DONALD TRUMP WILD CLAIM: UNEMPLOYMENT IS 42%. NOT TRUE.

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The official U.S. unemployment rate is 5.1% — the lowest in seven years — but Donald Trump calls that a “joke.”

On Monday, he claimed he’d seen numbers that show America’s real unemployment rate is as high as 42%.

How does he arrive at such a wild figure?

Trump appears to be looking at the number of American adults not working. Period.

Out of about 251 million American adults, roughly 102 million — or 40.6% — aren’t working.

But, of course, there are a lot of reasons people don’t work. They could be disabled, in college, at home raising kids or retired.

And you wouldn’t include those groups in the unemployment rate, which tries to capture how many people are actively looking for work and can’t find it.

Trump’s claims getting more outlandish

The 42% claim just marks a ratcheting up of his rhetoric to show that America needs a drastic fix.

When he announced his run for president, he said “the real unemployment is anywhere from 18% to 20%.”

CNNMoney (among others) already called out that claim for being false. The broadest measure of unemployment is 10.3%, a rate officially called “U-6 unemployment,” which includes those who work part-time but want a full-time job, as well as people who have given up looking for work in the past year.

There’s a valid, but different, conversation to have about the trend that more and more American adults aren’t working. It was expected that the number of American adults in the workforce would decline as more Baby Boomers reached retirement age.

Economists like to point out that the two main drivers of growth are more people working or else higher productivity. With fewer adult Americans working, that makes it more difficult for the country to grow.

A common solution to that problem is letting in more immigrants, but it’s hard to imagine that under a Trump administration. He even wants to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants.

“He will be lucky to get negative 3% growth if he got his wish,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.

TRUMP: TAX CUT FOR THE RICH

RICHDonald Trump’s tax plan, released Monday, does not live up to the populist language he has offered on taxes all summer.

When talking about taxes in this campaign, Donald Trump has often sounded like a different kind of Republican. He says he will take on “the hedge fund guys” and their carried interest loophole. He thinks it’s “outrageous” how little tax some multimillionaires pay. But his plan calls for major tax cuts not just for the middle class but also for the richest Americans — even the dreaded hedge fund managers. And despite his campaign’s assurances that the plan is “fiscally responsible,” it would grow budget deficits by trillions of dollars over a decade.

You could call Mr. Trump’s plan a higher-energy version of the tax plan Jeb Bush announced earlier this month: similar in structure, but with lower rates and wider tax brackets, meaning individual taxpayers would pay even less than under Mr. Bush, and the government would lose even more tax revenue.

Currently, the top income tax rate for regular income is 39.6 percent. Mr. Trump would cut that rate to 25 percent, the lowest level since 1931. He’d cut maximum rates on capital gains and dividends to 20 percent from 23.8 percent. He’d cut the corporate tax rate to 15 percent, and also offer a special tax rate of 15 percent to business owners — less than half what they may pay under today’s rules. He’d abolish the estate tax entirely.

Mr. Trump says he’d pay for those tax rate reductions by “reducing or eliminating most deductions and loopholes available to the very rich.” But in truth, rich people already pay tax on most of their income, so there’s less revenue available from cutting rich people’s tax breaks than Mr. Trump and many voters believe.

In 2013, taxpayers earning between $500,000 and $10 million deducted or exempted an average of 12 percent of their income from tax; for those earning more than $10 million, the figure was 16 percent. If those deductions were abolished entirely (and Mr. Trump proposes only to reduce them), that would not come close to paying for a cut in the top tax rate from 39.6 percent to 25 percent, which is a relative reduction of 37 percent.

Mr. Trump has also proposed taxing investment returns related to life insurance that currently don’t appear on tax returns at all. This would raise more revenue than you might expect, perhaps $20 billion a year at Mr. Trump’s proposed tax rates, but still wouldn’t be enough to offset the high-end rate cuts.

Even the hedge fund managers Mr. Trump has railed against on the stump would get a tax cut under his plan. The usual fee structure for a hedge fund is called “2-and-20”: a flat management fee (often 2 percent) on all assets, plus a performance fee (often 20 percent) on profits above a set threshold. Currently, the management fee is taxed at ordinary rates up to 39.6 percent, while the performance fee enjoys a preferential rate of 23.8 percent. Under Mr. Trump’s plan, all this income would be taxed at a maximum of 25 percent. The performance fee would be subject to a small tax increase, but that effect would be dwarfed by the large tax cut on ordinary management fees.

