The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Trump Is Doing What Matters Most for Winning the Election

Melania Trump’s Plagiarism is not important. Look, if you’re a college-educated intellectual like myself, or a college-educated journalist, you think plagiarism is a bad thing.

Most ordinary people do not care very much. It’s just not very important.

So. Is it more important if Melania plagiarized a paragraph from Michelle Obama, or is it more important if Trump can handle the economy better than Clinton?

The argument seems to be that it creates a narrative of incompetence. My guess is that people who would vote Trump will shrug it off as “not important.”

I note, further, that Trump continues to suck the air out of the room. Yes, it’s the convention, but even so, the coverage drum beat, day-by-day, is Trump, Trump, Trump. Good publicity, bad publicity, it’s all publicity.

Recent polling has had Trump winning key swing states, though Clinton is still ahead in more polls.

Trump is far from out of it, and can still easily win.

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Turkey’s Purge


What Happens Now that the Turkish Coup Has Failed


  1. S Brennan

    Dunno Ian;

    With Trumps’s choice of VP he has all but handed Hillary the crown…those who manipulated him into such a lousy selection must have known that…which begs the question, why would he trust such a selection to a bundler who only came on-board his campaign 3 months ago?

    I have never considered voting for Hillary, she is a war criminal and is PERSONALLY responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, the most egregious is the genocidal slaughter of over 20,000 black Libyans in her “war of aggression”.

    On a personal level, I am deeply disappointed, nothing could make me vote for Hillary, but Trump kowtowing to those who have already indicated they will vote for Hilary is insane.

    On a political level; Pence would have not been re-elected because of Indiana’s businessmen’s opposition to his anti-gay stance, by selecting Pence, Trump puts Indiana into play…that’s not what a VP should do.

    He should not have taken advice from a guy whose primary expertise is “bundling” contributions.

    I had considered voting for Trump, but with his VP Selection of Mike Pence, a man who puts his personal views* above the law…to such a degree; Indianian Republicans wanted him gone…now there is no chance of that. This one action alone proves Trump’s most ardent critics right, he lacks judgement.

    *Pence’s hatred of LGT people, misogyny, racism, Pence’s love of globalism, neo-liberalism and all the ills both parties now embrace.

  2. Ian Welsh

    I don’t have a vote, but I’m now in the “wouldn’t vote for either” camp.

  3. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    A poll.


    May I remind our esteemed host that at one time in the 1988 U. S. presidential campaign, Dukakis held a big lead over Bush Senior?

    Trump’s real hope is effective GOP suppression of non-white voters, but even that faces another question–how many outwardly obedient and submissive, female paleface GOP voters will, in the privacy of the voting booth, vote for Clinton, with a silent “FUCK YOU!” to the oafish men in their lives?

    All of this assumes, of course, that the voting machines are not rigged.

    If they are rigged, then the only real election will be held among the upper classes.

    Would a majority of them feel more comfortable with the feckless and mouthy loose cannon, The Donald, than with good old reliable Hillary?

    Granted, the elites of many societies have proven themselves capable of displays of astonishing stupidity, but I know which candidate I would prefer, if I belonged to our elite.

  4. nihil obstet

    An anecdote on the general population’s attitude towards plagiarism and intellectual ownership claims:

    I was on a jury for the trial of an upper level drug dealer. The main witness was a street dealer. He was caught red-handed, selling drugs. The police offered a deal if he would cooperate in a sting operation against his supplier. He refused. He went home on bail and spent the weekend thinking about his future. On Monday, he called the police to accept the deal. He made the buy that nailed the upper level dealer.

    The dealer’s defense attorney tried to impugn the witness’s credibility by arguing that he was following a policy script. His question over and over again was, “It was the police’s idea?” The witness kept replying, “No, it was my idea.” Lawyer: “You just said that the police offered the deal!” Witness: “Yes, and I said no.” Lawyer: “So it was the police’s idea!” Witness: “No, it was my idea. I called them.” This went on for an ungodly amount of time.

