Trump is picky about who he forgives and Heck ain’t one of ’em

Donald Trump is rather fickle, perhaps even flighty.

While Mitt Romney, who called Trump a phony and a fraud during the early part of the campaign, is being considered for the post of secretary of State, Joe Heck, who disavowed Trump only after the profane, boastful, misogynistic recording was revealed, can’t get a crumb from Trump.

From the transcript of the Trump interview with The New York Times:

And a senator in Nevada who frankly said, he endorsed me then he unendorsed me, and he went down like a lead balloon. And then they called me before the race and said they wanted me to endorse him and do a big thing and I said, ‘No thank you, good luck.’ You know, let’s see what happens. I said, off the record, I hope you lose. Off the record. He was! He was up by 10 points — you know who I’m talking about.

Actually a representative who wanted to be a senator.

Romney belatedly calls out Trump as a phony, a fraud and a failure

Where have we heard this before? Oh yes, right here.

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney gave a speech in Salt Lake City today spelling out the various reasons Donald Trump would be a disaster if he were to be elected president.

He pointed out that one of the few specifics Trump has offered would lead to a recession and kill jobs:

First, the economy: If Donald Trump’s plans were ever implemented, the country would sink into a prolonged recession.

A few examples: His proposed 35% tariff-like penalties would instigate a trade war that would raise prices for consumers, kill export jobs, and lead entrepreneurs and businesses to flee America. His tax plan, in combination with his refusal to reform entitlements and to honestly address spending would balloon the deficit and the national debt. So even as Donald Trump has offered very few specific economic plans, what little he has said is enough to know that he would be very bad for American workers and for American families.

We pointed this out in a newspaper editorial two weeks ago, when we said, “Trump has proposed huge tariffs on imported goods — similar to those imposed by the Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930 that helped deepen and lengthen the Great Depression — that would raise prices for everyone and would likely start a tariff war that would kill American workers’ jobs by slashing exports.”

And we noted that Trump was once for privatization of Social Security, but now opposes any changes whatsoever as the system slides toward bankruptcy. Also, the Tax Foundation calculates that Trump’s tax proposal would increase the federal government’s deficit by $10 trillion.

Romney also blew holes in Trump’s claims to be successful businessman:

But wait, you say, isn’t he a huge business success that knows what he’s talking about? No he isn’t. His bankruptcies have crushed small businesses and the men and women who worked for them. He inherited his business, he didn’t create it. And what ever happened to Trump Airlines? How about Trump University? And then there’s Trump Magazine and Trump Vodka and Trump Steaks, and Trump Mortgage? A business genius he is not.

We noted in a newspaper column back in October that Trump’s braggadocio about his business acumen was bogus. He claims to have a net worth of $10 billion after

Romney addresses Trump’s lack of qualifications to be president. (AP photo)

building on an inheritance of half a million, though Forbes says his current net worth is closer to $4.5 billion and analysts say that if the brilliant businessman had simply invested in stocks he’d be worth $20 billion today. He also dismissed his corporate bankruptcies that cost investors real money.

Fully 67 percent of Nevada Republicans polled at that time said Trump would do the best job of handling the economy. “Trump has managed to sell his sizzle even though he has no steak,” I related, not intentionally referring to the failure of Trump Steaks.

But Romney struck a chord that I wish I had addressed earlier, the example Trump sets for our children and grandchildren.

“Think of Donald Trump’s personal qualities, the bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third grade theatrics. …” Romney said. “Now imagine your children and your grandchildren acting the way he does. Will you welcome that?”

As for character, or lack thereof, Romney noted that Trump has bragged about his marital affairs and laces his public speeches with vulgarity. Not exactly a shining example to hold up to our children and grandchildren.

The speech also mentioned that Trump would twist the Constitution to limit First Amendment freedom of the press by opening up libel law. On this topic, I noted a week ago that, like most bullies, Trump can dish it out but he can’t take it.

Never mind that the Supreme Court in N.Y. Times v. Sullivan held: “A State cannot, under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, award damages to a public official for defamatory falsehood relating to his official conduct unless he proves ‘actual malice’ — that the statement was made with knowledge of its falsity or with reckless disregard of whether it was true or false.” But Trump never lets case law or the Constitution get in the way of one of his rants. Apparently, like Obama, he would do this via executive fiat. Not how the system is supposed to work.

Another good line from Romney: “Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He’s playing the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat.”

Romney summed up his speech by noting that Trump’s economic policies would lead to recession and his foreign policies to an unsafe world. “He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president,” he said.

Welcome to the party, Mr. Romney, we can only hope it is not too late.

Editorial: Stop giving high-tax states an IRS deduction

We have long advocated making the IRS sales tax deduction permanent, instead of having to renew it every year or so, because Nevada is one of only nine states with no state income tax to deduct, which has been deductible practically from the start of the federal income tax in 1913. It’s only fair.

