These articles have all been provided by Jeanette Strong, Secretary, CCDCC. On some I have included her introductory commentary. They are in date order from earlier to most recent.
Excerpt from: VoteVets.org
Somehow, someway … Donald Trump just got a whole lot worse for veterans. Here’s a headline from today’s [May 12, 2016] Wall Street Journal:
“Donald Trump Adviser Signals Plan to Change Veterans’ Health Care
GOP front-runner would likely push VA toward privatization”
Every major veterans group opposes turning over veterans to for-profit health care companies and making them fight for their earned benefits. It’s not stretch to say that when you take Donald Trump’s position on veterans’ care hand-in-hand with his desire to send more troops to the Middle East to fight in Iraq and Syria, that he is anti-veteran. In fact, Trump is maybe the most anti-veteran candidate in quite some time.
And if there’s one group who can succeed in stopping Donald Trump where others have not, it’s veterans. At VoteVets, we’ve been preparing for this moment for some time now. All we need is you to stand with us.
The problem with Donald Trump — as it is with regards to most other issues — is his ignorance on the issue of veterans’ health care. He does not seem to know or care that many times veterans require specialized care for things like PTSD or brain injury that private hospitals are not equipped to provide. He doesn’t get that, while there should always be evolution at the VA, most veterans actually like their care! And private studies have found it to be as good or often better than private care.
But we’ll make sure he gets that message loud and clear by the time we’re done with him this fall.
All my best,
Iraq War Veteran & Chairman
______________________________________________________________Excerpt from: Bloomberg News
I saw Trump’s tax returns, and you should too
Timothy L. O’Brien, Bloomberg News, May 12, 2016
In January, Donald Trump had this to say when he was asked about whether he would release his tax returns: “I have very big returns, as you know, and I have everything all approved and very beautiful and we’ll be working that over in the next period of time.”
Yet he held off on releasing his returns. And on Tuesday night, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee seemed to close the door for good on the matter. He told the Associated Press that he wouldn’t release his returns prior to the November elections unless what he described as Internal Revenue Service audit of his finances was complete.
“There’s nothing to learn from them,” Trump said of his tax returns.
That prompted Mitt Romney to take Trump to task late Wednesday afternoon.
“It is disqualifying for a modern-day presidential nominee to refuse to release tax returns to the voters, especially one who has not been subject to public scrutiny in either military or public service,” wrote the former GOP presidential nominee in a Facebook post. “While not a likely circumstance, the potential for hidden inappropriate associations with foreign entities, criminal organizations, or other unsavory groups is simply too great a risk to ignore for someone who is seeking to become commander-in-chief.”
Trump then stepped up with a surprise of his own and reversed course again last night, telling Fox News that he would, indeed, release his taxes before the elections. “I’ll release. Hopefully before the election I’ll release,” he said. “And I’d like to release.”
For anyone who had whiplash after all of this, Trump offered some comfort by reaffirming that whenever he might release his returns, there wouldn’t be anything of value to be discovered there anyway.
“You learn very little from a tax return,” he told Fox News.
Actually, as someone who saw Trump’s federal tax returns about a decade ago as part of a legal action in which he sued me for libel (the suit was later dismissed), I think there probably are some things to be learned from them.
The tax returns my lawyers and I reviewed were sealed, and a court order prevents me from speaking or writing about the specifics of what I saw. I can say that Trump routinely delayed — for months on end — producing those documents, and when they finally arrived they were so heavily redacted that they looked like crossword puzzles. The litigation ran on for five years, and during that time we had to petition the court to compel Trump to hand over unredacted versions of the tax returns — which he ultimately did.
So despite Trump’s statements to the contrary, here are some general questions that a full release of at least several years of his tax returns might usefully answer:
1) Income: Trump has made the size of his fortune a centerpiece of his presidential campaign, implying that it’s a measure of his success as a businessman. He has also correctly noted that the income shown on his tax returns isn’t a reflection of his total wealth. Even so, income is a basis for assessing some of the foundations of any individual’s wealth — and would certainly reflect the financial wherewithal of the businesses in which Trump is involved.
After Fortune’s Shawn Tully dug into Trump’s financial disclosures with the Federal Election Commission and an accompanying personal balance sheet his campaign released, he noted in March that Trump “appears to have overstated his income, by a lot, which could be the reason he has so far tried to avoid releasing his returns.” Tully said that Trump apparently boosted his income in the documents by conflating his various businesses’ revenue with his personal income. Trump didn’t respond to Tully’s assessment, but he could clear up all of that by releasing his tax returns.
