Live Blog: Clinton and Trump Debate for the First Time TonightPosted: September 26, 2016
Here we go folks, debate day has finally arrived. Dakinikat’s post offered plenty of background, so I’ll just focus on today’s interesting developments.
David Fahrendhold has another bombshell post today on the Trump Foundation: Trump directed $2.3 million owed to him to his charity instead.
Donald Trump’s charitable foundation has received approximately $2.3 million from companies that owed money to Trump or one of his businesses but were instructed to pay Trump’s tax-exempt foundation instead, according to people familiar with the transactions.
In cases where he diverted his own income to his foundation, tax experts said, Trump would still likely be required to pay taxes on the income. Trump has refused to release his personal tax returns. His campaign said he paid income tax on one of the donations, but did not respond to questions about the others.
That gift was a $400,000 payment from Comedy Central, which owed Trump an appearance fee for his 2011 “roast.”
Then there were payments totaling nearly $1.9 million from a man in New York City who sells sought-after tickets and one-of-a-kind experiences to wealthy clients.
That man, Richard Ebers, bought goods and services — including tickets — from Trump or his businesses, according to two people familiar with the transactions, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the payments. They said that Ebers was instructed to pay the Donald J. Trump Foundation instead. Ebers did not respond to requests for comment.
The gifts begin to answer one of the mysteries surrounding the foundation: Why would other people continue giving to Trump’s charity when Trump himself gave his last recorded donation in 2008?
The donations from Ebers and Comedy Central, which account for half the money given to the Trump Foundation since 2008, also provide new evidence of the Trump Foundation’s ties to Trump’s business empire.
Wow. This guy is nothing but a criminal.
“This is so bizarre, this laundry list of issues,” said Marc Owens, the longtime head of the Internal Revenue Service office that oversees nonprofit organizations who is now in private practice. “It’s the first time I’ve ever seen this, and I’ve been doing this for 25 years in the IRS, and 40 years total.”
The laws governing the diversion of income into a foundation were written, in part, to stop charity leaders from funneling income that should be taxed into a charity and then using that money to benefit themselves. Such violations can bring monetary penalties, the loss of tax-exempt status, and even criminal charges in extreme cases.
Will Lester Holt ask Trump about this or the other revelations about Trump Foundation and Trump “University”?
Yeah, I doubt if Lester will bring it up….
From Bloomberg, Trump biographer Timothy O’Brien writes: How Trump Rides on Waves of Other People’s Money.
During a campaign stop in North Carolina last week, Donald Trumpdescribed the logic behind his plans for billing other countries for U.S. military support should he become president:
It’s called OPM. I do it all the time in business. It’s called other people’s money. There’s nothing like doing things with other people’s money because it takes the risk — you get a good chunk out of it and it takes the risk.
By “takes the risk,” Trump means that using other people’s funds reduces his risk of losing any of his own money on deals. Trump has spent a lifetime using other people’s money – and losing piles of it along the way.
Trump’s MO around OPM in his early days was defined largely by his father, Fred, basically because Fred had a lot of M. While Trump frequently downplays the role his father played at the start of his business career, his dad was always there for him, wallet and Rolodex open.
“It has not been easy for me,” Trump said at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire almost a year ago. “And you know I started off in Brooklyn, my father gave me a small loan of a million dollars.” In a subsequent interview, Trump described his father’s financial support as amounting to nothing more than a “very, very small loan.”
None of this is true, of course.
Read much more at the link.
Seven new national polls came out today, including this one from NBC News/Survey Monkey: Poll: Clinton Leads Trump Among Likely Voters Ahead of First Debate.
Just hours ahead of the first 2016 presidential debate, Hillary Clinton continues to lead Donald Trump by 5 points, 45 percent to 40 percent, unchanged from last week, according to the latest NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll.
Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson trails behind with 10 percent support, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein has 3 percent support.
As you’ve undoubtedly noticed, there is very little positive to read about Hillary Clinton in the mainstream media, but this has to be the headline of the day from Anita Terket at Huffington Post: Debate Bar So Low For Donald Trump That If He Doesn’t Vomit, He’s Exceeded Expectations.
Donald Trump is an arrogant slacker who wastes his time hanging out at greasy spoons when he should be spending his time studying ― not like that striving know-it-all Tracy Flick Hillary Clinton. Or at least, that’s what Trump’s campaign wants you to believe.
In the run-up to the first presidential debate Monday night, Trump’s team has been working to lower the bar so far for him that it’s basically just lying on the ground. Story after story talks about how Clinton is spending her time poring over wonky policy details in briefing books while Trump is just hanging out….
