Election 2016, September 18–24

Another week of this crazy campaign unfolds.


83 thoughts on “Election 2016, September 18–24

  1. “It depends on your definition of terrorism,” Cuomo said. “A bomb exploding in New York is obviously an act of terrorism, but it’s not linked to international terrorism.”

    I am having a lot of trouble even parsing this.

  2. My guess is that it is a hate crime perpetrated by a home grown crazy, given the location but that is a complete stab in the dark.

  3. I have no hypotheses. Crazed Arab teen? White supremicist? Russian operatives? Paranoid schizophrenic?

  4. Bomb Explosion Shocks Manhattan Neighborhood to Its Core

    This is a chilling thought:

    The location of the bombing was odd, she said, because it wasn’t in a tourist hot spot.

    “This feels like a test run,” she said of the attack.

    “These pressure cooker bombs are terrorism, and it does not matter whether it’s home-grown terrorism or foreign terrorism. It’s terrorism, Mr. De Blasio.”

    I don’t doubt that some remarks by public officials and news reporting are done with the intent to shape public opinion.  You don’t want to stoke fear, but you should be as honest as possible in reporting what happened.

  5. Suspect wanted for questioning in NYC attack:
    The man has been identified as Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, a naturalised US citizen from Afghanistan.

    Both my kids work a few blocks from where the explosion occurred.

  6. Local news says the authorities are looking for a man named Khan Rhahami, and that the bombs were placed by a team of three men, plus they apprehended five on the Verrazano.

    I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that it was not the work of a lone wolf Lutheran protesting Hillary.

  7. No hypotheses? How about Islamic jihadist radicalized online? It’s not too hard to connect the dots. And Chelsea is a trendy hipster location. It’s not a mall in the Midwest. Where another Islamic jihadist struck, though police are not sure of his motivation.

  8. It looks like it might be connected to other explosive devices found last night in New Jersey.

    The guy in the mall in MN, and these guys are all the same. They want to kill and scare Americans. I

    I was watching an old Law and Order episode this weekend from the 90s. It was 20 people killed in a subway by some nut. It was a crossover episode with Homicide. It’s so interesting to see how different the show is vs. the shows that were post 2001.

    I would much rather have the crime and regular scary criminals from my childhood in NYC than the terrorism of today.

  9. My phone went off with high pitched alerts several times just now, tellling me to be on the lookout for this guy.

  10. Why don’t we simply call it what it is? Why dance around words and dissemble?
    Also, they are active in some of the biggest democracies in the world, USA, France, India and so on.

  11. My first thought was this was going to be another anti-gay hate crime because of the location. We were just on 23rd a few days ago with the kids and a disturbed guy was screaming at a gay couple.

    Crazy that we’re now playing “guess who the bombers are”.

    I’ve started to talk to my kids about this stuff. My son’s first question – why do we live here? Nothing about this is easy.

  12. My first thought is always that it was an Islamic jihad attack. Initial media or official suggestions that it was a workplace dispute (San Bernardino) or a tea partier (Boston) or an anti-gay hater (Orlando) are almost always wrong.

  13. Isn’t there a strong potential connection between Islamic jihad attack and anti-gay hating, i.e., isn’t Islam, at least as it is often practiced, a religion that espouses anti-gay hating?

  14. Islam condemns homosexuals to death. It’s not an issue of nuance. But it also condemns heretics and blasphemers and formicators and immodest women to death as well. Islam is very inclusive that way.

  15. Two comments on a NYTimes article with updates on the bombing I thought worth sharing:

    1. I am exhausted. I am exhausted of speaking out against Islamophobia and reminding my conservative midwestern family about all of the peaceful Muslims in NYC. I am exhausted as well that when the name of the suspect was released, I thought, “yup, of course his name was Ahmad Khan Rahami” – somehow deep down I knew that this was another young male committing terrorism. I am exhausted of trying to fight off the initial instincts of distrust and fear that wash over me every time such an event transpires. I am exhausted of reminding myself to not judge an entire community by their bad apples. I am exhausted of feeling guilty for my growing concern about Islamic homegrown terrorists in this country even as I publicly cringe at the fear-mongering and xenophobia seen in the media. I am exhausted of trying to take the high road yet feeling increasingly unsure of why I am on that road at all.