2) Business Activities: Trump has long claimed that his company, the Trump Organization, employs thousands of people. He has also criticized Fortune 500 companies for operating businesses overseas at the expense of jobs for U.S. workers. Trump’s returns would show how active he and his businesses are globally — and would help substantiate the actual size and scope of his operation.
3) Charitable Giving: Trump has said that he’s a generous benefactor to a variety of causes — especially war veterans — even though it’s been hard to find concrete evidence to support the assertion. Other examples of major philanthropic largess from Trump have also been elusive. Trump could release his tax returns and put the matter to rest.
4) Tax Planning: There’s been global attention focused on the issue of how politicians and the wealthy use tax havens and shell companies to possibly hide parts of their fortunes from authorities. If released, Trump’s returns would make clear whether or not he used such vehicles.
5) Transparency and Accountability: Trump is seeking the most powerful office in the world. Some of the potential conflicts of interest or financial pressures that may arise if he reaches the White House would get an early airing in a release of his tax returns.
For the last 40 years, presidential candidates have released their returns. Trump, of course, has portrayed himself as the un-candidate, the guy who bucks convention. But disclosing tax returns is a valuable political tradition that’s well worth preserving.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or
Bloomberg LP and its owners.
Excerpt from: rightwingwatch.org
Can Donald Trump Hold The Same Policy Position For Longer Than 24 Hours?
Submitted by Brian Tashman, rightwingwatch.org, 4/22/2016
Donald Trump, it seems, has mastered the art of the flip-flop.
The GOP presidential frontrunner’s strategy seems to be: Make a statement in an interview, see if it sticks and, if the backlash is swift, release a statement saying that you never really meant what you said and instead agree with whatever is currently the more popular opinion on the matter.
Yesterday, Trump changed his stance on North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law in less than 24 hours, offering one opinion on “Today” in the morning and another on “Hannity” that night.
The shift, which came after Trump faced criticism from his leading GOP rival, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, and conservative activists, was far from the first time Trump has made such an abrupt change in a policy position. Here are just five instances where the GOP presidential frontrunner has made similarly swift reversals:
Trump has made a big deal out of the fact that he, like Ronald Reagan, was once adamantly pro-choice but is now an opponent of abortion rights. When asked at a MSNBC town hall event if he believes women should be punished for having abortions if he is successful in outlawing the procedure, Trump meandered before eventually concluding that “there has to be some form of punishment.”
In a statement released hours later, Trump said that it should be left to the states to determine what, if any, punishment women should face for having an illegal abortion. His campaign then sent out yet another statement saying that Trump would only seek to punish abortion providers rather than the women who have abortions, stating that the woman is, in fact, “a victim.”
The next day, following his reversal, Trump defended his initial answer, saying that he “didn’t see any big deal” about his original remarks about punishing women and boasting that “a lot of people thought my answer was excellent.”
One day after that, Trump switched his view on choice yet again, saying wouldn’t want to see abortion outlawed after all: “The laws are set and I think we have to leave it that way.” Naturally, his campaign backtracked within hours, saying that Trump only meant that he wouldn’t personally seek to change abortion laws but that “he will change the law through his judicial appointments.”
2) Nuclear proliferation
On March 26, Trump said that nuclear proliferation is the “biggest” problem he sees in the world.
“It’s a very scary nuclear world,” he told the New York Times. “Biggest problem, to me, in the world, is nuclear, and proliferation.”
In the very same interview, Trump floated the idea of letting Japan acquire nuclear weapons because he is tired of the U.S. having to defend its ally.
On March 29, when Anderson Cooper asked him to clarify his remarks, Trump said that he wanted not only Japan but also South Korea and Saudi Arabia to acquire nuclear weapons so the U.S. could save money on military assistance and because “it’s going to happen, anyway.” In the same conversation, Trump also told Cooper that he would oppose nuclear proliferation and doesn’t want to see nations like Saudi Arabia have nuclear weapons.
3) War crimes
The morning after Trump declared at a presidential debate in Detroit that he would order members of the military to commit war crimes and use illegal torture techniques — “If I say do it, they’re going to do it” — his campaign released a statement quoting the candidate as saying that he acknowledges “that the United States is bound by laws and treaties and I will not order our military or other officials to violate those laws.”
But just hours after that statement came out, Trump bragged at a Michigan rally about his support for torture, later explaining that he seeks to expand and broaden the rules on torture to compete with ISIS.
4) Guest workers
At the Detroit debate, Trump said that despite what his official website says about guest workers, he would approve of an expansion of the guest worker visa program. “I’m changing. I’m changing. We need highly skilled people in this country,” he said, remarks that surprised many, considering that he is running on a strict anti-immigrant platform.
