The November 1, 2016 Thread

Filed in National by on November 1, 2016

NATIONAL–ABC Tracking–CLINTON 49, Trump 47
NATIONAL–Rasmussen–CLINTON 45, Trump 42
NATIONAL–NBC News/Survey Monkey–CLINTON 51, Trump 44
PENNSYLVANIA–Franklin & Marshall–CLINTON 49, Trump 38
PENNSYLVANIA–Gravis–CLINTON 47, Trump 44
GEORGIA–WXIA/SurveyUSA–TRUMP 49, Trump 42
NEW HAMPSHIRE–WMUR/UNH–CLINTON 46, Trump 39
MICHIGAN–FOX2/Mitchell–CLINTON 47, Trump 41

Eugene Robinson says relax:

Take a deep breath. Exhale. Repeat, until the anxiety attack passes. Then go vote, and soon our long national nightmare will be over.[...] The only way he could possibly win is if Democrats and other “Never Trump” voters stay home on Election Day out of complacency. [...] [T]hose who want to see Clinton win and those who want to see Trump lose also should be newly energized and motivated. They have a clear advantage in support. They have a vastly superior get-out-the-vote operation. They have far more viable ways to assemble the necessary 270 electoral votes. So stop obsessing. Breathe. And vote.

Yesterday, there was literally a shit ton of Donald Trump and Russia bombshells and Donald Trump and taxes bombshells and James Comey bombshells that came at you at a pace of one major story every hour yesterday afternoon. I have posted links to these stories below, and Matt Yglesias provides a good round up and then offers why it matters:

Breathless speculation about possible Trump-Russia leaks is a lot more fun than boring policy analysis. But Trump’s policy views on matters related to Russia are a lot clearer than any of these cloak-and-dagger allegations. He’s called for greater US-Russian cooperation in Syria, signaled sympathy for Russia’s seizure of Crimea, and most of all he’s called for dismantling the NATO alliance. These are policy ideas that can be assessed on the merits (they’re terrible, in my opinion) completely separately from the question of exactly what motivated Trump to adopt them.

Amy Walter: “However, despite the recent tightening, Trump remains behind in the polls. And, his path to 270 electoral votes remains decidedly and almost impossibly narrow. Polling taken over the weekend suggests that voters are reacting to the FBI story in a typically partisan manner. Could it have an impact on enthusiasm? Perhaps. And, it also could get reluctant GOPers to show up to cast a vote for down ballot GOPers to give a “check” on Clinton. But, it hasn’t upended the normal pattern/trajectory of the campaign.”

“The most recent polls suggest that Trump’s best chances to flip a state Obama carried in 2012 are Iowa, Ohio and Florida. Even so, North Carolina — a state Romney carried in 2012 — is looking tougher and tougher for Trump. Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado also look out of reach. Without North Carolina or Pennsylvania, it is almost impossible for him to hit 270.”

Marc Ambinder says political journalism needs new rules after Trump: “Here’s a tried-and-true creed, straight from Journalism 101: Journalists should never take sides. But how do you not take sides when one of those sides is so clearly wrong?”

“Another: Journalists should not characterize political candidates as liars. But what happens when political candidates base their entire campaigns on very persuasive lies?”

“Science journalists no longer cover anthropogenic climate change as an issue that’s subject to dispute. (What to do about it surely is; the fact of it is not.) Reporters on the criminal justice beat recognize, as a fact, that the system is institutionally biased against black people. Women in sports journalism take sexism as a fact.”

“But political journalists will be tempted to cover the coming fight about Obamacare as if the Republicans have put forth a serious solution to its problems. That’s not true. Republicans want to get rid of the entire program and replace it with something else they haven’t fully explained. In the context of the real world, that solution is a nothingburger. It is not real. It should be treated as not-real.”

In June, the former Western intelligence officer—who spent almost two decades on Russian intelligence matters and who now works with a US firm that gathers information on Russia for corporate clients—was assigned the task of researching Trump’s dealings in Russia and elsewhere, according to the former spy and his associates in this American firm. [...]

Mother Jones has reviewed that report and other memos this former spy wrote. The first memo, based on the former intelligence officer’s conversations with Russian sources, noted, “Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years. Aim, endorsed by PUTIN, has been to encourage splits and divisions in western alliance.” It maintained that Trump “and his inner circle have accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals.” It claimed that Russian intelligence had “compromised” Trump during his visits to Moscow and could “blackmail him.” It also reported that Russian intelligence had compiled a dossier on Hillary Clinton based on “bugged conversations she had on various visits to Russia and intercepted phone calls.”

