Patterico's Pontifications


Would It Even Make A Difference To His Supporters If Trump’s Immigration Policy Was Just The Candidate Paying Lip Service To Get Elected?

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:27 pm

[guest post by Dana]

I’m not convinced it would.

I heard Ted Cruz interviewed today and he referred to a story about Donald Trump having met with the NYT editorial board last month. The meeting apparently involved a portion of an interview that is off the record where Trump suggested that he doesn’t really believe in his immigration policy and the deportation of 11 million illegal immigrants, but is instead playing politics and saying what he needs to say in order to get elected.

“I will say there was a very disturbing story that broke today. That apparently there is a secret tape that The New York Times editorial board has of Donald Trump saying that he doesn’t believe what he’s saying on immigration,” Cruz said. “That all of his promises to secure the border are not real and if he’s president he doesn’t intend to do what he says.”

As a result, Cruz, and now Marco Rubio, are both asking Trump to give his permission for the NYT to release the tape. As it is off-the-record, the NYT would need his approval to release it.

“I call on Donald, ask The New York Times to release the tape. And do so today before the Super Tuesday primary,” Cruz told reporters. “There are one of two instances. It is either false. If Donald didn’t say that to The New York Times he deserves to have this cleared up. And releasing the tape can clear it up. The alternative is that it is true,” Cruz added. “He recently said he loves the poorly educated. Well, I hope it’s not the case that Donald Trump is telling The New York Times editorial board that he is deliberately misleading the voters and he has no intention of doing anything he’s saying right now.”

“The voters deserve to know if he says something different when he’s talking to The New York Times than he does when he’s talking to the voters and we deserve to know before Super Tuesday,” the Texas senator continued.

This weekend, NYT columnist Gail Collins offered this speculation about Trump:

The most optimistic analysis of Trump as a presidential candidate is that he just doesn’t believe in positions, except the ones you adopt for strategic purposes when you’re making a deal. So you obviously can’t explain how you’re going to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants, because it’s going to be the first bid in some future monster negotiation session.

Coincidentally, Collins happened to be present at the January 5 meeting with Trump and the editorial board.

And according to BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith:

Sources familiar with the recording and transcript — which have reached near-mythical status at the Times — tell me that the second sentence is a bit more than speculation. It reflects, instead, something Trump said about the flexibility of his hardline anti-immigration stance.

Question: Would it even matter to Trump supporters if any of this were true? I’m inclined to think it wouldn’t. Not really. Why would this matter when so many other negative revelations about Trump haven’t caused him to lose any support? But, given that his hard-line immigration stance is the lifeblood of his campaign, without it, what does he really have?

Trump supporters have been unshakable and loyal to a fault, a really big fault, and if this story is true yet doesn’t make them scurry to another candidate, nothing will. Am I right??



Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:28 am

So, have we heard the last of:

  • Trump University?
  • Trump hiring foreign workers to do the jobs Americans would do, but can’t because he won’t hire them?
  • Hiring illegal Polish workers?

I guess so. Trump creates a racial controversy over David Duke — which, to his fans, plays out as Little Guy vs. Media — and everyone immediately forgets the stories that showed his contempt for the little guy.

And the media plays right into it. They have the burglar’s neck in their jaws, and let him go to chase a car driving by. If they caught the car, they wouldn’t know what to do with it.

Someone tell Lincoln that you can’t fool all of the people all of the time, but apparently you can fool enough of them for a con artist to get control of his party.

Republican Senator Announces He Will Not Support Trump – Even If He Is The Nominee

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:30 am

[guest post by Dana]

Republican senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who said back in January, ““I am not endorsing anybody in race and being pro-constitution just makes me anti Trump,” stuck to his guns when he announced this weekend in an open letter to his supporters that he would not be supporting Trump, even if he were the nominee:

The Trump coalition is broad and complicated, but I believe many Trump fans are well-meaning. I have spoken at length with many of you, both inside and outside Nebraska. You are rightly worried about our national direction. You ache about a crony-capitalist leadership class that is not urgent about tackling our crises. You are right to be angry.

I’m as frustrated and saddened as you are about what’s happening to our country. But I cannot support Donald Trump.

Please understand: I’m not an establishment Republican, and I will never support Hillary Clinton. I’m a movement conservative who was elected over the objections of the GOP establishment. My current answer for who I would support in a hypothetical matchup between Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton is: Neither of them. I sincerely hope we select one of the other GOP candidates, but if Donald Trump ends up as the GOP nominee, conservatives will need to find a third option.

