News from the Votemaster
• Trump's Kids Also Not Great With Rules
• Clinton's New Ad is Aimed at Democrats and Attacks Trump Directly
• Politico: Clinton Won't Be Indicted
• Clinton and de Blasio Step in It
• Ryan is Running a Parallel Campaign
• Donald Trump Is A Cheapskate
• Maybe Obama Has No Basis for Forcing Garland's Appointment, After All
Donald Trump has apparently just discovered that he lost all of Colorado's 34 delegates over the weekend, and he was furious about it, saying: "The system is rigged. It's crooked. There was no voting." It is true there was no primary or caucus, but the fact that the delegates would be selected at the state convention has been known for months. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) certainly knew the rules and showed up at the convention to make a speech. Trump could have done that as well, had he been paying attention. The fact that Colorado has a state convention to pick the delegates isn't even unusual. Most states pick their actual delegates at a convention. The only oddity in Colorado is that there is no primary or caucus. But Trump should have been aware of this.
Trump didn't complain about Iowa and Indiana, which also selected delegates this past weekend, nearly all of them pro-Cruz, although some of them will be bound to vote for The Donald on the first ballot. Maybe Trump missed the news that he missed the boat in Iowa and Indiana, as well as Colorado. While he thinks he can change the rules of the Republican Party by just holding big rallies and sending out tweets, he is coming to learn that rules are rules and if he ignores them, he will suffer the consequences. While he is tweeting, Cruz is out in the field rounding up actual delegates. Trump did hire veteran strategist Paul Manafort to handle his delegate wrangling, but it may be too little too late and whining about it after the fact isn't going to do him much good. (V)
Donald Trump has four children who are legally able to vote. Only one (Donald, Jr.) will be able to vote for him in New York, while another (Tiffany) will be able to do the same in Pennsylvania. Eric and Ivanka, however, are out of luck.
The issue is that New York has a very early deadline —Oct. 9, 2015—for changing registration prior to participating in the 2016 primaries. This is to keep voters from seeing how the contest is unfolding, and then re-registering strategically at the last minute (for example, a Republican seeing Trump's lead and switching so he can vote against Hillary Clinton). Apparently Trump's kids did not know about this deadline. According to The Donald: "They had a long time to register and they were, you know, unaware of the rules, and they didn't, they didn't register in time, so they feel very, very guilty." Of course, even if they had known, they surely would not have foreseen the need. And inasmuch as the issue was re-registering, and not simply registering, it's also a subtle reminder that until very recently, the Trump family were Democrats. (Z)
Hillary Clinton's new ad running in New York goes right after Donald Trump by pointing out what he has said about women, Muslims, and Mexicans. It concludes by saying she is the only one tough enough to take him on. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is not mentioned anywhere in the ad.
A bit of background information may make the logic here clearer. New York is a closed primary—only Democrats can vote in it. That is also true of most of the other Mid-Atlantic primaries this month. Sanders has been especially strong among independents, but they won't play a role in New York and the other closed states. Democrats are much more likely to remember how the Republicans have been attacking her for years and how she has fought back. Independents and young voters are much less likely to even know this, let alone take it into consideration. So the ad is a twofer: it speaks to Democrats clearly in the primary but also makes it clear that she has the guts to directly attack Trump on points where Democrats really despise him. And where is Sanders on Trump's demagoguery? Not a peep. He is too busy going after Clinton's speeches to Goldman Sachs. That's not an issue that is going to win the hearts and minds of New Yorkers. (V)
Politico has done a study of dozens of cases where classified information was mishandled to see if there were any indictments in cases like hers. There weren't. Prosecutors bring indictments only when an official knowingly passes classified information to unauthorized parties and has some add-on element that makes it worse. One case was an FBI agent who took home secret documents while he was having an affair with a Chinese spy. Another was an employee of the National Security Agency who removed boxes of classified documents and also lied on a job application. Clinton has done nothing vaguely resembling any of this and it has yet to be shown that any of the classified documents on her mail server were classified at the time she sent or received them. Most—maybe all—were classified long after she handled them. Even directly handing a document to an enemy spy is not a crime if the document was unclassified at the time it was handed over and was then classified later.
