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Archive for the ‘Election’ Category

Trump and his family know something: They are contributing no money at all to his campaign

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I imagine that, shrewd businesspeople that they are, they are refusing to contribute because they know more about the campaign (and Trump) than most people. Gideon Resnick writes in the Daily Beast:

With less than two weeks until the election, Donald Trump has amassed an impressive army of small donors, fueling his bid with individual contributions of $200 or less. But noticeably absent from the list of contributors is basically anyone with the last name Trump, many of the surrogates who represent The Donald on national television, and members of his own campaign staff.

According to a review of Federal Election Commission filings by The Daily Beast, only one of Trump’s children showed up on a list of itemized receipts for the campaign: Eric. On Sept. 7, 2016, Eric Trump appears to have contributed $376.20 listed only as “meeting expense: meals.” It appears that money was later refunded. Eric Trump did not respond to a request for comment about the transaction.

Ivanka Trump, who previously contributed to Hillary Clinton and John McCain in 2007 and 2008 respectively, does not appear to have given to her father.

Donald Trump Jr., who contributed to Iowa congressman Steve King in 2014 and Hillary Clinton in 2007, is also nowhere to be found.

And a search for Tiffany Trump yielded no results.

The Trump children are not the only prominent figures in his orbit who have not invested in the mogul’s presidential bid.

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the former Defense Intelligence Agency director turned Trump warm-up act, has not given the candidate a dime. Neither has Governor Chris Christie, Trump’s first rival for the presidency to endorse him. Christie gave his own campaign the maximum allowable contribution of $2,700 on Sept. 29, 2015.

Many of Trump’s surrogates, who have been generous in previous campaigns, this year have kept their wallets closed to The Donald.

Newt Gingrich contributed $4,600 to John McCain in 2008 but has yet to give any money to Trump’s campaign. Ben Carson, another staunch Trump defender, gave Mitt Romney $1,000 in April 2012 but nothing to Trump this cycle.

The rest of the Trump circle of staffers, advisers, and surrogates who are absent from his FEC filings includes: former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, adviser and attorney Michael Cohen (an admitted registered Democrat), and former executive of Breitbart and Trump’s campaign CEO Steve Bannon.

There’s no law or general practice that dictates whether family members or staffers should or should not give to presidential campaigns with which they are affiliated. . .

Continue reading.

Trump will not back himself. His family will not back him. His surrogates will not back him.

I imagine they know things we do not.

UPDATE: huh. Kevin Drum has a post that indicates Trump has indeed contributed to his campaign, and is contributing more. Still nothing from his family and surrogates, though.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 October 2016 at 10:27 am

Posted in Election, GOP

Linda Greenhouse on the corrosive effects of Trump’s campaign

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Linda Greenhouse writes in the NY Times:

The only presidential inauguration I’ve attended was Bill Clinton’s first, on Jan. 20, 1993. I took two spare tickets from the office, and brought my 7-year-old daughter, bundled against the cold like a little abominable snowman and old enough, I figured, for a civics lesson.

These were not V.I.P. seats, and we were far back on the National Mall, the proceedings barely visible. What I remember most vividly was what occurred immediately after the ceremony’s conclusion. A helicopter took off noisily from somewhere near the Capitol. I wasn’t sure at first what was happening, but word passed through the crowd that it was Marine One, carrying away the now ex-president George H. W. Bush and his wife, Barbara. Where were they headed — Kennebunkport? Houston? The destination didn’t matter. The helicopter receding into the winter sky was a richly evocative symbol, power transferring peacefully before our eyes from the defeated candidate to the victorious one, the old president to the new. I told my daughter: This is how democracy works.

That image came to mind last week during the third presidential debate. I watched the debate on a hotel television in the company of fellow participants in a conference I was attending. All were lawyers. As the debate proceeded, the group’s attention occasionally drifted, and we chatted a bit. But at Donald Trump’s refusal to say that he would abide by the election results, everyone snapped to attention. Someone had to break the stunned silence, so as the only one in the room with journalism experience, it fell to me to state the obvious: “That’s the headline.”