Sasse then goes on to explain that he cannot support a candidate who lacks a fundamental understanding of how government works, as well as the dangers of Trump’s apparent belief that he is running to become the king rather than a public servant of the people.

He also suggests a Trump presidency could put the First Amendment at risk:

So let me ask you: Do you believe the beating heart of Mr. Trump’s candidacy has been a defense of the Constitution? Do you believe it’s been an impassioned defense of the First Amendment – or an attack on it?

Which of the following quotes give you great comfort that he’s in love with the First Amendment, that he is committed to defending the Constitution, that he believes in executive restraint, that he understands servant leadership?

Statements from Trump:

***“We’re going to open up libel laws and we’re going to have people sue you like you’ve never got sued before.”

***“When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. They were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak…”

***Putin, who has killed journalists and is pillaging Ukraine, is a great leader.

***The editor of National Review “should not be allowed on TV and the FCC should fine him.”

***On whether he will use executive orders to end-run Congress, as President Obama has illegally done: “I won’t refuse it. I’m going to do a lot of things.” “I mean, he’s led the way, to be honest with you.”

***“Sixty-eight percent would not leave under any circumstance. I think that means murder. It think it means anything.”

***On the internet: “I would certainly be open to closing areas” of it.

***His lawyers to people selling anti-Trump t-shirts: “Mr. Trump considers this to be a very serious matter and has authorized our legal team to take all necessary and appropriate actions to bring an immediate halt…”

***Similar threatening legal letters to competing campaigns running ads about his record.

And I’ll just throw in this portion:

Given what we know about him today, here’s where I’m at: If Donald Trump becomes the Republican nominee, my expectation is that I will look for some third candidate – a conservative option, a Constitutionalist.

I do not claim to speak for a movement, but I suspect I am far from alone. After listening to Nebraskans in recent weeks, and talking to a great many people who take oaths seriously, I think many are in the same place. I believe a sizable share of Christians – who regard threats against religious liberty as arguably the greatest crisis of our time – are unwilling to support any candidate who does not make a full-throated defense of the First Amendment a first commitment of their candidacy.

Coming on the heels of Alabama’s Sen. Jeff Sessions surprising announcement that he would be supporting Trump, Ben Sasse’s unwavering stand for true Conservatism provides a welcome reminder that the surrender is not across the board.

Read his letter in its entirety.



Some Positivity During a Negative Time

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:38 pm

At a time like this, when the country is going insane, you have to be thankful for the things in your own life that are going right. And while it’s no fun to be a defendant in a frivolous lawsuit brought by a convicted bomber and perjurer, I’m proud to stand up for free speech, in a society where someone like Donald Trump is threatening to take that away from us. And I’m especially grateful that Ron Coleman of Archer & Greiner and the Likelihood of Confusion blog, and Bruce Godfrey of Jezic & Moyse LLC, are representing me pro bono. They continue to do yeoman’s work in a thankless task. I hope my readers continue to thank them, and continue to consider hiring them or referring friends to them.

Trump, David Duke, and Catching Vox With Their Pants Down

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:18 pm

About the last thing I want to do today is a post about Donald Trump coddling racists. It doesn’t hurt him to show his connection to racists; indeed, among his significant “alt right” contingent on Twitter, it only helps him.

But the discussion provides a good hook for a fun screenshot I caught of Vox with their pants down, so I guess I’m kind of obligated to do it.

So here’s the deal. I noticed a flap this morning about an interview Jake Tapper did with Trump in which he tried (and failed) to get Trump to disavow the support of David Duke and white supremacist groups. The video is short and worth the 1:17 it takes to watch it:

Now. The tweet there is not really accurate (surprise! it’s CNN). Trump refuses to disavow David Duke, not the KKK. In fact, when I noted this morning that Tapper didn’t quite ask the question about the KKK in isolation, Tapper responded to me by saying: “huh? Yes I did.” I pointed out:

But as it turns out, it’s still very interesting and newsworthy that Trump wouldn’t disavow Duke this morning, because he did on Friday in Fort Worth, with that despicable toady Chris Christie standing behind him. I’m placing the video on a separate page because it’s one of those annoying auto-play videos. It’s only a few seconds, and you’ll see how passionate Trump’s denunciation of Duke was (it’s basically OK, I guess I have to disavow him, so fine, I’ll disavow him, whatever, who cares?).

