Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Cruising the Web

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry writes at The Week with some advice for Marco Rubio. His theory is that Rubio has to show that, not only is he the best candidate to take on Hillary Clinton, but he also can take on Donald Trump. That would help him defeat the candidates in his "lane" such as Bush and Kasich. He shouldn't criticize Trump for departing from conservative values since his supporters clearly don't clear. He has to be attacked at his strengths - his pretense of being such a great businessman who cares about the little guy. He quotes advice from Ross Douthat.
To attack him effectively, you have to go after the things that people like about him. You have to flip his brand.

So don't tell people that he doesn't know the difference between Kurds and the Quds Force. (They don't either!) Tell people that he isn't the incredible self-made genius that he plays on TV. Tell them about all the money he inherited from his daddy. Tell them about the bailouts that saved him from ruin. Tell them about all his cratered companies. Then find people who suffered from those fiascos — workers laid off following his bankruptcies, homeowners who bought through Trump Mortgage, people who ponied up for sham degrees from Trump University. [The New York Times]
Gobry proposes this ad for Rubio.
You wanna know my problem with Donald Trump? It's not that he's angry — I'm angry. It's not that he's politically incorrect — I kinda like that. It's not that he's a billionaire, or that he's not an elected politician — whatever. It's that he's a fraud. This is a guy who inherited $40 million from his father and presents himself as a self-made man. This is a guy who used government to kick a widow out of her house to build a limousine parking lot. This is a guy who's dealing with multiple lawsuits about him opening an online university that made $40 million fleecing people out of tens of thousands of dollars in exchange for no degrees. This is a guy whose multiple corporate bankruptcies no doubt left thousands of everyday Americans without jobs, but left him rich. And this is a guy who says he doesn't have to ask God for forgiveness — for anything. And you want me to believe he cares about everyday people, that he cares about the issues he talks about — that I care about? That he cares about people who live paycheck to paycheck, like my parents, like I grew up? I'm not buying it. I'm angry too, and I'm running because I want to fight every day for hard-working Americans who have been screwed by our incompetent government — and by rich, pathetic con artists like Trump. I'm Marco Rubio, and you better believe I approve this message.
I think it's been notable that Trump has been aiming so many of his attacks now at Cruz as the nastiest liar that he's ever encountered as if a businessman never encounters nasty liars in the business world. Trump must clearly think that Cruz is the biggest threat to him. The worst criticism he seems to have for Rubio is that Rubio sweats and drinks water. I guess that is because voters will be more repelled by a candidate who sweats than one who has the strangest orange combover I've ever seen.

I presume that, if Rubio were to emerge as a threat, Trump would start attacking him on the Gang of Eight bill. Well, then Rubio can remind everyone of statements that Trump has made in favor of amnesty just a couple of months ago, much more recently than the Gang of Eight bill.
Trump’s supporters loved his promise last week to create a “deportation force” to remove all 11 million illegal immigrants living in America, and his repeated declaration that everyone here illegally will “have to go.”

But his supporters tend to overlook his other promise—repeated in the Fox Business debate in Milwaukee on November 10—that under his immigration plan “they will come back.”

That’s right. Under Trump’s immigration plan, almost all of the 11 million illegal aliens (save for a small minority with criminal records) will get to return and get permanent legal status to stay here in America.

Trump supports amnesty.

On Fox News on November 12, Trump’s son Eric expressed frustration that the media overlooks this:
The point isn’t just deporting them, it’s deporting them and letting them back in legally. He’s been so clear about that and I know the liberal media wants to misconstrue it, but it’s deporting them and letting them back legally.
Eric Trump is right. His father has been crystal clear that he wants all the illegals to return and live in America.

Listen closely to what Trump is actually proposing. In an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash earlier this year, Trump explained his plan this way:
I would get people out and then have an expedited way of getting them back into the country so they can be legal…. A lot of these people are helping us … and sometimes it’s jobs a citizen of the United States doesn’t want to do. I want to move ’em out, and we’re going to move ’em back in and let them be legal.
This is a policy called “touchback” and it was first proposed in 2007 by moderate Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas). She offered a “touchback” amendment on the Senate floor that would have required illegal immigrants to return to their home countries to apply for a special “Z visa” that would allow them to re-enter the United States in an expedited fashion and work here indefinitely.

