Now I Know Why Trump Never Released His Taxes: He Knew He Was Going To Lose.



It’s bad enough, if you’re Donald J. Trump, that you may be headed to a devastating loss.  The intoxication of the crowds and the applause and the rote chanting–“lock her up,” “Mexico,” and the one he thinks was written just for him, “USA, USA, USA,” will suddenly end, as it would for any presidential loser.  People who actually bought into his impossible nightmare will go back to their lives, and Trump will spend the rest of his days blaming and justifying and spinning and trying to reclaim the life he had before becoming a candidate.  Most of us would be happy if that’s all he did, conceding gracelessly but leaving the United States relatively intact, having bloodied a major political party, media, basic human decency, and causing a split in the country as wide as Vietnam.  No, Donald, Hillary’s email thing wasn’t “worse than Watergate.”  You, Donald Trump, singularly may turn out to have been worse than Watergate.

Trump is the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous guy lyingly claiming he was running as a sacrifice for his country, which he lyingly claimed needed him as the “only I can fix it” guy.   One of his most famous lies is the one about wanting to release his taxes but he just can’t because they’re under audit. That’s a classic Trump whopper because it does what he does best: pile misdirection and disinformation on top of a hidden agenda, reaching a conclusion that is then defended by his Excuse Squad, then burying the subject at the back of the line when other outrages displace it.  It’s always been about protecting whatever phony image he has projected all these years, now horrendously backfiring.  Keeping his taxes under wraps has always been about making sure the world doesn’t know down to the penny what a tax-evading, stingy with charity, not as rich a guy as he’s portrayed himself, preserving that image for after the election.  But a presidential campaign really does strip the bark off you, paraphrasing the late Lee Atwater referring to his destruction of Michael Dukakis in service to George HW Bush in 1988.  The exposure of the fraud that is Donald Trump has forever tarnished his sacred brand, to the point where new hotels won’t even have his name on them anymore.  Any previous perception of high-quality, best-in-breed Trump-anything has been down-scaled by the chattering class’s disgust with Trump and his classless, third-rate, hateful persona overtaking the false image.

Were there ever emptier words from a candidate than the ones that made it clear that his candidacy was never about him, but about “you,” or some variation thereof?  Yea, right.  From the Dean of the Trump University School of Narcissism….

When the FBI called off the dogs 10 days after releasing the Hounding of Hillary, the entire world breathed a sigh of relief.  Financial markets roared their approval that the Greatest Businessman Ever wasn’t going to repeal and replace with nothing, build a wall, End the Fed, and charge everyone 35% more for a Ford subcompact or an air conditioner built in Mexico.

As much as the conventional wisdom leaned on the cliche that Americans, in general, say we’re going in the wrong direction, it’s just a lazy explanation for hate, racism, and (what used to be) conservative complaining that no one takes personal responsibility for anything and it’s The Others’ Fault.  Clue…. we ALWAYS think we’re going in the wrong direction….  more on that from Leonard Pitts here: A black man was elected president and white people lost their minds.  Trump’s “Make America Great Again,” stolen from Reagan, was always about simply turning back the clock to a mythical thrilling yesteryear that never really was that can never be replicated.  Low-skill factory jobs are never coming back, no matter how many promises demagogues like Trump roll out.  The steel mills aren’t reopening in Pittsburgh, cheap textiles will never come from South Carolina like they did 50 years ago, and Apple is not about to build iPhones here.  The calculations have been made.  If you’re too lazy to click…. the answer is $2,000.

How much would an all-American iPhone cost?

Finally, my back of the envelope calculation says this:  that things just aren’t really quite bad enough economically for most Americans that they want to take the ultimate chance by rolling the dice with the Unstable One. Gas is really, really cheap these days.  It’s amazing how that’s such a big issue around an election when it’s high… and how it disappears when it’s so low on a historical basis like it is now.  And the old misery index: Unemployment plus inflation… fuggetabout it.


