The Trump Watch – mid-October (part 1 of 2)

(Less than a month from now we’ll all be voting so this two-part Trump Watch will be the last or next to last. No sense bothering with the Billy Bush tapes; by the time you read this you will be all Billy Bushed out. Still, there are observations to be made about this appalling man who, at least from a blogger’s perspective, is the gift that keeps on giving. Part 2 will appear on Monday.)

In late August the Washington Post published an article titled “‘Racialists’ are cheered by Trump’s latest strategy.” Among the highlights:

“Imagine a media that was more Breitbart than New York Times,” Taylor [Jared Taylor, former editor of a white nationalist magazine and organizer of racialist conferences] said. “Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown have been even more important than Trump, in one respect. They are the people who make whites realize that what the media have been telling them about race relations is simply wrong.”

A major part of Trump's "base."

A major part of Trump’s “base.”


“I’m honestly delighted that Trump is putting a team together that has such reasonable views on immigration,” said Jason Richwine, a policy analyst who left the Heritage Foundation after a backlash to his study of race and IQ and who has appeared on Breitbart’s XM show.

And this gem:

“What the GOP needs to do is Southernize the white vote,” Brimelow [Peter Brimelow, founder of an organization named after the first white person born in America] said. “You need to have everybody in the country voting the way that Southern whites vote.”

And this brilliant observation:

“I really don’t think that African Americans want to be stuck where they are,” Johnson [Frances Johnson, a Trump supporter at a rally in Charlotte] said. “They’re basically glorified slaves — they get free this, free that, free this, free that, and they can’t get a good job and depend on the government. What else do you call it?”

Ladies and gentlemen: the people behind the candidate.

*            *            *

Remember how The Donald bragged about how he was funding his campaign out of his own pocket so he wouldn’t be beholden to any special interests? Well, in July he raised $34.7 million and contributed $2 million of his own money.

So much for self-funding.

*            *            *

Before, during, and after his first debate with Hillary Clinton, Trump insisted that the U.S. should have taken Iraq’s oil when we overthrew Saddam Hussein. As the Los Angeles Times reported,

“It used to be, ‘To the victor belong the spoils,” Trump said. “Now, there was no victor there, believe me. There was no victor. But I always said: Take the oil.”

A member of the Bush Jr. foreign policy team who is pretty far on the right wing – practically a reactionary zealot – had this to say about taking the oil (again, as reported in the LA Times):

“‘Antiquated’ is a nice way to put it,” said Douglas J. Feith, a top defense official for George W. Bush during the invasion. “‘Barbaric’ would be more apt.

“It basically aligns him with the views of Stalin after World War II,” he added. “The Soviets after World War II went into Germany and dismantled every piece of equipment that they could find and stripped the country down.”

Putting aside for a moment the questions of how many soldiers we’d need to keep there to protect this new oil interest and how many workers would be needed to pump the oil out of the ground and who would sell the oil and how the proceeds would be distributed, isn’t the bigger issue that taking Iraq’s oil would be…stealing?

And aren’t we involved in these overseas adventures because we think we’re the good guys? And wouldn’t stealing the oil make us no better than the bad guys we’re fighting?

But is there any way such questions ever even cross the mind of a guy whose sole focus in life for 70 years has been making money?

*            *            *

While The Curmudgeon has defended politicians’ occasional flip-flops based on his belief that people are allowed to change their minds about things, Trump’s flip-flop on the question of where President Obama was born was pretty funny – and pretty disingenuous. When pressed on why he finally conceded that Obama was born in the U.S., Trump said he did so because he didn’t want to talk about the issue anymore.

Not exactly convincing. He still doesn’t believe it, and when this whole thing is over he’s going to brag to us that he still doesn’t believe it. Count on it.

*            *            *

Sticking with the birther issue, this was something The Curmudgeon didn’t know until he read about it recently: the man who introduced Trump for the speech in which he announced that he was finally conceding that President Obama was born in the U.S. was retired Air Force Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney. According to the Vox web site,

…McInerney has spent years publicly arguing that there are “legitimate concerns” about whether Obama was born in the US. He even submitted a court affidavit in support of birther Army Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, who refused to deploy to Afghanistan because he did not believe Obama was a legitimate president.

A curious choice, no?

