Ladies and gentlemen, meet Anthony Gilberthorpe, former Gloucestershire county councillor and party activist:

1987: Announced his engagement in the Times to Miss Leah Bergdorf-Hunt. "But there was no engagement, and indeed no Miss Bergdorf-Hunt. As revealed in [Private Eye] 690, the whole thing was a fantasy."

1988: Sued three newspapers over a story that the reporter said came from Gilberthorpe himself. "The three newspapers appealed, and dug out new information which cast serious doubt on the Gilby-Merchant version of events....The newspapers paid not a penny in damages and contributed only £5,000 to his legal costs — leaving him very much out of pocket and with egg all over his face."

1997: Betrayed his friend Piers Merchant MP, who had come to Gilberthorpe's home for a weekend visit with his mistress. After cheery goodbyes, Merchant and his girlfriend later found quotes from their pillow-talk and photos of them in bed splashed all over the Sunday Mirror. "Gilby, it transpired, had fitted out the spare-room with hidden cameras and microphones and shopped his loyal friend to the tabloid for £25,000."

2014: Gilberthorpe told the Daily Mirror that he had procured "rent-boys" for senior Tory politicians—all of them conveniently dead—back in the 80s. "Trawling seedy streets during a Tory conference, Gilberthorpe says he was asked to find underage rent boys for a private sex party at a top hotel....In a series of explosive claims about conferences at Blackpool and Brighton in the 1980s, he alleges boys as young as 15 indulged in alcohol and cocaine before they had sex with the powerful politicians."

Goodness! Gilberthorpe leads quite the active life. So what's he up to these days? Well, you remember Jessica Leeds, the woman who accused Trump of groping her on an airplane flight 36 years ago? It turns out that Gilberthorpe was there!

Donald Trump’s campaign says a British man is countering claims that the GOP presidential nominee groped a woman on a cross-country flight more than three decades ago. “I have only met this accuser once and frankly cannot imagine why she is seeking to make out that Trump made sexual advances on her. Not only did he not do so (and I was present at all times) but it was she that was the one being flirtatious,” Anthony Gilberthorpe said in a note provided to The Post by the Trump campaign.

....Gilberthorpe, 54, said he was sitting across the first class aisle from the couple and saw nothing inappropriate. Leeds was wearing a white pantsuit, he said, while Trump was wearing a suit and cuff-links, which he gave to his British flight companion.

Indeed, Gilberthorpe claimed, Leeds was “trying too hard” in her attempt to win Trump over. “She wanted to marry him,” Gilberthorpe said of Leeds, who apparently made the confession when Trump excused himself and went to the bathroom.

Well, that certainly sounds credible to me. Apparently this Leeds woman is actually just a common strumpet who embroidered a story but had the bad fortune to be sitting right across from an 18-year-old Gilberthorpe while the events were taking place. "Undoubtedly it was her," he said. "I have a good photographic memory. I recognized her."

That's the worst kind of luck, isn't it? I mean, what are the odds? But that's why you have to be so careful these days. There are liars and con men out there everywhere.

POSTSCRIPT: In case you've still been wondering why victims of sexual abuse often don't come forward, well....

Hillary Clinton made presidential campaign history yesterday. After acknowledging that the race had been pretty ugly lately, she said this:

It makes you want to turn off the news. It makes you want to unplug the internet or just look at cat GIFs. Believe me, I get it. In the last few weeks I've watched a lot of cats do a lot of weird and interesting things. But we have a job to do, and it'll be good for people and for cats.

Hillary Clinton will be good for cats! That just earned her two extra votes in the Drum household—and millions more across the country. It's a brilliant political strategy since cats are well known as top notch influencers.

And speaking of cats, I love this picture. Do these guys look like lords of their domain, or what? Don't even think about messing with them in their own house, capiche?

Donald Trump says he gave generously to charity in the aftermath of 9/11. The New York City Comptroller’s Office checked into that:

“My office has reviewed the donations made in the nearly 12 months following the attacks – and we didn’t find evidence that he contributed a single cent to the victims, our first responders, and to our city through the Twin Towers Fund,” New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, a Democrat, said in a statement to ABC News today.

That doesn't sound very Christian of Trump, does it? Let's ask a famous Christian:

On Morning Joe, Carson said that he'd love it if we could start teaching Judeo-Christian values to our children again—for example, that you shouldn't grab women's pussies—but we have more important stuff to think about: "What matters is that the train is going off the cliff and we’re taking our eye off of that and we’re getting involved in other issues that can be taken care of later."

