Posted by: maboulette | September 29, 2016

Stop and Frisk Not Constitutional –Fact Checker NYPD


nypd

The first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton drew an excess of fact checkers, ready to examine every statement uttered by either candidate Monday night.

NYPD

The New York Police Department, somewhat unexpectedly, joined the fact-checking fray. 

Race Relations

While on the topic of race relations, Trump reiterated his recent campaign trail declaration that black and Latino Americans “are living in hell” and that the solution is to expand New York’s “stop-and-frisk” policy, which has been curtailed in recent years. The divisive police tactic, ruled unconstitutional by a judge, was primarily used against black and Latino New Yorkers.

NYPD counters

Peter Donald, the department’s assistant commissioner for communication and public information, attempted to counter Trump’s claims on Twitter. Donald posted stats showing a marked decrease in citywide crime, which corresponded with the reduction of stop-and-frisk since 2011.

Stop & frisk has decreased nearly 97% in NYC since ‘11. Crime, murder, & shootings have decreased significantly during same period

— J. Peter Donald (@JPeterDonald) September 27, 2016

Targets minorities

Stop-and-frisk has long been the subject of intense scrutiny, particularly from civil rights organizations, for unfairly targeting minorities.

New York Civil Liberties Union

The New York Civil Liberties Union, for example, has been tracking the NYPD’s use of the practice since the New York City Council ordered the department produce quarterly stop-and-frisk statistics in 2002.  According to an analysis of this data by the NYCLU in 2015, the majority of people stopped and frisked by the police were not found guilty of a crime.

Critics decried that having fewer stops in #NYC would result in higher crime. The very opposite occurred.

— J. Peter Donald (@JPeterDonald) September 27, 2016

“No, you’re wrong,” Trump interjected, arguing that the judge in that case was very “against-police.” He also noted that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio could have appealed to preserve the stop-and-frisk policy but “refused to go forward with the case.”

Further information

Hillary Clinton seized the opportunity to point out that since de Blasio, a Democrat and vocal Clinton supporter, took office in 2014, the homicide rate in the city has continued to drop.  “You’re wrong,” Trump repeated, this time interrupting Clinton to insist that “murders are up.

NYPD again

Once again, the NYPD’s J. Peter Donald took to Twitter to prove that it was Trump who was “wrong.”

Stops ️. Murder ️. Crime ️ in New York City. https://t.co/xCTV8Mq2Di

— J. Peter Donald (@JPeterDonald) September 27, 2016

 

Also wrong. We are down 16 homicides compared to last year (as of 6 am on 9/26) https://t.co/dh06MyfQzG

— J. Peter Donald (@JPeterDonald) September 27, 2016

 

Additionally, #NYC is on pace to have one of the safest years on record for crime. Murders, shootings are ️ significantly

— J. Peter Donald (@JPeterDonald) September 27, 2016

Stats of 2015

The Republican presidential nominee had likely been referring to an FBI report released ahead of the debate Monday, which showed a marked increase in violent crime across the U.S. in 2015.

Further information

Though the FBI highlighted a jump in nationwide murders between 2014 and 2015, the report also noted that the violent crime rate in 2015 was well below that of 2012 and years prior.

Recent data

According to more recent NYPD data, there have been significantly fewer murders in New York City so far than there were at this time in 2015.

 

 

Posted by: maboulette | September 28, 2016

New ISIS Recruiting Tool Already Being Used


isis

Countless foreign affairs experts (including plenty of Republicans) and weathered military brass all agree: Donald Trump is grossly unfit to be Commander and Chief. But in reality, it’s not just that Trump lacks presidential qualifications; its that he’s uniquely qualified to make things a lot worse.

Recruitment tool   

It’s already happening. ISIS is using Donald Trump as a recruitment tool, galvanizing support and boosting their momentum.

Example

Think of it this way: if ISIS is a fire that we have to put out, having no access to water or a fire hose would render one unfit to fight it. However, the frightening truth is that Trump and his Republican backers are actively, willingly, and ignorantly throwing gasoline on the flames.