Another large, though less-noticed, tax cut in Mr. Trump’s plan is a reduction in the maximum tax rate on “pass-through income” to 15 percent; currently, this income is taxed at the same rates as wage income, up to 39.6 percent.

Pass-through income is often described as “small-business income,” but that term can be misleading. Small-business owners can use corporate structures, like limited liability companies, that are not taxed. Instead, the income from these companies is passed through to their individual owners, who then pay tax on their individual income tax returns. Those small-business owners would enjoy this tax reduction from Mr. Trump, but so would the owners of large businesses that may also choose to use these same ownership structures. The tax break would also go to independent contractors like me: The New York Times pays me a salary, but when I do work for other organizations, I treat the payments as small-business income, and I’d get to use the 15 percent rate proposed by Mr. Trump.

In addition to offering huge tax cuts to the rich and to business owners (including me!), Mr. Trump would offer huge tax cuts for the middle and upper-middle class. Married couples would pay no tax on their first $50,000 of income and just 10 percent on the next $50,000. A married couple with no children earning $100,000 and taking the standard deduction would pay $11,437 in income tax under today’s rules; under Mr. Trump’s plan, they would pay just $5,000, a tax cut of 56 percent. Many people with low-to-moderate incomes would see their income tax bills reduced to zero, increasing the share of the population that pays no income tax at all.

He’d also offer huge tax breaks to corporations, which would pay 15 percent, down from a current rate of 35 percent. Corporate tax is the main place where his plan departs from Republican orthodoxy, but in a fairly arcane way. Mr. Trump would tax the worldwide income of American corporations at the time it is earned. Currently, American companies may delay tax on foreign profits until they return those profits to the United States. Many Republicans (including Jeb Bush) would move in the other direction and forgo tax on foreign income altogether, arguing that worldwide taxation makes it harder for American companies to compete abroad.

By demanding immediate tax on foreign profits, Mr. Trump’s plan would disfavor American companies that locate their businesses abroad, which is consistent with his broader theme of pushing companies to return factories and jobs to the United States. However, because he would cut the corporate income tax rate so steeply, the effects of immediate worldwide corporate taxation would be limited: Companies get a credit for tax paid to other countries, so Mr. Trump’s tax would apply only on foreign profits that were not subject to tax by a foreign country at a rate of at least 15 percent. This would mostly affect income earned in tax havens, as most major countries have corporate income tax rates of more than 15 percent.

In other words, Mr. Trump’s worldwide tax plan would have no effect on Ford’s choice to make cars in Mexico, so long as they’re paying at least 15 percent in tax to Mexico on their Mexican activities.

A document from the Trump campaign says all these tax cuts would be “fully paid for” by the elimination of deductions and by a one-time tax on foreign profits of American firms held abroad. That math simply does not add up: As discussed above, rich people do not currently take enough tax deductions to offset the tax rate cuts Mr. Trump proposes, and the one-time foreign profits tax might raise $250 billion, not close to the trillions of revenue that would be lost through tax rate cuts.

At a news conference Monday, Mr. Trump offered another way his tax plan would pay for itself: economic growth, perhaps as fast as 6 percent a year, again a higher-energy estimate than the 4 percent Mr. Bush has proposed. But there is no evidence to support the idea that such rapid growth can be produced through tax cuts.

SOURCE

TRUMP & GOP: POPE FRANCIS HAS SPOKEN

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Pope Francis, in Philadelphia, Tells Immigrants: ‘Do Not Be Discouraged’

“Many of you have emigrated to this country at great personal cost, but in the hope of building a new life. Do not be discouraged by whatever challenges and hardships you face,” the pope, standing before Independence Mall in Philadelphia, said Saturday afternoon. 

“I ask you not to forget that, like those who came here before you, you bring many gifts to your new nation. You should never be ashamed of your traditions.”

“By contributing your gifts, you will not only find your place here, you will help to renew society from within,” he said in Spanish.

