Saturday, June 11, 2016

A new low even for Rep. Louie Gohmert

Even the former Republican House Majority Leader Tom Delay has called him "the dumbest man in Congress."    Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) just earned that title, once again, with his latest ignorant rant about same-sex couples.   This time, he was envisioning that the world was about to be destroyed by an asteroid.  Gohmert then delivers his coup de grace:

"If you could decide what 40 people you would put on a spacecraft who would save humanity, how many of those would be same-sex couples?"

Why do anti-gay bigots think gay people can't make babies?   Here's the perfect response from Blogger DarkSyde on Daily Kos:

"In your closed mind, same sex couples have never had children in the history of the world . . . right?  But if there were female couples and male couples on your 'Space Ark,' maybe, just maybe, they’d figure something out. To perpetuate humanity."


Donald Trump missing from RNC official website?

I was first alerted to this by a blurb on TPM's blog. which asserts that Donald Trump is completely missing from the official web site of the Republican National Committee.   So I checked it out for myself at, the official Republican Party web site.

There is a wealth of information, with a newsy front page and many links to articles, news releases, lists of officials, and background information.   It's true that the name Donald Trump does not appear anywhere on the Home page -- or anywhere else in the web site, unless you work hard to find it.  But Hillary Clinton's name appears often -- on the home page and everywhere -- all negative, of course.  Apparently they are trying to hide their own nominee by just running an anti-Hillary campaign.

But this is the most astonishing of all:   There's a page advertising the stuff they have for sale -- coffee mugs, t-shirts, lapel pins, baby gear -- the usual variety of stuff that puts your brand out there and raises a little extra money from the faithful.    You can buy a Dick Cheney cowboy Stetson hat, or a Ronald Reagan tie, or colorful sox like the elder George H.W. Bush enjoys wearing.    But there is not one item for sale with "Trump" on it.

I kept looking and checking out the links to articles.   Finally found one fairly recent press release that announced that Trump and the RNC had formed a joint committee to raise funds.   But even that did not refer to him as the presumptive nominee.  Then I found the press release archives which had maybe 10 articles from the past year that mentioned Trump.   Yet nowhere on this official GOP site do they call him their presumptive nominee.

So, it is correct to say that he is completely missing from their main pages.   The space devoted to him throughout the archives, news releases, and articles was less than 1/10th of the space they give Hillary Clinton -- and it's far less prominent.    Not a single headline or banner, or even a coffee mug for The Donald.

Ya think they're not so proud of what they've done?   Ya think??? 


Friday, June 10, 2016

Obama endorses Hillary Clinton

After meeting with Bernie Sanders in the White House Thursday, President Obama announced his endorsement of Hillary Clinton:
“I want to congratulate Hillary Clinton on making history as the presumptive Democratic nominee for the president of the United States.  I don’t think there’s ever been someone so qualified to hold this office. . . .  I want those of you who’ve been with me from the beginning of this incredible journey to be the first to know that I’m with her.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi endorsed her two days ago.  Senate Minority Leader Harry Reed and Vice President Joe Biden have been on board from the beginning, as has Sen. Chuck Schumer and most of the other Democratic senatorsSen. Elizabeth Warren announced her endorsement on Thursday night.

Obama thanked Sanders for “shining a spotlight on issues like economic inequality and the outsized influence of money in our politics, and bringing young people into the process.”   And he added that Clinton and Sanders have a shared vision of “the values that make America great.”

Unity will come.   Sanders and his supporters have a lot of disappointment and resentment to work through.  Clinton has a lot of reaching out to do with Sanders' supporters -- which she has already begun.   And Sanders has some policy changes, especially in how the primary process and delegate selection needs revision, that he wants to advocate for at the convention.   Give him a little time.   He will be 100% on board to defeat Donald Trump.


Biden delivers a sobering, stinging rebuke of Trump

Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the annual meeting of the American Constitution Society, the liberal counterpart of the conservative Federalist Society.   He focused on Donald Trump's attack, not just on Judge Gonzalez Curiel, but on the constitutional separation of powers.

Citing Trump's recent comment that:
“They ought to look into Judge Curiel, because what Judge Curiel is doing is a total disgrace. . . .  O.K.? But we will come back in November. Wouldn’t that be wild if I am president and come back and do a civil case?”  [emphasis added]
Biden called this for what it is:   a blatant threat by a presidential nominee to use the power of the oval office to intimidate a federal judge because he doesn't like a ruling the judge made in a civil fraud case against him in his private business.  Biden said: 

"This behavior, in a president, smacks of
authoritarianism and tyranny."

