Donald Trump now has a whole country to govern, not just Breitbart Nation – Updated by Dara Linddara Nov 9, 2016, 2:50am EST


To be a president for all Americans he will have to disappoint his biggest fans.

Part of the ritual of American politics — the performance of the peaceful transfer of power — is the point after the presidential election when the winner reaches across the aisle to the losers, when he (always he) promises to be a president not just for the people who voted for him but for all Americans.

Donald Trump has never had much patience for the rituals of American politics. In general, he’s preferred to play to his most enthusiastic fans. But on occasion, he has made small genuflections to the unifying rhetoric candidates and presidents are expected to engage in.

“Now it is time for America to bind the wounds of division,” he said during his victory speech Tuesday night. “To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation I say it is time for us to come together as one united people. It is time.”

“I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all of Americans, and this is so important to me. For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country.”

The fissures that opened up during Donald Trump’s run for the presidency — fissures he himself helped dig — aren’t going to be healed with a few rhetorical gestures. More than most presidents-elect, Donald Trump would have to make an active and sustained effort to unify America behind him in order to fill the role that a president is expected to fill.

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The Dems’ lethal weapon: Elizabeth Warren is the only Democrat that can cut Donald Trump down to size – GARY LEGUM THURSDAY, MAY 26, 2016 03:00 AM PDT


Elizabeth Warren has proven herself to be the most effective Clinton surrogate, and the party’s best Trump antidote

The Dems' lethal weapon: Elizabeth Warren is the only Democrat that can cut Donald Trump down to size

How do you solve a problem like Donald Trump? Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign team is trying to figure that out with an effort that can best be described at the moment as “throwing a forest full of mud at the wall and seeing what sticks.” Which is fine this far from the election, especially with Clinton’s opponent in the Democratic primary still out there campaigning hard for the nomination despite the math being against him. For Team Clinton, there is nothing wrong at the moment with trying out some different lines of attack on Trump, finding those that resonate, and then fine-tuning them.

But until either the campaign finishes fine-tuning or figures out a way to beam these moments from the 2011 White House Correspondent’s Dinner speech directly into voters’ brains 24/7 for the next six months, they have Elizabeth Warren. The senator from Massachusetts is already showing herself to be the most effective Clinton surrogate out there. This is partly by default, as there are not a whole lot of high-profile Democrats yet making the case against Trump. But does anyone think Harry Reid can make a more persuasive case to motivate voters to turn out in November?

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Everything you need to know about last night’s excruciating GOP debate – HEATHER DIGBY PARTON – JAN 29, 2016 02:40 PM PST


While Donald Trump stuck to his Fox boycott, the other GOP candidates got down to business. It was, in a word, bad

Everything you need to know about last night's excruciating GOP debate

Some good news came out of the GOP presidential debates last night. It dawned on everyone watching that in a week or so this field is going to be winnowed considerably and we will never have the thrill of seeing the seven dwarves — Grumpy Christie, Sneezy Cruz, Happy Kasich, Sleepy Carson, Dopey Rubio, Bashful Bush and Doc Paul — on a stage together again. (Snow White Trump was pouting across the street, upset over having to take questions from Megyn Kelly.)

Trump did manage to dominate the news all day as usual while the whole political world excitedly speculated as to whether he would sweep into the debate at the last minute like a diva high soprano or if his alternative rally would upstage the main event. Just as the debate was about to begin he invited CNN onto his luxurious private plane to explain that Fox had profusely apologized for their bad behavior (“they couldn’t have been nicer”) and had begged him to come to the debate. He wished he could but he’d promised to raise money for the veterans and couldn’t let them down.

Fox News has a different version of events, claiming that there was no apology and that Trump had shaken them down agreeing to appear with the hated Kelly but only if the network would promise to pay $5 million to his veterans charity. They refused to “negotiate” any further.

His event was a dull affair but the other networks covered it nonetheless. They always do. The bright spot of the night was when Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, both previous Iowa caucus winners, raced over from the kiddie table to lend their tacit support to Trump. The pundits saw this as a major development for some reason, as if their endorsement was a meaningful symbol of something, but nobody seemed sure of what it might be.

Trump raised millions from himself and some other millionaires and smaller donors for the veterans, “who he loves.” Curiously, the money all went to donaldtrumpforvets.com, a website set up that morning which routes the money to the Donald Trump Foundation. One assumes he means to send it on to veterans groups but as of last night, the press was unable to confirm that he had contacted any of them. Anti-Trump right wingers are up in arms that this foundation has donated to the Clinton Foundation in the past which apparently means this is a nefarious deed of some sort.

Truth be told, it was little different than the rallies he puts on every day. The master showman was apparently unable to put together an entertaining spectacle on such short notice. But that is not to say the rival event was any more exciting. The seven dwarves dully sparred over the course of a couple of hours but the usual energy was lacking. Cruz started off strong with a carefully prepared funny:

“I’m a maniac, everyone on this stage is stupid, fat and ugly. And Ben, you’re a terrible surgeon. Now that we’ve gotten the Donald Trump portion out of the way…”

He does try to have a sense of humor. But he was unable to keep his poise as his frontrunner status made him the target of his fellow candidates as well as the moderators. Taking a page from his CNBC debate complaint book he said, “I would note that the last four questions have been: Rand, please attack Ted. Marco, please attack Ted. Chris, please attack Ted,” to which Chris Wallace dryly retorted,”It is a debate, sir.” Cruz managed to recover with a brittle little joke: “If you guys ask one more mean question, I may have to leave the stage.” Unfortunately for him, if Twitter is any example,a great many people cannot tell when Ted’s cracking wise and they thought he was being serious.