For way too long, as we now realize, many of us thought that this was really just one big dare, one big joke that got out of hand and took on a life of its own, and that Trump never really wanted to be president as much as he just didn’t want to lose trying to be president. Donald J. Trump always declares himself to be the winner and even if he’s not, he just lies and says he won.  Not this time. The national exhaustion at the year-and-a-half of this man’s brain chemistry experiment gone bad is about to end.  While we know this isn’t the beginning of the end but the end of the beginning of some legitimate issues Trump clumsily raised, maybe we can start with something small… like adding a ninth justice to the Supreme Court.  That would be special.


The Ambassador From Trumpnutistan’s Failed Mexican Mission

TRUMP SETS THE BAR EVEN LOWER Wednesday night, with the biggest pastiche of incoherent bluster, arrogance, and detail-less promising of an oppressive American police state ever. Incapable of delivering a straight-forward speech on illegal immigration, he threw not only the kitchen sink at the Great Wall he promises (the one for which Mexican President Pena Nieto told him to his face “no pesos for you”)… but he tossed every fixture in the house clanging down the stairs. A speech that approached Fidel Castro-length, he ended with the crassest spectacle of all… parading parents of murdered children at the hands of illegal immigrants. Imagine the reaction if Hillary brought forth at one of her speeches 10 parents of Sandy Hook kids at a speech about gun violence and lax firearm registration/background checks. Wait, she SHOULD do that!…. The sickening irony of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” blasting out right at the end should be lost on no one.

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Apparently still worried that his Bubba/Cletus base might abandon him for a last-minute entry by Larry the Cable Guy, Trump summoned his inner crazy for a dissembled, near-insane reaffirmation that you need not worry he’d “softened up” his stand on illegal immigration…. while he was actually doing so with a rhetorical conglomeration of confusion.  Maggie Haberman and Alexander Burns write in The New York Times:

His approach involves avoiding discussion of his former campaign pledges without renouncing them, and making ostentatious gestures of conciliation toward Hispanic voters and Mexicans without withdrawing — and at times actually repeating — remarks that have offended them in the past.

In the space of a few hours on Wednesday, Mr. Trump veered from avoiding a clash with Mr. Peña Nieto over his proposal for a border wall to goading an Arizona crowd into chants about constructing the barrier.

With some polls beginning to tighten as Labor Day approached, surely due to the rotting corpse of emails that eat away at Hillary Clinton’s support, even from Probably Never Trumpers, the question is: on balance was the Mexico trip and the followup Phoenix speech good or bad for Trump’s chances?  Based on Trump’s standard of any day he dominates the news is a good day….. it was spectacular.  Based on the normal human standard of his being caught in a blatant lie about who will pay for his wall… his gutlessness in confronting the Mexican President over the issue that had been brought up and his subsequent hysterical Phoenix rant that was simply a more verbose version of all of his campaign rallies…. it should have been categorized as a bad day.  But Trump is not human.  I’m sure he ultimately won’t be able to avoid death; so far though, he’s gotten away with avoiding taxes…. or certainly admitting so by releasing his 1040’s from forever.

But….. if his mission was to appear “presidential,” he did so for about 20 minutes… if you turned down the sound on the tv and ignored his hunched-over body language, I’m not interested really in being here, I’m reading perfunctory diplomatic jargon that is foreign to me–that looks like it was plagiarized from boilerplate statements by SALT talk negotiators from 1972.  Who can forget where they were when they heard this:

“The United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, hereinafter referred to as the Parties, convinced that the Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems and this Interim Agreement on Certain Measures with Respect to the Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms will contribute to the creation of more favorable conditions for active negotiations on limiting strategic arms as well as to the relaxation of international tension and the strengthening of trust between States, taking into account the relationship between strategic offensive and defensive arms. Mindful of their obligations under Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, have agreed as follows:  BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH YADA YADA YADA”

And a final note on optics and perceptions versus reality:

NBC’s Hallie Jackson, reporting at 7:04pm eastern, after Mexico City and before the Phoenix Meltdown, said these exact words…whether accidental or not, because of ONE WORD being wrong, giving Trump everything he desired:

This was an opportunity to get up there with another head of state and to look, frankly, presidential.

By using the word “another” head of state, instead of “a” head of state, or even “an actual” head of state….. Jackson elevated Trump to exactly where he wants to be.

