Archive for the ‘California Politics’ Category

Clinton’s Strategy: Isolating Trump as a Party of One

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

hillaryaltrightWe take only scant satisfaction in noting that the MSM finally show signs of understanding what Calbuzz laid out more than a month ago: that in their speeches to the Democratic National Convention in July,  President Obama and Hillary Clinton herself reframed the 2016 presidential election by isolating Trumpism as a singular, virulent strain of nativistic ignorance, distinct from Republican, Democratic and all other American values and ideals.

The analytical point is simple. The American political landscape is divided in two parts: 1) Democrats, Republicans, independents, the middleclass, working people, women, blacks, Latinos and other minority groups and 2) Donald Trump.

As if struck by a blinding insight, the TV yackers seemed to have actually listened this time when Clinton said: “From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. He’s taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party. His disregard for the values that make our country great is profoundly dangerous.”

abraham-lincoln-pictureHonest Abe, rolling in grave Even the sluggish commentators got the point when Clinton called the 2016 election “a moment of reckoning for every Republican dismayed that the party of Lincoln has become the party of Trump.”

“This is not conservatism as we have known it. This is not Republicanism as we have known it,” Clinton said. “We have our disagreements. We need good debates. Need to do it in respectful way. Not finger- pointing. Every day, more Americans are standing up and saying “enough is enough” — including a lot of Republicans,” Clinton said. “I’m honored to have their support. And I promise you this: With your help, I will be a president for Democrats, Republicans and Independents. For those who vote for me and those who don’t. For all Americans.”

usandthem“Us and Them,” Redefined Clinton was merely building on the analysis Obama had advanced in his speech to the DNC where he said:

“Look, we Democrats have always had plenty of differences with the Republican Party, and there’s nothing wrong with that. it’s precisely this contest of ideas that pushes our country forward.

“But what we heard in Cleveland last week wasn’t particularly Republican and it sure wasn’t conservative. What we heard was a deeply pessimistic vision of a country where we turn against each other and turn away from the rest of the world. There were no serious solutions to pressing problems, just the fanning of resentment and blame and anger and hate. And that is not the America I know.”

As we wrote on July 28: “Barack Obama on Wednesday masterfully reshaped Donald Trump’s division of the nation into “us and them” — putting Hillary Clinton, the middle class and American values on one side and the New York narcissist alone on the other.”

Left-Liberal Critics We should note that some left-wing Democrats (many with more theory than practical experience) don’t like the notion of isolating Mr. “I alone can fix it” from the Republican Party. They argue that Trump is nothing more than the personification of all that Republicans have represented and fought for. It’s a mistake, they insist, to make Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell the “good guys” when they will ultimately be just as obstructionist toward a Clinton administration as they have been to the Obama administration.

Perhaps. But before there even can be a Clinton administration, Trump must be dispatched. And if isolating him from moderate or even traditionalist Republican voters works, it matters little what else Trump tries to do to shore up his base. And it appears to be working, which is why Trump is scrambling to keep from losing broad swaths of GOP voters.

His phony “outreach” to blacks and Latinos, for example, has nothing to do with trying to recover his footing among these two behemoth voting blocs: it’s an attempt to reassure Republican women in particular that he is not the raving racist demonstrated by his past comments – about Mexican immigrants, Muslims, a Mexican-American federal judge, inner-city blacks, etc.

It’s as if he’s saying, “What are you going to believe: everything you’ve heard and seen from me for more than a year, or what I’m telling you now?”

Too late, Donald.

Trump’s Impotence: Why He Cannot Stand Criticism

Monday, August 8th, 2016

trumpsneerSome in the MSM have already concluded that Donald Trump is not just unfit to be president but that “a Trump presidency would be dangerous for the nation and the world,” as the editorial board of the Washington Post put it. But others keep holding out irrational hope that, perhaps with an “intervention,” he’ll somehow change, become more “presidential,” or otherwise prove himself worthy of election.

Here’s why that won’t happen, which we wish the damn TV bloviators would get:

Trump can’t help himself. He’s a 70-year-old man with an extreme narcissistic personality disorder, and, as such, is psychologically incapable of altering who he is and how he reacts to the world.

khanwconstitutionWhat makes a nacrissist tick? Why, some obscenely overpaid commentators ask endlessly, did Trump attack Khizr and Glazala Khan, the Pakistani American parents of Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed in 2004 during the Iraq War?

