Ah, Donald Trump.

The man who has spent millions of dollars in court, suing for eminent domain here in the U.S.A. (and lost) and in Scotland, in pursuit of projects that either fail or are never finished (see the Scotland link).

The same man who sued the guy who correctly appraised the odds on the Trump Taj Mahal’s failure – before the Taj even opened. The same man who lost that lawsuit.

Yes, that Donald Trump.

Now Trump will be spending more time in court (emphasis added):

New York judge decided Tuesday that a fraud case against Donald Trump over his former school for real estate investors will go to trial – raising the possibility that the Republican presidential primary front-runner could testify during campaign season.

New York County Supreme Court Judge Cynthia Kern made the decision at a hearing Tuesday, though it remains unclear whether the case will be weighed at a jury trial – which is what Trump’s team is seeking. Trump attorney Jeffrey Goldman said it’s possible the trial could be held this fall, and Trump could testify.

The fraud case in New York against Trump is not the only one:

Trump University is currently the defendant in three lawsuits — two class-action lawsuits filed in California, and one filed in New York

Trump “could” testify in the New York case, but he is slated to testify in a federal courtroom in San Diego, where he is being accused of running a financial fraud.

Trump never showed up at his so-called “university.” He is not showing up at the prestigious National Press Club where he was scheduled to give his foreign policy speech, opting for the Mayflower Hotel instead, a venue that may be more amenable to his Joan Rivers-like shtick. He will not show up at the Virginia Republican convention this weekend.

He is, however, showing up on every cable TV news channel – not, heaven forfend, on Sunday morning shows with their pesky questions on policy –  especially on the Trump Infomercial Station™, formerly known as Fox News Channel.

Imagine how their ratings will soar when the winner of the Republican primary has to show up in federal court to answer fraud charges.

Hillary (who, mark my words, won’t be in court over her emails anytime soon) herself couldn’t have planned it better.

UPDATE, April 29,
Trump University Hearings Will Start on the First Day of GOP Convention

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

As predicted Donald Trump won with big margins in Delaware, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Like his win in NY this was completely expected and while Trump did have rather healthy margins to boast about there it’s hard to get excited about races that you were expected to win in areas where liberals are strong.

But the more important point is this. One might argue that Wisconsin and Iowa are states which the GOP hope to flip this time around, nobody is saying that about Connecticut.

Or Maryland

Or Delaware

Or Rhode Island

Or even NY Which Trump won last week.

And while every single cycle we hear members of the GOP confidently predicting a reverse of Pennsylvania, as long as the Dems count the votes in the city I sincerely doubt that the GOP can win beyond the margin of fraud.

I have no problem with Donald Trump fans cheering his victories, if you asked people last July if this was possible they would have said you were crazy, but the bottom line is this

While it is certainly possible that Donald Trump’s appeal to blue collar voters and his attracting of people who normally don’t pay attention combined with Hillary Clinton being Hillary Clinton, might be enough to overcome the MSM onslaught to flip states that went for Obama in 2008 and 2012.

But if you are looking at any of these wins as a sign that Trump is going to do bring those states to the GOP fold you’re deluding yourself.

AP reports,

Trump’s newly hired senior aide, Paul Manafort,

He of the Soviet connections,

made the case to Republican National Committee members that Trump has two personalities: one in private and one onstage.”When he’s out on the stage, when he’s talking about the kinds of things he’s talking about on the stump, he’s projecting an image that’s for that purpose,” Manafort said in a private briefing.

I would like to know why is Trump’s advisor granted a private briefing with the RNC rules committee, but I digress.

Trump indeed has been projecting an image for the last forty years: The image of a thoroughly disreputable scammer, a liar and a cheat, a man who repeatedly went on air with Howard Stern to degrade and insult women (including the mothers of his children), and whose supporters are issuing death threats to GOP delegates. The same Donald Trump who promises to change the GOP platform on abortion, after saying women who had abortions should be punished, a position he – surprise! – later backtracked.

