Op-ed: When Donald Trump called Hillary Clinton the devil and threatened to jail her it was not the first time I had heard such talk, though not in recent years and in America.
It reminded me of political contests in the Third World, and often the incumbent made good threats to jail opponents.
Sometimes they were never seen again.
This was over the top even for a potty mouth. We don’t threaten opponents on debate stages.
"If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your (missing email) situation," Trump said, "because there has never been so many lies, so much deception."
Trump's threat -- which he has made before on the campaign trail -- is extraordinary even by the standard of the vitriolic 2016 campaign.
Clinton responded first by calling Trump's comments about her emails false, then said, "It's just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country."
Trump, as if continuing her sentence, added: "Because you'd be in jail."
It was very Nixonian, said former Attorney General Eric Holder, a Democrat. He recalled Nixon’s attorney general quit when ordered to fire the Watergate special prosecutor.
But Republicans were shocked as well.
“Former White House said, "Winning candidates don't threaten to put opponents in jail," he tweeted. "Presidents don't threaten prosecution of individuals. Trump is wrong on this."
There was a certain irony as Trump stalked Hillary on the stage, to use the verb chosen by several pundits, to talk about jailing her.
He is the one facing trial three weeks after the election for running a phoney university. And he will face trial in more than one state for ripping off students. Trump’s Foundation has been ordered to cease and desist taking donations because it is not registered.
In our living room, and many others from what I heard on several stations, people wondered why the taller Trump kept creeping up behind Clinton when it was her turn to speak. It seemed like something from a Frankenstein movie.
In the past such bizarre behavior has worked for Trump. Appparently not Sunday night.
Nearly as scary as the jail threat was his total lack of knowledge of Russia’s role in Syria. It reminded some viewers of Libertarian Gary Johnson’s comment “What is Aleppo.”
The two polls taken right after the event showed Hillary the winner.
Before the debate many Republicans had abandoned him, others said they would look for a strong performance to get him back in the race as his poll numbers tumble.
Op-ed: As is often the case, answers about Donald Trump’s conduct raise more questions than they answer.
Virtually everyone knows Trump didn’t pay any taxes for 18 years because of nearly $1 billion investment losses. Some think this is genius. Some think he is robbing the country by not paying his share.
But did he even suffer these losses?
An accountant, Allan Sloan, who wrote a column for the Washington Post is accusing Trump of exaggerating his loses.
Sloan wrote the claim loss “vastly exceeds any cash losses that Trump would have suffered in the collapse of his casino-hotel-airline empire, which fell apart in the early 1990s and resulted in four bankruptcies.”
He wrote these losses were not real money, but paper, a mirage. There have been many reports in creditable news companies that Trump did not pay many of his bills. He has even admitted it, saying the people involved didn’t do a good job. It is hard to imagine how the vendor that sold him $100,000 in pianos did a bad job.
“They’re almost certainly paper losses rather than out-of-pocket losses. It’s possible that those losses somehow vanished into the ether from which they came — we have no way to tell,” Sloan wrote.
In other words, he avoided taxes claiming he had lost money he never spent.
Sloan wrote: “The major takeaway from the three pages of Trump’s 1995 returns that the Times made public is that Trump is right when he says the system is rigged. What he doesn’t say is that it’s rigged in his favor and in the favor of people like him — and against regular people, those of us who earn money, pay income tax on it, and financially support the country in which we live.”
“There’s a real question … as to whether these losses are economic -- through spectacular failures of Mr. Trump’s business, tax avoidance, perhaps lawful, or maybe something much worse,” said Steven Rosenthal, senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center.
“It’s possible some of the money Trump lost wasn’t even his."
“If he borrowed from a bank, it’s their money that disappeared… It’s almost inconceivable that he’s actually out of pocket $900 million dollars,” Howard Abrams, a professor at the University of San Diego Law School. “In essence, he’s deducting their losses.”
Many analysts said Trump broke his obligations to investors by using the tax laws to benefit himself personally at their expense.
A week of attacks on women, the tax reports, close ties with the Russian government, illegal visits to Cuba and other events have stopped his surge in the polls and Hillary Clinton is moving up.