Biden pointed out that what Trump is suggesting is an impeachable offense if carried out by a sitting president -- because it threatens the separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution and an abuse of the power of the office of president.

On top of that, it was racist comment in that he said literally that, because of the judge's Mexican heritage (even though he was born in Indiana) he is incapable of being fair to Trump because of his plan to build a wall to keep out Mexicans.

Biden was scathing in a subject near and dear to him as the former chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee -- the independence of the judiciary.   But it is more than a personal pique.   It gets at the very heart of the structure of our government, something that Donald Trump doesn't seem to understand.   Either that or, as Biden pointed out, Trump doesn't care . . . which would be even more dangerous for our democracy.

This is only the beginning.  Consider this stellar quartet of heavy-weights who will be going after Donald Trump for the next five months:    Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren, and Joe Biden.   And that's just the A Team.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Let us now praise Bernie Sanders

Tuesday, Hillary Clinton made history.   Her margin of victory in both the New Jersey and California primaries was bigger than expected, especially in California.   She rightfully has won a majority of the pledged delegates -- even without any superdelegates -- and thus should rightfully be considered the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party.

But this campaign has also been a remarkable achievement for Sen. Bernie Sanders who confounded all expectations when he entered the race last summer.   Perhaps the starkest negative prediction came from Republican columnist William Krystol when he said that "Kim Kardashian has a better chance of becoming president than Bernie Sanders."

Bernie Sanders not only changed the tenor of the campaign and pulled Hillary Clinton to more progressive positions, he excited the passion of millions of people, especially young people, for changing our country.    He convinced them and many from my generation as well that we do not have to just accept the corrupting effect of money in politics or to be paralyzed into inaction because "they" have all the power.

Bernie didn't win -- but he gave the Democratic establishment a run for its money.   And he did it in something akin to the old line from Ginger Rogers, who claimed that she "did everything that Fred Astaire did, only backwards and in high heels."

Bernie Sanders brought in his crowds, got out the vote, and won close to half of the states and a sizable portion of the delegates -- without taking a dollar of corporate money or having a superpac to raise money for him.

He did more than that.   He earned the right to have a say in the party platform (in fact they let him name 1/3 of the delegates to the platform committee).   He earned a right to argue for changing some of the primary rules with regard to delegate selection.  And he earned the right to an important speaking spot at the convention.

More than all that, Sanders will return to the Senate with enhanced respect and political clout.   He can become a legislative leader for  shepherding legislation through -- if only President Clinton chooses to reach out to him and the Senate leadership recognizes what he can bring.  It's looking now that Trump's toxic effect downballot may give Democrats back control of the Senate and greatly enhanced power in the House.    Senator Warren, if she isn't picked to be Clinton's running mate, will double that progressive strength. 

Hillary Clinton made history -- and will continue to make history, as the first woman nominee of a major party and the first woman president.   Bernie Sanders made history with his grassroots campaign of ideas and optimism and with his demonstration that you can run a well-funded campaign with crowd-funding, without corporate and superpac money.   Let us thank him and honor him as he now helps unite the a more progressive party to win in November.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Historic moment in U. S. presidential politics as Hillary Clinton clinches Democratic nomination.

photo by Win McNamee via Getty Images, used on Huffington Post

What a big day Tuesday was for both parties:  one bad, one good.  What a contrast, with  Donald Trump teetering on the edge of disaster in his campaign -- and Hillary Clinton clinching the majority of pledged delegates and thus becaming the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party.   The first woman in history to do that.

The Associated Press, quickly followed by CBS and NBC, called it for her on Monday night;  but that was based on her pledged delegate count prior to the Tuesday primaries -- plus those superdelegates that have declared their support for her.

The Sanders campaign cried foul, quoting the DNC itself in saying that only the actual pledged delegates, not the superdelegates, should be counted in making a call for "presumtive nominee."  In fact, the superdelegates do not vote until the convention and can change their mind between now and then.  Sanders's campaign is working to try to accomplish that, saying that many of them endorsed her last year before any other candidate was even in the race.   The real concern, to me, is that between now and then the FBI may issue its report on the email investigation.   Let's don't close any doors until we get safely beyond that.

