Saturday Night Live: Tom Hanks Exposes a Surprising Truth About Trump Supporters

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~~~  WATCH  ~~~

The final debate sketch wasn’t the only time Tom Hanks and Saturday Night Live decided to roast Donald Trump this week.

S.N.L. hasn’t exactly been gentle on Trump supporters this election season. (Did you miss that fake ad last year where the show unflinchingly compared them to Nazis?) So, even knowing some biting political commentary is coming, it’s surprising to see Tom Hanks—who, earlier in the night, leaned into his gentle, “America’s Dad” persona—put on that red “Make America Great Again” cap for a “Black Jeopardy!” sketch. But either way, it was good to see Hanks behind the old Jeopardy! podium where he made such a splash playing a dumbed down version of himself opposite Will Ferrell’s Alex Trebek back in 2009.

This time, instead of playing dumb, Hanks was playing paranoid—and the premise of the sketch revealed that there may not be such a huge difference between Trump’s base and the black community represented by Sasheer Zamata, Leslie Jones, and Kenan Thompson. It’s a cute premise bolstered by Thompson’s cheerful surprise at finding so much common ground. It’s also worth noting that this is a sketch S.N.L. couldn’t have even done in 2009, when Thompson was the sole non-white cast member on the show. Just another way S.N.L.’s diversity push has given it a sharper political edge.

Of course, it’s all fun and games on “Black Jeopardy!” until the final category. But we’ll let you discover that surprise for yourself.

Tom Hayden, Civil Rights and Antiwar Activist Turned Lawmaker, Dies at 76

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Mr. Hayden spoke in Lincoln Park in Chicago during the Democratic National Convention in August 1968. He and others were charged with inciting to riot and conspiracy for planning antiwar protests that turned into clashes with the Chicago police.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images


Tom Hayden, who burst out of the 1960s counterculture as a radical leader of America’s civil rights and antiwar movements, but rocked the boat more gently later in life with a progressive political agenda as an author and California state legislator, died on Sunday. He was 76.

His wife, Barbara Williams, confirmed the death to The Associated Press. Mr. Hayden had been suffering from heart problems and fell ill while attending the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July.

During the racial unrest and antiwar protests of the ’60s and early ’70s, Mr. Hayden was one of the nation’s most visible radicals. He was a founder of Students for a Democratic Society, a defendant in the Chicago Seven trial after riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, and a peace activist who married Jane Fonda, went to Hanoi and escorted American prisoners of war home from Vietnam.

As a civil rights worker, he was beaten in Mississippi and jailed in Georgia. In his cell he began writing what became the Port Huron Statement, the political manifesto of S.D.S. and the New Left that envisioned an alliance of college students in a peaceful crusade to overcome what it called repressive government, corporate greed and racism. Its aim was to create a multiracial, egalitarian society.

Like his allies the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who were assassinated in 1968, Mr. Hayden opposed violent protests but backed militant demonstrations, like the occupation of Columbia University campus buildings by students and the burning of draft cards. He also helped plan protests that, as it happened, turned into clashes with the Chicago police outside the Democratic convention.

In 1974, with the Vietnam War in its final stages after American military involvement had all but ended, Mr. Hayden and Ms. Fonda, who were by then married, traveled across Vietnam, talking to people about their lives after years of war, and produced a documentary film, “Introduction to the Enemy.” Detractors labeled it Communist propaganda, but Nora Sayre, reviewing it for The New York Times, called it a “pensive and moving film.”

Later, with the war over and the idealisms of the ’60s fading, Mr. Hayden settled into a new life as a family man, writer and mainstream politician. In 1976, he ran for the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate from California, declaring, “The radicalism of the 1960s is fast becoming the common sense of the 1970s.” He lost to the incumbent, Senator John V. Tunney.