Monday morning the state of New York suspended the certification of Trump’s foundation, which means it cannot collect donations, according to MSNBC. Meanwhile, the media has spent months focusing on the Clinton Foundation without finding a single misstep.
Trump already is facing trials on alleged fraud at Trump University.
Op-ed: The U.S. could be in a quagmire that makes Brexit look like a puddle if Donald Trump is elected.
What would it do to Wall Street, Congress and the people in general if Trump was wearing orange.
It has happened before.
Though so far only a president, the late Richard Nixon, was ousted, his vice President Spiro T. Agnew was also ousted.
And Agnew made it through their first four years, but not their second term.
He had committed extortion, tax fraud, bribery and conspiracy while serving as governor of Maryland and in other government jobs in the state. It was only a measly $100,000, peanuts by today’s standards.
Nixon didn’t pardon him, being under investigation himself for the much more serious Watergate. Some scholars believe Trump could pardon himself if convicted in the Florida Gate or other scandals, and name Mike Pence President. Congress would select a new vice president.
Imagine the fiasco, because in Agnew’s case nothing was known of his crimes when he was elected and served five years.
Trump is already under investigation, and set to go on trial for the fraud at Trump University. And news sites have listed dozens of other potential scandals he could be held responsible for.
In Floridagate he is accused of bribing Florida Atty. Gen. Pam Bondi $25,000 to drop the Trump University case.
It will go to trialin other states around Election Day.
Mere statements of fact cannot even come close to all Trump got away with.
A quotation from H.L. Mencken, about someone else, put it this way:
"No man ever came to market with less seductive goods, and no man ever got a better price for what he had to offer." The true American Hustle – turn all attention former First Lady’s problems with emails.
Can Americans really not care? Even after reading this list of ripoffs.
The Many Scandals of Donald Trump: A Cheat Sheet
The Republican nominee’s charitable foundation made a large gift to a Florida politician right before she dropped a damaging investigation. But what else has the foundation done?
“As the old saying goes, those who give to glass foundations shouldn’t throw stones. Or something like that. In any case, after hitting Hillary Clinton hard over the Clinton Foundation, Donald Trump is under fresh scrutiny for his own foundation.
Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold has been reporting for months on the dearth of actual giving that Trump has done, despite repeated vows to donate to charity over the decades, but the story that’s broken through concerns a donation that Trump made to “Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, a Republican, in 2013.
At the time, Bondi’s office was deciding whether or not to pursue a fraud case against Trump University and the Trump Institute. According to an aide, Bondi personally spoke with Trump, soliciting a donation to And Justice for All, a group backing her reelection. The Trump Foundation cut And Justice for All a $25,000 check, and four days later Bondi dropped the investigation.
“There are two questions at play here. One is the appearance of a quid-pro-quo. While Trump and Bondi say there was none, this is also precisely the mode Trump has described in the past. “As a businessman and a very substantial donor to very important people, when you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do,” Trump told The Wall Street Journal in July 2015. “As a businessman, I need that.”
He reprised those boasts early in the GOP primary, positioning himself as the only candidate honest enough to say how the game was played—and the only one rich enough to be exempt from it. Now, however, he’s singing a different tune.
“Improper influence or not, the donation was illegal. The Trump Foundation, as a nonprofit, cannot give to political causes. Making things more complicated, the Trump Foundation recorded the incorrect recipient as the gift. “Eventually, it had to pay a $2,500 penalty to the IRS. Even then, it has not recouped the money, as is required.
“That’s not the end of the story. The liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has filed a complaint with the IRS, accusing the Trump Foundation of violating another rule by using charity to benefit a group’s leader. Meanwhile, The Huffington Post reports that Trump’s help for Bondi didn’t stop with that $25,000 donation. His family gave more to her, and he also hosted a fundraiser at his tony Mar-A-Lago in Florida—charging less than market rate, and less than he charged his own campaign to host events there. …
“The breadth of Trump’s controversies is truly huge, ranging from allegations of mafia ties to unscrupulous business dealings, and from racial discrimination to alleged marital rape. The stretch over more than four decades, from the mid-1970s to the present day. To catalogue the full sweep of allegations would require thousands of words and lump together the trivial with the truly scandalous. Including business deals that have simply failed, without any hint of impropriety, would require thousands more. This is a snapshot of some of the most interesting and largest of those scandals.
