FOX DEBATE: TRUMP CHICKENS OUT!

fox-debate

 

 

Moments after Fox News announced the lineup for Thursday’s Republican debate, Donald J. Trump said Tuesday it is pretty “irrevocable” that he will skip the event, which takes place just days before the Iowa caucuses.

“Let’s see how much money Fox is going to make on the debate without me,” Mr. Trump said at a press conference here, where he continued to attack Megyn Kelly and the crew at Fox News, with whom he sparred at an earlier debate.

“It’s time that somebody plays grownup,” he said. Just after Mr. Trump started speaking, his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, confirmed that he will not be attending the debate, saying, “He will not be participating in the Fox News debate on Thursday” and that “it’s not under negotiation.”

Mr. Trump’s absence would leave the main debate stage without the candidate who leads in national polls and has been a big ratings draw for past debates. Mr. Trump has threatened in the past to skip debates, but his remarks Tuesday night were his strongest statement yet that he would not participate.

Mr. Trump made his remarks right after the Fox News debate moderator Bret Baier announced the debate lineup on the program “Special Report.”

One of Mr. Trump’s rivals, Senator Rand Paul, will rejoin the top tier of candidates on the stage for Thursday’s event, Fox News said, meaning eight candidates qualified to share the stage for the prime-time debate. Mr. Trump was to stand in the middle since he leads in polls nationally and in New Hampshire, and he is battling for the lead in Iowa polls against Senator Ted Cruz.

For Mr. Paul, who chose not to participate in the undercard debate earlier this month after failing to make the cut for the later debate, the return to the main stage reflects a recent rise in his poll numbers, particularly in New Hampshire.

His campaign sought to capitalize on the good news, fundraising on Twitter after his inclusion was announced on Fox News.

And Jim Gilmore, the Republican presidential candidate who has failed to qualify for the undercard debate every time except during Fox News’s first debate, will return to the debate stage, participating in the earlier debate with Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum.

Find out what you need to know about the 2016 presidential race today, and get politics news updates via FacebookTwitter and the First Draft newsletter.

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Drumroll please! Robert Gates: Republicans’ grasp of national security is at a child’s level

childs-level

Former defense secretary condemns media for failing to challenge presidential candidates on promises he believes are unaffordable, illegal or unconstitutional

Robert Gates, a Republican stalwart and former US defence secretary who served under eight presidents, has derided the party’s election candidates for a grasp of national security issues that “would embarrass a middle schooler”.

An ex-CIA director who first joined the White House under Richard Nixon, Gates joked that if frontrunner Donald Trump wins the presidency, he would emigrate to Canada. He condemned the media for failing to challenge candidates from both parties on promises he believes are unaffordable, illegal or unconstitutional.

“The level of dialogue on national security issues would embarrass a middle schooler,” Gates said of the Republican contenders at a Politico Playbook event in Washington on Monday. “People are out there making threats and promises that are totally unrealistic, totally unattainable. Either they really believe what they’re saying or they’re cynical and opportunistic and, in a way, you hope it’s the latter, because God forbid they actually believe some of the things that they’re saying.”

Gates is among Republican elders dismayed by the way this year’s campaign is unfolding, with establishment figures such as Jeb Bush, whose father he served as director of central intelligence, failing to gain traction against mavericks with unusual prescriptions for keeping America safe.

Trump suggested “closing parts of the internet” to prevent Islamic State attracting recruits, Ted Cruz pledged to “carpet bomb them into oblivion”, Chris Christie proposed flying Air Force One over disputed Chinese islands and Carly Fiorina boasted of having had “a private meeting” with Russian leader Vladimir Putin when in fact they met in a green room at a conference.

Gates, promoting a new book, A Passion for Leadership, said: “One of the greatest, most appealing aspects of Ronald Reagan was his optimism about this country and about the future, and these guys all make it sound like we’re going down the drain.” All the candidates, he argued, should “try to communicate better to the American people that these are complicated, difficult problems that are going to be difficult to solve and are probably going to require some sacrifice”.

The 72-year-old declined to comment on specific candidates but was pressed by interviewer Mike Allen on the prospect of Trump reaching the White House. After a pause, he replied: “Well, I live about 50 miles from Canada.”