Her amendment lost by a relatively close margin, 53-45. It was supported by most Republicans and even got five Democratic votes—senators Claire McCaskill, Max Baucus, Jon Tester, Byron Dorgan and John Rockefeller all voted for it.

The idea was considered so reasonable that in an April 22, 2007, editorial entitled “Progress on Immigration,” The New York Times declared:
It’s not ideal, but if a touchback provision is manageable and reassures people that illegal immigrants are indeed going to the back of the line, then it will be defensible.
So what Trump is proposing today—sending illegal immigrants back to their home countries and then allowing the “good ones” to return in an “expedited” fashion—was endorsed by the liberal New York Times!

In fact, the idea even got the support of—wait for it—illegal immigrants.
Of course, Rubio has his only problems explaining what his policy would be for those who are already here. But pointing out that Trump doesn't really mean what people think on his signature issue. And then Rubio can pivot and talk about the illegal immigrants who work in his businesses. The Washington Post interviewed workers at his project that he's developing in Washington, D.C. and found that there are illegals workiing there.
"It’s something ironic,” said Ivan Arellano, 29, who is from Mexico and obtained legal status through marriage. He now works as a mason laying the stonework for the lobby floor and walls of what will become the Trump International Hotel.

“The majority of us are Hispanics, many who came illegally,” Arellano said in Spanish. “And we’re all here working very hard to build a better life for our families.”

Interviews with about 15 laborers helping renovate the Old Post Office Pavilion revealed that many of them had crossed the U.S-Mexico border illegally before they eventually settled in the Washington region to build new lives.
He also has tried to bring in foreign workers for his businesses.
GOP 2016 frontrunner Donald Trump is staking his campaign on promises to bring jobs back to America, but a new analysis of U.S. Labor records shows that Trump’s business have imported more than 1,100 foreign workers on temporary visas since 2000.

One of Mr. Trumps companies, the elite Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, applied to import 70 foreign workers to serve as cooks, wait staff and cleaners this month alone, Reuters reported Friday.

Nine companies that are majority-owned by Mr. Trump have sought to bring in foreign waitresses, cooks, vineyard workers and other laborers on temporary work-visa programs.

His companies also filed applications for an assistant golf-course superintendent, assistant hotel manager and a banquet manager, Reuters reported.

Two of his companies, Trump Model Management and Trump Management Group LLC, have sought visas for nearly 250 foreign fashion models, the records show.

The analysis of Mr. Trump’s foreign hires comes as he has positioned himself as a champion of American workers among the 2016 GOP field.
I'm surprised that no one has brought up either of these facts to attack Trump at his supposed most popular policy proposal to show what a hypocrite he is. I would bet that his opponents have all this in their opposition research folders. What are they waiting for? I just think attacking him on his hypocrisy on immigration would resonate more with his supporters than eminent domain.

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Hillary goes straight for the race card because why not bring race into every battle with the Republicans.
Hillary Clinton stepped up her attacks today against Republicans vowing to block whomever President Obama nominates to the Supreme Court, accusing them of racism and bigotry.

“The Republicans say they’ll reject anyone President Obama nominates no matter how qualified. Some are even saying he doesn't have the right to nominate anyone, as if somehow he's not the real president,” Clinton said during remarks at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, referring to the recent passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

“You know that's in keeping what we heard all along, isn't it?" she continued. "Many Republicans talk in coded racial language about takers and losers. They demonize President Obama and encourage the ugliest impulses of the paranoid fringe,” she continued. “This kind of hatred and bigotry has no place in our politics or our country.
As if the Republicans' opposition against Obama's nominees has anything to do with race instead of ideology. Please stop insulting our intelligence with such baseless accusations. She's obviously working hard for the black vote, but she's indicating that she's willing to use divisive attacks on race to intensify racial tensions in this country if it will help her defeat Bernie Sanders. If she becomes president, we can expect more of the same, especially on gender. She'll just flip the script and every expression of opposition to her will be portrayed as an attack on her gender.

