When I got home from lunch this afternoon, I switched on my tablet to see if anything had happened while I was away. I got this:

If you see a reference to "Spirit Cooking" anywhere, this is what it's all about. Apparently conservatives have lost whatever few marbles they had left.

Last week we had Hopper posing next to a concrete rabbit. This week it's Hilbert's turn.1 And while you might think Hilbert is gazing inquisitively at a hummingbird or something, I don't think he was. He was actually watching Hopper, and his head just happened to turn upward for a moment.

Then again, maybe there was a hummingbird there. Hilbert, after all, is much more attuned to such things than I am.

1We have a lot of concrete rabbits in our yard.

Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni, former aides of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, were convicted today on all charges of being the masterminds behind a plan to tie up traffic on the George Washington Bridge as a way of getting back at a Democratic mayor who refused to endorse Christie:

It was Kelly who was the author of a now-infamous email in which she wrote to [David] Wildstein “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.’’

During the traffic chaos, the Fort Lee mayor sent a series of increasingly frantic messages to Baroni at the Port Authority in which he wrote of “total gridlock” and a “town ready to revolt.” Baroni forwarded them to Wildstein, who in turn sent them to Kelly. “Is it wrong that I am smiling?” she wrote back.

And what about Christie himself?

Though Ms. Kelly and Mr. Baroni were the only ones charged in the scandal, the trial suggested that Mr. Christie, who has maintained that he knew nothing about the scheme until after it had ended, was deeply involved. A top ally and key prosecution witness testified that Mr. Christie was told of the lane closings as they were occurring and Ms. Kelly said she discussed the shutdown with the governor before it happened.

Donald Trump agrees that Christie was involved. Here's what he said last year:

"The GW Bridge, he knew about it,” Trump said during a speech in Mount Pleasant, S.C., of Christie’s involvement in the scandal, which has been dubbed “Bridgegate.”

“How do you have breakfast with people everyday of your lives. … They’re closing up the largest bridge in the world … they’re with them all the time,” Trump continued. “They never said ‘Hey boss, we’re closing up the George Washington Bridge.’ No, they’re talking about the weather right? So he knew about it. … He totally knew about it.

Needless to say, this is the kind of thing Trump admires. That's why he chose Christie to run his transition team and has defended him ever since. As long as Christie is screwing people on Trump's behalf, he's a standup guy.

So what are Republicans up to these days? Well, they still want to lock up Hillary Killary, of course. Some of them are threatening to blockade all of her Supreme Court nominees forever. Others are going further, suggesting that Congress should just impeach her sight unseen. They're claiming the vote is rigged, and some of them are promising the apocalypse if the establishment insists on keeping Donald Trump out of the White House. As for Trump himself, he's now calling out individual reporters for abuse, prompting supporters at his rallies to surround her and heckle her. He's promising to sic the Justice Department on Clinton if he wins. Even conservative icon Paul Ryan is in trouble for not being enthusiastic enough about Trump, with his reelection as Speaker of the House now in doubt. And I think we can assume that budget showdowns and debt ceiling hostage taking will both be back on the table next year.

In the meantime, the Republican Party is 89 percent white. It continues to resist any kind of immigration compromise. It is institutionally opposed to any kind of affirmative action. Republican governors and legislators are almost unanimously in favor of policies designed to suppress the nonwhite vote. They blame Black Lives Matter every time a police officer is shot.

Their candidate wants to ban Muslims from entering the country. He continually tells audiences that the places where black people live are hellholes. He calls out China, Japan, and South Korea repeatedly as countries that are cheating us. Asked about how to heal the racial divide in a nationally televised debate, he mentioned only "law and order" and stop-and-frisk. He calls a Democratic senator Pocahontas as a way of insulting her. I could go on and on.

So what's my point? Take a look at the chart on the right. If Republicans are having a tough time winning in 2016, even after eight years of Democratic rule and running against a widely-disliked figure, how are they going to win in 2020 when the nonwhite population has grown another 1.6 percent? Or in 2024, when it's grown 3.2 percent? What's the strategy here? Keep running the same base-friendly obstructionist playbook and pray for a huge recession or a major terrorist attack?

Let's get our final weekly polling update out of the way early. Here's Pollster:

Clinton is 6.1 percentage points ahead of Trump, down a point from last week. In the generic House polling, Pollster has Democrats ahead by 3.4 points, also down a point from last week. Sam Wang's meta-margin has Hillary Clinton leading Trump by 2.6 percentage points, down a point and a half from last week:

Wang's current prediction is that Clinton has a 99 percent chance of winning and will rack up 312 electoral votes. He still has the Senate tied, 50-50, with the probability of Democratic control at 76 percent. On the House side, he has Democrats up by about 3 percent, which is not enough for them to win back control.