As the audience erupted in laughter, Gates continued philosophically: “I’ve been around a long time. There are a lot of people who have run for president where people have said, ‘Oh my God, if he’s elected, it’s the end of the world!’ And the truth of the matter is, it wasn’t, and so I’m not prepared to be overly dramatic and believe me, the comment I just made was very sarcastic and humorous, not meant seriously. Somebody out there will write a story that I’m going to Canada. It’s totally not true; I intend to remain within the United States.”

Gates was the only defence secretary in American history to be asked to remain in that office by a newly elected president. Working under Barack Obama, he was alongside Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state and praised her as “tough minded” with “a lot of common sense” but admitted they began to disagree on issues towards the end, notably the intervention in Libya.

He did not mention Bernie Sanders by name but did suggest both Democratic and Republican candidates are being given an easy ride by the media. “Frankly, I think that the press needs to be more aggressive,” he said. “A lot of people in both parties are making huge promises and commitments.

“In some cases, the things they’re saying they’re going to do are unconstitutional or merely against the law and others are, from a budgetary standpoint, inconceivable, and so it seems to be that the press has not hammered hard enough and been relentless in saying, ‘How the hell are you going to do that?’”

Gates condemned National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden as a traitor, called on tech companies to put security ahead of business interests and cooperate with intelligence agencies on encrypted data, and repeated his past description of Putin as a “stone-cold killer”, which, in the light of the Alexander Litvinenko inquiry, “the British now seem to reaffirm”.

The intelligence veteran of nearly 27 years also spoke about the danger of leaks and recalled the 2011 raid in Pakistan that killed terrorist Osama bin Laden. A friend later emailed him a Photoshopped version of the famous picture in the situation room with the occupants wearing superhero costumes: Obama as Superman, Joe Biden as Spider-Man, Clinton as Wonder Woman and Gates himself as the Green Lantern.

“And we all had a good laugh, and then I said, ‘Mr President, this is the reason the photographs of the dead Bin Laden must never be released, because somebody will Photoshop them and it will anger every Muslim in the world, even those that hated Bin Laden, because of being disrespectful of the dead, and it will create greater risk for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and for all Americans, especially in the Middle East.’ And to the best of my knowledge, those photographs are the only things about that raid that have never leaked.”

He added: “The Defense Department wrote the book on leaking. They know how to do this. But the Defense Department leaks about policy and budget and weapons programmes and stuff like that. They do not leak about military operations because they know lives are at stake. So the leaks about the Bin Laden raid for the first couple of weeks came from the White House and CIA, and I just thought that was a disgrace.”

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Neuroscientist: Donald Trump Has Mental Disorder That Makes Him Dangerous

mental-disorder

How to best explain Donald Trump? Narcissist? Check. Egomaniac? Check. Industrial strength jerkweek? Yep, that too. But there are genuine psychological terms for what drives Trump and why he’s the way he is. So let’s lay the foundation for a better understanding of the 2016 GOP frontrunner.

Narcissism-“Mine, mine, mine. All mine!”

Harvard professor and researcher Howard Gardener classifies Trump as a “textbook narcissist.” Trump fits the definition so perfectly that clinical psychologist George Simon remarked:

“He’s so classic that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in workshops.”

As such, Trump is in the same mold as Napoleon, Muammar Gaddafi, and Saddam Hussein. Not exactly the company you want to be associated with as you seek to become one of the most powerful men in the world.

But what makes someone a true narcissist? According to the Mayo Clinic, narcissistic personality disorder is:

“A mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others.”

Lack of empathy is clearly evidenced in Trump’s statements about Mexicans being drug dealers and rapists, as well as in his remarks regarding not allowing Muslims into the United States if elected to the White House.

Delicate Self-Esteem–“What Did You Say?!”

Another component of narcissistic personality disorder is that underneath the arrogant exterior, most narcissists have a fragile sense of self-esteem which does not tolerate criticism of them. In Trump’s case, just think about the nasty things he said about Megyn Kelly shortly after the first GOP debate in 2015. He snidely said that Kelly had “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” Recall that Kelly had asked tough questions of the Donald and he did not appreciate that one little bit.