In fact, the Clinton campaign did not want that Monday night call either, because they had planned a big celebratory night on Tuesday after she had won the majority of pledged delegates.   And she reached that goal by winning a majority of the pledged delegates in the Tuesday primaries -- as of this writing just past midnight, she's appears to be winning in California, giving her five of the six states that voted today (Sanders winning North Dakota).

And what a historic night it was.   The Clinton victory rally included a video tracing the history of women's rights, which reached its culmination on Tuesday when Hillary Clinton became the first woman in history to be chosen as the presumptive presidential nominee of a major U.S. political party.  


The Trump nomination is about to unravel

It's hard to keep up with all the fast-breaking news of the disaster that is the Trump . . . operation.  We can't even call it a campaign, because it's just a bunch of folks doing their thing and split into competing camps.    Some developments in the last 24 hours:

1.  In addition top Republicans who yesterday denounced Trump's racist comments about Judge Curiel, House Majority Leader Paul Ryan today denounced them in strong terms.   

2.   Sen. Lindsey Graham said Trump's comments are the most un-American thing from a politician since Joe McCarthy. . . .  If anybody is looking for an off-ramp, this is probably it."

3.  Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) has rescinded his endorsement of  Trump, saying that he can no longer support the nominee of his party after his racist attacks against a federal judge.  Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) says the remarks make it very difficult for her to vote for Trump.

4.  Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who has not endorsed Trump, went even further saying that Republicans could still challenge him at the convention in July.   All it would take is a rule change to free the delegates to vote their conscience. 

5.  The online news outlet BuzzFeed has cancelled a $1.3 million contract to run political ads for Trump during the fall campaign.   BuzzFeed's CEO explained that the Trump campaign has proven to be "directly opposed to the freedoms" of our employees in the United States."
6Ron Reagan, son of Ronald Reagan, said he's not voting for Trump, "and my dad wouldn't either." 

Republican bigwigs who reluctantly jumped on his bandwagon must have a double dose of buyer's remorse now that it's obvious that Donald Trump is not capable of pivoting to a presidential demeanor.   A Republican strategist not with the Trump campaign said that, even if he could manage to look presidential for a little while, we'd still know that what we've been seeing is the real Donald Trump.   [see my PS below].   Remember the "wisdom"  of Sarah Palin:   "you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig."

The bigwigs excuse themselves of responsibility by saying the people chose Trump.    Yes, but . . . what the people chose is a big loud mouth who is saying out loud, and with maximum vulgarity, the hidden agenda Republicans have been alluding to for decades, only they did it with dog-whistle hints.  But those who wanted that agenda got the message -- and now they've got their messenger.

Republicans, You created him.    Now you're stuck with him -- unless you can coerce him to withdraw before the convention.   Otherwise, go down in flaming defeat in November.


PS:   Trump gave a victory speech tonight, reading from a teleprompter.   It was a "calm the waters speech" -- not an apology and no reference to the judge.   But he did say "I will make you proud of me . . . I will never let you down."   Easy to say;  can he avoid it?   It wasn't the Trump who won the primaries;  it was the speech he had to give to reassure all those mentioned above.  And it may have done that -- if he can keep it up.   But, as Rachel Maddow pointed out, this Trump would not have won the primaries.   It was pretty dull, boilerplate, cliche promises.   This was not the real Trump.   So, we'll see.

PPS:   I haven't seen it but Trump apparently has already reverted, going on Sean Hannity's show and telling the Republican establishment to "get over it."

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Such a contrast with everything Trump stands for

"The service you do for others is the rent 
you pay for your room here on earth."
                                                                             -- Muhammad Ali

Authoritarian-in-Chief Trump

Keep the pressure on, folks.   The Donald is beginning to lose it.   The latest insult to his narcissism -- and this is a big one -- came with the announcement that the PGA is moving the World Golf Championship from a Trump golf course in Miami to  -- Mexico.   Yikes!!!   You mean, like, on the other side of the wall?

Trump's response was to blast the PGA and issue a not-so-subtle threatif he becomes president he'll put a stop to such things:
"Can you believe it?  Think of it:  They moved the PGA Tour -- moved the World Golf Championship to Mexico CityNot good. . . .