ISIS for Trump 

If you don’t trust U.S. politicians, then at least trust U.S. enemies: ISIS is rooting for a Trump presidency because it gives them a leg up. But why? 

Worldview

First,  the ISIS worldview is simple: They see the world as believers vs. non-believers, divided between land governed by their version of Islam and the lands of its enemies. ISIS fears religious freedom and secular society, which is why their main goal is to “destroy the gray area of coexistence.” ISIS approves of Western Islamophobia, because it fuels their “us vs. them” doctrine; they gain power and support from the irresponsible and hateful brand of divisiveness that Trump flings around when he solicits cheers for anti-Muslim rhetoric — like he did when he insulted the family of a fallen Muslim-American soldier.

Ban on Muslims

What’s more, scholars agree that Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. is illegal under U.S. and international law, citing the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause and the 1st Amendment’s doctrine of freedom of religion. It’s not just illegal, it’s also not possible:  there’s no ‘religion’ column on passports.  There is no way to tell if a person is Muslim. So Trump’s absurd proposal has the sole effect of playing into ISIS’s narrative–basically doing their dirty work for them

Already occurring

It isn’t all just theory, either. In a new analysis, Foreign Affairs magazine recently interviewed ISIS supporters, and according to a former ISIS fighter and self-identified jihadist, “We don’t need to convince Muslims in the Middle East that the West is against them … The next step for the Islamic State is to reach Muslims in America and Europe.” Another said, “Congratulations to us on the victory of Trump! Sit back and relax and watch the end of America at his hands.”

Incite support

From the same Foreign Affairs analysis, another man who left ISIS said that ISIS wants to make the West an “incubator” for locally inspired attacks. ISIS is currently using video footage of Trump’s anti-Muslim sentiments around the attacks in Brussels and Orlando to recruit and incite support.

 

Posted by: maboulette | September 28, 2016

Trump and Clinton Agree On One Issue – Gun Sales


gunissues

In the politics of gun control, anything can happen — and for a brief moment in Monday night’s presidential debate, it did, as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump found themselves in agreement on at least one small part of it.

Gun Sales

At issue was a ban on gun sales to people on the government’s terror watch lists, a move which has taken on huge symbolic importance since Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., began pushing for it earlier this year in the wake of the deadly attack on an Orlando nightclub. Murphy made the hyperbolic but politically effective charge that Republicans who oppose the measure “want to sell weapons to ISIS.”

NRA

Murphy and his allies in the gun-control movement see this as a wedge issue that can break the National Rifle Association’s stranglehold on gun-control legislation; the NRA, accordingly, has fought the proposal, at least while it was being pushed by Democrats. At the same time, the American Civil Liberties Union, generally allied with the left, has opposed most efforts to attach new gun restrictions to the watch lists, which it regards as essentially problematic for civil liberties.

Trump

On Monday, though, Trump threw the whole debate into confusion by saying he agreed with Clinton, who also supports the idea.  In the face of it, this defies both the NRA — one of Trump’s biggest backers — and the ACLU, which argues that Americans are being placed on the lists without being informed, without an explanation and with limited recourse for getting their names removed.

Critics on right

To Trump’s critics on the right, his stance speaks to a lack of principles and an eagerness to sacrifice conservative beliefs for political gain. All of Trump’s promises to conservatives — regarding the Supreme Court, religious liberty and economic policy — are subject to withdrawal if the political cost is too high, this behavior suggests.

Jay Cost

Jay Cost of the Weekly Standard wrote on Twitter after Trump’s comments on the no-fly list: “Look how he threw the NRA under the bus tonight. Think he won’t do that with taxes and regulations? Of course he will!”

Trump allies

Trump allies see something different: a political savvy that avoids falling into Democratic traps, while leaving their candidate wiggle room to do what he wants later. And while the NRA has vehemently criticized Democrats for backing the terrorist list gun ban, NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker told Yahoo News that it might be worth considering if the idea comes from Trump.