The two candidates’ differential treatment was clear during a Sept. 7 veterans forum, the first such event during the general election. The moderator, NBC News host Matt Lauer, challenged Clinton on the use of her private email server and repeatedly interrupted her to stop her from filibustering. But with Trump, Lauer lobbed softballs like, “What have you experienced in your personal life or your professional life that you believe prepares you to make the decisions that a commander-in-chief has to make?”
“Candidates should expect to be challenged. They’re applying for a challenging job. But where Mr. Lauer treated Mrs. Clinton like someone running for president, he treated Mr. Trump like someone running to figure out how to be president, eventually,” New York Times TV critic James Poniewozik wrote in a scathing review the following day.
Read more at HuffPo.
No one in the MSM writes about reproductive rights either. It fell to Glamour Magazine to publish this: Why It’s Important That the Presidential Candidates Talk About Abortion at the First Debate.
Since at least 1984, debate moderators have asked presidential candidates about abortion, but have often focused on the theoretical or based them on extreme cases. It’s time we have a deeper discussion, beyond its legality and theory. We must discuss its accessibility and availability. During the Democratic primaries, NARAL Pro-Choice America and I called on debate moderators to #AskAboutAbortion, and it wasn’t until the last debate when Clinton addressed the issue head on. Since that debate, the Supreme Court has issued the biggest ruling on abortion in almost 20 years, baring the state of Texas from closing the majority of their abortion clinics. While this is a huge win for abortion advocates, it doesn’t mean that access will reappear overnight. In light of this, we’re calling on Holt, as the moderator, to ask about abortion.
Both Clinton and Trump have had a lot to say about abortion on the campaign trail. In a June speech to Planned Parenthood, Clinton said, “I believe we need to protect access to safe and legal abortion — not just in principle, but in practice. Any right that requires you to take extraordinary measures to access it is no right at all.” Clinton has also vowedto repeal the Hyde Amendment, a discriminatory policy that bars Medicaid recipients from using their health insurance to pay for an abortion. Similarly, for the first time in history, the Democratic Party has added the repeal of the Hyde Amendment to their platform. Trump has vowed to make the Hyde Amendment permanent and believesthere should be “some form of punishment” for people having an abortion. The Republican Party, in their platform, calls for a codification of the Hyde Amendment and refuses to fund healthcare services at providers like Planned Parenthood—instead, they want to fund crisis pregnancy centers, which are anti-abortion centers that scare patients with debunked and inaccurate medical information.
There are huge disparities in the candidates’ positions. Voters deserve to know how they plan to change access to abortion over the next four, possibly eight, years, which will impact our nation for decades to come.
As I commented earlier, if Holt doesn’t ask a question about abortion we need to demand answers from him about why he didn’t.
One more interesting article I came across today–it’s a psychological analysis of Trump at Scientific American from July: .Donald Trump’s Real Ambition. Trump is driven by one thing and one thing only: the search for glory.
I normally stay clear of psychologically profiling public figures. But when the writing is so clearly on the wall, when the stakes are so high, and when the data is so consistent, I am inclined to comment. With Trump, what I see is so clearly a textbook case of a metaphorical computer program running amok, that I feel its my imperative to reveal the source code. Hopefully by making Trump’s ambition open-source, we can clearly see where it is headed, and we can take action to halt the program before it reaches its ultimate conclusion.
What is this program? There are many ways to frame it. Some therapists prefer to couch it in terms of “narcissism“. “Oh look at that Trump, he’s such a grandiose narcissist!” But I believe this is not a helpful description for several reasons. For one, it perpetuates an us vs. them mentality. After all, we are all narcissists in varying degrees. The computer program that Trump is running is a grossly exaggerated version of a program, but it’s still a variation on a potentiality that lies deep within all of us. The other reason why this is unsatisfactory is that it doesn’t actually explain anything. Trump obviously has extreme narcissistic tendencies (a high sense of superiority and entitlement). To say he is a “narcissist” is merely saying that he consistently displays an abundance of narcissistic behaviors: not all that revealing.
No, I believe we need to look deeper at the underlying motivation behind virtually everything Trump does, from his choice of teammates to his tweets to his private and public statements. In my estimation, Trump is driven by one thing and one thing only: the search for glory. Everything stems from this one simple fact, and everything falls into place in a predicable fashion once we fully understand the operation of this fundamentally human drive.
Please read it when you have time. It’s a fascinating article.
What are you hearing? How are you going to watch the debate? I think I’ll stick with C-Span. However you watch, I hope you’ll post your reactions below.