“I take this opportunity to thank all those, of whatever religion, who have sought to serve the God of peace by building cities of brotherly love, by caring for our neighbors in need, by defending the dignity of God’s gift of life in all its stages, by defending the cause of the poor and the immigrant,” he said. ” All too often, those most in need of our help are unable to be heard. You are their voice, and many of you have faithfully made their cry heard.”

POPE FRANCIS: CHAIR BUILT BY HISPANICS

El Diario’s Zaira Cortés reports on two groups of Hispanic workers getting ready for Pope Francis’ visit to New York City Sept. 24-25: Volunteers from the Don Bosco Community Center in Westchester County are building the chair the pope will sit on during Mass at Madison Square Garden, and the wives of day laborers in Yonkers are embroidering the altar cloths for the liturgies the pope will officiate.
Preparing the chair that Pope Francis will use when he holds Mass at Madison Square Garden on Sept. 25. (Photo by Mariela Lombard via El Diario)

Preparing the chair that Pope Francis will use when he holds Mass at Madison Square Garden on Sept. 25. (Photo by Mariela Lombard via El Diario)

In an improvised wood shop under a tree full of walnuts in Port Chester, three Hispanic laborers build the oak wood chair that Pope Francis will use during his visit to New York in September.
The piece of furniture, which will have simple details ‒ mirroring the pope’s own personality ‒ will be used by the pontiff during the Mass he will officiate in Madison Square Garden.
Amid hammers and saws, Dominican workers Fausto Hernández, Mexican Héctor Rojas and Francisco Santamaría, from Nicaragua, follow the instructions of Salesian priest Sal Sammarco ‒ who does not speak Spanish ‒ down to the last detail.
“Faith breaks through the language barrier,” said Sammarco, a master carpenter. “Fausto has a better level of English and he translates for me, but we really communicate through our spirits.”
A Virgin of Guadalupe adorned with flowers guards the entrance to the makeshift wood shop, built inside a white garage. The figure welcomed Cardinal Dolan as he walked in last Thursday ‒ his cheeks red from the afternoon heat. He said that he was happy to meet the Latino carpenters.
“You do wonderful work,” the priest smiled as he patted the back of Gonzalo Cruz, from Mexico, who is an organizer for the Don Bosco Community Center. “Latino workers represent hard work, humility and creativity. They are the ideal people for this project,” said Dolan.
Sammarco, the head of the project, prayed to St. Joseph, patron of carpenters, that Pope Francis is satisfied with the simple design and details of the mahogany-colored chair.
“My second name is Joseph, just like Mary’s husband. My parents predicted my profession when they baptized me,” said Santamaría, who came from Managua 22 years ago. “I asked St. Joseph to bless my hands so that I can work the wood like a master,” said the carpenter.
Not that he will be need much divine help, as Santamaría has done this since he was a child. When he was 14, he dropped out of school to learn the craft of the Son of God.
The carpenter takes a moment to think as he swipes the sawdust off a work table and, looking at a picture of the chair, he explains that it will carry the essence of its builders the same way wood holds the soul of the tree to which it belonged.
“It is made of oak because it is strong like the Catholic Church,” said Santamaría. “It is a great pride for us humble people to be chosen to do something so meaningful.”
Santamaría said that violence in Nicaragua made him cross the most inhospitable borders, and that he never imagined that, decades later, he would be involved in the preparations for the pope’s welcome. The carpenter thinks that Pope Francis is a spokesperson for peace.
The hands of Mexican worker Héctor Rojas, who uses the services available at the Don Bosco Community Center, are not only good at handling wood but also at rebuilding what has been devastated by disaster.
“After Hurricane Sandy, many of us laborers went to the affected areas in Yonkers. They say that those who have less are the one who give the most, so here we are, volunteering again,” said the Toluca native, proudly. “We don’t expect to see the pope [in person] as payment for our work. Our satisfaction comes from having been chosen to build the chair where he will rest,” said Rojas.
Dominican worker Fausto Hernández , another member of the Center, said that he did not hesitate to raise his hand when Sammarco asked for volunteers for the mission, which he considers one of the most significant of his life.
“Pope Francis speaks out for the poor, and it is the poor who are welcoming him to New York,” said Hernández. “My family is proud and shares the joy in my heart. Our home is blessed forever.”
Dolan recognizes immigrants’ work
When asked about mogul Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant comments, Cardinal Dolan said that the Republican presidential candidate would have to meet the workers in order to understand their contribution.
“He would surely be delighted if he gave himself the chance to live alongside them,” said the priest.
Gonzalo Cruz, who hails from Puebla, said that the pope’s chair is not only a project made by the laborers but also by their families and the Latino community.
“It is very symbolic,” said Cruz. “We are united and full of hope, eager to continue in this struggle for social justice. The pope’s visit fully revitalizes us.”

