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From USA Today, big news in the ongoing Flight from White as more opportunists lobby to get out from under the curse of being considered white in contemporary America:

White House wants to add new racial category for Middle Eastern people

Gregory Korte, USA TODAY 3:24 p.m. EDT October 1, 2016

WASHINGTON — The White House is putting forward a proposal to add a new racial category for people from the Middle East and North Africa under what would be the biggest realignment of federal racial definitions in decades.

If approved, the new designation could appear on census forms in 2020 and could have far-reaching implications for racial identity, anti-discrimination laws and health research.

As well as affirmative action privileges, such as in government contracting and low interest loans.

Think of how much inconvenience Syrian immigrant Tony Rezko had to go through to qualify for minority set-asides. Barack Obama’s real estate adviser had to recruit African American frontmen, like Black Muslim founder Elijah Muhammad’s son, to qualify for minority set-asides in order to get contracts to run Chicago park hot dog stands and O’Hare Panda Expresses.

In the current year, however, we realize that Tony should have been directly handed racial privileges himself, for being who he is, the descendant of a Roman legionnaire assigned to Syria two millennia ago. It’s time to cut out the useless African American middlemen and funnel affirmative action privileges straight to the Syrian immigrant hustlers.

That’s who we are. The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward Tony Rezko getting affirmative action.

Under current law, people from the Middle East are considered white, the legacy of century-old court rulings in which Syrian Americans argued that they should not be considered Asian — because that designation would deny them citizenship under the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. But scholars and community leaders say more and more people with their roots in the Middle East find themselves caught between white, black and Asian classifications that don’t fully reflect their identities.

“What it does is it helps these communities feel less invisible,” said Helen Samhan of the Arab American Institute, which has been advocating the change for more than 30 years. “It’s a good step, a positive step.”

On Friday, the White House Office of Management and Budget advanced the proposal with a notice in the Federal Register, seeking comments on whether to add Middle Eastern and North African as a separate racial or ethnic category, which groups would be included, and what it should be called.

So it’s not quite a done deal yet.

Under the proposal, the new Middle East and North African designation — or MENA, as it’s called by population scholars — is broader in concept than Arab (an ethnicity) or Muslim (a religion). It would include anyone from a region of the world stretching from Morocco to Iran, and including Syrian and Coptic Christians, Israeli Jews and other religious minorities.

How about Armenians? Chechens?

Rinat Akhmetov

What about Ukrainians, like this guy, the richest man in Ukraine? Granted, he looks kind of white, but he’s a Volga Tatar and a Muslim, so if he ever has to relocate his base of operations to America, shouldn’t he get affirmative action on U.S. government contracting?

Regarding giving affirmative action to Israeli Jews, the U.S. government is aware that Israeli law makes it extremely easy for American Jews to become dual citizens of Israel just by moving there for awhile. You don’t have to fill out any forms or anything. It’s automatically bestowed upon you.

But the Census Bureau, which has been quietly studying the issue for two years, also has gotten caught up in debates about some groups — such as Turkish, Sudanese and Somali Americans — who aren’t included in that category. Those are issues the White House is trying to resolve before adding the box on 2020 census forms.

Adding a box on the census form could have implications beyond racial identity. According to the White House notice, the new data could be used for a wide range of political and policy purposes, including:

• Enforcing the Voting Rights Act and drawing congressional and state legislative district boundaries;

• Establishing federal affirmative action plans and evaluating claims of employment discrimination in employment in the private sector;

• Monitoring discrimination in housing, mortgage lending and credit;

As we all know, that effort by the government has never led to problems.

• Enforcing school desegregation policies; and

• Helping minority-owned small businesses get federal grants and loans.

That’s why the Carter and Reagan Administrations declared South Asians to not be white and lumped them in with East Asians, whom they don’t much look like: immigrant Indian businessmen were mad that immigrant Chinese businessmen were being given affirmative action privileges in government contracting and low interest SBA loans over regular Americans, while they were being treated as badly as regular Americans were (and are).

… There are an estimated 3.6 million Arab-Americans in the United States, but that doesn’t include other ethnic groups that could put the total Middle Eastern and North African population above 10 million. According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey — a survey conducted in between the 10-year census cycle based on a statistical sample — about 1 million people from the region are first-generation immigrants to the United States.

In the 2010 census, many Middle Easterners skipped the question entirely — an action some activists encouraged as a form of silent protest. “Check it right; you ain’t white,” went one campaign. …

Comments on the proposal are due in 30 days, making it possible for the Obama administration to enact the change in the last three months of a presidency that has spent considerable effort to be more inclusive of Arab-Americans and other Middle Easterners.

“I think with him being the first African-American president and being an obvious example of making the American fabric more diverse, that this could be great sign of inclusion about what it means to be an American,” Awad said.


Here’s the top story on the homepage right now:

Screenshot 2016-10-01 00.28.05

Obviously, the Alicia Machado brouhaha was a big set-up that has been in the works for a long time, and it’s embarrassing to Team HRC/MSM that they forgot to Google her. But the NYT’s quadrupling down on people not noticing her Bobby Abreu scandal — not to mention her three much bigger scandals involving murder, plus the crucial meta-scandal of how she got to immigrate here and become a citizen and voter — is getting bizarre.

The Mexican attorney-general’s 2010 accusation that the father of her child is a narco cartel hitman whom the U.S. government put a $2 million bounty on his head seems increasingly plausible. I’ve found a new piece of quite recent evidence strongly supporting that theory, but I’m not going to link to it because I feel sorry for a person who didn’t ask to be involved in Machado’s comic/sinister life.

The single central political issue of our time is whether it’s a Bad Thing or a Good Thing to import foreign ringers to vote in democratic elections to subvert the will of the people.

When you stop and think about it objectively, it’s obviously tawdry to do that. It’s a practice straight out of Ibn Khaldun 101: in a decadent polity, elites forgets about investing in asibaya, solidarity, and instead obsess over stabbing each other in the back.

The urge to defeat your rivals using foreign ringers is really easy: We could work really hard and honestly and hope the electorate rewards us … or … we could import a whole bunch of people who will vote for us for racialist reasons!

It corrupts elites.

In the early 1920s American elites finally agreed: okay, let’s not do that. Let’s fight our battles over who most has the support of the American people using only the American people.

In the ensuing generations, America won the Big One and went to the Moon.

One of the more corrupting effects of the foreign ringer urge is that it’s so obviously crooked that vast effort is invested in indoctrinating Americans in not noticing it and when they do notice it, to think of it as virtuous.

Thus, at the very end of the debate, Hillary presented narco moll Alicia Machado voting in November as a triumph of righteousness.

There’s possibly some tiny fragment of Hillary’s brain that knows that’s just self-serving BS. But that just makes the rest of her brain hate even more anybody who would dare to point that out.


Veteran fantasy director has a new movie out starring Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Samuel L. Jackson, Judi Dench, and Rupert Everett that’s set on an island off the coast of Wales during WWII.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Commentary: With ‘Miss Peregrine,’ Tim Burton is just the latest director to shirk a responsibility to diversity

Marc Bernardin

Apparently, director Tim Burton would be fine if you retitled his movie “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children but Only if They’re White.”

In an interview with the website Bustle, Burton was asked why, given the pervasive, ongoing discussion of diversity in Hollywood, the overwhelming majority of the characters (and, hence, actors) in his latest fantasy film are white.

“Nowadays, people are talking about it more,” Burton said. But “things either call for things, or they don’t.”

He went on to talk about how, as a kid, he would’ve been dismayed to see an Asian kid or a black kid on “The Brady Bunch,” or more white actors in blaxploitation movies. (Never mind that there were white actors in blaxploitation films, but more on that later.)

Burton’s statements are just the latest from a celebrated, veteran filmmaker unable to wrap his mind around why diversity matters.

Ridley Scott, when discussing the casting of white actors to play characters of Middle Eastern and North African descent in his “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” told Variety: “I can’t mount a film of this budget, where I have to rely on tax rebates in Spain, and say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such. I’m just not going to get it financed. So the question doesn’t even come up.”

And, of course, there was a logic to Scott’s statement, just as there is some to Burton’s. You need a movie star to make a $150-million biblical epic feasible, so you get Christian Bale. No one faults him there. But there is no reason why Seti, a pharaoh of Egypt, needs to be played by John Turturro doing a bad Britishy accent. None.

I didn’t see Turturro in the Moses movie, but I’ve seen him in a million other movies, and there are very good reasons why somebody that funny-looking keeps getting hired by top directors. He ranks with Steve Buscemi, John Goodman, and a few others as among the best character actors of his generation.

By the way, Turturro is said to be currently reprising his role from The Big Lebowski as bowling pedophile Jesus Quintana in a remake of the 1974 Gerard Depardieu movie Going Places. (Keep in mind that somebody could be making a hash of this news report: it’s not common practice to drop a memorable character from one movie into a remake of another. But then again, with Hollywood so averse to original movies these days, maybe hybrids will turn out to be a reasonable compromise. Or not.)

How dare an Italian-American actor culturally appropriate Mexican pedophilia when America has no shortage of Mexican pedophiles to play Jesus Quintana?