Hello, Cleveland! No Cavalier-Sized Victory Parade Scheduled For Trump This Week.


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One thing that is a 100% sure bet:  The Republican Convention in Cleveland will draw the highest television ratings we’ve seen in our lifetimes.  Why wouldn’t it?  Trump’s Delusion…. that he’ll actually be elected president… makes its last stand in a totally controlled environment this week.  When the Nielsens come in huge he’ll predictably brag about them and add the rating number to the insufferably boring recitation of the victorious glory days of primaries past he spits out, from memory, to kill 40% of the time at his rallies.

Speaking of controlled environments, I was in Cleveland over the Fourth of July weekend and one of my lifetime complaints has been addressed Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 10.59.44 AMthere: smoking in casinos.  I wondered if I was the only person in the world who liked to play blackjack but hated smoking and the smell of the casino.  The Jack Casino in downtown Cleveland is smoke-free. Delightful. Las Vegas made the calculation years ago that the connection between smoking and gambling was too strong to risk banning it.  Risk what?  That people just won’t gamble, or gamble as much if they can’t smoke for a few minutes or hours at the Bellagio?  That always made as much sense as the fake warnings airlines issued when it was suggested flying become smoke-free. (the law officially changed in 1990) Nervous flyer-smokers were supposedly being denied their Constitutional rights, would stop flying and the airline business would come to an unprofitable end.  Try telling someone under 40 that at one time you could smoke on an airplane.  They won’t believe you.

“Sincerity – if you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”

That stolen George Burns/Groucho Marx quote appears to be what will decide this presidential election that eclipses all others in having two candidates with such high negatives, albeit for different reasons.  If you’re an undecided voter, you need to consider whether you think that the past, horrible or allegedly horrible things that the candidates have done in their public and business lives are likely to be a replicable roadmap to their behavior as president.  Or, are the most egregious errors that will be pointed out simply unfair exaggerations that can always be countered with, “yea, but what about?…..”

No matter what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did regarding her cavalier attitude towards email security, do you believe she’d actually try to continue to have a private server as President Hillary Clinton, caring so little about state secrets that she’d continue her careless ways unabated… she must hate America even more than Barack Obama?  If not and you think that last sentence was written by Sean Hannity, then she should get your vote.  If you don’t think she went on a 15-hour bender, sleeping through the Benghazi disaster, only to wake up for 3 minutes to call off the readily available troops to rescue Chris Stevens and company, then she should get your vote.  If you think the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy outweighs Hillary Clinton’s own personal foibles and insecurities, she should get your vote.

If you don’t believe that Donald Trump stiffs his contractors and workers, trying to negotiate them down, he should get your vote…  if you don’t believe that in 2006 he started Trump Mortgage specifically to become a lending slumlord, read this: Cleveland’s Pain Was Donald Trump’s Gain.

A deeply reported story on from local writer Dan McGraw looks at how the Republican Party is about to nominate in Cleveland a man who encouraged investors to exploit the foreclosure crisis. Donald Trump “once sold subprime mortgages through a short-lived venture called Trump Mortgages and taught America, through a for-profit education company he founded called Trump University, how to profit from foreclosures,” the story notes. In the same year that Slavic Village neighborhood of Cleveland lost 783 homes to foreclosure, Trump University “was running ads with a picture of its founding namesake and the message, ‘Investors Nationwide are Making Millions in Foreclosures … And So Can You!,’ ” McGraw writes.

If you think the above is malarkey, vote for Trump.  If you believe his explanation on why he, allegedly the richest guy to ever be a nominee, refuses to release his tax returns (it’s not the law that he has to…. he’s under audit… the Yankees lost 3 in a row….)…. if you don’t care that his returns would show how little he’s ever given to charity, how much lower his yearly income is than would be typical of someone of his alleged net worth, how little in actual income tax he has been paying…. that he hypocritically demanded the VP-Political Apprentice candidates show him their returns…. then vote for Trump.