Ignacia González and Agueda Zabaleta (wearing glasses) embroider altar cloths for the Pope’s masses. (Photo by Mariela Lombard via El Diario)

Ignacia González and Agueda Zabaleta (wearing glasses) embroider altar cloths for the Pope’s masses. (Photo by Mariela Lombard via El Diario)

Ignacia González, from Mexico, delicately untangles a skein of cotton embroidery floss in pearlescent blue. Each stitch made on the bright white poplin gives life to one of the doves on the cloths that will decorate Pope Francis’ altar during his official masses in the Big Apple.
“Embroidering is an ancestral labor that carries a lot of meaning,” said González without lifting her eyes off her needlework. “Mexican mothers learn it from our grandmothers and teach it to our daughters.”
González belongs to a group of 30 Yonkers women, all married to day laborers, who formed an embroidery and sewing workshop to support themselves with the help of Catholic Charities group Obreros Unidos (“united workers”).
The collective happily took on the task of embroidering the altar cloths for the liturgies the pope will officiate in September, but the experience has special significance for González. She saw Pope John Paul II up close when he visited Mexico City in 2002 to canonize St. Juan Diego.
“I stood in line since dawn, and waited for hours to see the pope for a few minutes but, in my heart, that moment was eternal,” said an emotional González. “I never thought that, years later, I would be embroidering cloths for Pope Francis. I feel blessed.”
Coincidentally, Pope John Paul II beatified St. Juan Diego ‒ the Virgin of Guadalupe’s messenger ‒ on July 31, González’s birthday.
Ignacia Gonzalez embroiders altar cloths for the Pope's visit. (Photo by Mariela Lombard via El Diario)

Ignacia Gonzalez embroiders altar cloths for the Pope’s visit. (Photo by Mariela Lombard via El Diario)

For the young mother, thread and needle are the instruments of faith for what she considers a wonderful moment. Her fellow seamstress, Águeda Zavaleta, who is also embroidering the pope’s altar cloth, said that, with each stitch, she gives thanks for the miracle of life.
“My daughter was hospitalized when she was born and we almost lost her, but God left her with us and now she is a healthy and beautiful kid,” said a tearful Zalaveta. “That is why I am so grateful to receive this task of embroidering for the pope, which I think is a message from the Lord.”
Obreros Unidos organizer Janet Hernández said that the papal visit will also touch her in a special way. Her 80-year-old mother, María Rosario, was a guest of honor in the pope’s recent tour of several cities in her native Ecuador.
“My mom was acknowledged for her pastoral work and, to me, she is a role model to follow. We both have had the good fortune to serve a pope spreading messages of love and reconciliation.”

SOURCE

WHY NOW?: Boehner Quits

johnSpeaker John A. Boehner, under intense pressure from conservatives in his party, announced on Friday that he would resign one of the most powerful positions in government and give up his House seat at the end of October, as Congress moved to avert a government shutdown.

Mr. Boehner, who was first elected to Congress in 1990, made the announcement in an emotional meeting with his fellow Republicans on Friday morning.

“My first job as speaker is to protect the institution,” Mr. Boehner said at a news conference at the Capitol, adding, “It had become clear to me that this prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable harm to the institution.”

Looking poised and sounding rehearsed, Mr. Boehner, who stunned the capital with his news, became emotional as he recalled a moment alone with Pope Francis, who had been his guest the day before at the Capitol and who had asked the speaker to pray for him.

Reflecting on his decision, he said, “This morning, I woke up, said my prayers, as I always do, and thought, ‘This is the day I am going to do this.’ ”

Most recently, he was trying to craft a solution to keep the government open through the rest of the year, but was under pressure from a growing base of conservatives who told him that they would not vote for a bill that did not defund Planned Parenthood.