The Beauty Pageant Scandals
“Where and when: Various, 1992-present
The dirt: The Boston Globe’s Matt Viser reports on the mess of the American Dream pageant in 1992. After years of attending beauty pageants—Trump seems to have always enjoyed the company of beautiful, scantily clad women—he decided he wanted to get in on the business himself, meeting with George Houraney and Jill Harth, a couple that ran the American Dream pageant.
It was an ill-fated effort. Harth and Houraney alleged that Trump started making passes at her almost immediately. On one occasion, Trump allegedly asked them to bring some models to a party. Harth alleges Trump groped her at the party. In a limo afterwards, another model said she heard him say that “all women are bimbos” and most “gold diggers.” Trump reportedly joined another model in bed, uninvited, late at night. On other occasions, he forced Harth into bedrooms and made passes at her, she said. But after the contest, Trump broke off dealings. Harth sued Trump, alleging sexual misbehavior, while the couple together sued him for breach of contract. In the suit, they also alleged that Trump had kept black women out of the pageant.
“The upshot: The couple settled with Trump for an unannounced sum, and Harth dropped her suit. Trump has denied all the allegations. “But it wasn’t Trump’s last turn in the pageant business. A few years later, he bought the Miss Universe pageant, which also includes Miss USA and Miss Teen USA. “Honestly, when I bought [Miss Universe], the bathing suits got smaller and the heels got higher and the ratings went up,” he boasted to Vanity Fair later. In 2012, he won a $5 million suit against a former contestant who claimed the contest was rigged. By 2015, he operated Miss Universe as a joint venture with NBC, but after he slurred Mexican immigrants at his campaign launch, Univision and NBC both announced they would not air the pageant. Trump bought out NBC’s share, then promptly sold the company. He sued Univision but settled in February. The terms were undisclosed.
Racial Housing Discrimination
“Where and when: New York City, 1973-1975
The dirt: The Department of Justice sued Trump and his father Fred in 1973 for housing discrimination at 39 sites around New York. “The government contended that Trump Management had refused to rent or negotiate rentals ‘because of race and color,’” The New York Times reported. “It also charged that the company had required different rental terms and conditions because of race and that it had misrepresented to blacks that apartments were not available.” Trump called the accusations “absolutely ridiculous.”
“The upshot: The Trumps hired attorney Roy Cohn, who had worked for Joe McCarthy and whom Michael Kinsley once indelibly labeled “innocent of a variety of federal crimes.” They sued the Justice Department for $100 million. In the end, however, the Trumps settled with the government, promising not to discriminate and submitting to regular review by the New York Urban League—though crucially not admitting guilt. The Times has much more on the long history of allegations at Trump-owned properties.
Where and when: New York and Atlantic City, 1970s- ?
“The dirt: Trump has been linked to the mafia many times over the years, with varying degrees of closeness. Many of the connections seem to be the sorts of interactions with mobsters that were inevitable for a guy in the construction and casino businesses at the time. For example, organized crime controlled the 1980s New York City concrete business, so that anyone building in the city likely brushed up against it. While Trump has portrayed himself as an unwitting participant, not everyone agrees. There have been a string of other allegations, too, many reported by investigative journalist Wayne Barrett. Cohn, Trump’s lawyer, also represented the Genovese crime family boss Tony Salerno. Barrett also reported a series of transactions involving organized crime, and alleged that Trump paid twice market rate to a mob figure for the land under Trump Plaza in Atlantic City. Michael Isikoff has also reported that Trump was close to Robert LiButti, an associate of John Gotti, inviting him on his yacht and helicopter. In one case, Trump’s company bought LiButti nine luxury cars.
“The upshot: Though Trump has been questioned in court or under oath about the ties, he’s never been convicted of anything. A New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement report after Barrett’s 1992 book on Trump generally found no mafia-related wrong-doing on Trump’s part. Trump Plaza was fined $200,000 for keeping black employees away from LiButti’s table, at his behest, and for the gift of the cars, though Trump personally was not penalized.
Op-ed: Before we try to figure out where our presidential race stands the question should be asked.
Should be looking at polls or TV ratings?