    It became clear that the witness had no concept of idea ownership, and the attorney’s perception was totally idea ownership and failure to acknowledge it was evidence of dishonesty. Who owned the idea of the deal? The first pronouncers — the police? Or the man who in his own mind independently called with an offer on it — himself?

    That’s the most explicit and consequential divergence of views I’ve ever seen, but I think it’s relatively common for people not to even understand the professional’s view of who owns ideas.

  5. Dan Lynch

    Ian is correct.
    Also, follow Scott Adam’s blog for a similar analysis of Trump. Scott’s worldview is waaaaay out there and I disagree with him as often as not, but he gets a lot of things right about the psychology of elections.
    Trump is running on “make America great/safe again.” Never mind that America was never all that great and certainly was never safe. Every time there is a terrorist attack, Trump wins. Every time black Americans riot or go on a shooting spree, Trump wins. Will there be more terrorists attacks between now and the election? Probably. Will there be more black unrest between now and the election? Certainly. Trump is perceived as the strong man who will protect us. Hillary is perceived as crooked. As Scott Adam reminds us, facts don’t matter to the average voter, only perceptions matter.
    Pepe Escobar’s recent piece on Trump also rings true. Trump respects Putin and wants to get along with Russia. Many of our 1% owners also want to get along with Russia. The one big difference between Trump and Hillary may be their approach to dealing with Russia. Do you want WWIII, or do you want to get along with Russia?
    In other respects, the two parties mostly agree. On economics, they mostly agree — more capitalism, less socialism. Both parties support the police state. Both parties support Israel. Both parties support imperialist wars against little countries that are not a serious threat to the U.S.. Neither party has a serious plan to reverse global warming.
    Every president in my lifetime, regardless of party, has been worse than the one before. I expect that horrible things will happen no matter who wins in 2016. But Trump scares me less because he wants to get along with Russia.

  6. atcooper

    Pence is for courting the religious right. These are folks that will vote.

  7. malcontent

    This plagiarized paragraph reeks of sabotage more than intrepid carelessness. When will we see the list of consultants who assisted the potential first lady?

  8. ThePanzer

    It’s the just the daily nothingburger being thrown at Trump. It again shows the divide between what the status quo established media types find important and what the public finds important.

    The media is used to playing the old rules, where they obsess and act like high school mean girls about the candidates and get to choose who has gravitas and who doesn’t based on their arcane list of Versailles courier points scoring. In the old days that worked and would sink a candidate due to negative coverage.

    Then came Trump, who’s like a black hole that sucks in negative coverage and turns it into free publicity. The media still can’t accept it and keep playing by their old rules to Trumps continued benefit.

    Remember Trump’s “terrible june”? Or the other 1,000 negative items on him over the last 6 months? The end result has been the destruction of his republican foes and he’s now neck-and-neck with Hillary. This latest bit of stupid is just typical Trump at this point, it’s just background noise after the race-baiting and other, far worse examples.

    I think this election’s going to be a close one. I think the edge goes to Trump just based on energized R turn out during the primaries and depressed D turn out during the same.

    Poor Hillary, she tries her hardest to be likeable and play by the rules and winds up with an unfavorable rating close to a guy with a dead rat stapled to his head who says whatever crazy thing pops into his head at the moment.

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer gal.

  9. ThePanzer

    Side topic. Erdogan is purging basically everyone, everywhere at this point. I’m not sure if there’s going to be enough people left to turn the lights of in Turkish academia and the judiciary at the rate he’s going.

    He must have had a large crew, working non-stop, 24/7 to have a prepared enemies list this long. Or maybe they’re just firing everyone based on first letter of their last name, coin flip, or similar methodology.

  10. different clue

    Part of Trump’s appeal to the mass-jobicided ex-working class is his expression of opposition to Free Trade Treason and support for Fair Trade Patriotism. If he would have selected Senator Sessions of Alabama to be his Running Mate, he would have been selecting someone who opposes Free Trade Treason and in particular understands the Treasonous implications of TPP, TTIP, TISA and the other Free Trade Agreements. That would have shown consistent support for Fair Trade Patriotism.

