* Joan Walsh does a great job of explaining why Donald Trump is having a meltdown.

It’s no accident that three of Trump’s victims – Machado, the Khan family, and Judge Gonzalo Curiel – are not white. Hostility to minorities is the animating energy of the campaign. But the candidate’s derangement over Machado surpasses his prior breakdowns – for a good reason. A woman he once controlled, quite literally – making her exercise in front of the media, to prove she was taking his demands to lose weight seriously – is defying him publicly. Another woman, Hillary Clinton, refused to slink into obscurity after her husband humiliated her (last year Trump shared a fan’s tweet asking, “If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?”) and is currently leading him in the race for the presidency.

* Josh Marshall makes a similar point.

Trump hit a brick wall in Monday night’s debate. He didn’t prepare. It took Hillary Clinton, a woman he’d spent weeks calling frail and weak, only 15 or 20 minutes to knock him off stride and reduce him to a defensive posture for the rest of the debate…She dominated him in front of more than 80 million people. His inability to contain or damage her kept him angry and unfocused, flailing through the encounter…

For Trump, Machado must be like a terrifying nightmare: a strong, beautiful Latina, draped in an American flag, who is intent on hurting him but who he is incapable of injuring.

…The sum of all these facts – the debate defeat, the fight with Machado, the faltering polls – seem to be propelling Trump into a new rage spiral, rooted in narcissistic injuries, seemingly catalyzing itself, reinforcing itself in spiraling cycles of rage and self-injury.

* Here’s another guy who isn’t having a very good day.

Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore is suspended from the bench without pay for the duration of his term, the Court of the Judiciary announced Friday.

The decision comes after the Judicial Inquiry Commission accused Moore of directing Alabama’s probate judges to defy the federal courts when it comes to issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

* When Vladimir Putin and the U.S. intelligence community disagree, the Republican presidential nominee descends into the “he said/they said” of both-sider-ism.

Donald Trump doesn’t believe there is enough evidence to blame pro-Russian separatists for last year’s downing of a commercial airliner over Ukraine — despite the fact that the U.S. intelligence community believes “with confidence” that pro-Russian separatists shot it down.

“That’s a horrible thing that happened,” he said. “It’s disgusting and disgraceful but Putin and Russia say they didn’t do it, the other side said they did, no one really knows who did it, probably Putin knows who did it. Possibly it was Russia but they are totally denying it.”

* Have you heard about Ted Cruz’s latest conspiracy theory?

The Texas Republican senator’s latest crusade is to block an Obama administration plan to give up U.S. oversight of domain names to international supervision, warning in a Senate subcommittee hearing Wednesday that could be a threat to freedom. He warned against giving power to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a private non-profit group based in Los Angeles.

“Imagine an internet run like China or Russia, that punish and incarcerate those who engage in political dissent,” Cruz said. Earlier on the Senate floor, Cruz said he didn’t want “to tell our children and our children’s children what it was once like when the internet wasn’t censored, wasn’t in the control of the foreign governments.”

Everyone knows that assigning domain names is exactly the same thing as censorship…don’t they? Apparently he’s rounded up some state attorney generals to take this one to court.

Four Republican state attorneys general are suing to stop the Obama administration from transferring oversight of the internet to an international body, arguing the transition would violate the U.S. Constitution.

Did you see what Politico did there? They conflated the assignment of internet domain names with “oversight of the internet.” In other words, they’re reinforcing the conspiracy nonsense.

* When Dorothy Rabinowitz writes this in the Wall Street Journal, you might want to check on the temperature in hell.

The end of the election is now in sight. Some among the anti-Hillary brigades have decided, in deference to their exquisite sensibilities, to stay at home on Election Day, rather than vote for Mrs. Clinton. But most Americans will soon make their choice. It will be either Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton—experienced, forward-looking, indomitably determined and eminently sane. Her election alone is what stands between the American nation and the reign of the most unstable, proudly uninformed, psychologically unfit president ever to enter the White House.

* Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) has written a letter to U.S. News and World Report raising some issues with the methodology they use in their college rankings. For example:

While your current rankings reward schools for how many students they graduate, they do not adequately account for the socioeconomic status of the students they educate…

The current rankings also reward schools for how exclusive they are, but not how inclusive they are…

The rankings also reward schools for their alumni’s generosity and how well they pay their faculty, but do not measure how well they make college affordable for low-income students.

In other words, Senator Coons is suggesting that their rankings should look more like the ones produced by the Washington Monthly.

* Finally, the Clinton campaign did a marvelous job of rounding up the big guns of the left for this one. It’s true that some of these folks have disagreed on some things in the past. But they are all in agreement on one BIG thing.

If you or anyone you know needs a jolt of enthusiasm, this should do the trick.

Nancy LeTourneau

Follow Nancy on Twitter @Smartypants60.