Browsing the archives for the Republican Party category.


One-Dimensional News

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Bad Hair, Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton

Right now political news stories are all pretty much about the awfulness of Donald Trump. And I’m bored with that. Yeah, he’s awful. There’s no end of how awful he is.

For the sake of defeating the Great Awfulness I’ve been holding back on criticizing Clinton, but there’s not much else to talk about.

Thomas Frank writes that with a Clinton victory a near certainty, you can forget about Clinton leading a progressive administration:

And so ends the great populist uprising of our time, fizzling out pathetically in the mud and the bigotry stirred up by a third-rate would-be caudillo named Donald J Trump. So closes an era of populist outrage that began back in 2008, when the Davos dream of a world run by benevolent bankers first started to crack. The unrest has taken many forms in these eight years – from idealistic to cynical, from Occupy Wall Street to the Tea Party – but they all failed to change much of anything. …

Just a short while ago the American national newspapers were running page-one stories telling readers it was time to take seriously Trump’s followers, if not Trump himself. And on 3 August, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman actually typed the following: “It scares me that people are so fed up with elites, so hate and mistrust [Hillary] Clinton and are so worried about the future – jobs, globalization and terrorism” that they might actually vote for Trump.

Yes, it scared Friedman that the American people didn’t like their masters any longer. As it has no doubt scared many of his rich friends to learn over the past few years that the people formerly known as middle class are angry about losing their standard of living to the same forces that are making those rich people ever more comfortable.

Well, Friedman need be frightened no longer. Today it looks as though his elites are taking matters well in hand. “Jobs” don’t really matter now in this election, nor does the debacle of “globalization”, nor does anything else, really. Thanks to this imbecile Trump, all such issues have been momentarily swept off the table while Americans come together around Clinton, the wife of the man who envisaged the Davos dream in the first place.

Frank thinks that once Clinton gets her landslide victory she will once again throw progressivism under the bus, and I suspect he’s right.

My leftist friends persuaded themselves that this stuff didn’t really matter, that Clinton’s many concessions to Sanders’ supporters were permanent concessions. But with the convention over and the struggle with Sanders behind her, headlines show Clinton triangulating to the right, scooping up the dollars and the endorsement, and the elites shaken loose in the great Republican wreck.

She is reaching out to the foreign policy establishment and the neocons. She is reaching out to Republican office-holders. She is reaching out to Silicon Valley. And, of course, she is reaching out to Wall Street. In her big speech in Michigan on Thursday she cast herself as the candidate who could bring bickering groups together and win policy victories through really comprehensive convenings.

Things will change between now and November, of course. But what seems most plausible from the current standpoint is a landslide for Clinton, and with it the triumph of complacent neoliberal orthodoxy. She will have won her great victory, not as a champion of working people’s concerns, but as the greatest moderate of them all, as the leader of a stately campaign of sanity and national unity. The populist challenge of the past eight years, whether led by Trump or by Sanders, will have been beaten back resoundingly. Centrism will reign triumphant over the Democratic party for years to come. This will be her great accomplishment. The bells will ring all over Washington DC.

I disagree that this will be the end of the great populist uprising, but certainly Clinton’s victory — made possible by The Great Awfulness — has slowed it down a lot.

In the New York Times Thomas Edsall wrote,

If current trends continue, not only will there be a class inversion among the white supporters of the Democratic Party, but the party will become increasingly dependent on a white upper middle class that has isolated itself from the rest of American society.

Instead of serving as the political arm of working and middle class voters seeking to move up the ladder, the Democratic Party faces the prospect of becoming the party of the winners, in collaboration with many of those in the top 20 percent who are determined to protect and secure their economic and social status.

It’s been that for quite a while, seems to me. It’s just been in denial about it.

Neither Edsall nor Frank have much to say about the Sanders insurgency within the Democratic Party. I don’t know whether it will be a factor going forward or not; that remains to be seen. If progressives follow their usual pattern of crawling into holes until the next presidential election, probably not. If they follow through (as many vow to do) by electing progressives to Congress in the next several election cycles, then there’s hope.