My macro-confidence grows over some things that have always stuck out, for me, about Trump.  He is the richest, most brilliant businessman guy I’ve ever seen who has never produced one person who has said, “he made me rich.” Every other mogul spawns disciples.  The real people who’ve had any kind of financial dealings with Trump, directly or indirectly, seem to be people he’s ripped off and destroyed through schemes and scams over the decades. The tax return thing is so far beyond inexcusable that it cannot be explained away.  And picking Mike Pence to show what a Team Unity Player he is should be seen as the transparent, ultimate flip-flop that it is.  The establishment Republicans can like me…. they can really like me!

Here are some key words for the Republican Convention Drinking Game: God, Obamacare, 35%, Mexico, China, the blacks, the Hispanics, women, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, bathrooms, Second Amendment, tennis balls, law and order, Benghazi, Lyin Hillary, Radical Islamic Terrorism, Obama, Nobama, Lebron, apologize, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, dishonest, illegal alien, Cleveland Orchestra, Republican Party, Titanic.  Enjoy the show!

Celebrity Birthdays for June 14, Steffi Graf turns 47, Boy George turns 55, Donald Trump hits 70!

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Donald spent his 70th birthday (which he noticeably DIDN’T brag about) in Greensboro on Tuesday. Like a political Zika virus, all elected officials above the level of Dog Poop Supervisor avoided being seen with him. Since this appearance was in my town, I steeled myself and decided to watch the entire disjointed mess of this particular Trump “speech,” the usual stringing together of the same, tired nuggets of insult and disinformative distortions and lies that have collected in this greatest brain ever over the past year of campaigning. The only difference right now compared to his other same-old recitations is the noticeable lack of bragging about the polls, because now they have turned against him, big time. But the Washington Post is in the polling business and he did courageously and heroically kick out their reporters from traveling with him because they wrote a headline he didn’t like. Somewhere Saddam Hussein is smiling.
How someone attending a Trump rally these days doesn’t feel a bit cheated is beyond me. I may be offbase here, as the fans apparently show up across the country to hear the oldies, barely noticing the new songs. Trump’s inept, off-rhythm, inexplicable lyric recitation of the minor sixties song, “The Snake,” kills 3-4 minutes and surely leaves most of the attendees stunned and bored. Maybe he and William Shatner can record together as the Axis of Tonedeaf. Back to the reminders that Hillary will, by dictum, end the Second Amendment and take your gun, Obama’s the worst, and Mexico’s ex-president now WANTS to build a wall and WANTS to pay for it…. the usual. Oh, and Trump’s x-ray vision will destroy ISIS, the radical Islamic terrorists, the words that Hillary won’t speak except she already did. So did the incumbent Collaborator in Chief.
My new drinking game while sitting through a Trump Speech is called, “Spot the FRESH Lie.” The old ones are always there, but a new one…. now that’s special. Since it was his birthday…. his 70th birthday…. oops I mentioned that already…. he clumsily charged practically the entire US Military in Iraq of being on the take and stealing cash.
“Iraq, crooked as hell. How about bringing baskets of money — millions and millions of dollars — and handing it out?,” Trump said at an evening rally. “I want to know who were the soldiers that had that job, because I think they’re living very well right now, whoever they may be.”
Who better to know about ripping off undeserved money from, in his case, “students” at his “university,” …. in the military’s case from taxpayers…. than Donald J. Trump, Chancellor and President of Trump “U?”
Here’s the great part of the story. The Man Who Never Apologizes because he’s never wrong, quickly did a 180 on this later and tried, as he always does, to get out of it by lying against video evidence… telling you he was talking about the corruption of Iraqi soldiers, not Americans. No, he clearly wasn’t, as this :26 clip demonstrates.
He said no such thing about Iraqis. But ironically, he’s actually right that many American troops have been nailed through bribery, theft, and rigged contracts. For once, he had the facts on his side but presented them so badly that he attempted to backtrack where he shouldn’t have had to. More here. If Trump ever becomes an even remotely disciplined candidate he’ll be dangerous. For now, he remains in full control of the Republican Wheel of Misfortune, driving himself and his hostages over the cliff.

America Held Hostage (Again), Trump Edition-Day 295. It Never Stops.