Mr. Boehner’s announcement lessened the chance of a government shutdown next week, because Republican leaders will push for a short-term funding measure to keep the government operating and the speaker will no longer be deterred by those who threatened his job.

It will be up to a majority of the members of the House now to choose a new leader, and the leading candidate is Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the majority leader, who is viewed more favorably by the House’s more conservative members. The preferred candidate among many Republicans, Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, has said he does not want the job.

“John Boehner has been a great leader of the Republican Party and the House of Representatives,” Mr. Ryan said Friday in a statement. “This was an act of pure selflessness. John’s decades of service have helped move our country forward, and I deeply value his friendship. We will miss John, and I am confident our conference will elect leaders who are capable of meeting the challenges our nation faces. I wish John and his family well as he begins the next phase of his life.”

Representative Charlie Dent, Republican of Pennsylvania, said: “The next speaker is going to have a very tough job. The fundamental dynamics don’t change.”

Mr. Dent said there had been “a lot of sadness in the room” when Mr. Boehner made his announcement to colleagues, and he blamed the House’s hard-right members, who he said were unwilling to govern. “It’s clear to me that the rejectionist members of our conference clearly had an influence on his decision,” Mr. Dent said. “That’s why I’m not happy about what happened today. We still have important issues to deal with, and this will not be easier for the next guy.”

“The dynamics are this,” he continued. “There are anywhere from two to four dozen members who don’t have an affirmative sense of governance. They can’t get to yes. They just can’t get to yes, and so they undermine the ability of the speaker to lead. And not only do they undermine the ability of the speaker to lead, but they undermine the entire Republican conference and also help to weaken the institution of Congress itself. That’s the reality.

“Now, if we have a new speaker, is there going to be an epiphany? They won’t be happy if it’s Paul Ryan or Kevin McCarthy, who will have to make accommodations with a Democratic president and the Senate constituted the way it is.”

President Obama said Friday that Mr. Boehner’s resignation took him by surprise. He said he called Mr. Boehner moments before holding a news conference with the Chinese president, and he praised the speaker as a “good man” and a “patriot” who cares deeply about the House of Representatives.

“We have obviously had a lot of disagreements, and politically we are at the opposite end of the spectrum,” Mr. Obama said. But, he added, Mr. Boehner “has always conducted himself with civility and courtesy with me.”

And, the president said, Mr. Boehner is “somebody who understands that in government, governance, you don’t always get 100 percent of what you want.”

The president declined to speculate about Mr. Boehner’s replacement, but he warned that the next speaker should not be someone willing to shut the government down if policy demands were not met.

“You don’t invite a potential financial crisis,” Mr. Obama said. “You build roads, pass transportation bills. You do the basic work of governance. There’s no weakness in that. That’s what government is in our democracy.”

Mr. Obama promised to “reach out immediately” to whoever is the next speaker, and he said that he would continue to work with Mr. Boehner during the month before he leaves the House.

“Hopefully he feels like getting as much stuff done as he possibly can,” Mr. Obama said.

Representative Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California and the previous speaker of the House, learned about Mr. Boehner’s resignation when she read a breaking news alert on a staff member’s phone. “God knows what’s next over there,” she told staff members. “Coming from earthquake country, this is a big one.”

Ms. Pelosi, who had been negotiating privately on a plan to keep the government open, told reporters that Mr. Boehner’s resignation was “a stark indication of the disarray of House Republicans.”

The announcement came just a day after Pope Francis visited the Capitol, fulfilling a 20-year dream for Mr. Boehner, the son of a tavern owner from a large Catholic family, of having a pontiff address Congress. He had a private audience with Francis before the pope spoke to a joint meeting of Congress.

Mr. Boehner wept openly as the pope addressed an audience gathered on the West Lawn of the Capitol on Thursday. He no doubt understood that it was his last grand ceremony as speaker and, indeed, a capstone to his long political career, which began in the Ohio Statehouse.

“I am happy that one of his final memories will be watching the pope address an institution the speaker loved and served for many years,” Representative Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina, said. “He had an incredibly hard job, as whoever takes his place will learn.”

At the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit, which was taking place just a few blocks from the Capitol, many jumped to their feet and cheered when Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, announced that Mr. Boehner was resigning.

