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Does the DNC cyberattacker weigh 400 lbs? Or is it the cyberattacker’s bed that weighs 400 lbs?

Asked by Holt what he would do to prevent cyberattacks, Trump replied: “As far as the cyber . . . we should be better than anybody else, and perhaps we’re not. I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC [Democratic National Committee]. She’s saying Russia, Russia, Russia. . . . Maybe it was. . . . But it could also be China, it could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds.”

Trump’s night of sniffles and screw-ups, Kathleen Parker, Washington Post, today

For nearly two days now I’ve wondered why Trump thinks the body weight of the DNC cyberattacker could be relevant to the issue of who the attacker might be.  I’d thought that possibly the point was to exclude Putin, who, I’m guessing, is about 180 lbs. of solid muscle.

But after reading the quote in Parker’s column rather than just recalling it from memory, I think Trump was talking not about the weight of the cyberattacker but instead about the weight of his or her bed.

Which presents the question of why Trump thinks the weight of the cyberattacker’s bed could be relevant to the issue of who the cyberattacker might be.  I don’t even have a working theory on this.


UPDATE:  Reader Warren, who is helping me solve this riddle, thinks the problem is not Trump, but Parker.  He offered this, in the Comments thread:

Warren / September 28, 2016 8:08 pm

The problem is not Trump, but Parker, who did not place the commas where they should have gone: “It also could be somebody, sitting on their bed, that weighs 400 pounds.”

Commas make the difference between “Let’s eat, Grandma” and “Let’s eat Grandma.”

I responded:

Beverly Mann/ September 28, 2016 8:37 pm

Well, this is true. So, do you think my original theory is right that Trump thinks the body weight of the DNC cyberattacker could be relevant to the issue of who the attacker might be because if the attacker weighs 400 lbs., he or she could not be Putin?

Warren will get back to me soon, I’m sure, given the importance of this.  The NSA thinks Putin is the cyberattacker, but they reached that conclusion before Monday night’s debate, and based upon this new evidence they may have jumped the gun.

Updated 9/28 at 9:03 p.m.

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No, Mr. Trump, nothing made you smart. To illustrate: You think a VAT tax is a trade tariff.

Nick Confessore


9:20 PM ET

Just to pull back for a second here, you can see a part of Clinton’s strategy. She is not campaigning against him as a crazy man. She is campaigning against him as a traditional and, in her argument, flawed conservative Republican.

First Clinton and Trump Debate: Analysis, New York Times, live blogging of debate


Okay, all you regular Bear readers won’t be surprised that my most favoritist lines in the entire debate were, “We settled the suit with zero — with no admission of guilt. It was very easy to do.”  And, “I settled that lawsuit with no admission of guilt, but that was a lawsuit brought against many real estate firms, and it’s just one of those things.”

He settled that lawsuit with no admission of guilt.  Which is how lawsuits traditionally are settled.  It’s also why lawsuits of certain types are settled for more money than they otherwise would be; an admission of guilt gets you a settlement discount.

This particular type of lawsuit normally is settled with no admission of guilt–just a court decree in which the defendants promise to stop doing what they were not guilty of doing.  An admission of guilt would defeat the main purpose of settling: minimizing harm to the reputation of the business and its owners or executives.

Those lines of Trump’s last night, stupifyingly stupid as they were, did have some tough competition for my designation of The Best.  After all, there was that protestation by Trump that his cheering for the housing-bubble collapse is “called business, by the way.”  And that an architect Clinton mentioned who was among the thousands of workers and small-business owners whom Trump has refused to pay after they’s completed the work for him “maybe” “didn’t do a good job and [Trump] was unsatisfied with his work.”

And that Trump’s never paying any federal income taxes “makes [him] smart.”

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