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Trump: God’s Gift to Hillary Clinton

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Bad Hair, Hillary Clinton, Republican Party

Two things happened yesterday regarding our major party presidential candidates. Both were reported by major media outlets. One I’m sure you’ve heard about; the other you probably haven’t.

Here’s the one you may not know about, reported by Eric Lichtblau at the New York Times:

A new batch of State Department emails released Tuesday showed the close and sometimes overlapping interests between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department when Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state.

The documents raised new questions about whether the charitable foundation worked to reward its donors with access and influence at the State Department, a charge that Mrs. Clinton has faced in the past and has always denied.

In one email exchange, for instance, an executive at the Clinton Foundation in 2009 sought to put a billionaire donor in touch with the United States ambassador to Lebanon because of the donor’s interests there.

In another email, the foundation appeared to push aides to Mrs. Clinton to help find a job for a foundation associate. Her aides indicated that the department was working on the request.

There are many examples of apparent collusion between Hillary Clinton’s State Department and the Clinton Foundation, although without evidence of direct quid pro quo Clinton has always been able to brush it off.

The State Department turned the new emails over to a conservative advocacy group, Judicial Watch, as part of a lawsuit that the group brought under the Freedom of Information Act.

The documents included 44 emails that were not among some 55,000 pages of emails that Mrs. Clinton had previously given to the State Department, which she said represented all her “work-related” emails. The document release centers on discussions between Mrs. Clinton’s aides and Clinton Foundation executives about a number of donors and associates with interests before the State Department.

Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, charged that Mrs. Clinton “hid” the documents from the public because they appeared to contradict her official pledge in 2009 to remove herself from Clinton Foundation business while leading the State Department.

In a normal election year, this would have been headline stuff, and the Republican Noise Machine would be screaming about it to the rafters. However, this happened:

Donald Trump has been accused of a making an “assassination threat” against rival Hillary Clinton, plunging his presidential campaign into a fresh crisis.

The volatile Republican nominee was speaking at a rally in Wilmington, North Carolina, about the next president’s power to appoint supreme court justices. “Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the second amendment,” said Trump, eliciting boos from the crowd.

“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the second amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know. But I’ll tell you what, that will be a horrible day.”

You’ve heard about that one, huh? The Republican Noise Machine has been forced to drop the Clinton emails for the moment and instead make excuses for Trump.

There’s a conspiracy theory popular in the dunce corners of social media that says The Donald actually is working for the Clintons. He met with Bill right before he declared his candidacy, see, and the Plan all along was for Trump to win the nomination and then throw the election to Hillary.

Do I believe this? No; I think the simpler explanation is that Trump is (quoting our frequent mahacommenter eryinyes) “bug fuck crazy.” But if I were inclined to believe such things, this would be Exhibit A. Time after time, Trump trips up his own campaign. This time he ran over his own campaign with a bus.

Note that just a few days ago, Trump made one of a series of promises that he would “tone down” his rhetoric. He appears to not know what that means.

See also “Stress Over Family Finances Propelled Hillary Clinton Into Corporate World.”

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Stuff to Read About Trump

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Bad Hair, elections, Obama Administration

Charles Pierce argues that now is the time for the Republican Party to die. See also The End of the Republican Party at FiveThirtyEight.

While I don’t see the Republican Party disappearing anytime soon, Donald Trump’s chances of becoming POTUS are sinking faster than cement shoes in the East River. Per FiveThirtyEight, on July 30 it was Trump, 50.1, Clinton, 49.9. Now it’s 18.4 and 81.5, respectively. At this rate Trump will be in negative numbers by Monday.

A former Wall Street Journal reporter writes about his days covering Donald Trump. He writes that Donald Trump is a bad, bad businessman.

A former deputy director of the CIA endorses Hillary Clinton. This is the juiciest bit:

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia was a career intelligence officer, trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them. That is exactly what he did early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump’s vulnerabilities by complimenting him. He responded just as Mr. Putin had calculated.

Mr. Putin is a great leader, Mr. Trump says, ignoring that he has killed and jailed journalists and political opponents, has invaded two of his neighbors and is driving his economy to ruin. Mr. Trump has also taken policy positions consistent with Russian, not American, interests — endorsing Russian espionage against the United States, supporting Russia’s annexation of Crimea and giving a green light to a possible Russian invasion of the Baltic States.

