Bernie Sanders has run one of the most successful "outsider" campaigns in the history of American politics. The self-proclaimed socialist has done so largely as a crusader against income inequality.
Yet in 2014 Bernie and his wife Jane earned $206,000 according to...
Dear Bernie Supporters:
Enough with the "rigged system" claims. Please. The system is not rigged. Or corrupt. Or disenfranchising any of you. Last time I checked, you guys are all over the place 24/7. On TV, at rallies, in the voting booth. You've...
Dear Trump Supporters:
We all know how "angry" you are, and that it's been that anger that Donald Trump has tapped into and exploited in order to win the Republican presidential nomination. But it's about time you turn all that anger towards the man who's been pulling the wool over your eyes ever since he entered the race. He's lied to you, he's used you, and now he's turning his back on you to get what he wants, which is all that Trump ever cares about: himself.
Let's start with campaign financing. You love Trump because he's "self-funded" and is therefore not beholden to lobbyists, special interests, big donors and corporations. It's been the hallmark of his campaign. And while he's spent about $40-million of his own money to win the nomination, fighting a general election war against Hillary Clinton will require upwards of $500-million. Trump himself believes he may need as much as $1.5 billion. Which is why he's recently sought the GOP's help with traditional fundraising. So much for self-funding. A huge broken promise.
How about his flip-flop on raising taxes on the rich? As the NY Times reported this week, Trump essentially now says 'Just kidding!' Taxes for the rich will actually go down under his plan. So much for taxing the rich. Another broken promise.
How about his flip-flop on raising the minimum wage? He went from "no" to "l'm looking at it and I haven't decided in terms of numbers. But I think that people have to get more." So much for not raising the minimum wage. Another broken promise.
How about his flip-flop on the Muslim ban? Trump originally teased you with "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on." But last week it was watered down to merely "a suggestion." So much for the ban. Another broken promise.
How about his flip-flop on releasing his tax returns before the election? That's because he doesn't want you to see how little taxes he pays, or that his effective tax rate is likely lower than yours! What if his charitable contributions show that he hasn't supported veterans like he says he has, or that he's donated to pro-choice and gun control organizations or to leading Democratic politicians? Would you think that's "none of your business," as Trump claimed last week? What if the returns show that he's not as rich and successful as he's claimed? Or that he's in debt up to his eyeballs. So much for seeing the tax returns. Another broken promise.
How about his opinion that transgender people should be able to use whichever bathroom they prefer? Hmmm...how's that one sitting with you social conservatives!?
And how about the way Trump has manipulated you into thinking he'll clamp down hard on trade deals and keep jobs in America, yet when it comes to his own pocketbook, he's shipped jobs overseas, and away from you, by having his suits and other apparel merchandise made by cheap labor in China, Mexico and elsewhere. So much for keeping jobs in America. Another broken promise.
Make no mistake: Donald Trump is a lying, flip-flopping, closet liberal and likely financial fraud who's used you to get the nomination and duped you into thinking he's someone that he's not. He's just another double-talking politician who promises one thing and does another. Who actually pretends to be someone else, as we learned last week in the fake publicist "John Miller" scandal, to promote his self-interests. Think about all that as you contemplate what to do on November 4th. Maybe that should get you...
도널드 트럼프는 별명을 좋아한다. 1년 동안 요란한 유세를 펼치며 그는 여러 라이벌들에게 별명을 붙였다. 거짓말쟁이 테드, 꼬마 마르코, 비뚤어진 힐러리, 에너지가 낮은 젭, 얼빠진 엘리자베스, 미친 버니(Lyin' Ted, Little Marco, Crooked Hillary, Low-energy Jeb, Goofy Elizabeth, Crazy Bernie) 등이다. 그러니까 이제 우리가 트럼프에게 별명을 붙여주자. 파산한 도널드라고.
왜 파산한 도널드냐고?...
