For months Donald Trump attacked the FBI as a corrupt, rigged organization because it had failed to indict Hillary Clinton. Then, when they announced an ongoing review of some new emails last week, he suddenly declared that he was "very proud" of the FBI. But now they've announced that they found nothing new and still have no plans to indict Clinton. What does Trump think of that?

Trump's handlers have taken away his cell phone, so we don't know. However, we'll always have his surrogates, who continue to have access to America's Agora:

Obviously Comey caved to the Clinton machine and is every bit as corrupt as they thought. Drain the swamp!

Oh hey. Remember all those new emails on Huma Abedin's computer that were going to deliver the goods on Hillary Clinton once and for all? Well, um, not so much:

The F.B.I. informed Congress on Sunday that it has not changed its conclusions about Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state, removing a dark cloud that has been hanging over her campaign two days before Election Day.

James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, said in a letter to members of Congress that “based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton.”

Well, that's good to hear, though hardly a surprise. It might have been nice if Comey had waited until today to say anything in the first place, though.

The New York Times has a truly remarkable piece this morning about the final days of the Trump campaign:

Aboard his gold-plated jumbo jet, the Republican nominee does not like to rest or be alone with his thoughts, insisting that aides stay up and keep talking to him. He prefers the soothing, whispery voice of his son-in-law.

....Mr. Trump’s candidacy is a jarring split screen: the choreographed show of calm and confidence orchestrated by his staff, and the neediness and vulnerability of a once-boastful candidate now uncertain of victory.

....Aides to Mr. Trump have finally wrested away the Twitter account that he used to colorfully — and often counterproductively — savage his rivals. But offline, Mr. Trump still privately muses about all of the ways he will punish his enemies after Election Day, including a threat to fund a “super PAC” with vengeance as its core mission.

His polished older daughter, Ivanka, sat for a commercial intended to appeal to suburban women who have recoiled from her father’s incendiary language. But she discouraged the campaign from promoting the ad in news releases, fearing that her high-profile association with the campaign would damage the businesses that bear her name.

How...Nixonian. Yikes.

With 2 days left until our long national nightmare ends, we are now arguing about the statistical models underlying poll averaging. Seriously. Last night, Nate Silver got into a massive war with Huffington Post writer Ryan Grim after Grim published an article headlined "Nate Silver Is Unskewing Polls — All Of Them — In Trump’s Direction." Grim basically accused Silver of applying an ad hoc correction to his polling model so that it would show a tighter race. Silver responded pithily: "This article is so fucking idiotic and irresponsible....The article made clear you have **no fucking idea** what you're talking about."

Well. I guess it's not surprising that a historically nasty presidential race has also produced a historically nasty wonk war. This morning, however, Silver was on This Week, where he defended himself in more family-friendly terms:

STEPHANOPOULOS:  Another variability that we've seen here right now. There have been a lot of other forecasts out there, Princeton Election Consortium, Huffington Post, several others — and The New York Times.  Yours is much more bullish for Donald Trump and more cautious on Hillary Clinton than theirs are. Why?

SILVER:  Because we think we have a good process [and, presumably, the other guys have lousy processes. –ed]....Look, you have some forecasts that show Clinton with a 98 or 99 percent chance of winning. That doesn't pass a commonsense test, which is we've seen lots of elections where there's about a three-point polling error. In 2012, in fact, Obama beat his polls in many states by about three points. If Clinton were to beat her polls by three points and you see something we call a borderline landslide, but if it goes the other way, and all of a sudden Trump could very easily win the electoral college.

I have a couple of comments. First, I don't get the point of making a prediction about the percentage chance that a candidate will win. It's useless. If Hillary Clinton wins, every pollster will be able to say they called it, because every pollster has her with more than a 50 percent chance. What's the point of this? Better to just tell us the national and state averages, and leave it at that. I think everyone is smart enough to tell a tight race from a blowout.

Second, Silver is being a little disingenuous here. Have we really seen a "lot" of elections where there's a three-point polling error in the poll averages? Sure, in some state contests, where there aren't very many polls. But in a presidential election, where there are dozens? In the case of Obama 2012, Silver had Obama ahead of Romney by 2.1 points a couple of days before the election. Obama won by 3.9 points. Pollster was farther off, showing Obama ahead by 1.5 points. But even that's still an error of only 2.4 points.

Silver's point about a 99 percent chance of winning defying common sense is well taken. Stuff happens. Maybe all the polls are missing something. Even if Clinton were five points ahead, I'd probably still operate under the assumption that Trump had a one in twenty chance of winning. That said, a three-point lead with two days left really is pretty overwhelming. You can make a case that maybe Clinton will only win the popular vote by one point, but will then lose all the swing states and lose the Electoral College. But even that strikes me as a one-in-twenty kind of deal. If Al Gore had won the popular vote by 1 percent in 2000, he would have won the Electoral College handily.

Anyway, Hillary Clinton has been ahead of Trump by a steady 3-4 points for the past year, and I've come to believe that most of the variability in the polling averages is fictitious. On Tuesday, I'll bet she wins by a solid 3-4 points, maybe a bit more because Trump's ground game is so amateurish. That's my prediction.

POSTSCRIPT: By the way, the latest ABC and NBC polls have Clinton up by 5 points.

I needed to kill a little time this morning, so here's a comparison of three different polling averages for the presidential race. I've stretched them out so that all three are roughly to the same scale. The Pollster model shows a very steady race, with just a little tightening but no real trend for either candidate. Upshot and 538 both show significant tightening, but with Hillary Clinton still in a solid lead with only 48 hours to go.

