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Vox Sentences: Trump's "shackles" are off, whatever the hell that means

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Donald Trump loses whatever oversight he had; America’s worst sheriff faces criminal charges; Britain’s Brexit woes get a lot worse.

"Shackles" seems like a sensitive choice of words

Trump kissing a small child, poor kid Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images
  • Donald Trump has all but declared war on Paul Ryan and the Republican establishment. [Washington Post / Philip Rucker and Robert Costa]
  • The declaration came, naturally, on Twitter. "The shackles have been taken off me," Trump tweeted, raising the sadly unanswered question of when exactly the shackles were on. [Vox / Tara Golshan]
  • Trump isn't doing this to save his flailing campaign. He's doing it so he has someone to blame when he loses. [Vox / Andrew Prokop]
  • Right now it really does look like he's going to lose. FiveThirtyEight gives Hillary Clinton roughly an 85 percent chance of winning as of Tuesday evening. [FiveThirtyEight]
  • And since Trump has a weaker "ground game" to mobilize voters to the polls than previous Republicans have — especially if he's abandoned by the Republican National Committee, which he's been relying on so far for GOTV work — the polls could actually understate the margin of a Clinton victory. [FiveThirtyEight / Joshua Darr]
  • But Trump is still telling his supporters a win is all but assured — as long as Democrats don't steal the election in "other communities," like Philadelphia. [Washington Post / Philip Bump]
  • This isn't just desperate; it's dangerous. It lays the groundwork for white racial violence against black (and other nonwhite) voters on Election Day — and after. [Slate / Jamelle Bouie]

America's most contemptible sheriff

Joe Arpaio onstage Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
  • Federal prosecutors plan to charge Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the most (in)famous sheriff in America, with contempt of court. [AP]
  • It's the latest development in a lawsuit that started way back in 2007, when Arpaio was sued for engaging in racial profiling during his local immigration patrols. Judge G. Murray Snow ordered Arpaio to stop enforcing federal immigration law in 2011. [Megan Cassidy / Arizona Republic]
  • Evidence suggests that Arpaio and his office continued to do so for 18 months afterward. In August, that led Snow (who was appointed by George W. Bush) to ask prosecutors to charge Arpaio with contempt. [CNN / Kimberly Hutcherson]
  • (The separate civil rights suit was settled last summer, on terms that critics of Arpaio argued were way too favorable to him.) [Phoenix New Times / Stephen Lemons]
  • The feds are still considering charging Arpaio with obstruction of justice — for trying to use a confidential informant to dig up dirt on Snow so that he'd get removed from Arpaio's case. [KPNX / Brahm Resnik and Nico Santos]
  • Arpaio is supposed to show up in court on December 6. He might be out of office by then. His challenger (with big-time Democratic donors including George Soros) is consistently outpolling him. [Mother Jones / AJ Vicens]

A hard Brexit's gonna fall

Theresa May Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images
  • The British pound just keeps dropping. It's fallen 6 percent since Thursday. [The Guardian / Philip Inman]
  • Thursday, not coincidentally, was when UK Prime Minister Theresa May seemed to indicate the UK would seek a "hard Brexit," involving an exit from the common European market, in order to maintain controls on migration. [The Economist]
  • Hard Brexit could be a huge pain for the UK economy, including the finance sector. A leaked government report showed it could cost the country up to $81 billion (55 billion pounds) a year. [USA Today / Jane Onyanga-Omara]
  • The UK may not have all its best and brightest analyzing the impacts of Brexit, though. Several professors from the London School of Economics have told reporters that they weren't allowed to consult on Brexit — because they aren't British nationals. [The Guardian / John Henley]
  • The xenophobia of the Brexit bureaucracy is particularly weird considering that May has insisted immigrants currently in the UK from other EU countries will be allowed to stay. [Reuters / Stephen Addison]
  • But the experts' exclusion has spiked anxieties about anti-immigrant prejudice — as have reports that at least one hospital will force pregnant women to show their passports when being admitted to birth their babies, to make clear they qualify for government-provided health care. [BBC]
  • The UK has a while to work all this out. The country's high court is set to hear a case on whether May can even trigger Brexit (via Article 50 in the EU charter) unilaterally — or whether she has to ask Parliament first. [Bloomberg / Patrick Gower]


  • Former Blink-182 singer/guitarist Tom DeLonge sent emails to Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta about their mutual obsession with UFOs. It is not clear if Podesta responded. [WSJ / Byron Tau]
  • This is as good a time as any to revisit Kelefa Sanneh's defense of Blink-182, which really does hold up remarkably well, "All the Small Things" and "Dammit" especially. [New Yorker / Kelefa Sanneh]
  • A new state law in Louisiana requires foreign-born people trying to marry to produce a birth certificate — which many of the state's Vietnamese and Laotian refugees who fled in the 1970s and '80s don't have. [Washington Post / Catherine Rampell]
  • There are big white X's littered across the Arizona desert. Why? Is it for a top-secret government program? Actually … yes. [NPR / Danny Hajek]
  • Harvard, a university with a $35.7 billion endowment, is asking for volunteers to pitch in for free while its dining hall workers strike. Do not scab for Harvard. [The Crimson / Brandon J. DIxon]


Watch this: America’s creepy clown craze, explained

Clown sighting pranks have happened since the 1980s — but never quite like this. [YouTube / Christophe Haubursin]

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