What’s more, here’s an excerpt from that affidavit:

For the foregoing reasons, it is my opinion that LTC Lakin’s request for discovery relating to the President’s birth records in Hawaii is absolutely essential to determining not merely his guilt or innocence but to reassuring all military personnel once and for all for this President whether his service as Commander in Chief is Constitutionally proper. He is the one single person in the Chain of Command that the Constitution demands proof of natural born citizenship. This determination is fundamental to our Republic, where civilian control over the military is the rule. According to our Constitution, the Commander in Chief must now, in the face of serious– and widely held– concerns that he is ineligible, either voluntarily establish his eligibility by authorizing release of his birth records or this court must authorize their discovery. The invasion of his privacy in these records is utterly trivial compared to the issues at stake here. Our military MUST have confidence their Commander in Chief lawfully holds this office and absent which confidence grievous consequences may ensue.

Yikes: the inmates are running the asylum.

*            *            *

To the Donald, this stands out as a great accomplishment.

To the Donald, this stands out as a great accomplishment.

Trump also has stated that he believes he performed a great public service in getting Obama to share his birth certificate. So what he did, essentially, was spend several years badgering an American to prove he is an American.

And Trump considers this a great accomplishment.

*            *            *

As part of his “What have you got to lose?” pitch to African-American voters – even though most of us realize the answer is “A lot!” – The Donald is telling his mostly white audiences that African-Americans are worse off now than they have ever been, apparently including those days as slaves. In fact, he’s suggesting that since apparently all African-Americans subsist only with the help of government programs, they’re little more than slaves today.

And a lot of people in those nearly all-white audiences are buying it.

Like those folks in Kenansville, North Carolina who roared in approval when he told them that

We’re going to rebuild our inner cities because our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape they’ve ever been in before. Ever, ever, ever.

Looks like Trump is one of those people who subscribes to the “carefree days of slavery” theory.

And this:

You take a look at the inner cities, you get no education, you get no jobs, you get shot walking down the street. They’re worse, I mean honestly, places like Afghanistan are safer than some of our inner cities…

Tell that to the approximately 35,000 African-American millionaires in the U.S. today and the nearly 40 percent of African-American families that are middle class. Or the 4.5 million African-Americans with bachelor’s degrees and the 1.1 million who have master’s degrees. Trump is correct in suggesting there are problems but, as is his wont, ignores facts and overstates it.

*            *            *

Trump practically called Holt one of "those people."

Trump practically called Holt one of “those people.”

If you’ve read this far you no doubt saw the first debate, moderated (is that a verbification?) by Lester Holt. Trump was making excuses even before the debate began, telling Fox News that

Look, it’s a phony system. Lester is a Democrat. I mean, they are all Democrats. OK? It’s a very unfair system.

Two observations here.

First, Lester Holt is a registered Republican.

Second, “…they are all Democrats”? Who are they “all”? Does he mean news people or does he mean African-Americans? Or maybe people with mild speech impediments?

And Trump has not – at least not so far – protested that Chris Wallace, of Fox News, will be hosting the fourth debate. While most of us know Wallace as the less intelligent member of the Wallace news family, what many may not know is that Wallace is a registered Democrat.

*            *            *

In late September the New York Times ran a feature it called “A week of whoppers from Donald Trump” in which it recounted some of the taller tales The Donald had told in recent days.

Trump told Fox News that a supportive crowd chanted, “Let him speak!” when a black pastor in Flint, Michigan asked him not to give a political speech in the church.

According to the Times, there was no such chant.

Trump told an audience in North Carolina that

You see what’s happening with my poll numbers with African-Americans. They’re going, like, high.

Well, if you consider three percent to be “like, high.”

He claims to have made similar inroads among Hispanic voters but the online publication Politico has him trailing Hillary Clinton 65-17 among Hispanic voters.

Trump loves me; he loves me not.

Trump loves me; he loves me not.

Trump told Fox News that he “was never a fan” of Colin Powell. Apparently he didn’t read his own book: in his The America We Deserve he cited Powell as among the “best and brightest” in American society.

According to the Times,

He said Mrs. Clinton is calling for “total amnesty in the first 100 days,” including “a virtual end to immigration enforcement” and for unauthorized immigrants to receive Social Security and Medicare.

Just one problem: she didn’t.

And the Times wrote that Trump said that

Mrs. Clinton had “the power and the duty” to stop the release of unauthorized immigrants whose home countries would not accept their deportation after they were released from prison.

Again, one problem: this is not what secretaries of state do and while they may have influence over decisions made in this area, they have no power and no authority.

In two speeches he said unemployment among young African-Americans was 58 percent.

It’s 20.6 percent, so he was off.

Just a little.

Trump told a New Hampshire audience that

Hundreds of thousands of people are being approved to pour into the country. We have no idea who they are.

