They can’t, but I think I can.
Donald Trump is the Post-Modern Candidate, who isn’t really running to win office at all.
It should have been obvious months ago, but the commentariat is only beginning to take notice the second week of August.
Erik Erikson, 10 August: If Trump wanted to lose to Clinton, what would he be doing differently?
Damon Linker, The Week, 11 August, Something Is Going On With Donald Trump:
The media just can’t shut up about Donald Trump. In no small part, this is because his behavior appears to be inexplicable.
Where the most gaffe-prone big-league politician might go off the rails once every week or so, Trump does it several times every week, and sometimes several times every day. And where the most gaffe-prone big-league politicians quickly take back their verbal flubs, clarify, and apologize, hoping to move on before inflicting maximal political damage on themselves, Trump invariably doubles down, needlessly dragging out the controversies for endless days.
This seemingly self-destructive behavior has spawned, in turn, a cottage industry of armchair psychologizing of the man, who’s been repeatedly diagnosed as suffering from narcissistic personality disorder or maybe just “insanity.”
Something is going on with Donald Trump. But we don’t need a precise clinical diagnosis. It’s possible to examine Trump’s behavior over the past few weeks and reach a tentative understanding of his bizarrely self-subversive and flagrantly unpresidential statements and actions, including his tendency to flirt with inciting political violence.
Trump wants to lose the election.
The Hill, 11 August, Dem Accuses Trump of Sabotaging His Own Campaign:
Donald Trump is trying to sink his own campaign, Rep. André Carson (D-Ind.) contended Thursday.
“It appears as if he knows he will not be the next president of the United States, so he’s trying to sabotage this thing because he’s not used to losing,” Carson said during a press briefing in the Capitol.
Face it, Trumpkins, you’ve been had.
Donald Trump isn’t a conservative. Donald Trump is not a down-home American like you. Donald Trump is a conniving, cynical New Yorker. He’s 70 years old, fabulously wealthy, already famous and already living a completely sybaritic life-style. For him, moving from one of his luxury residences to the White House and having to be president would be like moving down-market in housing and getting a full-time job. It would be a real bummer.
He is not into personal sacrifice. Donald Trump cares about political ideas the way I care about Olympic soccer matches. Donald Trump has no real personal political ideas or preferred policy agenda at all. He’s just a businessman, a total pragmatist.
Donald Trump is not your buddy and he is no kind of patriot. Trump likes money, tail, and Trump, period.
So we’re watching him campaign. He carelessly contradicts himself. He routinely takes one position and then the opposite one. He constantly offends rival candidates and significant potential voting blocs. He does exactly as he pleases, casually taking time away from campaigning, often spending no money, doing no advertising and no fund-raising. He behaves like a crazy person, defying convention, political correctness, and rather frequently ordinary good manners and civility as well. He says something embarrassing or outrageous several times a week.
One is obliged to conclude that either Donald Trump is crazy and the most incompetent candidate for office in human history, or he is motivated by something other than winning.
Since we know that Trump is a close friend of the Clintons, on the whole, I like best the theory that contends that Trump has really just been running, all along, in order to kill Republican chances in what ought to have been a landslide Republican year and to make possible the impossible: Hillary’s election.
He’s having lots of fun. He’s soaking up the limelight and laughing at all the dopes supporting him, while mischievously dropping another turd in the electoral punchbowl every now and then and watching the commentariat have fits over what they think is a gaffe.
Donald Trump is having huge personal laughs at the expense of all you oiks out there who are supporting him on the basis of total BS and he is enjoying himself even more playing the role of unruly Groucho to the Mainstream Media’s Margaret Dumont.
Trump is, in essence, the practical man of business who is casually kicking into a heap of rubbish the whole superstructure of American presidential politics, reducing all the theories, ideals, and PC taboos into useless impotent debris by sheer chutzpah.
All of this, I believe more and more as time goes by, is not a genuine political campaign at all, the Trump campaign is guerilla theater, an exercise in deliberate mockery and transgression, that has not only succeeding in bamboozling the American electorate and satirizing our political system on a fantastic scale. Trump has turned reality on its head, defeating all the real Republican candidates and usurping the GOP nomination for the presidency with pure comedy theater. Reality TV has defeated reality.
Trump has, in essence, demonstrated that energy, shameless aggression, and flamboyant pandering will, in America, triumph over ideas, serious policy, and decorum every time. H.L. Mencken is laughing cynically in Hell.
Yet, he obviously has not been doing all this just to prove that he can outdo the late Andy Warhol in art. There has got to have always been a substantive purpose there, and that purpose could only be one thing: electing Hillary. After the inauguration, just watch the multi-billion-dollar contracts for Infrastructure and new Federal housing start rolling Trump Enterprizes’ way.