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While Trump threatens those who criticize him with a lawsuit and promises to bring a suit against Cruz for being born in Canada, he clearly knows all about lawsuits since he's been the subject of so many himself.
Donald Trump has been named in at least 169 federal lawsuits, according to a investigation. They read like a history of Trump’s business failures, successes, and bombastic personality. With Trump threatening a lawsuit against Ted Cruz, his surge in the polls, and his big win in New Hampshire, we thought now was as good a time as any to review of some of the Donald’s legal skirmishes. The federal lawsuits that we reviewed date back to 1983 and involve everything from business disputes, antitrust claims and, more recently, accusations that Trump’s campaign statements are discriminatory against minorities. Some of the cases have been resolved, some were dismissed as frivolous, and others were privately settled. He’s been sued by celebrities, personal assistants, prisoners, people in mental hospitals, unions, and wealthy businessmen. Of course, Donald Trump has also done his fair share of suing as well. The lawsuits on both sides provide a unique glimpse into some of the biggest battles involving the presidential candidate. Just a note, the cases listed below only include those filed in U.S. federal court. Who knows how many others were filed in state courts around the country.
Just think about it. The Supreme Court ruled that Bill Clinton could be sued while in the White House for sexual behavior conducted before he became president. If Trump were president, he would be the subject of so many lawsuits. People would be crawling out of the woodwork to sue him. So when he pretends phony concern about how distracted Ted Cruz would be by laughable lawsuits concerning whether or not he's a natural-born citizen, how about all the law suits against Trump. For example, he's being sued right now for fraud concerning Trump University.
Donald Trump has told American voters there will be so much winning when he is president, people will "get bored with winning."

This type of positive messaging has attracted voters across the country, vaulting Donald Trump to the top of presidential primary polls.

More than a decade ago, Donald Trump launched another nationwide campaign with that same winning promise, but the results have been mixed and controversial.

He called it Trump University.

From 2005 until it closed in 2010, about 10,000 students across the nation signed up for the program that promised success in real estate by offering courses and seminars based on the principles of the business mogul himself.

"At Trump University, we teach success," Trump said in a 2005 infomercial when the program was launched. "That's what it's all about. Success. It's going to happen to you."

Now, Trump is facing three separate lawsuits -- two class action suits filed in California and one filed by New York's attorney general -- which argue the program that took in an estimated $40 million, but was mired in fraud and deception.

"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," New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman told CNN's New Day after filing suit in 2013.

Schneiderman's case argues that Trump and Michael Sexton, the former president of the program, engaged in fraudulent, illegal and deceptive conduct, and that although the program promised to offer courses taught by experts personally selected by Trump, the teachers were neither handpicked nor experts.
Fraud. The word kind of fits in any sentence about Donald Trump.

And here's another way that Trump's whole persona of sticking up for the little guy and loving New York and its values while wanting to help it so much after 9/11 falls completely apart.
But it's worth remembering that amid Trump's flowery praise for his city, the real-estate mogul took advantage of taxpayer-funds designed to help struggling small-business owners in Lower Manhattan affected by the attack.

Here's the story. Not long after 9/11, the World Trade Center Business Recovery Grant program was established to help small businesses recover and rebuild. The program disbursed hundreds of millions of dollars through a New York state development corporation in the years following the attacks.....