“Last night, Donald Trump echoed the NRA’s concerns about denying innocent Americans wrongly on these lists their constitutional rights,” Baker said.

Baker said that “we all agree that terrorist and dangerous people should not have access to firearms or any weapon” but that Clinton “would use the Supreme Court to pave the way for extreme gun control at all levels of government including the banning of entire classes of firearms.”

Proposal

Coupling support for the ban with a proposal to make the list fairer and more transparent was a shrewd move by Trump. The watch list has come under scrutiny since Omar Mateen shot and killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub, wounding 53 others, with a Sig Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifle and a Glock pistol. Mateen, who pledged himself to Islamic radical group ISIS in a call to 911 operators, was on a watch list at one point before being removed after two separate FBI investigations in 2013 and 2014 found no reason to arrest him.

Terrorist screening

But helping people get off the Terrorist Screening Database, which has 1 million names on it, and the no-fly list, which has 80,000 names on it, is easier said than done. The system for being removed, called Department of Homeland Security Travelers Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP), “is basically a black box,” the ACLU’s Hugh Handeyside told Yahoo News.

If an individual is repeatedly being given extra screening while traveling, or is routinely detained, they would “submit a petition” to DHS.

“The government considers it. They don’t tell you if you’re on or ever were on a watch list. They say any necessary changes have been made. So you know nothing,” he said.

NRA

The NRA said in August that a gun ban for people on the no-fly list is a “guilty-until-proven-innocent standard” that “is completely incompatible with our American system of justice and will do nothing to keep us safe.”

“Due process protections must be put in place that allows law-abiding Americans who are wrongly put on a watch list to be removed from it,” the NRA said. The organization supported an amendment offered by Texas Sen. John Cornyn that was intended to correct some of the problems with due process presented by the government’s watch lists.

Other positions on guns

Trump and Clinton remain worlds apart in most ways on guns. She favors much wider controls on gun purchases than does Trump, and their choices of Supreme Court nominees would have great import for future rulings on the issue. But Trump’s position on the terrorist watch list is an example of how he sometimes defies party orthodoxy on a hot-button issue that might cost him politically.

Posted by: maboulette | September 28, 2016

Chelsea Clinton Responds To Trump’s Threats


chelsea-and-dad-at-debate

Chelsea Clinton responded on Tuesday to Donald Trump’s claim that he refrained from bringing up her father’s alleged extramarital affairs for her benefit at the presidential debate Monday night.

Threat

Trump had threatened last weekend to bring Gennifer Flowers, a former model Bill Clinton allegedly had an extramarital affair with decades ago, as a guest to the debate against Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

Tweet

“If dopey Mark Cuban of failed Benefactor fame wants to sit in the front row,” Trump tweeted on Saturday, “perhaps I will put Gennifer Flowers right alongside of him!

Another threat

“I was going to say something extremely rough to Hillary and her family, and I said to myself, I couldn’t do it. It’s inappropriate. It’s not nice,” Trump said. “I was, but I decided not to do it out of respect for Chelsea.”

Chelsea response

Chelsea Clinton responded to his claim on Tuesday, telling Cosmopolitan’s Prachi Gupta that the attacks Trump lobbed at her mother this time were like those he’s made in the past.

“My reaction to that is just what my reaction has been kind of every time Trump has gone after my mom or my family,” Clinton said, “which is that it’s a distraction from his inability to talk about what’s actually at stake in this election and to offer concrete, comprehensive proposals about the economy, or our public school system, or debt-free college, or keeping our country safe and Americans safe here at home and around the world.

She continued:

“Candidly, I don’t remember a time in my life when my parents and my family weren’t being attacked, and so it just sort of seems to be in that tradition, unfortunately. And what I find most troubling by far are … Trump’s continued, relentless attacks on whole swaths of our country and even our global community: women, Muslims, Americans with disabilities, a Gold Star family. I mean, that, to me, is far more troubling than whatever his most recent screed against my mom or my family [is].”

 

Posted by: maboulette | September 27, 2016

Good Debate for Clinton – Not So Much for Trump


debate

Republicans who wondered whether a teleprompter-less Donald Trump could retain the self-discipline of the previous month without a script to read from got the answer Monday night.