Of course, Trump’s campaign later put out a statement saying that the candidate was in fact sticking with his original opposition to guest worker visas.
Then-rival Marco Rubio said in a response to the flip-flop-flip: “Tonight, Donald Trump finally took an actual position. But as soon as the debate was over, his handlers made him reverse himself. The Republican nominee cannot be somebody who is totally clueless on so many issues, including his signature issue.”
It took just one day for Trump to reverse his stance on the resettlement of Syrian refugees.
On September 8, he told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly that “on a humanitarian basis, with what’s happening you have to” take in some refugees. “They’re living in hell, and something has to be done,” he said.
On September 9, he told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he would oppose any resettlement of refugees from the conflict. Eventually, Trump declared that he would deport Syrian refugees already settled in the U.S.
While not a complete flip, Trump has also tried to change his tune on his proposed ban on Muslims from entering the country. On the same day that he released a statement stating that he wants “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims from entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” he told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren that certain Muslims, such as those serving in the military and those he is personally friends with, would be allowed to come in. He later clarified again that his sweeping ban would not apply to the “very rich Muslims” that he knows.
From Jeanette Strong, Secretary CCDCC:
“Here is part of an article on Trump and how he plays the system in unethical but legal ways. I re-included the cartoon about debt, with actual quotes by Trump. He is a flim-flam man, a grafter, a charlatan. Aside from that, he’d be a terrible president.
Excerpt from: Huffington Post
8 Ways Of Looking At (And Understanding) Donald Trump
Let’s consider what lies under the hair.
Howard Fineman, Global Editorial Director, The Huffington Post; Jason Linkins, Editor, Eat the Press; Lauren Weber, The Morning Email Editor, The Huffington Post, May 16, 2016
6 THE DEADBEAT
In respectable New York banking and real estate circles, Trump’s reputation is toxic: a notoriously contentious player who borrows grandly, pays late, sues if challenged, hypes his products, uses the threat of bankruptcy as a way to play for more time and better terms, and generally takes the system to the edge any way he can. When Trump says he “loves debt,” he means it. So it’s no surprise that he’s suggested he’d run America the same way: by threatening to steer it into bankruptcy.
Most concerning and clear, Trump states in his 10 Commandments in his, “Art of the Come back,” is his intense goal to always, “Get even.” Revenge as a priority is unsuitable as president. Imagine if Obama lived that priority?
Excerpt from: Washington Post Opinions
Trump’s words don’t need to be accurate, and they need to be sincere only for the time it takes to pronounce them
By Tom Toles, Washington Post Opinions, May 25, 2016
His mouth delivers what pops out of his brain, always in absolutes and superlatives, never less than maximum. But I am convinced that he never listens to his own words, and when he later denies them, he is being honest in his own way.
From Jeanette Strong, Secretary CCDCC: “This election is being called a post-fact election because of Donald Trump. This article summarizes his tendency to lie pathologically. Trying to list all of his actual lies would require a book. The author uses the novel 1984 as an example of how Trump manipulates the truth to be whatever he wants it to be at that moment. If you haven’t read 1984, it is very frightening and a good example of how Trump is behaving. Please do read this article. I’ve included some information about the novel at the end. The point of it all is that even Trump doesn’t seem to know when he is lying, which is a classic example of a pathological liar. For one example: Trump keeps saying that Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the 2nd Amendment, but she has never said that or even implied it, and neither has any other Democratic candidate. He can’t back anything up with proof, but he doesn’t care and neither do his followers. This is a cult, not a campaign. And it is terrifying.”
Excerpt from: Daily Intelligencer
Trump’s Lies and Trump’s Authoritarianism Are the Same Thing
By Jonathan Chait , Daily Intelligencer, May 26, 2016
On February 7, Donald Trump told an audience of supporters in New Hampshire that he would represent their interests, but Jeb Bush would not, because Bush was in the pocket of special interests. Trump singled out Woody Johnson, the heir to a pharmaceutical fortune, owner of the New York Jets, and contributor to Bush. Trump suggested, not unreasonably, that Johnson’s support would ensure that Bush would never allow the federal government to negotiate for lower prescription-drug prices. “I don’t get any money from any of these special interests, and I know the special interests — I know them better than anybody. But I don’t want their money,” he said. “So tell me, let me ask you: Do you think Jeb Bush is going to make drug prices competitive?” he asked. The crowd shouted, “No!”