Donald Trump loves nicknames. Over the year-long course of his bombastic campaigning he's come up with a bunch of 'em for various opponents: Lyin' Ted, Little Marco, Crooked Hillary, Low-energy Jeb and his latest, Goofy Elizabeth and Crazy Bernie. So it's time we slap a label on Trump himself: Broke Donald.
And why Broke Donald? Because his refusal to release his tax returns raises major suspicion that he's either insolvent and/or involved in business transactions or investments that portray him in a negative light. Is there another explanation for why he refuses to hand them over until at least after the election, if at all? He claims he "can't" release them because he's in the middle of an audit. But as I wrote back in March, even the IRS states that the decision to release his tax returns is Trump's and only Trump's.
Every presidential nominee for the past forty years has released tax returns before the election. So Trump's refusal raises the billion-dollar question, what's he hiding? Is he broke? Will the returns show low income? Low tax rate? Massive debt? Business losses? Do the returns show an embarrassingly low amount of charitable contributions? And to whom he's contributed to, or not? For example, has he not supported veterans as he's claimed? Do the returns show questionable deductions and/or offshore investments and shelters? Something even worse? As the GOP's 2012 nominee Mitt Romney suggested Tuesday, is there a "bombshell" in there?
Contrary to Trump's claim that "tax returns show very, very little," these official documents actually show quite a lot, and provide an official window into an individual's true financial standing. So maybe Trump's insistence that they remain private is because they're the house of cards that could bring down the house of Trump.
And there's the problem. For an individual who's anchored his entire narrative to his "huge" wealth, perhaps those tax returns would be a devastating blow to the Trump mystique and brand. Imagine what life would be like for Trump if it appeared that he wasn't worth the $10-billion he's claimed? If he couldn't brag about his success and those billions. Shielding his tax returns from the public certainly allows him to continue his relentless trumped-up self-aggrandizing.
Let's be clear: it's not been the American people who've entered Trump's personal wealth into the campaign as the candidate's primary political asset. It's been Trump himself who's consistently claimed for a year now that his personal fortune and business success are his core presidential calling cards. Which is why verifying those claims should be an essential part of the vetting process.
Hillary Clinton should embrace "Broke Donald" and run with it. She should define the presumptive Republican nominee as a financial fraud. She should attack him where it'd hurt the most. The one button that when pushed would rattle Trump like no other. His wealth is how he defines himself. Attack the money and you attack the man. And it's what she should do non-stop until November. It'd keep her on offense and him on defense.
Imagine the following ad: "Broke Donald. Refuses to release his tax returns. What's he hiding? Is his "huge" wealth just a myth? Is Donald Trump a financial fraud? I'm Hillary Clinton...and I approved this ad..."...
Seems like hardly a nanosecond ago Donald Trump, the Republican front runner, sounded like an ignorant, intolerant, sexist, racist buffoon. And since his big win in the New York primary last week, he's put much of the nastiness on hold and, according to the mainstream media, is sounding more "presidential." Talk about setting the bar low.
Welcome to Trump's new reality show: The Pivot. In a flash, he's all but replaced his controversial campaign manager Corey Lewandowski with Paul Manafort, the embodiment of the very political establishment which Trump excoriates, a theme on which he's built his entire campaign; a campaign fueled by the candidate's Morton Downey-esque blistering persona and incendiary rhetoric.
But now Trump appears to be on a calculated mission to make nice with the GOP, RNC chairman Reince Priebus, and moderate voters in an attempt to win enough delegates (preferably the 1237 minimum) to win the nomination and avoid an all-out war at the party's convention this Summer in Cleveland.
Manafort, who cut his teeth delegate-hunting in 1976 for President Gerald Ford, dropped a bomb last Thursday while addressing about 100 RNC members in a closed-door meeting in Hollywood, FL. He 'assured' the group that Trump's campaign thus far has been an act. That he's been playing a "part."
"He gets it," Manafort told RNC members. "The part that he's been playing is now evolving into the part that you've been expecting. The negatives will come down, the image is going to change, but 'Crooked Hillary' is still going to be 'Crooked Hillary.'"