No.

Gone was “normalized” Trump, and back came:

  • Primary-season;
  • Talk-over-everybody;
  • Blustery;
  • Word-salad Trump.

And it didn’t even take 10 minutes for it to start, with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton pestering Trump about the $14 million in loans he received from his father to build his business.

Rambling

Trump countered that he had been given “a very small loan” from his father, and then went into an extended ramble that touched on other countries taking:

  • American jobs;
  • Mexico’s value added tax;
  • Bad trade deals;
  • $20 trillion national debt, and on and on.

Called business

I will bring back jobs, you can’t bring back jobs,” Trump stated flatly, just a few minutes after defending the statement he’d made prior to the 2008-09 financial crisis that he hoped there would be a housing crash so he could make money.  “That’s called business, by the way.” Trump started a mortgage company to make money during this period but this business closed in 18 months.

ISIS

A little later, Trump told Clinton that she couldn’t effectively fight the Islamic State because she had put her plan for doing so on her website, where the terrorist group could read it. “No wonder you’ve been fighting ISIS your entire adult life,” Trump said.

Minute 24

24 minutes into the debate Clinton, in response to Trump’s accusation that she personally was responsible for American companies keeping money offshore and thereby causing decay in U.S. cities, said: “I have the feeling that by the end of this evening, I’m going to be blamed for everything that’s ever happened.”

“Why not,” Trump said.

“Why not, yeah, why not,” Clinton laughed. “Just join the debate by saying more crazy things.”

Set the tone

That exchange efficiently set the tone for the remaining hour, with Trump finding himself challenged:

  • On his tax returns;
  • On his remarks about women;
  • His stance on the Iraq War.

Trump supported the 2003 Iraq invasion, although he claims now that he did not. While moderator Lester Holt continued to state as a matter of fact that Trump had supported the invasion -Trump grew more and more agitated, eventually calling on Holt to call his supporter and Fox News host Sean Hannity.

Calling Sean Hannity

That is MSM nonsense put out by her,” he said, pointing at Clinton. “Everybody refuses to call Sean Hannity!”

Presidential

The Clinton campaign crowed over Trump’s routine, while his staff attempted to spin it as tough and presidential. “He was very poised,” said spokesman Boris Epshteyn.

Didn’t study

Trump has downplayed the importance of studying and rehearsing for debates. Even if he wants to change his tactic now, he has less than two weeks before the next debate in St. Louis.

Polling group

Frank Luntz’s polling group gave Clinton the edge, 17 to 3. A CNN focus group had a similar result. Undecideds weren’t buying into this version of Trump, with his interrupting ranking high on the list of negatives. And on a moderator note — Lester Holt got points for stepping in on Trump’s Iraq War stance, but mostly disappeared the rest of the night. 

 

Posted by: maboulette | September 27, 2016

Arnold Palmer, Legendary Golfer, Dead At 87


GOLF: MAR 25 PGA - Arnold Palmer Invitational - Final Round

25 MAR 2013: Tiger Woods shares a laugh with Arnold Palmer as Woods holds the Arnold Palmer Invitational trophy after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Florida.

Arnold Palmer, considered one of the best golf players of all time, died Sunday in Pittsburgh, according to reports. He was 87.
He had been undergoing heart tests at the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital since Thursday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. 

Over his decades-long career, Palmer recorded 62 PGA tour victories and a treasure trove of major tournaments wins, including the U.S. Open, British Open and the Masters, which he won four times. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.


Palmer was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004, and in 2012 was recognized with a Congressional Gold Medal for his work on and off the golf course.


His prowess and athleticism made him golf’s first true star, and he helped usher the sport into the mainstream.

 

 

 

Posted by: maboulette | September 27, 2016

Post-Debate Survey


debate

 A Public Policy Polling Post-debate survey Monday night found voters believe Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton defeated GOP nominee Donald Trump, with young voters driving the poll results.

