Quick Takes: This Isn’t the First Election Trump Thought Was Rigged

* As much as Mitt Romney would like you to forget all about it, Donald Trump endorsed him in 2012 on the heels of rekindling the whole birther movement against President Obama. You’ll never guess how Trump responded when Romney lost.

* As long as we’re taking a walk down memory lane, here is a story from 2014 that I think about pretty often.

Chamber [of Commerce] President and CEO Tom Donohue, a reliable supporter of key conservative election races and issues, said the GOP might as well sit out the 2016 presidential elections if they don’t tackle immigration reform this session.

“If the Republicans don’t do it, they shouldn’t bother to run a candidate in 2016,” Donohue said at a panel Monday on America’s infrastructure. “I mean, think about that. Think about who the voters are.”

Not only did the Republicans in the House block passage of immigration reform, they nominated a candidate who called Mexicans “criminals and rapists,” who talks about deporting ’em all, and suggested that a federal judge isn’t qualified because of his Mexican heritage. That pretty much explains this:

Hillary Clinton is maintaining a 50-point lead over Donald Trump among Latino voters heading into the final weeks of the presidential election, and more Latinos now say they they’re very interested in the November contest, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll.

* Peggy Orenstien writes, “How to Be a Man in the Age of Trump.”

Michelle Obama was right on Thursday when she said that, were Mr. Trump to win the election, we would be “telling our sons that it’s O.K. to humiliate women.” While the warning that assault will cost you the presidency may be the beginning of a conversation, it should not be the end. “Don’t sexually assault women” (or, for that matter, “Don’t get a girl pregnant”) is an awfully low bar for acceptable behavior. It does little to address the complexity of boys’ lives, the presumption of their always-down-for-it sexuality, the threat of being called a “pussy” if you won’t grab one, the collusion that comes with keeping quiet. Boys need continuing, serious guidance about sexual ethics, reciprocity, respect. Rather than silence or swagger, they need models of masculinity that are not grounded in domination or aggression.

* I’m sure these two stories aren’t connected and have nothing to do (cough, cough) with collusion to interfere with the U.S. election. First up, here’s the news about Wikileaks:

Wikileaks says an unidentified “state actor” has shut down internet access for its founder Julian Assange.

The transparency activist has been claiming asylum at London’s Ecuadorean embassy since 2012 to avoid extradition over sex assault allegations.

* Secondly, there’s this story about Russia’s international propaganda TV channel:

Russia has angrily accused Britain of trampling on freedom of speech after NatWest [National Westminster Bank] said it was closing down the bank accounts of the Kremlin TV channel Russia Today (RT)…

Simonyan [RT’s editor-in-chief] said she had received a letter out of the blue from NatWest saying that it was pulling the plug on the broadcaster’s accounts from mid-December.

“We have recently undertaken a review of your banking arrangements with us and reached the conclusion that we will no longer provide these facilities,” it said. The decision was final, the letter added.

* Beyond the election, there are a couple of important global stories. First of all, the battle for Mosul has begun in Iraq.

An Iraqi operation to recapture the city of Mosul, the last major stronghold of the so-called Islamic State (IS) in the country, has started…

The US-led coalition fighting IS is backing the assault with air strikes, The operation is complex and analysts say it could last for weeks, if not months.

The start of the operation was announced by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in a televised address in the early hours of Monday (local time). “The hour of victory has come,” he said.

* Secondly, there is this great news from Kigali, Rwanda:

Negotiators from more than 170 countries on Saturday reached a legally binding accord to counter climate change by cutting the worldwide use of a powerful planet-warming chemical used in air-conditioners and refrigerators.

The talks in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, did not draw the same spotlight as the climate change accord forged in Paris last year. But the outcome could have an equal or even greater impact on efforts to slow the heating of the planet…

While the Paris agreement included pledges by nearly every country to cut emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the fossil fuels that power vehicles, electric plants and factories, the new Kigali deal has a single target: chemical coolants called hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, used in air-conditioners and refrigerators…

Over all, the deal is expected to lead to the reduction of the equivalent of 70 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere — about two times the carbon pollution produced annually by the entire world.

* Finally, if you need to lighten things up in the midst of our trumpian dystopia, President Obama’s got you covered.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.