Posts Tagged As: Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter: “He Has No Attention Span.” And That’s Just For Starters

Jim Burroway

July 18th, 2016

Tony Schwartz was Donald Trump’s ghostwriter for The Art of the Deal. Before then, Schwartz had been a serious journalist, but this ghostwriting gig ended all that. “I knew I was selling out. Literally, the term was invented to describe what I did,” he told the New Yorker. The Art of the Deal made Trump’s reputation, and Schwartz, to his horror, feels responsible for what’s happening today.

I put lipstick on a pig,” he said. “I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is.” He went on, “I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.”

You really have to read this piece, and you have to do it before you decide who to vote for or whether you should even vote in November. There’s simply too much at stake to sit on the sidelines this time around:

Schwartz thought that “The Art of the Deal would be an easy project. … But the discussion was soon hobbled by what Schwartz regards as one of Trump’s most essential characteristics: “He has no attention span.”

…“Trump has been written about a thousand ways from Sunday, but this fundamental aspect of who he is doesn’t seem to be fully understood,” Schwartz told me. “It’s implicit in a lot of what people write, but it’s never explicit—or, at least, I haven’t seen it. And that is that it’s impossible to keep him focussed on any topic, other than his own self-aggrandizement, for more than a few minutes, and even then . . . ” Schwartz trailed off, shaking his head in amazement. He regards Trump’s inability to concentrate as alarming in a Presidential candidate. “If he had to be briefed on a crisis in the Situation Room, it’s impossible to imagine him paying attention over a long period of time,” he said.

…Schwartz believes that Trump’s short attention span has left him with “a stunning level of superficial knowledge and plain ignorance.” He said, “That’s why he so prefers TV as his first news source—information comes in easily digestible sound bites.” He added, “I seriously doubt that Trump has ever read a book straight through in his adult life.” During the eighteen months that he observed Trump, Schwartz said, he never saw a book on Trump’s desk, or elsewhere in his office, or in his apartment.

Trump’s short attention span meant that Schwartz was never able to interview Trump, which is a pretty big hindrance for any author who’s supposed to ghostwrite his biography. So Schwartz came up with another idea, he’d follow Trump around, listen in on phone calls, and take copious notes. Then he’d call his business associates to get more background material:

But their accounts often directly conflicted with Trump’s. “Lying is second nature to him,” Schwartz said. “More than anyone else I have ever met, Trump has the ability to convince himself that whatever he is saying at any given moment is true, or sort of true, or at least ought to be true.” Often, Schwartz said, the lies that Trump told him were about money—“how much he had paid for something, or what a building he owned was worth, or how much one of his casinos was earning when it was actually on its way to bankruptcy.”

…Schwartz says of Trump, “He lied strategically. He had a complete lack of conscience about it.” Since most people are “constrained by the truth,” Trump’s indifference to it “gave him a strange advantage.”

When challenged about the facts, Schwartz says, Trump would often double down, repeat himself, and grow belligerent. …Whenever “the thin veneer of Trump’s vanity is challenged,” Schwartz says, he overreacts—not an ideal quality in a head of state.

Familiar pattern, isn’t it. It’s an incredible piece. I have to stop quoting from it. You have to start reading.

Earlier This Week, The GOP Platform Committee Declared Porn a Public Health Crisis

Jim Burroway

July 15th, 2016

I scoffed the time, but now I have to apologize. It looks like the crisis is way worse than I thought:


Twitter, naturally, is having a field day:


It’s Trump-Pence

Jim Burroway

July 15th, 2016

You, of course, remember Indiana Gov. Mike Pence for his bumbling, bungling handling of Indiana’s ill-fated right-to-discriminate law. Pence has positioned himself as political poison among LGBT voters and many women, while Trump’s name is poison to African Americans and Latino voters. Which I guess makes this the ultimate Republican diversity ticket.

