On this day in 1993, Nelson Mandela and South Africa president F. W. de Klerk shared the Nobel Prize for Mandela’s efforts to end Apartheid and de Klerk’s efforts to stop Apartheid-ing.
DONALD TRUMP ACCUSES BLACK MAN OF LIVING IN HIS HOUSE
YES, THIS THING IS STILL HAPPENING—Donald Trump suggested this week that the Secret Service has not yet offered him Secret Service protection because he is a “Republican.” He offered as proof that he’s a Republican that he’s a billionaire demanding “free stuff” from the government.
Trump’s key to staying relevant? Living out the American dream of being so rich you can say the dumbest possible thing that comes to your mind and get cheered for it. About 30 percent of the Republican Party really wants a guy who says things like “If anyone could afford WMDs, it’s me.”
But maybe Donald Trump does have a point here, which has become the most obnoxious thing we’ve all had to say at least one time this year. Barack Obama received Secret Service protection in May of 2007. But that was due to a deluge of threats from virulent racists who correctly feared he’d become the first black president, the first thing virulent racists have ever gotten right. Trump has received threats — notably from drug lord El Chapo — but so far the only violence we can say for sure his campaign has inspired is two Boston guys peeing on a homeless man because they thought that would make America great again.
New polls in South Carolina and Nevada — key early primary states — show that Trump is still dominating the Republican field. All hopes that his candidacy would be reduced to the joke that it is are fading as the Republican base seems to be reaching smoking-through-their-tracheostoma levels of suicidalness.
Hillary Clinton already has Secret Service protection from a prior engagement. Bernie Sanders mostly travels via coach with two aides and a set of luggage made of hemp.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
OBAMA TO LEAVE TROOPS, NOBEL PEACE PRIZE IN AFGHANISTAN
THE PRESIDENT OFTEN ACCUSES OTHERS OF WANTING ANOTHER IRAQ—But he obviously wants to avoid another situation like Iraq in Afghanistan, where a U.S. troop pullout is soon followed by a reengagement of U.S. troops. Today the White House announced 5,500 troops will stay in Afghanistan after 2016, ending Obama’s plan to bring combat troops home by the end of his second term.
NOBODY WINS THE DEBATE OR THE DEBATE ABOUT THE DEBATES
THE AFTER BERN CONTINUES—This satisfying thing about elections is that — unless Jeb Bush steals one for you — there is a clear winner. But debates are generally boring after the first few minutes (even for Donald Trump when he’s in them), and the winners are rarely clear. Sure, sometimes you get a clear loser when a guy can’t count to three or does something indefensible like admitting his name is Rick Santorum. But before the debate is even over, the discussion enters a second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth stomach of the media as we endlessly chew over what they mean.
Bernie Sanders fans say that focus groups and online polls prove the Senator won the debate, while much of the media is arguing that Clinton was so dominant as to assert her inevitability. To be fair, the only online poll Sanders has lost this year is “Who should date Selena Gomez?” You have a better chance of actually finding a woman on Ashley Madison than finding a Clinton fan in Reddit’s Politics sub-reddit. So let’s stop arguing and further surround ourselves with people who agree with us entirely.
TREASON FANS INDICTED FOR TERRORIST THREATS
MAYBE HATE IS THE HERITAGE—The debate about removing the flags used by the Confederates happened about a century and a half too late in America. But fewer Americans argue you shouldn’t be allowed to wave them if you just want to symbolically say, “Hey, I’d kill my fellow Americans for the right to keep black people in chains.” Under the First Amendment, you have a right to say that, symbolically. But a Georgia group called Respect the Flag is being charged with saying that literally. “They used the N-word and said they were going to kill people on my property,” Melissa Alford, the host of a birthday party allegedly menaced by the group in July, said. If convicted, members of the group could spend up to 20 years in prison, where they might meet and align with like-minded folks who share their beliefs.
ANTI-HILLARY COMMITTEE MEANT TO HURT HILLARY
REPUBLICANS IMAGINED THEY’D GET OBAMA WITH IT, THEN HILLARY—But so far, they’ve just gotten themselves. Another Republican congressman has admitted the whole point of the seventh Benghazi committee was to go after “an individual, Hillary Clinton.” Using the deaths of Americans killed in terrorists attacks on 9/11 for political gain never gets old for the GOP. What’s new is admitting it.
WHY ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE FUTURE, QUEEN ELIZABETH?—Hover boards are now illegal on public lands in the United Kingdom, even though they clearly don’t hover. No wonder this is the country that gave the world Piers Morgan and the Sex Pistols.