Election campaign 2016: Republicans

Written by  //  November 4, 2016  //  Government & Governance, U.S.  //  1 Comment

The Daily Trump: Filling a Time Capsule
(The Atlantic Daily) People will look back on this era in our history to see what was known about Donald Trump while Americans were deciding whether to choose him as president. Here’s a running chronicle from James Fallows on the evidence available to voters as they make their choice, and of how Trump has broken the norms that applied to previous major-party candidates.

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republican-elephantThe Democratic Donkey and the Republican Elephant
Ever wondered what the story was behind these two famous party animals?
[cartoonist Thomas] Nast invented another famous symbol—the Republican elephant. In a cartoon that appeared in Harper’s Weekly in 1874, Nast drew a donkey clothed in lion’s skin, scaring away all the animals at the zoo. One of those animals, the elephant, was labeled “The Republican Vote.” That’s all it took for the elephant to become associated with the Republican Party.
Democrats today say the donkey is smart and brave, while Republicans say the elephant is strong and dignified.

Super PACs, ‘dark money’ groups eschew presidential race for Senate
Trump especially hurt by money migrating down ballot
In a striking departure from the 2012 election, super PACs and other non-candidate organizations have spent more on U.S. Senate races in July, August and September than on the presidential election, a new analysis shows.
The spending pattern may be the best evidence yet that the big money that would normally go to supporting the GOP frontrunner has instead migrated down ballot, especially to U.S. Senate races where there is a strong chance Democrats may take control.
The Center for Public Integrity analyzed campaign finance data from the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute.
Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, at least initially showed disdain for super PACs, but has since changed his position and has actively courted them.
And yet, no group dedicated primarily to supporting Trump’s presidential candidacy ranks among the top 15 biggest spenders among super PACs and similar political groups, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
1 November
(The Atlantic Daily) Twilight for Trump: A series of new allegations against the Republican nominee emerged last night: that his company had a secret server communicating with a Russian bank, that the Kremlin launched an operation to make him a Russian asset, and that he further exploited loopholes to avoid paying federal income tax. These reports aren’t definitive, however, and the former two are in dispute. Perhaps more concerning, as voters prepare to head to the polls, are the numerous allegations that Trump’s party is coordinating widespread efforts to intimidate voters by following people, interrogating them, and even calling 911 to report cases of “voter fraud.”
Is Donald Trump a Manchurian Candidate?
(Vanity Fair) A series of explosive reports provide new details about the Republican nominee’s relationship with Russia.
29 October
Excellent insight – at least for those whose views it confirms. Let us hope we are legion and voting! It’s not just Trump – it’s the people around him I fear, now and in the future.
Final Days
Trump’s advisers are working hard to plan their own futures while riding out the roller-coaster end of the campaign.
(New York Magazine) Trump may not be all that focused on what happens to the masses of white, nativist, working-class voters who have coalesced around him, but there are people in the campaign who recognize how valuable those Trump believers could be long after the election is over. As Bloomberg Businessweek recently reported, Trump’s son-in-law–cum–de facto campaign manager Jared Kushner is building a proprietary database of some 14 million email addresses and credit-card numbers of Trump supporters. That list could form the foundation of a new Trump media company. …
Trump is one of the most famous people alive now, and what he wants to do with that fame is unclear. Whatever it is will no doubt be as improvised as his whole campaign was. Trump says what he wants is some peace and quiet. “I can’t walk around. Not that it was easy to do before, but getting privacy back, at least a certain degree of privacy back, wouldn’t be bad,” he said. Trump told a donor at a recent fund-raiser that he planned to take a six-month vacation if he loses. “Look,” the donor told me, “he’s 70 years old. He’s going to hit the golf course or he’ll be in Scotland. He loves it there.”
But one can’t imagine that Trump, having tasted the ego fuel of tens of thousands of people chanting his name at a rally, will be able to forgo that feeling for long. He speaks of his followers fondly and is as bullish on them as he is on himself. “I think the movement stays together,” Trump told me in Pennsylvania as his motorcade sped to the airport. “Look, I just left Gettysburg, and all of the people are waving and shouting, ‘We love you, Mr. Trump.’ And I love them. There’s a movement here that’s very special. There’s never been anything like it.”
He couldn’t be more right about that.
27 October
Mormon Mafia – who knew?
Lou Dobbs’ Rant About ‘Mormon Mafia’ Becomes Twitter’s Best New Hashtag
Fox Business host Lou Dobbs recently fired off an angry tweet about Evan McMullin, the third-party conservative running neck-and-neck with GOP nominee Donald Trump in Utah.
McMullin’s strong showing is threatening to hand the state to Democrat Hillary Clinton, or he could win the state’s six electoral votes himself ― a notion that has Trump supporters such as Dobbs steamed enough to blame a “Mormon Mafia.”
Inside the Trump Bunker, With Days to Go
(Bloomberg) Win or lose, the Republican candidate and his inner circle have built a direct marketing operation that could power a TV network—or finish off the GOP.
26 October
(The Atlantic Daily) A Bridge Too Far: As Donald Trump’s campaign crumbles in the foreground of U.S. politics, his longtime ally Chris Christie’s career is collapsing in the background. Two of the governor’s aides are on trial for Bridgegate, in which Christie’s office in 2013 allegedly scheduled lane closures on the George Washington Bridge—causing traffic delays that stranded thousands of motorists for hours—in order to punish a mayor who hadn’t endorsed Christie’s reelection. The revelations emerging from the trial paint Christie as a petty, vindictive bully with little regard for the truth or for the norms of democracy.
Republicans may be on verge of losing U.S. Senate majority: aides
(Reuters) Republicans now hold 54 of the Senate’s 100 seats. Democrats must snatch four seats to win a majority, provided their presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, beats Trump. That would make Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine, the tie-breaking Senate vote since the vice president votes in order to break a tie.
On Tuesday, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report predicted Democrats would gain five to seven seats. Such a result would leave them short of the 60 votes needed to easily get things done in the Senate, but it would provide a majority.
Trump tries to salvage the brand
The Republican nominee ditches the campaign trail to hawk his new hotel and to talk up his executive credentials.
(Politico) “My theme today is five words: under budget and ahead of schedule,” Trump said (using six words).
Trump, who political forecasters now give just a 10 percent chance of winning the presidential election, is in a last-ditch fight to resuscitate his campaign and a business brand that has suffered from his presidential run. As Trump and his offspring lavished praise on themselves for completing the project, rooms at the hotel were being offered at $404 a night online, a discount of roughly 50 percent.
20 October
No rigged debate here: Moderator Chris Wallace wins the night
(The Hill) The reviews are in for moderator Chris Wallace.
And let’s just say that we haven’t seen a media harmony and consensus over one guy like this since Sully landed that plane in the Hudson River.