The majority of the action in Burton’s “Miss Peregrine’s” takes place on an island off the coast of Wales during World War II. In Burton’s view, apparently, this fantastical school for fantastical children needn’t be burdened with having to mirror the population of the United Kingdom at that time — which boasted millions of people born abroad, from places like India, Jamaica, Pakistan and various African countries. Not a huge percentage of the population, mind you — according to a 1951 census, 4.2% of the total U.K. population — but enough.

4.2% nonwhite? Really?

Nope. The 4.2% figure for the 1951 UK census refers to foreign-born residents of Britain (PDF), who tended to be people who looked like, say, Audrey Hepburn, who was born in Belgium. That % includes Canadians like Lord Beaverbrook, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans, and the like. Most of all, it included people who had been born in the Republic of Ireland, such as the future Poet Laureate of England, Cecil Day-Lewis (father of actor Daniel Day-Lewis), whose father was a (Protestant) Church of Ireland minister.

I can’t find breakouts of the origins of the “foreign born” for the 1951 Census, but even as of the 1971 British Census, a large majority of the foreign born were Europeans, North Americans, Australians and Kiwis.

And keep in mind that during this era, a sizable fraction of people resident in Britain who had been born in India, Kenya, Jamaica and the like were white ex-colonials, such as Joe Strummer’s dad (born in Lucknow, India) and Richard Dawkins, who was born in Kenya in 1941, but has lived in England since 1949. Three of the greatest of all English writers, Thackeray, Kipling, and Orwell, had been born in India.

And that’s not considering the native-born people of color whose ancestors had emigrated to Britain, either by choice or by force, since the 16th century and became part of the fabric of British society.

Like, uh …

Here’s the actual number of “visible minorities” in the 1951 census: 94,500.

Screenshot 2016-09-30 21.09.25

The population of Britain in 1951 was a little over 50 million, so the 94,500 visible minorities represented 0.19% of the population. So that’s fewer than 2 out of every 1000.

Almost all of them lived in a few big cities, such as London. How many of that 0.19% you could expect to find on an island off the coast of Wales during the early 1940s is, well, uh, probably not something to get worked up over.

Burton’s heroes are always versions of himself: thin, pale, white outcasts. From “Edward Scissorhands” to “Ed Wood,” “Alice in Wonderland” to “Willy Wonka.”

A filmmaker is allowed his or her perspective on the world. That’s what makes them unique. Just as we, the audience, are allowed to wonder why, in his mind, the only color an outcast hero can be is white.

Why does Tim Burton cast as his main characters actors like Johnny Depp, just because Depp is the Movie Star Version of Burton? That’s racist. Burton should make movies where the hero the director identifies with is played by The Rock.

Speaking of diversity, Tim Burton is one of my fellow Valley Guys, along with, say, Bryan Cranston, Adam Carolla, Ron Unz, Paul Thomas Anderson, Michael Milken, and so forth and so on. Do those of us who grew up in the San Fernando Valley around the same time have all that much in common? Maybe, but then again, maybe not. It would seem like a pretty broad range of personalities.

Speaking of Tim Burton reminds me of the ancestry of his two kids, whose mother is British actress Helena Bonham Carter. Their offspring together are the great-great-grandchildren of H.H. Asquith, who was prime minister from 1908-1916. The PM’s daughter, their great-grandmother Violet Asquith Bonham Carter (1887-1969), was a famous wit who was Winston Churchill’s closest female friend.

Violet’s name appears constantly throughout Churchill’s journalism. But here’s an interesting story that I only learned of recently, written by Michael Shelden for the Daily Mail in 2012:

At the end of a long, relatively uneventful Edwardian summer, the papers were suddenly full of dire news about the 21-year-old daughter of the Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith.

The headlines were shocking: ‘Premier’s daughter missing’, said one; ‘Miss Asquith’s peril’, warned another. She had been reported missing at Cruden Bay on the Scottish coast, where the family had been spending their holiday in September 1908 at a rented fortress with the ominous name of Slains Castle.

After a dangerous search lasting half the night, Violet Asquith was finally discovered lying in wet grass on a rocky ledge above the sea — uninjured but apparently barely conscious.

A doctor was summoned and she quickly revived. But rumours continued to swirl: had she fallen by accident or had there been foul play? Some even whispered that she might have been intentionally trying to harm herself.

The Prime Minister moved swiftly to quiet any speculation by offering an innocent tale about his daughter stumbling in the dark. But no one could explain why Violet had remained missing for so many hours. It took several days of determined stonewalling before the Press stopped asking questions.

What happened that night has long remained a mystery — but buried in the Asquith family papers, now at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, I have discovered an astonishing revelation: the story of Violet Asquith’s brush with death is inextricably linked with her doomed love for a rising young star in her father’s Liberal cabinet — Winston Churchill.


From Slate:

Criminal Allegations in Alicia Machado’s Past Likely Wouldn’t Preclude Citizenship, Expert Says

By Ben Mathis-Lilley

One of the vague insinuations in Donald Trump’s instantly legendary early-morning Friday tweetstorm was that Hillary Clinton was involved in some sort of untoward way in securing United States citizenship for Alicia Machado despite Machado’s “disgusting” past …

As always, it’s impossible to understand exactly what Trump means. But let’s assume he was making an argument similar to the one Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham made on Wednesday: that Machado should have been prohibited from becoming an American citizen because she was reported to have been an accomplice in a 1998 attempted murder case in Venezuela, was accused by the judge in that case of making threats against him, and was later reported to have dated a Mexican drug trafficker. As you can read in the Daily Beast, she was never tried in the attempted murder case or in relation to the alleged threats against the judge.* As to the drug trafficker, press reports in 2010 said that a witness in a Mexican criminal case told authorities that Machado had borne a child by a cartel figure named Gerardo Alvarez Vazquez, but she does not appear to have been implicated in any specific criminal behavior related to Vazquez and has denied that he is the father of the child in question.

Machado was naturalized as a U.S. citizen on Aug. 19. I spoke to New York University Law Schol professor Nancy Morawetz, an expert in immigration law, to see if any of the publicly known information about Machado could or should have precluded her naturalization. While Morawetz of course does not have access to Machado’s immigration application materials, the answer appears to be “no”:

The standard under the law when you are seeking citizenship is showing good moral character, and good moral character is evaluated over a five-year period before you apply for citizenship. And they can look at earlier things but what the statute says matters is your good moral character in the last five years. So the fact that there’s something in your past doesn’t preclude you from becoming a citizen. The only situation which they under the statute look beyond five years is when you have a conviction for something that is categorized as an aggravated felony, which is a very broad category, but it’s only about convictions. If somebody’s been arrested and the charges have been dropped, that would not be—I can’t say that it might never be of any interest, but it’s not what the statute is looking at.

For what it’s worth, being the spouse of a drug trafficker and having knowingly benefited from drug crimes in the past five years does appear to preclude one from becoming an American citizen; Machado’s relationship with Vazquez was alleged to have taken place before 2010. (It also appears to be based on the hearsay testimony of a witness—or “witnesses,” but only one is ever named—who did not allege she was ever married to Vazquez.)

And, besides, that witness was soon murdered so he’s not around to squeal about Alicia Machado anymore.

But she appears to have filled in a Miami-Dade County official form two years ago in 2014 listing her child with the last name not of the man she had claimed was the father, but with the last name “Alvarez” of the the imprisoned cartel hitman.

Does anybody find all this less than confidence-inducing about our current immigration system?

Hillary doesn’t.

Because any kind of vetting of immigrants would violate the Zeroth Amendment to the Bill of Rights, which is that everybody in the world has the civil right to move to America and vote Democratic, no questions asked.

Prudence about immigration would be racist.


From McClatchy DC:

Here’s the real story of how a Miss Universe became part of the presidential race


Millions of Americans heard the name Alicia Machado for the first time this week in the final minutes of the most-watched presidential debate in history.

But there were actually a year’s worth of twists and turns, largely behind the scenes, that led Hillary Clinton to utter the name of the Latina beauty queen, turning Machado into a major figure in the final weeks of the presidential race.

American Bridge, an opposition research group, learned about the 1996 Miss Universe’s story last year. It sold the information directly to the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee and passed it on to Correct the Record, a super political action committee, which also sold it to Clinton’s campaign, according to three people familiar with the transactions who were not authorized to speak publicly.

And Clinton’s campaign clearly made the strategic decision that what Machado had to say about her former boss, Donald Trump, would be far more beneficial to the Democratic hopeful than any questions raised about the pageant winner’s colorful past.

As Trump inched closer to winning the Republican nomination, Machado contacted the Clinton campaign herself to reveal that he had humiliated her for gaining weight, taunting her with names like “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping.” …

Machado’s story wasn’t exactly a secret. Trump wrote about her in one of his books and she has been mentioned in numerous articles in the United States and Latin America, including by McClatchy. In July 2015, she announced she was writing a book about Trump.

It wasn’t until months after Machado’s experience became known to the Clinton campaign that the nominee brought up Machado’s name at the debate, knowing it could resonate with two key constituencies: women and Hispanics. …

The next day her campaign was ready. It released a two-minute video about Machado. Cosmopolitan magazine published a lengthy article, clearly already written, about Machado that included multiple photos of her draped in an American flag. …

“I have my past. Of course, everybody has a past,” Machado told CNN on Tuesday. “And I’m not a saint girl. But that is not the point now.”