Of course it made no political sense, it was beyond the bounds of acceptable behavior for anyone in American politics and ultimately, blew up in Trump’s face.

Because, you dolts, he HAD to attack the Khans. He couldn’t NOT attack them. Because a narcissist cannot allow any critique – let alone an eloquent public shaming – to go unanswered. In fact, as narcissists are well known to do, he had to strike back with even greater force than the original critique.

These are the classic characteristics of NPO:

Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance; expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it; exaggerating one’s achievements and talents; being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate; believing that one is superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people; requiring constant admiration; having a sense of entitlement; expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with one’s expectations; taking advantage of others to get what one wants; having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others; being envious of others and believing others envy you; behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner.

Beyond this, Trump in his eagerness to respond proved he has no clue what the U.S. Constitution says (or at least his ignorance of the rights granted by the First Amendment) when he tweeted: “Mr. Khan, who has never met me, has no right to stand in front of millions of people and claim I have never read the Constitution, which is false.” [Emphasis ours]. Great, crazy and stupid.

hearseenoevilHis ego can’t tolerate critique A few years ago, Dr. Leon Selzer wrote in Psychology Today:

When criticized, narcissists show themselves woefully incapable of retaining any emotional poise, or receptivity. And it really doesn’t much matter whether the nature of that criticism is constructive or destructive. They just don’t seem to be able to take criticism, period. At the same time, these disturbed individuals demonstrate an abnormally developed capacity to criticize others (as in, “dish it out” to them).

Although narcissists don’t (or won’t) show it, all perceived criticism feels gravely threatening to them (the reason that their inflamed, over-the-top reactions to it can leave us so surprised and confused). Deep down, clinging desperately not simply to a positive but grandiose sense of self, they’re compelled at all costs to block out any negative feedback about themselves. Their dilemma is that the rigidity of their defenses, their inability ever to let their guard down (even with those closest to them), guarantees that they’ll never get what they most need, which they themselves are sadly–no, tragically–oblivious of.

Selfie-Stick-Mann-Selfie-Fun-S7Me, Me, Me: Trump, who has argued “America First” and “Only I can fix it,” has conflated the nation with himself. As Dr. Judith Orloff, wrote of narcissists:

Their motto is “Me first!” Everything’s all about them. They have a grandiose sense of self-importance and entitlement, crave admiration and attention. A legend in their own mind, the world is reflected in their image. They’ll corner you at a party, recount their life saga. Some narcissists are unlikable, flagrant egotists. Others can be charming, intelligent, caring–that is, until their guru-status is threatened. When you stop stroking their ego or beg to disagree, they can turn on you and become punishing. Once you catch onto this pattern, a narcissist seems about as charming as a banana peel.

These people are so dangerous because they lack empathy, have a limited capacity for unconditional love. Sadly, their hearts either haven’t developed or have been shut down due to early psychic trauma, such as being raised by narcissistic parents, a crippling handicap both emotionally and spiritually. (The damage of narcissistic parenting is outstandingly detailed in Alice Miller’s “Drama of the Gifted Child”). Hard as it may be to comprehend, these people have little insight into their actions, nor do they regret them. Though often highly intuitive, they mainly use intuition for self-interest and manipulation.  As the Hassidic proverb cautions, “There is no room for God in him that is full of himself.”

With children who seem to suffer from Stockholm Syndrome, immigrant or low-IQ wives in relationships where he has all the power, and a sick fixation on the size of his teeny little hands, Trump is psychologically unable to respond to his critics with any degree of moderation.

They can’t help themselves: This was outlined convincingly in an article titled “Impulsivity and the Self-Defeating Behavior of Narcissists,” by Simmie Vazire of the University of Texas and David Funder of UC Riverside, in the journal “Personality and Social Psychology Review.”

hillarycoolWhy do narcissists engage in behaviors that undermine their urgent goals of power and recognition? We have argued here that sometimes the answer may be very simple: Because they can’t help it.[Emaphasis ours] The paradoxical behavior of narcissists, such as their limitless self-enhancement, counterproductive aggression, and preference for short-term immediate gratification over long-term benefits may be driven in part by their dispositional impulsivity.

Hillary Clinton was exactly correct when she said, “Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.”

If the MSM would get what Calbuzz has been arguing for a year now, they would be able to explain why Trump can only perform as the narcissist who ate New York.