But focusing on state and local issues like solar energy and rent control, he won a seat in the California Legislature in Sacramento in 1982. He was an assemblyman for a decade and a state senator from 1993 to 2000, sponsoring bills on the environment, education, public safety and civil rights. He lost a Democratic primary for California governor in 1994, a race for mayor of Los Angeles in 1997 and a bid for a seat on the Los Angeles City Council in 2001.

He was often the target of protests by leftists who called him an outlaw hypocrite, and by Vietnamese refugees and American military veterans who called him a traitor. Conservative news media kept alive the memories of his radical days. In a memoir, “Reunion” (1988), he described himself as a “born-again Middle American” and expressed regret for “romanticizing the Vietnamese” and for allowing his antiwar zeal to turn into anti-Americanism.

“His soul-searching and explanations make fascinating reading,” The Boston Globe said, “but do not, he concedes, pacify critics on the left who accuse him of selling out to personal ambition or on the right ‘who tell me to go back to Russia.’ He says he doesn’t care.”

“I get re-elected,” Mr. Hayden told The Globe. “To me, that’s the bottom line. The issues persons like myself are working on are modern, workplace, neighborhood issues.”

Thomas Emmet Hayden was born in Royal Oak, Mich., on Dec. 11, 1939, the only child of John Hayden, an accountant, and the former Genevieve Garity, both Irish Catholics. His parents divorced, and Tom was raised by his mother, a film librarian.

He attended a parish school. The pastor was the Rev. Charles Coughlin, the anti-Semitic radio priest of the 1930s and a right-wing foe of the New Deal.

At Dondero High School in Royal Oak, Mr. Hayden was editor of the student newspaper. His final editorial before graduation in 1957 almost cost him his diploma. In his exhortation to old-fashioned patriotism, he encrypted, in the first letter of each paragraph, an acrostic for “Go to hell.”

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The whole world is laughing at Donald Trump in SNL’s new debate sketch

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~~~  WATCH  ~~~

A week after drawing an unhappy response from Donald Trump for its portrayal of him in its spoof of the second presidential debate, “Saturday Night Live” didn’t back down on the third one.

Featuring the debate again in its cold open — this time with Tom Hanks playing moderator Chris Wallace — Alec Baldwin’s Trump was as brutish and offensive as ever.

At one point, Trump forgets the name of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and calls him “Señor Guacamole,” his wife “Taquito,” and his kids “Chips” and “Salsa.”

He offers the world’s most meandering and nonsensical answer to a question about the Iraqi city of Mosul. There’s even a subtle jab at Trump’s strange comment that he would date daughter Ivanka if she weren’t his daughter.

The sketch had some fun with the audience laughter that was clearly heard when Trump said that nobody respects women more than he does. It zooms out to outer space to show the whole planet laughing at the comment.

And, yes, there were jabs at Clinton, too. When asked about her emails, she offers the most transparent pivot ever to avoid answering the question. There is a jab at her instantly exploiting Trump’s “nasty woman” comment for political gain. And she assures us that she would be a “stone-cold B” as president.

But the butt of most of the jokes — and the toughest jokes — was again Trump, whose over-the-top rhetoric and style were just made for these sketches. Trump will see this tougher treatment as bias against him and part of what he has deemed the vast media conspiracy against him. But he’s just eminently more lampoon-able. It’s the persona he has crafted for himself.

This is the final debate sketch we’ll see, given that there aren’t any more debates. Perhaps none of them were classic SNL, but they certainly captured the strangeness of the 2016 debates. And when we look back at this campaign, they’ll be a part of it.

What’s ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ Without Garrison Keillor?


Chris Thile, Garrison Keillor and Heather Masse in June, during one of Keillor’s last performances as host of “A Prairie Home Companion.” Credit Mark Peterson/Redux, for The New York Times


Here they come,” said the security guard, mopping sweat from his brow. He was tall and bald but not imposing, and he worried that the searing heat would lead to too much drinking. It was 3 p.m. on June 11, and the gates to the Ravinia outdoor theater in Highland Park, Ill., had just opened. People streamed in carrying coolers and lawn chairs, checkered blankets and wineglasses, plasticware full of crackers, melons and deviled eggs. They politely competed for swatches of grass in the shade of oak trees mounted with thank you for not smoking signs.