Manafort assured the GOP (emphasis added),

“You’ll start to see more depth of the person, the real person. You’ll see a real different guy,” he said.

Manafort is one of the lobbyists Trump hired recently, yet

In fact, the last time Manafort was intricately involved in a presidential campaign was Bob Dole’s unsuccessful 1996 bid, and he has been largely absent from GOP politics and Washington for years.

As William Jacobson explained,

Trump is playing his core supporters, knows he can’t win a national election with his current message, and is planning to change characters mid-play to soothe the GOP elites he rails against to get you worked up.

Let me state this as directly as possible: If you support Trump, you are being played.

Trump isn’t worthy of your trust.

And now even his top advisor has spelled it out for you.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

I was looking at a few political headlines this morning. It was like watching an endless volley in a tennis match.

John Podhoretz says to Resign yourself to the depressing reality: It’s going to be Trump vs. Clinton, but Roger Kimball describes Here’s Why the New York Primary Still Doesn’t Matter.

Trump gets 518,000 votes in his home state and is “inevitable.” Cruz gets 1,239,370 in his and nobody notices.

Of course, having the major media outlets based in New York makes reporters more likely to pay attention to New York – especially since they have been playing up The Donald stories for the past four decades. (This is no exaggeration; I worked and lived in the area for all those years. No week went by without a DT news item.)

Few noticed that Kasich won in Trump’s home district. Kasich, by staying in the race, proves to be a valuable asset . . . for Trump. The NYT’s viciously anti-Cruz editorial calls Kasich the moderate Republicans’ “palatable alternative,” damning with faint praise indeed, for anything politically palatable to the NYT editorial board is distinctly distasteful to me.

Reiham Salam (who, like me, has been going through the five stages) voted for Cruz yesterday,

The emotions I most closely associate with this campaign season are, in no particular order, dread, despair, rage, and mournful resignation. So to my surprise, there was a spring in my step as I headed to my polling place, located in a public housing complex a few blocks from my apartment.

 

So, while the headlines go one way or the other, I found Jeremy Carl’s article particularly interesting, as I read it right after reading Pete‘s – both Carl and Pete arrive at the same conclusion,

Barring a very unusual occurrence, this contest will not be decided until (at the earliest) the final states vote on June 7.

 

Two days ago Andrew Klavan warned us to prepare for two weeks of Trump hell (4:00 into the podcast),

“. . . we’re going into the maelstrom. We have New York tomorrow, and then a week from that . . . all these East Coast primaries that Trump, I think is going to win big.”

Klavan, a screenwriter, calls this “the all is lost moment.” He warns us, “this is the moment when people start to lose their nerve.”

To this Cruz supporter, my present attitude is, as Admiral Farragut put it, “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!”

In Farragut’s case, it turned out to be good tactics, too.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

 

as I write this the polls have just closed and it took the networks a whole 1 second to project Donald Trump as the winner of his home state and the vast majority of delegates therein.

Hours of spin based on these results not withstanding lets look at the real world application

As of this writing Mr. Trump has 756 delegates. Let’s presume that he gets 90% of the delegates out of NY (85 out of 95) that would get him to 841 meaning he would need a total of 396 more delegates to clinch it before the convention.

The last day of the primaries is June 7th (CA, NJ, NM, SD & Montana) but there are five election days before then April 26th (CT, Del, MD, PA & RI) May 3rd (Indiana), May 10th, (WV & Neb) May 17th (OR) and May 24th (Wash)

Tallying up the delegate totals of the states before June 7th the total number of delegates available is 371. This means it is mathematically impossible for Mr. Trump to clinch before the last day even if he wins every single delegate on the table.

The good news for Trump is April 26th should be great for him. I expect to see him win all five of those states and pick up at least 100 delegates. I suspect may 3rd and 10th will not be so friendly. I see Cruz winning Nebraska and Indiana with West Virginia capable of going in either direction. He might be lucky to get 20 delegates on the day.