“It’s time to turn the page,” Mr. Rubio said, deviating from his prepared text in an assertion tailored to the audience, whose views align with many who wanted to oust Mr. Boehner.

One of those fed-up Republicans is Joe Glover, a retired businessman from the Dallas area who was at the conference and could barely restrain his jubilation.

“I think it’s awesome,” Mr. Glover said. “No. 1, he needed to go, and No. 2, it should give us an opportunity to have a fresh voice and fresh leadership, because we haven’t seen the leadership from that office we need to see.”

Addressing reporters after his remarks at the conservative summit meeting, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas spoke harshly of Mr. Boehner.

“The early reports are discouraging,” Mr. Cruz said. “If it is correct that the speaker, before he resigns, has cut a deal with Nancy Pelosi to fund the Obama administration for the rest of this year, to fund Obamacare, to fund executive amnesty, to fund Planned Parenthood, to fund implementation of this Iran deal, and then presumably to land a cushy K Street job after joining with the Democrats to implement all of President Obama’s priorities, that is not the behavior one would expect from a Republican speaker of the House.”

Mr. Cruz declined to offer his view of Mr. McCarthy, saying only that he hoped House Republicans “select a strong conservative.”

Mr. Obama said he expected Republicans to debate who would be their next leader, but he was sanguine about the decision bringing significant change, saying, “It’s not as if there’s been a multitude of areas” where Republicans in the House have worked with him in the past.

“There were members in his caucus who saw compromise of any sort as weakness or betrayal,” Mr. Obama said of Mr. Boehner. “When you have divided government, when you have a democracy, compromise is necessary.

He urged the next speaker to work to avoid another shutdown. He said a shutdown would not just “hurt the economy in the abstract, it hurts particular families. And, as I recall, it wasn’t that good for the reputation of the Republican Party.”

Still, Mr. Obama said he expected “significant fights” on issues like the funding of Planned Parenthood and the overhaul of immigration.

While some conservatives were celebrating, one prominent Republican was upset at the news.

Senator John McCain of Arizona said that he was taken aback and that Mr. Boehner’s resignation had perilous implications for Republican prospects going into next year’s elections.

“It means that it’s in disarray,” Mr. McCain said in a brief interview. “Basically, he has been unseated. And that’s not good for the Republican Party.”

His advice? “We’ve got to unite and recognize who the adversary is.”

For decades, Mr. Boehner legislated as a stalwart Republican institutionalist. He became speaker after a Tea Party wave in the 2010 election swept Republicans into the majority in the House on a call to drastically curb federal spending and the role of government.

It was an agenda Mr. Boehner supported, but he quickly found himself hamstrung by the new members of Congress, who were undaunted by the fact that Democrats controlled much of Washington and that their ability to fulfill their goals would have its limits.

That conflict resulted in a 16-day government shutdown in October 2013, the brink of default on the nation’s debt and the undoing of former Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, who was the House majority leader. Mr. Cantor oversaw the movement of the right to empower Republicans, but he was ultimately defeated in a primary in 2014 by an unknown challenger whose candidacy was fueled by Tea Party energy.

A similar dynamic is shaping the Republican presidential primary process, with both Donald J. Trump and Mr. Cruz openly critical of congressional leaders.

On Friday, even as Republican members of Congress reeled from the news, the architects of the right-leaning movement cheered.

“Americans deserve a Congress that fights for opportunity for all and favoritism to none,” said Michael A. Needham, the chief executive of Heritage Action, a policy arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation. “Too often, Speaker Boehner has stood in the way. Today’s announcement is a sign that the voice of the American people is breaking through in Washington. Now is the time for a principled, conservative leader to emerge. Heritage Action will continue fighting for conservative policy solutions, and we look forward to working with the new leadership team.”

Most recently, Mr. Boehner, a warrior in the anti-abortion movement for 30 years, was under pressure to try to cripple Planned Parenthood as part of a deal to keep the government open.

SOURCE

Colbert to Trump: Was Obama born in the USA? No Answer. Trump is a coward.

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Donald Trump ducked an attempt Tuesday by Stephen Colbert to get him to say whether he believes President Obama was born in the United States.

