By Doug Porter
The Republican party’s leading candidate for president is behaving so outlandishly that no made-up prank could possibly top it. It’s worse than a bad joke and the soiled image of the United States is the punch line.
The Donald’s had a bad couple of days, acting like a five-year-old on steroids as he defends the indefensible, makes vulgar threats, and runs roughshod over common decency.
His defense of campaign manager Corey Lewandowski being charged with battery in connection with an incident earlier in the month involving a reporter was desperate and shameful.
From USA Today:
According to a report filed by police in Jupiter, Fla., Lewandowski grabbed former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields by the arm at an event there and pulled her back as she tried to interview Trump.
Immediately after the event in early March, Lewandowski claimed he “never touched” Fields, calling her “delusional.”
A video later surfaced showing Lewandowski did grab Fields, which she said caused bruises to form on her arm.
“How do you know those bruises weren’t there before?” Trump later said.
“She had a pen,” he said, “and the Secret Service doesn’t like them. It could be a knife or a bomb or something.” Trump also accused her of trying to ask a question, which she shouldn’t have been doing since the press conference had already ended.
Yesterday a group of 16 conservative women in the media issued a letter calling on Trump to fire his campaign manager. That’s something not likely to happen. After all, with his disapproval rating among women running over 70%, The Donald has nothing to gain.
Anderson Cooper: “That’s an argument a five-year-old makes”
Off With Their Heads, We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Law
At a town hall in Appleton Wisconsin, Trump said American troops are afraid to fight for fear of violating the Geneva Conventions.
“The problem is we have the Geneva Conventions, all sorts of rules and regulations, so the soldiers are afraid to fight,” Trump said at an afternoon town hall during remarks on torture.
“We can’t waterboard, but they can chop off heads,” Trump said, referring to the United States and the Islamic State, respectively. “I think we’ve got to make some changes, some adjustments.”
The Geneva Conventions, adopted broadly after World War II, govern the treatment of civilians and prisoners of war — including a ban on torture and summary executions. They mirror rules the U.S. adopted in 1882.
Like Ronald Reagan?
The Trump campaign spent much of Wednesday walking back a statement made by their candidate in response to a grilling by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews.
The Donald said that there should be “some form of punishment” for women who have abortions if the procedure is to be banned in the United States, as he feels it should be.
Later in the day, Trump released a statement backtracking on his original comments. “This issue is unclear and should be put back into the states for determination. Like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions, which I have outlined numerous times.”
Missing from most of the reporting on this exchange was Trump’s response when asked if men should also be punished: “No”
GOP Convention Sponsors Flee
According to the New York Times, major corporate sponsors for this year’s GOP convention are reassessing their participation. The Times lists Apple, Google and WalMart among the companies wondering if getting involved with a chaotic confab is a good investment. Coca-Cola has already decided to reduce its involvement to a token contribution.
Some of the country’s best-known corporations are nervously grappling with what role they should play at the Republican National Convention, given the likely nomination of Donald J. Trump, whose divisive candidacy has alienated many women, blacks and Hispanics.
An array of activist groups is organizing a campaign to pressure the companies to refuse to sponsor the gathering, which many of the corporations have done for the Republican and the Democratic Parties for decades. The pressure is emerging as some businesses and trade groups are privately debating whether to scale back their participation, according to interviews with more than a dozen lobbyists, consultants and fund-raisers directly involved in the conversations.
FYI– After the San Diego GOP’s annual Lincoln-Reagan dinner last weekend, results of a straw poll were released showing 38% for Cruz, 35% for Trump, and 27% for Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Another Stadium Plan Lands With a Thud
Psst! Got a spare billion dollars? Our boys need some shiny new toys.
Today’s Union-Tribune includes the legal notice required for the San Diego Chargers to get on with the latest and greatest plan to build a stadium/center expansion. In 21 days the team expects to begin gathering signatures to qualify an initiative for the November ballot.
A 6% increase in the hotel occupancy tax is expected, according to the plan, to provide the city with enough cash flow to make payments on the one billion dollars in bonds required to make this deal happen. Goldman-Sachs, we’re told, is at the ready to help with lining up the financing.
The $350 million figure being bandied about in the media is San Diego’s share of the stadium part, the remaining $650 million is what’s needed to build the convention center part of the facility.
It’s safe to say plenty of local politicos are less than enthusiastic about this idea. There are supporters: the Chamber (of Corporate Welfare) and the usual coterie of die-hard football fans.
From Voice of San Diego (the story includes responses):
We asked each of the city’s elected leaders and major candidates for their take on the team’s proposal. Not a single one was ready to back the Chargers’ initiative.
They really don’t seem to like it. At all.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer gave a non-answer to questions about the Chargers proposal to the Union-Tribune:
Faulconer said on Wednesday that jobs and city taxpayers will be his focus while evaluating the plan, which would require approval from voters in November if the Chargers gather the roughly 70,000 signatures needed to get it on the ballot.
“The convention center element makes this proposal more than a stadium and the long-term future of San Diego’s tourism economy is now intertwined in this plan,” said Faulconer, a Republican. “As always, my top priorities are to protect jobs, protect taxpayers and do what’s right for all San Diegans. I will evaluate the proposal’s details through that lens.”
The editorial board at the UT questioned the absence of a design, the actual location of the convention center annex, uncertainty over cost overruns, and the relocation of the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) bus yard.
MTS needs 10 acres within five miles of its current 12th & Imperial location, should it have to move as part of a stadium deal. There is some talk about buying up properties near the MTS rail yards for relocation.
Finally, there’s the question of how many votes will be needed to pass an initiative supported by the Chargers. Despite a court ruling holding that non-governmental initiatives increasing taxes need a simple majority, the team says they’re going to proceed as though the two-thirds standard is in effect. Getting a super majority is out of the question unless all the local political players are on board.
So let’s just call this plan what it is: dead on arrival.
On This Day: 1776 – Abigail Adams wrote to her husband John that women were “determined to foment a rebellion” if the new Declaration of Independence failed to guarantee their rights. 1917 – The U.S. purchased and took possession of the Virgin Islands from Denmark for $25 million. 1933 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed legislation establishing the Civilian Conservation Corps to help alleviate suffering during the Depression. By the time the program ended after the start of World War II it had provided jobs for more than six million men and boys.
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