On Friday, Machado slammed Trump in a statement issued through her publicist.

“The Republican candidate and his campaign are, once again, launching attacks, insults and are attempting to revive slanders and false accusations about my life, in order to humiliate, intimidate and unbalance me. These attacks are cheap lies with bad intentions,” she said. “This, of course, is not the first time the candidate insists on discrediting someone or insists on demoralizing women, minorities and people of certain religions through his hateful campaign. This is definitely one of his most frightful characteristics. Through his attacks, he’s attempting to distract from his campaign’s real problems and his inability to be the leader of this great country.”

All the allegations had been reported in the media before the presidential campaign started and would have been easy to find. A Clinton aide declined to say what was known about Machado’s background, saying only, “We’ve worked with Alicia the way we do with all of our surrogates.”…

• Tags: Extreme vetting

From the New York Times:

Donald Trump Bashes Alicia Machado Again, Alleging a ‘Sex Tape’ (Without Evidence)


… Mrs. Clinton responded later in the morning on Twitter by calling Mr. Trump “unhinged” and said his treatment of Ms. Machado was unwarranted.

Hillary Clinton ✔ @HillaryClinton
This is…unhinged, even for Trump. A few notes.

Hillary Clinton ✔ @HillaryClinton
What kind of man stays up all night to smear a woman with lies and conspiracy theories?
7:53 AM – 30 Sep 2016

Unlike the presidential candidates, Bobby Abreu appears to be maintaining a dignified silence, so far.

The real policy question here, of course, is what kind of vetting are immigrants given before they are handed citizenship and the vote?

Commenter ATX Hipster says:

You’re right Trump should be hammering his issues 24/7. But Ms. Machado is his issue – she is the physical embodiment of the raw deal Americans have been getting on immigration for the past 50 years. What could make the ideological split more vivid than having Hillary trot this woman out in front of America and say, “This is the kind of person I want to bring more of into the United States”?

Usually the Left shows us outliers, or at least somewhat respectable immigrants with redeeming qualities – hard-working Dreamers – and tries to convince us they’re representative of the broader immigrant population. Now they’ve given us somebody that embodies every negative stereotype Americans have about hispanics – trashy sexuality, prone to erratic fits of violence, and an anchor baby by a drug lord – and make it abundantly clear that if you want this woman and her family and their car on blocks next door to you, then Hillary is your candidate.

I don’t want Trump to spend a ton of time or energy on it, but ignoring something that plays to his narrative so well would be a mistake.

On the other hand, the problem for Trump is that it would look better if he were talking about immigration policy, while his surrogates were pointing out that Mrs. Clinton’s Killer Example turns out to be a perfect illustration of what’s wrong with current immigration policies.

But The Megaphone can pretty much ignore anything said by anybody who isn’t, personally, Donald J. Trump. They have to cover him, which is how he’s gotten so far over the last 15 months.


… will be all the Gender Healing.

Who isn’t looking forward to years of being lectured on the evils of white patriarchy by Alicia Machado?


From the Washington Post:

Donald Trump’s flip-flop on Angela Merkel is mind-boggling

By Aaron Blake September 29 at 10:27 PM

Forty-six days ago, Donald Trump reached beyond America’s borders for a bogeywoman to compare Hillary Clinton to: German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“In short, Hillary Clinton wants to be America’s Angela Merkel, and you know what a disaster this massive immigration has been to Germany and the people of Germany,” Trump said. “Crime has risen to levels that no one thought they would ever, ever see. It is a catastrophe.”

… But in an interview airing Thursday night, Trump pulled perhaps the biggest about-face of his campaign: Merkel, he said, was a world leader he admired.

Asked by New England Cable News about a world leader he wanted to “emulate”, here’s what Trump said: “Well, I think Merkel is a really great world leader, but I was very disappointed … with the whole thing on immigration. I think it’s a big problem. I was always a Merkel person. But I think she made a very tragic mistake a year and a half ago.”

… To state the obvious: Those are statements that are impossible to reconcile with one another. They make no sense, when placed next to one another.


From Politico:

In swipe at Trump, Clinton names Merkel as her favorite world leader

By NOLAN D. MCCASKILL 09/29/16 05:47 PM EDT

Hillary Clinton trolled two White House opponents with a single response, dinging Gary Johnson and Donald Trump by naming Angela Merkel as her favorite world leader.

The Democratic presidential nominee on Thursday joined the discussion about politicians’ favorite world leaders, a topic that went viral when Johnson, the Libertarian nominee, drew a blank when asked Wednesday to name a world leader he looks up to and respects.

“Oh, let me think. Look, I like a lot of the world leaders,” Clinton said, bursting into laughter initially when asked about her favorite world leader during a gaggle with reporters aboard her campaign plane in Chicago. “One of my favorites is Angela Merkel because I think she’s been an extraordinary, strong leader during difficult times in Europe, which has obvious implications for the rest of the world and, most particularly, our country.”

Clinton praised the German chancellor’s “leadership and steadiness on the Euro crisis,” while adding that “her bravery in the face of the refugee crisis is something that I am impressed by.” …

Her seemingly innocuous response could be interpreted as a two-pronged attack against Johnson and Trump, though.

When first asked the question, Johnson admitted that he was having another “Aleppo moment” …

Trump has frequently attacked Merkel on the trail, panning her for Germany’s intake of refugees, and will likely use that line against Clinton in the final stages of the campaign.

“Hillary Clinton is running to be America’s Angela Merkel, and we’ve seen how much crime and how many problems that’s caused the German people,” Trump said in a speech he delivered last month in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Trump, however, also named Merkel one of his favorite leaders Thursday, despite his rhetoric on the campaign trail that would suggest otherwise.

“Well, I think Merkel is a really great world leader, but I was very disappointed that — when she — this move with the whole thing on immigration,” he told New England Cable News. “I think it’s a big problem and really, you know, to look at what she’s done in the last year and a half. I was always a Merkel person. I thought really fantastic. But I think she made a very tragic mistake a year and a half ago.”

Well, sure, what Trump said about Merkel is far more reasonable than what Hillary said. But the point is that Merkel is a woman, and YOU CAN’T CRITICIZE A WOMAN.

You just can’t.

Those are just the rules. We didn’t make them up.

Well, actually we did, which is what’s kind of awesome about them. The fact that they are absurd and humiliating to thinking people is what makes enforcing them so satisfying.

Tomorrow, Hillary could promise to name Alicia Machado chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the press would be agog at her campaign genius. What, is Trump going to criticize a woman? A woman smashing glass ceilings?


From CBS News:

Commentary: The curious case of Alicia Machado

By WILL RAHN CBS NEWS September 29, 2016, 12:54 PM

As a rule, reporters like to keep their stories interesting, which is why the coverage we’ve seen of Alicia Machado is so curious.

This has been the week of Machado, who became famous literally overnight when Hillary Clinton brought her up at Monday’s debate. The next day saw numerous outlets writing pieces on Machado, boosted along by a conference call held by the Clinton campaign for journalists.

The former Miss Universe, who says that Donald Trump fat-shamed her and alleges that he called her “Ms. Piggy” and “Ms. Housekeeping,” and generally humiliated her after she put on weight, is now the star of a Clinton ad. An obscure figure in America less than a week ago, Machado is perhaps the biggest story in politics at the moment.

So it’s almost inexplicable that, despite all this coverage, the publications discussing the extraordinary stories of her life are mostly right-wing ones.

The most interesting thing about the mainstream articles is what they leave out. There is no discussion at CNN or The New York Times, for instance, about her post-pageant fame as the fiancée of Phillies outfielder Bobby Abreu, or how he reportedly called it off after a reality show she was on revealed video of her apparently having sex with a housemate.

Likewise, there is little mention of how a Venezuelan judge once alleged on live TV that Machado had threatened to kill him. Or how the Mexican attorney general’s office later said she was the girlfriend of a major narco trafficker, and that she he had a child with him, according to Univision and other outlets. Or how a government witness who reportedly testified about their affair was later shot to death.

A certain reticence is fair and appropriate when discussing the private lives of people alleging abuse at the hands of powerful men. The Clintons, of course, are no strangers to this, as they have been accused repeatedly of trying to smear women who’ve said President Clinton was sexually inappropriate with them.

But there’s something odd about news coverage that avoids easily available and fascinating stories about that person’s life. And it’s especially peculiar when that person is a campaign surrogate for a major party nominee, which is what Machado is now. …

But that doesn’t mean that her life, which has been reported on extensively in the Spanish language press, should be sanitized and whitewashed by the press. The political media is not in the beatification business; if it’s out there, readers deserve to know it.

And it is all out there. …

From an objective standpoint, this is all interesting stuff! Is it relevant to Machado’s current role in the Clinton campaign? Let’s take a look at what CNN and The New York Times reported about her life.

The CNN story, which includes a total of four bylines, limits its main Machado story to a discussion of how Trump treated her. After Clinton name-checked her in the debate, the story reports Machado saying that she began “crying because I never imagined that such an important person like her would care about my story, know about my story.”

