Here’s how Trump might lose this thing

Glenn Thrush, Politico: 5 reasons Trump might fall in autumn

Most intriguing: “Everything has gone Trump’s way — and he’s still not ahead.”

For the past week or 10 days, Trump can’t do anything wrong and Clinton can’t do anything right. And he’s still behind in the polls.

Another factor that might undermine Trump: Trump himself. Trump sees this election as much as an opportunity for self-expression as for winning the election. When he gets cocky, he starts saying offensive things, and when those backfire he gets MORE outrageous.

And, finally, Trump’s biggest enemy is fear.

Clinton’s biggest problem is that her supporters are a lot less enthusiastic about her than Trump’s supporters are about him. Hell, I’m an unusually enthusiastic Clinton supporter but an objective observer would label my support as “lukewarm.”

However, the prospect of a Trump White House scares the piss out of me.

I was talking with a friend the other day who is an astute political observer — and who, unlike me, hates both Clinton AND Trump. He said he sees it as highly likely that the United States would experience a military coup within a year of Trump taking the oath of office as President.

That possibility had not occurred to me — and I found I agreed with him, and was relieved.

That’s how scary Trump’s campaign is. A military coup seems like one of the BETTER outcomes of the 2016 election.

And, as Thrush notes, in an election, fear is as big a motivator as love.

Of course, that goes both ways. Trump’s racist supporters are terrified that a Clinton Presidency would be the death of white America. And they might be right, too — only what they see as a nightmare scenario, the rest of us see as the culmination of Martin Luther King’s vision and the American dream — of America as a place where a person is judged by “the content of their character,” not skin color, religion, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Even if Clinton wins the election, there’d still be a long way to go to achieve that vision. But this election could be a tipping point. One way or the other.

How ‘Game Of Thrones’ Became One Of The Most Feminist Shows On TV

Jess Hendel praises grrl power on Game of Thrones for Bustle:

Most obviously, almost of the rulers are now women (or are poised to be women in future seasons). Outside of Jon Snow, it’s hard to even imagine a male ruler in the GoT universe anymore—or at least one who doesn’t totally make a mess of his reign. Daenerys decisively quelled the Masters’ rebellion in Mereen and is headed across the Narrow Sea to conquer Westeros. Yara Greyjoy sails out with her, aiming to capture the throne of the Iron Islands and reclaim their sovereignty. Ellaria and the Sand Snakes rule over Dorne, conspiring with Oleanna Tyrell — the Queen of Thorns — now the sole proprietor of her house. I even got a morbid sense of pleasure (actually, “morbid sense of pleasure” could describe most GoT viewing experiences) at watching Cersei literally annihilate an oppressive religion in one fell swoop and be subsequently crowned Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.

Not to mention the ferocious Lady Mormont (can you imagine how hard it would be to babysit that kid?), and the queenly aspirations Sansa is no doubt mulling over in that shared look with Littlefinger during the “King of the North” scene in the finale. Overall, the Women of Westeros (book club name, anyone?) have maneuvered, manipulated, and all-out fought their way into the throne room — and already seem better equipped to handle the burdens of ruling than their weak, sociopathic, or blatantly incompetent male predecessors.” …

One of my favorite peripheral jokes of this season was Tormund Giantsbane’s blatant crush on Brienne. It would appear to be an empty gag, were it not for the fact that Brienne also seems to be the only woman besides Cersei who is capable of [piquing] Jamie Lannister’s interest. And why shouldn’t a male character desire Brienne? She can have typically “masculine” qualities and still be desirable as a woman.

There’s no mystery to Cersei’s appeal. She’s the Hannibal Lector of GoT — the villain you cheer for.

Things you learn if you have a Google Alert for the word “Satanic”

Religion blogger Fred Clark has one, and describes some of what he learned:

• Every year, dozens of filmmakers try to recapture the magic that made The Exorcist so unsettling. Most fail.

• Pat Boone is still alive.

• The political performance art of the Satanic Temple is both hilarious and pointedly effective. They’re defending the First Amendment the way that we Baptists are supposed to.

• Adolescent legend tripping is happening all the time, every day, somewhere in the English-speaking world.

• Adults who should know better are freaking out and over-reacting to adolescent legend tripping all the time, every day, somewhere in the English-speaking world.

• Adolescents long-ago figured that out, and have mastered the button-pushing art of causing adults who should know better to freak out.

And:

• Censorious adults worried about Kids Today listening to satanic heavy metal aren’t really keeping up with the satanic heavy metal acts trying hardest to gain their condemnation.

Things I Have Learned Due to My Google News Alert for the Word ‘Satanic’

Via Boing Boing. Thanks!

Why the US Supreme Court was wrong to uphold public prayer at government meetings

The problem is that the town of Greece, N.Y., wasn’t opening with a generic prayer addressed to “God,” “the Almighty,” or “the Supreme Being.” It as an Easter prayer, stressing “the saving sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross” in a town with synagogues and mosques within its borders.

I’ve been listening to a history of the English Civil War, which was fought in part over religious establishment. Fighting war over religion, particularly civil war, is absolutely insane. The Founders were wise to establish religious freedom, not just because it protects individual rights but also because it keeps the state from getting ripped apart with ridiculous disputes about nothing. Let everybody worship whatever God they want, in whatever way they want, and as long as everybody pays their taxes and obeys the law, everything runs smoothly. The government keeps the roads paved and the trash picked up, and leaves people’s souls to other authorities.

It’s best to be loose about church-state separation. For example, Christmas decorations in City Hall are technically a flagrant violation — but what the heck, it makes people happy and does nobody any harm, particularly if City Hall also makes some acknowledgement of other people’s religious celebration. But opening a city council meeting with an Easter benediction goes too far.

Amazingly, the Supreme Court is currently made up of six Catholics and three Jews, two groups who have historically suffered religious persecution, the Catholics in the US, Jews seemingly everywhere else in the world.

The Founders—so backward in their attitudes on race—launched the republic on the basis of religious tolerance. Benjamin Franklin believed in prayer but stressed the importance of ecumenical “public religion.” Thomas Jefferson did not include his service as president of the United States on his tombstone but requested that his authorship of the Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom be included. James Madison believed that “religion & Govt will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.” With God unmentioned in the Constitution, the Founders set a course that allowed, over Madison’s objections, for chaplains offering prayers at public meetings. But the tradition has favored deistic references (“God,” “the Almighty,” “the Supreme Being”) over sectarian specifics. “The Founders wanted to keep it general because theological disputes led to political upheaval,” says Jon Meacham, author of American Gospel.

In his majority opinion, Kennedy tried to argue that the court was merely upholding that ecumenical tradition. “Willing participation in civic affairs can be consistent with a brief acknowledgment of their belief in a higher power, always with due respect for those who adhere to other beliefs,” he wrote. But the prayers before town meetings in Greece, New York, were not about a “higher power,” which is a standard and unobjectionable prayer that would not have merited an appeal to the Supreme Court. Instead, the ministers in that New York town—who not once gave way to rabbis or imams, though they had Jewish and Muslim congregations nearby—opened a public meeting by stressing, “the saving sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. We draw strength, vitality, and confidence from his resurrection at Easter…”

A Supreme Religious Injustice – Yahoo News