“The Democratic National Convention continues to be a bigger draw than its Republican counterpart, as nearly four-and-a-half-million more viewers have tuned in for primetime coverage of this week's dog and pony show,” said Ad Age.
“Midway through the four-night event, the DNC is also besting the GOP confab in terms of the number of demographically desirable viewers it is reaching. Thus far, the DNC is averaging 7.9 million adults 25 to 54 years old per night, which translates to a 6.7 rating and represents a 39% lift versus the RNC's 5.68 million/4.8 rating.”
The most stunning development this morning was that the Republican-leaning polling agency for the first time had Hillary Clinton leading.
538 pollster Nate Silver has said: “Rasmussen polls were the least accurate of the major pollsters in 2010, having an average error of 5.8 points and a pro-Republican bias of 3.9 points…”
And Trump was still living down his associations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, even urging Putin on national television to steal more U.S. documents.
These statements were being made as Putin’s jets were buzzing NATO and U.S. warships, and attacking Ukraine. He is accused of shooting down a Malaysian airliner with 298 people. British police accuse his government of killing a former agent with a special radiation syringe.
Why won’t he release his taxes?
Every president since Richard Nixon has, and Nixon was being audited and ultimatey forced out of office.
Trump’s manager has close ties with the crook-dictator Ukraine kicked out who is now living in Russia. People are demanding to see Paul Manafort’s returns.
President Obama, in a speech some pundits say was perhaps his finest ever, said of Putin: “We don’t look to be ruled.”
"I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States of America,” said Obama.
It’s no longer a joke that Trump is “The Manchurian Candidate.”
Both versions of the movie end with a drunken politician being used to take control of the U.S. for Russian being shot as he tries to assassinate the mostly likely presidential candidate.
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has been a democrat, a republican and independent, and who pundits say is worth 100 times more money than Trump, said:
“Throughout his career, Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits, angry shareholders and contractors who feel cheated, and disillusioned customers who feel ripped off. Trump says he wants to run the nation like he's run his business. God help us.
“I'm a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one! Trump says he'll punish manufacturers that move to Mexico or China, but the clothes he sells are made overseas in low-wage factories. He says he wants to put Americans back to work, but he games the U.S. visa system so he can hire temporary foreign workers at low wages. He says he wants to deport 11 million undocumented people, but he seems to have no problem in hiring them.
Truth be told, the richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy.”
Latest MS804 speculation involves a meteorite.
There is a new theory on why Egyptair crashed, and Donald Trump was in such a hurry he missed it.
Numerous media outlets around the world have reported that a meteor fell apart and bits of it may have hit Egyptair. "Russian military advisers warned aircraft it was coming.”
“A TERRIFYING new theory tragic Egypt Air flight MS804 was hit by fragments of a disintegrating meteor has been put forward,” the Daily Express and others report.
“A massive space rock weighing up to 10,000 tonnes, and travelling at a startling 67,000 mph broke up in the Earth's atmosphere on Tuesday and fragments of it were still falling to Earth at around the time air traffic controllers lost contact with the doomed Paris to Cairo plane carrying 66 people last Thursday,” the Express said.
A Russian unofficial publication said: “An intriguing Ministry of Defense (MoD) report circulating in the Kremlin today is strongly suggesting that the 19 May crash of EgyptAir Flight 804 over the Mediterranean Sea was due to its being struck by a debris fragment from a large meteorite that first encountered our Earth’s atmosphere on 17 May over North America, broke into numerous parts with one large piece falling on South American on 18 May, and left a debris field so large the Aerospace Defence Forces (ADF) issued a warning to all S-400 missile commands operating in Syria to be on the alert for “false positive readings”. [Note: Some words appearing in quotes are English language approximations of Russian words/phrases having no exact counterpart.]”
What Does It Mean
Some reports say data detectors were alerted to smoke and the pilot radioed that he was trying to fight a fire.
There is no way of knowing, at least not now, whether a fragment of the meteorite could have caused the crash.
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2016 US election news and other news from the USA
Worked in journalism, including on the Internet, for more than 40 years. Started as a news editor at the Colorado Daily at the University of Colorado, joined a small Montana newspaper, the Helena Independent-Record, and then United Press International.
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