Month: March 2016 (Page 2 of 3)

Flashback: In 1988 Trump was fooled by fake Gorbachev

If you look up “gullible” in the dictionary, you’ll see a picture of Donald Trump. (I’m serious, try it!)

He has retweeted images of murderers and serial killers and Mussolini quotes from accounts made to troll Trump. He also has a thing for Russian leaders.

So in 1988, Trump rushed to see a Gorbachev look-alike, who was walking around Manhattan on the same day the real Gorbachev arrived there:

The impersonator’s act apparently was good enough to fool real estate tycoon Donald Trump, who recently learned Gorbachev turned down a chance to visit the developer’s glittering Trump Tower.

Trump, accompanied by bodyguards, rushed down from his nearby office and pushed his way through the crowd for a chance to pump the hand of the world leader.

“He looked fabulous and he sounded fabulous, but I knew it couldn’t be right,” Trump said. “For one thing, I looked into the back of his limo and saw four very attractive women.”

Article: “Gorbachev look-alive fools Trump and media,” AP

Read this 1989 article on Trump to see how he hasn’t changed

In 1989, Trump could buy hotels and football teams, but he couldn’t buy respect. That’s the basis for a February 1989 AP article by Jerry Schwartz that perfectly describes how Donald Trump is–today.

It’s interesting to compare and contrast and see how he was almost exactly the same insecure narcissist as he is today.

Some excerpts:
In 1989, everyone was “jealous” of Trump

The 43-year-old billionaire does not believe he deserves this tidal wave of derision, which rises along with his success and prominence. But Trump–who declined to be interviewed–thinks he understands it.

“My guess is that they dislike me out of jealousy.”

And any magazine that criticized him was closing soon

In September, Trump claimed Spy was in dire straits and would be out of business within a year; now each issue contains a countdown of “our death foretold.” Last week an outraged Trump claimed that the father of a Spy executive had suggested Spy would ease up on Trump if the Trump Shuttle offered the magazine to passengers; Spy said that was a joke.

Spy would end up publishing its final issue in 1998, 9 years after Trump predicted its downfall.

Today Trump still thinks every editor is jealous and that their outlet is going out of business:

Donald Trump pushed back on Wednesday at the New York Daily News’ latest attack, telling Fox News the newspaper would be closing soon and that the publisher is “jealous as hell” of him.

Trump critics also offered the perfect description of him that still applies today:

“He’s … sort of a polyester guy in a 100 percent cotton world,” frothers Editor E. Graydon Carter. “He represents a sort of mass-market, fake sophistication. In a city that invented real sophistication, his kind is driving the real stuff out.”

Read the full article here: “Donald Trump can’t buy respect,” Google Newspaper Archives

Trump’s fake anti-war position slips

Trump calls for boots on the ground in Syria

One of the weird things about the Republican primary up until now is how “anti-interventionists” and “anti-war”-ists have praised or even supported “the most militaristic person” (Trump’s own self-definition), Donald Trump.

For Anti-Interventionists, Trump vs. Sanders Is Ideal Race,” isolationist Pat Buchanan wrote in an article published at white nationalist website described Trump as an “anti-interventionist” in a headline.

Trump has created that image by saying things like “We can’t continue to be the policemen of the world,” and, “Let Syria and ISIS fight. Why do we care?” But later he said the U.S. should “bomb the shit out of ISIS” and steal Iraq’s oil.

Now at the most recent debate, he called not only for bombing ISIS but also invading with ground troops. He said, “I’m hearing numbers of 20 to 30,000. We have to knock them out fast,” and then added some gibberish about, “We’re not allowed to fight. We can’t fight. … They didn’t want to knock out the oil because of what it’s going to do to the carbon footprint. … We used to fight to win. Now we fight for no reason whatsoever.”

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The Cost of Cambodian Citizenship

In July 2015, a North Korean man traveled to Hawaii, bought, and attempted to ship military goods to China. China is a common route for weapons transfer to North Korea, and Kim Song-Il knew what he was doing. Homeland Security agents arrested Song-Il, and sentenced him to more than three years in prison in late February for violating the Arms Export Control Act, a law that regulates overseas shipment of U.S. military items. Song-Il’s lawyer declined to disclose the fate of the Cambodian passport he used to travel to the U.S.