Friend at Florida Mosque Says He Reported Mateen To FBI

Jim Burroway

June 22nd, 2016

Mohammed Malik

Mohammed Malik

Angered over Donald Trump’s charge that the Muslim community had been hiding Omar Mateen’s radicalization from the FBI, Mohammed A. Malik came forward in a Washington Post op-ed to reveal that he was the one who tipped the FBI about Mateen’s fascination with propaganda videos produced by Anwar al-Awlaki, an al-Qaeda leader in Yemen. Malik and Mateen attended the same mosque in Fort Pierce, Florida, and had been friends for over a decade. He described Mateen as introverted and upset over anti-Muslim prejudice. Malik says he tried to steer Mateen toward constructive efforts to counter islamophobia — volunteer, work with charities, et., — and Mateen seemed to agree:

Then, during the summer of 2014, something traumatic happened for our community. A boy from our local mosque, Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha, was 22 when he became the first American-born suicide bomber, driving a truck full of explosives into a government office in Syria. He’d traveled there and joined a group affiliated with al-Qaeda, the previous year. We had all known Moner; he was jovial and easygoing, the opposite of Omar. According to a posthumous video released that summer, he had clearly self-radicalized – and had also done so by listening to the lectures of Anwar al-Awlaki, the charismatic Yemen-based imam who helped radicalize several Muslims, including the Fort Hood shooter. …

Immediately after Moner’s attack, news reports said that American officials didn’t know anything about him; I read that they were looking for people to give them some background. So I called the FBI and offered to tell investigators a bit about the young man. It wasn’t much – we hadn’t been close – but I’m an American Muslim, and I wanted to do my part. …After my talk with the FBI, I spoke to people in the Islamic community, including Omar, about Moner’s attack. I wondered how he could have radicalized. Both Omar and I attended the same mosque as Moner, and the imam never taught hate or radicalism. That’s when Omar told me he had been watching videos of Awlaki, too, which immediately raised red flags for me. He told me the videos were very powerful.

After speaking with Omar, I contacted the FBI again to let them know that Omar had been watching Awlaki’s tapes. He hadn’t committed any acts of violence and wasn’t planning any, as far as I knew. And I thought he probably wouldn’t, because he didn’t fit the profile: He already had a second wife and a son. But it was something agents should keep their eyes on. I never heard from them about Omar again, but apparently they did their job: They looked into him and, finding nothing to go on, they closed the file.

On June 13, just one day after the Orlando gay night club massacre, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump alleged that the American Muslim community was complicit in the shooting:

But the Muslims have to work with us. They have to work with us. They know what’s going on. They know that he was bad. They knew the people in San Bernardino were bad. But you know what? They didn’t turn them in. And you know what? We had death, and destruction.

Malik countered:

I am not the first American Muslim to report on someone; people who do that simply don’t like to announce themselves in to the media. For my part, I’m not looking for personal accolades. I’m just tired of negative rhetoric and ignorant comments about my faith. Trump’s assertions about our community – that we have the ability to help our country but have simply declined to do so – are tragic, ugly and wrong.

The Washington Post got conformation from “a federal law enforcement official” that Malik had cooperated with authorities.

Malik told CNN that he never saw any signs that Mateen was either gay or homophobic.

(Updated) AFA: Trump “Doesn’t Understand” Religious Freedom, Promises to Let Federalist Society Screen Judicial Nominees

Jim Burroway

June 21st, 2016

More reports are trickling out about today’s meetings between Donald Trump and more than 900 Evangelical leaders. Earlier today, E.W. Jackson tweeted out a series of meetings where Trump urging the gathering to drop their “political correctness” when they ask people to “pray for our leaders.” He also told the group, “I’m so on your side. I’m a tremendous believer. And we’re going to straighten it out.”

The American Family Association has now added its observations about today’s meetings. AFA president Tim Wildmon appreciated the “good, meaty questions asked of Mr. Trump today,” but he had mixed feelings about some of Trump’s answers:

TimWildmon“I don’t think he understands the religious freedom issue as it relates to the LGBT movement and Christians. He was asked point-blank about that by Kelly Shackelford. We all know the stories about the Christian businesses that have been either put out of business or fined … by the LGBT people who want to force them to participate in ‘gay marriages’ or ‘[gay] weddings.’

“He did say he is for religious freedom, but I don’t think he really understands that issue. Either he doesn’t understand it or he doesn’t agree with us and he doesn’t want to tell us that. I think that’s his weakness.”

“… I think his strength is on judges, which is very, very important. He said his judges will be screened by the Federalist Society, [which is] a bona fide constitutional, conservative group. So if they put their seal of approval on a candidate, then you can go with it.”

Wildmon also expressed reservations about Trump’s personal religiosity: “He wants our input and those kinds of things, but I can’t tell from his own personal story that he’s ever really received Christ as the Bible talks about.” Wildmon questions Trump’s religion, while Trump questions Clinton’s religion. Man, that’s quite a holier-than-thou crowd they got there, ain’t it?