The Pivot even had Trump criticizing North Carolina's recent "bathroom bill." When asked whether well known transgender reality star Caitlyn Jenner would be free to use any bathroom she wanted in Trump Tower, he said, "That is correct."
The big question raised by The Pivot is, what happens when a candidate like Trump, whose 'authenticity' and anti-establishment bona fides have been the primary source of his appeal, suddenly appears inauthentic and very establishment? And how will his legion of angry blue-collar white dudes feel about their hero's new open bathroom policy?
Trump's rabidly loyal fans will surely be put to the test now. Will these same folks, who've unequivocally excused and defended his inflammatory rhetoric over the past year, accept an abrupt shift to the center by "Lyin' Donald?" Have his comments about North Carolina and Caitlyn Jenner stunned them into re-thinking the 'truer' conservative Ted Cruz? Does Trump now appear like the closet Democrat many have suspected him to be all along?
Stay tuned to The Pivot. The next episodes promise to be quite...
"The system, folks, is rigged! It's a rigged, disgusting, dirty system."
Welcome to the newest Donald Trump campaign strategy, or perhaps the launch of his exit strategy. Still hot under the collar from getting his unprepared, unorganized butt kicked last Saturday by Ted Cruz, who snagged all 34 Colorado delegates in that state's GOP convention, Trump is starting to sound like a man who's finally found the right excuse to get the hell out of politics, a "dirty" business he got into only to feed his rapacious id and have some fun for a few months.
But little did Trump know that he'd become the clear front runner by awakening the "silent majority," those mad-as-hell-and-I'm-not-gonna-take-it-anymore blue-collar white dudes who misguidedly think the best candidate to fix the broken, inequitable system they feel screwed them all these years is the Ivory Tower billionaire who's exploited that very same system to become rich and powerful beyond their wildest dreams.... all the while bankrupting businesses, hiring undocumented workers and refusing to support a $15/hour minimum wage increase.
"The economy is rigged, the banking system is rigged, there's a lot of things that are rigged in this world of ours," a shrill Trump ranted at his Albany, NY rally this week. "Rules are no good when you don't get Democracy. The rules are no good when they don't count your vote....when you have to play dirty tricks to pick up delegates!"
Trump's latest salvo puts the blame of his Colorado loss not on his ineptitude and ground-game deficiency, but squarely on an allegedly corrupt process that disenfranchised voters and stole his delegates. A process, mind you, that Cruz seemed to understand and capitalize on quite well.
Which fits nicely into a future narrative of, "I could be president, I would've been president, but the corrupt Republican establishment's backroom brokers changed the rules so I couldn't win. I'm outta here!"
This would be followed by lawsuits against the GOP, individual states and the U.S. government. And as a final kick in RNC Chairman Reince Priebus's balls, Trump would announce a last-minute independent candidacy, all but assuring a Hillary Clinton landslide in November. A scenario which, by the way, fits my narrative of a secret conspiracy by Trump to help Madam Secretary get elected.
It should be noted, however, that even Trump doesn't believe his own "rigged system" conspiracy. "I'm not complaining about the states I won...those are ok!," Trump smugly boasted. That's been Trump's mantra from day-one: 'When I win, it's great. When I lose, it's everyone else's...
My fellow Republicans:
What the heck has happened to our party!? I don't recognize us anymore, and haven't for many, many years. I can't believe what we've become. This is the party of Lincoln? Of me?
I've listened for years now as candidate after candidate invokes my name as...
It was 1967. The Summer of Love. A defining moment in America's social history which symbolized the hippie counterculture movement. Over 100,000 young people descended upon San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district amid free love, awesome music and lots of hallucinogenic drugs. Just two years...
In the 1970's, Travis Bickle, the fictional character in director Martin Scorsese's "Taxi Driver," attempted to assassinate a politician in a psychotic, delusional haze motivated by political disenchantment and racism.
Also in the 70's, New York City serial killer David Berkowitz, the infamous Son of Sam, claimed that a demon in the form of his neighbor's dog ordered him to kill innocent people.