    2. Being a Muslim, I would love to argue against the notion that Islam = terror. However, its becoming increasingly difficult to do so when bombs are going off somewhere everyday and the perpetrator is a Muslim.

    If I wasn’t a Muslim myself and had not personally experienced and practiced the truthful, peaceful side of religion, I would have a hard time believing my own words too. When you see young Muslim men murdering innocent people across the world in the name of my religion, how can I convince you that Islam, my religion, is a religion of peace.

    I understand your fears. I understand your perspective. And I only hope that you can understand mine. I hope you can find some compassion for the 1.6 billion people who are currently watching their/our religion being hijacked by the extremists. I hope you can try to find some compassion for the millions of us in this country, who hold our breath waiting for the name of suspects to be released after an act of violence – and either breathing a sigh of relief when it’s a “random white guy” – or choking on that breath and cringing at the thought of what tomorrow will be like for us and our families when the person in question belongs to Muslim faith.

    Just like you, we are also angry, and afraid, and hurt. Some of us are having a harder time dealing with this than others because one hateful and violent person suddenly represents the rest of us who are trying to do good in this world.

  16. I have great compassion for the millions of peaceful Muslims who are watching their fellow Muslims DAILY kill innocent victims around the globe in the name of Islam.

    But it is important to acknowledge the truth, which is that that these terrorists are not twisting the peaceful teachings of the Quran and the Hadith, but rather following them. And, when one hears of an explosion in Chelsea or a man stabbing people at a shopping mall, it’s not unreasonable to think that the perpetrators were Islamic jihadists instead of white supremacists or Puerto Rican nationalists. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s probably not a swan.

  17. And it is also not impossible to believe that most Muslims are peaceful people while also understanding that Islam is NOT a religion of peace.
    In fact, it is very impressive that so many Muslims have been able to disregard the violence and hatred embedded in Islam and to focus instead on doing good in the world.

  18. Kate, I agree with you. I read a compilation of Trump’s racist history going back to his penalties for refusing to rent to blacks, accusations that he made all the black casino workers leave the floor when he came in, and on and on through present day. And then the police shooting in Tulsa, where I have a lot of ties. It is depressing me to an extent I am unable to shake off. I don’t see a near-term solution to this divisiveness, and a long-term resolution just feels like wishful thinking.

  19. The Tulsa video makes no sense. It starts in the middle of the confrontation, not the beginning, and it’s impossible to tell exactly what happened in the moments leading to the taser and shooting. And because the victim is dead, we aren’t going to get his side of the story. You have to assume that the cops know that cameras are running and of the repercussions for an unwarranted shooting and that the motorist knew that ignoring police commands might not end well. So why didn’t he comply with their orders and why didn’t the police manage to subdue an unarmed man without killing him? It seems that the entire tragedy could have been easily avoided by all parties.

    And does every report of a stalled car trigger multiple responders speeding to the scene?

  20. Scarlett, she just happened to drive by where his car had stalled, and then she called for backup. Whether he was complying with whatever orders they were giving him will be a matter for the person that gets to tell the story. It is clear that his hands were up and visible, and did not contain a weapon, and he was not making any motion towards the officers. But this was not a shooting in the pursuit of a criminal – this was a guy with car trouble. As you said, there absolutely should have been a different ending. I don’t think there is any narrative that can be attached to that video that would make people think shooting that man was the right course of action. And I will admit that I have absolute bias in favor of Tulsa police, through various personal connections and personal experience.

  21. MM – and here is what he bought with other people’s money https://mobile.twitter.com/DanEggenWPost/status/778245233779806212

    I used to think that he wouldn’t release his tax records because it would show he didn’t make nearly as much as he claims. But now I think it is because everyone will be going through them and be able to figure out his shadiness. Can you imagine how shady his for profit stuff must be if this is how he handles his non-profit stuff?