Actually, the fairest thing to do would be to eliminate all itemized state and local tax deductions for IRS taxes, because residents of high-tax states — mostly run by tax loving Democrats — get to deduct a disproportionate share. This causes low-tax states — and Nevada still ranks nearer the bottom despite recent tax hikes — to essentially subsidize the higher-taxed states by paying a greater share of federal taxes.

Although it has been tried before — by Ronald Reagan in 1986 — in this election year a number of GOP presidential candidates are including in their tax reform packages elimination of state and local tax deductions.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Ben Carson all have proposed repealing this tax break, while Donald Trump, as usual, is vague on specifics.

The Heritage Foundation has estimated that dropping this deduction could allow the federal tax rates to be reduced by as much as 12.5 percent across the board.

Nevadans — along with residents of New Hampshire, Florida, Wyoming, Texas, South Dakota and Alaska — get to deduct about 1 percent or less of their adjusted gross income, while those who live in New York, Maryland, D.C. and California deduct more than 5 percent.

Not surprisingly, The Wall Street Journal reports that all of the top 10 high-tax states voted for Obama, while most of the lower-taxed states voted for Mitt Romney, with Nevada as one of the exceptions. Nearly one-third of the cost of the repeal would be borne by Californians and New Yorkers, both heavily Democratic states.

“If marginal tax rates were reduced in a revenue-neutral and distributionally neutral manner, the more than 70 percent of taxpayers who do not itemize would face lower combined federal and state income tax burdens,” write Heritage researchers Rachel Greszler and Kevin D. Dayaratna. “Additionally, this could lower overall taxes for some taxpayers who itemize but who have relatively lower incomes or live in lower-tax states.”

They concluded that the deductions subject federal tax revenues to the whims of state lawmakers and largely benefit wealthy taxpayers and those in high-tax states.

“The rationale for it is that since state and local taxes reduce individuals’ after-tax income, the income used to pay those taxes should be excluded from federal taxation. …” Greszler and Dayaratna write. “In practice, however, the deduction allows states to raise taxes higher than they otherwise would and has significant perverse distributional impacts, redistributing income from the poor to the rich and from people in low-tax states to people in high-tax states. Despite some efforts to eliminate it, the deduction for state and local taxes remains one of the largest deductions in the federal tax code.”

Using 2010 statistical data from the IRS, you find Californians who filed for state and local income tax deductions claimed deductions of $10,700 per return. Nevadans who filed for the state and local sales tax deduction claimed only $1,430 per return.

Calculated on a per capita basis, Californians claimed $2,116 in federal income tax deductions, while Nevadans claimed only $166 per person for sales tax deductions.

A version of this editorial appeared this past week in many of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel,  Sparks Tribune and the Lincoln County Record. It ran as a column in the Elko Daily Free Press.

Reid has a history of making baseless allegations

Though Harry Reid admits he lied in 2012 when he said Mitt Romney had not paid IRS taxes in 10 years, he is completely unrepentant.

“I have no repentance, because it was an issue that was important,” Reid is quoted as saying. “This has been an issue of mine for a long time.”

In another interview, he quipped, “Romney didn’t win, did he?”

Harry Reid speaking at luncheon in Las Vegas this past week. (R-J photo)

Yes, it has been an issue of his for a long time, though Reid refuses to release any of his tax returns, saying his annual financial disclosures in Congress are sufficient, though those forms only report income and investments in broad ranges. His 2014 disclosure form places his net worth at between $2.9 million and $6.7 million.

Reid did release his IRS returns once and demanded that his opponent and his family do the same. That was in 1974 when he ran against Paul Laxalt for the Senate and lost by 611 votes.

“Any man or woman who will not be completely candid about his or her finances does not deserve to be in public office,” Reid said, according to an Associated Press report.

According to a 2012 Review-Journal account by Laura Myers at the time Reid was saying Romney paid no taxes, in the 1974 race Reid questioned how former Gov. Laxalt could pay $7.5 million for the Ormsby House hotel-casino in Carson City and questioned Laxalt’s ties to Howard Hughes who was buying casinos on the Strip in Las Vegas and the land that is now Summerlin.

Laxalt complied. It turned out he was worth about $200,000, excluding the hotel, and Reid was worth about $300,000.

It also turned out Laxalt’s sister was a nun who had taken a vow of poverty, and Reid later admitted that made him look bad.

That appears to be his only regret, that it made him look bad.

Considering Reid’s recent injuries, which he said occurred when an elastic exercise band broke and sent him tumbling into a cabinet in his Henderson home, and his decision to not seek re-election, the ending on a 2014 story about Reid’s history of shenanigans seems rather prophetic:

“Reid, who will turn 75 in December, plans to run for reelection in 2016. His reelection is assured, thanks for his extensive and powerfully entrenched political machine. After that, whether he is removed from the Senate on a gurney or in handcuffs remains to be seen.”



