Folks say papa would beg, borrow, steal to pay his bills

I’ll summarize two big articles (one in NYT, one in WaPo):

(1) Trump ran his casinos into the ground in the early ’90s, even while other casinos were doing well.
(2) Trump borrowed $20 million from his siblings to stay afloat.
(3) When that wasn’t enough, Trump started a publicly traded company, DJT, to fleece investors into taking on debt in his casinos. He also looted the company by giving himself a lot of money.
(4) DJT has filed for bankruptcy three times.

Item (3) sounds a lot like what Conrad Black went to the clink for. Black came out of jail believing a lot of unserious left-wing things about the American criminal justice system (though even now he’s a Trump-loving wingnut). I wonder if Trump would do the same or if he’d still be such a “law and order” guy.



We’re only making plans for Nigel

I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the Western right’s love for Vladimir Putin. Here’s another example:

Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit movement in the UK and formerly head of the far-right UK Independence Party (he retired after the Brexit win), is in talks with the Russian government owned RT news network to a be roving reporter covering Donald Trump’s presidential campaign this fall.

And who knew crunchy cons loved repressive dictatorships so much (via)?

[N]ews broke about a young Russian atheist provocateur who got himself arrested by playing Pokemon Go inside a large Orthodox church in Yekaterinburg, his hometown…

[….]

They say he faces up to five years in prison. I find that excessive, but I don’t feel sorry for this jackass. His fellow atheists committed mass murder of and terror against Orthodox Christians when they were in power during the Bolshevik tyranny.

I don’t think there’s any measure by which Putin has been a successful leader, other than his ability to simply remain in power. He’s the head of a petro-state with a terrible economy and a GDP roughly the size of Mexico. He has a high approval rating in Russia but my impression is that they’d like any leader who is strong like bull (hope I’m not offending anyone).

But in a world under constant siege from black Jewish homosexual atheist feminazis, he’s the last bastion of white Christian male strength, I guess.



Exterminate all the brutes

I’m starting to think that a Putin-style crackdown on American establishment media not be a bad thing.

I’m seriously considering canceling my NYT subscription over their political coverage this fall. This represents a new low.

It gets worse: it appears there was an earlier online piece at the Times about the forum that did mention Trump’s comments on Putin, but that article was deleted and replaced with the new article that does not mention Trump’s comments on Putin.



I was dreaming when I wrote this, so sue me if I go too fast

Al Gore made some serious mistakes in 2000 — not having Bill campaign with him, picking Lieberman — but establishment media’s anti-Clinton/Gore jihad is the main reason the race was so close. If you’re not up-to-speed on this topic, Bob Somerby has devoted even more words to it than it deserves. I’ll give a quick Billy Joel-style rundown of American politics from 1999 to 2003: “Earth tones, Gore lactating, Chris Matthews pontificating, cowboy king, another war, I can’t take it anymore”.

It’s happening again.

Krugman:

So I would urge journalists to ask whether they are reporting facts or simply engaging in innuendo, and urge the public to read with a critical eye. If reports about a candidate talk about how something “raises questions,” creates “shadows,” or anything similar, be aware that these are all too often weasel words used to create the impression of wrongdoing out of thin air.

And here’s a pro tip: the best ways to judge a candidate’s character are to look at what he or she has actually done, and what policies he or she is proposing. Mr. Trump’s record of bilking students, stiffing contractors and more is a good indicator of how he’d act as president; Mrs. Clinton’s speaking style and body language aren’t. George W. Bush’s policy lies gave me a much better handle on who he was than all the up-close-and-personal reporting of 2000, and the contrast between Mr. Trump’s policy incoherence and Mrs. Clinton’s carefulness speaks volumes today.



Before they blow up the world

When I say that professional centrists frighten me much more than wingers, I am being completely serious. Let’s look at this passage by Jim VandeHei that Anne Laurie highlighted this morning:

Exploit the fear factor. The candidate should be from the military or immediately announce someone with modern-warfare expertise or experience as running mate. People are scared. Terrorism is today’s World War and Americans want a theory for dealing with it. President Obama has established an intriguing precedent of using drone technology and intelligence to assassinate terrorists before they strike. A third-party candidate could build on death-by-drones by outlining the type of modern weapons, troops and war powers needed to keep America safe. And make plain when he or she will use said power. Do it with very muscular language—there is no market for nuance in the terror debate…

And let’s remember this David Broder classic:

Here is where Obama is likely to prevail. With strong Republican support in Congress for challenging Iran’s ambition to become a nuclear power, he can spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs. This will help him politically because the opposition party will be urging him on. And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve.

Say what you want about the tenets of wingnuts, at least they don’t suggest starting wars for purely political reasons. It’s one thing to be an honest, earnest bedwetter who thinks we need to bomb the world to be safe, it’s quite another to suggest that presidents, or mythical third-party unicorns, start exploiting fear and killing people for purely political reasons.



We are all strapping young bucks now

A little surprised to see National Review doubling down on this:

If you spend time in hardscrabble, white upstate New York, or eastern Kentucky, or my own native West Texas, and you take an honest look at the welfare dependency, the drug and alcohol addiction, the family anarchy — which is to say, the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog — you will come to an awful realization. It wasn’t Beijing. It wasn’t even Washington, as bad as Washington can be. It wasn’t immigrants from Mexico, excessive and problematic as our current immigration levels are. It wasn’t any of that.

Nothing happened to them. There wasn’t some awful disaster. There wasn’t a war or a famine or a plague or a foreign occupation. Even the economic changes of the past few decades do very little to explain the dysfunction and negligence — and the incomprehensible malice — of poor white America.

[….]

The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets.

A few things. I grew up in hardscrabble upstate New York (albeit in a small, less downscale village), and the “whelping” part is just bullshit. I wish that just for one minute, these right-wing idiots would consider what it’s like to trying to raise kids on one insufficient income or two barely sufficient incomes. If they did, they’d realize that most working class parents, in these downscale communities that deserve to die, are heroes in a way that some talentless douche at a money-losing rag will never be.

Also too: many American industrial jobs did in fact disappear because of globalization. Bringing in workers from other countries — via H1Bs or guest or worker programs or illegal immigration — does depress wages. I favor free trade and comprehensive immigration reform, but there are people who are hurt economically by these policies. It’s ridiculous to pretend otherwise.

Finally, what on earth are working-class voters (of any skin color) doing in a party whose flagship publication talks about them like this?



One day the bottom will drop out

I hope that Trump is the Republican nominee. If I lived in a state with an open primary, I would vote in the Republican primary for Trump. Fifty years of resentment politics from the right created the conditions for Trumpism, and Trump is the candidate the GOP deserves.

In the immortal words of Mister Blonde “I say fuck ’em. They set off the alarm. They deserved what they got.”