As the CNN story notes, Machado made that statement on a conference call with reporters organized by the Clinton campaign. There is no mention in the story of the judge, the kingpin, or the baseball player.

The New York Times, however, went for more of a dive into who Machado is in a double-bylined story that ran Tuesday, “Shocked and Angry: Alicia Machado, a Miss Universe Mocked by Donald Trump.”

The Times reports that Machado was born in Venezuela and has endured 20 years of “agony” due to Trump’s behavior. “I was sick – anorexia and bulimia for five years,” Machado says.

It goes on to note that Machado has “done a series of interviews” with the Times this year. Towards the end, it notes that she is “a well-known actress” in Latin America.

And now she is a well-known political figure in America, a star surrogate for the leading contender for our presidency, which brings with it its own level of scrutiny and expectations.

Machado has lived a full life, and a uniquely fascinating one. So why would any journalist avoid talking about it?

The immigration / voting question is the big one. Machado is the Democrats’ self-selected epitome of their strategy of winning by importing dubious foreign ringers to vote for them.


From King 5 TV news in the Seattle area:

The Cascade Mall shooting suspect, Arcan Cetin, may face an additional investigation related to his voting record and citizenship status.

Federal sources confirm to KING 5 that Cetin was not a U.S. citizen, meaning legally he cannot vote. However, state records show Cetin registered to vote in 2014 and participated in three election cycles, including the May presidential primary.

Cetin, who immigrated to the United States from Turkey as a child, is considered a permanent resident or green card holder. While a permanent resident can apply for U.S. citizenship after a certain period of time, sources tell KING his status had not changed from green card holder to U.S. citizen.

While voters must attest to citizenship upon registering online or registering to vote at the Department of Licensing Office, Washington state doesn’t require proof of citizenship. Therefore elections officials say the state’s elections system operates, more or less, under an honor system.


Earlier this week, I blogged:

Hillary’s got to be figuring the Law of Averages has to finally be on her side with the next bad guy after such a long run of bad luck. Maybe the U. of Illinois party shooter will turn out to be a Young Republican … Is that too much to hope for? I mean, really, God, whose side are you on? Every time you turn on the news, some new atrocity is being committed by Muslims or blacks or immigrants, or even by a stabby Muslim black immigrant like that guy in St. Cloud, MN. I mean, what are the odds?

Well, the police have now issued a warrant for the fugitive wanted on charges of murdering one person and wounding three others, all of them apparently random bystanders he wasn’t aiming at, outside a party in Champaign, IL near the U. of I. campus.

Unluckily for Hillary, however, this 18 year old is probably not a Young Republican, what with his having spent most of the last year in jail for shooting a gun at some guys in a Steak ‘n’ Shake parking lot last December, but having been sprung earlier this month by a sympathetic judge. From the News-Gazette:

‘Spilled drink’ triggered Campustown shooting

Wed, 09/28/2016 – 10:16am | Mary Schenk

URBANA — A Champaign teenager paroled two weeks ago from boot camp for a shooting offense has been charged with first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm in the death of a bystander in a shooting early Sunday morning in Campustown.

“It all appears to have stemmed from a spilled drink,” State’s Attorney Julia Rietz said of the convoluted facts that led to the savage beating of one man, the fatal shooting of a visitor to Champaign, and the wounding of three others.

Authorities announced at a morning news conference that they are looking for Robbie M. Patton, 18, whose last known local address was in the 500 block of East Washington Street.

He is accused of fatally shooting George Korchev, 22, of Mundelein, who was visiting Champaign over the weekend and was set to begin a new job Monday as a registered nurse in Libertyville.

Patton was paroled Sept. 9 after having served about 8 1/2 months of an eight-year prison term for aggravated discharge of a firearm. It was Difanis who recommended Patton for boot camp in April over the objection of Assistant State’s Attorney Matt Banach after Patton pleaded guilty to the weapons charge for firing a handgun Dec. 14 in the parking lot of Steak ‘n Shake, 2010 N. Prospect Ave., C.

End Mass Incarceration Now!

Champaign-Urbana is where some of the residents of Chicago public housing projects torn down due to Rahm Emanuel’s influence over the last 25 years, such as Cabrini-Green near the Gold Coast, wound up because their Section 8 vouchers go further downstate than in pricey Chicago. Of course, this was an unintended consequence that the former Obama Chief of Staff could not possibly have foreseen, no matter what his old Irgun-member dad advised him. These population transfers have contributed to the vibrancy of that college town.


In Vox, Matthew Yglesias explains how carefully Team Clinton plotted to trap Donald Trump at the debate by accusing him of racististically fat-shaming victimized Latina immigrant / new voter Alicia Machado:

Hillary Clinton laid a surprisingly intricate trap for Donald Trump, and he blundered into it

Updated by Matthew Yglesias @mattyglesias Sep 27, 2016, 4:00p

Donald Trump wants America to know that he’s smart. … But in Monday night’s debate he not only revealed himself to be a bit of an ignorant, blustering fool. He also showed that he’s not nearly as shrewd as he likes to think he is by stumbling into an elaborate trap: Alicia Machado. …

Clinton laid an elaborate trap

And it now turns out there was nothing remotely spontaneous about any of this.

Cosmopolitan is out today with a long feature story on Machado headlined “Former Miss Universe Alicia Machado Won’t Be Defined by Donald Trump’s Fat-Shaming.”

The author of the story, Prachi Gupta, is the person who conducted a devastating interview with Ivanka Trump earlier in September. The Machado article includes photographs that were taken a week ago, making it clear that the groundwork for the debate moment was laid some time ago. And the story advances the anti-Trump narrative with new anecdotes about his crass behavior:

As she prepped for her portrait session, Machado recalled another incident of Trump’s fat-shaming. Toward the end of her reign of Miss Universe, she was writing thank-you cards in the Los Angeles Miss Universe office when he asked her what she wanted to do next. “You’ll never be an actress,” he told her, “because you are too fat to be an actress, and nobody wants fat girls on TV shows.”

The tagline at the bottom of Gupta’s story reads, “Election day is Nov. 8. If you haven’t registered to vote yet, you can do so here.”

… It turns out Machado also set up an interview with the Guardian’s Lucia Graves, apparently embargoed for post-debate release; the New York Times also has a fresh Machado story based on interviews.

… The Clinton campaign laid surprisingly intricate groundwork to turn her into a major story both at the debate and in the days following it.

And Trump fell for it, revealing a new side to himself that the public hasn’t really seen before.

Actually, I would think that getting into a dragged-out argument with the parents of the dead soldier in August was a much better example of Trump’s tendency to take everything personally.

What’s interesting about this latest Clinton campaign set-up of Trump, however, is how much of a botch it is. The dead soldier’s parents really were the parents of a solider who is dead. This example, however, of a New Immigrant Vibrantly Putting the Old White Man in His Place is comically absurd. Keep in mind that this was the Grand Climax of the entire debate that Hillary left to the end:

CLINTON: And one of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest. He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them. And he called this woman “Miss Piggy.” Then he called her “Miss Housekeeping,” because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name. Her name is Alicia Machado. And she has become a U.S. citizen, and you can bet… she’s going to vote this November.

The fact that the HRC campaign and the national media have been laying the Alicia Machado trap for Trump for months makes it even funnier that the whole thing has blown up on them because they hadn’t bothered to do any vetting, whether extreme or cursory, on the Venezuelan self-promoter, who has been involved in at least four major scandals.

Screenshot 2016-09-29 13.55.06 While the funniest scandal involves Machado cheating on her baseball slugger fiance Bobby Abreu on a night vision lens on a reality TV show, probably the most serious scandal is the Mexican Attorney-General’s charges that the father of her anchor baby, whom she claims was born in Miami in 2008, was the notorious drug cartel boss and hit man Jose Gerardo Alvarez-Vasquez.

Univision, the Spanish language network owned by Hillary’s financial backer Haim Saban, reported in 2010 (via Google Translate):

The former beauty queen, Alicia Machado, has been linked with Gerardo Alvarez Vazquez “El Indio” Beltran Leyva operator.

By: Univision
Published: April 23, 2010 | 2:04 PM EDT

Detained 18 gunmen

MEXICO CITY – After the arrest of drug trafficker Gerardo Alvarez Vazquez, alias “El Indio” or “The Chayán” Mexican media revealed on Thursday that the arrest is the father of the daughter of former Miss Universe, Venezuelan Alicia Machado, of according to an investigation by the Attorney General.

“El Indio”, stated to be the operator of the cartel of the Beltran Leyva, was arrested Wednesday night during an operation carried out in Huixquilucan, State of Mexico, during which he took place a shootout between soldiers and gunmen the drug dealer, informed the Secretariat of Marina. La former beauty queen was linked to “El Indio” as it emerged from a preliminary investigation published the newspaper Reforma in its digital version.

Some media such as Reforma and Grupo ACIR news, highlighted the alleged relationship between Machado and the operator of the Beltran Leyva cartel.

On the paternity of the small D*******, Machado’s daughter, there are conflicting versions. Recently [s]he said the girl ‘s father was a businessman Rafael Hernández Linares.

I’ve asterisked out the child’s name.