  22. MBT, I watched the two videos several times and neither provides a good view of what the guy was doing before he was shot. Also he was walking in a strange manner, as though disoriented by alcohol or drugs or a medical issue. And one account stated that when the first cop arrived, the car was stopped on the wrong side of the road with the engine running, the door or doors open and no driver. So it does not seem like an ordinary guy with car trouble, at least based on what has been revealed so far. And why none of the officers moved to assist the victim bleeding on the ground is another mystery. Even the reaction of the guys in the helo was bizarre. Oh he’s been shot, we need to close off this road.

  23. I, too, love Seth. The stage falling apart was hysterical. As was Chris Christie. At least we will have some really great late night tv for the next 4 years.

  24. Of course it is racist. But facts don’t matter and you will never, ever convince a Trump supporter that (1) it is racist, and (2) supporting a racist makes you a racist.

  25. Definitely. And pursuing the rumors that Trump later fanned the flames on. Working for Hillary’s unsuccessful campaign, and with her obvious approval, since she tried to bring him along to the State Department, only to have that nixed by Obama, after which she hired him at Clinton Foundation.

    So the accusations of racism go to both sides.


  26. Hmm, it appears to me that this is a situation where it is the word of a seemingly pro-Trump reporter against the word of a definitely pro-Clinton friend. Clearly, Sid Blumenthal was encouraging this reporter to check out Obama’s ties to Kenya – but would have been normal in a primary campaign like that one (campaigns always look for dirt on the other candidate), and doesn’t mean he was hinting that Obama might have been born there. The reporter says, yes, he did say that, but Blumenthal says no, and there is no proof one way or another, at least for now.

    and it is a long jump from digging around in Kenya for possible family dirt (and coming up with nothing, incidentally) and loudly demanding, as the centerpiece of your public persona, that the President show his birth certificate.


  27. Mooshi – They just did it more secretively. I’m not sure that’s something to brag about.

    It was also Hillary who distributed the photo of Obama in the traditional African garb.

  28. “If Hillary actually pushed the birther story, I wouldn’t vote for her.”

    Get real. Yes you would.

  29. I do. She said at the time that the campaign didn’t sanction it. That is very different from Trump personally repeating over and over that Obama was not born in the US. Trump uses it to gain supporters. I have never, ever heard Hillary do the same. If you have documentation of her doing this, I would not vote for her.

  30. “She said at the time that the campaign didn’t sanction it.”

    Oh, well that’s a relief to hear.

  31. I don’t get how you don’t see a huge difference. Critics of Hillary say that she did this (supported birther theory). There is not really any proof that she did and she has consistently said that it isn’t true. Trump has said over and over that he had doubts. Over and over for years. And years. Energized his base by doing this. Got more supporters by doing this. At no time did Hillary ever push this theory. And he has tons of times. You are a smart guy. You must understand the false equivalency you are making.

  32. I’m not endorsing either of them for doing it. I am saying that Hillary was fine with a healthy dose of subtle racism when it suited her campaign, and she’s never apologized, so for you to accuse every Trump supporter of being racist is hypocritical at best.

  33. Wait, how do you know “they did it more secretively”. There doesn’t appear to be any proof that the reporter was sent to specifically check out Obama’s birthplace. We have only his claim, and the independently verified fact that they were digging for dirt generally, which is something all campaigns do. I bet people were digging for dirt in Hawaii too. Were you there when Blumenthal spoke with the reporter?

  34. But Asher admits he has no proof, no record. And as a guy who tweets under pro-Trump hashtags, I suspect there may be some bias at work

  35. He just said that shady Blumenthal said that. Nothing about Hillary. I believe he might have come some of what has been said. But there is nothing to suggest that Hillary knew or was involved.

