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Hullabaloo


Saturday, October 01, 2016

 

No problemo, comrade

by Tom Sullivan

Donald Trump treats women as objects? No problemo. He lies by reflex? No problemo? He sleeps with a copy of The Tao of Putin beside his bed? No problemo, comrade.

The Daily Beast reports:

Suspicion is mounting about Donald Trump’s ties to Russian officials and business interests, as well as possible links between his campaign and the Russian hacking of U.S. political organizations. But GOP leaders have refused to support efforts by Democrats to investigate any possible Trump-Russia connections, which have been raised in news reports and closed-door intelligence briefings. And without their support, Democrats, as the minority in both chambers of Congress, cannot issue subpoenas to potential witnesses and have less leverage to probe Trump.

Privately, Republican congressional staff told The Daily Beast that Trump and his aides’ connections to Russian officials and businesses interests haven’t gone unnoticed and are concerning. And GOP lawmakers have reviewed Democrats’ written requests to the FBI that it investigate Trump before they were made public.
Not much seems to slow down the Trump train and the GOP is slow to apply any brakes. At the debate Monday night, there was this stunning admission in response Hillary Clinton questioning whether he pays his taxes:
CLINTON: Maybe he doesn’t want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he’s paid nothing in federal taxes, because the only years that anybody’s ever seen were a couple of years when he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license, and they showed he didn’t pay any federal income tax.

TRUMP: That makes me smart.
James Fallows reports:
That makes me smart. Among the several hundred people watching the debate at the site where I saw it, there was an audible gasp at this line.
But likely it wasn't a Trump audience anyway. Trumpsters probably nodded in agreement. They probably would not have cared that Trump used his charitable foundation (is "charitable" too charitable?) to which he's contributed essentially nothing as a tax dodge and used foundation funds to settle his own debts.

Then there was the revelation this week in Newsweek that his company violated the Cuba embargo:
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.
Besides this being illegal, Kurt Eichenwald reports, Trump later told Cuban-Americans in Miami (during his 1998 presidential bid) he would maintain the embargo and never spend company funds there until Fidel Castro was removed.

At Washington Monthly, Martin Longman notes wryly:
It’s quite a trick to simultaneously demonstrate pro-communist, pro-Russian disloyalty to the country and get the strongest possible endorsement from the Ku Klux Klan.

Oddly, it seems like the only thing that really hurts him is when he insults regular citizens, whether that’s a disabled reporter or the parents of a fallen solider or a former Miss Universe who he called “Miss Piggy.”
Since Monday, Donald Trump has been unsubtly and uncleverly "not bringing up" Bill Clinton's sexual history since the first debate as a way of diverting attention from his own and hurting Hillary Clinton. And probably because he can't help himself. “I can be nastier than she ever can be,” he told the New York Times.

The man who would be president couldn't help himself from tweeting accusations about the former Miss Universe at 3 a.m. Friday morning. "Is that presidential?" asked Anderson Cooper. "What does presidential mean?" replied Trump surrogate Jeffrey Lord. Trump's supporters don't know either, and apparently they don't care.