One obvious case to compare Clinton's to is that of Gen. David Petraeus, who knowingly gave top-secret documents to a journalist (who just happened to be his lover) and then lied to the FBI about it. The fact that Petraeus knew the documents were secret at the time he handed them over and then lied about it later are major differences with the Clinton case. Petraeus was fined $100,000 but didn't spend a day in jail.
Most Republican insiders already know what is going to happen: The FBI will issue a massive report saying Clinton violated State Department policy but didn't commit a crime and didn't endanger national security. The problem that Republican talk radio hosts have is that they have been preparing their audiences for months for an indictment that is not going to happen. How are they going to explain that their "facts" weren't facts at all, but wild pipe dreams? Most likely they will say that the administration is corrupt and Obama ordered the FBI to let Clinton off the hook. (V)
Appearing together at a comedic event meant to raise money for charity, Hillary Clinton and New York Mayor performed a skit that included the following dialogue:
Clinton: "I just have to say thanks for the endorsement, Bill. Took you long enough."
de Blasio: "Sorry Hillary, I was running on C.P. time." (with C.P. seemingly referring to "Colored People").
Actor Leslie Odom Jr., who is black: "That's not—I don't like jokes like that, Bill."
Clinton: "He was talking about cautious politician time!"
The routine has been criticized widely, from all parts of the political spectrum, inasmuch as it derives its humor from the stereotype that black people are chronically late.
On one hand, this kind of "misdirect" joke is a well-worn part of the comedian's bag of tricks. On the other hand, when the misdirect begins from a racial stereotype, it rarely goes over well. Indeed, very similar jokes by Chris Rock and Ali G at the Oscars (although at the expense of Asians) were slammed widely in post-event coverage. Undoubtedly, Clinton was trying to be a good sport, and was just reciting lines that were written for her. However, the better idea for her, given the whole "running for president" thing: Just don't go there. (Z).
While Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) is not formally running for President, he is acting an awful lot like a candidate, with speeches, a platform, and even a visit to Israel to confer with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. If the Republican National Convention ends up being deadlocked, he would be ready to step in and save the Party at the drop of 1,237 hats. If Trump or Cruz is nominated, he will probably continue to campaign on a more orthodox Republican platform in order to try to salvage the Senate and House.
Ryan plans to roll out his platform just before the convention as a kind of inoculation against the platform Trump or Cruz might write. In particular, his will support free trade and certainly will not bar Muslims from entering the country. Nor will it involve any large construction projects on the U.S. southern border. However, there is a possible downside to Ryan's strategy. Trump has gotten a lot of votes because many voters don't like free trade, don't like Muslims, and do like big walls. If Ryan goes around trumping things his base opposes, it might not end well in November. (V)
Donald Trump likes to brag about how generous he is, often pointing out how he has donated over $100 million to charity in the past five years. To prove his generosity, he compiled a list of his 4,844 contributions, which filled 93 pages. The Washington Post took up the challenge and carefully analyzed the list. It turns out that not a single penny came from Trump's own pocket.
A large number of the gifts were free rounds of golf at his golf courses that were donated to charity auctions and raffles. None of them cost him a penny, although they did raise money for the charity he donated to. He also gave away 175 free stays at his hotels, 165 free meals, and 11 gift certificates to his spas. Other "gifts" were in the form of agreements to forgo development on properties he owned and was probably not planning to develop anyway. Some of these got him tax breaks so it is stretching things a bit to say you donated something of value to charity when the result of the "donation" got you a tax break and the thing you donated you didn't want in the first place. Some of the beneficiaries weren't even charities, but clients and business partners. So Trump is no Bill Gates, who is giving away most of his tens of billions of dollars to help sick children in Africa. (V)
Yesterday, we had a piece recounting lawyer Gregory L. Diskant's argument that President Obama might have a legal basis for ignoring the Senate, and could potentially put Merrick Garland on the Supreme Court without their consent. Today, the legal community has struck back, declaring the argument to be preposterous, and insisting that such a maneuver would be wholly inconsistent with current precedent.
