The American Election, again.
For a brief moment it looked like Ted Cruz was going to run again! He made some statements that seemed to suggest wanting to re-open his Presidential bid if things improved for him in the most recent elections. Problem is, he has literally no chance at securing a majority, making his pronouncements even more ridiculous. Saturday Night Live, the live comedy show, had Dana Carvey return as the Church Lady, in which she introduced a faux Cruz as "Satan".
Exasperated Republican insiders, furious that they are no longer in control of anything in the Republican party, and that their sad sack of a challenger to Donald Trump failed to make any kind of meaningful progress - are actually trying to find, finance and otherwise run a third party candidate. Let me say this again. A cabal of long time insiders, including veteran party people and Mitt Romney are actually running a candidate against their own party. Having lost control of their own party, they're trying to start their own third party run. So first the Republicans had their outsider candidate in Donald Trump, the Democrats had Bernie Sanders, and now the Republican Party is starting another one against itself. You cannot make up this stuff. For a group that supposedly lives by the Bible, they've certainly forgotten about Mark 3:25.
But Trump has turned out to be an absolute master of media, especially new media. His sobriquets for other people: "Lying Ted", "Crooked Hillary" and so forth are sticking.
When the news started to get a bit dogged about tax returns (that's the latest thing, a demand to see everyone's tax returns) - it's been a bit like the Cold War and attempts to de-militarize: just as the Americans and Russians were saying the other side can go first, in this instance we have the candidates suggesting the other release their returns first. Trump tried to wave it off like the others, but when they kept persisting strangely the news was suddenly a twitter about "John Miller". Some reporter taped Trump in the 1990s pretending to be his own publicist. Not only did this story make everyone forget the previous one, it put Trump front and center in another news cycle. Turns out Trump leaked the tape himself. The media actually went and applauded his ability to play them like a violin.
And people have been digging online for things to say about Trump, and a lot of his previous deeds have surfaced. He once helped a family pay off the debts on its farm in the 1980s when a member committed suicide to try and raise the funds via life insurance... and still fell short. He helped a small child get surgery by flying him free on his own personal airplane when no carrier would take the risk of flying a child with the required medical equipment. Just as how Under Armor got a lot of positive publicity from having given a small cancer patient a ton of Marvel superhero gear telling him he was a superhero for fighting cancer... a lot of people have been using social media to highlight a lot of the unpublicized stuff Trump has done over the years. Hired the first female in full charge of a high-rise construction. So on and so forth.
Meanwhile on the other side of the aisle the attacks are continuing against Hillary. It's getting a bit concerning to the campaign that she simply cannot put away Bernie Sanders. A very ugly incident in Nevada recently showed the true extent of things: turns out that the DNC quietly rolled out some new procedural rules and had a snap vote on it when many people were out of the room, and the powers that be knew that the majority of the people in the room were Hillary supporters. The new procedural rules carried, she was the same night ruled the victor of the two delegates up in play. The narrative started by the Sanders people that she's so desperate to put this election away now that the momentum has shifted to Sanders win after Sanders win that they're trying dirty tricks. Whether this is true or not, and I'm saying this because I get messages from people bitter that not all of this is factually correct - is irrelevant. What I'm reporting on is what's being said, and what is influencing what people say and think.
And the images were stark: the Sanders supporters yelling furiously at the DNC about the dirty pool they played (whether or not Hillary won the vote is not relevant at this point) and the State Troopers lined up by the DNC to protect the insiders and powers that be against a very angry crowd. "Welcome to Hillary's America" was the meme that showed up the next day - "troopers deployed against the people to protect the Establishment". Given that that's the theme of this election, it might do more damage than it should. And it's so petty - all this for TWO delegates.
Details are coming out about Hillary's inability to use the proper technology she's been assigned. The Romanian hacker Guccifer has the contents of the stolen material from Hillary's unsecured private email server tied to a dead man's switch. As Guccifer has been extradited and is in an American jail, his continued safety is apparently assured by the damaging to national security content that in contained in the bundle of data that will hit the Web if anything ever happens to him. This means that for all intents and purposes, this stuff is not Hillary's dry cleaning requests.
A report has come out that suggests that she told a staffer to use "white out" to take "TOP SECRET" off a document and send it to her own home fax. Another supposed leak has her using her private phone to discuss national security matters because the secured phone was having some kind of technical glitch, so she was simply going to use the network that our government and others have thoroughly bugged.