Given the current, unprecedentedly volatile political landscape, it would be incredibly naive and irresponsible to believe that there's not one psycho out there right now who, in similar fashion to Manson, Bickle and Berkowitz, believes Donald Trump is speaking directly to him. That Trump's mantra to "make America great again," coupled with his incendiary, race-baiting rhetoric, is a direct call to take up arms, fight Trump's war, and be a 'hero.' Just one. That's all it will take to cause a horrific, bloody tragedy.
To be sure, there's a palpable level of toxicity and hatred that permeates Trump's events. And it's the direct result of the candidate himself. Of one protester in Las Vegas, he boasted that "I'd like to punch him right in the face." Of other protesters in Iowa, he urged the crowd to "Knock the crap out of them." He's also defended some of his "fans" for punching and kicking a #BlackLivesMatter protester saying, "Maybe he should have been roughed up."
As CNN's Michael Smerconish said Saturday, "Donald Trump has shouted 'fire' in a political theater."
At Trump's North Carolina rally last week one angry old white dude sucker-punched a black protester in the face as he was being removed by security. Afterwards, he chillingly threatened that"Next time we see him, we might have to kill him." Can someone, anyone, tell me how this sort of hate-speak is making America great?
There was more violence Friday at a Trump rally in St. Louis, and later that night his massive rally in Chicago was cancelled after violence erupted in the arena.
And over the weekend a protester charged the stage at Trump's rally in Ohio and was taken down by Secret Service before he reached Trump, who looked terrified as three agents bear-hugged him to prevent an attack.
So what happens next? Will Trump himself become more of a target? Will he ultimately get the message that he's the one inciting the violence and start to bring down the temperature in the room? Or will he continue to ratchet up the toxic rhetoric until it leads to an awful tragedy? Unfortunately, it appears Trump, in some very twisted way, is getting off on it all.
"Honestly can I be honest with you?" he said after the cancelled Chicago rally. "It adds to the flavor, it really does, makes it more exciting."
I bet it won't be so "exciting" if and when someone gets...
The conventional wisdom at this point has you in an ultimate head-to-head match-up with Donald Trump for the presidency of the United States. Given that Super Tuesday will certainly bring you closer than ever to the Democratic nomination, you're...
I have to admit, I've been dead wrong about Donald Trump's unprecedented candidacy. I had predicted by now he'd be long gone. That Jeb Bush would win the nomination. And why? Because even though I disagree with Republicans on virtually everything, I held out that the party's voters would eventually get serious, turn off the salacious Trump reality show and, as they did in years past with accomplished, experienced candidates such as John McCain and Mitt Romney, support a serious moderate who's put forth substantive policy proposals.
I also gave Republican voters more credit than they apparently deserve in assuming they'd ultimately reject Trump for his ad hominem attacks, racist comments and rude, dismissive behavior targeting, for example, Muslims, Mexicans, immigrants, blacks, women, Jews, war heroes, the disabled and even the Pope. I cringed when I heard him at rallies use words like shit, fuck and motherfucker. Almost certainly, I thought, this would accelerate his demise. Conservatives would surely not nominate someone so vulgar and offensive and who stages R-rated rallies, right?
Furthermore, right up through Saturday, I believed that the South Carolina primary would be the place where Trump's bubble would finally burst. I was confident that, in the state where good 'ole Southern evangelicals comprise more than two-thirds of the voter turnout, the brash New York bully would be soundly kicked to the curb over his divorces, infidelity, Bible misquote, ethnic ban, 9/11 lie, profanities and, as Pope Francis pointed out, decidedly un-Christian-like views. But again he won. By an impressive 10 points. The God-fearing folk of South Carolina blessed him with a clear victory.
To be sure, it certainly looks likely at this point that little can stop Trump from winning the nomination. If South Carolina is a barometer of what's to come, it's hard to imagine much of the remaining Bible Belt, the Midwest, the Great Plains and the West not getting behind him. But let's not stop at the GOP nomination. Is it possible that Trump could actually win in a general election against either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders?
