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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 9,811

Journal Archives

Donald Trump’s fine art of losing

In 1983, Donald Trump bought one of the teams in the new United States Football League, with grand plans of making himself the center of sports — the center of everything — in New York. He would build Trumpdome for his New York Generals to play in. He would then use his team as leverage to merge into the far more lucrative NFL.

By 1984, when his plan didn’t work, he came up with another one — sue the NFL for $1.3 billion instead, claiming antitrust violations. Technically, he won the suit — but the jury award totaled $3.76 in the end. (No, that is not a typo.) To Trump, however, this was a huge victory.

“After taxes, I would say I lost $3 million,” he said at the time, but “I got a billion dollars of free publicity.”

How does Donald Trump lose? The answer, apparently, is that he never does. At least not in his own mind. To review his life and talk to people who have watched him for decades is to realize that he has never once seen himself as anything but the victor. And that realization both explains much of his 18-month campaign for the White House and gives hints as to what might happen should he lose on November 8.


Tesla releases video of fully autonomous Model X electric car

Tesla announced on Wednesday that from now on all of its electric cars will be built with the components required to turn them into fully autonomous vehicles at a later date. Now chief executive, Elon Musk, has released a video showing what that really means.

The video shows a Tesla Model X driving out of a garage, picking up a human driver – who is required to be in the driving seat for the car to legally self-drive in the US – and then driving itself around some public roads, navigating junctions and highways before returning to a parking lot, letting out the human driver and then going off to park itself.

It’s an impressive feat for a car that shows no visible signs of the typical paraphernalia required to pull off the stunt. Google’s car, for instance, has a large spinning lidar on the top and various other visible signs of automation.

Musk said that the release of the video was the cause of Tesla’s delay announcing the inclusion of the eight cameras, 12 ultrasonars and radar being embedded in each new Tesla car.


Pretty impressive video at the link -- even seems to recognize stoplights. Autonomous driving will be here sooner than most people think.

Trump Maps Out Plan For First 100 Days Of Not Conceding Election

NEW YORK—Assuring the nation he would work quickly and tirelessly to carry out his agenda, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reportedly issued a press statement Monday mapping out his first 100 days of not conceding the 2016 election.

“I will get to work on day one questioning the final vote tally, and I promise that I will not rest during my first week until I’ve discredited Hillary Clinton’s victory with repeated accusations that she orchestrated a widespread conspiracy to steal the election,” read the message from Trump in part, which went on to note that the candidate had already assembled a team of top legal experts to help him transition to a full-time schedule of filing lawsuits against state and local election boards and major media outlets.

“Within my first 10 days, I will introduce a comprehensive plan for my disgruntled supporters to march on the White House, and by day 30, I will submit a formal petition demanding Clinton’s immediate removal from office. In addition, throughout the entire 100-day period, I vow to keep the American people fully updated on my progress by continuing to appear on radio and television programs, commenting on current affairs and criticizing Clinton’s history of misconduct as if I’m still in the running to be president.”

Trump added that while the first 100 days will be an important measure of his success, his vision goes far beyond those initial three months, and he looks forward to fiercely disputing the legitimacy of a Clinton presidency for the next four years.


Donald Trump, the Worst of America

Donald Trump has virtually stopped trying to win this election by any conventional metric and is instead stacking logs of grievance on the funeral pyre with the great anticipation of setting it ablaze if current polls turn out to be predictive.

There is something calamitous in the air that surrounds the campaign, a hostile fatalism that bespeaks a man convinced that the end is near and aiming his anger at all within reach.

As his path to victory grows narrower, his desperation grows more pronounced.

Last week a steady stream of women stepped forward to accuse Trump of some form of sexual assault, abuse or inappropriate behavior. Trump’s response has been marked by a stunning lack of grace and dignity, let alone contrition or empathy, a response much like the man himself.


Why I left the Republican Party to become a Democrat

The most important thing we have learned this year is that, when the Republican Party was hijacked by a dangerous fascist who threatens to destroy the institutions that make America great and free, most Republicans up and down the organizational chart stood behind him and insisted he ought to be president.

Some did this because they are fools who do not understand why Trump is dangerous.

Some did it because they were naïve enough to believe he could be controlled and manipulated into implementing a normal Republican agenda.

Of course, there were the minority of Republicans who did what was right and withheld their support from Trump: people like Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, and Hewlett-Packard CEO and megadonor Meg Whitman, the latter of whom called Trump "a threat to the survival of the republic."


