Patterico's Pontifications


When The GOP’s Presumptive Nominee Turns Out To Be A Sock Puppet

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:44 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Oh, God, just make it stop…

So now we learn that the presumptive GOP nominee is not only a businessman and reality television star, but his resume also includes that of professional sock-puppet:

A recording obtained by The Washington Post captures what New York reporters and editors who covered Trump’s early career experienced in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s: calls from Trump’s Manhattan office that resulted in conversations with “John Miller” or “John Barron” — public-relations men who sound precisely like Trump himself — who indeed are Trump, masquerading as an unusually helpful and boastful advocate for himself, according to the journalists and several of Trump’s top aides.

In 1991, Sue Carswell, a reporter at People magazine, called Trump’s office seeking an interview with the developer. She had just been assigned to cover the soap opera surrounding the end of Trump’s 12-year marriage to Ivana, his budding relationship with the model Marla Maples and his rumored affairs with any number of celebrities who regularly appeared on the gossip pages of the New York newspapers.

Within five minutes, Carswell got a return call from Trump’s publicist, a man named John Miller, who immediately jumped into a startlingly frank and detailed explanation of why Trump dumped Maples for the Italian model Carla Bruni. “He really didn’t want to make a commitment,” Miller said. “He’s coming out of a marriage, and he’s starting to do tremendously well financially.”

Miller turned out to be a remarkably forthcoming source — a spokesman with rare insight into the private thoughts and feelings of his client. “Have you met him?” Miller asked the reporter. “He’s a good guy, and he’s not going to hurt anybody. . . . He treated his wife well and . . . he will treat Marla well.”

“Actresses,” Miller said in the call to Carswell, “just call to see if they can go out with him and things.” Madonna “wanted to go out with him.” And Trump’s alter ego boasted that in addition to living with Maples, Trump had “three other girlfriends.”

For the record, well at least the current record, Trump has denied the allegations:

In a phone call to NBC’s “Today” program Friday morning after this article appeared online, Trump denied that he was John Miller. “No, I don’t think it — I don’t know anything about it. You’re telling me about it for the first time and it doesn’t sound like my voice at all,” he said. “I have many, many people that are trying to imitate my voice and then you can imagine that, and this sounds like one of the scams, one of the many scams — doesn’t sound like me.” Later, he was more definitive: “It was not me on the phone. And it doesn’t sound like me on the phone, I will tell you that, and it was not me on the phone. And when was this? Twenty-five years ago?”

Except in 1991, he admitted to being “John Miller”.

Mostly, though, he’s just annoyed that members of the press are degrading themselves by digging into his personal history:

“You’re going so low to talk about something that took place 25 years ago whether or not I made a phone call?” Trump said. “Let’s get on to more current subjects.”

Because Trump (the real Trump) would never use a false report about a supposed event that took place in 1963 as a brutal weapon of attack to win a race, would he? No. He would only want to debate and discuss subjects that were current, relevant, and directly impactful to the American people.

P.S. As of this posting, neither John Miller or John Barron were available for comment.


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: This is the funniest Trump story, maybe ever. The recording has to be heard to be believed. I know nothing ever hurts Donald Trump, but I think maybe this hurts Donald Trump. You can hear him pretending to be someone else, with your own ears. It’s pathetic and desperate and needy and . . . beta. And it’s right here:

UPDATE x2 BY PATTERICO: Update to the WaPo story:

Friday afternoon, Washington Post reporters who were 44 minutes into a phone interview with Trump about his finances asked him a question about Miller: “Did you ever employ someone named John Miller as a spokesperson?”

The phone went silent, then dead. When the reporters called back and reached Trump’s secretary, she said, “I heard you got disconnected. He can’t take the call now. I don’t know what happened.”

If he can come up with a stunt wacky enough to distract the media from this, he truly is a media master.

The Dog Trainer Goes with Hillary!

Filed under: General — JVW @ 3:21 pm

[guest post by JVW]

File this under the heading of “It’s Been a While Since We Have Bashed the Los Angeles Times Around These Parts.”