The Republican Party has always had a large base of white, blue-collar, uneducated voters. And let's face it, a lot of these people may not be the most racially tolerant (I'm being kind). Fortunately for Democrats, many of them believed their votes were meaningless, and so they typically stayed home on election day. Which might explain why just 50-55 percent of eligible American voters actually make it to the polls in presidential elections.
To be fair, there are millions of blue-collar, low-income, uneducated Democrats who choose not to vote either. But to stir up the masses to vote, the right has Trump, and he's winning. The left's grass roots messenger is Bernie Sanders, and he is not. Trump's anti-establishment, inflammatory, racist rhetoric has fired up these dormant voters like nothing we've seen in history. But while Sanders' talk of "revolution" has indeed grabbed the hearts and votes of millennials, his "Democratic Socialism" message is not resonating beyond these young idealogues. Worse, neither he or Clinton are impacting turnout the way they need to in order to match the excitement and fervor created by Trump. Which creates a plausible scenario for the bloviating billionaire's path to the White House.
As Ezra Klein wrote after Saturday's primary results:
Donald Trump's run for president has been so wild, so strange, so entertaining, that we've stopped noticing -- or maybe just grown tired of pointing out -- what a dangerous force he is in American politics. And for awhile, that seemed fine -- everyone knew Trump couldn't win, he didn't have a chance, this was all just a big joke. But it isn't a joke. He won huge in New Hampshire. He won huge in South Carolina. This is the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination. And he's a dangerous personality perched atop an ugly ideology. It's time to stop laughing.
Over the past several elections, both parties have consistently put tremendous resources into their get-out-the-vote campaigns. But with Trump, this year's record-breaking GOP turnouts could prove to be a game-changing, history-making phenomenon that lands him in the Oval Office. And that should make tens of millions of Democrats, Republicans and Independents very, very...
Let's turn the clock back to 2008. Millions of young people were swooning over Barack Obama, a hip, cool, black first-term Senator from Illinois who, in his bid for the presidency, tantalized them with visions of hope and change. For his infectious optimism...
But this phenomenon confounds me. In fact, I think it's 100% bogus. I find the concept of "undecideds" fundamentally disingenuous. Sorry, but I think you're nothing more than a bunch of attention-seekers who drag candidates, the media, your friends, family and co-workers into one very long ass-kissing marathon until election day. And you love every minute of it.
With the exception every couple of decades of a grass-roots, doomed-from-the-start third-party run at the White House, America operates under a two-party system: Republican and Democrat. And at no time in history has our political system been more dysfunctional, more polarized and with the two parties further apart on just about every single domestic, global and social issue. Given these diametric differences in core beliefs, is it really that hard for you guys to choose sides?
You either believe that all people, including gays, have a right to love and marry, or you don't. You either believe that a woman's body belongs to her, and that it's her choice to have an abortion, or you don't. You either believe in the separation of church and state or you don't. You either believe that guns kill people and that we need more regulation, or you don't. You either believe in climate change or you don't. You either believe in immigration, including Muslims, or you don't. You either believe that no one should work for less than $15/hour or you don't. You either believe in affordable health care and education for all, or you don't. You either believe in government helping the needy, or you don't. You either believe that America's role in the world is one of isolationism, or you don't. I could go on.
So why the meandrous internal debate? Why all the protracted soul-searching? Are you guys so out of touch with your own core beliefs and values that you really can't decide between Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders... and Donald Trump, Ted Cruz or the other Republicans, even if ideologically the two sides are in different galaxies? Are you really going to wake up November 8, 2016 and think, "Ya know what? I was gonna vote for Cruz, but I really am for aiding the poor, the sick, the needy...and believe in a woman's right to choose and same-sex marriage, so, I'm actually gonna vote for Hillary!"
Grow up. Pick a side. Stand for something. For someone. And then spend this year helping that person get...