“Over the course of decades, Donald Trump’s companies have systematically destroyed or hidden thousands of emails, digital records and paper documents demanded in official proceedings, often in defiance of court orders. These tactics—exposed by a Newsweek review of thousands of pages of court filings, judicial orders and affidavits from an array of court cases—have enraged judges, prosecutors, opposing lawyers and the many ordinary citizens entangled in litigation with Trump. In each instance, Trump and entities he controlled also erected numerous hurdles that made lawsuits drag on for years, forcing courtroom opponents to spend huge sums of money in legal fees as they struggled—sometimes in vain—to obtain records.”

“This behavior is of particular import given Trump’s frequent condemnations of Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent, for having deleted more than 30,000 emails from a server she used during her time as secretary of state.”

“Over the years, Donald Trump or his businesses have been accused of stiffing carpenters, dishwashers and lawyers, leaving a trail of lawsuits and grudges in his wake. Now he is in a billing dispute with one of his own campaign aides,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Trump’s most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission indicates that his campaign has disputed a bill for $766,756 from a vendor, the well-regarded Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio.”

Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball: “As of this writing (Monday afternoon), Clinton leads in every national poll now except for the controversial University of Southern California/Los Angeles Times panel, a survey that has had a pronounced Republican lean the entire cycle. Some of the national polls, though, are very close. Her leads in Rust Belt states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin appear durable, although Trump’s team is arguing that it can put these states into play. We agree that a potential path to victory for Trump might include one or more of these states, but at this point there’s precious little indication from polling that he can win them: Clinton has led every post-convention poll in each state included in the RealClearPolitics average.”

“However, the potential outcomes in some of the most competitive states on the Electoral College map are now more uncertain. These developments, along with recent polling data, precipitate ratings shifts in Arizona, Florida, and Ohio. We are moving all three from Leans Democratic to Toss-up.”

Norman Eisen and Richard Painter at Politico dive into what Trump’s tax returns could tell us about his ties to Russia:

Trump says his tax returns reveal nothing that is not already disclosed on his official candidate financial disclosure, called Form 278e. As ethics counsels to the past two presidents, we dealt with both their tax filings and their Form 278’s and so we know that Trump is wrong. His tax filings have an enormous amount of additional information which, in this case, could be critically important to determining whether his business overseas might affect his decision-making as president. That is because Trump’s 12,000-page tax return may tell us a great deal about his Russian and other foreign business ties that is not on his 104-page campaign financial disclosure. It’s now more vital than ever that we get that information in light of Trump’s embrace of Russian hacking, leaking and interference in our election. [...]

If the public saw Trump’s taxes, we could check his Russia connections for ourselves. That should start with the troubling discrepancies in how he and his closest associates talk about his Russia ties. Trump has claimed, for example, that “the reason they blame Russia [for hacking into Democratic emails] is they are trying to tarnish me with Russia. I know about Russia, but not about the inner workings. I have no business there and no loans from Russia. I have a great balance sheet.” But that’s very different from the claims that the Trump Organization was making before he decided to run for president. Trump’s son said in 2008 that “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross section of a lot of our assets” and “we see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) privately mused over the weekend that gun owners may want to put a “bullseye” on Hillary Clinton, CNN reports. The North Carolina Republican, locked in a tight race for reelection, quipped that as he walked into a gun shop “nothing made me feel better” than seeing a magazine about rifles “with a picture of Hillary Clinton on the front of it.”

Meanwhile, “If Hillary Clinton becomes president, I am going to do everything I can do to make sure four years from now, we still got an opening on the Supreme Court.” — Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), quoted by CNN.

North Carolina, retire this piece of shit.

Josh Marshall:

I take it as a given that most things you hear in the final days of a brutal election are either not true, unsubstantiated or wildly overblown. Speaking for myself, the claims are too serious and the evidence so murky, that I really can’t make any judgments about them. I need a lot more evidence to believe what’s being alleged here.

If such murky and shadowy claims were being made about my candidate on the eve of an election, would I be pleased? I would have to say no.

However, it now appears fairly clear that some arm of the Russian government conducted an aggressive campaign of cyber-espionage against one US political party and used the material to assist Trump’s presidential campaign. Yes, maybe the US government is just making this up and maybe the non-governmental analysts who’ve come to the same conclusions are wrong. I’ve seen stranger things. But the Russian government is now barely making an effort to deny its involvement. Skepticism is always warranted when governments are involved. But dismissing the accusation of Russian involvement out of hand now seems more like denial than skepticism.

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  1. mouse says:

    Nice Halloween. Decorated cabins at Camp Arrowhead and handed out candy to kids after they went on a hay ride then had a bonfire on Rehoboth Bay.

  2. kavips says:

    The Russia thing, based on the level of the experts, we must take seriously. I said “damn” when I clicked to see who was behind it.

  3. kavips says:

    (Note):… the typo in the Georgia poll is very confusing.

  4. Prop Joe says:

    I think it’s very clear that there’s only one set of parameters for server hacking and email management that makes the American public and its elected leaders give a shit