I have no idea what’s going through the mind of Washington & Oregon voters but as both states are proportional even if Trump wins em both that’s likely another 40 delegates or so.

If my numbers are right that leaves him about 236 delegates shy going into June 7th and that’s where it gets tricky. New Mexico is proportional so I’m figuring 12 delegates for Trump. Montana & SD are straight winner take all and I’m betting both will go for Cruz but so is New Jersey which looks like Trump country. that’s another 51.

That leaves California with 172 delegates…

…and Trump needing 173.

Now there are some undeclared delegates going to the convention and I don’t doubt that Trump will win his share but if you want to understand why the Trump campaign is so upset about Ted Cruz’s delegate operation now you know.

This is going to go down to the wire (much to the delight of the networks for ratings purposes) and how Trump finishes is going to say a lot about how a Trump general election campaign might look like.

Mr. Rickey, I thought when I signed the contract I signed for one thing. There is a ‘W’ column, and there is an ‘L’ column. I thought it was my obligation and duty to put as many as I could under that ‘W’ column.

Leo Durocher Nice Guys finish last.

This year MLB made two rule changes/clarifications involving plays at 2nd base, one favoring offense and one favoring defense.

For the offense the rule clarification states that the fielder making a play at 2nd on a double play has to touch the base having control of the ball for the force out, in the past being close was generally enough for the umpire to call the runner out on a force.

For the defense the ability to “take out” a 2nd baseman or shortstop has been greatly limited. If the runner shows any sign of deviating from a direct path to 2nd base to interfere with the pivot throw to first, or raises an arm or leg to o so, he will be cited for interference and the batter called out.

Now there are many who don’t like these rule changes as they are affecting baseball customs that have been in place for years however no matter how much one might object to these changes, a MLB manager who wants to win is no more likely to tell his players to ignore these rule changes than an AL manager is to decide to allow his pitchers to bat because he dislikes the DH.

And that brings us to Donald Trump and Colorado.

When Donald Trump’s people say that the Colorado primary system was changed to favor the establishment he is likely correct as the GOP was trying to protect a potential frontrunner like Jeb Bush from an insurgent like a Ted Cruz and like those baseball fans they have every right to say they don’t like this new system.

However this doesn’t change the fact that these changes were made back in August of 2015 and at the time the changes were made neither Donald Trump campaign nor any other said a word.

In fact they didn’t say a word all of 2015 as I tweeted

However while every campaign didn’t say a word about the changes only one of the three remaining candidates decided to incorporate the rule changes in their Colorado campaign.

That man was Ted Cruz.

Donald Trump may not like the new rules, Donald Trump might object to the new rules, but if he wants to blame someone for not winning any delegates in Colorado this year, he should look in the mirror.

by baldilocks

Conservative commentators hither and yon have laid out reason after reason after reason that Donald Trump should not be the Republican candidate for president. They’ve used facts, reason and logic. But I don’t think that much headway is being made and I don’t expect to make much here.

The latest example is the Trump Campaign’s reaction in the wake of its loss in the Colorado Caucus/Convention. Mr. Trump’s subsequent behavior has been typically petulant—especially in view of the campaign’s failure to do the minimum amount of leg-work in the state.

I’m not going to lay out the situation leading up to the loss in Colorado because it’s only tangential to my point. Those who want to know what happened already know or they’ve already decided to ignore it.

And to paraphrase a Trumpism: he whines so much that I—for one—have become bored with whining.

For the record, I don’t “hate” Donald Trump because I have some secret desire to be liked and accepted by the so-called “Republican Establishment.”

Whoever makes this juvenile assertion is using the same thought process—such as it is—that black leftists use when attempting to shame black conservatives: “You’re only conservative because you want white people to like you”–as if principle were a plantation. (By the way, white people liked me when I was a Democrat.)

However, there is one huge–if you’ll pardon the word–reason that the prospect of a President Trump frightens me. And that reason is not political.