Update: Moments ago, the AFA sent a message out to their email list, in which it looks like Wildmon is warming to Trump:

I think it was admirable and honorable for Trump to meet with Christian leaders. He is not our enemy. I believe he has instincts that are reverent and patriotic. He’s 69 years old and remembers an America that was once a great country but has lost her way. But he also comes from a very secular world and that way of thinking is a part of who he is. In some ways, he strikes me as an enigma, a man still searching for spiritual answers in his life. But that’s just my opinion. I will say this, he is listening to some great men of God that I have a lot of respect for, and that’s a good thing. …To use a sports word, I think he’s coachable.

Jerry Falwell Jr Tweets Photo with Donald Trump and a Framed Playboy Cover

Jim Burroway

June 21st, 2016

Playboy featured Donald Trump its  May 1990 issue. Hence, the framed copy. Warren Throckmorton, an Evangelical psychology professor at Grove City College in Pennsylvania and longtime Trump critic, reacts:

Folks, you’re being played.

Donald Trump Announces His “Evangelical Executive Advisory Board.” It’s Worse Than You Thought.

Jim Burroway

June 21st, 2016

Remember just last week when Donald Trump was asking, “Who is better for the gay community than Donald Trump?” Well, we have an answer. It turns out that just about anyone would be better for the gay community than Donald Trump, judging by his newly-announced Evangelical Executive Advisory Board.

His press release says that the new board will provide “advisory support… on those issues important to Evangelicals and other people of faith in America. The executive board will also lead a much larger Faith and Cultural Advisory Committee to be announced later this month.”

The statement said that the board will fulfill Trump’s “esire to have access to the wise counsel of such leaders as needed,” and it represents Trump’s endorsement of “those diverse issues important to Evangelicals and other Christians.” The announcement contained one unusual caveat: “The leaders on the executive board were not asked to endorse Mr. Trump as a prerequisite for participating on the board.”

It’s hard to imaging a more extreme group of people to have Trump’s ear. Here’s the list:

Executive board members include:

  • Michele Bachmann – Former Congresswoman
  • A.R. Bernard – Senior Pastor and CEO, Christian Cultural Center
  • Mark Burns – Pastor, Harvest Praise and Worship Center
  • Tim Clinton – President, American Association of Christian Counselors
  • Kenneth and Gloria Copeland – Founders, Kenneth Copeland Ministries
  • James Dobson – Author, Psychologist and Host, My Family Talk
  • Jerry Falwell, Jr. – President, Liberty University
  • Ronnie Floyd – Senior Pastor, Cross Church
  • Jentezen Franklin – Senior Pastor, Free Chapel
  • Jack Graham – Senior Pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church
  • Harry Jackson – Senior Pastor, Hope Christian Church
  • Robert Jeffress – Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church of Dallas
  • David Jeremiah – Senior Pastor, Shadow Mountain Community Church
  • Richard Land – President, Southern Evangelical Seminary
  • James MacDonald – Founder and Senior Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel
  • Johnnie Moore – Author, President of The KAIROS Company
  • Robert Morris – Senior Pastor, Gateway Church
    Tom Mullins – Senior Pastor, Christ Fellowship¬
  • Ralph Reed – Founder, Faith and Freedom Coalition
    James Robison – Founder, Life OUTREACH International
  • Tony Suarez – Executive Vice President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
  • Jay Strack – President, Student Leadership University
  • Paula White – Senior Pastor, New Destiny Christian Center
  • Tom Winters – Attorney, Winters and King, Inc.
    Sealy Yates – Attorney, Yates and Yates

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal provided seven names that were expected to be included on Trump’s advisory board. We have a run-down on those seven people here.

The announcement comes after Trump met with about 900 Evangelical leaders in Trump Tower this morning. It was supposed to be a closed-door meeting, but E.W. Jackson tweeted out a series of videos capturing some of Trump’s remarks to the group, which included an admonition that the group should not be “politically correct” and pray for “all of our leaders”:

…Some of the people were saying, “Let’s pray for our leaders.” And I said, well, you can pray for your leaders, and I agree with that, pray for everyone, but what you really have to do is you have to pray to get everybody out to vote for one specific person. And we can’t be, again, politically correct and say we pray for all of our leaders because all of your leaders are selling Christianity down the tubes, selling the evangelicals down the tubes, and it’s a very, very bad thing that’s happening.