Even the newspaper Reforma noted that according to a preliminary investigation by the authorities, protected witnesses claimed that the baptism of small D******, held in 2008, attended as invited Arturo and Hector Beltran brothers, Edgar Valdes Villarreal “La Barby” and the Colombian narco Harold Mauricio Ojeda, “the Rabbit”.The protected witness Edgar Bayardo del Villar gave his first testimony on October 29, where the alleged loving bond between Machado and the arrested man appears.

El Indio is a bad man. From the U.S. Department of State, which, by the way, Hillary used to be in charge of:

Narcotics Rewards Program: Jose Gerardo Alvarez-Vasquez



Jose Gerardo Alvarez-Vasquez ALIASES: “El Indio,” “Chayan”
DOB: February 24, 1965
POB: Mexico
HEIGHT: 6 feet 1 inch
WEIGHT: 205 pounds

The Sinaloa drug trafficking organization is considered one of the most powerful and violent criminal organizations currently operating in the Republic of Mexico, with distribution cells throughout the United States. …

Although originally a part of the Sinaloa cartel, Arturo Beltran-Leyva broke ties with the organization in 2008 and established the Arturo Beltran Leyva (ABL) drug trafficking organization with several other former Sinaloa cartel members. Today, the ABL is responsible for the procurement of arms and ammunitions from the United States in furtherance of their criminal enterprise and is responsible for the trafficking of illicit drugs, including cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamine. The ABL is also credited with rising rates of violence within Mexico, as they are reportedly responsible for kidnapping, torture, murder, and various other acts of violence against numerous men, women, and children in Mexico. The ABL’s enforcement arm, the Fuerzas Armadas de Arturo, is considered one of the most ruthless and brutal in the way they dispose of their enemies. The organization is connected with the assassinations of numerous Mexican law enforcement officials.

Jose Gerardo Alvarez-Vasquez was a key member of the ABL drug trafficking organization and believed to be responsible for facilitating communications between ABL hierarchy and Central and South American sources of supply for cocaine. Alvarez-Vasquez was also believed to be responsible for overseeing the ABL narcotics-related activities in multiple cities of Mexico and to be actively involved in major bulk crystal methamphetamine procurements. He coordinated the movement of illegal narcotics into the United States and oversees the repatriation of narcotics-related proceeds. Alvarez-Vasquez was charged in a 1997 four count indictment in the Southern District of California. Alvarez-Vasquez was arrested by Mexican authorities in April 2010.

Keep in mind, however, that this is Mexico, the labyrinth of solitude, so you can’t trust what anybody says.

Machado denied Alvarez-Vasquez’s paternity, claiming the child’s father was another man. On Youtube there is a video of the actress having her toddler baptized in a very respectable looking ceremony, with no obvious gunmen looming. Commenters below the video debate the topic of who’s-your-daddy.

But GotNews this week has found that in 2014 Machado filled in a Miami-Dade County form for her child (for the purpose, I’m guessing, of qualifying for free public school) listing her child’s last name as Alvarez Machado.

That’s a new finding by GotNews, at least in English, but in general you don’t have to do a lot of digging to find a lot of facts on Machado. You don’t even have to read Spanish. Here’s a 1998 Reuters news story in English on Machado that I found on the website of Turkey’s English language daily Hurriyet.

Ex-Miss Universe stars in real-life Venezuela soap
HDN | 2/7/1998 12:00:00 AM |

Judge accuses Alicia Machado of threatening to kill him after he ordered her boyfriend’s arrest

Reuters Caracas-

Venezuelans are turning in droves to a torrid real-life drama starring a former Miss Universe that promises to outdo the steamy soap operas that dominate local network schedules. The latest twist in a story of shootings, threats, suicide and kidnapping came when a judge accused 1996 Miss Universe Alicia Machado of threatening to kill him after he ordered her boyfriend’s arrest.

Machado, who grabbed world headlines for nearly losing her crown after a sudden weight gain, burst back into the limelight last month when lawyers named her as the getaway driver for her boyfriend in a shooting last November.

In a theatrical news conference last week, which some commentators said should help her budding acting career, Machado said she was at home with stomach pains caused by a diet. The 21-year-old brunette, who won her crown in Las Vegas in May 1996 and promptly gained 22 pounds (10 kg), said she did not believe her boyfriend was involved either.

“This is the man I love and love is based on trust and respect,” she said, after testifying for two hours in a closed-door meeting with Judge Maximiliano Fuenmayor.

Venezuela’s beauty queens are a national institution. The annual Miss Venezuela beauty pageant is the nation’s equivalent of the U.S. Super Bowl and has produced more international title winners than any other organization.

So the scent of scandal now surrounding Machado has fueled a media frenzy not seen since former President Carlos Andres Perez was drummed out of office in 1993 to face corruption charges. Newspaper front pages blare daily updates on the case and television and radio stations carry live each twist in a thickening plot to an insatiable public.

Fuenmayor ruled on Wednesday there was insufficient evidence to implicate the woman once described as an “eating machine” by the Miss Universe organization president, New York real estate tycoon Donald Trump.

But he ordered Machado’s boyfriend, Juan Rodriguez, jailed as the main suspect in the case. By the time police went to arrest Rodriguez at his home on Thursday, he was nowhere to be found.

According to the judge, a woman identifying herself as Machado called him after the ruling and “said she would make sure, using her friendship with the president (Rafael Caldera), that my career as judge is ruined and then she would kill me.” Fuenmayor, who reported the alleged threats to police, said he traced the caller through an incoming call identity function on his mobile telephone.

The facts of the case date back to the Nov. 21 funeral of Maria Rodriguez, who committed suicide by jumping from her fifth floor apartment. She was eight months pregnant. Lawyers for Francisco Sbert, husband of the deceased, say her brother, Juan Rodriguez, shot Sbert in the head and made off with Sbert’s 11-month-old son, his nephew, in a car driven by Machado.

Rodriguez, a 26-year-old graphic designer with movie star looks, says he merely struck Sbert, who survived the incident, with the butt of his pistol.

One possibility is that all of Machado’s scandals are just kayfabe, but that raises a variety of other issues.

From the comments section of The Atlantic:

Sarita La Cubanita • 4 hours ago

… As a Miami person, Cuban-American, and one who has watched huge amounts of Hispanic TV and read a lot of Hispanic media, I am quite familiar with that creature who goes by the name, Alicia Machado. This is a person who attempts to hang on to the coattails of the Hispanic media on the basis of scandals she herself creates.

These scandals were previously unknown to people outside of Miami and the Hispanic world, but today these scandals became known to people outside of Miami – such things as, threatening to murder a judge, being married to a narco and having to appear in court about this, beating up a well-respected and loved Mexican actress,

That’s a new one to me.

having sexual relations on live TV, and so on.

We Cuban-Americans had already heard all this trash before, back in our little corner of the world, because this woman just won’t go away. She’s like a gnat. She has been hanging around Miami forever, and keeps trying to make a living by being an obnoxious lawbreaker, and making ends meet that way.

And concerning her winning Miss Universe, which many Hispanics were shocked by because she is the least attractive Miss Universe according to many Hispanics, her entire complaint is like all her other scandals – bs.

By the time she met Donald Trump and broke the contract of Miss Universe by going from 116 all the way to 170 lbs (the weight of a sizable man), she had already been through Miss Venezuela. For those who don’t know, the Miss Venezuela pageant is the world’s most vicious, mean, cruel, savage, and infamous beauty contest, filled with experts and critics who tear up the contestants and make them cry, force them to become anorexics, and have them undergo plastic surgery or else they are kicked out.

This commenter does have a point. From the indispensable Daily Mail:

Butt implants aged 12, waists crushed into painful straps for weeks and intestines removed by 16: Inside the extreme Venezuelan ‘beauty factories’ where girls go to shocking lengths to become Miss World

From the New York Times in 2013:

Mr. Miss Venezuela

Osmel Sousa, the longtime head of the Miss Venezuela pageant, takes credit for the [plastic surgery] trend. He recommended a nose job for Venezuela’s first Miss Universe, which he says made her victory possible more than three decades ago.

“When there is a defect, I correct it,” Mr. Sousa said. “If it can be easily fixed with surgery, then why not do it?”

For Mr. Sousa, beauty really is skin deep: “I say that inner beauty doesn’t exist. That’s something that unpretty women invented to justify themselves.”

The Atlantic commenter from Miami continues:

Someone who willingly remained in the Miss Venezuela pageant with all its savagery, is no stranger to being required to look her best, and surely is no wallflower. And yet she proceeded to break the Miss Universe contract, something which Trump rescued her from by making sure she lost the huge amount of weight she had gained by eating too much. And now she pretends that she’s a delicate flower, or that Trump said things to her which were unpleasant (but which no witnesses witnessed).

But none of that matters now. Her entire scandalous, ridiculous, criminal life has finally broken out of Miami, and is now on to the world stage, and everyone now gets to feast its eyes on this truly disturbed woman. Now they too get to share what we in Miami have had to endure from this nutjob.

