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Yesterday, 9:19 amAn Embarrassment for the Repubs
Trump denies mocking New York Times reporter's disability
By Steve Gorman
(Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump denied on Thursday he was mocking the physical disability of a New York Times reporter during a campaign speech in which he flailed his arms and distorted his speech in an imitation of the journalist.
The latest uproar over Trump's behavior on the campaign trail was ignited by remarks the billionaire real-estate tycoon and former reality-TV star made during a South Carolina rally on Tuesday about the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York's World Trade Center.
Trump, front-runner for his party's nomination for the November, 2016 election, was defending his unsubstantiated assertions that thousands of Muslims were seen in New Jersey cheering the collapse of the Twin Towers. During the speech, he singled out Times investigative reporter Serge Kovaleski for a story he wrote a few days after the attacks while he was then a Washington Post correspondent.
That article reported authorities had detained "a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river." Those accounts have never been authenticated.
Kovaleski himself said in a recent CNN interview that he did "not recall anyone saying there were thousands, or even hundreds of people celebrating. That was not the case, as best I can remember."
While not referring to Kovaleski by name in his speech, Trump accused the reporter of backing down from his own story.
"Now, the poor guy - you've got to see this guy. 'Ah, I don't know what I said. I don't remember,'" Trump said at the microphone, jerking his arms in front of his body and slurring his words in a crude impression of the reporter.
Kovaleski suffers from a congenital condition called arthrogryposis, which limits mobility and muscle development in the joints.
The New York Times issued a statement on Thursday rebuking Trump, saying, "We think it's outrageous that he would ridicule the appearance of one of our reporters."
Trump fired back on social media, denying he had made fun of Kovaleski's disability or would even recognize him.
"I merely mimicked what I thought would be a flustered reporter trying to get out of a statement he made long ago," Trump wrote. "If Mr. Kovaleski is handicapped, I would not know because I do not know what he looks like. If I did know, I would definitely not say anything about his appearance."
He also accused Kovaleski of "using his disability to grandstand."
In an interview for the Times, Kovaleski said he was certain Trump remembers him from his days covering the real estate developer for the New York Daily News in the 1980s, and that the two were "on a first-name basis for years."
"The sad part about it is, it didn't in the slightest bit jar or surprise me that Donald Trump would do something this low-rent, given his track record," the Washington Post quoted him saying in a separate interview.
Last Edited: Yesterday, 9:20 am
November 26, 2015, 12:19 pmNo Complaints - Just Thankful
November 19, 2015, 2:13 amBorn In The USA
Most of the last few years' media coverage on terrorism focused on "Islamic terrorism". This is somewhat not surprising after the spectacular media coverage of September 11.
However, this coverage ignores that inside America, there has always been some home grown terroists. By home grown, I mean that they are born in America, mostly whites, of Christian background, and not 'foreign' nor 'alien' in any sense of the word. They are mainstream Americans ethnically and culturally.
Here is a sampling of some home grown terrorism:
Dr. Robert Goldstein, is a Jewish podiatrist. He plotted to bomb Islamic mosques, Islamic centers and Islamic schools with his wife.
William Krar and Judith Bruey
Army of God
Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold
Teenagers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold perpetrated one of the most horrible crimes in the last decade, the infamous Columbine High School shooting rampage.
George Metesky, also known as The Mad Bomber, planted a bomb in a theatre in 1956, and attributed that to the "Hand of God'.
Jeffrey Dahmer a serial killer and cannibal.
The FBI has a secret report highlighting threats of domestic terrorismfrom right wingers, supremacists, and others. Examples include AryanNations, the National Alliance and other ticking time bombs.
Meanwhile, although the media covers the fact that domestic extremist groups such as the Army of God, the Ku Klux Klan, and many others are a threat to America, the Department of Homeland Security have listed radical animal rights and environmental groups as threats to America, but deliberately left out all the right wing pontentially dangerous and extremist groups, such as white supremacists, anti-abortion bombers and violent militiamen. Experts on extremism have warned that these groups are ticking time bombs. U.S. Representative Bennie Thompson even wrote to the Homeland Security Secretary, Michael Chertoff reminding him of such threat, on the 10th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh.
The Terrorist Next Door A book written by Daniel Levitas after research on the right wing militia movements in America. A good read for those interested in increasing their knowledge base.
November 13, 2015, 11:18 pmSay What?