He also told the group, “I’m so on your side. I’m a tremendous believer. And we’re going to straighten it out.”

Trump To Evangelical Conservatives: “Your Leaders Are Selling Christianity Down the Tubes” But “I’m So On Your Side”

Jim Burroway

June 21st, 2016

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump met with a group of about 900 Evangelical leaders in Trump Tower this morning for what was supposed to be an off-the-record meeting. But anti-gay activist and self-styled Bishop E.W. Jackson tweeted video of part of Trump’s sell to the group:

I don’t think about Hillary in terms of religion. She’s been in the public eye for years and years, and yet there’s no… nothing out there. There’s, like, nothing out there. It’s going to be an extension of Obama but it’s going to be worse. Because with Obama, you had your guard up. With Hillary you don’t. And it’s going to be worse. So, I think people were saying, some of the people were saying, “Let’s pray for our leaders.” And I said, well, you can pray for your leaders, and I agree with that, pray for everyone, but what you really have to do is you have to pray to get everybody out to vote for one specific person. And we can’t be, again, politically correct and say we pray for all of our leaders because all of your leaders are selling Christianity down the tubes, selling the evangelicals down the tubes, and it’s a very, very bad thing that’s happening.

I’m so on your side. I’m a tremendous believer. And we’re going to straighten it out. I, oftentimes in some of my rallies I’ll have 30,000 people or more, and I say, in a joking fashion, but boy do I mean it. We’re going to be saying Merry Christmas again. … You’re going to see… When you go to Macy’s, when you go to Macy’s and department stores today, you don’t see any Christmas signs…

Trump To Meet With 900 Evangelical Leaders Tomorrow, Announce Religious Advisory Board This Week

Jim Burroway

June 21st, 2016

More than 900 conservative Evangelical leaders are making their pilgrimage to Trump Tower for a meeting with The Donald, who has been making a cynical play for the gay vote following the Pulse night club massacre in Orlando. When the meeting was organized last month by Ben Carson, about 400 social conservatives were announced as attending. Back then, the the roster included a veritable Who’s Who of anti-gay politics, and it has, obviously, only grown since then. The Wall Street Journal says that one outcome of tomorrow’s meeting will be a new religious advisory board, with an announcement coming out sometime “this week”:

Among the people likely to be named to Mr. Trump’s religious advisory board: Jerry Falwell Jr., the son of the late televangelist and president of Liberty University; Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition; Paula White, senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Fla.; Ronnie Floyd, president of the Southern Baptist Convention; Robert Jeffress, host of a national radio and television ministry and the pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas; Jay Strack, president of Student Leadership University in Orlando, Fla.; and Jack Graham, pastor at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas.

Here’s a rundown of the names that are being floated:

Jerry Falwell, Jr.: What can I say? Like father, like son, more or less, although the son has taken a much lower profile in anti-gay politics than his father. Instead, he seems to prefer that others to the dirty work for him. He employs the rabidly anti-gay extremist Matt Barber as the associate dean of the university’s law school. Falwell has been an avid supporter of Donald Trump since last January.

Ralph Reed: As head of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Reed’s anti-gay political activities go all the way bach to the 1989 when he was named the Executive Director of Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition. He started the Faith and Freedom Coalition in 2009. In 2013, he has called the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act “a dagger aimed at the heart of religious freedom for millions of Americans.” In 2014, Reed compared Federal District Court decision striking down bans on same-sex marriage to the infamous Dred Scott decision of 1856 which held that African-Americans who were imported as slaves, and their descendants, could not be U.S. citizens. He also compared the fight against same-sex marriage to the flight against slavery.

Paula White: The televangelist and head of New Destiny Christian Center outside of Orlando, Paula White treads the same ground was a lot of her fellow prosperity gospel preachers in the model of Joel Osteen: don’t say anything controversial that could possibly interrupt the flow of checks. She doesn’t seem to have any particular anti-gay agenda. In fact, she doesn’t seem to have any agenda at all, except money. Which makes her such a good match for Trump. Last October, White said that “any tongue that rises against him (Trump) will be condemned according to the word of God.” In March, she said she presented Trump a Bible and a letter, purportedly written by Billy Graham, containing a “prophetic word.”