This week Trump announced that Johnson would serve as vice-chair of the Trump Victory Fund. “He’s a terrific guy, he’s been a friend of mine a long time,” Trump announced. It was a head-spinning move — the very man Trump had held up as the embodiment of corruption, and whose funds he pledged never to accept, would now take a prominent role as a Trump fund-raiser.
Donald Trump is a wildly promiscuous liar. He also has disturbing authoritarian tendencies. Trump’s many critics have seized upon both traits as his two major disqualifications for the presidency, yet both of them frustratingly defy easy quantification. All politicians lie some, and many of them lie a lot, and most presidents also push the limits of their authority in ways that can frighten their opponents. So what is so uniquely dangerous about Trump? Perhaps the answer is that both of these qualities are, in a sense, the same thing. His contempt for objective truth is the rejection of democratic accountability, an implicit demand that his supporters place undying faith in him. Because the only measure of truth he accepts is what he claims at any given moment, the power his supporters vest in him is unlimited.
Trump lies routinely, about everything. Various journalists have tried to tally up his lies, inevitably giving up and settling for incomplete summaries. Some of these lies are merely standard, or perhaps somewhat exaggerated, versions of the way members of his party talk about policy. (The “real” unemployment rate is as high as 42 percent, or his gargantuan tax-cut plan “will be revenue-neutral.”) At times he engages in especially brazen rewriting of his own positions, such as insisting he opposed the Iraq War when he did not, or denying his past support for universal health insurance.
Some of his lies are conspiracy theories that run toward the edges of respectable Republican thought (Barack Obama was actually born abroad) or even well beyond it (Ted Cruz’s father may have conspired to kill John F. Kennedy). In all these areas, Trump has merely improved upon the methods used by the professionals in his field.
Where he has broken truly unique ground is in his lies about relatively small, routine matters. As I’ve pointed out before — it’s become a small personal fixation — after Mitt Romney mocked the failure of Trump Steaks, Trump held a press conference in which he insisted Trump Steaks remained a going concern, despite the undeniable fact that the business no longer exists. (His campaign displayed store-bought steaks for the media, not even bothering to fully remove the labels of the store at which they purchased them.) The New York Times actually reported this week that Trump had displayed his steaks, without mentioning the blatant deception. Another such example is Trump’s prior habit of impersonating an imaginary p.r. representative while speaking to reporters. Obviously, the practice itself is strange enough, but the truly Trumpian touch is that he admitted to the ruse publicly, and then subsequently went back to denying it.
The normal rules of political lying hold that when the lie has been exposed, or certainly when it has been confessed, the jig is up. You have to stop lying about it and tell the truth, or at least retreat to a different lie. Trump bends the rules of the universe to his own will, at no apparent cost. His brazenness is another utterly unique characteristic. His confidence that he can make the truth whatever he wishes at any moment, and toggle back and forth between incompatible realities at will, without any cost to himself, is a display of dominance. Possibly Trump’s most important statement of the campaign was his idle boast that he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue without losing any votes.
Finally, there is Trump’s habit of settling all disputes with his own peculiar form of ad hominem. He dismisses all criticisms of his statements and his record with an array of put-downs, and likewise confirms all endorsements with praise. Anybody who disagrees with Trump is ugly, short, corrupt, a loser, a habitual liar, a total joke, and so forth. People who support him are smart, beautiful, fair, esteemed, etc. But politics being as it is — and, especially, Trump’s positions being as fluid as they are — the composition of the two categories is in constant flux. One day, you are a failing, ridiculous, deranged liar, and the next day a citizen of the highest regard. Trump literally called Ben Carson a “violent criminal” and a “pathological liar,” akin to a “child molester.” When later accepting Carson’s endorsement, Trump praised his “dignity.” Once Trump mocked Rick Perry as a moron who wore glasses to look smart and who should be required to take an IQ test to participate in presidential debates.
Now he is a “good guy, good governor.” This is the pattern Trump uses to dismiss all media criticism, or to amplify friendly coverage. Every reporter or publication is either pathetic and failing or fair and wonderful, and the same reporters and publications can be reclassified as one or the other as Trump sees fit.
1984 is a cliché for invoking totalitarianism, and in any case, Trump is merely an authoritarian and a bully, not a totalitarian. (A totalitarian government, like North Korea, exerts control over every aspect of its citizens’ lives; an authoritarian one, like Putin’s Russia, merely uses enough fear and violence to maintain control.)
Nonetheless, the novel does capture the relationship between dictatorial authority and the power to manipulate any fact into a binary but permeable scheme:
The past was alterable. The past never had been altered. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia. Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford were guilty of the crimes they were charged with. He had never seen the photograph that disproved their guilt. It had never existed, he had invented it. He remembered remembering contrary things, but those were false memories, products of self-deception.