Toldja! We Warned A Year Ago He Was Nuts

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

USA-ELECTIONS/TRUMPABC (Always Believe Calbuzz): Donald Trump’s bona fide mental illness at last has become so public, so manifest and undeniable, that big names and big feet among the MSM finally have been forced to confront the menacing implications of his full-bore crazy.

Ah, if only they’d heeded the alarm bells we rang as loudly as this space allowed a year ago this month. Back when the Beltway battalions of bloviators, wheezers and specious tweeters were still intent on normalizing Trump’s madness by drawing constant false equivalence between him and every other presidential wannabe, we nailed the nut job.

All it took was a bit of Actual Reporting, which led us to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), the 2013 version of the American Psychiatric Association’s foundational classification and diagnostic instrument.

Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others.

But behind this mask of ultra confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

A narcissistic personality disorder causes problems in many areas of life, such as relationships, work, school or financial affairs. You may be generally unhappy and disappointed when you’re not given the special favors or admiration you believe you deserve. Others may not enjoy being around you, and you may find your relationships unfulfilling.

More details here.

robinsonIf it’s news, it’s news to us: After Trump’s stunning meltdown this week, Yahoo News senior editor Dylan Stableford rounded up a raft of recent Beltway punditry questioning Trump’s sanity in a take whose lede aptly asked, “Is Donald Trump Insane?” Most prominently featured was no less a figure than our old friend Gene Robinson, progressive fixture of the WashPost op-ed page:

During the primary season, as Donald Trump’s bizarre outbursts helped him crush the competition, I thought he was being crazy like a fox. Now I am increasingly convinced that he’s just plain crazy.


megwhitmannewMega-kudos to eMeg: Loyal Calbuzzers know that no media outlet in California (or the world, for that matter) has been more critical of Meg Whitman, the high-and-mighty billionairess who envisioned in 2010 that she could enter politics on the strength of $144 million in personal spending and land at the top of the heap as governor of the Golden State. We even accused her of killing truth. 

So we were stunned, in a good way, when the former e-Bay exec, now Hewlett Packard CEO and Republican fundraiser, came out this week in favor of Hillary Clinton in order to defeat Donald the Dangerous Demagogue Trump. Here’s e-Meg’s Facebook post:

As a proud Republican, casting my vote for President has usually been a simple matter. This year is different. To vote Republican out of party loyalty alone would be to endorse a candidacy that I believe has exploited anger, grievance, xenophobia and racial division. Donald Trump’s demagoguery has undermined the fabric of our national character.

Trump’s reckless and uninformed positions on critical issues — from immigration to our economy and foreign policy — have made it abundantly clear that he lacks both the policy depth and sound judgment required as President. Trump’s unsteady hand would endanger our prosperity and national security. His authoritarian character could threaten much more.

Therefore, I have decided to support Hillary Rodham Clinton. It is clear to me that Secretary Clinton’s temperament, global experience and commitment to America’s bedrock national values would make her the far better choice in 2016 for President of the United States. In a tumultuous world, America needs the kind of stable and aspirational leadership Secretary Clinton can provide. I urge all Republicans to reject Donald Trump this November.

“Reckless,” “uninformed,” “authoritarian” — you don’t often hear critiques like that of a Republican candidate from another Republican. But eMeg is one of the smart ones who understands that Trump is sowing the seeds of destruction of the Republican Party itself, not to mention threatening the GOP’s control of the Senate and House.

Bravo, Meg. Maybe now you’ll take us up on our offer to take you to dinner.

Hillary: Far More Credible As POTUS Than Trump

Friday, July 29th, 2016

hillaryspeakingdncHillary Clinton met all the political challenges she faced in accepting the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination on Thursday: she spoke directly to economically anxious middle-class voters outside of the convention hall, displayed both a soft heart and a tough mind and set forth a liberal policy agenda for the country.

After several days of soaring and poetic, tough-act-to-follow speeches by President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton and others, Clinton’s speech was authentic but prosaic, a smart, detailed and confident reflection of who she is.

Compared to Donald Trump’s huffing and puffing display of dark narcissism last week, Clinton’s 50-minute demonstration of knowledge, reason and experience clearly positioned her as a more credible and convincing figure to be president of the United States and leader of the Free World.