Ronnie Floyd: He is the current president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He his anti-gay history goes back decades. He once said in a sermon, “Satan has taken his tool of homosexuality, a gross and evil sin, and done a con job on the American culture, making it seem like all is okay when you are gay. …This is not a skirmish or a conflict or a disagreement, but it is a war. The war they have declared against our culture has an agenda and we need to be aware of it.” That was in 2003. There’s no reason to believe his views have changed much since then. Just last year, before the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision overturning bans on same-sex marriage, Floyd told the SBC’s annual meeting in Columbus, “We are in spiritual warfare. This is not a time for Southern Baptists to stand back…. It (the Supreme Court’s decision) would add fuel, more fuel, to the already sweeping wildfire of sexual revolution and move it beyond all control.”

Robert Jeffries: He is the pastor of Dallas’s influential First Baptist Church, which runs a school, a college and radio stations. Last Thursday, on the very day that Trump was in Dallas asking “Who is better for the gay community than Donald Trump?”, Trump re-tweeted a photo of himself standing beside Robert Jefferies. Just last February, said that because of same-sex marriage, “I believe that we are getting desensitize… which will pave the way for that future world dictator, the Antichrist, to persecute and martyr Christians without any repercussions what-so-ever.”

Jay Strack: He is the head of Orlando’s Student Leadership University, and the lead author, with Dr. Richard Land, of Mercury Rising: 8 Issues That Are Too Hot To Handle. One of those issues — yeah, you sorta guessed it — was teen homosexuality. His book touted ex-gay ministries as a way to deal with teen homosexuality, and directed teens to look up the Exodus International web site. That book came out in 2003. In 2013, Exodus shut down after its president, Alan Chambers acknowledged more than a year earlier that ” 99.9% of them … have not experienced a change in their orientation.” Chambers also issued a formal apology to the LGBT community.

Jack Graham: He is the previous head of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, a 40,000 member megachurch in Dallas’s far-north suburbs near Plano. In anticipation of the Obergefell decision, Graham said that “there’s coming a day, I believe, that many Christians personally and churches corporately will need to practice civil disobedience on this issue. …There are many Christians today who are preparing if necessary to go to jail.”

Duncan Hunter Holds the Key To Understanding Trump

Jim Burroway

June 18th, 2016

One day Donald Trump is down with gay marriage. The next day he says he’ll appoint judges to overturn the “shocking” marriage decision. The next day he says nobody will be better than him on gay rights. The next day, he retweets a thumbs-up photo of him alongside one of Dallas’s most prominent anti-gay preachers.

How’s a gay boy to know what to believe?  I know it’s confusing, but thankfully we have Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), who co-chairs Trump’s House Leadership Committee, to clear it all up:

Duncan Hunter“What I’m done with is trying to articulate or explain or answer for what Donald Trump says,” Hunter said. “I think he’ll be a great president. I think he’ll make good decisions on the economy, on the border, on national security, but it doesn’t mean we endorse what he says. I think what he says and what he’ll do are two different things.”

The Post reporter asked him, “So what should we believe when he says something? What should we believe when it comes out of his mouth?”

“What he said,” Hunter replied.

“But you just said you don’t necessarily believe what he says is what he’s going to do,” said the reporter.

“Right,” Hunter said. “True. But him talking about things and saying things about things is different than him saying what he’s going to do. I think he’ll do what he says he’s going to do. I’m not trying to parse words; I think he’ll do what he says he’s going to do. But he says things about things that I don’t endorse, and I’m not going to try to articulate for him.”

“Talking about things and saying things about things is different than him saying what he’s going to do.” That totally needs to be Trump’s new campaign slogan.

Despite Hunter’s position as one of Trump’s most visible supporters on Capitol Hill, he added, “Yeah, it’s not my job to answer for Donald Trump. Really. I’m not even a surrogate. I’m just an endorser.”

Trump Asks: Who’s Better For the Gay Community Than Trump?

Jim Burroway

June 17th, 2016

Trump flew to Dallas yesterday for a campaign stop at Gilley’s. Among his many rambling, incoherent statements which have no apparent relationship with reality, Trump made another play for the gay vote. “As far as gays are concerned,” Trump said of Saudi Arabia, “they throw them off buildings.” (Fact check: Saudi’s don’t; that’s ISIS, although Saudi Arabia does have the death penalty for homosexuality.) “They kill gays in these countries. So you tell me: Who is better for the gay community and who is better for women than Donald Trump?”

Yeah. Who’s better?