Trump refuses to say he’ll accept losing
With Hillary Clinton in control of the Las Vegas debate stage — and the presidential election — the Republican nominee says he may not accept the outcome on Nov. 8
(Politico) After moderator Chris Wallace explained that the peaceful transfer of power, a hallmark of American democracy, depends on the losing candidate accepting the validity of the electoral results, Trump launched into a soliloquy about how the media has it in for him and how the overall election is rigged against his campaign. Treating American democracy as gingerly as a reality TV sub-plot, Trump promised Wallace and the country he would “keep you in suspense, okay?”
Trump’s Final Debate Was a Slow-Motion Meltdown
(Slate) Much of the post-debate conventional wisdom on cable news and the internet suggests that Donald Trump was having a fine debate for the first 50 minutes or so. Eh? It looked like a standard 50 minutes of Trump demonstrating that he’s not qualified to be president. He had a horrible time explaining his deportation plan and used the term “bad hombres”; he got battered over his belief that we should kick South Korea and Japan out from under the nuclear umbrella and over his general misunderstanding of nuclear deterrence. He couldn’t defend the numbers on his tax and spending plans. But sure, he didn’t egregiously misbehave himself, as he’s capable of doing, which was all he needed for competition-hungry, low-bar pundits to declare this his finest debate ever, maybe the greatest debate performance of all time. Comeback time, here we go.
And then the rest of the debate happened. No one could spin that away.
The closing half of the debate was a debacle for Trump, and the way his anger seemed to build as the night wore on suggested he knew it.
One note raised by Andrew Rosenthal in the NYT that we have not seen mentioned elsewhere relates to Trump’s statement about the need for Supreme Court judges to apply “the Constitution literally as it was written. (Which, of course, would mean that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton could never have voted, never mind become president.)”
18 October
Is the media fair to Donald Trump?
(PBS Newshour) Donald Trump has been warning his supporters of a coming large-scale voter fraud on Nov. 8, but he has also suggested that the election is already rigged, via the news media
Robert Lichter of George Mason University: Donald Trump should go back a couple of hundred years and see the nasty things that were said about Adams and Jefferson.
It’s only the 20th century that the press has taken on the role of being an objective arbiter, trying to be fair and balanced and objective. And in a way, it releases journalists from the responsibility of saying I’m presenting this from my point of view, sort of nobody’s point of view. I’m being fair all around.
Donald Trump makes that really hard to do. This is man who insults members of his own party. He bullies his opponents. He says things that are demonstrably untrue. What do you do with that as a journalist to be objective without becoming negative in a way that opens you to charges of media bias?
I think Trump has done a good job of kind of defanging the media, to some degree.
The Real Threat Behind Trump’s “Rigged Election” Nonsense
No, the election is not rigged. But sometimes the crazies are not as crazy as you think. And those pointing fingers are part of the problem.
(Vanity Fair)  Here in the United States, trust has been in dramatic decline for more than 50 years. In 1964, as NPR has noted, 77 percent of Americans said they trusted their government. Today, 19 percent do. In the 1950s and 60s, about two-thirds of Americans thought that broadcast news and newspapers were generally fair. Today, confidence in the press is, according to some surveys, as low as 20 percent. The distrust is even greater among Republicans, and, as a result, many live entirely within a non-mainstream media ecosystem.
Those on the left might argue that the distrust has been fostered by Republicans and right-wing news outlets, and certainly organizations like Fox News have run a disproportionate share of nonsense over the years. But an alternative explanation is that the distrust comes from untrustworthiness. The press has felt freer and freer to indulge its biases, often making it look partisan. Academics and media critics are less likely than ever to complain about this, for fear, perhaps, of seeming to buy into a naïve “myth of objectivity.” The result is that even the ideal of “balance” is viewed as simplistic. Because the mainstream press leans left in its worldview (albeit never far from the center, as Bernie Sanders supporters have noticed), and feels less and less inclined to hide this tendency, Republicans have fled in much larger numbers.
The New Protesters Defying Donald Trump: His Customers
(NYT) Small, inconspicuous acts of rebellion have taken aim at perhaps the candidate’s most prized possession – his brand name – by boycotting what he’s selling.
(Quartz) Donald Trump spent the weekend asserting that the 2016 election is “rigged” by the media, by potential voter fraud, and—much more disturbingly—by the electorate itself, thus sowing deep suspicion of the American system. His claims are absurd, but the stakes are high: Democracy itself depends on the losers accepting defeat—which Al Gore and even Richard Nixon did despite dubious election results.
15 October
The Trump-Induced Breakup Of The GOP Has Begun
Trump is mad at elected officials. Donors are mad at the RNC. And everyone anticipates a bloodbath on Election Day.
Trump has put top Republicans in a bind, forced to choose between alienating the vast number of voters devoted to the real estate mogul and the elite wing of the party that finds him repulsive. So far, they have largely sought a middle ground, denouncing the candidate at times while never fully severing their ties. But as the election nears and the limit of Trump’s political abilities and appeal become clearer, walking that line has grown much harder.
One Republican National Committee member told The Huffington Post that he advised congressional candidates to avoid an event featuring Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, out of fear that they’d be hounded by the press over the nominee’s sexual assault allegations. Other party officials have told HuffPost that fundraising for down-ballot races has been hit hard by antipathy to Trump’s presence on the ticket
Life after Trump: Republicans brace for betrayal and civil war after 2016
At least three factions prepare to fight for the party, divided amid Donald Trump’s accusations of corruption and his appeals to fading demographics
(The Guardian) Republicans have started to fear that 8 November will not be the end but rather the beginning of all-out civil war, asking whether Trumpism can survive Trump, and whether those who support him can survive his candidacy. …
Much depends on whether 2016 has an effect on the Senate, where Democrats stand a strong chance of taking control, and on the House, which may now be in play. The maverick businessman has already threatened to dispute the election’s result, claiming the election is rigged, and already lashed out at moderate Republicans for not backing him.
“No one knows what’s going to be left of the party on November 9,” said Charlie Sykes, an influential conservative radio talkshow host. “Republican officials I’ve talked to have gone beyond anger to a sense of anguish about the future of the party,” he said.
The danger for the Republicans is that, should Trump lose, voters who have not believed the polls and the media will conclude that the party itself betrayed them. Instead of learning lessons, party members fear, Trump’s supports will believe they were stabbed in the back, as Trump has insinuated at rallies.
At least three factions of the party will struggle for control: ideologues led by Ryan, an establishment embodied by former presidents George HW and George W Bush (neither of whom endorsed Trump), and a so-called “Breitbart wing”, led by Steve Bannon of the rightwing news network, now chief executive of the Trump campaign. …
Barack Obama recently articulated the idea to New York Magazine. “I see a straight line from the announcement of Sarah Palin as the vice-presidential nominee [in 2008] to what we see today in Donald Trump, the emergence of the Freedom Caucus, the Tea Party, and the shift in the center of gravity for the Republican party,” he said. “Whether that changes, I think, will depend in part on the outcome of this election, but it’s also going to depend on the degree of self-reflection inside the Republican party. There have been at least a couple of other times that I’ve said confidently that the fever is going to have to break, but it just seems to get worse.”