Which makes you wonder: what happened between Friday and this morning that made Trump decide he shouldn’t be disavowing David Duke after all?

Anyway, this gets me to the real reason for the post. Anyone else can yammer on about Trump and the KKK, but nobody else on the Internet has the screenshots of Vox publishing a piece with the editor’s comments left in. I happened to grab these screenshots this morning when Ezra Klein tweeted out the piece. They realized their mistake within seconds — but not quick enough to fool Patterico!

Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 12.28.47 PM

Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 12.29.00 PM

Hahahahaha. They went with “from” — which is right, I think, although you could also say “the support of.” I decided to tease Klein about it, because I’m the kind of jerk who enjoys that sort of thing.


Bill Clinton Accuses Former Marine Of Having A “Poisoned Mind” Because He Doesn’t Buy Hillary Clinton’s Lies About Benghazi

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:53 am

[guest post by Dana]

During a campaign rally for Hillary Clinton in South Carolina, Bill Clinton was on stage when a former Marine confronted him about Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi cover-up:

U/I MAN: …I did eight years of active duty service, two tours in Iraq. From a platoon of thirty-one, I had seven that were killed, six wounded beyond return, we got hit hard. And I know there’s a lot of military… probably people in crowd with military service members… I’m anxious to get to the VA, I’m not sure so I wanted to…


U/I MAN: Hopefully, you can get to it, but I know that we’ve had…

CLINTON: I’m not talking about the VA…

U/I MAN: But we have loved ones that we want to hear about and we care about, and I’ve met with many of these Gold Stars parents and families so I’ve…

CLINTON: Are you done with your speech?

U/I MAN: I’ve seen them mourn, and the thing is we had four lives in Benghazi that were killed and your wife tried to cover it up. Going over those lives, those four lives, those four American lives, if someone lost their son, their grandchild, their brother…

CLINTON: Are you a Marine?

U/I MAN: Let me talk. Yes, I was a Marine. I was in an infantry unit out in California, I was a Marine drill instructor out here at Parris Island…

CLINTON: Are you finished, sarge…

U/I MAN: I think that every recruit, regardless of race, religion, color, okay…

CLINTON: Okay, now can I answer?


CLINTON: Okay, now can I answer?


CLINTON: I heard your speech. I heard your speech. Now listen to me.


CLINTON: I’m not your commander-in-chief anymore but if I were I’d tell you to be more polite and sit down.


U/I MAN: I won’t take it. I will just raise my voice.


U/I MAN: I’m a citizen. But the bottom line is that (unintelligble).

CLINTON: Don’t throw him out. I you shut up and listen to my answer I’ll answer you.


CLINTON: Can I tell you something. That is what is wrong. His mind has been poisoned by lies and he won’t listen.

According to Clinton, the problem isn’t that Hillary Clinton lied to the surviving families of 4 Americans killed in Benghazi when she blamed their deaths on an internet video. No, that’s not what’s wrong. What’s really wrong is that only a poisoned mind would disbelieve and challenge the narrative that the White House and Hillary Clinton’s State Dept. have pushed since Day One. But sadly, that “poisoned mind” is unable to get the help needed to be free from such contamination because the VA under the Obama administration is in such disarray that the afflicted might actually die waiting to get the help he so desperately needs!

Red State also provides the transcript of the female protester who continued the confrontation after the former Marine was ejected. She too was thrown out of the assembly:

U/I WOMAN: Hillary lied over four coffins. Four coffins. So all the families are liars? Are they liars? I want to know, I want to know.

CLINTON: Give me a chance, lady.

U/I WOMAN: Well answer. Did she lie? Did she lie?


U/I WOMAN: She didn’t lie? The families are lying?

CLINTON: Will you listen to me?


CLINTON: Are you going to listen to my answer?

U/I WOMAN: I am.

CLINTON: Are you afraid?

U/I WOMAN: No, I’m not afraid because I know you’re going to lie.



U/I WOMAN: She lied over four coffins. Over our military men.


Just like his wife, Clinton accuses the surviving family members of of lying.

And then, oddly, the former president wants to know if the challenger is afraid. What, does he believe she can’t handle the truth? The Clinton truth??

On a side note, I read where Bill Clinton appeared surprised at being confronted about Benghazi. Surely the campaign realizes that this issue is one of Hillary’s biggest vulnerabilities given that this particular scandal, more than the others, pulls at the emotional heartstrings of an America sympathetic to four families having been shamefully lied to over the caskets holding their loved ones. If this is how the campaign handles a Benghazi confrontation at a rally, how on earth will the presumptive nominee handle a direct confrontation and challenge about it during a debate with the GOP nominee? Assuming, of course, that the GOP nominee will go at her full-throttle about Benghazi.