No pay, no expenses, no laws for Venezuela's opposition lawmakers

They say they have not been paid for two months, have had their electricity cut and are sometimes banned from flights - and the laws they pass are blocked anyway.

Venezuela's opposition lawmakers accuse the socialist government of sabotaging their work after winning a majority in congress last December.

The pro-government Supreme Court has blocked all congress' bills from becoming law. Earlier this week, the high court also allowed President Nicolas Maduro to present the 2017 budget without congressional approval.

On a smaller scale, congressmen say they are also being blocked from doing their job because of lack of state resources.


Maduro bypasses Venezuelan legislature on budget

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro can pass his 2017 budget without the approval of the opposition-majority legislature, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, triggering an outcry from the leftist leader's opponents.

Maduro and the National Assembly have been at each other's throats since the center-right opposition took control of the legislature in January, ending the left's 17-year monopoly on power.

Lawmakers accuse the president of stacking the Supreme Court with allies in the dying hours of the previous legislative session, then using the court to hamstring the new National Assembly.

In the latest spat, the Supreme Court ruled Maduro -- the political heir to late president Hugo Chavez (1999-2013) -- can bypass the legislature and have the court itself ratify the budget as a decree.



Unveiling a strategy that some Republican insiders deemed unwise, Donald Trump on Tuesday unleashed a blistering attack on George Clinton.

In a furious tirade at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio, the Republican Presidential nominee seemed to take his audience by surprise by tearing into Clinton, the founder of the legendary funk ensembles known collectively as Parliament-Funkadelic.

“Anyone who is knocking me for my locker-room banter has never heard ‘Atomic Dog,’ ” Trump told his audience. “It’s disgusting.”

“If I went around saying, ‘Why must I feel like that, why must I chase the cat, it’s the dog in me,’ the media would kill me,” he added.


Anderson Cooper Begins Debate By Giving Trump Opportunity To Explain What The Fuck Is Wrong With Him

ST. LOUIS—Saying he hoped the Republican nominee could clear up the matter for American voters, moderator Anderson Cooper reportedly began the second presidential debate Sunday night by giving Donald Trump the opportunity to explain exactly what the fuck is wrong with him.

“I’d like to start tonight’s proceedings by asking you, Mr. Trump, to explicitly lay out to the American people what the hell is fucking wrong with you?” said Cooper, adding that it would be helpful if the business magnate would expound on the specifics of why in God’s fucking name he says what he says and behaves the way he does, and how he could even begin to think that’s okay.

“You are not a mentally well person, and there is clearly something very, very wrong with you on the most basic and fundamental level, so please, if you would, shed some light on what in holy hell is going on inside your fucking skull. I mean, for fuck’s sake.”

At press time, Trump was reportedly shouting over both Cooper and Hillary Clinton as his two-minute response time had elapsed without him coming close to finishing his explanation of how fucked-up he is.


Predators in Arms

As many people are pointing out, Republicans now trying to distance themselves from Donald Trump need to explain why The Tape was a breaking point, when so many previous incidents weren’t. On Saturday, explaining why he was withdrawing his endorsement, Senator John McCain cited “comments on prisoners of war, the Khan Gold Star family, Judge Curiel and earlier inappropriate comments about women” — and that leaves out Mexicans as rapists, calls for a Muslim ban, and much more. So, Senator McCain, what took you so long?

One excuse we’re now hearing is that the new revelations are qualitatively different — that disrespect for women is one thing, but boasting about sexual assault brings it to another level. It’s a weak defense, since Mr. Trump has in effect been promising violence against minorities all along. His insistence last week that the Central Park Five, who were exonerated by DNA evidence, were guilty and should have been executed was even worse than The Tape, but drew hardly any denunciations from his party.

And even if you consider sexual predation somehow uniquely unacceptable, you have to ask where all these pearl-clutching Republicans were back in August, when Roger Ailes — freshly fired from Fox News over horrifying evidence that he used his position to force women into sexual relationships — joined the Trump campaign as a senior adviser. Were there any protests at all from senior G.O.P. figures?

Of course, we know the answer: The latest scandal upset Republicans, when previous scandals didn’t, because the candidate’s campaign was already in free fall. You can even see it in the numbers: The probability of a House Republican jumping off the Trump train is strongly related to the Obama share of a district’s vote in 2012. That is, Republicans in competitive districts are outraged by Mr. Trump’s behavior; those in safe seats seem oddly indifferent.

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