The insipid and dim editorial board at the Los Angeles Times endorsed Hillary! Clinton for the Democrat nomination today. In a nod to their far-left readership they acknowledged their trepidation in the headline: “For all her faults, Hillary Clinton is vastly better prepared than Bernie Sanders for the presidency” [emphasis added]. The word “vastly,” however is striking, suggesting that even though Mrs. Clinton is venal, thuggish, hysterical, and incompetent she is better than the nutjob socialist from Vermont. In sizing up Sanders, the editorial board lays out this interesting anecdote:

The Vermont senator has made the race more substantive and has forced his opponent to address issues that might otherwise have gone undiscussed, but in the end he has offered little reason to believe that he would be able to enlist recalcitrant Republicans in Congress in accomplishing his priorities. Rather, he told the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times, he would say to Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell: “Hey, Mitch, look out the window. There’s a million young people out there now. And they’re following politics in a way they didn’t before. If you want to vote against this legislation, go for it. But you and some of your friends will not have your seats next election.” If only it were that simple.

Yeah, that sound about like the childish Sanders worldview.

Of Clinton, they attempt to convince us:

Clinton may seem inauthentic to some or to lack that drink-a-beer-with-me quality that voters often look for in a candidate. But she has a grasp of the complexities of government and policy that is unmatched by any of the other candidates who ran for president this year — or by most candidates in most years. She is sober and thoughtful, in possession not just of the facts she needs to make her arguments but of a depth of experience that undergirds her decisions.

Poppycock. This is a left-wing editorial board who is supporting the favored identity group candidate in this election. Hillary! is every bit as awful as we have been saying, and the Dog Trainer beclowns itself by trying to pretend otherwise.


Obama to Tell Every School in the Nation to Let Boys Into the Girls’ Bathroom If They Want

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:49 am

I can’t see how this could be abused by boys wanting to peep on girls. Not at all!

The Obama administration is planning to issue a sweeping directive telling every public school district in the country to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity.

A letter to school districts will go out Friday, adding to a highly charged debate over transgender rights in the middle of the administration’s legal fight with North Carolina over the issue. The declaration — signed by Justice and Education department officials — will describe what schools should do to ensure that none of their students are discriminated against.

It does not have the force of law, but it contains an implicit threat: Schools that do not abide by the Obama administration’s interpretation of the law could face lawsuits or a loss of federal aid.

Maybe this will dampen people’s enthusiasm for government-run schools.

The Power of the Purse Hangs in the Balance

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:36 am

I’m going to give you the very simple version of yesterday’s ObamaCare decision. (Full analysis here.)

Congress didn’t appropriate the money for certain payments to insurers. Therefore, Obama cannot spend it. The end.

One other interesting point that I learned reading the opinion: the same does not apply to subsidies to individual taxpayers. Congress does not have to appropriate money for that every year. Once Congress classified them as tax credits, the money was permanently appropriated, because the IRS already has authority to draw money on the Treasury to pay tax refunds/credits. The only way to repeal this is to pass a new law that repeals the subsidies, and get that law signed by the President.

This is a hugely important decision. Not just for ObamaCare but for our nation. If it is overruled, on standing grounds or on the merits — under the “we’ll rewrite any law to save ObamaCare because it’s Too Big to Fail” principle that generally obtains in the Supreme Court on ObamaCare cases — then the power of the purse is dead. The President will be able to spend money on anything he likes, and Congress can go hang.

Trump’s Idiot Tariffs Would Bankrupt Poor People

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:01 am

Great. Super!

Donald Trump’s plan to get tough with China, Japan and Mexico could cost the average U.S. household more than $6,000 a year if carried to its logical extreme, with the burden falling hardest on households with the lowest income, according to a new report from the National Foundation for American Policy, which describes itself as a nonpartisan research group.

“We find that a Trump tariff proposal against all countries would cost U.S. consumers $459 billion annually and $2.29 trillion over five years,” David Tuerck and Paul Bachman, a pair of economists at Suffolk University in Boston, write in the report. “Our analysis finds that the Trump tariffs would manifest themselves as a 30.5 percent increase in the price of competing domestic producer goods and therefore, as a cut in real wages.”

The economists looked at two scenarios to arrive at their calculations. First, based on statements Trump has made in the campaign, they modeled the effect of a 45 percent tariff on imports from China and Japan and a 35 percent tariff on imports from Mexico. That would cost the average American household more than $2,200 annually with those households in the lowest income brackets feeling the greatest pinch.

Duh. I don’t feel like re-arguing protectionism. Search my archives if you have questions about this. But tariffs make poor people poorer. Period. Simple enough for you?

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