What about it, Christians? My book knowledge of Christianity suggests to me that this is exactly backward: values matter the most when the train is going off the cliff. But what do I know? Help me out here.

Once again, let's show both of my favorite pollsters today. Sam Wang's meta-margin continued its reversion to the mean and then blew past it. Hillary Clinton is now leading Trump by 4.7 percentage points:

Wang's current prediction is that Clinton has a 97 percent chance of winning and will rack up 332 electoral votes. The Senate will be tied, 50-50. And here's Pollster:

Clinton has gained two points and is now 8.4 percentage points ahead of Trump. In the generic House polling, Pollster has Democrats ahead by 7.4 points. If that holds up, it's a big enough lead to start wondering if Democrats really do have a chance of taking back control of Congress completely.

Just when you think that things can't get weirder, they get weirder. But don't I say that every day? Lately, yes I do. Nonetheless, Donald Trump and his brain trust are truly getting even weirder:

Donald Trump will broaden his attack against the media to hit globalism and the Clinton Foundation by charging that Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim is part of a biased coalition working in collusion with the Clinton campaign and its supporters to generate news reports of decades-old allegations from several women.

....As early as Friday, Mr. Trump is planning to claim that Mr. Slim, as a shareholder of New York Times Co. and donor to the Clinton Foundation, has an interest in helping Hillary Clinton’s campaign, according to a Trump adviser. Attacking the Mexican billionaire would allow Mr. Trump to hit several targets. He could slam the “failing” New York Times, which he says had to be “rescued” by a “foreigner”—Mr. Slim, the adviser said.

Here's what's great. There's hardly one American in a hundred who's ever heard of Carlos Slim. This makes him a great candidate for a master conspirator, of course, since he's basically a blank slate. And Mexican too! So Trump can pretty much say anything he wants.

But here's what's really worth waiting for: watching all the paid shills on CNN—Scottie, Jeffrey, Katrina, etc.—suddenly start spouting mountains of dirt on Slim. The anchors will all carefully let them have their say, and Trump fans will be listening. Then the Washington Post (or someone) will go out to do yet another "What Trump Supporters Really Think" thumbsucker, and they'll come back with lots of angry white folks swearing that Carlos Slim runs the Illuminati and the Trilateral Commission.

Jesus. What an election.

Donald Trump is right: American elites really do have it in for him. With 25 days to go until an epic bloodbath, rich Republican donors are demanding that the RNC disavow him:

To an elite group of Republican contributors who have donated millions of dollars to the party’s candidates and committees in recent years, the cascade of revelations related to Mr. Trump’s sexual conduct is grounds for the committee to cut ties with the party’s beleaguered standard-bearer, finally and fully.

“At some point, you have to look in the mirror and recognize that you cannot possibly justify support for Trump to your children — especially your daughters,” said David Humphreys, a Missouri business executive who contributed more than $2.5 million to Republicans from the 2012 campaign cycle through this spring and opposed Mr. Trump’s bid from the outset.

Bruce Kovner, a New York investor and philanthropist who with his wife has given $2.7 million to Republicans over the same period, was just as blunt. “He is a dangerous demagogue completely unsuited to the responsibilities of a United States president,” Mr. Kovner wrote in an email, referring to Mr. Trump.

Aside from outright repudiation, these guys are already getting most of what they want. The RNC isn't providing any money to the Trump campaign, and from what I can tell it's not providing much of anything else, either. When Election Day finally arrives, it's likely that Hillary Clinton's ground game will give her an extra point or two on top of an already lopsided victory.

And then it will be time for yet another Republican "autopsy" about what went wrong. The answer, of course, will be both familiar and obvious: as Sen. Lindsey Graham put it four years ago, "We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term." Donald Trump put Graham's theory to a destruction test this year, and it turned out to be absolutely right. The hard part is figuring out what to do about it. How do you attract more non-white votes without actually embracing any of the usual policy positions that would attract them?