She amassed her evidence like the attorney she is, but drove the point home with two succinct and memorable lines:

“A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons,” she said at one point.

Then she referenced Jackie Kennedy’s recollection after the Cuban Missile Crisis:  ”What worried President Kennedy during that very dangerous time was that a war might be started – not by big men, with self-control and restraint, but by little men – the ones moved by fear and pride.”

Props to whoever on the speech team let the hanging reference to Trump’s small hands stay hanging.

hillarytimballoonsYou’re no FDR: Clinton’s mission was at once to show herself a believable president and to capitalize on Obama’s brilliant big tent speech that reduced her opponent to a single island of Trumpism –  which Calbuzz described a year ago as “a toxic mixture of malevolence, testosterone and narcissism masquerading as a political world view.”

Reaching out to Republican voters who find Trumpism at odds with their party’s principles and confidence in American exceptionalism, Clinton argued Trump has “taken the Republican Party a long way…  from ‘Morning in America’ to  ‘Midnight in America.’ He wants us to fear the future and fear each other.”

Borrowing one of the American history’s most iconic notions of national character, she added: “Well, a great Democratic President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, came up with the perfect rebuke to Trump more than eighty years ago, during a much more perilous time.  ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.’”

Seeking to disqualify Trump by highlighting his volatile temperament, she slashed at his egomania.

Don’t believe anyone who says: “I alone can fix it.”  Those were actually Donald Trump’s words in Cleveland. And they should set off alarm bells for all of us.  

Really? I alone can fix it? Isn’t he forgetting? Troops on the front lines. Police officers and fire fighters who run toward danger. Doctors and nurses who care for us. Teachers who change lives. Entrepreneurs who see possibilities in every problem.  Mothers who lost children to violence and are building a movement to keep other kids safe.

He’s forgetting every last one of us.  Americans don’t say: “I alone can fix it.” We say: “We’ll fix it together.” 

Here’s a link to Clinton’s whole speech.

khizrkhanTaming of the shrew: The emotional high point of the evening, as detailed below, was provided by Khizr Khan, a Muslim immigrant, whose son Capt. Humayun Khan, was killed in Iraq in 2004 by a vehicle filled with explosives, after sending his own men to safety.

Shortly after, Clinton was introduced by daughter Chelsea, who described Hillary as “wonderful, thoughtful and hilarious,” dedicated to public service and filled with “compassion, faith, a fierce sense of justice and a heart full of love.” It was testimony from an adoring child, for sure, but effective in providing a softer look at a woman demonized by the right as a heartless shrew.

TV cameras in the hall showed women and a few men in the audience choking up when Chelsea said, “I hope that someday my children will be as proud of me as I am of my mom.”

We should be so lucky.

hillarydnc3It’s still the economy: The most substantive section of Hillary’s speech, as we urged a few days ago, was her appeal to middle-class voters who she hopes to keep from buying into Trump:

Whatever party you belong to, or if you belong to no party at all, if you share these beliefs, this is your campaign.  

If you believe that companies should share profits with their workers, not pad executive bonuses, join us.  If you believe the minimum wage should be a living wage… and no one working full time should have to raise their children in poverty… join us.

If you believe that every man, woman, and child in America has the right to affordable health care…join us. If you believe that we should say “no” to unfair trade deals… that we should stand up to China… that we should support our steelworkers and autoworkers and homegrown manufacturers…join us.  

If you believe we should expand Social Security and protect a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions… join us.  

And yes, if you believe that your working mother, wife, sister, or daughter deserves equal pay… join us…  Let’s make sure this economy works for everyone, not just those at the top.

Now, you didn’t hear any of this from Donald Trump at his convention.   He spoke for 70-odd minutes – and I do mean odd.  And he offered zero solutions.

But we already know he doesn’t believe these things.  No wonder he doesn’t like talking about his plans. You might have noticed, I love talking about mine.

In my first 100 days, we will work with both parties to pass the biggest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II.  Jobs in manufacturing, clean energy, technology and innovation, small business, and infrastructure.

If we invest in infrastructure now, we’ll not only create jobs today, but lay the foundation for the jobs of the future. And we will transform the way we prepare our young people for those jobs.

Commander in Chief: Even as she vowed to defeat ISIS and combat terrorism, she made the point that America cannot count on Trump to lead the fight.