Well, if you consider 10,000 to be “hundreds of thousands.”

*            *            *

Back to the debate for a moment. Do you remember when Hillary reminded people that Trump calls women “fat pigs” and he replied “Only Rosie O’Donnell.”

Which what, makes it okay?

*            *            *

Sticking with the debate, Trump said there were no sniffles, that the problem was a defective microphone. While there were, in fact, problems with his microphone, they affected only what the studio audience heard, not what television viewers saw and heard – and one thing you could clearly see was the sight, not just the sound, of Trump’s sniffling. Why would he deny that – and why would he then accuse the debate’s organizers of intentionally sabotaging him?

And wasn’t the sniffling still very much in evidence in the second debate?

*            *            *

During the first debate, Trump complained that Hillary Clinton’s television commercials said very unkind things about him. Never mind that they were true, and that those commercials aren’t interpretive at all but simply show clips of Trump’s own words: he thought they were unkind. After the debate he suggested he could unleash some dirt on Hillary, too, intimating that he could talk about Bill Clinton’s indiscretions. Trump said he refrained mostly because Chelsea Clinton was in the audience.

But then the next day, like the day before, he was on the campaign trail again calling his opponent “Crooked Hillary.”

So much for his bow to civility.

*            *            *

If Trump ever does attempt to open that can of worms on a debate stage, Hillary Clinton should just turn to him and say, “Look at me, Donald. You’re running against me. You’re not running against my husband and you’re not running against Barack Obama. You’re running against me, so talk about my proposals for tomorrow and not their deeds of yesterday.”

*            *            *

Even before The Donald launched his campaign The Curmudgeon wrote about his frequent use of bankruptcy to solve his financial problems. (Side note: what kind of judge permits a guy who brags about being worth billions to declare bankruptcy?) When you declare bankruptcy you stiff a lot of people: you stiff banks, you stiff investors, you stiff union pension funds, and more. But most important, you stiff ordinary workmen and small businesses.

The Washington Post let one of those little guys tell his story: a man whose company sold the Trump Taj Mahal hotel in Atlantic City $100,000 worth of pianos.

But when I requested payment, the Trump corporation hemmed and hawed. Its executives avoided my calls and crafted excuses. After a couple of months, I got a letter telling me that the casino was short on funds. They would pay 70 percent of what they owed me. There was no negotiating. I didn’t know what to do — I couldn’t afford to sue the Trump corporation, and I needed money to pay my piano suppliers. So I took the $70,000.

 Losing $30,000 was a big hit to me and my family. The profit from Trump was meant to be a big part of my salary for the year. So I made much less. There was no money to help grow my business. I had fewer pianos in the showroom and a smaller advertising budget. Because of Trump, my store stagnated for a couple of years. It made me feel really bad, like I’d been taken advantage of. I was embarrassed.

A billionaire stiffing a guy over $30,000? Really? What kind of person does that?

Oh yeah:  we know what kind of person.

*            *            *

As he has written before, The Curmudgeon is reluctant to hold candidates for public office accountable for things their supporters say. But when a supporter is as close as Rudy Giuliani, The Curmudgeon thinks such criticism is fair: Rudy is clearly acting as a Trump spokesman and surrogate.

It's not exactly a surprise that Rudy sees limited uses for women.

It’s not exactly a surprise that Rudy sees limited uses for women.

But it’s not a stretch to believe that when Giuliani told the ABC News program that

Don’t you think a man who has this kind of economic genius is a lot better for the United States than a woman…

…that he was absolutely, positively echoing his candidate’s view.

*            *            *

"Finally, another law and order candidate like me."

“Finally, another law and order candidate like me.”

Finally, one of the themes Trump repeats consistently on the campaign trail is that we need more “law and order” and that he is the law and order candidate.

The last person to run for president as the law and order candidate was Richard Nixon.

And we all know how that worked out.

(Part 2 will be here on Monday.)
















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  • Barbara  On October 15, 2016 at 10:24 am

    You are preaching to the choir. Any time I try to educate Trump supporters they just tell me I believe the lies of the liberal media. My God, I am sick of this election and that orange man. And his stupid, stupid supporters. It is so frustrating. My doctor and I were chatting and he predicts Hillary will win in a landslide. I surely hope so.

    • foureyedcurmudgeon  On October 15, 2016 at 11:30 am

      Yes, I know I’m preaching to the choir. But I just can’t help myself. And as for your conversation with your doctor: let’s just hope “from his lips to god’s ears.”

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