Evidently, nobody at the Clinton campaign or at the New York Times, which made Machado’s tale the anchor anecdote in a long denunciation of Trump on May 15, bothered to Google her. Here’s an interesting bit in a new New York Times article today:

Clinton aides said Ms. Machado, who recently became a United States citizen and can vote, contacted the campaign during the Democratic primary, wanting to help. The campaign declined to say whether Ms. Machado’s background had been vetted.

Heckuva job, Establishmentie!

By the way, as I’ve often noted, this just another bit of evidence that white people in America have lost all interest in Latin America, finding it too tacky to pay attention to. American writers and artists, such as Ambrose Bierce, James Michener, John Ford, William Burroughs, John Wayne, and Ken Kesey, used to be fascinated by Mexico. But Cormac McCarthy and Mel Gibson appear to be the last of a dying breed.

Other than the occasional Celtic Republican like McCarthy or Gibson, white Americans are bored, bored, bored with Latin America. Except that a whole bunch of American elites, such as Hillary, want to import tens of millions of Latin Americans to crush at the polls other American elites, like Donald. What could possibly go wrong?

One interesting issue, since Hillary celebrated it at the debate, is how exactly did Ms. Machado become a United States citizen and voter this year? Did she disclose to the U.S. government her background, such as giving her child the surname of a drug lord for whom the U.S. government had offered a $2 million reward? How much vetting does the government do of immigrants?

That seems kind of topical. Perhaps Hillary might wish to comment?


Commenter SPMoore8 writes:

What made the Alicia Gambit so devastatingly bad is that anyone who heard about it would have assumed that Ms Machado was some humble Mexican lady who was just minding her own business.

Right, my assumption in listening to the debate was that Hillary’s crack campaign staff had caught Trump making fun of a 4’11″ illegal alien housekeeper in one of his hotels. But instead she turns out to be a 5’11″ Charo knockoff.

Instead, Hillary has experienced a Bimbo Eruption on a scale equal to any that Bill ever had.

Remember: This was the Kill Shot. This was the Ultimate Gotcha. The was supposed to have voided the content of the entire debate: He called a woman fat, and that’s that. I don’t think any of the great satirists in history could have devised a narrative that would encompass what the political and cultural landscape of America has become in the past few years, and in particular, in this election season.

One of the conclusions I’ve come into over the decades is that an awful lot of what is positioned as important ideological idealism is really just careerist self-promoters — Bruce Jenner, Alicia Machado, etc etc — cynically hitching rides on fashionable dumb ideas. (Conversely, Trump is a self-promoter hitching a ride on some ideas that, I hope, are less dumb, but at minimum have certainly been less fashionable.)

And so many of the details always seem to follow the stereotypes. For example, telenovela actresses tend to like rich violent guys, like her boyfriend who shot his brother-in-law at a funeral (while Alicia Machado may, or may not, have driven the getaway car) and the narco cartel sicario who may, or may not, be the father of her child. In contrast, she humiliated fiance Bobby Abreu with a sex tape with some other guy, perhaps because, as far as I know, the Philadelphia Phillies slugger only murdered hanging breaking balls.

Another iSteve concept is the rise of the Conquistador-American as the (white) face of accusations of white racism against Hispanics.

Presidents Coolidge & Machado

From Alicia Machado’s IMDB bio:

Date of Birth 6 December 1976, Maracay, Venezuela
Birth Name Joseph Alicia Machado Fajardo
Height 5′ 11″ (1.8 m)

Venezuelan-born Alicia Machado is the daughter of a Cuban father and Spanish mother who immigrated to Venezuela during the middle of the 1900s. Her father, a relative of former Cuban dictator Gerardo Machado, fled Cuba and found refuge in Venezuela after the fall of the Machado regime. …

What’s remarkable, though, is how hard it is for Americans these days to see examples of this widespread tendency right before their eyes. Here’s an amazing column in today’s Washington Post from Wednesday morning, 36 hours after the debate, exulting in how the Clinton campaign staff and virtually the entire mainstream media agree that their mutual campaign to promote Alicia Machado’s name is the Smartest.Thing.Ever.

The Daily 202: Trump stumbles into Clinton’s trap by feuding with Latina beauty queen
By James Hohmann September 28 at 9:11 AM

THE BIG IDEA: It might be Hillary Clinton’s most cunning move since the start of the general election. The Democratic nominee set a trap for Donald Trump in the final minutes of the first debate, and he walked right into it.

The GOP nominee’s decision to take the bait and rehash his past attacks of a former Miss Universe for gaining too much weight is now dominating the conversation. And the controversy is helping the Clinton campaign galvanize Latinos and prevent undecided women from moving toward Trump.

Even as Trump proclaimed victory in New York, he allowed during a Fox News interview yesterday that he let himself get a little too irritated “at the end, maybe” when Clinton brought up Alicia Machado. Machado alleges that Trump called her names such as “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping” when she gained weight after winning the Miss Universe crown in 1996.

Trump could have brushed off the question and moved on the next morning, but instead he engaged. “She was the worst we ever had. The worst. The absolute worst. She was impossible,” Trump said of Machado on Fox. “She was the winner, and she gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem. We had a real problem.”

– Operatives in Brooklyn had been working with Machado since the summer.

Here’s a vivid Reuters story in English from 1998 recapping the first two of Machado’s major scandals. But despite months of prepping, Hillary’s crack staff apparently completely missed the many stories about Machado in the Spanish-speaking world.

They had a video featuring her story ready to go. Cosmopolitan had a photo spread of her draped in an American flag – to go with a profile – in the can. Machado had also conducted an interview with The Guardian that was “apparently embargoed for post-debate release,” according to Vox. And the Clinton super PAC Priorities USA turned a digital ad to highlight the insults by early afternoon.

The Clinton press shop then set up a conference call for Machado to respond to what Trump said on “Fox and Friends.” Speaking with reporters, Machado recounted how Trump “always treated me like a lesser thing, like garbage” and that his new words are like “a bad dream.” She said in a mix of Spanish and halting English that she watched the debate with her mother and daughter and cried as Clinton recounted her story, Ed O’Keefe reports.

Campaign calls like these are usually gimmicky ploys that get little attention, but this one played prominently in every news organization’s second-day coverage about the debate. Megyn Kelly, against whom Trump leveled gendered attacks against last year after she moderated a debate, then interviewed Machado in primetime on Fox News last night.

– Opposition researchers also gleefully pushed Trump quotes about her from the 1990s. Here are two examples (more are in the social media speed read):

In 1997, Donald told Howard Stern that Machado was an “eating machine” who “ate a lot of everything.” “You whipped this fat slob into shape,” the radio host told Trump. “I don’t know how you did it. I see all these diet plans, everything else. God bless you.” When asked if Trump had “gotten her down to 118,” he said she is going to be there soon. (Via Buzzfeed)

Around the same time, Trump told Newsweek: “We’ve tried diet, spa, a trainer, incentives. Forget it, the way she’s going, she’d eat the whole gymnasium.”

– “Morning Joe” extensively covered the spat today. Joe Scarborough said “this was all people were talking about” at his daughter’s parents night. Mike Barnicle said when he was picking up a prescription at the Duane Reade drugstore, the woman behind the counter – unprompted – referenced the “Miss Piggy” controversy. “She is furious, behind the counter, she’s furious,” he recalled. “Of all the things he’s done in this campaign, this is the one that could linger,” Mark Halperin chimed him. “The Clinton campaign cannot believe he’s giving them the political opportunity…This is exactly what they would want to happen…They couldn’t script it any better!” Barnicle agreed: “The Miss Housekeeping phrase is just as lethal to Donald Trump as Miss Piggy.” NBC’s “Today” show did their own segment this morning too.

– New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait predicts Trump’s criticism of Machado will have the same staying power as his attacks on Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who spoke at the Democratic National Convention: “What truly made the set piece work was Trump’s response, which Clinton could not have scripted better if she tried. Unlike the previous allegations, he did not deny them, but instead burst out — three times! — ‘Where did you find this?’ I have seen villains in Disney movies presented with damning evidence react this way, but I have never seen an actual human being do it, until now.”

– Importantly, this story has also broken through across non-traditional outlets:

It was the second story on Telemundo’s evening newscast and the third story on Univision’s.

“Donald Trump Continues to Body Shame the Former Miss Universe He Called ‘Miss Piggy’” is the headline on People Magazine’s home page.

“Alicia Machado Opens Up About Trump’s Treatment of Her: ‘He’s Not a Good Person,’” is the headline in The Hollywood Reporter.

The Palm Beach Post, in the heart of a key swing state, has a listicle in today’s edition: “Alicia Machado: 5 things to know about Trump’s latest target.”

– The gender dynamic is perhaps the most dominant theme in the mainstream media’s post-debate commentary:

“Trump’s interruptions of Clinton are familiar to women” is the headline on the front page of the Boston Globe. Their story, about HRC getting interrupted 51 times during the debate, quotes women in a range of professions talking about how they’ve experienced the same thing.

“Last night’s debate, or the mansplaining Olympics” by Alexandra Petri is the most read story on the opinion section of The Post’s web site.

“Although she would never talk about it in the way that Trump discusses the victimization of being audited, Clinton carries the ever-expanding knowledge of what it’s like to be dismissed, disrespected, and treated unfairly,” Jia Tolentino writes in The New Yorker. “This is precisely why she was so calm and steely last night—so Presidential. It’s why she can express genuine solidarity with people like Alicia Machado, people whom Trump can barely see.”

