Trump Violated Helms-Burton Cuban Embargo
by Deacon Blues
Donald Trump, November 1999, in Miami while pursuing a Reform Party presidential bid:
"As you know—and the people in this room know better than anyone—putting money and investing money in Cuba right now doesn’t go to the people of Cuba. It goes to Fidel Castro. He’s a murderer. He’s a killer. He’s a bad guy in every respect, and, frankly, the embargo must stand if for no other reason than, if it does stand, he will come down."
Donald Trump, months earlier:
A company controlled by Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, secretly conducted business in Communist Cuba during Fidel Castro’s presidency despite strict American trade bans that made such undertakings illegal, according to interviews with former Trump executives, internal company records and court filings.
Documents show that the Trump company spent a minimum of $68,000 for its 1998 foray into Cuba at a time when the corporate expenditure of even a penny in the Caribbean country was prohibited without U.S. government approval. But the company did not spend the money directly. Instead, with Trump’s knowledge, executives funneled the cash for the Cuba trip through an American consulting firm called Seven Arrows Investment and Development Corp. Once the business consultants traveled to the island and incurred the expenses for the venture, Seven Arrows instructed senior officers with Trump’s company—then called Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts—how to make it appear legal by linking it after the fact to a charitable effort.
The goal of the Cuba trip, the former Trump executive says, was to give Trump’s company a foothold should Washington loosen or lift the trade restrictions. While in Cuba, the Trump representatives met with government officials, bankers and other business leaders to explore possible opportunities for the casino company. The former executive says Trump had participated in discussions about the Cuba trip and knew it had taken place.
I look forward to Marco Rubio's and Ted Cruz's total acceptance of Trump's lying to the Cuban-American electorate in Florida. And if that wasn't bad enough, his associates with his full knowledge used a Catholic charity to violate federal law.
I suspect Hillary now cannot wait for Trump to hit her in the next debate with an attack on the Clinton Foundation.
Going for the Jugular, and Losing
by Deacon Blues
After threatening to go after Hillary in the next debate over Bill's infidelity, Trump is getting advice from Senate Republicans today: Don't do it. Note the bloodlust from Trump's boys and the deranged fringe (Jeff Sessions, David Bossie, and likely the alt-right loons) who want Trump to nail Hillary personally , while incumbent GOP senators want him to stick to the economy and national security issues.
Knowing Trump the way we know him, which way do you think he'll go? Yup, he'll step into it during the next debate, and when Democrats start pounding back with Trump's own moral failings, we can watch these GOP senators start peeling away.
Doing What Jeb, Cruz, Walker, (fill in GOP loser here) Couldn't Do
by Deacon Blues
How bad did Trump do last night? Trump and his people are complaining about his microphone, the moderator, and how easy they went on Hillary. Hell his stupid surrogates are even talking about no more debates. Pussy.
In truth, apart from Trump’s well-placed jabs at Hillary on trade, The Donald had his balls handed to him last night, and no amount of threats from Trump or his serial-philanderer surrogates like Rudy Giuliani about what will come in the next debate hide the fact that Clinton did what she needed to do: stop Trump’s momentum in its tracks, and focus the issue back onto temperament and qualifications.
It is truly hypocritical for multiple-marriage cheaters like like Trump and Rudy Giuliani to be attacking Hillary Clinton on her marriage. When Trump and Giuliani attack her on Bill's infidelity and her treatment of Monica Lewinsky, she should simply say "Men who live in glass houses with multiple wives shouldn't cast the first stone."
Now all Hillary needs to do is come up with a better response on trade in general, and the Trans Pacific Partnership specifically. She could start by saying that:
-NAFTA was negotiated not by her husband but by Bush 41;
-Bush 43 helped usher China into the WTO, not Bill;
-In both cases, a GOP Congress failed to support American workers;
-Barack Obama wanted the TPP;
-As Secretary of State, her job was to sell it as “the gold standard”;
-Three years after leaving Foggy Bottom, she isn't responsible for the final TPP;
-As a presidential candidate, she is free to renegotiate deals as she and Congress see fit.
Christie Knew About Bridge Closure
by Deacon Blues
Under the category of "Duh", federal prosecutors this morning agreed with defense attorneys in their opening arguments in the trial of Christie aides that Governor Chris Christie did in fact know about the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge, and knew they were political retaliation. And worse yet, he would have known that his staff were ignoring the public safety pleas from the Fort Lee mayor, which in and of itself would be grounds for impeachment.
And Chris Christie is the likely chief law enforcement official in any Donald J. Trump administration. Perfect symmetry there.
But hey, Trump's army of deplorables now own the national GOP, so once Trump wins, the country will get a corrupt and conflicted president and vice-president, an Attorney General who should be doing time himself, and one political party in total hock to millions of people who think corruption and lies are only attributable to Democrats.
Getting Back In the Game
by Deacon Blues
Hillary Clinton finds herself in a fix, and her campaign is responsible for how she could have frittered away a 10-point lead in August to half that now in the only national poll that has any relevance. Donald Trump’s brilliant campaign to be on offense all the time with a fusillade of lies too many to count, in order to keep any negative stories from getting traction, was aided and abetted by both the Clinton campaign and the media.
Team Clinton made the mistake of leaving the battlefield in August to raise money, instead of staying on offense with an economic argument and narrative against Trump. For its part, the media chased the faulty Associated Press story about alleged and nonexistent “pay-to-play” with the Clinton Foundation, and then chased the faulty “missing FBI emails” story that only the Washington Post noted was only about one actual email. The media’s mishandling of these “revelations” only played into Trump’s attack campaign of lies, allowing him to grab news cycles where he drives the media to look away from Trump himself. Then Team Clinton added insult to injury with the self-inflicted wounds over the “deplorables” comment and then the mishandling of Hillary’s pneumonia, and presto-chango, you’ve managed to stumble your way into a potential loss. Well done.
But sometimes things drop into your lap. Yesterday, Ford Motor Company made the tone-deaf announcement that it will be closing down all domestic small-car production and shipping it to Mexico over the next three years. This is a tailor-made opportunity for Donald Trump, and he has started seizing it. Hillary needs to get back onto the economic battlefield on this issue, and point out the following:
1. In light of this decision, she and Bernie Sanders are in agreement that NAFTA should be renegotiated;
2. She needs to remind Ford that the American taxpayers saved the auto industry.
But she can also go farther. The good news this week on rising wages clearly indicates that blue-collar and red-state America are being left behind, areas that are the core of Trump’s support. Hillary can use every day between now and the first debate to hammer home the message that the economic recovery needs to spread to blue-collar and rural America, and that unlike Donald Trump’s tax plan, her economic plan is actually focused on Main Street and not the wealthy.
And then she can remind audiences that House and Senate Republicans have had 7 years to help rural and blue-collar voters, and they've been AWOL.
The Clinton Rules Election
As Paul Krugman recently noted Election 2016 has taken a nauseating meander down Election 2000 memory lane, an evolution of barking GOP cacophony endlessly broadcast into a phony stupid reality that burdened the United States with the worst president we have ever had.
Our vaunted journalism corps has no memory, an extremely useful and necessary mental condition for chronic failure and dysfunction (been duped by that sleazy toad Trey Gowdy for a year by a sham committee meant to knife Hillary Clinton? Never mind!), but ordinary functional citizens still clearly remember Al Gore Invented The Internet.Continue reading "The Clinton Rules Election"