God help us!
Trump’s refusal to accept intelligence briefing on Russia stuns experts
(Chicago Tribune) Former senior U.S. national security officials are dismayed at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s repeated refusal to accept the judgment of intelligence professionals that Russia stole files from the Democratic National Committee computers in an effort to influence the U.S. election.
The former officials, who have served presidents in both parties, say they were bewildered when Trump cast doubt on Russia’s role after receiving a classified briefing on the subject and again after an unusually blunt statement from U.S. agencies saying they were “confident” that Moscow had orchestrated the attacks.
Trump has assured supporters that, if elected, he would surround himself with experts on defense and foreign affairs, where he has little experience. But when it comes to Russia, he has made it clear that he is not listening to intelligence officials, the former officials said.
13 October
How sad. A beautiful, historic property
trump-international-hotel-d-cDonald Trump’s D.C. Hotel Shows His Brand Is Sinking Along With His Poll Numbers
(New York Magazine) When the government inked a 60-year, $200 million lease with Trump in 2012, rival hoteliers took the unusual step of warning Uncle Sam that the deal could turn into yet another Trump business failure.
Those warnings look increasingly prophetic. While the break-even rate on the hotel rooms is more than $750 a night, by some estimates last weekend rooms could be had for under $500 per night — at a time when rival hotels were sold out weeks ahead of time. … bankers and dignitaries from around the world descended on Washington for the annual World Bank–IMF meetings. But just a few days before the conference, rooms were not only still available at Trump International, they were heavily discounted.
… The hotel’s problems have only gotten more acute during Trump’s run for president. After Trump made derogatory remarks about Mexican immigrants, celebrity chefs José Andrés and Geoffrey Zakarian pulled out of a commitments to open a restaurant in the hotel, both leading to legal disputes.
Largely overlooked in the hoopla is that the GSA’s deal with Trump also presents conflicts of interests, should he overcome his current deficit in the polls and win on November 8. If Trump International has trouble making good on the lease, as rival hotel companies warned, the government would be left negotiating with the president for a solution.
(Quartz) Donald Trump was hit by multiple sexual-harassment allegations. More than 10 women have come forward in the last 24 hours saying the Republican presidential nominee sexually harassed or assaulted them, or behaved in a sexually inappropriate way. Trump’s people accused the New York Times, which published two women’s accounts of being groped, of defamation and threatened the paper with legal action.
12 October
Donald Trump’s Scary Election Day Gambit
(NYT Editorial) In August, his campaign began inviting supporters to sign up online as “Trump election observers” who would help “stop Crooked Hillary from rigging this election.” And on Oct. 1, he told a crowd in Manheim, Pa., to “watch your polling booths,” because he had heard stories about “certain areas” of Pennsylvania, and “we can’t lose an election because of you know what I’m talking about.”
Given his flirtation with racist talk throughout his campaign, Mr. Trump’s exhorting supporters to watch “certain areas” sounds like an invitation to harass and intimidate minority voters. And his call for volunteer observers, supposedly to prevent voter fraud at the polls (which is virtually nonexistent), fits well into the long and shameful history of suppression of the minority vote by partisan poll watchers.
Ryan Lizza: Trump Gets Ready to Be a Bad Loser
Trump is either victorious or victimized, but never a loser. This week marked the end of Trump trying to actually win, and the beginning of him plotting to explain why the election was stolen.
(The New Yorker) Trump is now attacking Republican leaders who allegedly betrayed him as much as he’s attacking Clinton. Perhaps the temper tantrum will pass and Trump will refocus his campaign in the final days on issues that have some strategic value to him. But it’s more likely that Trump knows he can’t win and that he has decided that the last stretch of his campaign should be used to set the stage for the aftermath of his loss. In this scenario, what’s crucial for Trump is to be able to convince his hard-core supporters that he—and they—didn’t lose, but that the dreaded Republican establishment sabotaged the Trump campaign in the final weeks. This strategy is in keeping with the way Trump has always spun his greatest defeats, from his failures in Atlantic City to his loss in the Iowa caucuses. He either denies that he failed or he argues that he was cheated.
11 October
Split Over Donald Trump Threatens to Tilt Republican States
(NYT) Donald J. Trump’s intensifying battle with his own party is tearing open the nation’s political map, pulling Republicans across the country into a self-destructive feud that could imperil dozens of lawmakers in Congress and potentially throw conservative-leaning states into Hillary Clinton’s column. …
The nightmare possibility for the party is that swing voters punish the party because of Mr. Trump, the anti-Trump Republicans stay at home and Mr. Trump’s base casts a ballot for him and then leaves the polls. Under those conditions, Senate races in places like Pennsylvania and North Carolina could fall to Democrats, while Senate and House races in places like Missouri, Arizona and Kansas could move to the center of the battlefield.
… in an illustration of the bind Republicans are in, the poll found that three-fourths of Republicans believed their candidates should stay loyal to Mr. Trump. … But other Republican-leaning voters say they may punish those who fail to denounce Mr. Trump. Several Republicans in difficult Senate races have criticized Mr. Trump in strong terms without coming out in opposition to his candidacy.
… Even the drastic step of denouncing Mr. Trump may not be enough to shield Republicans from his unpopularity. In a conference call on Tuesday with the Democratic caucus, Representative Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said that party polling found voters drawing scant distinction between Republicans who endorsed Mr. Trump and those who abandoned him out of political expediency
10 October
In the Heart of Trump Country
West Virginia used to vote solidly Democratic. Now it belongs to Trump. What happened?
Paul Ryan said he won’t defend Donald Trump
(CNN) House Speaker Paul Ryan told fellow Republicans Monday he will no longer defend GOP nominee Donald Trump and will instead use the next 29 days to focus on preserving his party’s hold on Congress.
In a conference call with members Monday morning, Ryan told lawmakers, “you all need to do what’s best for you and your district,” according to someone who listened to the meeting.
“He will spend his entire energy making sure that Hillary Clinton does not get a blank check with a Democrat-controlled Congress,” said the person on the call — an implied acknowledgment that Trump no longer appears able to capture the White House.
Trump’s praise of Russia, Iran and Assad regime riles GOP experts
Foreign-policy leaders challenge the assertion that all three regimes are playing a positive role in Syria
Adam Radwanski: Six unpresidential things Trump did in his second debate
(Globe & Mail) it’s important to take a step back and consider just how appalling he still was by any normal standard for anyone seeking the most powerful elected position in the world. Because with most presidential candidates, any of the following things Mr. Trump said and did on Sunday evening might have been disqualifying.
Debate fact-check: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s claims reviewed
9 October
A generation of GOP stars stands diminished: ‘Everything Trump touches dies’
(WaPost) “For years now, Democrats will be able to roll out TV ads and say, ‘When John Smith says today he’s for a brighter future, remember who he stood by: Donald Trump. He stood by Donald Trump’s misogyny, racism, sexism and stupidity.’ ” — Republican consultant Rick Wilson, who is advising independent candidate Evan McMullin.