Pre-screened

In the survey of 1,002 debate-watchers, who were pre-screened as planning to watch the debate and answer poll questions immediately after:

  • Clinton: 51 percent;
  • Trump: 40 percent;
  • Young voters: Clinton, 63-24 percent.

Younger voters

The younger voters also said, by 47 percent, that they are more likely to vote for Clinton after the debate, while 10 percent said they are less likely to vote for her.

Meanwhile, 23 percent of the younger voters said the debate made it more likely they’ll vote for Trump, and 39 percent said they are less likely to pick him.

Other categories

Clinton also scored higher than Trump in several other categories

  • Women: Clinton, 54-36 percent;
  • African-American or Latino voters: 77-13 percent;
  • White voters: Trump, 47-45.
  • Clinton also scored higher when it comes to temperament to be president with 55 percent of voters saying she has the temperament, compared to 42 percent who said Trump does.

In other numbers

  • 52-41 percent, Clinton is prepared to be president;
  • 42-52 percent, Trump is not prepared;
  • 56-35 percent, Clinton can be trusted with nuclear weapons;
  • 42-51 percent, Trump cannot be trusted with them.

The poll carried a 3.1 point margin of error.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: maboulette | September 27, 2016

Who Had a Bad Night and Is Not Happy This Morning


debate1

According to news reports Trump is attacking everything about last night’s debate even to the point of saying that he might not do anymore.  There is a saying that the candidate who loss the debate will be on attack the next morning – so I would venture to say that Clinton had a good night.  But for a while most of us were unsure.

Start

It started with a strange missed chance on race. It ended with a piercing attack on gender.

Tentative to scorching

Hillary Clinton’s performance in the first presidential debate  seemed to go from uncertain and tentative to firm and ultimately, scorching.

Trump

No amount of practice, it seemed, could fully prepare her — or perhaps anyone — for Donald J. Trump’s hurricane of:

  • Factual distortion;
  • Taunting interruptions;
  • Blustery generalities.

Clinton seemed to slowly but steadily learn how to confront and then calm Trump on the fly, as tens of millions of Americans watched.

Audacious

No moment seemed to better capture her early misfires than an improbable and audacious line of attack from Mr. Trump, who has openly lied about President Obama’s place of birth and brazenly told black Americans that their communities, schools and job opportunities are uniformly awful.

Superpredators

It was Clinton, he said, who had grievously offended African-Americans when she described youthful violent criminals in the inner cities as “Superpredators.” No matter that the line was 20 years old, or that it was uttered in an entirely different era when America’s cities were ravaged by crime, or that Clinton has expressed regret for saying it.

Staggering

It was a staggering spectacle: Momentarily, perhaps, but against all odds, Mr. Trump — whose business career and candidacy have prompted loud and repeated accusations of racism — had managed to make himself appear as though he were a more faithful advocate for the nation’s black community.

The challenge

Clinton’s challenge was evident from the moment she walked onto the stage at Hofstra University on Long Island: How much respect should she show to a rival of unparalleled incivility, who misrepresents the truth with abandon, crassly rates women’s looks on a scale of 1 to 10 and casually denigrates entire ethnic groups — a man whose words Mrs. Clinton has described as racist, xenophobic and misogynistic?

High road

She signalled, in the opening moments of the debate, that she would take the high road, striding cheerily toward Mr. Trump, shaking his hand and jauntily asking, “How are ya, Donald?”

Savage him

Mrs. Clinton’s supporters urgently wanted her to savage Mr. Trump, over and over, to beat him with his own deceptive words and messy record in business. She delivered a few of those attacks, aware of something that they did not and perhaps could not: that her team of data-mining aides know exactly whom they still need to win over on Nov. 8. And those voters — young people and white, college-educated suburbanites — know full well what Mr. Trump’s shortfalls are.

Trump discredited?

“I don’t think her job was to disqualify Trump,” said Paul Begala, a long-time Democratic operative who advises a “super PAC” supporting Mrs. Clinton. “Trump has already discredited Trump in their eyes.”