  36. So someone who’d been a close adviser to the Clintons for decades is doing this entirely on his own, she has given no approval of it, has no knowledge of it, and he does this digging for dirt in Kenya and trying to tip off journalists of whatever African dirt he can find on Obama, and even if you believe that he was working entirely on his own, she obviously did not disapprove since she hired him to the Clinton Foundation.

    But yeah, if you want to say that she kept her hands clean on this one, you can convince yourself of it, I’m sure.

  37. Yes, when faced with a known racist who has pushed this theory for years and energized his base with the story v someone who has denied it all along, has not used the story to gain voters and there exists no actual proof of this happening, I will pick her. This false equivalency stuff is tiring.

  38. “God I am so scared about Wiki.”

    He’s surely saving the best for last, and it could be huge, or it could be only slightly juicier than Colin Powell insulting everybody, and it won’t make a difference.

    Trump is up again, ever so slightly in 538 forecast to about 44% chance of winning, but it also seems like some very recent polls have his ascent stalled once again. There are so many different ways to look at it. It could be a Brexit where he has all the unseen enthusiasm and actual turnout. Or it could just be a case where this is as far as he gets, after some really bad times for Hillary, and he never actually pulls ahead ever and then loses.

    Nobody knows, and people are going nuts over it.

  39. I read that for 45 seconds, and I’m lost at who said what to whom, who’s a refugee. That’s getting too far.

    I would say that a sizeable, if mostly silent, majority of Americans would like the Skittles analogy, especially after this past weekend. It’s the kind of thing that the media should be careful about giving too much attention to. Anyone who’s outraged is already voting for Clinton.

  40. The guy who took the photo of the skittles is a refugee. Donny Jr stole the photo. What are the odds that DJ steals from a refugee for THIS tweet?

  41. Changing topics back to the Tulsa shooting. I have been thinking about Scarlett’s statement regarding the video and the police knowing that they are being taped. Have there been officers convicted after unwarranted shootings? I haven’t found any. Also, I read that the officer who shot him didn’t turn her camera on. It is activated automatically by turning on the siren/lights (which wasn’t done) or manually (which she didn’t do). Not sure if that has been confirmed.

    And I find it super disturbing that they didn’t try to help him for so long after she shot him. Isn’t that standard? The goal shouldn’t be to have him die, even if it is a warranted shooting.

  42. The North Charleston shooting had to end in a conviction or plea deal (or maybe it’s still in progress), but that was the worst one I’ve seen on camera.

  43. My kids are watching a Simpsons from almost 20 years ago that looked into the future when Lisa was President. She makes a reference to the previous Trump administration.

  44. At this rate, I will be very scared if I my car breaks down or am stopped by the police at any point. That one time we were driving at night and had unknowingly passed a cop car while not speeding. Though the cop did not ticket us, he seemed really crazy and had been angry about us passing him.

  45. I read a comment somewhere that with 200 million the “self-made businessman” Trump inherited, had he invested it all in stock market he would have been way richer than he claims to be now. I wonder if that is true? Anyone?

  46. Not really about the election, but about politics generally: Anthony Weiner needs to be reprogrammed. Or something.


    I mean, I remember being 15 years old, and if some 52-year-old guy had told me “I would bust that tight pussy”, I think I would now be either celibate or gay.

  47. What a creep!! That works?? People find photos of him in his boxers plus creepy messages to be sexy? I just don’t understand.

  48. Excerpt from NY Times comment on the election that I like

    People who are well-intended make the (very human) mistake of scaling their social and emotional reactions to the system level too quickly, so we end up with large centralized behemoths like Obamacare and Common Core that don’t really work but are all about the rightness of people’s original intentions.

    We see an increased desire from liberals to submit to presidential edicts (on amnesty, patching Obamacare, negotiating treaties abroad without the Congress) without constitutional authority. Likewise, we see tolerance for lawlessness like sanctuary cities and (too often) romancing civil disorder, even if the ends might be just.

    This is again because politics is merely a system of social cues for many, hence checks and balances don’t inhere. Public order and equal enforcement of the Law is the dull concern of the bourgeois, not the socially astute.

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