    Instead Trump picked Spence for his Running Mate. Spence supports Free Trade Treason. This choice contradicts Trump’s spoken opposition to Free Trade Treason and Free Trade Traitors. This selection will gain Trump supporters from Ted Cruz’s Seven Mountains Dominionist base. It “may” lose him supporters from among the jobicided victims of Free Trade Treason . . . if they think that deeply about the contradictions revealed by Trump’s choice. They may decide that Trump is not intelligent enough to understand issues of economic sovereignty and democratic legitimacy and may never have understood these issues beyond the facile and superficial level of “bad deals” and “better deals”.

    So we will see if the Spence pick was “doing what it takes” to “win” the election. If it gains Trump more Seven Mountains Dominionist votes than the Economic Patriot votes it loses for him . . . then it will helpful to him. We won’t know till we know.

    Meanwhile, Trump and his people can still run on less chance of war with Russia if he and his people know how to highlight his respect for Putin, his lack of support for the neo nazi coup regime in Kiev, his lack of support for the jihadi terrorist rebels in Syria etc. He and his people could also highlight Clinton’s contempt for Putin, her support for the neo nazi coup regime in Kiev, and her support for the jihadi terrorist rebels in Syria to topple Assad. He and his people could then ask voters to vote for less-risk-of-war with Trump as against more-risk-of-war with Clinton. But does Trump have the intelligence to bring that up in any disciplined way?

  11. trump voters will blow off the plagiarism kerfuffle just like they have blown off every previous attempt to brand trump as a racist, fascist, loose-cannon, etc.

    nothing sticks to this guy, because the people who are going to vote for trump are used to propaganda campaigns and ignore them.

    what trump voters care about is the fact that they have been snookered for years by democrat and republican neoliberal insiders who have told them that free trade and austerity were going to make them prosperous. they have heard all the brewhaha about how the stock market is booming and the economy is recovering and the job market is picking up steam – but their piggy banks are empty, they are still mired in debt and most of them are not feeling very prosperous.

    the chattering classes can flap their gums until their perfect teeth fall out about melania, but it’s just not going to register.

  12. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Ian is probably correct that the neo-Jacksonian booboisie either don’t know or don’t care what plagiarism is.

    But they just might understand THIS. 😈

  13. frostop orange cream soda

    That poll is early too, don’t forget that. The economy is going to continue to get worse towards November, and it may collapse in Europe before the election. Same thing with terrorism both foreign and domestic. The neoliberal morons completely bungled immigration in Europe. Democrats are very lucky that America is able to absorb immigrants better than Europe. Also, Black Lives Matter is becoming toxic, and the Democrats refuse to throw them under the bus.

    I think Trump will win pretty handily. I think the polls are always off when it comes to him because people are going to lie about voting for him, just like people lied when it came to Brexit. A friend of mine in NYC asked me to keep it a secret that he was voting for Trump, and I know many Bernie supporters who feel so betrayed by the Democrats they’re going Trump.

    Whether Trump or Hillary, one thing is certain, Americans are about to get exactly what they deserve, and they’re going to get it hard and fast.

  14. ks

    Are the super astute and savvy progressives and/or terminally butthurt Bernie supporters here STILL trying to talk themselves into an obvious fraud and conman like Trump because they, mostly rightfully, hate Hillary? We’ll show the elites! We’ll vote for one of the worst examples of them. That’ll show ’em. Hilarious though parroting the media’s horse race narrative is amusing as well..

    Btw, if you go to Real Clear Politics you’ll see what the polls really say. Clinton is leading in every battleground state except Georgia (which shouldn’t be a battleground state for the GOP).

  15. Kaonashi


    BLM is just a reaction to police departments across the country applying neoliberal government-must-pay-for-itself thinking to fining minority populations into poverty and criminalization.

    It’s hardly fair to call the reaction toxic, when it’s the political culture that’s the cause.

  16. The problem is Hillary has sold the economy to the well to do, will a very little bit for the rest. Trump there to is say “there people dumber than you,” and some few will make it.