 

Colbert called the question a “big fat meatball” that Trump would never have to respond to again if he answered during an afternoon taping of the “Late Show” episode. 
“Barack Obama, born in the United States?” Colbert asked. 
“I don’t talk about it anymore,” Trump deflected, saying he would rather talk about jobs and veterans’ affairs. 
After Trump didn’t answer, Colbert said that the “meatball is now being dragged down the steps of the subway by a rat,” a reference to a viral video that has made the rounds this week. 
Trump has in the past been a vocal supporter of claims that Obama was not born in the U.S. 
The brash presidential candidate was Colbert’s headliner on Tuesday’s “Late Show.” The two spoke about immigration, the Iran deal, and Trump’s run for the White House. 
“I want to thank you for running for president,” Colbert said. “I’m not going to say this stuff writes itself, but you certainly do deliver it on time every day.” 
Trump, the GOP front runner, has done many late night appearances, but this was his first with Colbert.
Tuesday’s appearance was a gamble for Trump since Colbert isn’t known to pull punches with his guests, especially those in the political realm. 
However, Colbert was cordial and Trump seemed comfortable playing to the audience. Some gave him a standing ovation when he came out. 
Trump wasn’t Colbert’s only political guest on Tuesday. Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz, the architect of the Iran nuclear deal, was Colbert’s second guest. 
Colbert asked Trump, a vocal critic of the Iran deal, to sign a copy of his book “The Art of the Deal” for Moniz. Trump jokingly went along. “Better luck next time,” he wrote. 
Trump bashing has been common on Colbert’s “Late Show.” One of the highlights of the show’s debut earlier this month was a bit in which Colbert gorged on Oreos while also gorging on Trump news coverage.
The “Late Show” appearance came a little more than a week after Trump visited Colbert’s late night rival Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show.” 
Trump’s “Tonight Show” guest spot was considered to be a “love fest” by some, but gave Fallon a big ratings win over Colbert that night. 
Colbert spent years grilling politicians as a fake pundit on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.” 
In fact, Colbert played a game with Trump on Tuesday to see if he could figure out which quote was said by Trump or by Colbert’s “Report” character.

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TRUMP IS CRANKY NOW: POLLS DON’T LOOK SO GREAT

CRANKYDonald Trump seems crankier than usual. The guy’s not known for his sunny disposition, mind you — his most common form of interaction is to beat the crap out of someone or something and then say, “but I like the guy!” — but even by Trump standards, the past few days have been unusual.

Maybe it started with the blowback over Trump’s failure to call out a guy who called President Obama a Muslim during an event in New Hampshire. That happened on Thursday. On Friday, Trump skipped a scheduled event, citing a “significant business transaction.” New York magazine quotes a source who says that there probably wasn’t any such transaction: “He is just not doing well right now,” the source said, “and was afraid of going down there and making another mistake.”

He is, in fact, doing pretty well right now — just not as well as he had been. In a CNN/ORC poll released over the weekend, Trump’s support fell significantly from CNN’s last poll, conducted right before the second Republican debate.

You can see the downturn in the Real Clear Politics polling average. Trump’s support dipped a bit, thanks to that CNN poll — but so did his lead. At the end of August, he was up by almost 15 points. Now that has dropped to 10, and is trending the wrong way.

As is his way, Trump took to Twitter to register his annoyance.

First, on Sunday, he lashed out at Carly Fiorina, who saw the biggest jump in the CNN poll released that day.

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Then, on Monday morning, he got mad at the “Today” show for referring to CNN’s poll instead of one conducted by NBC in concert with SurveyMonkey.

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Those willing to join in his critique earned a much-sought-after retweet.

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Trump also repeatedly pushed another poll by John Zogby that came out on Monday. By Monday night, though, he had a new target: Fox News. Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, it seems, also had the temerity to cite CNN’s new poll and then had Trump critics weigh in.

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Between 8 p.m. and Tuesday morning, Trump had tweeted or retweeted 20 criticisms of Fox News — and also one woman bemoaning the “lynching” of Trump.

Nor was Trump done. On Tuesday, his campaign released a cease-and-desist letter to the Club For Growth, the first conservative organization to directly hit Trump on policy issues. Accusing the group’s president of libel, Trump’s lawyer threatened “that we will commence a multi-million dollar lawsuit against you personally and your organization.”