8 October
E.J. Dionne Jr.: Only the willfully blind are shocked by Trump
(WaPost) while the investigative reporters deserve our thanks for fully exposing Trump, no one needed to rely on their work to know who he is. Only political opportunism allowed leading Republicans — from House Speaker Paul D. Ryan to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on down — to pretend that Trump was an acceptable presidential nominee.
Indeed, it should offend and enrage Mexican Americans, African Americans, American Muslims and everyone else Trump has attacked that none of these prior offenses had turned the Republican establishment away.
There must be accountability here for an entire party that was complicit in the rise of Donald Trump and tried desperately to pretend that he was fit for our nation’s highest office.
The Never Trump movement tried to block Trump, but its champions were resisted by the GOP hierarchy. Priebus actively pushed back against efforts to derail Trump at the national convention. The supply-siders were bought off with his tax cuts. The congressional leadership just wanted to hold the House and Senate and were willing to prop Trump up to minimize the damage he could cause.
US election: Could Republicans still dump Donald Trump?
For all Republicans out there longing to boot Donald Trump off the presidential ticket even at this late stage, there are four key words.
Death, declination, or otherwise.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) sets out in its Rule 9 the terms for “filling vacancies in nominations”.
It reads: “The Republican National Committee is hereby authorized and empowered to fill any and all vacancies which may occur by reason of death, declination, or otherwise of the Republican candidate for President of the United States.”
Time has run out, it would seem, even if there were the inclination.
Rule 9 can be amended by a majority vote of the RNC’s Standing Committee on Rules, followed by a three-quarter majority in the RNC. But it would only take effect 30 days later.
Tens of thousands of Republicans have already cast their absentee votes, many of them in the key states of Florida and North Carolina. What happens to them?
Many state set deadlines locking the names on ballot papers so that electoral procedures can run smoothly. Those ballots now have Mr Trump’s name on them, and the deadlines have passed. Anyone voting for a Republican candidate would probably have to select Mr Trump.
6 October
One of the signatories is Steve Kuykendall (R-Calif.), who spoke at our CIC event on 27 September.
Former GOP congressmen lash out at Trump
(Politico) Donald Trump, “a man who makes a mockery” of conservative principles, is “manifestly unqualified” for the presidency, a group of former GOP members of Congress warned Thursday.
“Each of us has taken an oath of office that conferred upon us a solemn obligation to act in the best interests of the United States. As Republican members of Congress, we took pride in representing a political party that stood for honest and principled public leadership in which the American people could place their trust,” they wrote in a joint statement. “Sadly, our party’s nominee this year is a man who makes a mockery of the principles and values we have cherished and which we sought to represent in Congress.”
Donald Trump’s Slip in Polls Has G.O.P. Worried About Congress
Donald J. Trump’s support has plunged across the swing-state map over the last 10 days, wiping out his political recovery from September and threatening to undo weeks of Republican gains in the battle for control of Congress.
For his party, Mr. Trump’s reversal in fortune comes at the worst possible moment: Having muted their criticism of Mr. Trump in hopes that he could at least run competitively through Election Day, Republicans must decide in the next few days, rather than weeks, whether to seek distance from his wobbly campaign.
Jay Bergman, a petroleum executive and Republican donor from Illinois, said his fellow contributors were no longer optimistic that Mr. Trump will win, and they have lowered their sights. “They want the guy to make a credible showing,” he said. “They’re afraid that if Trump really screws up and looks bad, then down-ticket, there are going to be a lot more votes for Democrats.”
If Mrs. Clinton wins, putting Tim Kaine, as vice president, there to break a tie, Democrats would need four seats to take control of the Senate. Officials in both parties see Republican incumbents in Wisconsin and Illinois as likely to lose, so Democrats would need just two more pickups to capture the majority if they retain the rest of their seats.
Republicans worry that Mr. Trump’s difficulties in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, where Republican incumbents are caught between their own base and moderate voters appalled by the party’s nominee, could hand Democrats those decisive seats.
3 October
Clinton campaign pounces on Trump controversies
(PBS Newshour) Over the weekend, The New York Times reported that Donald Trump may have been able to legally avoid paying federal income taxes for 18 years. The candidate is also under fire for allegations about his treatment of women behind the scenes of “The Apprentice,” and the legal registration of his charitable organization
30 September
Lacking much in the way of policy to discuss, the media, as detailed in this report from The Atlantic, are focusing on the sad history of Trump’s business misadventures. It makes for salacious  financial reading.
The Many Scandals of Donald Trump: A Cheat Sheet
Donald Trump’s debate defeat has sent him into a raging tailspin
“This is the worst post-debate spin in world history,” Ted Cruz’s former spokesman says.
(Toronto Star) “There have been 11 post-debate polls in swing states so far and Clinton’s led in all 11. Something’s definitely changed,” FiveThirtyEight analyst Nate Silver wrote on Twitter.
Trump’s week might have been rough even if he had behaved more conventionally.
Newsweek revealed that he had spent money in Cuba in 1998, an apparent violation of the U.S. embargo. The Los Angeles Times revealed that employees have alleged he wanted to fire women he did not find sufficiently “pretty.” And the Washington Post revealed that his problem-plagued charity had not even been registered to legally solicit donations.
27 September
John Cassidy: Hillary Clinton Brings Out the Real Donald Trump
(The New Yorker) “My obligation right now is to do well for myself, my family, my employees, for my companies. And that’s what I do.”
He couldn’t have said it any clearer: that’s what he does. It was good of him to put in on the record, and in a Presidential debate, no less. And it was Clinton who lured him into doing it.
Bloomberg: How Clinton Beat Trump in Their First Debate, By the Numbers
Fact-Checking the First Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton Debate
Trump Allies Move to Stem Damage From Strong Clinton Debate
Hillary Clinton Brings Out the Real Donald Trump
25 September
Trump pledges to recognise Jerusalem as Israeli capital
Republican candidate acknowledges he will accept the divided city as Israel’s capital if elected president.
(Al Jazeera) Israel captured the Arab eastern half of Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed it in 1980, declaring all of Jerusalem Israel’s unified capital.
The US, and most other UN member countries, do not recognise the annexation and consider Jerusalem’s final status to be a key issue to be resolved in peace negotiations with the Palestinians.
The US Congress passed a law in October 1995 calling for an undivided Jerusalem to be recognised as Israel’s capital and to authorise funding for moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
But no US president, Democrat or Republican, has implemented the law, regarding it as an infringement on the executive branch’s authority over foreign policy
23 September
What President Donald Trump would do on Day 1
A Week of Whoppers From Donald Trump
(NYT) Virtually all of Mr. Trump’s falsehoods directly bolstered a powerful and self-aggrandizing narrative depicting him as a heroic savior for a nation menaced from every direction. Mike Murphy, a Republican strategist, described the practice as creating “an unreality bubble that he surrounds himself with.”