The choice we face is just as stark when it comes to our national security. Anyone reading the news can see the threats and turbulence we face. From Baghdad and Kabul, to Nice and Paris and Brussels, to San Bernardino and Orlando, we’re dealing with determined enemies that must be defeated. 

No wonder people are anxious and looking for reassurance — looking for steady leadership.

That’s what Hillary was selling on Thursday night.

A couple other takeaways:

khanconstitutionKhizr Khan:  The most powerful speech of the night, and possibly the most important words delivered at either convention, was the subdued, seven-minute presentation by attorney, and Muslim immigrant, Khan.

Khan, whose wife stood silently at his side, told the story of their son, Humayun, the middle of their three boys, who was killed by a suicide bomber while serving as a U.S. Army Captain in Iraq in 2004, during an act of heroism that saved the lives of others in his unit.

The forceful dignity and humanity with which he described Humayun and his son’s quiet patriotism and courage stood as a redoubtable rebuke and public shaming of Trump’s hypocrisy and the hate he spews and incites about Muslims and immigrants.

“Donald Trump, you are asking Americans to trust you with their future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the United States Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy,” Khan said, as he pulled a blue, pocket Constitution from his jacket.

“In this document, look for the words liberty and equal protection of law. Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending [the] United States of America. You’ll see, all faiths, genders, and ethnicities.”

“You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”

Wow. If you missed it, you’ll find it here.

kareemdncKareem Abdul Jabbar:  Old Dr. Skyhook had the honor of introducing a video about Capt. Khan that preceded the appearance of the dead soldier’s parents.

Although Calbuzzers of a certain age still instinctively remember Kareem as Lew Alcindor, we still weren’t fooled when he came on and introduced himself as someone else.

“I’m Michael Jordan, and I’m here with Hillary,” the UCLA and NBA basketball icon began, before pausing.”I said that because I know Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”


Here’s Kareem’s schtick.

chelseadncChelsea Clinton: From Bubba’s first term in the White House, the Clintons always have been fiercely protective of daughter Chelsea, up to and beyond her years at Stanford.

Although she’s now joined the family business, we’ve rarely seen her deliver a speech, let alone a major convention address. So the first few minutes of her introduction of Hillary were a little disorienting, as we struggled to piece together separate elements of her face – were those Bill’s eyes and Hillary’s nose, or the other way around? – and then to stop cringing at the cloying voice with which she began her treacly recitation (oddly, it put us in mind of the disaster that was Francis Ford Coppolla’s casting of his own daughter, Sophia, in “Godfather III.” But we digress).

Eventually Chelsea found her stride and, as for us, all those colors and lights swirling across our eyeballs retreated, and we finally awarded her a solid B on her near-impossible assignment of trying to make Hillary’s negatives go down by making her seem like an actual human being through the device of lovey-dovey stories from her childhood (at least she spared us whatever goo-goo ghee-ghee nicknames her own kids call Hillary) when every person in America knew that’s exactly what Chelsea was up to.

As for the short Hillary intro doc: We’re saving up to hire Morgan Freeman to narrate a brave corporate odyssey film about Calbuzz.

Here’s link to Chelsea.

Obama Casts Hillary as “Us” and Trump as “Them”

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

clintonobamawaveIn one of the most powerful convention endorsement speeches ever made by a sitting president, Barack Obama on Wednesday masterfully reshaped Donald Trump’s division of the nation into “us and them” — putting Hillary Clinton, the middle class and American values on one side and the New York narcissist alone on the other.

It was a consummate rhetorical stroke by Obama, who said, “there has never been a man or a woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President.” His address followed searing attacks on Trump and testimony for Clinton from Leon Panetta, Michael Bloomberg, Joe Biden and Tim Kaine.

At the end of Obama’s speech, amid wild cheering, Clinton herself made a surprise appearance in the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, and joined the president on stage where they warmly embraced and beamed for an adoring audience and the TV cameras to the strains of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.”

In his speech last week to the Republican National Convention, Trump had painted a dystopian vision of America, wracked by crime, overrun by immigrants, easy prey for Islamic terrorists and corroded by corruption. “Nobody knows the system better than me,” Trump had said. “Which is why I alone can fix it.”