While Bill and Hill may believe that 11 hours of testimony equals a case closed, a lot of Americans strenuously disagree.



You Go Over There Now

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:46 pm

“Get on the plane and go home. It’s over there. Go home.”

She’s Back!

Filed under: General — JVW @ 11:26 am

[guest post by JVW]

I would almost never suggest this under any other circumstance, but you if you need mindless background noise on TV you should turn over to CNN where Hillary! Clinton is giving a campaign speech in Alabama.

And she is using her phony-baloney Southern inflection again!

And my word, it is even more obnoxious and grating than it was eight years ago. She just promised to drop interest rates for college loans and to quit letting the lenders make a profit on the loans, and she even promised to provide special funding for loans to students who attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities, apparently even those institutions which graduate less than one-third of their students, which sadly is half of the HBCUs in this country.

You probably have to tune in right now to catch her jes’ folks act, but maybe I can post a clip here later.


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: I don’t feeel no-ways tahrrd.


The Trump University Scam

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:11 pm

The article linked by Charles C.W. Cooke in the above thread has to be read to be believed. The New York Attorney General once said of Trump University: ““We started looking at Trump University and discovered that it was a classic bait-and-switch scheme. It was a scam, starting with the fact that it was not a university.” The piece quotes one lawsuit against Trump as saying:

The free seminars were the first step in a bait and switch to induce prospective students to enroll in increasingly expensive seminars starting with the three-day $1495 seminar and ultimately one of respondents’ advanced seminars such as the “Gold Elite” program costing $35,000.

At the “free” 90-minute introductory seminars to which Trump University advertisements and solicitations invited prospective students, Trump University instructors engaged in a methodical, systematic series of misrepresentations designed to convince students to sign up for the Trump University three-day seminar at a cost of $1495.

Well, but a lawsuit can allege anything, right? Except that The Atlantic got hold of the “university” playbook and wrote a piece about it in March 2014. That piece, to me, shows that the allegations of the lawsuit had merit:

The playbook makes Trump’s school seem like not so much a school of higher learning as a meticulously choreographed sales event. Perhaps not surprisingly, Trump University turns out to be more “Trump” than “University.”

The playbook, prepared for Trump University seminars in Texas in 2009, might be summed up in one word: sell. Or as the playbook puts it on page 23, “Sell, Sell, Sell!” The playbook posits a “Minimum Sales Goal” of $72,500 per seminar, meaning that the seminars leaders needed to convince at least 20 percent of attendees to sign up for three-day seminars costing $1,495.

Under the heading “Registration Goal & Procedure,” Trump U. staffers are instructed to “Welcome attendees and build a Trump-esque atmosphere,” “Disarm any uncertainty,” and “Set the hook.” The hook in this case consists of selling seminar attendees on increasingly costly additional courses, culminating in the “Trump Gold Elite” package, for a cool $34,995. Pricey, yes, but the playbook notes that the list price of the Trump Gold Elite package is $49,415, a savings to students of 29 percent. Even before Trump University students had made their first real-estate transaction, they had managed to get themselves a deal, of sorts.

. . . .

The playbook says almost nothing about the guest speaker presentations, the ostensible reason why people showed up to the seminar in the first place. Instead, the playbook focuses on the seminars’ real purpose: to browbeat attendees into purchasing expensive Trump University course packages.

Here was Trump’s sales pitch, in which he told a credulous-looking boob that the instructors would be “hand-picked” by him:

National Review:

But according to the New York complaint, none of the instructors was “handpicked” by Trump, many of them came from fields having nothing to do with real-estate, and Trump “‘never’ reviewed any of Trump University’s curricula or programming materials.” The materials were “in large part developed by a third-party company that creates and develops materials for an array of motivational speakers and seminar and timeshare rental companies.” Furthermore, Trump’s promises that the three-day seminar ($1,495) would include “access to ‘private’ or ‘hard money’ lenders and financing,” that it would include a “year-long ‘apprenticeship support’ program,” and that it would ‘improve the credit scores’ of students were empty.

And here are some of the victims:

A playbook obtained by The Atlantic states: “If a district attorney arrives on the scene, contact the appropriate media spokesperson immediately.”

As Tuttle drolly concludes: “Sounds legit.”