  17. ks


    You’re 100% right but in this and other similar situations certain folks feelings matter more than reality. Apparently even in ultra-rational venues like here, for some, the feelings of white working class people are paramount and must never be offended.

    So while Trump can hem and haw his way around plain Klu Klux Klan/David Duke support with barely a whimper, Democrats are urged to throw the “toxic” BLM people under the bus because certain White Feelings Matter above all.

    Even when the BLM people rationally point out that more whites have been killed by cops under dubious circumstances than blacks and therefore they should join in the protests they basically get…crickets…and then called names again and then get a lecture about MLK Jr. again

  18. Tom

    Was it really plagiarism if she used common phrases we all use?

    Seriously, if that is so then Michele Obama is guilty of plagiarism as well and so on and so forth.

    What I want to know is this?:

    Which of these assholes is more likely to start a nuclear war?

    Answer: Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    I would like to avoid glowing in the dark, so as much as I despise Trump, he has my vote.

  19. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Clinton, a sane adult, is more likely to start a war than the eternally adolescent, feckless, mouthy grifter Trump?

    Was Tom drunk when he posted this?

    Is this the same Tom who shills for Erdogan?

  20. Ghostwheel

    I, too, believe that Hillary is a greater threat to world peace than Trump. Her bloody record as Secretary of State speaks for itself. Not for nothing do so many refer to her as “Killary”. You’d think the fact that Kagan and Kristol have endorsed her would be clue enough.

  21. Some Guy

    Can’t add much to Panzer’s comment above.

    “Look, if you’re a college-educated intellectual like myself, or a college-educated journalist, you think plagiarism is a bad thing.”

    Even at this level, nobody really cares, it’s just yay my team boo your team blah blah. The Globe and Mail claims to be the most ‘serious’ media outlet in Canada and yet Margaret Wente soldiers on for them after she plagiarized dozens of columns pretty much in their entirety.

    Not that Trump is going to win, in my opinion, but this stuff is beyond pathetic.

  22. Lisa

    Oh HRC is a big risk for WW3, I’d give it 6-12 months before the US is in a shooting contest with Russia and/or China if she wins. The odds are she will make Victoria Nuland (wife of arch neo-con Kagan) her Sec of State….shudder.

    Clinton’s position? “I do still support a no-fly zone because I think we need to put in safe havens for those poor Syrians who are fleeing both Assad and ISIS and so they have some place they can be safe,” she said.. Given that IS and Al Nasra (etc) don’t have an airforce guess who that helps.

    A ‘no-fly’ zone means the US shooting down Syrian and Russian planes…. On the positive side (sarcasm) we would finally find out how effective the S-400 and Su-35 really are…..

    There is no point rehashing her ‘Putin is Hitler’ comment, but it gave an insight to her attitudes. See:

  23. Lisa

    On the GOP, self destructing more and more as it becomes little more than a wing of the US religious right like the FRC. The idiots within it that hate Trump don’t realise that he is the last chance for the party, as that voter base is simply too small to sustain it, even in the extremely religious US (25% tops).

    See: “GOP Passes ‘Most Anti-LGBT Platform’ in History, Log Cabin Republicans Shocked
    Final Draft Includes Support For Conversion Therapy, Attacks on Marriage”

  24. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    *rolls eyes* The CDS is strong with this site.

  25. John

    Plagiarism, smagiarism, Ian is right….America has mostly been a nation of little cheating and grifting for a long time. The arrogance and stupidity amazes me. They were both reading from the same neo liberal briefing book….aspire..blah, blah…eat your bootstraps…blah blah…be a serf for the, work. ..slave away…for the Money Party

  26. Peter*

    I saw a photo of HRC, I think was taken during her Watergate years when she made her first incompetent but dangerous attempt to circumvent the constitution and her goofy expression reminded me of someone I had seen before. It took some time but the image of a female Alfred E Newman came into focus with the banner above it clearly stating the subject was ‘MAD’ Her later bug eyed euphoria and celebration of Kaddafi’s gruesome death shows we have a psychopath nearing the ultimate position of power in the world and who knows what that twitching diseased brain will attempt.