Truth and reason are weapons of the powerless against the powerful. There is no external doctrine he can be measured against, not even conservative dogma, which he embraces or discards at will and with no recognition of having done so. Trump’s version of truth is multiple truths, the only consistent element of which is Trump himself is always, by definition, correct. Trump’s mind is so difficult to grapple with because it is an authoritarian epistemology that lies outside the democratic norms that have shaped all of our collective experiences.
Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia are the three fictional superstates in George Orwell’s futuristic dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. From time to time, one of the states betrays its ally and sides with its former enemy. In Oceania, when this occurs, the Ministry of Truth rewrites history to make it appear that the current state of affairs is the way it has always been, and documents with contradictory information are destroyed in the memory hole.
Excerpt from: The Huffington Post
North Korean Editorial Backs Donald Trump For U.S. President
“There are many positive aspects to Trump’s ‘inflammatory policies,’” says an editorial in the totalitarian regime’s official press.
Charlotte Alfred World Reporter, The Huffington Post, May 31, 2016
An editorial in North Korea’s state-run media on Tuesday offered high praise for presumptive U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Trump is a “wise politician” and “far-sighted presidential candidate,” the Korean-language article in DPRK Today argues.
The editorial, attributed to Chinese North Korean scholar Han Yong-mook, is not official government policy. Yet it likely reflects the authoritarian regime’s thinking, experts told NK News.
“There are many positive aspects to Trump’s ‘inflammatory policies,’” the article says, listing two in particular: Trump’s offer to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and his threat to remove U.S. forces from South Korea, which is still technically at war with the North.
“Yes, do it now,” the editorial urged Trump, reflecting Pyongyang’s long-held demand the U.S. troops leave the Korean peninsula. “Who knew that the slogan ‘Yankee Go Home’ would come true like this?”
The editorial went on to provide some advice for U.S. voters: “The president that U.S. citizens must vote for is not that dull Hillary [Clinton] … but Trump, who spoke of holding direct conversations with North Korea.”
The New York real estate developer’s statements on foreign affairs have prompted alarm and disbelief in Washington and in capitals around the world. Since Trump reached the number of delegates necessary to secure the Republican nomination last week, alarm has turned to panic.
In March, Trump’s overture to the North Korean leader brought condemnation from Democratic and Republican officials, who called his remarks naive and dangerous. “The last thing you want to do is empower this guy in North Korea,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told CNN. Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton said Trump’s comments on North Korea and other foreign policy missives were evidence he is “not qualified” to be president.
Even North Korea was not particularly impressed with Trump’s offer. Earlier this month, a North Korean diplomat indicated the country was not taking the business mogul’s proposal seriously.
North Korea’s escalating nuclear ambitions in the past decade have prompted international concern and sanctions. At a meeting of world leaders in Japan last week, President Barack Obama highlighted Pyongyang’s desire for nuclear weapons as a major threat to world security. On Tuesday, North Korean leaders again defied international condemnation to launch another missile test, which ultimately failed, South Korean officials said.
The isolated regime exercises brutal, totalitarian rule over the country’s population. Over 1 million North Koreans are trapped in slavery, the Global Slavery Index estimated on Tuesday.
It’s very telling that Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un are the only world leaders to back the orange one. They have much in common with him. It’s very telling that our enemies back Trump.
From Jeanette Strong, CCDCC Secretary: “First North Korea endorses Trump, and now Chinese leaders are saying he would be good for China. Why? Because neither Trump nor China care about human rights.”
“…Trump and President Xi Jinping, two ‘big guys,’ might sit around a table at Mar-a-Lago and cut deals without worrying about human rights. The Republican Party is more practical and Trump is a businessman who puts his commercial interests above everything else,”Wu said .
“We know Trump puts his commercial interests above American workers, since he has his clothing line made in China and Mexico instead of here in the US. So he’s already got a foot in China! I guess this is the international recognition he’s always wanted. Please spread the word; North Korea and China. Wow!!!!!”
Excerpt from: Washington Post Opinion
President Trump would hand the world to China
By David Ignatius, Washington Post Opinion writer, May 31, 2016
Hong Kong television commentator Wu Jun observed recently that despite Donald Trump’s anti-Beijing rhetoric, he “could in fact be the best president for China.” The Chinese analyst is right: A Trump presidency could open the way for China’s strategic dominance in Asia and elsewhere.