The New York Times closely tracked Mr. Trump’s public statements from Sept. 15-21, and assembled a list of his 31 biggest whoppers, many of them uttered repeatedly. This total excludes dozens more: Untruths that appeared to be mere hyperbole or humor, or delivered purely for effect, or what could generously be called rounding errors.
Donald Trump, in Pittsburgh, Pledges to Boost Both Coal and Gas
Mr. Trump’s energy promises to those attending a corporate conference contained a fundamentally incompatible concept, as expanding the exploration of natural gas is the surest way to hurt coal production, and vice versa. Since the two fuels compete directly for the same market ….
22 September
From Russia With Trump: A Political Conflict Zone
(ABC) As questions have been raised about Trump’s business interests with Russians, the candidate has sought to distance himself from Moscow.
“For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia,” he wrote on Twitter in July.
He later told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, “Will I sell condos to Russians on occasion? Probably. I mean I do that. I have a lot of condos. I do that. But I have no relationship to Russia whatsoever.”
But an ABC News investigation found he has numerous connections to Russian interests both in the U.S. and abroad.
“The level of business amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars — what he received as a result of interaction with Russian businessmen,” said Sergei Millian, who heads a U.S.-Russia business group and who says he once helped market Trump’s U.S. condos in Russia and the former Soviet states. “They were happy to invest with him, and they were happy to work with Donald Trump. And they were happy to associate—[and] be associated with Donald Trump.”
21 September
How Trump’s foreign dealings could pose conflicts of interest (text & video)
(PBS Newshour) Donald Trump has been engaged in business deals with companies on nearly every continent, but it is often unclear who’s behind these companies and if they are doing business legally. Judy Woodruff speaks with Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald (See below, 14 September)
20 September
New York Times decides to call a lie a lie, and its Trump coverage may never be the same
(Daily Kos) In at least five articles in the New York Times on Sept. 17, including the lead story in the print edition, the words “lie,” “false,” “falsely claimed” and “untrue” appeared in headlines, lead paragraphs, and top sections of the paper’s Trump coverage.
Chris Christie Knew About Bridge Lane Closings as They Happened, Prosecutors Say
(NYT) Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey knew that three of his top officials were involved in a plan to shut down lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge as it was happening and that the closings were intended to punish a local mayor for declining to support him, federal prosecutors said on Monday.
The assertion was an unexpected and startling beginning to the trial of two former Christie administration officials charged with closing the lanes in 2013 and then covering it up. And it was a surprising claim because of the side of the courtroom it came from, as lawyers made opening statements.
16 September
Trump Drops False ‘Birther’ Theory, but Floats a New One: Clinton Started It
(NYT) Donald J. Trump publicly retreated from his “birther” campaign on Friday, tersely acknowledging that President Obama was born in the United States and saying that he wanted to move on from the conspiracy theory that he has been clinging to for years.
Mr. Trump made no apology for and took no questions about what had amounted to a five-year-long smear of the nation’s first black president. Instead, he claimed, falsely, that questions about Mr. Obama’s citizenship were initially stirred by the Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, in her unsuccessful primary contest with Mr. Obama in 2008.
15 September
Ivanka Trump Is Lying About Both Candidates’ Records on Family Leave
The widely held belief that entrepreneur Ivanka Trump is her father’s best public spokesperson was tested this week during her tour in support of his new child-care and maternity-leave proposals. In a series of interviews, Ivanka … had trouble under even mild scrutiny of her dad’s proposals, and instead revealed herself as just as defensive and dishonest as her father
14 September
How the Trump Organization’s Foreign Business Ties Could Upend U.S. National Security
By
If Trump moves into the White House and his family continues to receive any benefit from the company, during or even after his presidency, almost every foreign policy decision he makes will raise serious conflicts of interest and ethical quagmires.
(Newsweek) If Donald Trump is elected president, will he and his family permanently sever all connections to the Trump Organization, a sprawling business empire that has spread a secretive financial web across the world? Or will Trump instead choose to be the most conflicted president in American history, one whose business interests will constantly jeopardize the security of the United States?
Throughout this campaign, the Trump Organization, which pumps potentially hundreds of millions of dollars into the Trump family’s bank accounts each year, has been largely ignored. As a private enterprise, its businesses, partners and investors are hidden from public view, even though they are the very people who could be enriched by—or will further enrich—Trump and his family if he wins the presidency.
Trump’s business conflicts with America’s national security interests cannot be resolved so long as he or any member of his family maintains a financial interest in the Trump Organization during a Trump administration, or even if they leave open the possibility of returning to the company later. The Trump Organization cannot be placed into a blind trust, an arrangement used by many politicians to prevent them from knowing their financial interests; the Trump family is already aware of who their overseas partners are and could easily learn about any new ones.
9 September
Trump criticizes U.S. policy on Russian television
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump criticized U.S. policy in Iraq again, but this time he aired his grievances on an unusual platform: a Russian government-funded television network.
Trump, who has often praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, made the comments in an interview with former CNN broadcaster Larry King, whose podcast was aired on Thursday night on the RT network, a 24-hour news channel that broadcasts in both English and Russian.
Critics of the network, which mostly targets audiences outside of Russia and also includes programming in Spanish, Hindi and Arabic, have described it as a propaganda arm of Putin’s government.
…  In the national security forum on Wednesday night, the two sought to portray themselves as most fit to be commander in chief, with Trump arguing that Putin is a better leader than Obama.
Clinton on Thursday said Trump’s comment was “not just unpatriotic and insulting to the people of our country, as well as to our commander in chief, it is scary.”
House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan – the top elected Republican official who has frequently broken with Trump – again took a sharply different view from that of his party’s candidate.
“Putin is an aggressor that does not share our interests. Vladimir Putin is violating the sovereignty of neighboring countries,” Ryan said at his weekly news conference.
5 September
Shut Down The Trump Organization. Now.
(HuffPost) Oh, there’s been nary a peep from our esteemed opinion pages regarding the flood of money from foreign entities into the Trump Organization.
Not one word about the impropriety of a candidate for President still operating a business that relies on deals in foreign lands, with foreign governments.
The New York Daily News, this past weekend, found that Donald Trump’s been doing a lot of big deals with the Saudi government, putting a lot of money into his pocket.
We know that the Trump Organization makes a lot of money off its resorts in Dubai and  Panama, and has big deals going on in TurkeyBali, and the Philippines.
We know that Donald Trump, Jr. said, “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”
So, what say you, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and everyone else calling for the Clinton Foundation to shut down, right now?  Time for a new editorial, on this?
30 August
Trump’s Visit to Mexico
The Republican nominee will travel to the country to meet with President Enrique Peña Nieto on Wednesday.
(The Atlantic) For Trump, however, the timing of the visit is notable. On Wednesday, Trump is expected to visit Arizona to deliver a speech on immigration. Trump has been altering his stance on immigration in recent days, indicating that he’ll soften his position and subsequently creating confusion about where he stands on the issue.