Kim Song-Il's law enforcement booking photo provided by the Weber County, Utah, Sheriff's Offiice

Kim Song-Il’s law enforcement booking photo provided by the Weber County, Utah, Sheriff’s Offiice

Although the Kingdom of Cambodia holds diplomatic ties with the rogue state, the fact that the government handed Song-Il a passport is still irresponsible. The man had ties to a company known for fronting arms to North Korea. Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni never should have stamped Song-Il’s immigration forms. Yet in September 2008, that’s exactly what he did. And, over the years, a number of suspicious individuals have been granted Cambodian citizenship. 

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Xi’s the Chinese Reagan: Cuttin taxes and lovin it! (Corbyn, Sanders, take note)

Two Sessions 2016: Structural reforms – technology boost and Tax cuts 

As the two sessions met, there are concrete signs of policies that are being formalized for the future direction of Chinese economy. The National committee (CPPCC) met to discuss the future of Chinese growth. Some formal goals were outlined at the outset. To communicate the economic future of China was one of them. Wang Guoqing, the spokesperson highlighted the need to raise tough questions, which will give the world an idea about the true economic conditions prevailing, and will help in dispelling myths about Chinese growth. As I wrote previously, it will be a session to underscore policies to highlight growth potentials, as that is the prime concern of Chinese policy makers now. Addressing the 6.9 percent growth, chairman Yu Zhengsheng mentioned that while it is still more than the entire world, except India perhaps, it is imperative that growth is stimulated and President Xi Jinping said that annual growth of at least 6.5 percent would be required to reach China’s goal to double its 2010 GDP and per capita income by 2020.

Some thought provoking proposals were debated and discussed, like using PV on rooftops, as a means to poverty alleviation. The idea was from Hanergy’s chairman Li Hejun, who said that it is the most potent way for areas without stable power supplies, or remote areas, and it is in line with the poverty eradication plan of the 13th five year plan. Another aspect that was focused was the promotion of a green shared development concept. This coordinated approach and green growth has been the focus for a few years now, considering China’s attempt at pollution control and develop clean energy.

However, two concepts struck me as the key of this year’s two sessions.

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Analysis: “Freedom of Press”, Turkey and the real story of Zaman takeover

The crescendo of the Conflict: Guest post by Akif Avcı. (Akif is a Doctoral Researcher at the University of Nottingham)


The motivation behind typing this article is to resist against the mainstream media in the issue of the takeover of media group Feza Journalism by the AKP (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, Justice and Development Party) government. Two days ago, a decision has been made by a Turkish court to takeover the Feza Journalism, which owns Turkey’s largest-circulation newspaper and one of the most famous private news agency affiliated with Gulen Movement. Many people gathered in front the Zaman building to protest this seizure. Police forces have attacked the protestors with water-cannons and tear gasses. Many of the journalists, intellectuals, and political party leaders in Turkey have approached the takeover of the Feza media group as a threat to the freedom of press, and declared their solidarity with Gulenist Media.

Supposing this as a threat to the freedom of speech in Turkey-as most of the mainstream media has done so far- is nothing more than masking the truths behind the scene. Rather, this takeover, from my perspective, is the latest attempt of the AKP government in the sense of overcoming its enemy in the ongoing battle between the Gulen Movement and the AKP government, which has become crystallised after the so-called corruption probe started in 17-25 December of 2013. I would like to highlight the fact that there is this agenda needs to be focused on in order to unearth why the AKP has attacked the Gulenist media. This article argues that the takeover is the reflection of intra-capital, intra-state conflict between the AKP government and the Gulen Movement. The task of this article is to uncover the history and unpack what the AKP-Gulen coalition fuelled the neoliberal authoritarian regime. 

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Clinton’s Albright Intervention

Or, If you have a uterus, vote Clinton!

Hillary Rodham Clinton is supposed to be the next generation of American President. One of the foundation stones of her campaign platform is becoming the very first female President in United States history. Intellectually, this would be an interesting foray into a possible political future. Certainly as a woman, the idea of a woman holding what is arguably the most powerful position in the world is a coveted ideal. It would be a beacon of hope not just for women and feminists, but for minority groups and the marginalized everywhere that pursue equal rights for all.