Leaders And Narcisissm–“Off With Their Heads!”

While Trump’s flamboyant and self-absorbed personality may have help him succeed in the cutthroat world of business, were he to become president, it could easily make him incredibly dangerous.

Just imagine that Vladimir Putin pisses off Trump or does something that rubs him the wrong way. Trump has the world’s best military and a nuclear arsenal at his disposal. He might use them as a means of getting even with Putin or any other world leader that did not give him the respect he feels he so richly deserves. So because someone makes fun of Trump’s hamster hair, we might well wind up with World War III.

Gonna Pass On That

There are probably ten thousand reasons why Donald Trump is unfit to be President of the United States. But the most serious and most telling is the underlying personality disorder which afflicts him. Trump is dangerous, and he should never ever be given the reins of power to this nation.

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EXTREMIST TRUMP: I could ‘shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters’

Donald Trump boasted Saturday that support for his presidential campaign would not decline even if he shot someone in the middle of a crowded street.

“I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,” Trump said at a campaign rally here.

After the event, Trump declined to answer when asked by CNN to clarify his comments.

The GOP front-runner has repeatedly pointed to the loyalty of his supporters, many of whom tell reporters and pollsters that almost nothing could make them change their mind about voting for Trump in the presidential race.

Trump’s comments come as the debate about gun violence in America has taken center stage in American political discourse amid several highly publicized mass shootings.

Trump has repeatedly touted his strong support for the Second Amendment and slammed President Barack Obama’s recent use of executive orders to expand the reach of background checks needed to purchase a gun.

The brash billionaire’s comments also come less than two months after two ISIS-inspired terrorists killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California, and ISIS-linked attacks killed 130 in Paris. In response, Trump has called for fewer gun restrictions and a harder stance on terrorism.

Asked about Trump’s comment after a campaign event in Iowa, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Trump’s top rival for the GOP nomination, shook his head.

“I will let Donald speak for himself,” Cruz said. “I can say I have no intention of shooting anybody in this campaign.”

Trump has joked about killing people before.

Last month, he appeared to consider whether he would kill journalists, as Russian President Vladimir Putin — whom Trump defended — has been accused of doing.

“I would never kill them. I would never do that,” Trump told supporters in Grand Rapids, Michigan, before reconsidering.

“Uh, let’s see, uh?” he said aloud, his voice rising. “No, I would never do that.”

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TRUMP IS A BULLY: The widow Vera Coking that defeated Donald Trump

Trump gets booed at the Republican debate over support for eminent domain

The widow that defeated Donald Trump

Posted by Markeece Young on Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The widow that defeated Donald Trump

The time Donald Trump’s empire took on a widow — and lost

There once was a widow who lived in a house by the sea.

It wasn’t much of a place, just a fading, clapboard-clad box a few steps from the boardwalk in Atlantic City.

Yet, somehow, that house has turned into a clogged intersection of American celebrity and wealth, an odd mash-up of failed dreams, bombast, stubborn indignation, name-calling, angry taunts and legal bombardment.

View_of_house_between_two_casinos_-_Town_of_Atlantic_City,_North_end_of_Absecon_Island,_South_of_Absecon_Channel,_Atlantic_City,_Atlantic_County,_NJ_HABS_NJ,1-ATCI,19-3_(CT).tifThe cast of characters populating that house’s curious history over the past three decades includes a friend and co-author of Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, a legendary pornographer, and a famed investor. But the central figures in its life and death saga are a feisty, obstinate woman named Vera Coking and a billionaire, the Republican presidential front-runner, Donald Trump.

Trump is dominating his Republican opponents in the polls. But in the long melodrama that is Trump’s business career, the house in Atlantic City is the place where all the billionaire’s money and all the billionaire’s men couldn’t keep a 5-foot-3 widow from whupping him.

Trump wanted Coking’s house — not to live in, but as a place to park limousines for his casino next door. But Coking wouldn’t let him have it. No way. No how. Never.

