Sunday, August 28, 2016

Week 36: "Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right..." (August 28, 2016)

Dear Readers,

The great chaos that is the 2016 election season keeps hurtling at us, and I’ll help you make sense of it all. Remember, all newsletters (and more) are available at
Days until General Election: 72

What Is Up With Paul LePage?
Paul LePage, Governor of Maine, has been often mentioned as a cabinet appointment for Trump. He was (relatively) quick to endorse Trump in the Republican primary. And this week, he went off the rails. He started by making racist remarks regarding blacks and Hispanics, saying

“I don’t ask them [drug dealers] to come to Maine and sell their poison, but they come. And I will tell you that 90-plus percent of those pictures in my book, and it’s a three-ring binder, are black and Hispanic people from Waterbury, Connecticut, the Bronx and Brooklyn. I didn’t make the rules – I’m just telling you what’s happening.”

After a fellow Maine lawmaker, who happened to be a Democrat, called him out - rightfully - for saying this, he defended his remarks at a town hall and then left the lawmaker a profane voicemail message.

“I’ve spent my life helping black people and you little son-of-a-****, socialist ****, I want you to record this and make it public because I am after you.”

LePage then told a reporter that he’d like to shoot the lawmaker “right between the eyes” in a gun duel.

The Clinton Foundation

This week, the AP found that Hillary Clinton was especially nice to Clinton Foundation donors while Secretary of State. She held a high amount of meetings with high-profile donors and listened to their concerns. This seems like a huge scandal - Why is it not?

That’s because very, very few of the donors’ suggestions ever went anywhere. Clinton may have listened to their concerns, but she merely listened and didn’t do anything about them or give them preferential treatment. She just held dinners with people who’d given money to the Clinton foundation, which does great work and shouldn’t be criticized like this.

Shocking Revelations

Last week, the world met Steve Bannon, Trump’s new campaign CEO. After only a week of media scrutiny, we now know how terrible he is. Some of this information comes from Bannon’s ex-wife, who claims that when choosing schools for his daughters, he decided to choose one school because he “didn’t want them going to school with Jews”. At a school tour, he also asked why there were so many Hanukkah books in the library. He also went to court over domestic violence allegations, though the case was dismissed.

Trump Walks Back His Main Campaign Message - Twice

From the beginning, Donald Trump made it known that his campaign was going to be about building a wall. Between mass deportation, tough border security, and the yuuuuge wall, Trump’s main message was that he was going to be tough on immigration. Guess what he did this week? Well, first, Mike Pence said that he wasn’t sure Trump would actually deport 11 million illegal immigrants, and people in the campaign confirmed this. Then, Trump walked this back, and other people in the campaign confirmed this as well. So, as of now, we have no idea whether Trump will deport anyone, but one thing we do know is that...

Trump’s Amazing Plan to Win Black Voters

...Trump’s new plan about communicating to black voters is terrible and basically overtly racist. After Trump’s bizarre boast that in his re-election campaign, he would win 95% of black voters, was backed up by Trump’s horrendous tweet: “Dwyane Wade's cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!” His other message to African-Americans was along the lines of “your lives are already terrible - vote for me: what do you have to lose?”
This is, of course, terrible, and will certainly not work.

Clinton Addresses Alt-Right

In Reno this week, Hillary Clinton made a speech about the terrifying conservative movement that has recently grown thanks to Trump’s candidacy, the alt-right.

Some quotes:

“let’s not forget Trump first gained political prominence leading the charge for the so-called ‘Birthers.’”

“This is someone who retweets white supremacists online, like the user who goes by the name “white-genocide-TM.” Trump took this fringe bigot with a few dozen followers and spread his message to 11 million people.”

“The Trump campaign has also selected a prominent white nationalist leader as a delegate in California, and they only dropped him under pressure.

When asked in a nationally televised interview whether he would disavow the support of David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, Trump wouldn’t do it. And only later, again, under mounting pressure, did he backtrack.”

“The latest shake-up was designed to – quote – “Let Trump be Trump.” To do that, he hired Stephen Bannon, the head of a right-wing website called, as campaign CEO. To give you a flavor of his work, here are a few headlines they’ve published”

Senate Preview #7

Normally, a state like Missouri shouldn’t have a competitive senate race. However, Jason Kander is only about 5 points behind Roy Blunt in the polling average. Kander, the secretary of state, is a moderate, and there is a small possibility he can defeat sitting Senator Blunt.

Rating: Likely R


Nevada is the only competitive senate race currently held by a Democrat. Harry Reid, current Senate Minority Leader, is retiring. Running to fill his seat are Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez-Masto and Representative Joe Heck. Polling is competitive, but Nevada polls are notorious for being wrong and inexact.

Rating: Tilt D


Senator Kelly Ayotte’s re-election chances are in danger. Governor Maggie Hassan currently leads in most polls, and is receiving a lot of funding from Democrats nationwide. Trump’s disastrous margin in New Hampshire could spell the end of Ayotte.

Rating: Lean D

Seat Count:

This Week In World Elections

Gabon: The Gabonese election was held this week, but both president Ali Bongo Ondimba and diplomat Jean Ping are claiming victory. Results are not yet known, and there are insults being hurled by both sides.

Thanks for reading! As usual, comments are welcome!

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