Wu’s comment was focused on Trump’s mercantilist style, evoking a world in which Trump and President Xi Jinping, two “big guys,” might sit around a table at Mar-a-Lago and cut deals without worrying about human rights. “The Republican Party is more practical and Trump is a businessman who puts his commercial interests above everything else,” Wu said .
But there’s a deeper, more dangerous way in which Trump might be an enabler for Chinese ascendancy. His policies would play into China’s narrative about the world — and undermine the foundations of U.S. power in Asia, even as they are bolstering a rising China.
Let’s start with the impact of a Trump presidency on the Muslim world. A South Asian chief executive of a global company put it bluntly: “There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, and they won’t forget what Trump said” about banning Muslim immigrants to the United States. He predicted that Muslims would turn away from a Trump-led United States — not just Iraqis and Syrians, but Malaysians and Indonesians, too. The beneficiary of this global rebalancing would be China, he warned.
President Obama recently noted the national-security damage caused by Trump’s comments. “Isolating or disparaging Muslims, suggesting that they should be treated differently when it comes to entering this country — that is not just a betrayal of our values, that’s not just a betrayal of who we are, it would alienate the very communities at home and abroad who are our most important partners in the fight against violent extremism,” Obama said in a graduation speech at Rutgers University.
Trump’s “America First” policies would reinforce the drift away from U.S. global leadership — in ways that would benefit China. The most obvious example is Trump’s disparagement of the trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (though he’s hardly the only miscreant here). As the Wall Street Journal noted, citing the views of Singapore’s prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, “An American failure to ratify TPP would bring about the very thing critics of the trade deal complain about: a more empowered China and bad terms for U.S. goods and services.”
New Zealand’s prime minister, John Key, described the risk for the United States of the TPP’s collapse, in a comment cited by the U.S. trade representative’s office: “If [the United States] abdicates leadership in the region, that role will get filled. It has to. In the end, these economies aren’t going to stand still.”
China has already started creating its own network for economic and political influence, anticipating the retreat of U.S. power. In some eerie ways, these Chinese plans are reminiscent of the institutions through which the United States established its dominance in the post-1945 world. As an alternative to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Beijing proposes the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. According to a Brookings Institution study, within five years, it could be lending $20 billion annually for regional development, roughly equivalent to what the U.S.-led World Bank lends.
China has its own version of the Marshall Plan, too, to supplant a waning American vision of internationalism. Beijing’s blueprint for land and maritime dominance has the unlikely moniker “One Belt, One Road.” It envisions transportation and infrastructure networks stretching from China by land to Moscow and Rotterdam, and by sea across Southeast Asia and along the African coasts, notes the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
China’s global ambition has its hubristic side; The Post’s Simon Denyer recently chronicled the empty cities in western China that have been built in overeager anticipation of a new Silk Road. But China is big and rich enough to make mistakes. Says Stanford professor Francis Fukuyama, “If ‘One Belt, One Road’ meets Chinese planners’ expectations, the whole of Eurasia, from Indonesia to Poland, will be transformed in the coming generation.”
China speaks the language that, in the U.S. age of expansion, was known as “manifest destiny.” This outward-looking vision of development and trade creates its own momentum. It becomes a focal point for private lenders and equity markets.
Trump’s call to “Make America Great Again” is incoherent because it is accompanied by inward-looking, reactive policies. Like Trump’s own businesses, it’s more a franchising operation than a plan for real investment and growth. Trump may indeed have a formula for greatness — but the “winner” in this story would likely be Beijing.
Excerpt from: Daily Kos
Trump’s campaign is broke
By kos, Daily Kos, May 31, 2016
Another broke effort by serial business loser Donald Trump.
Donald Trump’s campaign has alerted Senate Republicans that he won’t have much money to spend fending off attacks from Hillary Clinton over the next couple months.
The notice came when Paul Manafort, Trump’s senior advisor, met with a group of Senate Republican chiefs of staff for lunch last week, sources familiar with the meeting told the Washington Examiner. The admission suggests that Trump will be far more dependent on the GOP brass for money than he has led voters to believe […]
“They know that they’re not going to have enough money to be on TV in June and probably most of July, until they actually accept the nomination and get RNC funds, so they plan to just use earned media to compete on the airwaves,” one GOP source familiar with Manafort’s comments told the Examiner.
The way Trump earns free media is to say stupid shit. It’s impressively effective, if your job is to serially alienate most segments of the voting public.
Remember when Trump bragged about how he wasn’t beholden to anyone because it was his money funding his campaign? Apparently that was another “suggestion” from a guy who is obviously making it up as he goes along.
