Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Trump U Documents

In more good news at the official start of Summer, Donald is going to be letting us in on what went on at Trump U. This might be better than his tax returns.

A federal judge is ordering the release of Trump University internal documents in a class-action lawsuit against the now-defunct real estate school owned by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

The order by U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel in San Diego, which came Friday in response to a request by The Washington Post, calls for the documents to be released by Thursday.

The Trumpster may have made an error in picking a fight with Jeff Bezos. Why would Curiel rule this way?

The New York real estate mogul, for his part, has claimed that Curiel is a "hater of Donald Trump" and should be ashamed of how he has handled the case. Trump also has questioned whether Curiel, who is Hispanic, is biased against him because of his call for deporting immigrants in the U.S. illegally.

I suppose that's possible. I think it's pretty likely Donald Willetts would have ruled the same way, though.

Josh Marshall on this very same subject.

It is unprecedented for a presidential candidate to personally attack and even threaten a federal judge. (To be fair, I'm not sure there's been a nominee being sued for fraud during the presidential campaign.) But here we have Trump making an openly racist argument against a federal judge, arguing that Curiel is pursuing a vendetta against him because Trump is, he says, "I'm very, very strong on the border."


 Acosta asked Trump: "Why mention that the judge is Mexican?" Trump answered: "Because I'm a man of principle. Most of the people who took those courses have letters saying they thought it was great, essentially."

Yeah, that explains it. 

Hope for the South

Wanted to link to this article in the CSM because it displays some hope for change in the South.

As quietly as if a church mouse did it, the Georgia state holiday known for decades as Robert E. Lee Day this year became the decidedly more generic “State Holiday.”

And if that's not bad enough. 

The decision was followed last week by a congressional vote last week to remove Confederate flags from federal cemeteries – again to only minor protest. 

Meanwhile in upstate NY, we have assholes upset because they can't go to the Washington County Fair and buy them. 

Clearly, this shift is a product of the backlash against the shooting of nine black church members by a white supremacist in Charleston, S.C., last year. But even so, the rapidity with which Confederate symbols are being erased after 150 years of deep cultural poignancy is astonishing.

There are a few Matt Funiciello notes I want to make in linking to this story. The first is to mention once again how he broadcast a radio show the day after that shooting (as well as San Bernardino) and said not one word about guns and their lethal use. 

Big business is bringing in its own set of values and outsiders – both Yankees and immigrants – are reshaping the South’s big cities.

That touches on the other, which is the constant drumbeat of how evil corporations are. I live in Fort Edward. Ask me about GE or ask people in Bhopal about Union Carbide. I don't believe every corporation is evil. I do believe we would not survive at this point in history without them. If there were not corporations growing food, then processing it and then transporting it there would be famine. You're not going to locavore your way out of that. 

Corporations have had a growing influence over policy – especially in their outspoken opposition to laws they deemed discriminatory. Indeed, corporations have become far more willing to wade into hot-button debates in order to signal inclusive values to increasingly picky consumers.

One such moment came in Charlotte, N.C., in 1996, when a local theater company put on a play by a gay playwright, sparking outrage over arts funding from the conservative Mecklenburg County Commission. Former Bank of America CEO Hugh McColl issued a passionate response, in essence telling state and local leaders that if the state wants to compete in the global economy, it has to strive for a free and open society.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Warren Versus Trump

I'd seen that there was some back and forth between Liz Warren and Donald Trump. Where to put my money in a battle of snaps between these two? It's tough because Trump has already proved himself the master of insults worthy of a grade school student. So whataya got Drumpf?

Donald Trump repeatedly mocked Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., as “Pocahontas” at a press conference in North Dakota on Thursday, even as a Native American woman present at the event interrupted to call his comments “offensive.”

Really? The Pocahontas thing again? And at the same time managing to insult yet another group of Americans. 

 “I find it offensive that Goofy Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to as Pocahontas, pretended to be Native American to get in Harvard,” Trump wrote.

In a tweet of her own, Warren retorted that she “didn’t even go to Harvard.” She was a faculty member at the school.

“Get your facts straight,” Warren wrote.

So, I suppose next Trump will be bashing Harvard and trash talking Warren for not being able to get on the faculty at Trump University. Oh, and in the video at the clip, Trump calls her a big mouth. Classy!

 In a Tuesday night speech at the Center for Popular Democracy’s annual gala in Washington, she criticized Trump for profiting of the 2008 housing crisis through buying property on the cheap.

“What kind of man does that?” she asked repeatedly. “A small, insecure money-grubber who doesn’t care who gets hurt, so long as he makes some money off it.”

I gotta say insecure money-grubber is good. Anything else?

She went on to call out Trump on long-harbored desire to eliminate Dodd-Frank regulations on the financial industry.

“Donald Trump is worried about helping poor little Wall Street? Let me find the world’s smallest violin,” she said. She later added: “Can Donald Trump even name three things that Dodd-Frank does?”

I'm pretty sure that he can't, so I'm giving the round and the fight to the senator from the great state of Massachusetts.

OK, so I go over to TPM and see Josh Marshall talking up Senator Warren for VEEP. Sounds like a wonderful idea to me even at the cost of the Senate seat. The possibility of Warren succeeding Clinton as prez in 4 or 8 years makes that more than worth the temporary loss of the seat.