They wore old Cubs shirts and sun hats of all colors. A stuffed bald eagle perched atop one of the coolers. Vendors sold bottles of wine for $40. The security guard’s concerns proved well founded; the Malbec went quickly, then the Moscato. Lawn space dwindled, and with it some of the crowd’s civility. An old man struggled under the weight of two folding chairs. His wife worried aloud that he’d have a heart attack. “Keep walking!” he snapped.

They had come to see Garrison Keillor one last time. The creator and host of “A Prairie Home Companion” had for four decades gently skewered their baby-boomer sensibilities with fake ads for rhubarb pie and stories about family life that descended into jokes about plagues of rats and apocalyptic climate change. “There’s something about this kind of humor people my age can appreciate,” said Tim Balster, a gray-haired magician I met in the crowd. “It’s like a quilt.” Balster had been listening to “Prairie Home” for 33 of his 52 years. He loved nothing more than to hear the aging writer breathing deeply, his nose right next to the mike. “It draws you in,” he said, “like a moth to the flame.”

Now that was ending. Only four shows remained before Keillor would depart, relinquishing hosting duties to a 35-year-old mandolin player from California named Chris Thile, who was appearing as a musical guest for this show. As we sat in the grass, Balster noted that Keillor left the show once before, when he married a Danish woman, only to return. It was true. But this hiatus occurred during the Reagan administration, when Keillor, now 74, was still a relatively young man. Nevertheless, Balster said, “I’m holding out hope.”

An hour or so before the gates opened, I watched Thile prepare for the show in a dressing room in the Ravinia’s backstage area, then head for the stage entrance, where he crossed paths unexpectedly with Keillor. Keillor is 6-foot-3, a looming and still presence; Thile is fence-post thin with a pronounced jawline and unruly dirty-blond hair. He projects a focused, constant energy, and today his boyishness was amplified by a retainer in his mouth, a corrective measure to address problems left over from a childhood without dental insurance. Thile was already dressed for the performance in a collared shirt; Keillor, who is known for rewriting scripts until the last possible minute, wore a T-shirt.

“How would I know?” Keillor said, without making eye contact.

Thile retreated to his dressing room to warm up on his mandolin, a rare 1924 Gibson built by the renowned luthier Lloyd Loar. He played arpeggios, his long fingers hopping around the fretboard, and sang in a clear falsetto: “Da da da da.” Thile’s voice is a staccato tenor. A critic once memorably wrote that Keillor’s baritone sounded “precision-engineered to narrate a documentary about glaciers”; Thile would be more suited to announcing a pickup football game played by peregrine falcons. He put on a tie: “There’s that.” But he looked a little nervous.

Internally, executives at American Public Media, the nonprofit that produces and distributes “A Prairie Home Companion,” liken Thile’s ascent to Jimmy Fallon’s taking Jay Leno’s seat. The comparison sells short the jarring nature of the shift. Leno didn’t conceive of “The Tonight Show” or write most of the jokes himself, as is the case with Keillor and “Prairie Home.” More peculiar still, Thile is not a writer-raconteur in the mode of Keillor, but a musician, and one who prefers technical, challenging terrain.

The transition brings with it more than one existential question — whether “A Prairie Home Companion” can possibly go on without Garrison Keillor’s voice, and whether there’s even a place for such a show in modern America. Thile’s motivations also seem curious. He spent this summer touring Australia and Japan and curating a sold-out series of concerts at Washington’s Kennedy Center. He has a choir. Why preach to Keillor’s?