All I can say is HAHAHAHA! And this clown says he can get out of debt?
He either doesn’t have the wealth he says he has or is unwilling to risk the wealth he has on his campaign. Or both. Can’t wait to see the tax returns.
From what I hear the value of the Trump brand has gone completely to hell. Booking at his hotels have fallen off a cliff.
If his money is tied up in licensing then Trump is really screwed.
I think he also includes the monetary value of the properties he licenses his name to, but doesn’t own, when he gives his “net worth” figures to the public. Of course, those properties aren’t part of his net worth at all, but he may figure the public can be tricked into thinking that if it has the Trump name on it, he must own it.
And bankrupt companies. Another one of his got a ruling today eliminating a union contract so it could get out of Chapter XI under new ownership of Karl Icahn. He doesn’t own Trump Entertainment anymore.
Kinda makes one wonder if perhaps the donation money, that is just now being sent out, after the primary is over and he is turning to the RNC to belly up for all his expenses, wasn’t used as cash flow through the primary, doesn’t it?
Not that I am saying that’s what happened, but it sure seems like an interesting point to investigate, given today’s meltdown of a presser.
The timing fits a little too well. Now he is done with the primaries and is opening up to RNC and super PAC money, suddenly the groups are now “vetted”…and his loans to his campaign can be repaid.
Plus, keep in mind, Trump has actually turned the campaign into a money making venture…he gives his press speeches at one of his hotels…where the press obligingly rents rooms. Its already been reported that his campaign staff has been staying at Trump hotels, eating at Trump restaurants, using Trump air travel, Trump payroll services, etc. All of that is channeling campaign money into his own pocket. And who can forget turning a presser into a QVC infomercial to hawk Trump products?
Time to put up or shut up! He’s supposedly worth $4B… If he really believes he can be President, 10-20% of that should be enough.
If he is worth 4 billion like he says, he must be pretty stupid if he didn’t transfer some wealth to a more liquid investment portfolio that he could access very quickly when he began his campaign. Trump just doesn’t want to use his own money even though he told his fool supporters who believed him that he was going to self fund; this guy is the most despicable dishonest man I have ever seen in my 57 years.
You will see the tax returns when hell freezes over.
He can’t risk showing: 1) his true wealth (or lack of same); 2) lack of charitable donations; 3) tax rate. He would rather lose the election than show his tax returns.
It isn’t about voters. It is about his business which is likely, as it always has been, a house of cards of being over leveraged. He doesn’t want lenders and partners to know his real wealth. Honestly, this story of Trump overstating his wealth is so old — like told over and over again for 30 years and documented by bankruptcies — it is ridiculous that it has gotten this far in the election cycle with virtually no media actually digging in to estimate the value of his holdings and his businesses.
In addition, this pivot is a typical Trump play where he builds something to sell real or theoretical and then tries to get everyone else but himself to put in the cash, but sets it up so that he is the primary beneficiary of any of the profits and power.
With Adelson ready to invest in Trump, who’s the ‘puppet’ now?
By Steve Benen, MSNBC.com, May 16, 2016
Now that Donald Trump has abandoned months of boasts about “self-funding,” he’s going to need some Republican mega-donors to help finance the Republican’s general-election campaign. The New York Times reports that one especially notable contributor is already eager to play a role.
The casino magnate Sheldon G. Adelson told Donald J. Trump in a private meeting last week that he was willing to contribute more to help elect him than he has to any previous campaign, a sum that could exceed $100 million, according to two Republicans with direct knowledge of Mr. Adelson’s commitment.
As significant, Mr. Adelson, a billionaire based in Las Vegas, has decided that he will significantly scale back his giving to congressional Republicans and direct most of his contributions to groups dedicated to Mr. Trump’s campaign.
The article noted that it’s unclear exactly how Adelson will make his investment, and the casino magnate and his team “are still uncertain about which super PAC to use as their vehicle for the bulk of the contributions.”
That said, Trump and Adelson met last week; the candidate said he’s “dedicated to protecting Israel’s security,” and Adelson agreed soon after to spent as much as $100 million to make the former reality-show host the president of the United States.
The punch-line, however, is something Trump said on Twitter in October: “Sheldon Adelson is looking to give big dollars to [Sen. Marco Rubio] because he feels he can mold him into his perfect little puppet.”
At the time, the Florida senator was receiving quite a bit of support from GOP mega-donors, and Adelson appeared to be on board with Team Rubio – a dynamic Trump was eager to mock. Indeed, the idea that the senator was part of a corrupt system in which wealthy interests buy candidates in order to make them “puppets” was at the heart of Trump’s message.