Obama – and Biden and Kaine, too – ripped that vision apart, speaking directly to middle-class voters and painting Trump’s world view as distinctly un-American and at odds with the values infused in our national character. Said the president:

We are not a fragile or frightful people. Our power doesn’t come from some self-declared savior promising that he alone can restore order. We don’t look to be ruled. Our power comes from those immortal declarations first put to paper right here in Philadelphia all those years ago; We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that together, We, the People, can form a more perfect union.

That’s who we are. That’s our birthright – the capacity to shape our own destiny. That’s what drove patriots to choose revolution over tyranny and our GIs to liberate a continent. It’s what gave women the courage to reach for the ballot, and marchers to cross a bridge in Selma, and workers to organize and fight for better wages.

America has never been about what one person says he’ll do for us. It’s always been about what can be achieved by us, together, through the hard, slow, sometimes frustrating, but ultimately enduring work of self-government.

 “America is already great,” Obama said as well, flipping Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan on its head “America is already strong. And I promise you, our strength, our greatness, does not depend on Donald Trump.”

obamaclintonhugAs surgical as he was in attacking Trump, Obama was effusive in his praise of Clinton:

You know, nothing truly prepares you for the demands of the Oval Office. Until you’ve sat at that desk, you don’t know what it’s like to manage a global crisis, or send young people to war. But Hillary’s been in the room; she’s been part of those decisions. She knows what’s at stake in the decisions our government makes for the working family, the senior citizen, the small business owner, the soldier, and the veteran. Even in the middle of crisis, she listens to people, and keeps her cool, and treats everybody with respect. And no matter how daunting the odds; no matter how much people try to knock her down, she never, ever quits.

That’s the Hillary I know. That’s the Hillary I’ve come to admire. And that’s why I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States of America.

“I’m ready to pass the baton and do my part as a private citizen,” he said “This year, in this election, I’m asking you to join me — to reject cynicism, reject fear, to summon what’s best in us; to elect Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States, and show the world we still believe in the promise of this great nation,”

Full text of Obama’s speech here

Here is a look at the other key speeches of the night:

bloombergdncMichael Bloomberg: Trump not “sane.”

Besides Obama’s, the most important speech of the night belonged to former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a political independent who at one point considered launching his own non-partisan campaign for president.

Bloomberg knows fellow New Yorker Trump well and minced few words in explaining why he is endorsing Democrat Clinton, despite some of his policy disagreements with her. Assailing Trump as a con man – “New Yorkers know a con when we see one,” he said – and said publicly what every Democrat secretly believes but has been too cautious to say – The Donald is legitimately nuts:

“Let’s elect a sane, competent person with international experience,” he said.

…When the Founding Fathers arrived here in Philadelphia to forge a new nation, they didn’t come as Democrats or Republicans, or to nominate a presidential candidate. They came as patriots who feared party politics. I know how they felt. I’ve been a Democrat, I’ve been a Republican, and I eventually became an Independent because I don’t believe either party has a monopoly on good ideas or strong leadership…

…There are times when I disagree with Hillary. But whatever our disagreements may be, I’ve come here to say: We must put them aside for the good of our country. And we must unite around the candidate who can defeat a dangerous demagogue…

Today, as an Independent, an entrepreneur, and a former mayor, I believe we need a president who is a problem-solver, not a bomb-thrower; someone who can bring members of Congress together, to get big things done. And I know Hillary Clinton can do that, because I saw it firsthand!..

Throughout his career, Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits, angry shareholders and contractors who feel cheated, and disillusioned customers who feel ripped off. Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s run his business. God help us.

I’m a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one!

Trump says he’ll punish manufacturers that move to Mexico or China, but the clothes he sells are made overseas in low-wage factories. He says he wants to put Americans back to work, but he games the U.S. visa system so he can hire temporary foreign workers at low wages. He says he wants to deport 11 million undocumented people, but he seems to have no problem in hiring them. What’d I miss here?!

Truth be told, the richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy. He wants you to believe that we can solve our biggest problems by deporting Mexicans and shutting out Muslims. He wants you to believe that erecting trade barriers will bring back good jobs. He’s wrong on both counts….

The bottom line is: Trump is a risky, reckless, and radical choice. And we can’t afford to make that choice…

Now, I know Hillary Clinton is not flawless; no candidate is. But she is the right choice — and the responsible choice — in this election. No matter what you may think about her politics or her record, Hillary Clinton understands that this is not reality television; this is reality. She understands the job of president. It involves finding solutions, not pointing fingers, and offering hope, not stoking fear…

To me, this election is not a choice between a Democrat and a Republican. It’s a choice about who is better to lead our country right now: better for our economy, better for our security, better for our freedom, and better for our future… 

There is no doubt in my mind that Hillary Clinton is the right choice this November. Let’s elect a sane, competent person with international experience.”