Who's right? We'll probably never know. If Clinton wins by, say, four points, all three will most likely be able to say they were within a point of the final number. On the other hand, if Clinton wins by six points, then Pollster was clearly closer than the other two. If she wins by one point, then the Upshot was closest. Exciting, isn't it?

So how is the economy doing this year compared to when President Obama took office? Mostly pretty well, though some economic indicators are a little sluggish. In any case, the numbers are the numbers. If you want to know what they are, with no editorializing, here they are:

Tonight's news: at a Trump rally in Reno, a guy lifted his hands to hold up a sign. Someone nearby panicked, thinking he was raising a gun. The Secret Service hustled Trump offstage, and Trump reappeared shortly after it became clear that nothing had happened. Here's the reaction—as always, nothing but class from Trump and his supporters:

We're not just three days away from the presidential election, we're also three days away from voting on California's massive list of ballot initiatives.1 Here are my recommendations:

  1. $9 billion school bond. YES.
  2. Hospital fees. NO.
  3. Voter approval for revenue bonds over $2 billion. NO.
  4. Three-day wait before voting on bills. YES.
  5. Extension of income tax increase. NO.
  6. $2 cigarette tax. NO.
  7. Early parole for nonviolent offenders. YES.
  8. Repeal of Prop 227. YES.
  9. "Advisory question" to overturn Citizens United. NO.
  10. Condoms in porn films. NO.
  11. Prescription drug price regulation. NO.
  12. Repeal the death penalty. YES.
  13. Background checks for ammunition purchasers. NO.
  14. Marijuana legalization. YES.
  15. Plastic bag revenue. NO.
  16. Death penalty procedures. NO.
  17. Plastic bag ban. YES.

My longer write-up about each of these initiatives is here. It's not a comprehensive description of every initiative, just enough to give you an idea of what each one is about and why I'm for or against it. It's nice and short, and it's written in plain English.

1If you live in California, that is.

With only 3 days to go, all the talk is now about early voting. Last night my Twitter feed was jammed with photos of long lines in Nevada and gleeful reports of Latinos turning out in droves. Here is fellow CSULB journalism major Cathleen Decker in the LA Times this morning:

The early vote is an imperfect measure of results, but two points seem clear.

The first is that an election whose negativity seemed destined to drive away more voters than it attracted has so far done the reverse, prompting a record deluge of early voting in many of the states that will decide the presidency....The second is that Trump has been helpful to Clinton’s efforts to increase voting among women and Latinos.

....In Nevada, a giant get-out-the-vote operation by Culinary Union Local 226, which represents casino workers, has contributed to a dominant showing for Clinton in early voting. Half of the local’s 32,500 registered voters have cast votes. Shuttles cart workers to and from voting sites. Nine hours a day, 300 volunteers knock on doors and others call voters from the union hall. The operation, which began with citizenship and voter registration drives, is aimed at union workers, their relatives and the public.

The big question, of course, is whether this demonstrates lots of enthusiasm for Clinton, or if these are voters who would have voted anyway and are just doing it early. Philip Bump of the Washington Post suggests it's a real thing: "The numbers in Clark County overall, both last night and over the course of Nevada's two weeks of early voting, suggest a big surge in voters over 2012 — and an electorate that likely favors Clinton."

Time will tell. For what it's worth, though, the guru of Nevada voting, Jon Ralston, says it's all over but the tallying:

I'm not surprised. It's not just that Trump has spent the last year humiliating Latinos, and now they're making him pay the price for that. It's also that this is Nevada. Home of Las Vegas. If there's any state where they recognize con men and hustlers on sight, this is it.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

The company that owns the National Enquirer, a backer of Donald Trump, agreed to pay $150,000 to a former Playboy centerfold model for her story of an affair a decade ago with the Republican presidential nominee, but then didn’t publish it, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and people familiar with the matter.

The tabloid-newspaper publisher reached an agreement in early August with Karen McDougal, the 1998 Playmate of the Year....Ms. McDougal expected her story about Mr. Trump to be published, people familiar with the matter said. American Media didn’t intend to run it, said another person familiar with the matter. Ms. McDougal didn’t return calls for comment.

....A contract reviewed by the Journal gave American Media exclusive rights to Ms. McDougal’s story forever, but didn’t obligate the company to publish it and allowed the company to transfer those rights. It barred her from telling her story elsewhere. The company said it also would give her monthly columns to write and would put her on magazine covers.

Trump and the Enquirer deny everything, so this is probably just idle gossip. It doesn't really seem like him anyway, does it? Anyway, this was all back in 2006, when Trump was only 60 years old and didn't know he'd run for president someday. I'm sure he's given up cheating on his wife since then.

And speaking of Melania, I guess we finally got the goods on her. Apparently she did paid modeling jobs in the United States seven weeks before she got a work permit:

The details of Mrs. Trump's early paid modeling work in the U.S. emerged in the final days of a bitter presidential campaign in which her husband, Donald Trump, has taken a hard line on immigration laws and those who violate them.

....The documents obtained by the AP show she was paid for 10 modeling assignments between Sept. 10 and Oct. 15 [of 1996], during a time when her visa allowed her generally to be in the U.S. and look for work but not perform paid work in the country. The documents examined by the AP indicate that the modeling assignments would have been outside the bounds of her visa.

We can all let this go, right? It's bad enough being married to Donald. She doesn't deserve any more grief.