Some of the email has been leaked, with a staffer reminding another staffer to tell Hillary where she is and who she's talking to later, because she often gets confused. That and a nagging cough Hillary has has led to people wondering if she has Alzheimer's, or some other medical condition. This is absolutely NOT the kind of press you want to get when you're fighting a battle on two fronts.
Another rumor that exists is that there is something seriously wrong with Bill Clinton. He has become a vegan in recent years. Like Samuel L Jackson, he had heart problems that were so bad only diet could address them. (Clinton had a quadruple bypass and Jackson had a giant bolus of fat next to his aorta that was inoperable.) Bill is looking thinner and weaker, and his voice is much quieter than before. The scuttlebutt is that their nuclear option is to play the sympathy card with Bill if things get too hairy for Hillary by tearfully reporting that. Bill, the beloved President, is dying.
Inside staffers post on Reddit (and take the veracity of this with a grain of salt) that Hillary, unlike Obama, is a real bitch to work for. They reveal that a possible misstep recently on Twitter was deliberate.
One of the issues Hillary is trying to campaign on is the idea that women are paid less than men. This is a contentious matter, because although there IS a pay gap between men and women, it's not as much as previous talking points have said. The figures usually cited are easily, easily disproved and disputed - the Cliffs Notes summary is that the original study compared apples to oranges and cited them ignoring women's tendencies to take liberal arts and history over male choices in STEM and law. By comparing people simply by "bachelor's degree" they were seeing an inequality in the earnings of a history major and an engineering major and citing sexism as the reason.
Women ARE paid less than men. Let's make this sparkling crystal clear. There are significant barriers to entry to women in many many parts of the economy.
But a lot of young women are actually outearning their male classmates. More of them go to college, more of them get jobs, and better jobs than the men in their lives. This rhetoric, designed mostly for Baby Boomer women, is falling on deaf ears in the Millennial and Gen Z set.
Anyway, Trump weighed in on this: and Hillary's team made a headline out of it on Twitter. Here's the tweet in its entirety.
“You’re gonna make the same if you do as good a job.” —Donald Trump on women and equal pay"
How it was supposed to land was: "Trump doesn't think women do a good job". How many, many people read it was: "I will pay you based on merit and ignore your gender", which he has an actual track record of doing. It seemed like an odd way to frame the remarks, and according to Redditors supposedly working for the campaign, this was deliberate. If what these people are saying is true, her own staffers are sabotaging her because they cannot stand her.
Another memo was leaked from the Hillary campaign. They're begging everyone to do a full court press because Trump is now leading Hillary in some polls, and is actually on track to win the election. Inside there's panic in the ranks. There's a real chance the next President of the United States of America will be Donald Trump. As someone joked on the pro-Trump subreddit r/the_donald, "there's no superdelegates in the general election".
One of the problems the campaign is having is that the general sense here is that Donald is a winner, and Hillary is a loser - and this country loves to back winners and ratpack losers.
Speaking of Reddit, there's some shenanigans there. The Donald Trump and "Hillary for Prison" subreddits are afire with posts, participation and so forth, whereas the very highly censored "Hillary" subreddit is about five people, all posting very condescendingly about how Sanders people are deluded and The Donald is a racist, sexist homophobe, etc. etc. etc.
Not only was one of the head mods of r/the_donald personally witch-hunted offline by the guerilla SJW group "ShitRedditSays" (who in essence blackmailed him: give us the subreddit, or we ruin your life) but another one has left under similar circumstances. (That kind of behavior is expressly forbidden on Reddit, unless done by ShitRedditSays.) Voting patterns on /r/the_donald have been manipulated, and Reddit appear to have closed /r/european (basically, a collection of neo-nazis constantly posting about "The Islamic Menace") in the hope that they'd migrate to the Donald, and give them the excuse to close the sub completely. This has led to rampant speculation about how much of Hillary's money is going to buy influence online. It's also feeding into the idea that a Trump victory will shut up these types.
And one has made the rounds recently. A very obese shouty young woman was captured on more than one cell phone camera heckling Milo and other conservatives at a university panel screaming GET YOUR HATE OFF OUR CAMPUS while waving her arms. She crossed off every single trope in the "SJW" stereotype, from strange glasses to "fat acceptance" to incoherent screaming and tantrums. The Internet has named her "Trigglypuff", a portmanteau of "triggered" and "Jigglypuff", a rotund Pokemon. The poor girl has been SAVAGED.
Just when you think this election can't get weirder or uglier or more personal, it has. I don't think Andy Warhol realized what he was saying when he suggested everyone would have 15 minutes of fame. It's not the kind of fame I want, thanks.