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Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Use your leverage? You bet they will

by Tom Sullivan

You wonder why Donald Trump doesn't simply move on to the next lie. He has a boundless supply. But after being hammered for his tweets about the popular vote totals being compromised by millions of illegal votes, his team seems determined to dig in. Daily Beast reports:

President-elect Donald Trump doubled down on claims of voter fraud on Monday night, lashing out at journalists who dared to ask for some evidence. Addressing several journalists, Trump wrote, “There is NO QUESTION THAT voter fraud did take place, and in favor of Corrupt Hillary!” As for those who expressed doubt about Trump’s assertions, the president-elect told them to put up or shut up: “Pathetic - you have no sufficient evidence that Donald Trump did not suffer from voter fraud, shame! Bad reporter.”
That last one complaining the press has failed to prove a negative was Trump retweeting a 16 year-old from Beverly Hills. Actually, Trump didn't use the retweet function. He simply copied and pasted the kid's tweet.

The New York Times editorial board figured, like many of us, that should Trump lose on Nov. 8 he would try to delegitimize the election by floating conspiracy theories from "right-wing propaganda sites like InfoWars." Instead he's trying to delegitimize his own victory. The Times writes:

In addition to insulting law-abiding voters everywhere, these lies about fraud threaten the foundations of American democracy. They have provided the justification for state voter-suppression laws around the country, and they could give the Trump administration a pretext to roll back voting rights on a national scale.

And why is Mr. Trump so hung up on the popular vote in the first place? After all, he won where it counts — in the Electoral College. And yet, in the three weeks since his victory, Mr. Trump has already admitted at least twice that he would prefer the presidency be determined by the popular vote, and not by 538 electors. It’s clear he feels threatened by Mrs. Clinton’s popular-vote lead — now more than 2.3 million and expected to exceed 2.5 million; as a percentage of the electorate, that is a wider margin than five presidents enjoyed. With support for third-party candidates added in, 54 percent of voters rejected Mr. Trump.
The right has been flogging the tiresome fraud meme for decades, insisting they are deeply concerned with election integrity when evidence exists that's not their real motivation and evidence for massive fraud is absent.

Can we get back to something that's a real threat to the country (in addition to Trump's immaturity)? Say, how his business dealings worldwide leave him compromised as president when dealing with foreign powers? The Atlantic has a handy crib sheet on Trump's global conflicts of interest:
The unprecedented nature of Trump’s business interests, coupled with the many precedents that Trump broke throughout his campaign—not releasing his tax returns, for example, which severely limits attempts to understand his financial situation—has provoked speculation that his presidency may bring about equally unprecedented opportunities for conflicts of interest. Trump’s response—provided on Twitter—only reinforces concerns that he will make little effort to avoid entangling his business and personal interests, and will instead attack those who point that out.

The short-fingered vulgarian is insecure about the size of his win, the size of his, uh, hands, and the size of his net worth. "Use your leverage," Trump advises in "The Art of the Deal." Foreign powers? You bet they will.

Thanks for the tip, Mr. Minority.