This man is a grifter. A huckster. He tells you he won’t provide his tax returns because he has been audited for 12 years, or 2-3 years, or 4-5 years, yet provides zero proof in the form of (say) audit notifications. He pronounces “II Corinthians” as “Two Corinthians” and says he has nothing to ask God forgiveness for, and tells you that he is perhaps being audited because he is such a strong Christian.

If you’re supporting this man after hearing this, I don’t know what to say. Usually, people taken in by grifters mostly harm themselves, so if they don’t listen to your entreaties to stop being scammed . . . well, they have only themselves to blame.

But here, your being a chump sucker hurts my children. So I will tell you frankly: I resent you. I resent you for not taking this seriously. I resent you for treating the presidential race as a big reality show created to entertain you. If I could force you into a small country ruled by Trump, to get you out of my country, I would.

If you can force this man on me and my family, our political system and our society has failed. It is time to start over.

Donald Trump Is Lying About IRS Audits

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:52 am

Donald Trump is lying about being audited by the IRS. I know this, not just because I know Trump is a serial liar, but also because I watched the debate and watched him say at least three different things about it.

Here is the transcript of last night’s debate — although, be warned: it misses some key moments, so the video is the final word. Trump said numerous contradictory things about being audited.

From 1:20:00 to 1:20:30 in this video:

TRUMP: I’ve been audited every year. Twelve years, or something like that. Every year they audit me, audit me, audit me.

Nobody gets audited — I have friends that are very wealthy people. They never get audited. I get audited every year. I will absolutely give my return, but I’m being audited now for two or three years, so I can’t do it until the audit is finished, obviously. And I think people would understand that.

Beginning at 1:28:17:

TRUMP: As — and believe me, I’ll win that case. That’s an easy case. Civil case. Number two, as far as the taxes are concerned, I’m being audited. It’s a very routine audit, and it’s very unfair, because I’ve been audited for, I think, over 12 years.

Every year, because of the size of my company, which is very, very large, I’m being audited — which is a very large company.


BLITZER: Thank you.

TRUMP: I’m being audited 12 years in a row, at least.

Now, until that audit’s done, and I don’t think anybody would blame me, I’m not giving it…


CRUZ: … what about the years you’re not being audited? Will you release those years?

BLITZER: Gentlemen, gentlemen, thank you.

TRUMP: (inaudible) I am being audited for those years.

CRUZ: Which years? Which years are you being audited?

TRUMP: (inaudible) last four or five years.

BLITZER: Gentlemen…


BLITZER: … we have, we have rules — we’re trying to obey these rules that all of you agreed.

So which is it? 12 years? Two or three years? The last four or five years?

Or . . . not at all? Could it be that Trump is simply making up the audits?

(Note how Blitzer jumps in to save Trump — as he did all night. Note also that the bit about the last four or five years is not in the transcript, which labels it “crosstalk.” That’s why I gave you the video and the timestamp. Thanks to David Shor on Twitter for that.)

As for the “not at all” theory, consider this. When Trump was interviewed by Hugh Hewitt before he announced, he tried to evade the question of releasing tax returns — but, when pressed, said he would do it . . . and didn’t mention audits at all:

Trump is lying about some aspect of this, as his multiple contradictory statements show — just like he is lying about Romney not releasing any tax returns until September 2012. (Romney released his 2010 return in January 2012.) Trump is lying — and thinks he can get away with it, I submit, because the IRS can’t release details about audits . . . because they are considered private. The huckster is using that to his advantage.

But Trump could release the audit notification letters. I wonder if any journalist will ask him to.

P.S. Bonus digression regarding Trump making assertions that people can’t check. Trump said last night:

I know the insurance companies, they’re friends of mine. The top guys, they’re friends of mine. I shouldn’t tell you guys, you’ll say it’s terrible, I have a conflict of interest. They’re friends of mine, there’s some right in the audience. One of them was just waving to me, he was laughing and smiling.

Trump almost certainly made that up. In the South Carolina debate, he was booed several times. Asked about it the next day, Trump said:

The pledge isn’t being honored by the RNC. Because those tickets were all special-interest people. And I know them! I’m looking in the audience: Some of them are friends of mine and yet they’re booing me because they’re having fun. The guy’s booing me and he’s laughing and he’s waving and he’s going, “Boo, boo.” And he’s waving at me.

How often does Trump have friends in the audience laughing and waving at him?

The thing is, you can’t falsify something like that. And Trump knows it.

So he makes it up.

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