“It is a classic case of a schoolyard bully growing up,” said Clint Bolick, who co-founded the legal institute that defended Coking in a 1990s lawsuit with Trump and years later co-authored an immigration book with Bush, Trump’s nemesis and Republican presidential opponent. “He’s a thug.”

A Trump spokesman did not respond to an interview request.

The tale of Trump and the widow who wouldn’t sell arcs across the panorama of Atlantic City’s recent ups and downs. Coking and her husband bought the white, three-story house at 127 Columbia Pl. in 1961, long before the area was transformed by mega-casinos. She raised her children there. For a time, she operated it as a boarding house.

For Coking, it was a place worth fighting over. And fight she did.

In the early 1980s, Coking tangled with Bob Guccione, the founder of Penthouse magazine. Guccione wanted to build a casino, and Coking’s house was in the way. He offered a million bucks, she said. She snubbed him. She wouldn’t budge.

So he started building a giant structure right next to her house, and then even took possession of the air space above her house, erecting a metal structure that loomed over it like a raptor.

Guccione’s project went bust.

Enter Trump.

The billionaire developer stripped away the remnants of Guccione’s failed project and set about planning to expand his own casino empire.

Like Guccione, he tried to rid himself of Coking and her house.

In Coking’s telling, Trump first tried to charm her, then tried to stomp her.

“He’d come over to the house, probably thinking, ‘If I butter her up now, I’ll get her house for a good price,’ ” Coking told the New York Daily News in 1998. “Once, he gave me Neil Diamond tickets. I didn’t even know who Neil Diamond was.”

Coking, who is now more than 90 years old and was not available to be interviewed, was having none of it. This was her “dream house,” said Dana Berliner, an attorney with the Arlington, Va.-based Institute for Justice, a civil liberties law firm that represented Coking in her case against Trump and Atlantic City’s casino development authority.

“She was a very determined person,” Berliner said.

Coking held firm, even as the 22-story Trump Plaza soared outside her windows with its ever-flashing lights. The house was deteriorating, but Coking’s will wasn’t. Demolition crews had set fire to her roof, broken windows and smashed up much of the third floor, according to her attorneys. Still, she didn’t move.

In May 1994, Coking got a letter from the city’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority offering her $250,000 — a quarter of what Guccione had offered a decade before — and threatening to use eminent domain powers to take control of the property if she didn’t take the deal, according to a summary of the case by the Institute of Justice.

Coking had stared down Guccione. Now she was going to battle with the government, armed with lawyers. But the government had an important ally: Trump, the man whose company would benefit if Coking could be shoved out of her home. Trump’s company took the casino authority’s side in the lawsuit.

A spokeswoman for the casino authority did not respond to an interview request.

The feud over Coking’s house pitted two big personalities. Berliner remembers Coking as “quite a character,” a woman who favored huge sunglasses and bright clothes. Her nemesis, the brash developer, was unfiltered, pugnacious and supremely confident.

In her interview with the Daily News, Coking called Trump “a maggot, a cockroach and a crumb.”

widow

Trump responded by suggesting that Coking was making a play for sympathy in the media in hopes of getting him to pay more for her land.

“Did she put on her old clothing for you?” Trump said to one reporter.

Bolick saw the case as a key moment in the battle over eminent domain and property rights. It was a struggle over precious liberties but lacked an obvious embodiment of the stakes.

“What was needed was a villain so heinous that a court would rule against him,” Bolick likes to tell audiences. “Out of central casting came Donald Trump.”

It used to be a reliable laugh line.

“Now I suspect a lot of people wouldn’t find that funny,” Bolick said.

Trump, Coking and the casino authority pounded away at one another in court. Then, one day in the summer of 1998, the Superior Court of New Jersey put an end to the conflict. The court ruled that the casino authority and Trump were wrong. The government couldn’t take Coking’s house and let Trump have it.

The widow had won.

She lived there for about another decade, happy to boast about her triumph over a man she despised. From across a parking lot, she saw Trump’s casino fizzle. Last year, Trump Plaza closed its doors, another in a long line of casualties in the precipitous decay of a once-sizzling casino strip.

By then, both of the headstrong types who’d fought with such vim and vitriol were gone.

