunities in nations around the world, or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina.”
fox-news-edward-sorel-nov-2016-a9.23 Vanity Fair: “What [Gretchen] Carlson was alleging—outlined in great detail—was much worse. In one meeting in September 2015, when she complained about the discriminatory treatment she said she had suffered, Ailes said to her, according to her suit, “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better.”
9.25 24 year old Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins dies in a boating accident
9.25 Arnold Palmer dies at 87
9.23 David Brooks in the New York Times: “Clintonworld is a semi-closed system that operates according to its own calendar. Donald Trump is egregious, but at least he’s living in the 21st century, as was Bernie Sanders. Clintonworld operates according to its own time-space continuum that is slightly akilter from our own. In the 21st century, politics operates around a different axis. It’s not left/right, big government/small government. It’s openness and dynamism versus closedness and security. It’s between those who see opportunity and excitement in the emerging globalized, multiethnic meritocracy against those who see their lives and communities threatened by it. In the 21st century, the parties are amassing different coalitions. People are dividing along human capital lines, with the college educated flocking to the Democrats and the non-college educated whites flocking to the G.O.P. Democrats do great in America’s 100 most crowded counties, but they struggle in the 3,000 less crowded ones. Clintonworld is a decades-old interlocking network of donors and friends that hasn’t quite caught up to these fundamental shifts. That’s because Clintonworld, in the Hillary iteration, is often defensive, distrusting and oriented around avoiding errors. In each of her national campaigns, Clinton has run against in-touch-with-the-times men who were more charismatic and generated more passion than she did. She’s always been the duller, unfashionable foil. Her donor base and fund-raising style is out of another era. Obama and Sanders tapped into the energized populist base, but Clinton has Barbra Streisand, Cher and a cast of Wall Street plutocrats. Her campaign proposals sidestep the cutting issues that have driven Trump, Sanders, Brexit and the other key movements of modern politics. Her ideas for reducing poverty are fine, but they are circa Ed Muskie: more public works jobs, housing tax credits, more money for Head Start. Her out-of-time style costs her big with millennials. If she loses this election it will be because younger voters just don’t relate to her and flock to Gary Johnson instead. It also leads to a weird imbalance in the national debate. We have an emerging global system, with relatively open trade, immigration, multilateral institutions and ethnic diversity. The critics of that system are screaming at full roar. The champions of that system — and Hillary Clinton is naturally one — are off in another world. There is a strong case to be made for an open world order, and a huge majority coalition to be built in support of it. But she is disengaged.’’
9.23 When it comes to foreplay and vaginal sex a woman takes between 10 and 20 minutes to climax while a man takes 7-14 minutes and typically ejaculates two to three minutes after entering the vagina.
9.23 Jessica Bennett in The Times: Mrs. Clinton has lots of experience in speaking in crowds of men, but for the rest of us, it can be tricky: Women are less likely to speak up, and less likely to be heard, in groups that are mostly men — which is why gender equality in places where people are required to speak is so important. That might explain why even the women of the Obama White House have employed a method they call “amplification”: making sure at meetings that other women are present, then repeating one another’s ideas — with credit to the author. With this method, not only are they less likely to be interrupted, they’re also less likely to have their ideas stolen; in mixed settings, research has shown, women are less likely to have their own ideas attributed to them — in many cases because male credit is simply inferred.”
9.23 Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post: “If you are a black man in America, exercising your constitutional right to keep and bear arms can be fatal. You might think the National Rifle Association and its amen chorus would be outraged, but apparently they believe Second Amendment rights are for whites only.’’
9.23 Profesor Allan Lichtman: “We’ve never before seen a candidate who’s spent his life enriching himself at the expense of others. He’s the first candidate in our history to be a serial fabricator, making up things as he goes along. Even when he tells the truth, such as, “Barack Obama really was born in the U.S.,” he adds two lines, that Hillary Clinton started the birther movement, and that he finished it, even though when Barack Obama put out his birth certificate, he didn’t believe it. We’ve never had a candidate before who not just once, but twice in a thinly disguised way, has incited violence against an opponent. We’ve never had a candidate before who’s invited a hostile foreign power to meddle in American elections. We’ve never had a candidate before who’s threatened to start a war by blowing ships out of the water in the Persian Gulf if they come too close to us. We’ve never had a candidate before who has embraced as a role model a murderous, hostile foreign dictator. Given all of these exceptions that Donald Trump represents, he may well shatter patterns of history that have held for more than 150 years, lose this election even if the historical circumstances favor it.’’