I will not vote for someone who calls himself a Christian and, at the same time, says he hasn’t asked God’s forgiveness; who, in fact, says that he doesn’t need forgiveness.

That we all have sinned and require forgiveness and propitiation for our sins through the actions of Jesus the Christ is Christianity itself.

It’s telling that many Christian commentators have ignored Trump’s words on this matter. We may not be voting for a pope or a pastor, but we are voting for a person to lead this country, and, as we Christians know, God puts—and allows–leaders to lead their countries, depending on the choices and character of the citizenry. That means that if we don’t mind if an apostate is our leader, God will let that happen. We should have already learned this in the last eight years.

To me, when Donald Trump made that statement, it was as if God said to us, “here’s what you are really getting. Are you sure you want this?”

I say ‘no.’ It isn’t that I wouldn’t vote for a non-Christian. It’s that I can’t vote for a pretend Christian. I didn’t vote for one during the last two presidential elections either.

God is not mocked and I won’t vote for someone who openly does so. But if enough people ignore Mr. Trump’s mockery, “we” will get what “we” want. Again.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

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baldilocks

This is the week of opening day and right now no matter how bad a start a team might have fans across the nation have hope that when the calendar turns to September their team will be in the hunt for a playoff spot.

The reality of course is that only five teams in each league will be in the post season, 3 division winners and two wild card teams, one of which will eliminated after a single playoff game. Thus for most teams and cities disappointment will be the rule.

To put this in perspective these are the games scheduled for September 28th 2016

Mariners vs Astros 2:10 PM
D-backs vs Nationals 7:05 PM
Red Sox vs Yankees 7:05 PM
Cubs vs Pirates 7:05 PM
Orioles vs Blue Jays 7:07 PM
Indians vs Tigers 7:10 PM
Mets vs Marlins 7:10 PM
Phillies vs Braves 7:10 PM
Twins vs Royals 7:15 PM
Brewers vs Rangers 8:05 PM
Rays vs White Sox 8:10 PM
Reds vs Cardinals 8:15 PM
Athletics vs Angels 10:05 PM
Dodgers vs Padres 10:10 PM
Rockies vs Giants 10:15 PM

By the time these games are played many if not most of the teams playing will be eliminated from playoff contention. Furthermore it is very likely that several teams who are fighting for a playoff birth will find themselves playing against teams that are mathematically eliminated.

Now ask yourself his question: How would you react if the teams who were eliminated simply decided to forfeit their games rather than play them?

After all, they have no chance of winning and their opponents do? Isn’t it unfair that they are taking away potential wins from a team that actually can do something for them? Is it unfair to the fans of the teams still in contention that these cellar dwelling teams might thwart their chances to advance?

Of course such a person making that argument would be laughed out of the park. You are only entitled to a win over an opponent no matter how weak. If you want that “W” you have to finish the game with more runs. Remember even the worst team in modern history the 1962 Mets, managed to win 40 games.

And that brings us to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

Both Donald Trump and my guy Ted Cruz have argued that John Kasich should drop out of the race for the GOP nomination on the grounds that he has no mathematical chance to get to 1237 delegates, but more importantly both Trump and Cruz have argued the Kasich is taking votes away from them.

That argument is nonsense.

It’s true that if Kasich wasn’t in the race and people had to choose between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz potential Kasich voters would likely choose one or the other. And if Kasich chooses to leave the race, I’d be quite delighted.

But those votes don’t “belong” to Donald Trump or Ted Cruz or even to John Kasich. Those votes belong to the voter who is casting them.

And if Mr. Trump or Senator Cruz wants the votes of people inclined to support Governor Kasich, they, like a team looking to earn a playoff spot has to earn them.

And that’s how it should be.
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The third in my series noting the weakness of Donald Trump’s Sour Grapes arguments concerning Delegates.

In baseball there are many different ways to build a team. You can build one based on a park (Think of Fenway Park’s wall) you can build one based on player combinations, for example the Phillies of the 50’s had the ultimate fly ball pitcher, Robin Roberts with Richie Ashburn an outfielder with incredible range. The result was an awful lot of outs.