“When I watch, I sometimes feel like Ingrid Bergman — not European and glamorous, but unnerved, as though I’m being gaslit,” said New York Times Magazine staff writer Susan Dominus. “Trump tries to gaslight an entire country when he plays fast and loose with the truth or insists on logic-defying connections — each of which is an apt tactic for someone who often questions the mental health of women who dare to criticize him. If they are women with big careers … they are ‘neurotic.’ …

“The idea that we should trust men who hate us in private to protect us in the public sphere is the ultimate insult to our intelligence,” adds Post blogger Alyssa Rosenberg.

Alicia Machado ✔ @machadooficial
I received my passport ! I’m ready to vote For my country for you @HillaryClinton for my daughter For women workers
8:05 PM – 26 Sep 2016 · Los Angeles, CA, United States
6,479 6,479 Retweets 15,772 15,772 likes

– This feud helps Clinton with two crucial constituencies:

– Galvanizing Latinos: Beauty pageants are as big as the Super Bowl is for us in Latin America, and it was no coincidence that Machado emerged as a surrogate on National Voter Registration Day. The campaign is working to encourage Latinos and other less-engaged groups who dislike Trump to get on the rolls. “This was about consolidation,” Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg told Greg Sargent. “One of the big things (that has been) holding her back was the failure to consolidate Democrats.”

James Downie, who watched a dial group of 100 likely voters during the debate, elaborates: “After the debate, though there was only a small shift in the group toward Clinton, they had a much more favorable view toward her, and a number of voters who had come in as ‘weak’ Clinton supporters left as ‘strong’ Clinton supporters.”

– Expanding the gender gap. …

Now, that’s some fact-finding! No mention of the two accusations of aiding or threatening attempted murder,


Screenshot 2016-09-28 16.00.48

Commenter Kyle says:

“Presumably Hillary will promise that if elected, she will establish a Department of Hurt Feelings.”

Commenter inertial replies:

Department of Microdefense against microaggressions.

The frontrunner for Secretary of Microdefense is said to be new MacArthur Genius Claudia Rankine.


One part of Hillary’s campaign is to promise to wage war on the Orwellian / Gladwellian concept of racist implicit bias. From the transcript of Monday’s debate:

HOLT: Secretary Clinton, last week, you said we’ve got to do everything possible to improve policing, to go right at implicit bias. Do you believe that police are implicitly biased against black people?

CLINTON: Lester, I think implicit bias is a problem for everyone, not just police. I think, unfortunately, too many of us in our great country jump to conclusions about each other. And therefore, I think we need all of us to be asking hard questions about, you know, why am I feeling this way?

But when it comes to policing, since it can have literally fatal consequences, I have said, in my first budget, we would put money into that budget to help us deal with implicit bias by retraining a lot of our police officers.


The Atlantic today writes up a new Yale study tracking the mass delusion that is implicit bias back to its sinister root: preschool teachers.

In fact, hallucinatory implicit bias so afflicts American culture that black preschool teachers are even more implicitly biased against black boys than are white preschool teachers.

Even Black Preschool Teachers Are Biased
A new study shows that African American early educators hold students of the same race to a higher discipline standard.


The trend is a familiar one, documented across grade levels: Black students are disciplined more harshly than their white classmates. They’re about four times as likely to be suspended and almost twice as likely to be expelled. The pattern also extends to the youngest black learners. Federal education data released in June revealed black preschoolers were 3.6 times more likely to receive one or more out-of-school suspensions. Yet even with this recurring outcome, one aspect remained largely unknown: What was the major contributing factor in the highly disproportionate suspension and expulsion rates for black pre-k children?

A new study from the Yale Child Study Center, a leader in early-childhood research, set out to address this perennial question and answer why black children make up an overwhelming share of the youngsters pushed out of preschool. Multiple studies show that implicit bias—harboring unconscious stereotypes that shape educators’ behaviors and decisions—influences teacher expectations and gifted-and-talented placements for older schoolchildren. The link was missing, however, in early-childhood settings.

In what’s believed to be a first-of-its-kind analysis, Walter Gilliam, a Yale professor and noted expert in preschool discipline, discovered both black and white early-childhood educators showed signs of implicit bias in administering discipline, seemingly rooted in different, though equally harmful, race-based judgements. “Implicit biases do not begin with black men and police,” Gilliam said. “They begin with young black boys and their preschool teachers, if not earlier.”

Using a sophisticated eye-tracking system, a sensor technology that follows and records the movement of a person’s gaze, Gilliam and the research team invited pre-k teachers to watch a dozen short video clips of preschoolers in typical classroom situations. Participants were asked how quickly and accurately they could detect challenging behaviors in the children—a black boy, black girl, white boy, and white girl—yet none of the videos contained misbehavior, and the children in the videos were all actors. What researchers found was that the preschool staff—both black and white teachers—more closely observed black youngsters, and especially black boys, when challenging behaviors were expected, “suggesting that preschool teachers may hold different expectations based on the race of the child,” said Gilliam. …

Of note, both black and white preschool educators—22 percent of the participants identified as black, 67 percent as white—showed strong evidence of implicit biases. However, the nature of the biases differed based on the race of the teacher. White teachers appeared to have lower expectations of black children, finding them as a group more prone to misbehavior, “so a vignette about a black child with challenging behaviors [was] not appraised as … unusual, severe, or out of the ordinary.”

Conversely, black teachers seemed to hold black preschoolers to a higher behavioral standard; pay notably more attention to the behaviors of black boys; and recommend harsher, more exclusionary discipline. Prior research suggests that teachers of all races tend to over-punish black students. Gilliam also points to research on black parents and their “need to prepare [black] children for, or protect them from, a harsh world” to help explain this tendency. “It seems possible that the black preschool teachers may be operating under similar beliefs … that black children require harsh assessment and discipline.” …

“What [the Yale study] points to is that teachers are already socialized, regardless of their racial background, about racial politics in ways that they don’t often understand, but that may come out in their observation of children, and particularly black males.”

… “Early educators are not immune to implicit biases. No one is,” said Gilliam, the lead researcher. But by recognizing the harm these prejudices have on children they serve, preschool teachers “represent perhaps our nation’s best frontline defense against the negative impacts of implicit biases.”

This story is part of our Next America: Early Childhood project, which is supported by a grant from the Heising-Simons Foundation.


From The Atlantic:

Donald Trump’s Double Standard on Weight

From the “400-pound” hacker to Alicia Machado, the candidate’s denigration of fat people has a long tradition—but may be a liability.


… Weight seems to be one of Trump’s preoccupations. The debate and its fallout highlighted how he publicly ridiculed the Miss Universe winner Alicia Machado as “Miss Piggy” and an “eating machine” …

On Dr. Oz recently, Mehmet Oz told Trump that his body-mass index is high for his height and Trump said he’d like to lose some pounds.

Looking for some historical context for Trump’s comments on weight, on Tuesday I spoke with Amy Farrell, the author of the 2011 book Fat Shame: Stigma and the Fat Body in American Culture. She is a professor of American studies and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at Dickinson College. This conversation has been edited.

Spencer Kornhaber: I was struck by how much the topic of weight was part of the debate: There was the 400-pound hacker, Rosie O’Donnell, and Alicia Machado. Why do you think this keeps coming up this election? … The issue of weight was brought up in the debates in part by Hillary mentioning Trump’s previous comments. She’s treating them as if they are a political liability. Back when Trump was judging Miss Universe, when he made some of the most egregious statements, it was the ’90s. Is she right to be thinking that people’s attitudes have changed?

Farrell: … I do think that Hillary Clinton is tapping into the fact that there [have been] many people working since the latter part of the ’60s to make a space for fat people. …

Kornhaber: In the ’90s, Trump criticized Alicia Machado’s weight as a violation of the contest, saying, “When you win a beauty pageant, people don’t think you’re going to go from 118 to 160 in less than a year, and you really have an obligation to stay in a perfect physical state.” …

Farrell: I’m very unhappy that Trump has said those things but I am glad it has given us an opportunity as a culture really to look directly at what fat denigration means to people—for us to get this on the table so it’s not something that’s hidden and hurting people but something that we can address and challenge. Last night when Hillary had the last minutes to speak, she made sure she included [Alicia Machado]. Knowing that she’s a careful debater and practiced, it wasn’t something that just popped out of her mouth.


Here’s CNN video from 1997 of Alicia Machado and Donald Trump joking around.


The Guardian dutifully stays on Hillary’s script this morning, even as the arranged narrative collapses around them:

Alicia Machado, Miss Universe weight-shamed by Trump, speaks out for Hillary Clinton

Clinton made the former Miss Universe turned actor and activist a talking point of the first debate, criticizing Trump’s public comments about her weight

Lucia Graves

But Anderson Cooper of CNN can’t pass up a huge juicy story about Miss Universe and … murder (or at least allegations that Hillary’s new best friend forever was the getaway driver in a 1998 attempted murder at a funeral in Venezuela):

Miss Universe strikes back

By Daniella Diaz, CNN
Updated 6:32 AM ET, Wed September 28, 2016

Washington (CNN)Former “Miss Universe” Alicia Machado struck back Tuesday against insults hurled at her by Donald Trump, saying that he was “aggressive” and “really rude.”