In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.

Trump’s erratic behavior is getting so much media attention that Hillary Clinton is nearly invisible. This may be helping her also.

Clinton’s biggest problem now is that she’s not doing so well among Millennials.

And yet even though roughly three-fourths of all battleground-state Millennials expressed these disparaging views of Trump, the survey found Clinton drawing just 43 percent against him in a four-way race that included libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. While Trump attracted only 24 percent, nearly as many picked Johnson or Stein, and the rest said they were either undecided or wouldn’t vote. By comparison, Obama carried two-thirds of Millennials in 2008 and three-fifths in 2012.

But in comparing two-way and four-way polls at Real Clear Politics, it seems to me that the two fringe party candidates, Stein and Johnson, are taking votes from both Clinton and Trump about equally. So that may be a wash.

Fortunately, the Olympics will give us a little relief from politics. Enjoy.

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The Republican Revolt Begins

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Bad Hair

The hot word for today, boys and girls, is intervention.

Key Republicans close to Donald Trump’s orbit are plotting an intervention with the candidate after a disastrous 48 hours led some influential voices in the party to question whether Trump can stay at the top of the Republican ticket without catastrophic consequences for his campaign and the GOP at large.

Republican National Committee head Reince Priebus, former Republican New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are among the Trump endorsers hoping to talk the real estate mogul into a dramatic reset of his campaign in the coming days, sources tell NBC News.

Priebus, Giuliani and Gingrich? Excuse me while I roll around on the floor and guffaw for a bit.

Stunned Republicans began seriously considering the idea of an exit ramp after an extraordinary few days during which Trump continually lashed out against a Gold Star family critical of his position on Muslim immigration, declared that he’d “always wanted” a Purple Heart but that it’s “easier” to receive one as a gift, and declined to endorse top Republican candidates including House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Sources in the candidate’s orbit tell NBC News Trump is aware of the dissatisfaction within the party. But while some labeled the state of affairs “Crazytown” and “worse than ever,” they also described a sense of powerlessness, bemoaning the fact there’s “nothing that we can do, that anybody can do right now.”

There’s absolutely no indication Trump is considering leaving the race, a move that would seem wildly out of character for a candidate who has prided himself on “winning” and grasped at any poll that shows him dominating an opponent.

However, this guy has no problem whatsoever with declaring bankruptcies, which suggests he isn’t utterly out of touch with the real world. If he continues to fall behind Clinton in the race, what will he do? Will he stay and lose or quit and whine that he was forced out because somebody was mean to him? IMO either one is possible.

If you missed all the ways Trump is having a no good, very bad week, NBC provides a list:

  • In a Washington Post interview, Trump declined to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan against his primary challenger
  • He reiterated that he hasn’t endorsed Sen. John McCain and said the onetime prisoner of war “has not done a good job for the vets”
  • He slapped out at Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte, saying “she has given me zero support”
  • He suggested that Americans should pull their 401(k) funds out of the stock market
  • He said he’s “always wanted” to receive a Purple Heart but that having one gifted to him by a supporter was “much easier”
  • He said that the handling of sexual harassment has “got to be up to the individual”
  • He accused Khizr Khan of being “bothered” by his plan to keep terrorists out of the country, and said that he had no regrets about his clash with the family
  • He appeared to feud with a crying baby during a rally
  • He reiterated that “if the election is rigged, I would not be surprised”
  • The sitting president of the United States publicly called Trump “unfit to serve” and urged Republicans to withdraw their support for him.
  • Trump spokesman Katrina Pierson suggested that Obama and Clinton are to blame for the death of Humayan Khan, who died in 2004, when neither were in the executive branch at the time
  • An ally of Paul Manafort told our colleague John Harwood at CNBC that the campaign chairman is “mailing it in,” leaving the rest of the staff “suicidal.”
  • Sitting GOP congressman Richard Hanna, HP head Meg Whitman and former Christie aide Maria Comella all said they plan to vote for Hillary Clinton
  • The Washington Post released a transcript of its full interview with Trump, indicating among other things that he paused five times to watch TV coverage in the middle of the sit-down
  • A GOP source told NBC’s Katy Tur that Reince Priebus is “apoplectic” over Trump’s refusal to endorse Ryan and is making calls to the campaign to express his “extreme displeasure”

Here’s one more: Yesterday Donald Trump declined to endorse Paul Ryan in his Senate primary bid next week. Today, Trump’s running mate Mike Pence said he does endorse Ryan. This comes under the heading of “stuff that’s not supposed to happen.”