And this particular beacon is faltering. For the second time.

Hillary Clinton is a consummate politician. Throughout both the Presidency of Bill Clinton, and her time as Secretary of State for President Barack Obama, HRC showed the skill required to navigate international politics and succeed in her foreign policy aims. She should, therefore, have known better than to bring in someone who would imply that women should vote for Clinton simply because they share a gender. That is not politics. That is not spreading awareness.

That is idiocy.

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Analysis – Slovak Parliamentary Elections 2016: Hopes Raised, Hopes Dashed?

Yesterday, on March 5th, Slovakia held the long awaited parliamentary election. What was expected to be the decisive moment for the country´s future turned out to be something that can be, in a nutshell, summarised by the heading ´hopes raised, hopes dashed´. Aside from the little change that results, one attempt to steal the ballot box and sudden death of a pensioner, there had been multiple reported efforts to manipulate the process. In the end, even though hundreds of voters received the package of ballot papers coincidentally including more leading party´s copies at the expense of the one which scored the second place; the election has been pronounced valid and Robert Fico´s SMER (The Direction) is now searching for its coalition junior partner.

While my peers already researched on the possibilities to be granted a political asylum elsewhere- starting from the Zeman´s Czech Republic to Republic of Ghana; I am still contemplating and trying to analyse and understand the meaning and potential consequences of what has just happened and why. 

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Cruz wins Super Saturday; Trump underperforms

Days after “#NeverTrump” began trending, Donald Trump is underperforming at the Saturday, March 5th primaries.

Going into Kansas, two polls gave Trump leads at 35% and 26%, with Cruz at 29% and 14% respectively. Cruz ended up winning with 48% to Trump’s 23%.

Maine polls are not available at FiveThirtyEight, but Maine’s unpopular governor Paul LePage endorsed Trump, and Trump did well in other northeastern states. With 9% of the vote in, Cruz is winning 43% to 36%.

Trump is leading Kentucky by a 41% to 30% margin with 26% in. Louisiana polls have yet to report results. (9:48 pm)

UPDATED (Sunday, 7:45 am): Cruz won Maine 45.9% to 32.6%.

Trump won Louisiana 41.4% to 37.8%. With Rubio getting 11% and Kasich getting 6%. This indicates that Trump would have a hard time winning a two-man race. So far he has not won a majority of any state.

Trump also won Kentucky by a small margin, 35.9% to 31.6%, with Rubio and Kasich pulling 16% and 14% respectively.

Cruz won in total delegates, adding 64 to Trump’s 49.

Trump loses to Clinton in 90% of polls

It always amazes me how some politicians can lie so easily about objective facts that are available with just a few seconds of Googling, and how journalists, who have heard their lines again and again, never check and correct them. One of the worst examples is polling.

Trump trotted out polls again on Thursday night at the debate in Detroit to argue that he’s winning in the polls. As Ted Cruz said, Trump is obsessed with polls. But here’s why he shouldn’t be: All the polls show Trump losing to Clinton.

When called on it, Trump misleadingly stated, “I beat Hillary Clinton in many polls.” (Politico, in their story on the candidates arguing about polls, could have interjected with facts but didn’t and let Trump’s relatively inaccurate statement stand.)

Yes, Trump beats Hillary in some polls, but not “many”–unless you consider 5-out-of-49 to be many.

There’s actually a website where you can check these things: RealClearPolitics. RealClearPolitics includes summaries of all credible polls done this year and averages them. Of all the polls since May (link), Trump only led in five–five that he incessently cites (USA Today, 2/11-15; Fox News, 1/4-7; Fox News, 11/16-19; Fox News, 10/10-12; SurveyUSA, 9/2-3; two ties; not Quinnipac). That’s two polls from this year and three from Fox News.

Don’t take my word for it. Check at RealClearPolitics Clinton vs Trump polls. And yet Politico’s Michael Grunwald not let Trump’s claim stand, he even restated Trump’s straight-up lie that he’s leading in a Quinnipac poll.

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