November 9, 2015, 1:40 pmTo All That Served
November 4, 2015, 1:45 amCry-babies
October 26, 2015, 12:47 pmThe Best Job No One Plucking Wants, WHY?
The GOP has a new speaker, but he's stuck with the same doomed strategy
Updated by Matthew Yglesias on October 26, 2015
Even if House Republicans get a new speaker this week in Paul Ryan, they're not going to get what they really need: a new strategy.
The core problem that afflicted John Boehner during his tenure in office remains in place — a band of hard-line conservatives routinely insists that the GOP use routine but critical pieces of must-pass legislation (debt ceiling bills, government funding bills, etc.) as "leverage" to secure ideological concessions from the White House. The plan fundamentally doesn't make sense and can't work, which most Republicans know but aren't willing to say. It's a recipe for disaster, and it hasn't changed one bit. And in some ways, things may be worse than ever under Ryan, who isn't really a practitioner of the kind of crass transactional politics that Boehner used to make it work.
So while the personal drama is fascinating on its own terms, it's irrelevant in terms of the larger structure of American politics or the consequences for ordinary people. Ryan is setting himself up for a world of tumult, intra-caucus conflict, and talk radio denunciations. The country, meanwhile, can expect a continued spell of unnecessary (and economically damaging) political crises, which it's already endured for the last four and a half years.
The big GOP divide
The unexpected drama around John Boehner stepping down — Kevin McCarthy's exit from the race, the effort to recruit Ryan to jump in, Ryan's conditions, and their quasi-acceptance — distracts from the real issue. Boehner dropped the gavel over a fundamental disagreement over strategy. The push to use must-pass bills as leverage has divided the caucus into three rough camps, and bridging the gap between them came to be too exhausting for Boehner.
Enterprising members of Congress have long tried to use must-pass bills to smuggle the occasional idiosyncratic priority or interest group giveaway into law. But what's dividing Republicans is the notion that they ought to try to use must-pass legislation to pass big partisan and ideological priorities — whether that's something grand like comprehensive entitlement reform, something petty like defunding of Planned Parenthood, or something in between like rolling back Obamacare.
There are basically three schools of thought on this:
- The Pragmatists agree with the vast majority of non-Republicans that this strategy doesn't make sense. Reasonable people do not expect Barack Obama to compromise his core values in order to maintain the basic functions of government, so Republican demands that he do so merely bring the GOP into disrepute. What Republicans ought to do is pocket the gains they have already made and try to win the 2016 election.
- The Fire-Eaters see the Obama presidency as in some important sense illegitimate, and Congress as a crucial check on his unwarranted use of power. On this view, to approve an increase in the debt ceiling without fundamentally altering America's fiscal trajectory is to become complicit in that trajectory. To pass an appropriations bill that fails to defund Planned Parenthood is to be complicit in Planned Parenthood's activities.
- The Timids compose the center of gravity in the Republican Congress. They think the Pragmatists are right, but they don't want to say they think the Pragmatists are right. They would like the Fire-Eaters to go away, but they don't want to denounce them publicly. They are essentially paralyzed by twin fears. On the one hand they worry that if the Fire-Eaters get their way, the result will be a disaster for America that gets blamed on the GOP. On the other hand, they worry that if they break with the Fire-Eaters, talk radio hosts will denounce them and they'll be vulnerable to a defeat in a primary campaign.
Ryan's demands evaded the core issue
Much of the coverage of Paul Ryan's demands before agreeing to serve as speaker focused on his personal desire for family time and relief from the speaker's traditional fundraising obligations. The rest focused on two demands related to congressional procedure — he wanted the backing of all the GOP's subcaucuses, and he wanted to curb the use of a procedural motion (the motion to vacate the chair) that backbench right-wingers used to harass Boehner. It seems that Ryan did not fully get his way on the procedural motion issue.
But to even frame it this way was an evasion of the central conflict inside his caucus. Boehner's problem wasn't that he was beset by a particular procedural motion. His problem was that several dozen members of his caucus fundamentally disagreed with him about strategy, and dozens more wouldn't publicly admit that they didn't disagree with him. Ryan has not solved this problem.
Indeed, he's exacerbated it by focusing the conversation on the motion to vacate the chair rather than on the underlying conflict about strategy. Rather than get the Timids to come out of the closet as Pragmatists, he indulged their desire to signal pragmatism to insiders without admitting it to the public.