9.22 G: “I was sick to my stomach all night.’’
9.22 North Carolina congressman Robert Pittenger: “The grievance in their mind is the animus, the anger. They hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not. I mean, yes, it is a welfare state. We have spent trillions of dollars on welfare—we have put people in bondage, so that they can’t be all that they are capable of being. You know America is a country of freedom and liberty. It didn’t become that way because of a great government who provided everything for everyone.”
9.22 Nicholas Kristoff in the Times: “Evidence suggests that we are at an inflection point for the ages. The number of people living in extreme poverty ($1.90 per person per day) has tumbled by half in two decades, and the number of small children dying has dropped by a similar proportion — that’s six million lives a year saved by vaccines, breast-feeding promotion, pneumonia medicine and diarrhea treatments! Historians may conclude that the most important thing going on in the world in the early 21st century was a stunning decline in human suffering.
■ As recently as 1981, 44 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty, according to the World Bank. Now the share is believed to be less than 10 percent and falling. “This is the best story in the world today,” says Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank.
■ For the entire history of the human species until the 1960s, a majority of adults were illiterate. Now 85 percent of adults worldwide are literate and the share is rising.
■ Although inequality has risen in America, the global trend is more encouraging: Internationally, inequality is on the decline because of gains by the poor in places like China and India.
The U.N. aims to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030, and experts believe it is possible to get quite close. Yet the public thinks the opposite, that poverty is getting worse. A poll to be released Thursday by Motivaction, a Dutch firm, finds that only 1 percent of Americans surveyed realized that global extreme poverty had fallen by half over 20 years.
9.22 Daniel Drezner in The Washington Post: the very tightening of the race prevents Trump from winning. There is a bevy of voters who are not jazzed by Clinton but are petrified by a Trump presidency. Once polls start to show that it’s close, they will decide to vote for Clinton or say so in a poll. When the lead expands, they get more complacent and disaffected by Clinton’s flaws. Given the good recent economic news, and the failure of terrorism threats to benefit Trump, my baseline of the 2016 election is that any tightening of the race creates endogenous effects that prevent Trump from taking the lead.
9.21Never seen otherwise-smart people in so much denial about something as they are about Trump’s chances. Same mistake as primaries— Nate Silver
9.21 Thomas Friedman in the Times: how exactly is Trump going to enlist Arab Gulf nations against ISIS or to counterbalance Iran, having stated that their Muslim citizens should be banned from entering the U.S.? Who will want to work with him? Trump is constantly saying extreme things and then taking them back or claiming to be misunderstood. Consider the havoc that will wreak with our diplomacy. That’s why the cynical Putin admires Trump. Trump, narcissist that he is, thinks it’s because Putin really admires his leadership qualities. No, Donald. It’s because Putin knows a mess-maker when he sees one, and the thought of America being led by a man who would be wildly unpopular simultaneously in Europe, Beijing, Mexico, South America and the Muslim world is for Putin a dream come true. The old K.G.B. could never make that happen.
9.20 “Have you returned one nickel of the money that you earned while this scandal was going on? Have you fired any senior management, the people who actually oversaw this fraud?” Senator Warren asked.
“No,” [Wells Fargo CEO John] Stumpf said.
“Evidently your definition of accountable is to push the blame to your low-level employees who don’t have the money for a fancy PR firm to defend themselves,” Warren said. “It is gutless leadership. You should resign; you should give back the money.”
9.20 Donald Trump: “”We’re going to rebuild our inner cities because our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before. Ever. Ever. Ever. You take a look at the inner cities, you get no education, you get no jobs, you get shot walking down the street. They’re worse — I mean, honestly, places like Afghanistan are safer than some of our inner cities. And I think it’s resonating.”
9.20 Angelina Jolie sues Brad Pitt for divorce. His purported affair with Marian Cotillard has been cited as the proximate cause
9.19 Donald Trump: “She goes around with armed bodyguards like you have never seen before. I think that her bodyguards should drop all weapons. They should disarm. Right? Right? I think they should disarm immediately. What do you think? Yes? Yes. Yeah. Take their guns away. She doesn’t want guns. … Let’s see what happens to her. Take their guns away, okay? It would be very dangerous.
9.19 Governor Cuomo: “This is one of the nightmare scenarios. We really were very lucky that there were no fatalities.”
9.19 Authorities said they apprehended Ahmad Khan Rahami, the 28-year-old wanted in connection with weekend bombings in Manhattan and Seaside Park, N.J., after a shootout Monday with police officers.9.19 Colbert concluded: “You don’t get to flog this issue for five years and then act like you’re correcting everybody else. We’re not crazy. We were there. We all saw you do it. Even the people who support you saw you do it. It’s why they support you.”