And in 2006, the New York Daily News ran an investigative piece about how the program had awarded grants to companies and subsidiaries that hardly seemed like "small businesses." Among them were Dell, Morgan Stanley, and, yes, Donald Trump. Here's the Daily News:
One couldn't tell from ESDC records, for example, that "40 Wall Street LLC" is owned by Trump. The Donald bills himself as the "largest real estate developer in New York," Last week, Trump sued a New York Times reporter for concluding in a book that the host of "The Apprentice" isn't a billionaire. But the ESDC's rules transformed Trump into a small-business man. His company collected a $150,000 grant for losses at 40 Wall St. The grant application describes the corporation through which Trump owns that building as having 28 employees and $26.8 million in annual revenues. That passed the ESDC's small business test of less than 500 employees. But the revenue amount would put the single Trump property over the federal definition of a small business - which is $6 million annually for lessors of nonresidential buildings. A Trump spokeswoman did not respond to a call and e-mail message seeking comment.
In 2005, Trump valued 40 Wall Street at $400 million, and the Trump Organization describes the building as an "impressive, landmark property." And as Trump said immediately following 9/11, none of his properties were directly damaged by the attack on the World Trade Center. But through a loophole in the rules, Trump was able to squeeze $150,000 of money from taxpayers for his valuable landmark property.
So here is Trump taking advantage of the federal government's incompetence to siphon off money for his business that was meant to help the small businesses who were damaged after 9/11.

Why don't his opponents bring up these hypocrisies? They could add in how he wanted to block veterans from being able to be street vendors near Trump Tower.

Attack him on his own behavior which demonstrates his totally hypocrisy about everything he says now. Let people realize that what they perceive as "strength" is just him running his mouth and has nothing to do with his actions. Then look at the camera and say, "Character is what a man does, not what he says."

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Here's a good-news story
that liberals won't want you to know about.
The number of childless, able-bodied adult food stamp recipients in a New England state fell by 80% over the course of a few months. This didn’t require magic, just common sense.

From December 2014 to March 2015, the caseload of able-bodied Maine adults with no dependents crashed from 13,332 recipients to 2,678, says the Heritage Foundation. This is a remarkable change and needs to be repeated in government programs across the country.

How Maine achieved this is no mystery. Gov. Paul LePage simply established work requirements for food stamp recipients who have no dependents and are able enough to be employed. They must, write Heritage policy analysts Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield, “take a job” — just 20 hours a week — “participate in training, or perform community service” for a mere 24 hours a week. Recipients who do none of those are stripped of their food stamp benefits after three months.
Imagine that. If people were required to work to get aid, they actually looked for jobs. We saw that happen after the Welfare reform of 1996 and it is happening again in Maine.
The Heritage report says that if the Maine policy were repeated nationally, and the caseload dropped “at the same rate it did in Maine (which is very likely), taxpayer savings would be over $8.4 billion per year.”

“Further reforms could bring the savings to $9.7 billion per year: around $100 per year for every individual currently paying federal income tax.”

On top of the savings, there would be the added benefit of increasing the number of productive members of the economy, and cutting the cycle of government dependence that is ruinous to a society.

The political left, of course, has tried to characterize the Maine policy as cruel. A Washington Post headline obliquely attacks LePage for having the audacity to suggest that Mainers should work for their food. A year ago, Think Progress was troubled that Maine had “kicked 6,500 people off of food stamps so far this winter.”

But the work requirement is modest, and Rector and Sheffield assure us that “job openings for lower-skill workers are abundant in Maine.” And there is nothing extreme about asking the able-bodied to demonstrate some responsibility and take care of themselves. In fact, putting the able-bodied in position to be self-sufficient is a service to them, helping them shake their soul-strangling dependency on the state.

It is a service to their descendants, as well, since welfare dependency is often passed down through the family, trapping generations in poverty. Welfare programs truly create a moral hazard, as recipients have no reason to stop making the poor decisions that first initiated, and then exacerbated, their situations. Knowing the state will backstop their missteps gives them reason to keep making them, setting up a pattern that will be followed by their progeny.

The success in Maine is but a blip, affecting only a thin slice of the nation’s welfare rolls. Yet it is a model, a prototype for reforming welfare programs in need of change or elimination, which is all of them. Policymakers at all levels should be rushing to adopt it, then adapt it.
Let's learn again from the laboratory of democracy and have the nation follow Maine. There is nothing cruel about expecting able-bodied adults to have to work or participate in job training or community service in order to receive benefits. Where is it said that the most honorable way to treat a person is to regard them as totally helpless?

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