Nel's New Day

August 17, 2016

Whither Trump?

Donald Trump read from a teleprompter last night for the third time in the past month in an attempt to woo the black voters, but all his effort was wasted as today’s publicity focused on his shift in campaign leaders—the third time in five months. Paul Manafort is out except in name only, and Stephen Bannon is in, perhaps using Trump’s philosophy that “you have to be smarter” than people you hire.

Bannon, Trump’s new campaign CEO, is the far-right executive chair of conspiracy-ridden Breitbart News as his campaign CEO, and GOP pollster Kellyanne Conway has been moved to the new campaign manager. Trump supposedly made the changes because he has grown to feel “boxed in” and “controlled” by people who barely know him. With his new team, Trump plans to stop pulling his punches—not that he ever has—and focus more on rousing his voters at rallies and media appearances. The candidate is under the impression that he has been constrained in the past few months.


Already worried about their candidate, Capitol Hill Republicans are displeased about Trump’s selection of Bannon (above), partly because he’s an enemy of GOP congressional leaders, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Breitbart News has called Ryan the “absolute worst choice for Speaker.”

White supremacists, however, are delighted: Breitbart News brings them the racist, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant fear-mongering that they love. Among other “nationalist” support, Bannon has given positive coverage to the white supremacist Alt Right movement. Richard Spencer, leader of the white supremacist think tank National Policy Institute, said that “Breitbart has acted as a ‘gateway’ to Alt Right ideas and writers.”

Bannon also highlights Jason Richwine, forced out of the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation for his belief in a connection between race and IQ. The new campaign leader called Richwine “one of the smartest brains out there on demographics, demography this whole issue of immigration, what it means to this country.” Another favorite of Bannon is Pamela Geller, an anti-Islam activist.

A past Goldman Sachs investment banker, Bannon has never had any connection with campaigning. He is known as a propagandist, producing far-right and anti-Clinton movies. GOP consultant Rick Wilson said about the transition in leadership:

“If you were looking for a tone or pivot, Bannon will pivot you in a dark, racist and divisive direction. It’ll be a nationalist, hateful campaign. Republicans should run away.”

Behind the change may be donors Robert Mercer, hedge fund billionaire, and his daughter Rebekah who have funded Bannon and worked with him on the “Clinton Cash” movie based on Peter Schweizer’s book. (Mercer became famous in Oregon when he bank-rolled losing U.S. representative candidate Art Robinson, who collected urine from his wished-for constituents for a research project in just one of his kooky beliefs.)

More information about Bannon.

One of Trump’s accusations that Clinton wants to be “America’s Merkel” also panders to the white supremacists who hate Germany’s leader. They accuse Angela Merkel of trying to make Germany “a minority White country” and call her a “crazy childless bitch,” “Anti-White Traitor,” and “patron saint of terrorists.” And they ask, “Why would you allow a woman to run a country, unless you were doing it as a joke?” Trump’s complaints are directly taken from white supremacist writings which refer to Trump as their “glorious leader.” Early in his campaign, Trump called Merkel “fantastic” and “probably the greatest leader in the world today,” but that was before she said that Germnay would take in hundreds of thousands of refugees.

In other Trump news, he got his first classified intelligence briefing and said that he won’t pay attention to any of his briefings if he’s president. “They’ve made such bad decisions,” he said. It is assumed that staffers from the office of the director of national intelligence provided information about concerns around the globe, including threats.

Trump has suggested that Hillary Clinton not get these briefings because of her private email server. Yet Trump has recommended that Russia hack into Clinton’s affairs, thinks that Crimea should belong to Russia, suggested that the U.S. should not back NATO members against invasion, and hired a campaign manager who has shady dealings with Russia. Last August he told Chuck Todd on Meet the Press that he gets his military advice from watching television. Asked in March who he consults regarding foreign affairs, he responded, “I’m speaking with myself, No.1, because I have a very good brain.”

Also several of the 64 members of Trump’s new Agriculture Advisory Committee have strongly supported legal status for undocumented workers. They have a concern about a shortage in the U.S. agricultural labor pool. Wonder how that will work with Trump’s immigration policies?

Several years ago, Trump not only scammed New York City in taxes but also bilked New Jersey. Early in Chris Christie’s first gubernatorial term, he and his appointed attorney general, Paula T. Dow, dropped Trump’s almost $30 million debt in taxes on casinos to $5 million—17 cents on the dollar. The week after the settlement, Christie appointed Dow to the counsel’s office of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey until he could find the judgeship that she wanted. The next month, the Christies and Trumps double dated.

Recently the right-wing, including Sean Hannity on Fox, started to distribute fake information stating that Clinton is suffering from poor health including seizures. Then became the “pillow attack,” claiming that she needs pillows in her chairs. This attack on her health has brought attention back to the truly bizarre letter he submitted to show his own health. Purported to be from Dr. Harold Bornstein, the letter has problems far beyond the poor grammar and typos and the fact that .

The web address leads to a political advertisement, and no one has reached the good doctor at his email address, information that almost no doctor includes in correspondence. Lennox Hill has no “Section” of Gastroenterology, and Bornstein isn’t listed with the “Division” of Gastroenterology. In addition, the letter lists tests as “only positive results”—a very bad thing for many diseases or disorders, and counts are numbers, neither positive nor negative. Doctors would not use the term “astonishingly excellent,” and they don’t write such vague, quasi-medical letters. The statement “healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency” would require a medical historian who operates a presidential health archive which could not even include the first century of presidents.

Dr. Jennifer Gunter called the letter “medically illiterate.” Trump himself may have written the letter; after all he pretended to be his personal publicist.

After Republicans demanded the FBI interview notes regarding Clinton’s emails, the GOP Congress is again involved in “much ado about nothing,” as Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) described it. Jason Herring, who directs the FBI’s Office of Congressional Affairs, had to admit “that even three emails marked as classified did not originate with her and that State had determined two of them did not contain classified information.” This letter shows how Herring struggled to find that Clinton had broken the law and failed to do so. The information given the House Oversight Committee is classified, but GOP members are noted for leaks. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Charles E. Grassley thinks it’s okay to release the material.

Richard Cross, III, the man who wrote the speech for “Benghazi Mom” Patricia Smith at the GOP convention, has decided that he will vote for Hillary Clinton. In an op-ed for the Baltimore Sun, he wrote: “The only prospect more terrifying than voting for Hillary Clinton is not voting for her.”


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