The meeting could be mutually beneficial. Peña Nieto is facing his own challenges in Mexico, and in meeting with Trump, he has the opportunity to flex his muscles against the Republican candidate, who has repeatedly insulted Mexicans. But Trump, too, stands to benefit. By going in advance of his immigration speech, he could tout his ability to negotiate and also showcase that he’s prepared to be the commander-in-chief.
26 August
John Cassidy: The Challenge of Rebranding Donald Trump
(The New Yorker) If Trump’s only focus is the White House, he’ll go ahead with the rebranding and immigration-policy overhaul, even if it angers the Coulters and Palins of the world. If winning is a secondary concern, it might make more sense to stick with his existing policy and preserve his image as a conservative renegade. At the moment, he appears to want it both ways.
Breitbart Rises From Outlier to Potent Voice in Campaign
(NYT) On Thursday, the site received its biggest billing yet — in the form of a scathing condemnation. In a nationally televised speech, Hillary Clinton identified Breitbart as the Democratic Party’s media enemy No. 1, warning about a “de facto merger” between the Trump campaign and a news outlet that she described as racist, radical and offensive.
For Mrs. Clinton, it was a strategic attack that linked Mr. Trump to leading avatars of the hard-line right. But among Breitbart’s ideologically driven journalists, her remarks were taken as validation.
20 August
Republicans prep ‘break glass’ emergency plan as Trump tumbles
Losing hope for the White House, the GOP is exploring a plan to cast congressional candidates as a check on President Hillary Clinton.
(Politco) In positioning themselves as brake-pedals to Clinton, Republicans hope to appeal to swing voters who are deeply unhappy with both presidential nominees. While much of the public is aligned against Trump, there’s a rich vein of voters who want to ensure that Clinton does not have too much power.
19 August
Trump campaign chairman resigns
(CBC) Donald Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort resigned on Friday in the wake of campaign shake-up and revelations about his work in Ukraine.
Manafort’s resignation comes a day after The Associated Press reported that confidential emails from Manafort’s firm contradicted his claims that he had never lobbied on behalf of Ukrainian political figures in the U.S.Manafort and Gates never registered as foreign agents for their work as required under federal law.
Introducing the Trump News Channel—Coming in 2017?
(The Atlantic) Since the Bush Administration, I’ve been warning the right that its media demagogues were doing great harm to the conservative movement, the Republican Party, and the country. A Trump News Network, while a ludicrous and absurd satirist’s gold mine, would do even greater harm.
18 August
What Are Donald Trump, Roger Ailes, and Steve Bannon Really Up To?
(The New Yorker) We can be assured that a TBN (Trump Breitbart News) Network wouldn’t shy away from the conservative, or even the “alt-conservative,” label. It would be nationalistic, xenophobic, and conspiratorial. If it featured regular appearances by Trump, and if it managed to poach some of the Fox News stars who are friendly toward him, such as Sean Hannity, it might even make money. And that, we all know, is something Trump has always been interested in. But, as I said up top, it’s only a conspiracy theory.
UC Irvine economist who never met Donald Trump is now a key advisor
(LATimes) As the only academic and economics PhD (from Harvard University) on a team packed with wealthy businessmen, Navarro has proved to be adept at providing the statistics and economic theory to support Trump’s fulminations on America’s financial ills.
17 August
Donald Trump’s New Strategy Makes Perfect Sense — If He Wants to Launch a Cable-News Network Next Year
(New York Magazine)  On Tuesday, left-wing documentarian Michael Moore wrote [Michael Moore: Is Trump purposely sabotaging his campaign?] that he “knows for a fact” that Trump never wanted to occupy the Oval Office. … Elements of Moore’s narrative are backed up by the confession of a former Trump campaign strategist, published in March. The story also seems consistent with Vanity Fair’s report that the candidate has been mulling the creation of his own conservative cable-news empire, once the campaign is through. The magazine wrote that “the presumptive Republican nominee is examining the opportunity presented by the ‘audience’ currently supporting him,” and had “discussed the possibility of launching a “mini-media conglomerate.”
… Imagine that you launched a presidential campaign to further your showbiz career. After 14 months as a candidate, you’ve realized that you can’t win in November but you can attract an audience of conservative-news consumers who are looking for an alternative to Fox News. How would you spend the last weeks of your campaign?
Perhaps, you would prioritize keeping your prospective audience entertained, above all else. And to do that, you’d make someone with experience in far-right infotainment the chief executive of your campaign. Plus, you might want to seek out an adviser who really knows the cable-news business. Someone like, I don’t know, Roger Ailes? Let’s dispel with this fiction that Donald Trump doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing.
Trump shakes up campaign, demotes top adviser
Donald Trump hired the Breitbart News chairman. Steven Bannon, known for his populist stances, will be Trump’s CEO for the remaining 82 days of his presidential election campaign. The shakeup puts an end to campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s efforts to temper Trump’s presentation rhetoric. Kellyanne Conway, a veteran Republican pollster who has been close to Trump for years, will assume the role of campaign manager. …
In Bannon especially, Trump is turning to an alter ego — a colorful, edgy figure on the right who has worked at Goldman Sachs and made several films, including a documentary about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.
Bannon, in phone calls and meetings, has been urging Trump for months to not mount a fall campaign that makes Republican donors and officials comfortable, the aides said. Instead, Bannon has been telling Trump to run more fully as an outsider and an unabashed nationalist.
14 Augst
Sounds as though we will be hearing (g)rumbles in the Trump camp
Betsy McCaugheyIs Betsy McCaughey Too Perfect a Match for Donald Trump?
The candidate’s new economic adviser is not above trashing her team to get ahead.
(The Atlantic) In his scramble to get some estrogen into the mix, Trump signed on Betsy McCaughey. A former lieutenant governor of New York, McCaughey (pronounced “McCoy”) is a veteran fixture among the conservative think-tank set. For decades, her specialty has been fighting against health-care reform. (She is the author of the book, Beating Obamacare.)
What does make her special, however, is McCaughey’s well-earned reputation—across the political spectrum—as one of the most dishonest, shameless, and irresponsible conservative thinkers on the scene today. Plus, she’s a famously narcissistic, self-promoting drama queen. [see also: I Was Wrong— Twice recently I’ve done brief interviews on NPR’s On The Media show. Both times have concerned the pernicious influence of one Elizabeth “Betsy” McCaughey]
13 August
Frustration abundant, GOP could be near breaking point with Trump
(PBS Newshour) Republicans who have devoted their professional lives to electing GOP candidates say they believe the White House already may be lost. They’re exasperated by Trump’s divisive politics and his insistence on running a general election campaign that mirrors his approach to the primaries.
Trump did show some modest improvement as a candidate in the past week. He has stopped criticizing a Muslim family of a fallen U.S. soldier. Gone are the fights with some of his party’s most respected members of Congress.