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel assures its readers that Ryan will win, but in fact I can find no recent election polling in Wisconsin. I think people are just assuming that the Mighty Ryan won’t lose. They’re probably right.

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About the Bounce, and the Dump

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Bad Hair

Sam Wang discusses Hillary Clinton’s post-convention bounce poll numbers, which put her ahead of Trump by anywhere from one to twelve points.

You may have been following the fallout from Trump’s reaction to Khizr and Ghazala Khan’s appearance at the DNC convention. After putting his foot in his big mouth in a George Stephanopoulos interview, Trump issued this prepared statement [emphasis added]:

“Captain Humayun Khan was a hero to our country and we should honor all who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country safe. The real problem here are the radical Islamic terrorist who killed him, and the efforts of these radicals to enter our country and do us further harm,” Trump said.
“While I feel deeply for the loss of his son, Mr. Khan who has never met me, has no right to stand in front of millions of people and claim I have never read the Constitution, (which is false) and say many other inaccurate things. If I become President, I will make America safe again.”
You can’t make this up. Note that the Veterans of Foreign Wars has issued a statement condemning Trump’s statements about the Khan family. The Republicans losing the VFW is a serious thing.
We aren’t done yet. An adviser to the Trump campaign accused Khizr Khan of being an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood.
We really aren’t done with the Stephanopoulos interview, which I didn’t watch all the way through but may yet. Trump actually declared that Russia would not invade the Ukraine. Seriously, he said that.
In a discussion about US policy toward Ukraine, Stephanopoulos asked Trump about his campaign operatives’ successful effort to block the addition of a plank to the GOP platform that would have advocated providing lethal weapons to Ukraine to help defend against the Russian-backed insurgency in its eastern Donbas region.

Trump said, “I was not involved” no fewer than five times in trying to avoid the issue, which put him in direct opposition to the majority of the Republican foreign policy establishment.

It wasn’t even clear that Trump knew what the change entailed until Stephanopoulos spelled it out for him and asked why he thought it was a good idea.

Trump again dodged, appearing to claim that there was no need for the weapons by arguing that Russian President Vladimir Putin wasn’t going to take action against Ukraine.

“He’s not going into Ukraine, OK? Just so you understand. He’s not going to go into Ukraine, all right? You can mark it down and you can put it down, you can take it anywhere you want.”

“Well, he’s already there, isn’t he?” asked Stephanopoulos.

“OK, well, he’s there in a certain way, but I’m not there yet,” Trump said, rapidly trying to shift the conversation to the subject of President Obama. “You have Obama there. And frankly, that whole part of the world is a mess under Obama, with all the strength that you’re talking about and all of the power of NATO and all of this, in the meantime, he’s going where — he takes — takes Crimea, he’s sort of — I mean…”

It was a place Trump should not have gone, because Stephanopoulos then asked about a recent suggestion that he would recognize the Crimea as Russian territory and eliminate sanctions imposed after Russia’s invasion of the Ukrainian territory.

“I’m going to take a look at it,” he said. “But, you know, the people of Crimea, from what I’ve heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were.”

 Next time, somebody should challenge Trump to find the Crimea on a map.

The New York Times looks at Trump’s five deferments that kept him out of Vietnam. Meanwhile, WaPo‘s editorial page today seems entirely dedicated to dumping on Trump:

The Republican leaders Michael Gerson addresses are probably realizing that it would be better for the Republican Party if Trump lost.

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Donald Trump Is a Genuinely Disgusting Person

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Bad Hair

The latest fart from the Great Gasbag:

In his first response to a searing charge from bereaved Army father Khizr Khan that he’d “sacrificed nothing” for his country, Donald Trump claimed that he had in fact sacrificed by employing “thousands and thousands of people.” He also suggested that Khan’s wife didn’t speak because she was forbidden to as a Muslim and questioned whether Khan’s words were his own.