It's a really hard question. In the meantime, there's one thing that Republicans still agree on: they hate Hillary Clinton, and from Day 1 they will be united in an effort to oppose everything she does. There will be no Obamacare fixes, no infrastructure bank, no debt ceiling hikes, and no maternity leave plans. They might be having second thoughts about their angry-white-guy strategy, but they still haven't figured out that pure obstruction isn't much of a winner either. If they were smart, they'd do a bit of logrolling in the upcoming Congress and rack up a few actual accomplishments they could take home to their supporters. But even after this year's dumpster fire of an election, I don't think they're quite there yet.

My attempts to avoid writing about Donald Trump are getting more and more desperate. Here's today's chart of the day:

In other words, we all love to watch those cooking shows on TV, but when we're done we just run down to the local pizza place to get dinner. I'm too lazy to do this at the moment, but I'll bet if you adjust that grocery store line for inflation and population growth, it's pretty close to flat.

Dodgers Win!

Hey! The Dodgers are playing for the NL pennant and the Giants aren't. Forget about Donald Trump. For a few moments, at least, life is good.

It's a little hard to pick out excerpts that give you a flavor of Donald Trump's latest speech. It's an absolutely spectacular—and chilling—rant that paints a paranoid picture of the world hardly seen since The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was published. Everyone is out to get him. The Clintons, the press, conniving women, Wall Street, Washington DC, global special interests, corporations, Barack Obama, illegal immigrants—you name it, they're out to destroy our great nation. Here's a taste:

In 26 days, we are going to win this great, great state and we are going to win the White House.

....For those who control the levers of power in Washington...our campaign represents a true existential threat like they haven't seen before. This is not simply another four-year election. This is a crossroads in the history of our civilization that will determine whether or not we the people reclaim control over our government.

....The Clinton machine is at the center of this power structure. We've seen this first hand in the WikiLeaks documents, in which Hillary Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers, her special interest friends and her donors....Honestly, she should be locked up. Should be locked up.

....This election will determine whether we are a free nation or whether we have only the illusion of democracy, but are in fact controlled by a small handful of global special interests rigging the system....Anyone who challenges their control is deemed a sexist, a racist, a xenophobe, and morally deformed. They will attack you, they will slander you, they will seek to destroy your career and your family, they will seek to destroy everything about you, including your reputation. They will lie, lie, lie, and then again they will do worse than that, they will do whatever is necessary. The Clintons are criminals, remember that. They're criminals.

....These people are horrible people. They're horrible, horrible liars. And interestingly, it happens to appear 26 days before our very important election, isn't that amazing?

....I've seen firsthand the corruption and the sickness that has taken over our politics. You've seen it and I've seen it and we're all watching together....I never knew it would be this vile, that it would be this bad, that it would be this vicious. Nevertheless, I take all of these slings and arrows gladly for you.

Does Trump think he's Alfred Dreyfus? Or Jesus Christ? It's hard to tell. But one thing is certain: He's planning a scorched earth campaign for the next 26 days. If he's going down with the ship, he's going to take as many people down with him as he can.

Mike Males tells us today in the LA Times that Donald Trump is right: violent crime went up in 2015. However, you might be surprised at which demographic groups are responsible for this rise. Federal crime statistics don't provide age/race breakdowns, but California does (2014 here, 2015 here), and it's probably a pretty good proxy for what's happening elsewhere:

Donald Trump is not right, as he has suggested on the campaign trail and repeated in Sunday’s debate, that the chief culprits are Muslim terrorists, inner-city gangs and Latino “criminal illegal aliens” who comprise the “murderers” causing “drug problems” and “crime like you’ve never seen.” If he needs someone to blame, he should look instead to the demographic group most likely to support him: older whites.

....Violent crime, which includes murder, rape, robbery and assault, rose 4% among older whites but decreased by 2% among those under age 30....Over the last 25 years — even with falling crime and recent reforms that reduced California’s prison population — older whites are the only group that has shown increased levels of imprisonment, while rates for young people of color have plummeted.

Obviously this might be different in specific areas. Chicago is Trump's go-to horror story for crime, and I don't know what the numbers there show. But the US as a whole is far more likely to be similar to California (population 39 million, mixed rural/urban) than to Chicago (population 3 million, 100% urban). And in California, violent crime is down among young people of color. Only among older groups, including whites, is the violent crime rate up.

POSTSCRIPT: I've written about this before, and the key metric here is that violent crime in California is down among all young people and up among all older people. Why? Because older people are part of Generation Lead. Younger people aren't. You see? Millennials don't have it all bad.