Warren is off-the-cuff, free-wheeling and direct in all the ways Clinton is cautious and rehearsed. But it is a reinforcing rather than an invidious contrast and likely helps bring to the surface Hillary's progressive background that has been buried by decades at the pinnacle of Democratic party politics and years as the punching bag of the left of the party which feels excluded by the seemingly endless Clinton ascendency.

It may sound crazy to attach so much to her recent Twitter contretemps with Donald Trump. But the tone, rhythm and style are exactly what the Democrats need to knock Trump down and bring out his toxic mix of personal insecurity and emotional instability. It's not over-earnest or off-key or droning (traditional Democratic tonalities - let's be honest). She's mocking, substantive and constantly on target.

Indeed, Trump's responses to Warren, his attacks on her, make it clear to me he'll have a hard time handling her.

 Do it for Teddy.  

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Troop Lovin' Republicans

I thought I'd put a link up to this story. Donald loves using those troops for window-dressing. He prefers them as free window-dressing, though.

Almost four months after promising $1 million of his own money to veterans’ causes, Donald Trump moved to fulfill that pledge Monday evening — promising the entire sum to a single charity as he came under intense media scrutiny.

Why now?

In recent days, The Washington Post and other media outlets had pressed Trump and his campaign for details about how much the fundraiser had actually raised and whether Trump had given his portion.

The candidate refused to provide details. On Monday, a Post reporter used Twitter — Trump’s preferred social-media platform — to search publicly for any veterans groups that had received Trump’s money.

By Monday afternoon, The Post had found none. But it seems to have caught the candidate’s attention.

Damn meddling kids liberal media. 

It brings to mind this oldie, but goodie of this pair of troop-loving wingnuts

A potentially damaging scandal erupted that implicates Fox News Channel personalities Sean Hannity and Oliver North in the worst kind of charitable fraud.

According to complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission and the IRS, the two right-wing icons have exploited American veterans for personal and partisan gain. The actions filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) accuse Hannity and North of misusing millions of dollars collected by the Freedom Alliance, a charity they promote and control.

Great Americans they are!

Another Trump Non-Running-mate

Donald Trump went to New Mexico to attack the woman who should be the GOP nominee for president if they were actually a sane political party. Not that I mind. I certainly would worry a lot more if Hillary Clinton was running against a Hispanic woman governor.

With Martinez on the outs, Trump attacked her several times in his speech, laying blame for New Mexico's unemployment rate and the increase in the number of residents on food stamps.

Trump also accused Martinez of allowing "large numbers" of Syrian refugees to be settled in New Mexico, though Martinez was one of a number of governors who spoke out against President Barack Obama's plan to allow some Syrian refugees to relocate to the United States. 

Running-mate? She's not even voting for him.

Just a little bit beside the point is this post at LGM. We didn't start the fire.

It’s pretty hard to convincingly claim that an ignorant buffoon like Donald Trump isn’t a serious candidate for president when you’ve put an ignorant buffoon on a presidential ticket. (And while George W. Bush was not as unqualified as Palin, the proudly ill-informed anti-intellectualism that was central to his shtick was not incidental to the rise of figures like Trump.)

The Grand Old Buffoon party lives!

What made him think launching into a clumsy diatribe about a fellow Republican — and one who is an established star in a swing state, no less – was a good idea? What was he trying to accomplish? Does Trump think the way to get people on board is to insult them in public? Does he really think elected Republicans are his vassals?  Does he really think they need him more than he needs them?

Trump’s remarks have instantly become the insult heard around the party. Martinez is exactly what the Republican Party needs more of.  She is a popular female, Hispanic, conservative leader who is currently the chairwoman of the Republican Governors Association. She is not a GOP opponent, she is not a bothersome journalist, and she certainly shouldn’t be an enemy of Trump.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

You Know Who Else is a Questioner?

Donald Trump, that's who!

Donald Trump and his casual “just asking questions”reference to the 1993 suicide of Vince Foster

It'll be great when he's in the WH and can get to the bottom of the Obama birth certificate, Foster's murder, the fake moon landing, Area 51 and on and on.  

One issue on Trump’s radar is the 1993 death of Foster, which has been ruled a suicide by law enforcement officials and a subsequent federal investigation. But some voices on the far right have long argued that the Clintons may have been involved in a conspiracy that led to Foster’s death. 

Oh yes, the conspiracy theorist in chief. No wonder Matt thinks so highly of him.

“I think she’s a much more dangerous political creature than Donald Trump. … He’s kind of like the crazy uncle who occasionally says some brilliant things,” said Funiciello 

Brilliant, I tells ya!

Good for you, Wolf, for doing your job. 

No Fuck the Guns for Chris Christie

At least not for domestic abusers. And really, if you're not going to try to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, who are you going to keep them away from?

The bill Christie vetoed would have forced gun owners to surrender their weapons if they’re named in a domestic violence restraining order.

Accused abusers would also have to turn over handgun permits and their firearms’ licenses.

That is such an abrogation of their second amendment rights. Fuck the guns and Chris Christie. He deserves being reduced to Trump's lapdog.