Machado, who represented Venezuela in Trump’s 1996 “Miss Universe” competition said that Trump called her “Miss Housekeeping” and “Miss Piggy” when she gained weight after winning the beauty pageant.

“I know what I left with him and he knows, too. And he was really aggressive. He was really rude. He was a bad person with me,” she told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on “AC360.” “That is the story that I need to share with my community. We cannot accept no more insults for my Latin community. No more insults for the women. I know very well Mr. Trump and I can see the same person that I met 20 years ago.”

At the presidential debate on Monday, Clinton referenced Machado to make a bigger point to Trump about his public treatment of women — which has become a key campaign issue that hits on his vulnerabilities with both Hispanics and women.

[Hillary] continued: “Donald, she has a name. Her name is Alicia Machado. And she has become a US citizen and you can bet she is going to vote this November.”

Cooper also asked Machado about reports that she was accused of driving a getaway car from a murder scene soon after the “Miss Universe” pageant.

“There are reports that Trump surrogates tonight have been referencing and been pointing to … about an incident in 1998 in Venezuela where you were accused of driving a getaway car from a murder scene. You were never charged with this. The judge in the case also said you threatened to kill him after he indicted your boyfriend for the attempted murder. I just want to give you a chance to respond these reports,” Cooper said.

Machado responded: “He can say whatever he wants to say. I don’t care. You know, I have my past, of course everybody has a past. And I’m no saint girl. But that is not the point now … (Trump) was really rude with me, he tried to destroy my self esteem. And now I’m a voice in the Latin community. I’m in a great moment in my life and I have a very clear life. And I can show my taxes.”

Earlier Tuesday, Trump refused to back down from his criticism of Machado, telling “Fox and Friends” in an interview that she had “gained a massive amount of weight and it was a real problem.”
“She was the winner and you know, she gained a massive amount of weight and it was a real problem. We had a real problem,” Trump said. “Not only that, her attitude, and we had a real problem with her, so Hillary went back into the years and she found this girl — this was many years ago. And found the girl and talked about her like she was Mother Theresa. And it wasn’t quite that way but that’s OK. Hillary has to do what she has to do.”


From the New York Times:

Whether Crime Is Up or Down Depends on Data Being Used


The news from the F.B.I. crime data was alarming: The murder rate rose sharply last year, driven by jumps in several major cities.

Four urban areas — Baltimore [Freddie Gray], Chicago [Laquan McDonald], Milwaukee [Dontre Hamilton] and Washington — accounted for about a fifth of the increase in homicides in 2015. Those cities, however, make up only about 1 percent of the nation’s population.

For the cities with the 3 highest increases in homicide in 2015, I inserted the names of the black males shot by cops that spurred Black Lives Matter protests that led to big increases in murder.

But whether crime is up or down depends on what data is being looked at — and who is doing the looking.

The F.B.I. data showed that violent crime rose about 4 percent last year from 2014, and homicides increased 10.8 percent. Yet crime over all fell in 2015 for the 14th consecutive year.

Homicide is one of the rare crimes, along with kidnapping, that definitely gets a police response and statistical enumeration. Are people in Chicago at present bothering to call the cops over their bikes getting stolen? In 1986 right outside the Loop I got the back window of my hatchback smashed and my bike stolen. I don’t recall bothering to report it.

Property crime and armed robbery has been typically falling for the last 40 years or so. Individual physical pieces of wealth tend to be worth less than in the past. ATM machines have allowed me to take out a maximum of $300 for the last third of a century. Car stereos cost about, I don’t know, $300 back then and about $300 today, so they get stolen less today.

Plus, there has been massive target hardening over the decades.

Why shouldn’t crime go down … unless we are screwing up?

Because crime is a bad thing, like infant mortality or airliner crashes. We invest a lot in reducing it. If we’re not reducing it, we’re probably doing something obviously wrong, like encouraging blacks to be angry at whites.

And the total number of homicides last year was fewer than 20 years ago even as the country’s population increased, criminologists said. There were 19,645 homicides in 1996 in a nation of 265 million; in 2015, there were 15,696 in a population of 321 million.


Look, homicides should be falling perhaps 5% per year or things are getting worse.

What that data means, criminologists and police officials said, is that the decline in homicides has been so significant in the last quarter century that sudden increases in the number of killings in just a few cities can skew the entire national picture, even as the country has one of its safest periods on record.

“It isn’t a national trend, it’s a city trend, and it’s not even a city trend, but a problem in certain neighborhoods,” said Richard A. Berk, a professor of statistics and criminology at the University of Pennsylvania. “Certainly, people around the country should not be worried. People in Chicago shouldn’t be worried. But people in certain neighborhoods might be.”

Criminologists and police officials point out that homicides do not usually disrupt entire cities. Instead, they occur in particular neighborhoods — and on the same blocks — leaving much of the rest of the city relatively untouched.

So, when you go to vote, don’t worry about America becoming an increasingly homicidal nation. It’s not who we are. It’s just those people who live on particular blocks.

Explanations for the increase in homicides in certain American cities are largely guesswork. Criminologists acknowledge that the required analysis has not been done in the neighborhoods where killings are occurring — or even an agreement of what such a study should include — to arrive at any but the broadest conclusions.

“Why is there a rise? No one can possibly know that,” said Robert Smith, director of the Fair Punishment Project at Harvard Law School. “But crime statistics are most accurate when they are block by block, because even a neighborhood is too large.”

Still, attempts at explanations are numerous: battles over drug dealing turf; the dissolution of once powerful street gangs, resulting in violent crews that disband as quickly as they form; petty disputes that turn deadly because of the ready availability of guns; and a deepening economic and social isolation of the nation’s poorest.

Or maybe it has something to do with … Black Lives Matter?

I wouldn’t rule out some drug market effect, but I haven’t been able to find one in about a year of looking.

If you look at the history of homicide rates, there were three periods of upswing:

- The Sixties, which ran from about 1964-1975, which was a combination of multiple drugs and political liberalism that reduced sentencing, discouraged cops, and riled up minorities and white hotheads.

- The brief powder cocaine spike around 1980.

- The big crack cocaine from about 1988-1994.

It could be that the last two years are caused by fighting over some drug, but, personally, I’m not down with the streets so I don’t know what it would be. The other huge possibility is it’s just a reprise of Sixties Liberalism.

Crime experts say that studying a single year of crime data — instead of a decade or 20-year periods — reveals little about crime, especially if a particular year runs counter to the current long-term trend of falling crime.

It appears to be at least a two year trend running from Ferguson in August 2014 at least through the first half of 2016.

“Crime rates are well known to be volatile, and year-to-year variation does not really tell you much,” Dr. Berk said. “The reasons are that crime rates are driven by many factors at the neighborhood and even interpersonal level that we do not measure and about which we have little understanding.”

Inimai M. Chettiar, director of the Justice Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan public policy group, said that the nation might have entered a period in which some types of crime, particularly homicides, would regularly seesaw from year-to-year in certain cities, but neither rise nor drop significantly.

“There have been predictions that as crime decreases, we will see more up and down movements, but that crime itself will stay relatively steady,” she said.

The patchwork that has emerged from the steep crime reductions over the past generation has meant that Baltimore, Milwaukee and Washington — where murders increased in 2015 — have had fewer homicides this year. Baltimore is on pace to have its murder rate drop 9.7 percent this year, and Washington by 12.7 percent, according to a study by the Brennan Center.

Or Freddie Gray didn’t get killed in 2016 in that region, he got killed in 2015.

Slate’s article is a little better:

Should the Media Downplay the New Murder Spike?

Depending on your politics, the FBI’s new stats can look scary or meaningless. Here’s a more honest reading.

By Leon Neyfakh

But the author can’t gin up the courage to mention Black Lives Matter, either.


From my column in Taki’s Magazine:

Border and Order in the Debate
by Steve Sailer
September 28, 2016

One hour and one minute into the first presidential debate, Donald Trump finally mentioned, in passing, the word that had gotten him this far: “border.” …

Not surprisingly, Trump’s two opponents, Hillary Clinton and Lester Holt, didn’t bring up borders. …

Trump’s main hope in his remarkable long-shot crusade has been to lure Hillary into an overly frank dialogue, whether in a debate or on the campaign trail, over just whose side she is on: 300 million Americans or 7 billion non-Americans? …

The truth is that Trump isn’t really all that talented at what the professional wrestling business calls “mic work.” But as I pointed out a couple of months ago in my column “The Inarticulate Orator,” it’s precisely because he’s not terribly verbally facile that he’s been less likely to fall prey to the reigning bad ideas of our time the way Hillary has come increasingly under the sway of the Orwellian-Gladwellian conventional wisdom.

On the other hand, Trump’s huge challenge is that he’s trying to undermine, more or less single-handedly, the dominant mental bilge of our era. That’s not an easy task to accomplish in the off-the-cuff remarks Trump prefers. …

As this first debate showed, Trump can’t always rely on his sheer Trumposity to get his message across in sentence fragments.

Read the whole thing there.

Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

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