Jeb Bush, on the other hand, was on fire. Well, he had a nice little glow about him anyway. Freed from the burden of having to fend off Trump’s insults, he was able to sound almost … confident. He started off with a clever little jab at his fellow candidates:

“I kinda miss Donald Trump. He was always a little teddy bear to me. We always had such a loving relationship… Everyone else was in the witness protection program when I went after him.”

I’m not sure saying he had a “loving relationship “with Donald Trump was such a hot idea, even in jest. It’s just weird. But that’s Jeb! He also droned on about his “proven record” over and over again and tried to sound as hawkish as the rest of the bloodthirsty crowd with a startling comment: “Get the lawyers off the damn backs of the military once and for all,” which can only be interpreted to mean that as president he would authorize war crimes. He’s a real Bush, after all.

All in all, it was Jeb’s best debate. It might even boost him up to 5th place.

Many of the pundits seemed to think that it was also a good night for an oddly rosy cheeked Marco Rubio, who appeared to have guzzled a couple of double espressos before he took the stage and breathlessly answered every question with his patented rapid-fire machine gun delivery. And he was excessively pious, mentioning his faith more often than the Pope did during his recent U.S. visit. But he was also the most bellicose of the group insisting that ISIS is one of the greatest threats in human history and any fighters he captures alive in the U.S. will immediately be shipped off to Guantanamo. It’s hard to know what issues he feels most passionately about because he gives every answer with exactly the same frantic emphasis. One can’t help but worry he’ll end up having a heart attack as president if he doesn’t mellow out a little bit.

Why Hispanics are thanking Donald Trump – By ELIZA COLLINS 09/19/15, 09:06 AM EDT


Activists say the bombastic billionaire is going to drive huge numbers of angry Hispanic voters to the polls.

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Hispanic activists have two words for Donald Trump — thank you.

“I think the greatest thing to ever happen to the Hispanic electorate is a gentleman named Donald Trump, he has crystalized the angst and anger of the Hispanic community,” U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Javier Palomarez told POLITICO in an interview. “I think that we can all rest assured that Hispanics can turn out in record numbers.”

Trump has rankled the Hispanic community from Day One of his presidential run when he called many illegal Mexican immigrants “rapists” and drug peddlers during his rambling announcement speech in June. Since then, he’s driven the GOP field further right on immigration issues, in part with his aggressive proposal to have Mexico pay for a wall along the border with the U.S. and to deport 11.3 million undocumented immigrants in short order.

While many activists find his comments downright offensive, they also see an opportunity. Trump has managed to get Latinos engaged with the 2016 race, and activists plan to exploit that to the fullest extent possible.

“He really is just outrageous, he’s built his entire campaign on attacking our community and really playing to the worst element of American society,” said José Calderón, president of the Hispanic Federation, a nonprofit membership organization. “In some ways, he’s helping us out, the base is energized —I think people are really eager to stand up and say this is not who we are and show that through our electoral process.”

Calderón said in nonelection years, the Federation, which represents 100 community-based organizations across the country and is leading voter outreach efforts, can register about 25,000 Hispanics and on election years it’s about 60,000. But with Trump’s comments driving people to the polls, Calderón believes they can register even more.

“It’s become easier, right, to do it now. The community is very mobilized, there is this anger,” Calderón said. “We will respond in kind, through our votes.”

For the 2016 race, the organization has partnered with 20 member organizations across the U.S. in order to increase direct contact with Hispanic communities. Calderón expects to triple previous outreach in this coming cycle, bringing it to 600,000.

Efforts are going to really crank up on Tuesday, when the White House will make Voto Latino’s “Voter Registration Day” official. The nonpartisan organization, along with 2,000 partners across the country, plans to increase outreach through social media, door-to-door canvassing, tabling and online campaigns to encourage everyone — not just Hispanics — to vote.

 

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The prospect of a shutdown looms – BY J.A. Sep 18th 2015, 21:48 | WASHINGTON, DC


THE leading contenders for the Republican presidential nomination include eight more or less distinguished politicians, such as Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, and two men, Donald Trump and Ben Carson, with no political experience and some odd ideas. Mr Trump wants to deport 11.3m people in two years; Mr Carson thinks being gay is a matter of choice and the Affordable Care Act the “worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery”. Polls suggest these greenhorn screwballs command more than half the Republican vote.

To understand why Americans are so fed up with politicians, it would be reasonable to start with the government shutdown of September 2013, when the failure of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to pass a budget led to about 800,000 federal employees being sent home for 12 days and the mothballing of numerous government programmes and services. This was estimated to have cost the economy $24 billion in lost output; it also hurt the Republicans.

At the time, almost half of Americans said the shutdown had cost them and most blamed the GOP—even if the nation’s disdain for Congress at the time was a lesson in bipartisanship. Only around a quarter of voters, Republican or Democratic, said they were satisfied with their congressional representative.

You might think the Republicans, now in control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, would want to avoid a repeat of that embarrassing, damaging episode. Yet the prospect of another shutdown looms. Lawmakers have only 12  days to pass a fresh budget for the fiscal year beginning on October 1st; or, if they cannot, to sign off on a stopgap agreement, called a “continuing resolution”, which would maintain the current rates of expenditure for three or four months. Their progress is discouraging.

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http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2015/09/americas-dysfunctional-politics