After the Ravinia performance, in a greeting tent full of rhubarb pie, an old man approached Thile and asked about his plans. “A lot of things will stay the same,” Thile told him. “But a lot of things will change.” The man smiled politely.

In 1974, Garrison Keillor — then a freelance writer and morning-show host for Minnesota Public Radio — traveled to Nashville for The New Yorker to report on the original live-music variety show, the Grand Ole Opry. His assignment was to write about the Opry’s transition from the Ryman Auditorium to a slick new venue. “Ryman should’ve been torn down long ago,” the country star Roy Acuff told Keillor. Keillor disagreed. His article was an unapologetically nostalgic celebration of the old venue, hosts and performers. Rather than attend the grand opening of the new Opryland, he bought a portable radio at a pawnshop and listened from his hotel room.

Upon returning to St. Paul, Keillor hatched plans for his own live radio show, and he started “A Prairie Home Companion” just months later. For its earliest years, it was primarily a music-variety program featuring regional artists and interstitial spoken-word bits. Keillor wrote mock commercials for fake products like “expeditious” Powdermilk Biscuits, made by Norwegian bachelor farmers, and “Beebopareebop rhubarb pie,” which was billed as resuscitative. There were also dispatches from Lake Wobegon, a fictitious Minnesota town of Scandinavians where all the children were “above average.” These eventually evolved into a monologue that became the show’s famous centerpiece. “Well, it’s been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon,” he’d start, before delving into self-deprecating narratives that might contain a life lesson on, say, the importance of losing at softball. The spoken-word elements of the show became the main draw by the mid-’80s, and they appealed to enough people that in 1985 Time magazine put Keillor on its cover.

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A New Age of Walls ~ The Washington Post

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On U.S.-Mexico border, a complex mix of culture, terrain and politics