Theme song for Harry?

No regrets, no remorse, no shame, no apology, no compunction, no misgivings. Just smugness, utter contempt and ruthlessness.

This is Harry’s theme song:

The English translation is:

No, nothing of nothing
No! I don’t feel sorry about anything
Not the good things people have done to me
Not the bad things, it’s all the same to me.

No, nothing of nothing
No! I don’t feel sorry about anything
It’s paid for, removed, forgotten,
I’m happy of the past

With my memories
I lit up the fire
My troubles, my pleasures
I don’t need them anymore

Broomed away my love stories
And all their tremble
Broomed away for always
I start again from zero

Taken from

Front page Review-Journal headline calls Romney comment a ‘foreign policy gaffe’

gaffe: n. 1. A clumsy social error; a faux pas. 2. A blatant mistake or misjudgment.

Can it get any more blatant than this? The front page of the Las Vegas newspaper today carries a headline calling Mitt Romney’s statement about the White House handling of comments about the attacks on two U.S. foreign posts a “gaffe.” Not that someone else thought it was a gaffe. It was a gaffe, by definition. That’s a word usually reserved for the editorial page, not the front page. It says more about the headline writer than the story of the day.

The full headline over the Washington Post story read: “Romney criticized by own party for foreign policy gaffe.”

But when you read the story, you find only some anonymous demurring by campaign insiders. “Top aides to Romney said publicly that they had no regrets, but some advisers and supporters acknowledged privately that this was a cautionary tale — that in a rapid-response media environment, thoughtfulness sometimes gives way to the intense drive to win the news cycle,” WaPo reporter Philip Rucker writes.

The only “Republican” on the record with a criticism was Matthew Dowd.

“It almost feels like Sarah Palin is his foreign policy adviser,” Rucker quoted Dowd as saying, while describing him as a top strategist for president George W. Bush. “It’s just a huge mistake on the Romney campaign’s part — huge mistake.”

He failed to mention that Dowd in his own bio states that he “worked for 25 years for Democratic candidates around the country. Dowd has not worked for either political party since 2006 and considers himself an independent.”

The only other “Republican” on the record with a criticism was a New York congressman who said Romney was correct, but probably should have waited a day to say it.

The story never uses the word gaffe.

But columnist Philip Klein points out in the The (Washington) Examiner that the pliant media quickly turned the story from a bungling Obama foreign policy into a political gaffe for Romney:

“When Romney gave a press conference Wednesday, the questions focused on whether it was appropriate for him to criticize Obama at the time he did. Romney’s responses didn’t really matter, because reporters had already decided their narrative. Obama did not take any questions in his own press conference moments later.

“In 2004, John Kerry routinely attacked President Bush’s handling of Iraq when things weren’t going well in the country. And the media dutifully reported on Bush’s foreign policy blunders in Iraq. But now, instead of scrutinizing Obama’s handling of a foreign policy crisis, the media has decided that the real story in Egypt and Libya is a Mitt Romney gaffe.”

But according to Rucker, Romney “broke from protocol.”

Here are the first two graphs of the story:

“Crises overseas tend to create moments of joint resolve back home, a time to pause from the daily bickering of partisan politics. But as news was streaming in about attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions in Egypt and Libya, Mitt Romney broke from that protocol.

“Statements that the Republican presidential nominee made slamming President Obama led to a day of tumult for Romney, with leading voices in his party criticizing him and his top aides scrambling to prevent further damage.”

Leading voices in his own party? Scrambling to prevent further damage? How? By publicly saying they had “no regrets”? Now that’s a stretch that would make any first baseman proud.

Reid continues hypocrisy of demanding Romney’s tax returns while keeping his secret … Look, rich people!

Harry Reid continued his sleight-of-hand routine Tuesday night at the Democratic convention, pointing with exaggerated animation to Mitt Romney’s tax returns in an attempt to distract everyone from the glaring facts right in front of their eyes. Look, rich people!

After introducing himself as the humble senator from Searchlight, Harry proclaimed in his customary deadpan:

“Never in modern American history has a presidential candidate tried so hard to hide himself from the people he hopes to serve. When you look at the one tax return he has released, it’s obvious why there’s been only one.”

Actually Romney has released his 2010 return and the preliminary figures for his 2011 return, but no need to quibble with mere facts when they get in the way of a tall tale.

“We learned that he pays a lower tax rate than middle-class families. We learned he chose Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Island tax shelters over American institutions. And we can only imagine what new secrets would be revealed if he showed the American people a dozen years of tax returns, like his father did.