Hillary is so scandal-beset that it is actually miraculous that she isn’t under indictment right now, and she is so unappealing as a candidate that I think it is only a matter of time before the Donald really will have to eat a hamster on live television to keep poor Hillary’s candidacy limping in the direction of the finish line. But you can count on him. If it takes eating a hamster to elect Hillary, that hamster is toast.
Earlier Trump Faux-Candidacy commentary:
25 February — What If?
04 August — Is Trump Deliberately Throwing the Election?
Last weekend, an emergency exit was built near Chancellor Nicholas Dirks’ office as a security measure against potential protesters. The door, which cost $9,000, is located outside a short hallway between his conference room and his office in California Hall. Campus spokesperson Claire Holmes said in an email that the exit in California Hall was installed as a security measure to “provide egress to leave the building.” Construction of the door was requested about a year ago in response to a protest in April 2015 when protesters stormed the chancellor’s suite.”
Last weekend, an emergency exit was built near Chancellor Nicholas Dirks’ office as a security measure against potential protesters.
The door, which cost $9,000, is located outside a short hallway between his conference room and his office in California Hall.
Campus spokesperson Claire Holmes said in an email that the exit in California Hall was installed as a security measure to “provide egress to leave the building.”
Construction of the door was requested about a year ago in response to a protest in April 2015 when protesters stormed the chancellor’s suite.
I’d have installed an oubliette.
Via Boing Boing.
Road & Track 2014:
Only 253 examples of the BMW 507 were ever made, and Elvis Presley owned two of them. The first, a white ’58 roadster, he famously gifted to his Fun in Acalpulco co-star Ursula Andress; the other, a ’58, has been in storage for over 40 years. Now, BMW Classic has obtained Elvis’s “lost” sports car and will give it a full restoration.
This Bimmer’s circuitous history begins in March 1958, when the US Army officially inducted its most famous Korean War draftee. While assigned to the Third Armored Division, Elvis met hillclimb ace Hans Stuck, who was racing a 1957 BMW 507 at Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry in southern France. Presley was smitten with the 150-hp droptop. After having its 3.2-liter V8 rebuilt and a new four-speed manual gearbox installed, he leased it that December.
The car was originally Feather White, but the King quickly tired of female fans scrawling their phone numbers in lipstick across its hood and fenders. To solve the problem, he had the car re-sprayed in Porsche Red.
When he completed his tour of duty in the spring of 1960, Elvis returned home without his BMW, but by way of a different owner, the car was brought to New York soon afterward. It was used for drag racing in Alabama (fitted with a blown Chevy V8, Borg-Warner four-speed, and beefy rear axle) before being sold several times, eventually winding up in the possession of BMW Classic.
Design Boom 2016:
In the spring of 2014 the automobile was shipped to Germany in a container, together with the spare parts. The first stop in Munich was the BMW Museum where the roadster was presented to an admiring audience in the special exhibition ‘Elvis’ BMW 507 – lost and found’. work then began on restoration in the workshop the classic divison. the vehicle was completely dismantled, a process which in this special case took an entire week, rather than the two days that had been originally planned. Initially, the aluminium body was separated from the floor assembly made of sheet steel. The paint was then removed from the floor assembly in an acid bath and from the body in an alkaline bath. The engine had already been removed and the remnants of the interior that remained had been set aside.
Many of the components had to be remanufactured from scratch because the stocks of original parts for the ‘507’ are so rare. Traditional craftsmanship in the style of the 1950s was melded with high-tech production procedures of the modern world. The instrument panel was newly cast on the basis of the original. The leather upholstery was created to precisely match the pattern shown in old photographs and catalogues. When the seats were reconstructed, it proved possible to use the original steel subframe for the seats after all the rust had carefully been removed. A rubberized coconut mat was then drawn over the steel springs. This natural material was already being used in the 1950s for series production of the ‘507’, alongside the overlaid felt and linen layers to make the seats as comfortable as possible. Window winders and door handles were remanufactured in an advanced, modern 3D printing process based on the original dimensions. After producing a digital data set by three- dimensional scan of the original part, a facsimile was generated with the help of additive manufacturing and mirror finished afterwards. By contrast, the rubber seal for the tank cover was reproduced in a conventional manufacturing procedure.
The engine for Elvis’ car was completely rebuilt from spare parts. The 3.2 litre v8 engine was reconditioned precisely in conformity with the original specifications of the ‘507’, but it was not given an engine number on account of the unavoidable but otherwise unusual use of old and new components. The front frame carrier, which had been cut down at an early stage, also had to be reproduced in its original geometry and integrated in the floor assembly. The wooden nailing strip for fixing the soft top in place was also reproduced using materials and processing methods in keeping with the 1950s.
Maximum authenticity was also the objective in painting the vehicle. The BMW is now resplendent once again in feather white. the primer coat, the filler and the top coat were not applied by the methods that are commonplace today. Rather, they were implemented in a procedure that corresponds to the technology in use some 60 years ago. This enabled the excessive colour brilliance to be avoided which is considered desirable nowadays but is inappropriate for classic cars.