“Who wrote that? Did Hillary’s script writers write it?” Trump said in an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. “I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard.”

A politician with normal psychological wiring would have expressed his humble gratitude for Captain Humayun Khan’s service, expressed condolences for his family’s loss, and then launched into some boilerplate about what he would do for veterans. But Trump, the psychopathic narcissist, makes everything about himself.

Pressed by Stephanopoulos to name the sacrifices he’d made for his country, Trump said: “I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard. I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I’ve had tremendous success. I think I’ve done a lot.”

Trump also cited his work on behalf of veterans, including helping to build a Vietnam War memorial in Manhattan, and raising “millions of dollars” for vets.

And just yesterday, he had wanted the sole meunière and had to settle for the herb-crusted salmon. Such a trial.

Update: Oh, and I wanted to add something  about the Houston Chronicle‘s endorsement of Hillary Clinton.

Any one of Trump’s less-than-sterling qualities – his erratic temperament, his dodgy business practices, his racism, his Putin-like strongman inclinations and faux-populist demagoguery, his contempt for the rule of law, his ignorance – is enough to be disqualifying. His convention-speech comment, “I alone can fix it,” should make every American shudder. He is, we believe, a danger to the Republic. …

… These are unsettling times, even if they’re not the dark, dystopian end times that Trump lays out. They require a steady hand. That’s not Donald Trump.

The times also require a person who envisions a hopeful future for this nation, a person who has faith in the strong, prosperous and confident America we hope to bequeath our children and grandchildren, as first lady Michelle Obama so eloquently envisioned in Philadelphia. That’s not Donald Trump’s America.

The endorsement is more hopeful than I am that Hillary Clinton really will follow through on the progressive planks of the Democratic platform, but at least I’m not concerned about her psychological wiring.

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A Goblin of Nihilism

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Bad Hair, Republican Party

Daniel O’Hehir explains the dark heart of Trump support:

Being impregnable and invulnerable and indeed indecipherable — possessing no inner life, no discernible ideology and no personality — are not bugs in the Trump avatar’s program. They are essential features of its success. If he could fly or read minds or see the future he would be even better suited for the job of American dictator, and given the slipped gears in the reality matrix those possibilities can’t be ruled out. Trump is dangerous precisely because he does not seem like a real person, and the people voting for him do not think they’re voting in a real election with real consequences. He is an empty symbol with no point of reference, a goblin of nihilism wearing a mask of hope.

As an example of “no point of reference,” Matthew Yglesias points out that Trump’s “law and order” speech last night contained no actual crime policies. He spoke of “law and order” over and over, but his only policy statement was —

I will work with, and appoint, the best prosecutors and law enforcement officials in the country to get the job done.

But to his followers, this doesn’t matter. “The Government” is to them something unreal and alien, like Mordor, and they need an avatar to go in and straighten it out. Exactly what needs straightening and how it’s done doesn’t concern them.

Remember, these are the same people who perpetually complain that The Government, or Political Correctness, or Liberals, or some amorphous thing out there is oppressing them, but they can never provide a concrete example of actual oppression. Nevertheless, they live in a simmering pot of resentment because someone out there disrespects them. And time after time they follow whatever demagogue du jour gives voice to that resentment.

But back to actual Trump — lots of people are pointing to this bit from a New York Times article

One day this past May, Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., reached out to a senior adviser to Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, who left the presidential race just a few weeks before. As a candidate, Kasich declared in March that Trump was “really not prepared to be president of the United States,” and the following month he took the highly unusual step of coordinating with his rival Senator Ted Cruz in an effort to deny Trump the nomination. But according to the Kasich adviser (who spoke only under the condition that he not be named), Donald Jr. wanted to make him an offer nonetheless: Did he have any interest in being the most powerful vice president in history?

When Kasich’s adviser asked how this would be the case, Donald Jr. explained that his father’s vice president would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.

Then what, the adviser asked, would Trump be in charge of?

“Making America great again” was the casual reply.