9.18 Donavan in Peekskill.
9.18 Giants beat Saints.
9.18 Jimmy Kimmel at the Emmys: “If it weren’t for television, would Donald Trump be running for president? No, He would be at home right now quietly rubbing up against his wife, Malaria, while she pretends to be asleep.” Kimmel then wondered aloud about who exactly should be blamed for the Trump phenomenon. In fact, Kimmel said, that person was sitting in the audience. “That’s right. That guy. Mark Burnett, the man who brought us ‘Celebrity Apprentice,'” Kimmel said. “Thanks to Mark Burnett, we don’t have to watch reality shows anymore, because we’re living in one. Thank-you, Mark.”
9.17 Just read a quote from Witold Waszczykowski, Foreign Minister of the Polish Government, spoken last January in an interview with a German newspaper: “The previous government implemented a left-wing concept, as if the world had to move using a Marxist model in only one direction: towards a mixture of cultures and races, a world of cyclists and vegetarians, who only use renewable energy sources and combat all forms of religion. This has nothing in common with traditional Polish values. This is against what most Poles have at heart: tradition, historical consciousness, love of the country, faith in God and a normal family life run by a man and a woman.”
9/17 A bomb explodes in a dumpster in Chelsea
9.16 Cigars on the roof with Tom, Max and G.
9.16 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Friday acknowledged for the first time that President Obama was born in the United States, ending his long history of stoking unfounded doubts about the nation’s first African-American president but also seeking to falsely blame Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for starting the rumors.
9.15 Peter Beinart in The Atlantic: “`The Americans who dislike her most are those who most fear emasculation. According to the Public Religion Research Institute, Americans who “completely agree” that society is becoming “too soft and feminine” were more than four times as likely to have a “very unfavorable” view of Clinton as those who “completely disagree.” And the presidential-primary candidate whose supporters were most likely to believe that America is becoming feminized—more likely by double digits than supporters of Ted Cruz—was Donald Trump. The gender backlash against Clinton’s candidacy may not defeat her. But neither is it likely to subside if she wins. Jennifer Lawless, the director of the Women & Politics Institute at American University, suggested to me that Clinton has generally grown more popular when she stops seeking an office and begins occupying it. This accords with the research showing public hostility toward overt displays of female ambition. On the other hand, the pollster Anna Greenberg notes that Clinton has generally been most popular when conforming to traditional gender roles (working on women’s issues as first lady, sticking by her husband during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, loyally serving Barack Obama as secretary of state) and least popular when violating them (heading the health-care task force, serving in the Senate, running for president). Being the first female president, needless to say, violates traditional gender roles.
9.15 The Atlantic: the AFL-CIO’s calculations grossly understate just how much money executives make. While the AFL-CIO’s calculations are for CEOs at S&P 500 companies, our analysis of data for the 500 highest-paid senior executives (not all of whom are CEOs) from the ExecuComp database, which is maintained by Standard & Poor’s, suggests that the Executive Paywatch ratios are far too low. Data on these executives’ actual take-home pay, which is published, as required by law, in companies’ annual filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), show that in 2014, senior executives made 949 times as much money as the average worker, far higher than the AFL-CIO’s ratio of 373:1.
9.15 “Right now, 92 million Americans are on the sideline outside of the workforce, and they’re not a part of our economy. It’s a silent nation of jobless Americans.”
Donald Trump, speech to the Economic Club of New York, Sept. 15, 2016. Trump is grabbing onto a GOP talking point that first emerged in 2014 when the official unemployment rate starting falling below 7 percent. (It is now 4.9 percent.) Republicans started citing a decline in the labor participation rate, which has occurred largely because the baby boom generation has begun to retire. But here, Trump expresses the rate as a raw number (“92 million Americans”) and then amps up the rhetoric by referring to a “nation of jobless Americans.” But this is rhetorical poppycock, as we will demonstrate. The Facts: Trump is actually using an out-of-date figure. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, relying on a monthly survey known as the Current Population Survey (CPS), shows that, as of August 2016, 94.4 million Americans 16 years and older were “not in labor force.” How is this number developed? Well, there is a civilian noninstitutional population of 253.9 million people, and 159.5 million are in the labor force. The difference yields the 94.4 million figure. But the unemployment rate is only 4.9 percent because just 7.8 million people actively are looking for a job and cannot find one.