But wait. Before you answer that question, consider this: later that night, Trump retweeted this:


That’s Robert Jeffries, pastor of Dallas’ notoriously anti-gay First Baptist Church, who said this last February:

“What is happening is that we are becoming desensitized to the persecution of Christians just not globally, but also in our Country. The fact is that we are being told that Christians who refuse to serve a wedding cake to a gay couple, that they are extremists, its OK to take their livelihood and shut down their business,” Jeffress said. “I believe that we are getting desensitized to that, which will pave the way for that future world dictator, the Antichrist, to persecute and martyr Christians without any repercussions what-so-ever.”

That was in February, which, by the way, was at about the same time that Donald Trump promised to overturn the “shocking” Supreme Court decision that struck down bans against marriage equality:

I think they (Evangelicals) can trust me on traditional marriage… and frankly, I was very much in favor of having the court rule that it goes to states, and let the states decide. And that was a shocking decision for you and for me and for a lot of other people, but I was very much in favor of letting the states decide and that’s the way it looked it was going and then all of a sudden out of nowhere came this very massive decision and they took it away. But I was always in favor of state’s rights; states deciding.

And here’s what he tweeted on the day of that Supreme Court Decision:

Chris Barron Is Gay For Trump

Jim Burroway

June 15th, 2016

Chris Barron, who had co-founded the now-defunct gay conservative group GOPround, had been a Donald Trump critic until recently. But now, in the aftermath of the Pulse gay night club massacre, Barron has become a big Trump supporter and thinks you should be too:

“I have no doubt that Donald Trump would be better for LGBT Americans,” Barron said in an interview with CNN. “Hillary Clinton wants to continue a reckless foreign policy that has made the world less safe for all Americans, including LGBT Americans. She can find plenty of time to crucify Christians in the U.S. for perceived anti-gay bias, but when we’ve got ISIS throwing gay people off of buildings, when we have Muslim states that are prescribing the death penalty for people who are gay, I would think this would be something that a friend of the LGBT community would be able to speak out on, and Hillary Clinton finds it unable to do so.”

…Barron declined to share a list of potential signatories to his coalition letter in support of Trump, although other gay Republicans confirmed there was a draft letter circulating.

Barron, however, is an unlikely leader of a pro-Trump movement, and he has a mixed history with the mogul. In 2011, as president of GOProud, Barron coordinated a successful campaign to secure Trump a speaking slot at the Conservative Political Action Conference, the nation’s largest annual gathering of right-wing activists. The address was Trump’s first major speech to the conservative movement, and in many ways launched his political career.

But four years later, when Trump launched his campaign for president, Barron said he regretted ever inviting Trump to speak and giving him such a prominent platform. He staunchly opposed to Trump’s candidacy throughout the Republican primaries. Over a period of several months, Barron posted anti-Trump messages on Twitter, calling his supporters “idiots” and “morons.” He called Trump a “sociopath,” and in one post, Barron compared Trump to Adolf Hitler, writing, “The giant police state Trump supports would make Hitler blush.”

So now, Barron’s cozying up with Hitler. I guess that’s a bit a step up from when GOProud counted Ann Coulter as a strong ally.

CBS Poll: Americans Strongly Disapprove of Trump’s Response to Orlando Massacre

Jim Burroway

June 15th, 2016

Clinton, TrumpA CBS News Poll out today shows that a majority of Americans strongly disapprove of Donald Trump’s responses to the massacre at Orlando’s Pulse gay night club. Americans are fairly evenly split when it comes to Secretary Hillary Clinton’s response.

Clinton Trump
Approve 36% 25%
Disapprove 34% 52%
Don’t Know 30% 24%

The report adds: “Most Democrats (62%) approve of Clinton’s response, while just half of Republicans (50%) approve of Trump’s. More independents are critical of Trump’s response than Clinton’s.”

Americans have also soundly rejected Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.:

Total Reps Dems Inds
Yes, should ban 31% 56% 14% 30%
No, should not ban 62% 37% 79% 62%

Americans across the board largely hold that the attack was both an act of terrorism as well as a hate crime (57%). That response was similar for Republicans (65%), Democrats (53%) and Independents (56%). A larger minority of Republicans say it was “mostly” terrorism” (22%) than Americans as a whole (14%), while a somewhat larger majority of Democrats say it was “mostly a hate crime” (37%) than Americans as a whole (25%).

The margin of error for the entire group is ±4%. The margin of error for the Republican, Democratic, and Independent subgroups will be greater according to their respective samples sizes.