Overall, it continues to look like Hillary Clinton will win by 4-5 points, with my personal 95 percent confidence range at 3-6 points. The Senate will either be tied 50-50 or Democrats will win 51-49. Either way, they'll control the Senate. The House will remain in Republican hands. Whether those hands are Paul Ryan's or someone else's remains to be seen.

Holy cow. Now Samsung washing machines are exploding too:

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said the tops can detach during use. The company has received more than 700 reports of incidents and nine reports of injuries including a broken jaw, the agency said Friday....In August, three consumers filed suit against Samsung, alleging that their machines suddenly exploded while in use.

....In April 2013, Samsung initiated one of Australia’s largest consumer recalls—of about 150,000 washing machines that it had sold there since 2010— after rescue services reported a spate of house fires believed to be caused by Samsung washers.

Luckily this doesn't affect me. I plan to buy an LG washing machine someday thanks to their clearly superior technology:

With 4 days left until the blessed end of the 2016 campaign, the LA Times goes into full "news you can use" mode and assures us that you can do something about election stress:

Election stress disorder1 may not be well known, but it’s definitely real, and its impact should not be dismissed, said Dr. Asim Shah, vice chair for community psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

....Of 3,500 adults surveyed in August, APA researchers found that 55% of Democrats and 59% of Republicans said the election is a “very significant” or “somewhat significant” source of stress....For those who want tips on how to manage their stress between now and Tuesday night, Shah offers the following advice:

  1. Turn off the TV news
  2. Write down your worst fears, then address them
  3. Remember that very little will change overnight
  4. If you must, ask your doctor for medication.
  5. If your candidate wins, take it easy on election night

Hmmm. Apparently Shah recommends turning off TV news, but not avoiding print news—like the LA Times. Coincidence? Or conspiracy between the psychological establishment and the dead-tree media diehards? I suspect the latter. Can I trust the print media anymore? Can I trust their polls? I'M NOT SURE!!! How can I know what's true anymore? HOW CAN I KNOW??? Is Hillary really ahead? Or is it Trump? OMG, it's been 20 minutes since I checked with Nate Silver the god. Excuse me while I go see what he has to say.

1That's ESD, not to be confused with ED or PSD or PTSD.

I guess we all know that government "statistics" are totally phony, but just for laughs let's take a look at the latest jobs report. The American economy added 161,000 new jobs last month, 90,000 of which were needed to keep up with population growth. This means that net job growth clocked in at a modest 71,000 jobs—not great, but OK. Job estimates for August and September were revised upward by 44,000. The headline unemployment rate improved slightly to 4.9 percent and the labor force participation rate ticked down slightly to 62.8 percent.

Hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees were up at an annual rate of about 2.3 percent compared to last month. This continues a streak of decent increases. A genuinely tight labor market would push that up even more, but with the rest of the world in the doldrums that's probably not likely to happen anytime soon.

Longtime creep Roger Stone has been occupying himself lately by tweeting golden oldies about the "Clinton Body Count" and how Hillary had Vince Foster killed because he knew too much. Charming as always. But a couple of weeks ago he was busy tweeting this:

OMG indeed. You will be unsurprised to learn that the document in question wasn't real. Sadly, it contained a telltale clue common to autocrats around the world. Can you spot it?

In the same way that megalomaniacs love to claim that they won re-election with 99 percent of the votes, this fake poll claims that Trump leads Clinton 77-19 percent. The pranksters might have fooled a few people if they'd stuck to something a little less obvious, but I suppose 77 percent must have seemed pretty modest to them. Perhaps this gives a clue about where it came from? Here is Reuters:

The FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies are examining faked documents aimed at discrediting the Hillary Clinton campaign as part of a broader investigation into what U.S. officials believe has been an attempt by Russia to disrupt the presidential election, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Russian officials deny any such effort.

In addition to the Carper letter, the FBI has also reviewed a seven-page electronic document that carries the logos of Democratic pollster Joel Benenson’s firm....The document, identified as a fake by the Clinton campaign, claims poll ratings had plunged for Clinton and called for “severe strategy changes for November” that could include “staged civil unrest” and “radiological attack” with dirty bombs to disrupt the vote.

Nice try, Russia, but you really need to up your game.

This is good.

I think Seth Meyers actually doesn't get enough credit as a late-night host. I'm not a huge fan of any of these shows, but Meyers is pretty funny.

This segment was also pretty good.