Bloomberg’s full text is here.

bidendncJoe Biden: “Actually, Trump has no clue, period.”

Vice President Joe Biden not only delivered plenty of red meat to the liberal crowd but also performed the political more crucial mission of speaking directly to the white, working class voters that have abandoned the Democrats in large numbers and now form Trump’s base.

Having grown up blue collar in Pennsylvania and Delaware, Biden’s heart-on-the-sleeve passion, gravelly voice and blustery rhetorical style, which would sound phony in most other politicians, is authentic and he used his throwback speechmaking style and skill to offer himself as a character witness for Clinton’s concern for the middle class while attacking Trump as a phony concerned only about himself.

“He is trying to tell us he cares about the middle class,” Biden said. “Give me a break.”

…Let me say this as clearly as I can, if you live in the neighborhoods like the ones Jill and I grew up in, if you worry about your job and getting a decent pay, if you worry about your children’s education, if you are taking care of an elderly parent, then there is only one person in this election who will help you, only one person in this race who will be there, who has always been there for you, and that is Hillary Clinton’s life story. Not just who she is, it is her life story. She is always there.

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s say the obvious, that is not Donald Trump’s story.

Just listen to me a second, without booing or cheering. His cynicism and undoubtedly his lack of empathy and compassion can be summed up in that phrase he is most proud of making famous: “You’re fired.”

I’m not joking. Think about that. Think about that. Think about everything you learned as a child. No matter where you were raised, how can there be pleasure in saying, “You’re fired?”

He is trying to tell us he cares about the middle class. Give me a break. That is a bunch of malarkey…

This guy does not have a clue about the middle class. Not a clue. Because folks, when the middle class does well, the rich do very well and the poor have hope. They have a way out. He has no clue about what makes America great. Actually, he has no clue period.

Folks, let me say, let me say something that has nothing to do with politics. Let me talk about something that I’m deadly serious about. This is a complicated and uncertain world we live in. The threats are too great, the times are too uncertain, to elect Donald Trump as president of the United States.

Let me finish, no major party, no major party nominee in the history of the station has ever known less or been less prepared to deal with our national security.

We cannot elect a man who exploits our fears of ISIS and other terrorists, who has no plan whatsoever to make us safer. A man who embraces the tactics of our enemies, torture, religious intolerance, you all know.

Other Republics know, that is not who we are. It betrays our values. It alienates those who we need in the fight against ISIS. Donald Trump, with all his rhetoric, would literally make us less safe. We cannot elect a man who belittles our closest allies while embracing dictators like Vladimir Putin. I mean it.

A man who seeks to sow division in America for his own gain and disorder around the world. A man who confuses bluster with strength. We simply cannot let that happen as Americans. Period…

Ordinary people like us, who do extraordinary things, we had candidates before attempting get elected by appealing to our fears, but they’ve never succeeded because we do not scare easily. We never bow, we never break, when confronted with crisis. We endure! We overcome and we always move forward…

The 21st century is going to be the American century. Because we lead not only by example of our power, but by the power of our example. That is the history of the journey of Americans. And God willing, Hillary Clinton will write the next chapter in that journey…

A full Biden transcript is here.

kainedncTim Kaine: Trump’s passion “is himself.”

Surrounded by great speakers, newly minted Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine came as advertised: a little dull, a little plodding and astonishingly normal.

But Kaine achieved multiple aims in his address: he positioned himself as a natural centrist, summing up his life story as the son of a blue collar small businessman and son-in-law of a moderate local Republican politician, with values shaped by working with poor people in Honduras; he established himself as Hillary’s cheerleader-in-chief; he introduced a not-bad Trump imitation in using humor more than anger to attack the GOP candidate; and he rolled out his Spanish language skills, busting several bilingual moves that drew big cheers.

“Donald, what are you hiding?” he asked about Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, a refrain that will no doubt soon become very familiar.

…Anne’s parents, Lin and Jinks, are here today, 90-plus and going strong. Lin’s still a Republican. But he’s voting for a lot of Democrats these days. Because any party that would nominate Donald Trump for president has moved too far away from his party of Lincoln. And if any of you are looking for that party of Lincoln, we’ve got a home for you right here in the Democratic Party….