  27. different clue

    The Clintons of today are very much like the Nixon of yesteryear. (Except much smarter as clever shyster lawyers.)

    And the Clintonistas of today are very much like the Nixonistas of yesteryear. They are worshipful of their beloved preciousss The Ones to the bitter end . . . and beyond. And they have a clever new phrase which the Nixonistas never had. All the Nixonistas could say to criticism of their beloved preciousss Nixon the One is . . . ” aww, you’re just a Nixon hater.” Think how much more superciliously dismissive they could have sounded if they had thought up the acronym NDS.
    For Nixon Derangement Syndrome.

  28. Peter*

    All this phony uproar over someone reading not writing someone else’s words just shows how desperate and panicked the Clintonites are as they thrash about for anything to divert attention from their untrustworthy incompetent candidate.

    If the polls remain this close until the selection with the democrat elite and much of the republican elite in the Clinton camp a little vote result rigging could easily place the Red Queen on the throne.

  29. different clue

    @ S Brennan,

    In response to your question about why would Trump trust a johnny-come-lately bundler to make big important decisions in his campaign . . . I am guessing that the bundler would have to be a rich person to know other rich people enough to bundle their contributions.

    Trump, as a typical money-grubbing biznisman, would naturally assume that since the bundler is rich, he must be smart. ” He’s so rich, he must be smart.”

    @ Peter*,

    I am assuming you refer to this little video of Clinton laughing at the death of Qaddafi.

  30. Tom W Harris

    And here’s Hillary discussing youth crime:

  31. The reason that Trump is angry is that Hillary is stealing his memes.

  32. Peter*

    Thanks for the video link, DC but I couldn’t stand to watch that sick display again. The public rarely gets to see HRC in an unscripted and not staged performance, her control of her public image is near complete and is probably why she has done few interviews during the campaign where her strange behaviors could be triggered.

    It’s probably wishful thinking but it would be sweet to se her reaction to losing this election, her psychic meltdown would probably leave a black hole that would hopefully suck Bill and her sycophants beyond the event horizon.

  33. realitychecker

    If saying “work hard to get what you want” and “keep your word” constitutes plagiarism, then I guess I’ll have to stop saying “Have a good day” to people. Cuz I know I’ve heard that somewhere previously. Sheesh.

    The real story is the way the left has attacked Melania for being a slut, a stripper, a pussy-selling whore, a toothpick, being seen undressed, and having fake tits in various comment streams I’ve read. I guess they were less than sincere when they said it was outrageous to truthfully notice that Rosie O’ Donnell is fat and ugly. They just reveal how they have absolutely no true principle, but that is not news to me after living among them for so long.

    Trump has outsmarted the Establishment hacks at every turn so far. He will most likely continue to do so, Pence makes me uncomfortable, too, but may be a necessary ingredient to assure victory for Trump, who does not want all the GOP regulars to be against him. Does anyone think he will ever allow Pence to override any important Trump decision? Not me.

    Trump comes from my part of the country, and he feels familiar to me. Don’t anyone be surprised if he proves to have a much better sense of fairness and balance once in power than anybody is predicting. Not a guarantee, but a plausible possibility IMHO.

  34. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    While it is possible for Tribble Hair Trump to win, THT does face an uphill climb.

    I find the “Same Since 2000” map most interesting (click the drop-down menu under the Gulf Coast states). It shows the states which have voted consistently for one party’s presidential candidates since the 2000 election.

    22 states have consistently chosen the Republican, but with only 179 electoral votes between them.

    18 states and the District of Columbia have consistently chosen the Democrat, but they have 242 electoral votes between them.

    Clinton could win with only the consistently blue states, plus Florida.

    The Republican vote suppressors will need to be very effective.

  35. realitychecker

    @ Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    You must be drunk again to doubt that Trump will own Florida.

    Hasn’t anyone told you it’s unacceptable to comment on a person’s physical characteristics? You must be a very terrible person, making fun of Trump’s hair and all. Kinda like all the physique-based hate comments I’ve seen Hillary supporters level against Melania the last few days (with no reference at all to her actual real life achievements, which are a matter of record).