Trump: “Our Nation Stands Together In Solidarity With Orlando’s LGBT Community”

Jim Burroway

June 13th, 2016

In a surprising speech, Trump casts himself in solidarity with the LGBT community (as reported by Talking Points Memo):

“Our nation stands together in solidarity with the members of Orlando’s LGBT Community. A radical Islamic terrorist targeted the nightclub not only because he wanted to kill Americans, but in order to execute gay and lesbian citizens because of their sexual orientation… It is an assault on the ability of free people to live their lives, love who they want and express their identity…Radical Islam is anti-woman, anti-gay and anti-American.”

Trump also got in a dig at Hillary Clinton by maintaining that he was in fact a greater supporter of gay and women’s rights than she was: “Ask yourself, who is really the friend of women and the LGBT community, Donald Trump with his actions, or Hillary Clinton with her words? Clinton wants to allow Radical Islamic terrorists to pour into our country—they enslave women, and murder gays. I don’t want them in our country.”

(Update: This was a teleprompter’ed speech, so that explains the relative linearity of Trump’s statement. When you see the video, you’ll notice he really had to slow down with the L. G. B. T.)

Given Trump’s entire campaign history, this strikes me as being about as cynical as anything else Trump has said — which is pretty much everything Trump has said. (It also has to be considered alongside his promises before Faith and Freedom Conference last week.) His Supreme Court picks also speak volumes.

But I really have to give him props for this one. If someone really wanted to talk about “radical Islamic terrorists” in the context of the Pulse massacre, this is exactly how to do it. It also marks a radical turnaround from earlier today when he called it an attack on “our nation.” And it raises the obvious question: why is that so hard for Florida Gov. Rick Scott or other Republican political leaders to say clearly who was attacked?

But — and there’s always a “but” when talking about Trump — he wants to use our deaths, our pain and suffering, for a sinister bait and switch. He wants to offer a conditional acceptance for one group of people to advance a rejection of another group of people.

Mr. Trump vowed to give the authorities more tools to clamp down on terrorists and that, if elected, he would use his executive powers to keep foreign Muslims from entering the country for an indefinite period of time.

Indeed, Mr. Trump appeared to broaden his call for a ban on Muslim immigration, extending it to whole regions rather than applying it strictly according to religion. He said he would “suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies, until we understand how to end these threats.”

He also insinuated that the majority of Muslim Americans were disloyal and subject to being singled out for increased surveillance:

“Muslim communities must cooperate with law enforcement and turn in the people who they know are bad – and they do know where they are,” Mr. Trump said.

But of course, there is a better way to talk about radical Islamic terrorists in the context of the Pulse massacre. Some (though clearly not all) chapters of the Council of American-Islamic Affairs gave taken a pretty good stab at it over the past twenty-four hours.

But we accept Trump’s bargain, if we accept an exchange of homophobia for islamophobia, then shame on all of us.

Trump Blames Immigrants For Pulse Night Club Massacre

Jim Burroway

June 13th, 2016

donald-trump-grow-upPresumptive GOP presidential nominee and Trump University fraudster Donald Trump has issued a statement condemning the attack “by a radical Islamic terrorist.” His statement made absolutely no mention whatsoever precisely who or where that attack occurred. (He identified them only as “victims” and “our nation,” respectively.) In the statement, Trump said:

The terrorist, Omar Mir Saddique Mateen, is the son of an immigrant from Afghanistan who openly published his support for the Afghanistani Taliban and even tried to run for President of AfghanistanAccording to Pew, 99% of people in Afghanistan support oppressive Sharia Law.

We admit more than 100,000 lifetime migrants from the Middle East each year. Since 9/11, hundreds of migrants and their children have been implicated in terrorism in the United States.

Mateen was born in New York twenty-nine years ago. This suggests that his family was among millions of Afghanis who fled the country during the Soviet invasion. The link Trump provides documents the elder Mateen’s support for the Taliban as part of a larger effort toward unificaiton of Pashtun areas in Pakistan and Afghanistan. As for Trump’s claim that Mateen tried to run for President, I don’t see it, aside from “dozens of sparsely viewed, rambling YouTube videos portraying himself as an important Afghan analyst and leader.” In one video, “he seems to be pretending to be Afghanistan’s president.”

Well that figures, since Trump is pretending to be a serious presidential candidate.

Trump also reiterated his call for a Muslim ban:

Click here to read Donald Trump’s full statement

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