Of course. Because Trump has never done anything himself. He’s just the guy who puts up the money to make the deals. The actual building and managing and running of the businesses are done by other people. He seems to think he can be President of the United States and delegate the entire job to others, except for the taking credit part. It’s what he’s always done.

But may I also say that Mike Pence is one of the last people on the planet I’d want in charge of domestic and foreign policy.

Meanwhile, word is that Hillary Clinton is going to pick Tim Kaine for her veep. This is not official yet, mind you. But if so, this tells me she’s still not getting the national mood. Kaine is a very “safe” pick — from an establishment perspective — who will excite no one who isn’t already in the tank for her.

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The 2016 GOP Platform

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Bad Hair, Republican Party

Seriously:

The platform demands that lawmakers use religion as a guide when legislating, stipulating “that man-made law must be consistent with God-given, natural rights.”

It also encourages the teaching of the Bible in public schools because, the amendment said, a good understanding of its contents is “indispensable for the development of an educated citizenry.”
And it goes downhill from there. For example, The Wall:

the Republican platform explicitly states: “We support building a wall along our southern border and protecting all ports of entry. The border wall must cover the entirety of the southern border and must be sufficient to stop both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.”

The GOP isn’t just hostile to same-sex marriage, but to homosexuality itself.

Republicans repeatedly rejected efforts to even mention LGBT Americans by name in their platform. Instead, the GOP includes a defense of “natural marriage” and even embraces “conversion therapy”, the controversial and widely banned practice of trying to convert LGBT individuals to being heterosexual.

The GOP is so hostile to LGBT folks that the committee rejected a proposal to condemn Islamic terrorists’ targeting of LGBT individuals.

This is everything the GOP platform says about the environment:

In its entirety, it states, “We believe sound energy, agriculture, and environmental policy can foster sustainable economic growth. We are also the party of America’s growers and producers, farmers, ranchers, foresters, miners, and all those who bring from the earth the minerals and energy that are the lifeblood of our nation’s historically strong economy. We are the party of traditional conservation: the wise development of resources that keeps in mind the efforts of past generations to secure that bounty and our responsibility to preserve it for the future. Now we want to hear from you. What issues are most important to you?”

Global warming? Not an issue. But there is an open question about whether the platform actually calls for ending all national parks (by turning them over to the states) or just some of them. Snopes points out that the language adopted by the platform committee just calls for “certain federally controlled public lands” to be conveyed to states, but doesn’t say which ones.

Random things:

  • The GOP platform opposes adding gray wolves, prairie chickens and sage grouses to the endangered species list.
  • The platform calls for abolition of the IRS.
  • The platform calls for criminalizing abortion with no exceptions for rape or incense.
  • The platform opposes legalizing marijuana even for medical uses.

What do the Democratic and Republican platforms agree on? Two things I know of:

  • Both platform committees refused to condemn the Trans-Pacific Partnership, even though both presumptive nominees (currently) say they oppose it.
  • Both platform committees have called for a return to Glass Steagall. Everybody hates Wall Street. However, if such a thing comes to pass watch Congress water the hell out of it first.
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Is The Donald Going Broke?

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Bad Hair, Republican Party

Trump’s presidential candidacy appears to be imploding before it has officially started. This morning he fired his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who hasn’t been doing much managing. According to Gabriel Sherman at New York magazine, Lewandowsky’s ouster was something of a coup orchestrated by three Trump offspring, Ivanka, Eric, and Don Jr.

Scripts for an HBO original film about Donald Trump’s failed presidential campaign are already being written. I can smell it.

But the bigger mystery is, where is the money? Trump’s campaign seems to be out of it. At the end of the last reporting period, Hillary Clinton’s campaign had $30 million in hand; Trump’s  had $2.4 million. And he doesn’t seem terribly interested in raising more.

John McQuaid writes at Forbes that Trump not only doesn’t bother about fundraising; he wants the Republican National Committee to do his fundraising and campaign organizing for him. But that’s not what the RNC is for, and if they have to take on that job it will reduce resources for doubt-ballot candidates.  McQuaid continues.

