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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Stuff I read today, October 27, 2016

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Twelve days remain before we find out if Donald Trump can rebrand a Russian punk band's name that embodies two of his favorite talking points- “pussy” and “riot” into a uniquely American  mass movement.

So here’s what else I learned.

- “Ask the gays! Who’s their friend?” asked Donald Trump on June 16, shortly before giving American evangelical leaders a blank check for legal discrimination if he is elected.

Yesterday, in Charlotte- before what press reports call an invited, predominantly white audience (“many were Republican Party volunteers from Mecklenburg and surrounding counties”), Mr Trump made the same sort of promise to African-Americans:

Here is the promise I make to you whether you vote for me or not: I will be your greatest champion.

Mr Trump read a speech, from a teleprompter, in his indoor voice, and got all the way to the end without losing it.

The joke joke used to go, "How can you tell whn a pol is lying? His lips are moving." With Mr Trump, it's, "He's using the teleptompter." This is how he could court African-American votes in Charlotte while, in San Antonio at virtually the same time, his senior staff were telling Bloomberg,
Instead of expanding the electorate, Bannon and his team are trying to shrink it. “We have three major voter suppression operations under way,” says a senior official. They’re aimed at three groups Clinton needs to win overwhelmingly: idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans.

Trump held a roundtable discussion backstage with eight local African-Americans, as well as Omarosa Manigault. She was a contestant on the first season of “The Apprentice,” Trump’s former NBC-TV reality show, and now is his director of outreach to African-Americans.

Some audience members said they received their tickets to Trump’s speech because they attended a Wednesday morning program featuring Dr. Ben Carson at First Baptist Church of Charlotte.

Nothing says “listening” like telling half a dozen people what’s in a speech you’re about to go out and read.

What’s in his plan? A boom for urban real estate developers like Donald Trump:

I will also propose tax holidays for inner-city investment, and new tax incentives to get foreign companies to relocate in blighted American neighborhoods. I will further empower cities and states to seek a federal disaster designation for blighted communities in order to initiate the rebuilding of vital infrastructure, the demolition of abandoned properties, and the increased presence of law enforcement.

America- and particularly, Charlotte- has been down that road before. It was called urban renewal, and turned inner city minority neighborhoods into freeways and yuppie playgrounds.

He wants to turn the government into an inner-city loan shark:

We will also encourage small-business creation by allowing social welfare workers to convert poverty assistance into repayable but forgive-able micro-loans.

He’ll adopt a 19th century model of American economic growth, where pollution will be the great upward and outward mobility incentive (“What’ve you got to lose? Pretty blue skies look the same to the rich and the poor. The rich see them more often, because they can live higher up”):

Infrastructure will be another major goal. My contract calls for $1 trillion dollars in infrastructure investment, of which the inner cities will be a major beneficiary.

I will also cancel all wasteful climate change spending from Obama-Clinton, including all global warming payments to the United Nations. These steps will save $100 billion over 8 years, and this money will be used to help rebuild the vital infrastructure, including water systems, in America’s inner cities.

Remarkably, Mr Trump doesn’t see the uplift of America’s poor blacks as an American task. All those American corporations he bars leaving the United States, their consolation prize is, apparently, not having to deal with “them”:

Trump said he would push for tax holidays for inner-city investment and new tax incentives for foreign companies to relocate in what he called “blighted American neighborhoods.”

Mr Trump will also complete the North Carolina General Assembly’s work of abandoning public education:

School choice is at the center of my plan. My proposal redirects education spending to allow every disadvantaged child in America to attend the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school of their choice. School choice is the great civil rights issue of our time, and I will be the nation’s biggest cheerleader for school choice in all 50 states.

And when Mr Trump echoes Ronald Reagan, crying, “Tear down that wall!” he means the separation of church and state, and the replacement of African-Americans with other groups as the objects of re-legalized discrimination:

Finally, today, my agenda includes the protection of religious liberty, the promotion of family, and support for the African-American church.

In a moment of unusual candidate candor, The Observer reported,

During his backstage roundtable discussion, Trump said he’s been accepted by the black community. “The response has been unbelievable,” Trump said about enthusiasm from black Americans.

But, in fact, Trump’s support among black voters stands at just 4 percent, according to a CBS News poll released last week.

What’s unbelievable is that he’s got as much as 4%. Curiously, his minority supporters don't seem upset about what Mr Trump says should upset them: being taken for granted: getting half a loaf after being promised a bakery:

“As an African-American, I haven’t seen anything that Obama has actually done (for the black community),” said Ty Turner, a radio show host at 103.3 FM and special events chairman for the Mecklenburg County Republican Party. “He’s done more for Latinos and illegals and LGBT (persons). We’ve been given crumbs – a song here, a dance there.”

Mr Turner wants a government-backed bakery that can turn away the gays. According to participants, they told Mr Trump what they wanted and he said he would give it to them, including putting some of them on a presidential commission.

When is a Threatt no threat to anyone? When he’s a GOP candidate for Congress:
Trump was introduced by Leon Threatt, an African-American Republican running for Congress in the 12th District. He’s bullish about Trump’s chances in North Carolina and across the country. 
“I’m pretty confident that he’ll win this thing in a landslide,” Threatt said. “I think we’ll see something similar across the nation. It’s looking real good. And I think the American people are ready for that.”

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