"But that's okay, folks.   It's all going to be settled.  You vote for Donald Trump as president.   If I become your president, this stuff is all going to stop."
He really seems to think that as president he will have the power to order private corporations to do his bidding.   Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) quotes Trump as having referred to his upcoming "reign."   Here's how TPM's  Josh Marshall desceribes his business practices:
"There are two things Donald Trump is notorious for in the business world - one is simple bullying as a business tactic, another is cheating people out of money they're owed and then making the 'deal' stick by grinding the counter-parties down with the promise of endless litigation. As Times columnist Joe Nocera puts it, in the business world Trump 'is notorious for refusing to pay full price to contractors and vendors after they’ve completed work for him. And he basically dares the people he has stiffed to sue him, knowing that his deep pockets and bevy of lawyers give him a big advantage over those who feel wronged by him.' Both traits or patterns of behavior are surprisingly good guides to Trump's presidential campaign."

As an example, he's escalating his attack on Judge Curiel, calling on his supporters to continue the attack.   Can you believe it?  The presumptive nominee of the Republican Party is calling on his supporters to attack a federal judge who is presiding over two cases involving his Trump University scam.   He's telling his surrogates to denounce the judge as biased because "he's Mexican."

Further evidence of disarray in the campaign came through a leaked account of a conference call with Trump and his surrogates.   They had been sent an order from the campaign not to discuss the Trump U. case or to comment about the judge.   Trump was adamant that they should "Take that order and throw it the hell out!" and continue attacking the judge.   Former Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) told him that the campaign needs to "get on the page."

 Some senators have been very critical of Trump's statementsMitch McConnell ("I couldn't disagree more"), Kelly Ayotte ("His comments are offensive and wrong"), Jeff Flake ("very disturbing"), Bob Portman ("Judge Curiel is as American as I am"), Susan Collins ("absolutely unacceptable").  But so far none has retracted their support.   Newt Gingrich said the comments about the judge are the "inexcusable . . . his biggest mistake."  Trump called Gingrich's remark "inappropriate."  Forget about being his VP, Newt.

We may just be seeing the tip of the iceberg that is emerging now that the media has decided Trump's free parade is over.    Now that they are examining his business practices, his bankruptcies, his taxes -- and his tantrums when he gets unfavorable coverage. 

I think this may result in his withdrawing from the race before the convention.  Yesterday, I predicted a 50/50 chance of his withdrawing.   I believe that even more firmly today.    He said himself, he doesn't like to lose.   He's clearly losing badly right now, and I don't believe he can reign himself in.   He'll only get worse.


PSI've been wrong 100% of the times I have made a prediction about Donald Trump.  So . . .

Monday, June 6, 2016

Trump expands attack on judge in Trump U. suit

Donald Trump, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, ramped up his attack on U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, saying that the judge has "an absolute conflict" and should not preside over the fraud case against Trump and his Trump University. 

Citing Curiel's "Mexican heritage" and his membership in a Latino lawyers' association, Trump insists that the judge is biased against him because of his campaign positions on illegal immigration.  "I'm building a wall.  It's an inherent conflict of interest," he declared.

This attack concerns some legal experts should Trump be elected, setting up a constitutional onflict between the Executive and the Judicial branches.   Some Republican leaders are becoming alarmed at Trump's continued racist comments.  David Post, a retired law professor said this: 
This is how authoritarianism starts, with a president who does not respect the judiciary. . . .  You can criticize the judicial system, you can criticize individual cases, you can criticize individual judges. But the president has to be clear that the law is the law and that he enforces the law. That is his constitutional obligation.
Trump seems to be relishing the confrontation when the case is heard in late November:
“They ought to look into Judge Curiel, because what Judge Curiel is doing is a total disgrace. . . .  O.K.? But we will come back in November. Wouldn’t that be wild if I am president and come back and do a civil case?”
Disgusting.   But here we are, all paying close attention to this man, aren't we?   At least, finally, he's not getting a free ride from the media any more.  They're asking him tough questions, and it's bringing out the worst in him.

I'm going out on a limb and predicting a 50/50 chance that he will withdraw before the July GOP Convention, claiming that the "unfair" treatment of him by the press is ruining his business interests.    So I say to Hillary Clinton and the media:   Full speed ahead.   Challenge him.  Expose his ignorance.   Provoke his temperamental responses so the American people see what a mistake it would be to elect him.