But also in the past seven days, Trump has questioned the advice of senior aides, threatened to stop raising money for the party, dismissed the usefulness of get-out-the-vote efforts and defended his decision not to run any television ads even as his opponents fill the airwaves with spots backing Clinton in several contested states.
Trump this past week stuck by a patently false claim that President Barack Obama founded the Islamic State group. The candidate made an off-handed remark about Clinton that was widely condemned by critics as an invitation to violence. He even acknowledged that losing might not be so bad.
“I’ll just keep doing the same thing I’m doing right now,” he told CNBC on Thursday. “And at the end it’s either going to work or I’m going to you know, I’m going to have a very, very nice, long vacation.”
12 August
Greens for Trump?
By Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne
I’m a Green. I’ve twice been the Australian Greens’ candidate for a seat in Australia’s federal parliament. But on November 8, all of the good that the Green political movement has done since it was founded could be outweighed by the Green Party in the United States if Jill Stein, its candidate for president, brings about the election of Donald Trump.
I call on Green party leaders all over the world to ask Stein to take her name off the ballot in states where the contest is likely to be close. If she won’t do it, they should take their appeal to voters, and ask them, in this election only, not to vote Green. The stakes are too high.
I understand the importance of changing the two-party system. What the US needs to achieve this is voting reform. Greens should not be working to elect a Green president, which is impossible under the current system, but to institute a fairer voting system, perhaps like Australia’s, which uses what is known in the US as “instant runoff.”
A good summary of events since the Republican Convention
TIME Trump meltdownInside Donald Trump’s Meltdown
Donald Trump’s sinking polls, unending attacks and public blunders have the GOP reconsidering its strategy for November
Trump has made a sport of defying prediction, party orthodoxy and political gravity. He thinks he’s on to something he alone can see, and if he is right, it wouldn’t be the first time. For a candidate who has staked his campaign on a pessimistic vision of the nation, he still manages to summon a sense of optimism despite the darkening polls. “I actually think we’re doing better,” Trump says. “I may be wrong, but I think we’re doing much better than anybody understands.” (22 August issue)
11 August
An Even Stranger Donald Trump
(NYT) When Mr. Trump fans racist rage against the president, suggests that gun owners take up arms against Mrs. Clinton, or speaks darkly of a “rigged” election, he is not trying to woo Republican skeptics, independents or undecided voters. He is appealing to the mob.
Right now Mr. Trump is losing, and this very likely terrifies him. Maybe he doesn’t know how to control himself, or comprehend why he should. Or he is simply satisfying his boundless need for attention. But his behavior this week raises a more disturbing scenario. Perhaps he has given up on winning through civil means and does not care about the consequences of his campaign of incitement.
Like ‘David’ going up against ‘the Leviathan’: Paul Ryan’s opponent speaks out after landslide loss
In an interview with Business Insider, Nehlen, who called himself a “nobody,” said that he knew he was facing long odds. Ryan edged out Nehlen by a roughly 85% to 15% margin.
“You’re not just running against Paul Ryan, and I knew that going in,” he said. “You’re up against the Chamber of Commerce, and the Kochs, and Paul Singer, and all of those who want open borders.
9 August
Donald Trump Suggests ‘Second Amendment People’ Could Act Against Hillary Clinton
(NYT) Donald J. Trump on Tuesday appeared to raise the possibility that gun rights supporters could take matters into their own hands if Hillary Clinton is elected president and appoints judges who favor stricter gun control measures.
Donald Trump needs a miracle to win
Status 13 weeks to go before U.S. Election Day: “A dispassionate examination of the data, combined with a coldblooded look at the candidates, the campaigns and presidential elections, produces only one possible conclusion: Hillary Clinton will defeat Donald Trump in November, and the margin isn’t likely to be as close as Barack Obama’s victory over Mitt Romney.”
8 August
50 G.O.P. Officials Warn Donald Trump Would Put Nation’s Security ‘at Risk’
“None of us will vote for Donald Trump”
(NYT) Fifty of the nation’s most senior Republican national security officials, many of them former top aides or cabinet members for President George W. Bush, have signed a letter declaring that Donald J. Trump “lacks the character, values and experience” to be president and “would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.”
Donald Trump’s Economic Team Is Far From Typical
The prominent of the not-so-prominent list of economists includes only one Ph.D., Peter Navarro, a professor at the University of California, Irvine and longtime opponent of free trade who blames China for America’s economic ills; Stephen Moore, a flat-tax advocate who co-founded the anti-tax group Club for Growth; and David Malpass, a consultant and former chief economist at Bear Stearns.
The group is heavy on moguls and would-be moguls — all, of course, Trump donors.
Republican Evan McMullin to launch presidential run against Trump
Little-known former policy director and CIA agent to announce independent run for president in contrast to Donald Trump
The independent run, first reported by BuzzFeed and MSNBC’s Morning Joe, comes as a faction of Republicans remain reticent to embrace Trump as the party’s presidential nominee.
McMullin, who until recently was employed as the chief policy director of the House Republican Conference, told ABC News there was still time to mount a campaign that could prove to be a spoiler in certain GOP-leaning states where Trump has lost ground in recent polls.
“In a year where Americans have lost faith in the candidates of both major parties, it’s time for a generation of new leadership to step up,” he said in a statement. “It’s never too late to do the right thing, and America deserves much better than either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton can offer us.”
5 August
Donald Trump endorses high-ranking Republicans, ends 4-day standoff
Trump throws support to House Speaker Paul Ryan, senators John McCain and Kelly Ayotte
The Perils of Writing Off Mr. Trump
(NYT Editorial Board) Donald Trump seemed to do everything wrong this week. But what if, to his supporters, he’s done everything right?
… His support isn’t contingent on exhibiting “presidential” behavior, or shifting his energies to lofty discussions of public policy. In fact, it is contingent on the opposite. Lacking workable ideas or intellectual ballast, Mr. Trump’s candidacy thrives on his refusal to be “politically correct,” a term he deploys to give license to declarations that should be called bigotry, or cruelty, or verbal battery. That behavior is what many of his supporters most admire.
3 August
ABC News: Senior GOP Officials Exploring Options if Trump Drops Out
Republican officials are exploring how to handle a scenario that would be unthinkable in a normal election year: What would happen if the party’s presidential nominee dropped out?ABC News has learned that senior party officials are so frustrated — and confused — by Donald Trump‘s erratic behavior that they are exploring how to replace him on the ballot if he drops out.
So how would it work?
Then it would be up to the 168 members of the Republican National Committee to choose a successor, though the process is complicated.
A Trump “intervention”: With his campaign on the brink of implosion, GOP officials reportedly plot alternative options
(Salon) Panic at the top ranks of the GOP after Trump appears to go on the warpath against the Republican establishment
2 August
Just when you think that things cannot become more surreal Veteran gifts Trump his Purple Heart at rally in Virginia
Ignoring Advice, Donald Trump Presses Attack on Khan Family and G.O.P. Leaders
(NYT) Republicans now say Mr. Trump’s obstinacy in addressing perhaps the gravest crisis of his campaign may trigger drastic defections within the party, and Republican lawmakers and strategists have begun to entertain abandoning him en masse.