An intense debate over extending the border wall has been a centerpiece of this year’s election. A journey from San Diego to Brownsville, Tex., offers an up-close view at what it would take to complete such a barrier — and at the lives of those already divided.
By Samuel Granados, Zoeann Murphy and Kevin Schaul

~~~  WATCH/READ  ~~~

What Nixon Could Teach Trump About Losing ~ by Mark K. Updegrove ~ NYT



Austin, Tex. — Richard M. Nixon, the first president to resign from office, was hardly a beacon of moral integrity. Nor was Nixon above demagogy on the campaign trail, infamously fanning the flames of Communist paranoia during the McCarthy era by unjustly painting his opponent in his 1950 Senate race, the California congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas, as the “Pink Lady.”

But the 37th president, as controversial as he was, offers a good example for Donald J. Trump on the importance of putting the country ahead of one’s ego and personal ambition on Election Day.

When Mr. Trump, amid his claims that the voting process is rigged, was asked in Wednesday’s debate if he would accept a losing result in the coming election, he responded by spitting in the face of American democracy. “I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense,” he said glibly, as though presaging a reality-show cliffhanger. The next day he told an audience in Ohio that he would accept the results of the election — “if I win.”

He would do well to look at the election of 1960, which pitted Nixon, the Republican presidential nominee and sitting vice president, against his Democratic rival, the Massachusetts senator John F. Kennedy. The two candidates waged admirable campaigns, which included squaring off in four substantive, widely watched debates, culminating with the election on Nov. 8.

The outcome was a wafer-thin victory for Kennedy, who garnered 49.7 percent of the vote and 303 electoral votes, versus 49.5 percent and 219 votes for Nixon. Of the 68 million votes cast, only 119,000 swung the election for Kennedy, who had taken Illinois and Minnesota by the slimmest of margins.

But shortly after Nixon’s concession to Kennedy, which he offered in a gracious telegram to his opponent early on the morning of Nov. 9, reports of voting fraud in Illinois and Texas benefiting the Democratic ticket began to surface. In Chicago, in one instance, 121 votes were counted after only 43 people voted, and 6,138 ballots were cast in a Texas county with just 4,895 registered voters.

The Republican establishment challenged the results in the news media and in state-level demands for a recount. President Dwight D. Eisenhower even offered to help Nixon raise money to cover what could easily have been a monthslong fight. Over the following weeks the Republicans relentlessly pursued charges of voting irregularity in Illinois and 10 other states, betting that if they won there, they could force a nationwide recount.

But in contrast to Mr. Trump’s rhetoric today, they tended to cast their efforts in patriotic terms; Eisenhower insisted that he merely wanted to show that the federal government “did not shirk its duty” when it came to questions about the electoral process. Unlike Mr. Trump, they started from a position of trust in the system, focusing their charges of specific malfeasance, rather than declaiming the election itself as “rigged.”

Nevertheless, Nixon, while agonized by his defeat and its dubious circumstances, opted not to join in.

At least publicly, he played the statesman; he subordinated his own ambitions for the sake of governmental continuity, ensuring that the country was not thrown off balance at a time when the United States was enmeshed in a Cold War with the Soviet Union. “I could think of no worse example for nations abroad,” he said, “than that of the United States wrangling over the results of our presidential elections, and even suggesting that the presidency itself could be stolen by thievery at the ballot box.” (And, of course, he hoped to have a long political career ahead of him; being seen as a sore loser wouldn’t further it.)

Whether Nixon privately encouraged the recount efforts is almost beside the point; unlike Mr. Trump, he understood that unless rock-solid evidence existed to the contrary, the country needed to have faith in the electoral process and the peaceful transition of power, and it needed to hear from the losing candidate that he did, too. (Some argue, however, that Nixon’s experience in 1960 drove his paranoid turn as president, leading directly to Watergate.)

The good of the country, Nixon averred, was more important than the fate of any one man. When Kennedy took office on a bitterly cold January day two and a half months after the election, he sounded a similar theme: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”

In a bizarre twist, Nixon was an early supporter of Donald J. Trump. After hearing rave reviews about the brash developer from Nixon’s wife, Pat, who had seen him on “The Phil Donahue Show” in December 1987, he wrote Mr. Trump an unsolicited letter. “I did not see the program,” he wrote, “but Mrs. Nixon said you were great.” He added, “As you can imagine, she is an expert on politics, and she predicts that whenever you decide to run for office you will be a winner!” One wonders what Nixon, a political sage, would think of Mr. Trump the “winner” today.

But there’s little doubt that if Mr. Trump winds up the loser on Nov. 8, Nixon, despite outsize flaws in his own character, would advocate putting country above self. Doing anything less would take some of the greatness out of America.



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Why John Peters (candidate for Ouray County Commissioner) makes me nervous ~ John Hollrah

He doesn’t make me nervous as a regular guy, and several people will say
“John Peters is a nice guy.”

Here are my problems with him as a County Commissioner:

1) During the precinct caucuses and and the Republican Assembly, the
Republican Central Committee did not select a candidate because they had
decided John Peters (the Unaffiliated) would be their guy. They have
embraced Donald Trump and they have embraced John Peters. When the RCC
does this, we should always be worried.

2) John Peters has worked closely with developers, and as a County Commissioner,
this could create conflicts. On the Uncompaghre Plateau, he
was the point man for Paxton Lake and Hideout Ranch developments.

3) John Peters just this year was the point man for the
Ridgway USA east of the highway proposal in Ridgway to give us multiple
free standing commercial signs and a RV park at what Ridgway residents
for years have regarded as their “Gateway”;

4) The High Alpine. This is a huge issue that is bothersome. At the
Planning Commission level, Peters opined that development
should be allowed in the tundra area and that structure size did not
need be to be regulated. The PC did not support this position and
neither did the BOCC. Peters did not attend the multiple public
hearings before the BOCC on this issue.

5) Amy was at all of these public hearings, would serve as our full-time Commissioner and deserves our vote.

John Hollrah

You can still donate:
vote for Amy