Ryan is facing an inevitable cycle of betrayal
The good news for Ryan is that he starts the relationship with a clean slate. He is well-liked by the right wing of the conference in a way that Boehner wasn't. The bad news for Ryan is that he's set himself to develop a toxic relationship with conservative media figures and the Fire-Eaters.
Like Boehner before him, he's set himself up to be a patsy for the Timids' own dysfunctional timidity. Here's how things are going to go:
- During a caucus discussion of a must-pass vote, the Fire-Eaters will propose doing something crazy.
- The Timids will complain about it off the record to Politico reporters, but publicly line up behind the demand.
- Ryan, acceding to the stated wishes of his conference, will line up behind the demand even though neither he nor anyone else thinks it makes any sense.
- Obama will refuse to cave.
- After a bunch of posturing, the Timids will signal privately to Ryan that they wouldn't mind seeing a clean version of the must-pass bill brought to the floor.
- Ryan will bring a clean version of the must-pass bill to the floor, where a coalition of Democrats and Pragmatists will pass it over the real objections of the Fire-Eaters and the fake objections of the Timids.
Conservatives will go crazy over why their leaders have betrayed them again. This is how Boehner did things, and for all his hemming and hawing, Ryan hasn't actually done anything to change the dynamics that pushed Boehner in this direction.
Why things could be even worse for RyanJohn Boehner, looking bemused. Saying to himself with a smirk, Ryan you don't have a Plucking clue about what these wolves and back-biters are going to do to you.
One saving grace of Ryan's approach is that before his ascension to the speakership, Boehner's "brand" in Washington was of being a low-key, lobbyist-friendly transactional politician. The bizarre parliamentary two-step he found himself inevitably employing to ease the tensions inside his caucus ultimately served to prove that he was a very skilled transactional politician, and he leaves the job with a better reputation than he started with.
By contrast, there are already two polarized narratives about Ryan. To his admirers in the press, Ryan is a courageous visionary leader who's not afraid to tackle the big questions head on. To his detractors, he's simply a fraud.
The Boehner Way of Legislating is essentially fraudulent, but since Boehner never tried to get anyone to believe he was visionary it did his reputation no harm. But Ryan is supposed to be a Big Ideas guy. Sinking down to the level of doing the dirty work of covering for the Timids' timidity will rapidly burn years of time spent burnishing his credibility, while reluctance to do national fundraising will reduce members' loyalty to his leadership.
Last Edited: October 26, 2015, 12:53 pm
October 24, 2015, 3:21 amA Lack of Common Sense
Racist ‘Star Wars’ Fans Upset About Leading Black Character — 5 Reasons Why That’s Silly!
Nationwide — If you haven’t heard by now, there are some racist “Star Wars” fans that are trying to organize an online boycott of the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII film due in theaters this coming December. They are apparently upset about the fact that one of the lead characters, Finn, is played by 23-year old actor John Boyega, who is African American.
It may not be that many of these racist fans, but its enough of them where it is being noticed by national media and it is definitely buzzing on all the social media hotspots.
But here are five reasons why it really doesn’t make any sense:
#1 – George Lucas, the creator of the Star Wars franchise, is married to Melanie Hobson – a Black woman.
#2 – In the 1970’s, when the Star Wars films were first released, the character of Darth Vader was voiced by James Earl Jones, an African American actor.
#3 – Actor Billy Dee Williams starred in at least two of the Star Wars films, and was credited for attracting a larger amount of African American fans to the franchise (especially women).
#4 – Master Yoda, himself, once told Luke Skywalker in one of the films: “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
#5 – Although actor John Boyega is a leading character in the film, he’s still one of very few African Americans in the film. But others do include actors Dante Briggins and Phoenix James, who both play storm troopers. And also, actress Crystal Clark, whose character is currently unknown. (So, if you’re more interested in seeing the white characters in the film, you won’t be disappointed!)
So if you have a problem with Black people being a part of the Star Wars franchise, you should have never become a fan in the first place because they’ve been there all along!
Last Edited: October 24, 2015, 3:25 am
October 18, 2015, 2:46 amDonald gets booed at Madison Square Garden by boxing fans
Donald Trump attends Golovkin-Lemieux fight and almost gets booed out of Madison Square Garden
By iamhectordiaz on Oct 17, 2015
Donald Trump is inescapable. If you're not keeping up with the Republican race, chances are you probably saw Trump piñatas at the USMNT-Mexico game. Maybe reality shows, politics, and soccer aren't your thing. Trump has you covered if you're into boxing, too.