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The Man Who Promises To Be Presidential If America Just Elects Him but will Curse America With A Depression If America Doesn’t Elect Him continues to throw raw meat to the masses.  Ironic in that Donald Screen shot 2016-04-05 at 10.46.21 AMlikes his non-existent Trump Steaks cooked well-done.  Yuk.

A continuous theme of Somewhere Over the Election Rainbow is Greatness:

October 1-“Your answer to policy questions is, ‘I’m Trump, I’m good, I’m the best, I will get it done,'” said CNBC’s John Harwood. “Well, there’s a little truth to that,” Trump replied. “In fact, a lot of truth to that.” “But we don’t have Superman presidents,” said Harwood, to which Trump replied: “We will if you have Trump. You watch.” That’s swaying me.

January 3, Face the Nation- Donald Trump said he would be “a much different person” as president of the United States compared to his persona as a Republican presidential candidate. “I would be very enthusiastic, like I am right now, toward the country. We need spirit. We need a cheerleader.” Meanwhile, the US sucks, loses at everything, nothing functions correctly, and only I have the secret sauce of success.

February 21- “I think I’ll be very presidential at the appropriate time. Right now, I’m fighting for my life,” he told Fox News, adding that he can, “act as presidential as anybody that’s ever been president other than the great Abraham Lincoln”.  That’s the kind of humility I’m heartened to see in him. “A man’s GOT to know his limitations.”- Clint Eastwood in Magnum Force.

Since a recession is when your neighbor is out of a job, but a depression is when you are out of a job, maybe it’s time we realize just how Trump has busted through at the gut level to so many, but hardly a majority– of Americans, with populist, insane, never-politically correct “solutions.”  Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman explains it, but I make the necessary word substitutions:

Economists were quick to point out the obvious: There’s no sign of the “very massive recession depression” Donald Trump predicted in a recent interview with the Washington Post, either now or any time soon. In fact, overall job growth is strong, suggesting a modest economic expansion is likely to continue.  But Trump wasn’t speaking to economists. He was speaking to millions of angry Americans who feel Trump is exactly right about economic collapse. For many of them, a kind of unacknowledged recession  depression has been chipping away at their living standards for a decade and a half, with no end in sight.

Since everything for Trump is a negotiation laid over a poker game of bluffing and playing chicken… it’s quite instructive as to the technique he says will work like magic to get Mexico to pay for the pointless wall he says will be built.  The Atlantic reports:

Trump, in a memo to The Washington Post released this week, stated that blocking remittances would be his preferred method of compelling Mexico to pay for the wall. As president, he would propose refashioning counterterrorism regulations to require that money-transfer companies like Western Union ask immigrants to present their legal documents before wiring money outside the United States. Mexican officials will immediately protest, Trump predicts, but they’ll probably capitulate and “make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion” to prevent the regulation from going into effect. Remittances serve “as de facto welfare for poor families in Mexico,” Trump explains. “There is no significant social safety net provided by the state in Mexico.” In short: The Mexican government will have to choose between forsaking its poorest citizens or building Trump’s wall. It will be “an easy decision for Mexico,” Trump claims.

Think of the ways money moves around these days by the click of a mouse… via alternate “cryptocurrencies” such as Bitcoin… through offshore accounts, through actual cash and now, as we now know from The Panama Papers, The Rich and Famous and Notorious hide and move their Screen shot 2016-04-05 at 11.18.33 AMmoney just like we thought they did.  I’m sure this has the drug cartels shaking in their pointy boots.  Are you telling me that through the will of Donald Trump, his wall will not only be non-porous for people but for money, too?  Want to know more about what a genius idea Trump has?  Read this:

Trump to Promote Bitcoin in US by Blocking Remittances to Mexico? concludes that “Mainly poor immigrants that are employed in agriculture and other seasonal work are not privy to offshore bank accounts in Panama or Switzerland but cryptocurrency wallets are much easier to come by. And not just bitcoin wallets, there are so many new simplified money transfer startups now that work on the bitcoin network or another blockchain behind the scenes without even mentioning it to their clients. Such new tools are beyond the American authorities’s ability to stop and this might be the trigger than leads their usage to explode.”