In Mr. Trump’s five-day confrontation with a military family, Republicans have found the most agonizing test yet of their relationship with a candidate who has flouted political conventions around religion, race, gender and now military service. Republican strategists who once imagined Mr. Trump could be brought under control in a general election all but openly acknowledged this week that that prospect had vanished.
Donald Trump declines to endorse Paul Ryan and John McCain
(Reuters via Globe & Mail) U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump ratcheted up tensions in his Republican Party on Tuesday, denying leading figures support in their re-election bids.
(Quartz) Donald Trump called Hillary Clinton “the devil.” As the Democratic presidential nominee edges ahead in the polls, the Republican’s rhetoric keeps getting more outrageous. He also said that the election would be rigged in her favor come November. “I hope the Republicans are watching closely or it’s going to be taken away from us,” Trump said. He also fired his advisor Ed Brookover on Monday.
31 July
Charles KochTurning back on Trump, Koch network focuses on Senate
The Koch network largely opposes Trump’s position on immigration, trade, minimum wage and criminal justice reform.
(AP via National Newswatch) With Election Day just three months away, they are refusing to support the Republican presidential nominee, focusing their tremendous resources instead on helping the GOP win competitive Senate contests in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Koch’s chief lieutenants barely mentioned Trump’s name when asked repeatedly by the handful of reporters permitted to cover the exclusive weekend retreat.
Koch has put the network’s budget at roughly $750 million through the end of 2016.
A significant portion was supposed to be directed at electing a Republican to the White House. It will instead go to helping Republican Senate candidates in at least five states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Wisconsin and Florida, Holden said, noting that the network has dedicated $42 million so far to television and digital advertising to benefit Republican Senate candidates.
In some cases, the network may try to link Democratic Senate candidates to Clinton, he added, but there are no plans to go after her exclusively in paid advertising. The organization may invest in a handful of races for governor and House of Representatives as well.
Electoral Map Gives Donald Trump Few Places to Go
Donald J. Trump, confronting a daunting electoral map and a significant financial disadvantage, is preparing to fall back from an expansive national campaign and concentrate the bulk of his time and money on just three or four states that his campaign believes he must sweep in order to win the presidency.Even as Mr. Trump has ticked up in national polls in recent weeks, senior Republicans say his path to the 270 Electoral College votes needed for election has remained narrow — and may have grown even more precarious. It now looks exceedingly difficult for him to assemble even the barest Electoral College majority without beating Hillary Clinton in a trifecta of the biggest swing states: Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
President Obama won all three states in 2008 and 2012, and no Republican has won Pennsylvania in nearly three decades.
29 July
David Frum: Why Trump Supporters Think He’ll Win
How the election looks to backers of the Republican nominee
Perhaps the hardest thing to do in contemporary American politics is to imagine how the world looks from the other side. I’ve made no secret of why, as a Republican, I oppose Donald Trump and what he stands for. But I’ve also been talking to his supporters and advisors, trying to understand how they see and hear the same things that I do, and draw such very different conclusions. What follows isn’t a transcription—it’s a synthesis of the conversations I’ve had, and the insights I’ve gleaned, presented in the voice of an imagined Trump supporter.
28 July
Donald Trump says he’d tap Sarah Palin for a Cabinet post
“She’s really somebody who knows what’s happening. She’s a special person. She’s really a special person. And I think people know that and she’s got a following that’s unbelievable,” he continued. (Palin has more than 4 million Facebook followers.)
Trump at War
How the military is preparing for the possibility of a wild card in the Situation Room.
(Huffington Post Highline) For even the savviest of presidents, the relationship between a commander in chief and his military is famously fraught, an intricate dance of egos and agendas, worldviews and bureaucracies. A President Trump, however, could usher in a clash of historic proportions. “If you take the man at his word,” said Michael Breen, the president of the Truman National Security Project and a decorated former Army officer, “we have a presidential candidate who seems to have committed himself to triggering what would probably be the greatest crisis in civil-military relations since the American Civil War.”

Links
Only 9% of America Chose Trump and Clinton as the Nominees
Lead-up to U.S. 2016 elections – Republicans Part II

A neuroscientist explains:
Trump has a mental disorder that makes him a dangerous world leader
(Jan 2016)
John Oliver on RNC Convention, Destroys Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump
The Dangerous Acceptance of Donald Trump

One Comment on "Election campaign 2016: Republicans"

  1. Don mitchel August 26, 2016 at 12:29 pm · Reply

    As one who has always been a registered republican and dose care about our environment the following is a letter I sent to Jill Stein describing my experience.
    Dear Jill,
    Not for nothing but I wrote to you about the national security issue of ballast water. Mentioning the possible use by terrorist, the health risks, and pollution issues.
    Although I have noticed the Canadian Green Party and UK Green Party both take a stance, I can find nothing from your point of view. The only response I have gotten about this national security issue from you is to ask for money. Mosquito larvae is carried in ballast water. Mosquitos feed on algae. Ballast also water moves algae ,virus and bacteria as well as invasive species. Florida is rampant with algae. A thesis written by Elizabeth Kathleen McCraven (University of New Orleans) Electro-Disinfection of Ballast Water, can be found on the web, it states that it is known that mosquito larvae is in ballast water. Her statements on mosquitos and ballast water are written in plain talk that speaks volumes. The main stream media will not address ballast water as it will affect economic globalization foreign ships provide delivering foreign goods produced with little to no environmental regulation and a dirty water trail with a large carbon footprint. Sad you are not taking the opportunity to promote this environmental issue that could be used to create American jobs.
    JOBS, JOBS!!! Below is an excerpt from a report created by Eugene Buck for Congress that details how ballast water treatment cost would mostly affect foreign ships delivering
    foreign goods raising the cost of these foreign made products. I believe a fast time line for a strong national policy would give a boost to American manufacturing, leveling the playing field for American workers to receive a living wage along with protecting the environment and health of future generations.
    Congress report excerpt:
    “Although estimates of the costs of ballast treatment may be imprecise and vary from vessel to
    vessel, there is some general agreement on average costs.14 For example, it may cost an estimated $400,000 per vessel for modification of container/bulk vessels to use onshore ballast water treatment facilities at California ports. More generally, the cost of retrofitting vessels to treat
    ballast water has been estimated at between $200,000 and $310,000 per vessel for mechanical
    treatment and around $300,000 for chemical treatment.15 Most of this expense will be borne by
    foreign shipping companies, as the U.S. flag fleet is a small percentage of the global fleet,16 and
    likely passed along to consumers of products imported on these ships.”.
    Just imagine the jobs and revenue that land based infrastructure to facilitate the ballast water of foreign ships would create. Sadly you are missing your chance to use your influence to bring attention to a serious national security issue the media is lying about by omission.
    Sincerely

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