Trump’s campaign is based on the vague, grandiose notion of “winning.” He’s a winner who will help us all win. We will stop losing to immigrants and terrorists and China and Mexico and then will be so much winning we won’t be able to stand it. There are two pieces of evidence for this: Trump is ahead in the polls and he’s fabulously wealthy. He could keep the illusion going during the primaries. But now, as every day brings more bad news, the first is gone. If the second is falsified, it all collapses. So if there is literally nothing – or at least, much less than $10 billion – at the center, that is something that he would feel compelled to conceal no matter what.

This informational black box at the center of a major party candidacy is extraordinary.

We’ve been asked to trust and believe in Trump because he is a genius moneymaker and manager. Yet he appears to be in the process of committing campaign suicide, in part because he has no money and no managerial talent.  As citizens, we should know whether he’s lying about his wealth. We do know he’s either stupid, or not anywhere as rich as he wants us to believe, or – probably – both.

Many people are pointing out that if Trump really is worth $10 billion, as he claims, then coughing up a few tens of millions to keep his campaign going shouldn’t be that much of a stretch.  Last year Forbes estimated he was really worth only about $4.5 billion. But even then, he ought to be able to throw $30 million into the pot to keep up with Hillary, you’d think.

But he doesn’t appear to be doing that. Josh Marshall writes,

Even if Trump can’t not be Trump, the damage of being Trump could at least be off-set by pouring money into advertising in key swing states and field work. But at this moment, the Clinton campaign (and pro-Clinton superPACs) is rolling out a barrage of targeted swing state advertising focused on solidifying and embedding the highly negative image Trump has built for himself over the last year and especially the last eight weeks. That advertising is going entirely unanswered by the Trump campaign. Trump’s been reduced to making emergency appeals to raise $100,000. …

…So it all comes down to, where’s the money? We tend to look at Trump’s threadbare campaign as a product of epic disorganization or the candidate’s mercurial personality. But as the mammoth tv ad campaigns ramp up unanswered and field operations fail to materialize, those explanations are really no longer sufficient.

Assuming Trump really is worth some number in the billions of dollars, it makes no sense for him to get this close to the presidency and then get stingy.  Josh says he has loaned his campaign over $40 million already, but what’s another $40 million when you’ve got billions?

I keep saying that Clinton is going to win. One of the reasons I keep saying that is that it’s been evident for some time that Trump has nothing even approaching a national presidential campaign organization

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Toxic Trump

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Bad Hair, Republican Party

Frank Bruni has his moments:

IN normal times, a party’s leaders and comers grovel for roles in the convention and prime time on its stage.

In the Year of Trump, Republicans are racing for the exits. It’s as if the Emerald City suddenly turned into Chernobyl.  …

… Small wonder that one of Trump’s advisers recently suggested that the candidate not wait until the climactic hour to deliver his remarks but, in a break with precedent, speak every single night. Not just double Donald. No mere triple Trump. Four luscious scoops of him.

Not only are a lot of A-list Republicans skipping the convention, a whole lot of corporate sponsors are opting out as well. Never fear; the show will go on, somehow. Bruni continues,

What a total, utter freak show this promises to be, and not in the manner that Republicans feared just months ago. They wondered then if the convention would be contested, with Trump and Ted Cruz dueling for delegates. Now they’re looking at four excruciating days that will be light on appropriate speakers, short on cash and long on God-knows-what other than the music of Trump’s voice and the shimmer of Trump’s hair.

He’s in a bind. He has expressed the desire for an event incorporating more show business than usual (shocker!), but bling doesn’t come cheap, and neither corporate sponsors nor individual donors are coming around in their usual numbers to contribute.

And then there’s the question of who might be The Donald’s Number Two.

John Weaver, who served as the campaign strategist for Kasich’s presidential bid, was more blunt: “I can’t imagine a truly credible person agreeing to be his running mate, because it would be the end of his or her political career.”

Ironically, the presumptive nominee’s own toxicity is making the job of finding a vice presidential nominee that much easier, because the short list is so short. Multiple high-level Republican sources said it is topped by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, with Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions a distant third and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin also in the mix.

It appears Christie and Gingrich top the list because they want the job. They may be the only ones.

The Vengeance of WaPo continues with this piece, The brutal numbers behind a very bad month for Donald Trump.

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