The author of the piece, Jonathan H. Adler, crafts a fairly persuasive argument. At least, to the eyes of a non-lawyer. However, it is worth remembering that, especially when it comes to the Supreme Court, the law is intermixed with a strong dash of politics. If President Obama was going to try to do an end-run around the Senate, his goal would be to make a political statement, and the legal merits of the case would only be secondary. It is unlikely that Obama will proceed along this course, but that was equally true yesterday, since it was never really a question of law, anyhow. (Z)Email a link to a friend or share:
Apr11 Clinton and Sanders Split the Wyoming Delegates Evenly
Apr11 Trump Has Huge Leads in New York and Pennsylvania
Apr11 Clinton Has Large Leads in New York and Pennsylvania
Apr11 Electoral Math Is Ugly for the GOP
Apr11 National Review Keeps Tilting at Trump Windmill
Apr11 Clinton Pins Her Hopes on Upstate New York
Apr11 Obama: Clinton Never Jeopardized National Security
Apr11 Trump Learned His Style from Roy Cohn
Apr11 Why Are Polls Often Wrong Now?
Apr11 Obama Acknowledges Biggest Mistake
Apr11 Could Barack Obama Put Garland on SCOTUS Without Senate Approval?
Apr10 Sanders Wins Wyoming
Apr10 Sanders Trying Hard to Appeal to Black Voters
Apr10 Sanders Says Clinton Is Qualified to Be President
Apr10 Trump Is Losing Indiana Even Before the Voting Starts
Apr10 Cruz Finishes the Job in Colorado While Trump Fumbles
Apr10 Unbound Delegates Could Determine the Republican Nominee
Apr10 One-Third of Trump Supporters Won't Vote for Another Republican
Apr10 Adelson May Sit This One Out
Apr10 Fiorina Desperately Wants to Be Veep
Apr10 Boston Globe Running Fake Anti-Trump Front Page Today
Apr09 Republican Insiders: It Will Be A Contested Convention
Apr09 Trump and Cruz Have Completely Different Approaches
Apr09 Republican Rodeo in Colorado
Apr09 Trump May Command a Fake Twitter Army
Apr09 Trump and Clinton Lead in New York Poll
Apr09 Trump and Clinton Lead in California poll
Apr09 Cruz Would Be the Most Conservative Nominee in Generations
Apr09 Paul Ryan Releases Campaign Ad
Apr09 Economy is Playing Out in the Democrats' Favor
Apr08 Candidates Move to New York
Apr08 Conservatives Are Pushing for Mike Lee to Fill Scalia's Seat
Apr08 More People Are Struck by Lightning than Commit In-person Voter Fraud
Apr08 GOP Leaders Hate Cruz but Desperately Need Him
Apr08 Clinton Blows it in Philadelphia
Apr08 Can the Democrats Survive the Clinton-Sanders Breach?
Apr08 Obama Chomping at the Bit
Apr08 Sessions Would Like to Be Trump's Veep
Apr08 Giuliani Would Like to Be Trump's Attorney General
Apr08 Maryland Senatorial Primary Shows a Racial Divide
Apr08 McConnell Is Taking Sides in Indiana Senatorial Primary
Apr07 Voting in Wisconsin a Fiasco
Apr07 Ryan's Noncampaign Heads to the Middle East
Apr07 Where Do the Republicans Stand Now?
Apr07 Now the Hard Part for Cruz and Sanders: the East
Apr07 Nate Silver Is Betting on Cruz
Apr07 Republicans Could Employ Many Tricks to Stop Trump
Apr07 Cruz Could Hurt the Republicans Almost as Much as Trump