Trump’s name was still on the casino, but he no longer ran the enterprise — and he’d sued to have his name removed from the building, claiming it was too shabby to be associated with him.

546e5dd9264ec.imageCoking had moved to California to be with relatives, and her once-coveted home had to be put up for auction because she couldn’t find a buyer. Oren Klein, the managing partner at AuctionAdvisors, the company that handled the bidding, stepped delicately through Coking’s old house while preparing for the auction. The place was “basically falling down,” he said.

Inside, he felt as if he was touring a bygone Atlantic City dotted with relics. In one room, he found an ancient roulette wheel.

Coking’s grandchildren, Klein said, looked at the home as a symbol of their family’s grit and determination.

“They were proud that their grandmother had fought Trump and won,” he said.

A mystery bidder paid $583,000 for Coking’s house last summer. The Press of Atlantic City later dug up real estate records revealing that the winning bidder was a subsidiary of a company owned by Carl Icahn, the renowned Wall Street mogul.

With Trump and Coking no longer around to squabble over the house, the wrecking crews moved in.

The storied house by the sea is no more.

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Jeb tweets a picture of his mom to Trump

mom-to-the-rescue-

Mom to the rescue! Mrs. Bush is ready to tackle Trump the chump! Yippie! Republican attacks are getting very personal! Jeb Bush tweets picture of his mom to Trump. This picture was not photoshopped. Creative or childish exchange?

Trump makes fun of Jeb Bush for ad ‘where he desperately needed mommy to help him’

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Donald Trump said that Jeb Bush “desparately need mommy to help him” after Barbara Bush appeared in a campaign ad (pictured) for her son.

Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush trotted out his mother to make thinly veiled attacks on Donald Trump, though the GOP front-runner countered with a “barb” of his own.

Barbara Bush starred in a campaign ad released Friday and praised her son because, “Rather than talking about how popular they are or how great they are, he’s doing it because he sees huge need and it’s not being filled by anybody.”

The former First Lady’s slight did not go unnoticed by the thin-skinned real estate mogul.

Trump has continually needled Bush during his attempt at the White House for being “low energy” and took a playground-style swipe at his rival in response.

The former First Lady had made a thinly veiled attack on Trump when she said other candidates were DONALD TRUMP VIA TWITTER

The former First Lady had made a thinly veiled attack on Trump when she said other candidates were “talking about how popular they are or how great they are.”

“Just watched Jeb’s ad where he desperately needed mommy to help him,” the GOP front-runner tweeted Friday night.

He added that “mom can’t help you with ISIS, the Chinese or with Putin.”

However, the former Florida governor had his own response to questions about his mother’s toughness.

Bush responded by posting a picture of his mother in football pads and eye black, taken during a literacy campaign with Houston Texans' JJ Watt.

Bush responded by posting a picture of his mother in football pads and eye black, taken during a literacy campaign with Houston Texans’ JJ Watt.

“I’d be careful Donald,” he captioned a photo of the Bush matriarch wearing football pads and eye black.

The picture of the now 90-year-old appears to be taken from a snap of her with Houston Texans’ Pro Bowl defensive end JJ Watt.

Watt teamed up with Bush’s foundation for literacy in Houston in 2014 and appeared in an ad encouraging parents to “tackle” the problem by reading to their children.

Follow on Twitter @CKozalBrennan.

cbrennan@nydailynews.com

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NATIONAL REVIEW: Against Trump

against-trump

Donald Trump leads the polls nationally and in most states in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. There are understandable reasons for his eminence, and he has shown impressive gut-level skill as a campaigner. But he is not deserving of conservative support in the caucuses and primaries. Trump is a philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus within the GOP in favor of a free-floating populism with strong-man overtones.

Trump’s political opinions have wobbled all over the lot. The real-estate mogul and reality-TV star has supported abortion, gun control, single-payer health care à la Canada, and punitive taxes on the wealthy. (He and Bernie Sanders have shared more than funky outer-borough accents.) Since declaring his candidacy he has taken a more conservative line, yet there are great gaping holes in it.