“Mitt Romney says we should take his word that he paid his fair share. His word? His word? Trust comes from transparency, and Mitt Romney comes up short on both. …”

Your word? Your word, Harry? This from a man who has refused to release any of his tax returns nor state what percent of his income he pays in taxes or where he shelters his multimillion dollar assets or how he become a millionaire while serving in public jobs the vast majority of his life. I wonder whether his Christmas tips for the staff at the Ritz Carlton are deductible, since he did try to use campaign money for that purpose? And how did he report the $1 million he collected from the sale of property he had not personally owned for three years? Look, rich people!

“If we don’t know how Mitt Romney would benefit from the policies he proposes, how can we know if he’s looking out for us or just himself?”

How do we know who Harry is looking out for, since he continues to throw tax money at those who contribute to him and the Democratic Party?

Harry also said this about Republicans:

“In addition to the crowd of ‘couldn’ts’ and ‘shouldn’ts,’ the Republican Party has become the party of the ‘wouldn’ts’ and the ‘won’ts.’ They pledged on day one they wouldn’t lift a finger to help. And they haven’t.”

This from the man who controls the calendar in the Senate, which hasn’t passed a budget in more than three years, though the Republican controlled House keeps sending budgets over. This from a man who hasn’t been able to muster a single Democratic vote, including his own, for the budgets Obama has submitted.

Pay no attention to the facts, Harry says. Pay no attention to the fact Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the nation, which Harry failed to mention. Pay no attention to the fact things have gotten worse under Obama’s policies and practices. Pay no attention to Nevada having the highest rate of foreclosures and underwater mortgages in the country, something that can be, at least partly, laid at the feet of Barack Obama and his community organizers with their “vampire socialism.” Look, rich people!

Today’s Investor’s Business Daily offers a handy guide to those facts, in some cases, for the sticklers out there, comparing today’s figures not only with those on the day Obama took office, but also to when the recession officially ended in June 2009. These are a few:

“• Median incomes: These have fallen 7.3% since Obama took office, which translates into an average of $4,000. Since the so-called recovery started, median incomes continued to fall, dropping $2,544, or 4.8%.

“• Long-term unemployed: More than three years into Obama’s recovery, 811,000 more still fall into this category than when the recession ended. …

“• Gas prices: A gallon of gas cost $1.89 when Obama was sworn in. By June 2009, the price was $2.70. Today, it’s $3.84.

“• Misery Index: When Obama took office, the combination of unemployment and inflation stood at 7.83. Today it’s 9.71. …

“• Debt: Everyone is far worse off if you just look at the national debt. It has climbed more than $5 trillion under Obama, crossing $16 trillion for the first time on Tuesday and driving the U.S. credit rating down.”

Never mind that food stamp recipients, as noted by The Wall Street Journal today, have grown from 33 million in 2009 to 46,670,373 as of Friday — nearly one out of seven Americans at a cost of $72 billion a year and growing. Those are Harry’s and Barry’s constituents. You know, the one’s who, by presidential decree, can keep drawing welfare without having to, well, actually work as the law states.

Harry didn’t mention any of those, but merely gestured and shouted: “Look, rich people!”

Click on “Follow Blog via Email” to receive an email alert when new items are posted.

Obama and the press: Coincidence or coordination?

On May 9, Obama announced on ABC News his support for gay marriage, though he did not actually do anything about it.

“At a certain point, I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama said.

Two days later, The Washington Post published a long-researched, front-page piece on Mitt Romney’s behavior in high school toward a presumably gay classmate, quoting another student describing Romney “marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut (John) Lauber’s hair” and how the bleached-blond, long-haired, tearful Lauber was pinned to the ground while “Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.”

Coincidence or coordination?

Jeffrey Isidoro, 10, at a school in Matamoros, Mexico. (Shaul Schwarz photo/NYT)

This past Friday, Obama made his grand pronouncement that certain illegal immigrants would be exempted by executive fiat from deportation under the immigration laws — those who came to this country when they were younger than 16, have a relatively clean criminal record and are still under 30. (Sounds downright arbitrary and capricious, but that’s another topic.)

Three days later, The New York Times published a long-researched, front-page article about young people raised in the United States who are now living in Mexico because their parents were deported or chose to return home for various reasons.

The story ledes with fifth-grader Jeffrey Isidoro, whose father was deported, being teased by his classmates in a Matamoros school to speak English when answering a teacher’s question.

It contains the typical sociologist hand-wringing: “These kinds of changes are really traumatic for kids. It’s going to stick with them.”

One paragraph of the story observes, “Houston — that is where Jeffrey’s thoughts typically drift. There, he had friends, McDonald’s, the zoo. It is where he lingered at the library at Gleason Elementary to catch up on his favorite series of books, ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid.’ There, his school had a playground; here, there is just a concrete slab. There, computers were common; here, there are none.”

Coincidence or coordination?