On Saturday, Donald Trump visited boxer Gennady Golovkin's locker room before the middleweight's big fight against David Lemieux. The encounter was light and very amicable, but boxing fans at Madison Square Garden didn't reciprocate the good vibes.
In fact, they booed Trump relentlessly as video of the locker room was shown on the big screen. Trump was probably confused as to why boxing fans would attend a Triple G fight only to boo him.
Last Edited: October 18, 2015, 2:47 am
October 15, 2015, 7:15 pmA Nasty Old Man
Dennis Hastert: a look back at the former House Speaker's career
An attorney for Dennis Hastert has told a federal judge that the former House speaker intends to plead guilty in a federal hush-money case.
John Gallo said during a brief hearing Thursday that he expects to have a written plea agreement by Monday. And he asked the judge to set a date for a change of plea. The judge scheduled an Oct. 28 hearing.
Gallo did not mention any of the terms, including what counts Hastert would plead guilty to.
A plea deal would avert a trial and help keep any potentially embarrassing secrets quiet.
The 73-year-old Illinois Republican is charged with breaking banking laws and lying to the FBI in efforts to pay someone $3.5 million to hide claims of past misconduct. (AP)
Last Edited: October 15, 2015, 8:32 pm
October 13, 2015, 12:30 amThe Trump Piper
October 8, 2015, 2:58 amClear Sign Trump Wants 'Out': Put Up or Shut Up
Clear Sign Trump Wants 'Out': Put Up or Shut Up
Anyone in that position who had unlimited financial resources and who truly wanted to win the nomination would have already unleashed wall-to-wall ads in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, and would be assembling a massive ground-game in those states.
Why? Because if Trump won those primaries convincingly, it would be all over but the shouting.
Such a candidate would also be fielding ads and building organization in the compressed March 1-15th states where delegates will be handed out proportionally to build an uncatchable lead.
No one else can do this because they are donor-dependent and the donors want to see evidence of feasibility in early states to hedge their bets.
But, the Donald's only donor is himself. And, it does not seem that himself is taking the Donald's candidacy seriously enough to invest.
Two hundred million deployed now could wrap it all up for him.
Think of it. The obligatory fluff piece introducing a "Donald no one knows" would be airing in those states. In Iowa it would show him castrating hogs, patting cows and pitching hay (on his golf courses?), and dutifully attending church with his (current) family in tow. In New Hampshire, where Pat Buchanan scored well against George H.W. Bush, he would show his populist roots. In Nevada he would be talking about how much he loved the Hispanics and in South Carolina he would go back to church and complain about the political correctness forcing the confederate flag off the state capitol, and so forth.
He would also unleash his "bash-o-rama." Some ads would show him in triumphant moments at the debates, others with large crowds in Texas. He would also dump on his rivals as being part of the problem or not up to the job or lacking energy or being a failed CEO.
He could, perhaps rightly, proclaim a growing flock of followers, and demonstrate how much he cares for all of us by showing how much of his own money he is spending.
The bash-o-rama would not be Trump if he did not dump on immigrants while proclaiming his love for them.
And, of course, the polls. He could, perhaps paradoxically, use the ad buys to show that he surged to the top without spending a dime, showing poll after poll after poll. He could also repeat constantly that he takes no money from anyone, that he, unlike all his opponents, is his own man. He need not whisper a single syllable in support of campaign finance reform because he is free from any influence.
As his expenditures demonstrated his commitment to the race, all the best field operatives would take jobs with him. Indeed, he could tout their skills as proof that he attracts only the best, so he would get a double-whammy out of it.
The other candidacies would, as Newt Gingrich wished for medicare and social security respectively, wither on the vine and twist slowly in the breeze. If Trump deployed $200M, how many big donors would support the others?
But, Trump is not doing any of this. Nor will he. He either does not have the money he proclaims or he is too cheap to spend it, or both.
Reporters should ask Trump three questions: i) why, having sat atop the heap now for months, is he not overwhelming the others with cash expenditures to win it all, and quickly? ii) recount all the times he has alluded to "people saying things" and ask him to name the people who have actually said it; and iii) show him a copy of Ted Cruz's birth-certificate and ask if Ted Cruz is disqualified from serving as president.