The key word in that sentence, however, is “was.”
As we discussed last week, Trump assured voters for months that he’s “self-funding” his campaign, and it was a powerful selling point. He insisted campaign contributions have a corrupting effect on public officials – Trump said he knew it because he was among the wealthy donors doing the buying – but he’s above all of this ugliness because he relies solely on his own checkbook. Americans wouldn’t have to worry about fat-cat donors telling Trump what to do because he doesn’t want – and doesn’t take – their money.
And yet, there was Trump telling Sheldon Adelson what he wanted to hear during a private discussion last week, which was followed soon after by the donor’s decision to be quite generous towards the presumptive Republican nominee.
Months of rhetoric about the corrupting influence of campaign contributions has been wiped away with amazing efficiency, and in the process, arguably the most compelling pillar of Trump’s entire candidacy has been removed.
“Sheldon Adelson is looking to give big dollars to [me] because he feels he can mold [me] into his perfect little puppet.”
If there’s one thing Trump is good at, it’s writing the DNC’s commercials for them.
If Adelson expects quid pro quo from Trump, I have some advice for him: get it in writing and retain some good lawyers.
[From me. A verse I think fits]: ‘Jesus said, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”’ – Luke 12:15
Excerpt from: Mother Jones
Trump Has a Conflict-of-Interest Problem No Other White House Candidate Ever Had
He owes at least $100 million to a foreign bank that’s battled with US regulators.
Russ Choma and David Corn, Mother Jones, JUNE 1, 2016
In his most recent financial disclosure statement, Donald Trump notes he has billions of dollars in assets. But the presumptive GOP nominee also has a tremendous load of debt that includes five loans each over $50 million. (The disclosure form, which presidential candidates must submit, does not compel candidates to reveal the specific amount of any loans that exceed $50 million, and Trump has chosen not to provide details.) Two of those megaloans are held by Deutsche Bank, which is based in Germany but has US subsidiaries. And this prompts a question that no other major American presidential candidate has had to face: What are the implications of the chief executive of the US government being in hock for $100 million (or more) to a foreign entity that has tried to evade laws aimed at curtailing risky financial shenanigans, that was recently caught manipulating markets around the world, and that attempts to influence the US government?
Excerpt from: Daily Kos
Trump adviser: Trump wants a white male vice president to do all the presidenting he won’t do
By Laura Clawson, Daily Kos, May 26, 2016 ·
Ladies and gentlemen, the strategic mind behind the Trump campaign: Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman and chief strategist. (At least for now. Anyone want to put money on Manafort lasting until November?) Howard Fineman has an interview with Manafort in which Mr. Chairman is awfully blunt about a number of things. Like what Trump is looking for in a vice president:
“He needs an experienced person to do the part of the job he doesn’t want to do. He seems himself more as the chairman of the board, than even the CEO, let alone the COO.” […]
The campaign probably won’t choose a woman or a member of a minority group, he said. “In fact, that would be viewed as pandering, I think.”
Let’s unpack that. Trump doesn’t want to do the job of president, is what it boils down to. He wants to be the guy who hands down vague pronouncements from on high and other people try to implement them in his name. And to avoid the appearance of pandering, he’s ruling out the majority of the population who are not white men. Because everyone knows Donald Trump wouldn’t choose a woman or person of color because he thought highly of them—the only possible reason would be to pander.
But don’t worry for Trump. “He’s gonna win,” Manafort says. “This is not a hard race.” But what about women? Don’t hey hate Trump? Easy peasy: “Hillary is the one who’s got a gender gap. And while we are behind among women over all, we’re ahead among white women even now.”
You just go on thinking it’s going to be easy, guy. We’ll be glad to take advantage of that.
Now it makes sense. Trump doesn’t intend on actually, you know, being President if elected. He’ll simply out-source the job to some underling to do for him.
Doesn’t that mean his VP would have to be someone from China? I understand that is where Trump outsources all his work.
He has people, great people! All the best people! His people are so fabulous, they’ll make your head spin!
As shown in Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911:
George W. Bush: Karen Hughes is coming over. We’re working on some things. And she’ll be over here. We’re working on a few things, a few matters. I’m working on some initiatives. You’ll see. I mean, there’ll be some decisions that I will have made while I’m here, and we’ll be announcing them as time goes on.
This “the dog ate my homework” response to the question of what he’s doing showed Dubya’s true interest in the “hard work” of being president. He loved the title while out on the golf course or goofing off in Texas, but didn’t want the actual job.
The world doesn’t need a repeat of that.