Struggled

But that calculus may have provided little support to Mrs. Clinton’s supporters watching on television as she sometimes struggled to repel Mr. Trump’s attack.

And then –

Mrs. Clinton eventually found her footing in the second half of the debate. The moderator, Lester Holt, helped.   Holt confronted Mr. Trump over his repeated implication that Mr. Obama was born outside the United States, he turned to Mrs. Clinton for a response.

“Well,” she said coolly, “just listen to what you heard.”

Racist birther lie

She skilfully tied Mr. Trump’s propagation of a “racist birther lie,” in her words, to what she called his “long record of engaging in racist behavior.” Seeking to establish a decades-long trend, she cited a 1970s housing discrimination lawsuit brought by the Justice Department against the Trump family business.

In the end

And by the end, Mrs. Clinton found success with a formula that had bedevilled Mr. Trump at times in Republican primary debates: confronting him over reproachful remarks about the appearance of women.

Look presidential

Mr. Holt again assisted, this time by pressing Mr. Trump on his remark that Mrs. Clinton lacked a presidential “look.” Mr. Trump repeated the charge, but pivoted to attack Mrs. Clinton’s physicality in a different way. He said — repeatedly, and bitingly — that she lacked the “stamina” to serve.

“If he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a cease-fire, a release of dissidents, an opening of new opportunities in nations around the world, or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee,” she began, “he can talk to me about stamina.”

Go for the kill

Mr. Trump tried to cut short the exchange, sarcastically observing that Mrs. Clinton “has experience, but its bad experience.”  Mrs. Clinton cut in, lobbying for another chance to speak.  “He tried to switch from looks to stamina,” she said. “But this is a man who has called women pigs, slobs and dogs.”

More on women

Mr. Trump, she said, had called pregnancies an “inconvenience to employers” and had argued that women did not deserve equal pay “unless they do as good a job as men.”   Clinton, the first female nominee of a major party, had found her voice defending other women.

Beauty contests

She mocked Mr. Trump’s fondness for beauty contests, and contestants — before turning to a particular contestant on her mind.  “He called this woman ‘Miss Piggy.’ Then he called her ‘Miss Housekeeping’ because she was Latina,” she said. “Donald, she has a name.”

Mr. Trump tried to interject, asking doubtfully where Clinton had found this woman.  “Her name is Alicia Machado, and she has become a U.S. citizen,” Mrs. Clinton said calmly.

“Oh, really?” Mr. Trump shot back.

“And you can bet,” Mrs. Clinton said, “she’s going to vote this November.”

Trump caught

Now it was Mr. Trump who seemed off balance, uncharacteristically caught without an easy comeback.

Mr. Trump was suddenly the one leaving attacks undelivered: He insinuated that he had planned “to say something extremely rough to Hillary, to her family” — most likely an allusion to Bill Clinton’s history of infidelity — before reconsidering.

“I said to myself, I can’t do it,” Mr. Trump said. “I just can’t do it.”

And that was when Trump realized he didn’t have a clue!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: maboulette | September 26, 2016

One Candidate Is Very Worried About His Lies


trump-3

Tallying up Donald Trump’s perpetual lies is suddenly all the rage, with both the New York Times and Politico posting back-to-back stories on Trump’s penchant for lying.

Worried about facts?

Now his campaign is making a desperate bid to make sure debate moderators don’t fact-check Donnie’s deceits on the fly. Here’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway pushing back against the idea Sunday on “This Week”:

Kellyanne Conway

“I really don’t appreciate the campaigns thinking it is the job of the media to go and be these virtual fact-checkers,” Kellyanne Conway said, in an apparent attempted jab at the Clinton campaign. 

Matt Lauer

She also declared that Matt Lauer did a “great job” at the Commander in Chief Forum—a sure sign Lauer did a crappy job if you needed more proof.

Pence

Meanwhile, Mike Pence took a stab at working the refs in advance of the debate by floating his own lie about CNN anchor Candy Crowley’s correction of Mitt Romney in a 2012 debate:

Crowley

“Well, I think we all had this experience a few years ago of Mitt Romney being interrupted and being challenged on an assertion he made,” Pence said.  “I believe it was about the tragedy in Benghazi, and it turned out the moderator was wrong.”