His signature issue is concern over immigration — from Latin America but also, after Paris and San Bernardino, from the Middle East. He has exploited the yawning gap between elite opinion in both parties and the public on the issue, and feasted on the discontent over a government that can’t be bothered to enforce its own laws no matter how many times it says it will (President Obama has dispensed even with the pretense). But even on immigration, Trump often makes no sense and can’t be relied upon. A few short years ago, he was criticizing Mitt Romney for having the temerity to propose “self-deportation,” or the entirely reasonable policy of reducing the illegal population through attrition while enforcing the nation’s laws. Now, Trump is a hawk’s hawk.

He pledges to build a wall along the southern border and to make Mexico pay for it. We need more fencing at the border, but the promise to make Mexico pay for it is silly bluster. Trump says he will put a big door in his beautiful wall, an implicit endorsement of the dismayingly conventional view that current levels of legal immigration are fine. Trump seems unaware that a major contribution of his own written immigration plan is to question the economic impact of legal immigration and to call for reform of the H-1B–visa program. Indeed, in one Republican debate he clearly had no idea what’s in that plan and advocated increased legal immigration, which is completely at odds with it. These are not the meanderings of someone with well-informed, deeply held views on the topic.

As for illegal immigration, Trump pledges to deport the 11 million illegals here in the United States, a herculean administrative and logistical task beyond the capacity of the federal government. Trump piles on the absurdity by saying he would re-import many of the illegal immigrants once they had been deported, which makes his policy a poorly disguised amnesty (and a version of a similarly idiotic idea that appeared in one of Washington’s periodic “comprehensive” immigration reforms). This plan wouldn’t survive its first contact with reality.

On foreign policy, Trump is a nationalist at sea. Sometimes he wants to let Russia fight ISIS, and at others he wants to “bomb the sh**” out of it. He is fixated on stealing Iraq’s oil and casually suggested a few weeks ago a war crime — killing terrorists’ families — as a tactic in the war on terror. For someone who wants to project strength, he has an astonishing weakness for flattery, falling for Vladimir Putin after a few coquettish bats of the eyelashes from the Russian thug. All in all, Trump knows approximately as much about national security as he does about the nuclear triad — which is to say, almost nothing.

Indeed, Trump’s politics are those of an averagely well-informed businessman: Washington is full of problems; I am a problem-solver; let me at them. But if you have no familiarity with the relevant details and the levers of power, and no clear principles to guide you, you will, like most tenderfeet, get rolled. Especially if you are, at least by all outward indications, the most poll-obsessed politician in all of American history. Trump has shown no interest in limiting government, in reforming entitlements, or in the Constitution. He floats the idea of massive new taxes on imported goods and threatens to retaliate against companies that do too much manufacturing overseas for his taste. His obsession is with “winning,” regardless of the means — a spirit that is anathema to the ordered liberty that conservatives hold dear and that depends for its preservation on limits on government power. The Tea Party represented a revival of an understanding of American greatness in these terms, an understanding to which Trump is tone-deaf at best and implicitly hostile at worst. He appears to believe that the administrative state merely needs a new master, rather than a new dispensation that cuts it down to size and curtails its power.

It is unpopular to say in the year of the “outsider,” but it is not a recommendation that Trump has never held public office. Since 1984, when Jesse Jackson ran for president with no credential other than a great flow of words, both parties have been infested by candidates who have treated the presidency as an entry-level position. They are the excrescences of instant-hit media culture. The burdens and intricacies of leadership are special; experience in other fields is not transferable. That is why all American presidents have been politicians, or generals.

Any candidate can promise the moon. But politicians have records of success, failure, or plain backsliding by which their promises may be judged. Trump can try to make his blankness a virtue by calling it a kind of innocence. But he is like a man with no credit history applying for a mortgage — or, in this case, applying to manage a $3.8 trillion budget and the most fearsome military on earth.

Trump’s record as a businessman is hardly a recommendation for the highest office in the land. For all his success, Trump inherited a real-estate fortune from his father. Few of us will ever have the experience, as Trump did, of having Daddy-O bail out our struggling enterprise with an illegal loan in the form of casino chips. Trump’s primary work long ago became less about building anything than about branding himself and tending to his celebrity through a variety of entertainment ventures, from WWE to his reality-TV show, The Apprentice. His business record reflects the often dubious norms of the milieu: using eminent domain to condemn the property of others; buying the good graces of politicians — including many Democrats — with donations.