    Knowing your tastes, I recommend to you the New York Times opinion piece this morning by some idiot who argues the thesis that only a terrible person would want a beautiful wife that stays home and raises the children. Every disparaging inference that could possibly issue from the Hillary supporter’s mind is leveled against Trump in this single column. Somehow, what never got explored is the question of whether Bill has actually fucked Hillary EVEN ONE TIME in the last 15 years. (Apparently, we have finally “progressed” to the point where sex can no longer be considered to be an important part of a marriage lol)

    Crash and burn, Establishment robots.

    P.S. Which reminds me, has anyone ever seen anything funnier than the protester who set himself and his friends on fire while burning an American flag at the protest yesterday? I fiercely defend to the death his First Amendment right to do that. Marketplace of ideas and all that lol.

  36. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Very well, RC Cola–why will Tribble Hair own Florida–a state Obama carried twice, which has high proportions of Hispanic-Americans, who are a group Il Douche has been running against, and retirees, who know the Democrats can be better trusted to protect Social Security and Medicare?

    As I said above, I do not discount the possibility of your precious Il Douche winning:

    (1) The GOP voter suppression tactics have proven all too effective in the past.

    (2) CDS runs rampant in the media, including even the leftist media.

    (3) Too many of my fellow non-elite palefaces have proven themselves, time and again, to be knuckle-walking stormtrooper-wannabes who will put their vacuum-skulled prejudices above their rational self-interest.

    OTOH, Tribble Hair faces the possibility of a secret rebellion, in the privacy of the voting booth, among the outwardly submissive daughters of Gilead, especially since the favorite son of Gilead, Turd Cruz, refused to endorse Tribble Hair explicitly… πŸ˜‰

    Oh, and for the record, I don’t touch recreational drugs, including the legal ones, such as ethanol. Risk is a four-letter word, after all. As for my being a member of the “Establishment”, my bank account wishes you were correct about that. πŸ˜†

  37. realitychecker

    Frankly, claiming drunkenness would make you look BETTER lol.

    We’ll just see about Florida, but I’d love to make a wager with you if I thought you could be relied on to pay up.

    “RC Cola”–did you just think that up? All by yourself? Nobody helped you there in the schoolyard? What an extraordinary creative talent you have; nobody can doubt any longer that you are halfway to becoming a great wit. I salute you, with the trumpet I keep hidden in my ass.

    I did not call you Establishment, rather an Establishment ROBOT; get someone to explain the difference to you.

    As to Trump and the support you ASSUME I feel for him, um, no, not yet, I might just not vote. FYI, I never voted for any Republican in my life. What I am already decided upon, though, is that I will never again give automatic support to any more Democrat shit sandwiches. They smell like shit to me now, even though to guys like you, they smell like filet mignon.

    Later, Pecker.

  38. reslez

    The idea that Democrats can be trusted to protect Social Security and Medicare is highly suspect. Obama’s health care plan is a monument to neoliberalism; both he and Clinton were aching to for a “Grand Bargain” to privatize and destroy the American retirement system throughout both of his terms. It’s not like Republicans are much better, but at least with Trump there’s an open question as to what he’ll do in office. With Clinton we already know: means testing and raising the retirement age, plus incremental improvements you have to fit in three different categories to qualify for. SS has already been raised to age 67. Each additional year is equivalent to an 8% cut in benefits.

  39. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    We’ll just see about Florida, but I’d love to make a wager with you if I thought you could be relied on to pay up.

    Gambling, like the consumption of recreational drugs, is a stupid pastime for stupid people.

  40. realitychecker

    Just like your commenting, Pecker.

  41. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    My commenting may indeed be stupid, but if so, at least it does not cost me money or health, unlike those other pastimes.

  42. realitychecker

    @ IBP

    LOL, now we’re getting somewhere. The fact that acting stupid is free probably explains why so many have gone that route. Supply and demand as affected by the price variable.

  43. different clue


    Is there a link to verifiably provable information that Clinton wants to “means-test” Social Security? If so, is it possible to offer it here?

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