This publication never has taken the Trump candidacy seriously. Neither have I.
Nor should anyone.
A true winner, as Trump claims himself to be in life, would go all-in. Now. Immediately.
But, Trump is not a true winner. He is an insecure, whining showman. A wimp.
Time for Trump to put-up-or-shut-up.
September 30, 2015, 11:46 amHere's How Trump's Tax Plan Would Affect You
Here’s How Trump’s Tax Plan Would Affect You
Donald Trump’s tax plan was revealed with a message for millions of Americans: “You win!”
But like everything linked to taxes, not everyone would win equally under his plan, which the Republican presidential candidate says is geared toward providing tax relief for the middle class and giving the U.S. economy a boost by lowering business income taxes.
To be sure, there’s a long road ahead before the general election in November 2016, but Trump’s proposal raises evergreen questions about the country’s tax system, such as why it’s so complicated and whether struggling middle-class families should get more of a break. Trump’s plan is geared to appeal to his supporters, one-third of whom earn less than $50,000 a year -- the group that the candidate claims would benefit the most from his plan.
Yet the biggest winners under Trump’s plan would be, well, people just like Trump: America’s richest citizens. That’s because he’s proposing a big reduction in income taxes for married couples earning at least $300,000, as well as a plan to eliminate the estate tax, which only kicks in at about $10 million per couple, said Edward Zelinsky, a law professor at the Cardozo School of Law, who specializes in tax issues.
“The truth is most lower income folks don’t pay tax in our system today anyway,” Zelinsky said, who added that Trump is claiming to remove people from the tax rolls who already don’t pay much, if anything, in federal tax. “Thanks to the earned income tax credit and standard exemptions, roughly half of Americans don’t pay significant income taxes.”
Trump’s plan is “really good for high income tax payers,” he added.
One caveat: Trump’s four-page proposal is short on details. As a result, some issues are unclear, such as his assertion that many deductions would be eliminated, although his plan maintains deductions for charitable giving and mortgage interest, which are two of Americans’ most popular deductions.
“This is a surprisingly vague proposal,” Zelinsky added.
Here’s how different groups would fare under his proposal:
The 1 percent. The top 1 percent of taxpayers -- the Trumps of America -- would see the biggest benefits. With an average income of $1.79 million, the top 1 percent of income earners would see their tax bill plunge by $184,268, according to Citizens for Tax Justice. They would take home one-third of the tax cut proposed by Trump, excluding the estate tax elimination.
Households in the next 4 percent. With average incomes of $323,000, these earners would see their tax bill shaved by $18,158, accounting for about 13 percent of Trump’s tax cut, according to Citizens for Tax Justice.
Upper middle income groups. Americans with average earnings of $148,100 (the 80 to 95 percent) would see savings of $7,500, or 21 percent of Trump's tax cut. Earners making an average of $84,800 (the 60 to 80 percent) would pay $4,943 less in taxes, or 18 percent of the tax cut.
The middle class and the poor. Do these groups really see a benefit, as Trump claims? Well, not so much. These groups would see a small tax benefit that pales in comparison to those that would be enjoyed by the wealthy. The middle 20 percent of American earners would see their taxes decline by $2,571, while the poorest residents would only pay $250 less in taxes – accounting for just 4 percent and 1 percent of Trump’s tax cut respectively, the CTJ noted.
Freelancers: Trump is proposing to lower the corporate tax rate to 15 percent for all businesses, including mom-and-pop stores and independent contractors. Because large corporations already use complex tax strategies to lower their tax bills, small businesses and freelancers might see the biggest benefit. The downside, said Zelinsky, is that Trump’s plan incentivizes employees to strike out on their own as independent contractors. A worker earning more than $150,000 as an employee would be taxed at 25 percent, but that would be lowered to 15 percent if she went out on her own. “I’m struck by the fact that this is very unfair,” Zelinsky added.
Last Edited: September 30, 2015, 11:48 am
September 26, 2015, 1:02 amWait a minute, let me introduce myself...my name is...
Last Edited: September 26, 2015, 1:07 am
September 25, 2015, 1:16 amI don't believe in Political Correctness because I'm PLUCKING CRAZY
Last Edited: September 25, 2015, 1:22 am