Trump has gotten far in the GOP race on a brash manner, buffed over decades in New York tabloid culture. His refusal to back down from any gaffe, no matter how grotesque, suggests a healthy impertinence in the face of postmodern PC (although the insults he hurls at anyone who crosses him also speak to a pettiness and lack of basic civility). His promise to make America great again recalls the populism of Andrew Jackson. But Jackson was an actual warrior; and President Jackson made many mistakes. Without Jackson’s scars, what is Trump’s rhetoric but show and strut?

If Trump were to become the president, the Republican nominee, or even a failed candidate with strong conservative support, what would that say about conservatives? The movement that ground down the Soviet Union and took the shine, at least temporarily, off socialism would have fallen in behind a huckster. The movement concerned with such “permanent things” as constitutional government, marriage, and the right to life would have become a claque for a Twitter feed.

Trump nevertheless offers a valuable warning for the Republican party. If responsible men irresponsibly ignore an issue as important as immigration, it will be taken up by the reckless. If they cannot explain their Beltway maneuvers — worse, if their maneuvering is indefensible — they will be rejected by their own voters. If they cannot advance a compelling working-class agenda, the legitimate anxieties and discontents of blue-collar voters will be exploited by demagogues. We sympathize with many of the complaints of Trump supporters about the GOP, but that doesn’t make the mogul any less flawed a vessel for them.

Some conservatives have made it their business to make excuses for Trump and duly get pats on the head from him. Count us out. Donald Trump is a menace to American conservatism who would take the work of generations and trample it underfoot in behalf of a populism as heedless and crude as the Donald himself.

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TWO BIGOTS: HOMOPHOBE WRITES TRUMP’S SPEECH

BIGOTS

Tony Perkins, the leader of the notoriously antigay Family Research Group, is helping Donald Trump write his speeches.

In an interview with CNN anchor Don Lemon, Trump clarified the “Two Corinthians” gaffe at his Liberty University speech earlier this week, acknowledging that Perkins had helped him write the speech, and describing him as “a very, very good guy.”

Here’s a quick primer on Perkins’ greatest hits: he’s previously stated there will be “deadly” consequences if the gay rights movement succeeds; thinks Christian businesses should donate LGBTQ profits to ex-gay ministries; and urged parents to yank their children from a public school after its principal came out. And those are but three examples of many.

Teaming up with a proud homophobe like Perkins suggests Trump has no qualms about pandering to the far right every which way in order to get his nomination.

 

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N.Y. Daily News runs epic cover on ‘stupid’ Donald Trump and Sarah Palin

DAILY-NEWS

Former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin surprised many Tuesday afternoon when she endorsed Donald Trump for president. The news quickly went viral and landed on the front page of the New York Daily News.

While Trump and Palin have publicly embraced each other in the past, it was widely expected that Texas Sen. Texas Cruz would receive her endorsement. Palin and Cruz both appeal to a similar crowd of Tea Party members and conservative Christians, so Trump landing her endorsement is a plus for a campaign that wants to come out on top in the Iowa caucus. As CNN reported on Jan. 19, Palin’s announcement rocked the Republican party, as many others couldn’t help but laugh.

“You ready for a commander in chief who will let our warriors do their job and kick ISIS a**?” Palin asked Trump supporters during a campaign stop in Iowa. Trump said he was proud to receive her endorsement, while Palin shouted that she was ready to “stump for Trump.” In one of the first reactions of a major newspaper, the New York Daily News will run a coverWednesday morning with Trump and Palin pointing to each other, with the caption reading “I’m with stupid!”

The Cruz campaign was not happy with the news, as communications director Rick Tyler said it was a “blow to Sarah Palin” and her reputation as a conservative hero. With just three weeks until the Iowa caucus, Trump and Cruz are fighting for the top spot and a Palin endorsement could tilt the scales in favor of the billionaire real estate mogul.

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