That is an unusual level of fury, even by Trump standards. What’s changed? First and foremost, that CNN poll reversed the idea that Trump continues to build on his lead. Second, he had someone to blame for that change: the Club For Growth. Trump hasn’t faced much direct criticism or many real roadblocks over the course of the campaign. Now he does. What’s more, it seems that the public fascination with his campaign is also fading, potentially making it harder for Trump to rely on free media to prop up his presidential bid.

Maybe this is a hiccup. I am not saying that Trump is over, because I know better than that by now. But this is pretty much exactly what we might expectto see at the beginning of the end of the Donald Trump phenomenon: a slow retreat of support matched by a furious refusal to accept it. It is what kids today (or, really, a year or two ago) would call a “bad look.”

More than half of all Republicans said that Trump has the temperament to be president in the most recent Washington Post-ABC poll. Tweeting at Fox 20 times because he dislikes their analysis doesn’t really bolster that claim.

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No Major U.S. Company Has Filed For Chapter 11 More Than Trump’s Casino Empire In The Last 30 Years

trumpDonald Trump brags about how well his businesses have fared in bankruptcy. And in fact, no major U.S. company has filed for Chapter 11 more than Trump’s casino empire in the last 30 years.

“I have used the laws of this country … the [bankruptcy] chapter laws, to do a great job for my company, for myself, for my employees, for my family,” he said during the first Republican presidential debate on August 6. 
Trump claims that successful businesses file for bankruptcy all the time. At the debate he said “virtually every person that you read about on the front page of the business sections, they’ve used the [bankruptcy] law.” 
But the facts don’t back that comment up. 
Despite high profile examples, including General Motors (GM), Lehman Brothers and most of the nation’s major airlines, fewer than 20% of public companies with assets of $1 billion or more have filed for bankruptcy in the last 30 years, according to data from Bankruptcy.com and S&P Capital IQ. 
Trump has never filed for personal bankruptcy. But he has filed four business bankruptcies, which Bankruptcy.com says makes Trump the top filer in recent decades. All of them were centered around casinos he used to own in Atlantic City. They were all Chapter 11 restructurings, which lets a company stay in business while shedding debt it owes to banks, employees and suppliers. 
He makes no apologies for having much of his debt wiped out. “These lenders aren’t babies. These are total killers,” he said at the debate. “These are not the nice, sweet little people.” 
Here’s a look at Trump’s bankruptcy track record. 

1. Trump Taj Mahal, 1991

Trump’s first bankruptcy filing was probably the most personally painful for him. To come up with the funds he needed, he sold a 282-foot yacht, as well as the Trump Shuttle, the airline he operated at the time that flew between Washington, D.C., New York and Boston, according to media reports at the time. He had to give up half of his ownership stake in the Trump Taj Mahal, but he did retain control of the property. His largest creditor was financier Carl Icahn, who held $400 million in bonds. Now Icahn is Trump’s pick for Treasury secretary should he be elected. 

2. Trump Castle Associates, 1992

In less than a year he was back in bankruptcy court for his other Atlantic City casinos. This bankruptcy included the Trump Plaza Hotel in New York, the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City as well as the Trump Castle Casino Resort. He gave up half his interest in the New York Plaza to Citibank, but retained his stake in the casinos. 

3. Trump Hotel & Casino Resorts, 2004

Trump didn’t go back to bankruptcy court again until November 2004, when he filed to shed debt at his various Atlantic City casinos and a riverboat in Indiana. It was another quick trip through bankruptcy court; the company shed $500 million in debt and emerged from bankruptcy the following May. Trump turned over majority control of the company to his bondholders but remained the largest single shareholder, and he once again kept control of the casinos. 

4. Trump Entertainment Resorts, 2009

His most recent bankruptcy came in 2009, after the company missed a $53.1 million bond payment. That was pretty much the end of the road for Trump in Atlantic City. While his name remained on three casinos, he resigned from the board and gave up his remaining stake in the company. 
“I had the good sense, and I’ve gotten a lot of credit in the financial pages, seven years ago I left Atlantic City before it totally cratered,” he said during the debate. 
The two Atlantic City casinos that still had the Trump name filed for bankruptcy yet again in 2014. At the time Trump made sure people knew he was no longer running the company, and sued to have his name removed

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