During this excruciating year, I’ve refrained from writing about the election, content to leave the subject to columnists for whom politics is central to their mandate. But law is central to mine, and since this is my last column before Election Day, I will use it to reflect on the challenge that this political season has posed to the rule of law.

What do I mean by that phrase? The rule of law isn’t readily reduced to a definition; we know it when we see it. It is both a process and an end state: the product not of a list of mandates but of ingrained habits, a collective turn of mind, shared expectations about how a civil society organizes its affairs and resolves its conflicts. We know that rules alone don’t suffice to create or maintain a rule of law; some of the world’s more odious governments have looked beneficent on paper.

The rule of law provides confidence that what is true today will still be true tomorrow. It undergirds the resilience necessary to absorb the inevitable shocks any political system faces. Resilience takes a long time to grow. The European “unity” now fracturing under 21st century strain is a mid-20th century artifact. That’s not very much time. In the United States, we have thought, smugly, that we have all the time in the world. Maybe we don’t.

Consider the Republican-controlled Senate’s response to President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, a nomination now nearly eight months old. Having vowed to prevent President Obama from filling the vacancy created by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, Republican senators have refused to schedule a hearing for Judge Garland, the distinguished chief judge of a major federal appeals court — or, with a few exceptions, even to meet with him and shake his hand. Ten days ago, Senator John McCain raised the stakes, vowing that Republicans would block not only this but any Supreme Court nomination made in the future by a President Hillary Clinton. “I promise you that we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up,” the Arizona Republican declared in a radio interview.

What was frightening about Senator McCain’s statement wasn’t that he said it. After all, politicians say nutty things all the time. What scared me was . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

27 October 2016 at 7:48 pm

Interesting insight into the troll mind

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In the New Yorker, Andrew Marantz has a profile of Mike Cernovich, an alt-right troll and fervent Trump supporter. The profile is worth reading—the misogyny runs deep—and I found one passage particularly illuminating. Shauna is Mike’s second wife.

Early in Shauna’s relationship with Mike, she read Danger and Play, including such posts as “How to Cheat on Your Girlfriend.” She said, “I would come home from work crying—‘How can you write such rude things?’ He’d go, ‘You don’t understand, babe, this is just how guys talk.’ ” (Advice from the blog: “Always call your girl ‘babe,’ ” to avoid mixing up names.) Shauna, who has stopped working, continued, “I was still upset, though, and he eventually deleted some older posts.”

“I rewrote some of the wording,” Mike insisted. “I never disavow things I’ve said.” Throughout our September conversations, he referred to his more misogynist remarks as “locker-room talk.”

It sounds somewhat as though Mike never learns anything that causes him to question his earlier positions or ideas: he has a highly functional filter, apparently, that blocks out any information that would contradict what he’s previously said.

Technically, to “disavow” something one has said is to deny having said it, but in the context of the profile it seems to suggest a broader reading, in that he never questions anything he’s said, or sees that something he said was wrong.

Written by LeisureGuy

27 October 2016 at 11:07 am

Posted in Election, GOP

The GOP has learned nothing

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Just read this Kevin Drum column. From the column:

. . . I suppose this means that Republicans are resigned to losing and are probably putting their heads together to figure out how they can work with Hillary Clinton over the next four years in order to accomplish at least—

Eh? What’s that, Ilya Shapiro?

The Senate Should Refuse To Confirm All Of Hillary Clinton’s Judicial Nominees

Um, OK. That’s clear enough. Gonna be tough on the federal judiciary, though. Don’t big businesses need the courts to stay fully staffed so they can continue suing each other over dumb patent infractions? Maybe not. But anyway, Shapiro is just one guy. This is probably not a common opinion, right?

OK, fine: two guys. But surely wiser heads in Congress will prevail?