Here’s a little tip for you: When you want to know about the character of someone in public life, look to see if they have a passion, one that began before they were in office, and that they have consistently held on to throughout their career.

Hillary’s passion is kids and families. Donald Trump has a passion too: It’s himself…

You know who I don’t trust? Donald Trump. The guy promises a lot. But you might have noticed, he has a habit of saying the same two words right after he makes his biggest promises. You guys know the words I mean? ‘Believe me. It’s gonna be great – believe me! We’re gonna build a wall and make Mexico pay for it – believe me! We’re gonna destroy ISIS so fast – believe me! There’s nothing suspicious in my tax returns –believe me!” 

By the way, does anyone here believe that Donald Trump’s been paying his fair share of taxes? Do you believe he ought to release those tax returns like every other presidential candidate in modern history? Of course he should. Donald, what are you hiding?

And yet he still says, “Believe me.” ”Believe me?” Here’s the thing. Most people, when they run for President, they don’t just say “believe me.” They respect you enough to tell you how they will get things done…

Not Donald Trump. He never tells you how he’s going to do any of the things he says he’s going to do. He just says, “believe me.” So here’s the question. Do you really believe him? Donald Trump’s whole career says you better not.

Small contractors – companies just like my dad’s –believed him when he said that he’d pay them to build a casino in Atlantic City. They did the work, hung the drywall, poured the concrete. But a year after opening, Trump filed for bankruptcy. He walked away with millions. They got pennies on the dollar. Some of them went out of business. All because they believed Donald Trump.

Retirees and families in Florida believed Donald Trump when he said he’d build them condos. They paid their deposits, but the condos were never built. He just pocketed their money, and walked away. They lost tens of thousands of dollars, all because they believed Donald Trump. 

Charity after charity believed Donald Trump when he said he would contribute to them. And thousands of Trump University students believed Donald Trump when he said he would help them succeed. They got stiffed.

He says “believe me.” Well, his creditors, his contractors, his laid-off employees, his ripped-off students did just that. Folks, you cannot believe one word that comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth.

Our nation is too great to put it in the hands of a slick-talking, empty-promising, self-promoting, one man wrecking crew…So, do you believe him? Does anybody here believe him?

Kaine’s speech text is here.

panettadncLeon Panetta: Trump is “beyond the pale.”

Former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta presented a strong national security case against Trump, stopping just short of accusing the hirsute human Chucky doll of treason for his off-the-wall comments earlier in the day, inviting the Russians to hack Clinton’s email.

But Panetta’s speech also featured the only sour note of the evening, when lefty delegates, many from California (why do we feel certain that human leaf blower Norman Solomon was among them?), shouted “No More War” – stupidly interrupting the guy who is a national hero for commanding the troops who killed Osama Bin Laden.

Although he struggled at times to be heard, Panetta made a clear and convincing argument, saying that Trump has proven himself “truly not qualified” to lead the country.

This just is beyond my own understanding of the responsibilities that candidates have to be loyal to their country and to their country alone, not to reach out to somebody like Putin and Russia, and try to engage them in an effort to try to, in effect, conduct a conspiracy against another party…

You’ve got now a presidential candidate who is in fact asking the Russians to engage in American politics and I just think that’s beyond the pale. I have a lot of concerns of his qualities of leadership or lack thereof. That kind of statement only reflects the fact that he truly is not qualified to be president of the United States.

Politico’s Greatest Hits on Trump

H/T to Politico for pulling together the 21 top smackdowns on Trump from the third day of the DNC in Philly, including several from California speakers:

“Donald Trump says he gets his foreign-policy experience from watching TV and running the Miss Universe pageant. If only it were funny, but it is deadly serious.”
–Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta

“Trump strangled the sunny optimism of Ronald Reagan and replaced ‘Tear down that wall’ with the cynical bigotry of “Build that wall.”
– California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom

“Even the Know Nothings, anti-immigrant party of the 1850s, did not stray this far into sheer ignorance and dark fantasy as have the Republicans and their leader Donald Trump.”
–California Gov. Jerry Brown

“Contempt for the Constitution, inhumane mass deportation, malice towards different views and different hues. Those are disqualifications from any office, let alone the highest office in the land.”