9.14 Kurt Eichenwald in Newsweek: “A close examination by Newsweek of the Trump Organization, including confidential interviews with business executives and some of its international partners, reveals an enterprise with deep ties to global financiers, foreign politicians and even criminals, although there is no evidence the Trump Organization has engaged in any illegal activities. It also reveals a web of contractual entanglements that could not be just canceled. If Trump moves into the White House and his family continues to receive any benefit from the company, during or even after his presidency, almost every foreign policy decision he makes will raise serious conflicts of interest and ethical quagmires.
9.14 Donald Trump Jr: “The media has been her number-one surrogate in this,” Trump said in a Wednesday interview with a Philadelphia radio station, referring to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. “Without the media, this wouldn’t even be a contest. But the media has built her up. They’ve let her slide on every indiscrepancy [sic], on every lie, on every DNC game trying to get Bernie Sanders out of this thing.” Then he added: “If Republicans were doing that, they’d be warming up the gas chamber right now.”
9.13 The libertarian (and Koch brothers-backed) think tank Cato Institute published a report last week assessingthe risk posed by refugees. That report stated that, each year, the risk to an American of being killed by a refugee in a terror attack is 1 in 3.64 billion, as Huffington Post’s Elise Foley noted on Twitter. From the report: From 1975 through 2015, the annual chance that an American would be murdered in a terrorist attack carried out by a foreign-born terrorist was 1 in 3,609,709. Foreigners on the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) killed zero Americans in terrorist attacks, whereas those on other tourist visas killed 1 in 3.9 million a year. The chance that an American would be killed in a terrorist attack committed by a refugee was 1 in 3.64 billion a year. In other words, for every 10.92 billion years that Americans live — one Skittle, if you will — refugees will kill an American in a terror attack in three.

9.17 She goes around with armed bodyguards like you have never seen before. I think that her bodyguards should drop all weapons. They should disarm. Right? Right? I think they should disarm immediately. What do you think? Yes? Yes. Yeah. Take their guns away. She doesn’t want guns. … Let’s see what happens to her. Take their guns away, okay? It would be very dangerous.

THE HURDY GURDY MAN

img_2184On Sunday I saw Donovan at the Paramount Theater in Peekskill. Or, if I was nasty, I’d say I saw a 70 year old Donovan impersonator. The veteran trouper did his best to put on a good show, singing all of his sweet, romantic songs, as well as his outstanding and outstandingly odd compositions, like “Mellow Yellow.” It was a low energy show, and the high end of the man’s voice is unreliable. But he told good stories. All in all, it made me want to keep his Greatest Hits album in heavy rotation.

SEPTEMBER 2016

9.13 Household incomes rose strongly in 2015, breaking a yearslong pattern of income stagnation. The median household’s income in 2015 was $56,500, an increase of 5.2 percent over the previous year, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday. . . .The median household income is still 1.6 percent lower than in 2007, before the recession. It also remains 2.4 percent lower than the all-time peak reached during the economic boom of the late 1990s.’’
9.13 Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles: “Baseball is a white man’s sport.’’
9.12 Roger Cohen remembering 9/11 in the Times: “I emerged late that evening onto Times Square. There was nobody. Not a soul. I started to walk beneath the neon signs. “Put one foot in front of the other,” says Quinn. Turn off your TV. Power down your phone, say hi to your neighbor, and introduce yourself to a stranger. Connect. Be the unity you seek. The fires burned for weeks. The acrid sweet smell below Houston Street persisted. Papers from the towers fluttered across the East River toward Brooklyn. I picked one up and found on it — or did I imagine them? — these lines from Samuel Beckett: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
9.12 New York Post: “A sharpshooter killed a top ISIS executioner and three other jihadists with a single bullet from nearly a mile away — just seconds before the fiend was set to burn 12 hostages alive with a flamethrower, according to a new report. The British Special Air Service marksman turned one of the most hated terrorists in Syria into a fireball by using a Barett .50-caliber rifle to strike a fuel tank affixed to the jihadi’s back.’’
9.12 John W. Hinckley Jr.is released from custody
9.12 Tim Gunn in The Washington Post: “I love the American fashion industry, but it has a lot of problems, and one of them is the baffling way it has turned its back on plus-size women. It’s a puzzling conundrum. The average American woman now wears between a size 16 and a size 18, according to new research from Washington State University. There are 100 million plus-size women in America, and, for the past three years, they have increased their spending on clothes faster than their straight-size counterparts. There is money to be made here ($20.4 billion, up 17 percent from 2013). But many designers — dripping with disdain, lacking imagination or simply too cowardly to take a risk — still refuse to make clothes for them.’’