Crowley was right

Sorry, Mike, Crowley was not wrong. Pence went on to assure CBS’s John Dickerson Sunday that during Monday’s debate Trump would “absolutely…speak the truth to the American people.” Uh-huh.

 

Posted by: maboulette | September 26, 2016

Did Trump Lie or Commit Perjury?


trump1

It took until this week before the word lie began appearing in major newspapers when it comes to statements by Donald Trump. That’s in spite of earning a record number of “pants on fire” ratings from Politifact. Apparently the press has used all the rewordings for lying so much, that the phrases have worn off their computers, though actually saying “lie” still makes the keepers of the flame uncomfortable.

Lie or Perjury

But it’s hard to find another word for this one.

Donald Trump committed perjury. Or he looked into the faces of the Republican faithful and significantly lied. There is no third option.

It has become an accepted reality of this presidential campaign that Trump spins a near-endless series of falsehoods. For months, the media has fought with this unparalleled situation—a candidate who, unlike other politicians who stretch the truth, simply generates his own reality. Trump regularly:

  • Pushes “facts” that aren’t true;
  • Describes events that never happened;
  • Or denies engaging in actions that everyone saw him do.

He utters his falsehoods so fast that before reporters have the chance to correct one, he has tossed out five or six more.

GOP voters

In this case, what Donald Trump told Republican voters when he was on the debate stage, which was quite different from what he told a judge when he was under oath.

Jeb Bush

“The one guy that had some special interests that I know of that tried to get me to change my views on something—that was generous and gave me money—was Donald Trump,” Bush said. “He wanted casino gambling in Florida.”

Trump: I didn’t—

Bush: Yes, you did.

Trump: Totally false.

Bush: You wanted it, and you didn’t get it, because I was opposed to—

Trump: I would have gotten it.

Repeatedly, Trump denied that he had tried to get Bush to approve gambling, and said that had he asked for it, he would have gotten it.

Under oath

But that’s not what Trump said when he was under oath. In 2007, Trump hired Richard Fields to work on bringing casino gambling to Florida. When Fields quit, Trump sued him. His claim then was that he would have gotten casino gambling, but Fields ruined it. In his testimony, Trump claimed that he had tried to persuade Bush by throwing a lavish fundraiser where he could take Bush aside and press him on the gambling issue…

Lawyer: You knew that Governor Bush, Jeb Bush at that time, was opposed to expansion of gaming in Florida, didn’t you?

Trump: I thought that he could be convinced otherwise.

Lawyer: But you didn’t change his mind about his anti-gaming stance, did you?

Trump: Well, I never really had that much of an opportunity because Fields resigned, telling me you could never get what we wanted done, only to do it for another company.

So on one hand, Trump claims he never tried to get gambling in Florida—because he doesn’t want to admit that Bush didn’t buckle to his demands. On the other hand, Trump told the court that he wasn’t able to convince Bush, blaming Fields for the failure.

Court version

If the version Trump told in court was the truth, then he lied repeatedly and forcefully on the debate stage. If the version Trump told on the stage was the truth …

Now consider the other option, that Trump committed perjury in the 2007 testimony. There, he admitted pushing for casino gambling in Florida, but said he would have gotten what he wanted if he hadn’t been tricked by Fields. The rationale for the perjurious testimony is simple—Trump wants money from a man who stopped working for him and, once again, the story lets him deny he is anything less than perfect.

It’s an absolute fact that Trump lied (it was a day with a “y” in it, so that’s expected), but if Trump holds onto the “I never tried” version that he maintained in the debate … 

Perjurer or a liar

Is the Republican nominee a perjurer or just a liar? If he refuses to answer—just as he has refused to address almost every other question about his character and background—Trump supporters must carefully consider whether they want to vote for a man who at best has treated them like fools over the past year, and who at worst, committed a crime.

 

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