Jason Chaffetz, the Utah congressman wrapping up his first term atop the powerful House Oversight Committee, unendorsed Donald Trump weeks ago. That freed him up to prepare for something else: spending years, come January, probing the record of a President Hillary Clinton.

“It’s a target-rich environment,” the Republican said in an interview in Salt Lake City’s suburbs. “Even before we get to Day One, we’ve got two years’ worth of material already lined up. She has four years of history at the State Department, and it ain’t good.”

Welp, it’s sure sounding like the Republican Party has learned nothing and forgotten nothing over the past eight years. If this is how things go, . . .

Written by LeisureGuy

26 October 2016 at 12:11 pm

Donald Trump Knows Nothing About His Own Businesses

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Kevin Drum makes a good point:

With only 14 days left before Election Day, it hardly feels worth it to highlight Donald Trump’s latest public declaration of ignorance, but I have another point to make about today’s Trump Follies. Here is Donald on Obamacare:

Well, I don’t use much Obamacare, I must be honest with you, because it is so bad for the people and they can’t afford it. And like, for instance, I’m at Trump National Doral in Miami, and we don’t even use Obamacare. We don’t want it. The people don’t want it, and I spend more money on health coverage, but we don’t use it.

The obvious point to make is that Trump obviously has no idea what Obamacare is. He’s apparently under the impression that it’s some kind of option that employers can choose as group insurance for their employees. Ha ha. What an idiot.

And that’s true enough. But did you notice something else? Once again, Trump has made it clear that he has no idea how his own businesses are run. This is hardly the first time, either. As near as I can tell, Trump’s job as CEO of the Trump Organization is to (a) watch a lot of TV, (b) appear on a lot of TV, (c) make command decisions about what kind of marble to use in the bathrooms, and (d) threaten to sue people who get in his way. Beyond that, he appears to play no real role in running things.

This explains, for example, . . .

Continue reading.

The whole thing is definitely worth reading. It concludes:

. . . His presidential campaign is the same thing. He thought it sounded neat to run for president but had no interest in how campaigns are actually run. If he ever became president, it would be more of the same. He’d run the country the way he runs his golf courses: making windswept exits from helicopters to deliver grand statements, and then quickly losing all interest. At best, things would toddle along without catastrophe if he picked decent people to run things. At worst, he’d pick fellow con men who would embroil him in endless scandals that made Teapot Dome look like a child’s lark.

Luckily, we’ll never have to find out.

Written by LeisureGuy

25 October 2016 at 11:48 am

Posted in Election, GOP

The 281 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter: A Complete List

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Written by LeisureGuy

24 October 2016 at 3:32 pm

Posted in Election, GOP

Is Donald Trump a Fake Republican? Or the Ultimate Republican?

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Kevin Drum asks a good question and gives a good answer. Read the entire post, from which this is taken:

. . . My recollection is that it was conservatives who argued that Trump wasn’t a real conservative. Lowry, for example, called Trump a “philosophically unmoored political opportunist” and a “menace to American conservatism.” Liberals, conversely, spent a vast amount of ink arguing that Trump was, in fact, the apotheosis of everything conservatives had been doing for the past 30 or 40 years. They had supported extremist talk show hosts. They had tolerated endless appeals to racist sentiment. They had impeached a Democratic president. They had adopted a strategy of pure obstruction after losing in a landslide to Barack Obama. They had promoted a bubble of cocky ignorance by convincing their followers that the mainstream media was entirely untrustworthy. They had indulged an endless series of bizarre conspiracy theories and pseudo-scandals for purely political benefits.

After all that, liberals argued, conservatives could hardly act shocked when Republican primary voters were attracted to a guy like Donald Trump. They had been poking this particular tiger for years, and now that it was biting back they had no idea how to stop it. . .

Written by LeisureGuy

24 October 2016 at 11:35 am

Posted in Election, GOP

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