9.11 Shannon Sharpe on Fox Sports: ““I see a [black] guy selling CDs, and he’s killed. I see a [black] guy selling loosie cigarettes, and he’s killed. You see, that’s what gets us up in arms. Because you say noncompliance is a death sentence. If a man is gnawing a man’s face after he’s killed two people? We see what happened in Colorado: the [white] guy killed 12, and they take him alive. We see what happened in Charleston: nine parishioners, and not only do they take [the white guy] alive, they take him to Burger King because he’s hungry. . . .We have to acknowledge that this exists. Stop sweeping [racism] under the rug. . . . But don’t tell me [racism] is a figment of my imagination. And when we grieve, don’t tell us what to grieve for, and don’t tell us how long we should grieve. They don’t tell Jewish people that they should get over the Holocaust. Because this is what will happen: The peaceful protesters will try a peaceful route, like Colin Kaepernick sitting down or taking a knee. And then, when you won’t listen, we’ll make you hear us. You’ll have a Ferguson. You’ll have a Baltimore. Or, you’ll have a Watts in the ’60s. You don’t want that.”
9.11 Sully. Pretty good
9.11 Giants top Cowboys, 20-19. Good start.
img_21519.9 Midnight Ramble. Electrifying.
9.9 Molly Ball in The Atlantic: “In a recently published book about political consulting called Building a Business of Politics, Adam Sheingate, a political scientist at Johns Hopkins University, argues that the consulting industry has ballooned not because its services are particularly effective, but because all the money in politics—which has skyrocketed in the past decade due to campaign-finance deregulation—has to go somewhere. After studying the industry, Sheingate concluded that its practitioners were ardent partisans who wanted to win—but that their motivation was first and foremost financial. “The consultant is selling something to the candidate,” Sheingate told me. “The confidence game is that the candidate is always a little afraid. They’re always a little scared they can lose, and that’s what the consultant exploits.” In the words of a consultant Sheingate quotes in his book: There’s “nothing better than a scared, rich candidate.”
9.9 Hillary Clinton: “ We are living in a volatile political environment. You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people — now 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric. Now, some of those folks — they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America. But the other basket . . . are people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they’re just desperate for change. It doesn’t really even matter where it comes from. They don’t buy everything he says, but he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different. They won’t wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroin, feel like they’re in a dead-end. Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.”
9.8 For years, Wells Fargo employees secretly issued credit cards without a customer’s consent. They created fake email accounts to sign up customers for online banking services. They set up sham accounts that customers learned about only after they started accumulating fees.
On Thursday, these illegal banking practices cost Wells Fargo $185 million in fines, including a $100 million penalty from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the largest such penalty the agency has issued. Federal banking regulators said the practices, which date back to 2011, reflected serious flaws in the internal culture and oversight at Wells Fargo, one of the nation’s largest banks. The bank has fired at least 5,300 employees who were involved. In all, Wells Fargo employees opened roughly 1.5 million bank accounts and applied for 565,000 credit cards that may not have been authorized by customers, the regulators said in a news conference. The bank has 40
9.8 Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on President Obama: “Who does he think he is? I am no American puppet. I am the president of a sovereign country and I am not answerable to anyone except the Filipino people. Son of a whore, I will swear at you.”
9.8 Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson on Morning Joe: “And what is Aleppo?”
9.7 Matt Lauer embarrasses himself at the Commander-in-Chief Forum
9.7 Civil War Roundtable of New York
9.4 Dinner at Caffe Oyster Regatta in Pelham with Greg and Susan
9.3 Kim Jong-un executed one of North Korea’s top officials with an anti-aircraft gun after the man fell asleep in a meeting, according to several reports. Ri Yong Jin, a senior official at the education ministry, was sentenced to death after dozing off in a meeting led by Kim. Ri was reportedly taken into custody and interrogated, during which time his alleged “disloyalty” was discovered. According to South Korean newspaper Joongang Ilbo, former agriculture minister, Hwang Min, was also sentenced to death after his plans to improve the country’s agricultural production were seen as an attempt to “undermine” Kim’s authority. Both Ri and Hwang were executed by an anti-aircraft gun at a military academy in Pyongyang.
9.2 Hell or High Water. A new kind of western. I enjoyed it
9.1 in the 49ers final exhibition game, Colin Kaepernik takes a knee during the National Anthem