Jonathan V. Last, of the Weekly Standard, wonders why would anyone trust Donald Trump’s Supreme Court promises:
Pretty much the only reason conservatives have for supporting Donald Trump is the Supreme Court. “Think of SCOTUS!” is a superficially compelling argument. But only superficially.
For starters, conservatives have no reason–none–to believe that Trump would appoint a conservative justice. I point you here to Ramesh Ponnuru’s depressingly compelling assessment of Trump’s views of the high court:
Trump’s word is meaningless. He stiffs creditors and contractors. He lies about matters small and large: about having told Republicans to hold their convention in Ohio, about letters he supposedly received from the NFL and about having opposed the Iraq war from the start. Trump isn’t even trustworthy on his signature issue of immigration: He flip-flopped twice in one day during the campaign about whether high-skilled immigrants should be kept out as a threat to American jobs or welcomed as a boon to our economy.
Why would he keep his word on the courts? He doesn’t care about the Constitution or the proper role of judges. When he talks about the Constitution, it’s glibly and dismissively. When it’s suggested that the Constitution might pose an obstacle to his plans, he says it “doesn’t give us the right to commit suicide.” He knows almost nothing about the law: He can’t tell the difference between a judicial opinion and a bill.
The few times he has taken an interest in constitutional issues, he has been on the other side from most conservatives. He thinks the government should have broad power to take people’s property and give it to developers; they don’t. He has used courts as a weapon to silence critics, and thinks it should be easier to use them that way. Most conservatives find that record and that idea appalling. If President Trump asks his aides to find him a judge who agrees with him on these issues, they will start by scrapping his list.
The next part of “Remember the SCOTUS!” insists that Republican senators–the same group of sell-out, RINO elites that are always being blamed for Trump’s rise–will somehow discover the backbone to force Trump into picking a conservative. What in the history of Trump’s relationship with institutional Republicans might lead one to believe that they, the GOP, could bend Trump to their will? Search me.
Last week David Frum wondered if the dynamic might not run the other way, actually: “Isn’t it more likely that President Trump will choose his judicial nominees to spite Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell than to please them?”
After watching Trump attack Paul Ryan, Kelly Ayotte, and John McCain last week, the answer to this question has got to be–at least–maybe?
And here’s Ponnuru again, gaming out a much more plausible scenario for what Trump might do:
To get a conservative on the Supreme Court would require a President Trump to wage an ideological war with Senate Democrats, even though he says he would prefer to be a dealmaker, and even though that war would turn on issues for which he has never in his life shown the slightest concern. Instead of making good on his promise, he could cut a deal with the Democrats. His nominee could then win confirmation with the support of most Democrats, moderate Republicans, and some conservative Republicans who will want to be on the same side as Trump.
Read the whole thing.
Guitarist Eric Clapton (who knew?) is evidently a salmon fisherman, and caught this year the biggest fish, 28 lbs. (12.7 kilo.) 42.5″ (108 cm.), taken in Iceland’s Vatnsdalsá River on August 5th.
“Clapton had to run a good kilometre down river with the salmon before he was finally able to draw it ashore, the salmon was hooked and after an exciting hunt came ashore just over an half hour later.”
Comments indicate that Clapton is partial to Marc Aroner’s fly rods.
Nice fish, even if it has been in the river quite a while and is getting very close to “wearing the Brodie tartan.” Look at the kype on him! If I were Clapton, I’d smoke this one.
Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.
On July 8, 2016, 27 year-old Democratic staffer Seth Conrad Rich was murdered in Washington DC. The killer or killers took nothing from their victim, leaving behind his wallet, watch and phone.
Shortly after the killing, Redditors and social media users were pursuing a “lead” saying that Rich was en route to the FBI the morning of his murder, apparently intending to speak to special agents about an “ongoing court case” possibly involving the Clinton family.
Seth Rich’s father Joel told reporters, “If it was a robbery — it failed because he still has his watch, he still has his money — he still has his credit cards, still had his phone so it was a wasted effort except we lost a life.” …
On Tuesday Wikileaks offered a $20,000 reward for information on the murder of DNC staffer Seth rich.
Julian Assange suggested on Tuesday that Seth Rich was a Wikileaks informant.
Anti-Hillary Wikileaks DNC emails: 19,252 emails and 8,034 attachments from the top of the US Democratic National Committee. The leaks come from the accounts of seven key figures in the DNC: Communications Director Luis Miranda (10770 emails), National Finance Director Jordon Kaplan (3797 emails), Finance Chief of Staff Scott Comer (3095 emails), Finanace Director of Data & Strategic Initiatives Daniel Parrish (1472 emails), Finance Director Allen Zachary (1611 emails), Senior Advisor Andrew Wright (938 emails) and Northern California Finance Director Robert (Erik) Stowe (751 emails). The emails cover the period from January last year until 25 May this year.