You can go with pitching, you can go with speed, you can go with defense, you can go with power, you can play the big bullpen but in the end every choice comes with a tradeoff.

The speed team may not have that big bat they need at the time they need it, the power team might not be able to advance that runner, the great hitting team might now have the men who can get to that grounder to protect the lead and the defensive specialists might not have to bat to get that extra run, the great bullpen might not have the starters to get to the seventh or the strong starting lineup might not have the horse to get those last three outs to wrap it up.

The presidential campaign has run the same way. The various candidates all had different plans to get to the finish line and each one had their trade offs from Chris Christe’s New Hampshire or bust to Jeb Bush’s superpac plan.

Donald Trump’s plan was unique, bypass the traditional party structure, the face to face campaigning and use his national celebrity to run a national campaign on a couple of big issues (immigration and the war on terror) and bypass the state parties altogether.

Regardless of any critique of Trump’s it is inarguable that this plan has been on the whole widely successful. Trump has won the most states, the most delegates and has outlasted 14 of his 16 opponents. Only Ted Cruz has come close winning 8 states but that pales to Trump’s 19. Trump has done a good job and no amount of saying otherwise makes it any less true

However like a baseball team with no speed Trump’s plan has drawbacks.

It’s looking very much like the Establishment GOP is doing it’s best on the state level to get delegates who are less likely to support Donald Trump once they are released, it’s also looking like Ted Cruz is doing his best to use his grassroot strength to get delegates favorable to him selected.

Donald Trump and his people are crying foul, but all this complaining ignores one thing, Trump choose to be in this situation.

You’ll remember during the lead-up to the Massachusetts primary Governor Baker ran his own slate for the GOP state committee, opposing tea party activists. A lot of us didn’t like it but he was within his rights to do so.

That type of process or a variation of it takes place in every single state in the union.

There was nothing stopping Donald Trump from getting involved in these races, in fact building up representation in the state parties might have been a rather wise use of his large stash of personal funds.

Trump decided not to do this. He kept his focus on the national campaign keeping his focus on the public at large rather than the party and for the most part, as I’ve said, it’s been successful.

Now if he manages to win the nomination outright that will the wisdom of the plan but is he ends up shy at the end of the primary season Trump will find his situation like a power hitting team having needing to get a runner to 2nd and having no speedster on the bench or anyone who can bunt available.

It won’t be because he is being cheated, it’s because he built his team a particular way and the game is tilting in a direction that doesn’t fit.

That’s not unfair, that’s just life.

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In yesterday morning’s post I noted that Donald Trump’s complaint about it being “unfair” that he has to get 1237 delegates to support him and used a Jackie Robinson reference to explain why there is nothing unfair about it.

But there is another argument that is not only better but actually devastating to both conservatism and the Trump campaign

Put simply Donald Trump is objecting to the rules as they are and based on his interpretation of “fairness” suggests the rules should be ignored.

Can someone explain to me how that is any different than what Illegal immigration advocates are saying.

They are claiming that obeying the law, going though the normal channels to enter the country legally is an undue burden. That suggesting that people follow the law and enforcing the law by building the border fence is racist.

To them it’s all “unfair”

So think about this for a second a billionaire candidate who happens at this moment to be the public face of enforcing immigration laws against largely poor people is whining about having to obey rules?

Frankly I’m shocked the left hasn’t had every single surrogate beating this in every single segment on every single TV show every single day and I’m even more surprised that the MSM hasn’t thought of this and started playing it up. It’s the ultimate gimme for them.

Once they do, this will make the damage Donald Trump did damage to the Pro-Life moment by his idiotic comments look like a walk in the park.

Now we know the reality is this is all about money, the money for the interests looking for cheap labor and the money contributed to Democrats and establishment republicans for keeping that labor cheap and the power and wealth that comes from the vote Democrats get from opposing the enforcement of the law.

But in a year that’s all about unreality none of that is going to matter
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