Good morning Austin:
There is a rich history of embarrassing White House relations: Billy Carter, Roger Clinton, Hugh Rodham. Tony Rodham.
But in the Trump White House, it will be different.
The president will be the embarrassment and the relations will be admirably elegant.
Watch this Super Tuesday message to Texas voters from future First Daughter Ivanka Trump, who is nine months pregnant.
Somehow, I think Ivanka would have handled a question about whether her father disavows the support of David Duke with more aplomb than her father did on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday.
JAKE TAPPER: I want to ask you about the Anti-Defamation League, which this week called on you to publicly condemn unequivocally the racism of former KKK grand wizard David Duke, who recently said that voting against you at this point would be treason to your heritage.
Will you unequivocally condemn David Duke and say that you don’t want his vote or that of other white supremacists in this election?
TRUMP: Well, just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke. OK? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So, I don’t know.
I don’t know, did he endorse me or what’s going on, because, you know, I know nothing about David Duke. I know nothing about white supremacists. And so you’re asking me a question that I’m supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about.
TAPPER: But I guess the question from the Anti-Defamation League is, even if you don’t know about their endorsement, there are these groups and individuals endorsing you. Would you just say unequivocally you condemn them and you don’t want their support?
TRUMP: Well, I have to look at the group. I mean, I don’t know what group you’re talking about.
You wouldn’t want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about. I would have to look. If you would send me a list of the groups, I will do research on them. And, certainly, I would disavow if I thought there was something wrong.
TAPPER: The Ku Klux Klan?
TRUMP: But you may have groups in there that are totally fine, and it would be very unfair. So, give me a list of the groups, and I will let you know.
TAPPER: OK. I mean, I’m just talking about David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan here, but…
TRUMP: I don’t know any — honestly, I don’t know David Duke. I don’t believe I have ever met him. I’m pretty sure I didn’t meet him. And I just don’t know anything about him.
This response was nonsensical on many levels.
Trump had two days earlier, when asked pretty much the same question at his press conference when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie endorsed him, had offered a disavowal of Duke’s support, if of the most perfunctory, unsatisfactory, sort.
But, Trump knows a lot about David Duke. He’s thought and talked about him in the past.
One example, here, from an interview with Larry King on CNN on November 19, 1991, two days after Duke won 39 percent of the vote in the runoff for governor of Louisiana. (Per the winner, Edwin Edwards: The only thing we have in common is we’re both wizards under the sheets.)
KING: Did the David Duke thing bother you? Fifty-five percent of the whites in Louisiana voted for him.
Mr. TRUMP: I hate-
KING: Four hundred New Yorkers contributed.
Mr. TRUMP: I hate seeing what it represents, but I guess it just shows there’s a lot of hostility in this country. There’s a tremendous amount of hostility in the United States.
Mr. TRUMP: It’s anger. I mean, that’s an anger vote. People are angry about what’s happened. People are angry about the jobs. If you look at Louisiana, they’re really in deep trouble. When you talk about the East Coast – It’s not the East Coast. It’s the East Coast, the middle coast, the West Coast-
KING: If he runs and Pat Buchanan runs, might you see a really divided vote?
Mr. TRUMP: Well, I think if they run, or even if David Duke– I mean, George Bush was very, very strong against David Duke. I think if he had it to do again, he might not have gotten involved in that campaign because I think David Duke now, if he runs, takes away almost exclusively Bush votes and then a guy like Cuomo runs- I think Cuomo can win the election.
KING: But Bush morally had to come out against him.
Mr. TRUMP: I think Bush had to come out against him. I think Bush– If David Duke runs (for president), David Duke is going to get a lot of votes. Whether that be good or bad, David Duke is going to get a lot of votes. Pat Buchanan – who really has many of the same theories, except it’s in a better package – Pat Buchanan is going to take a lot of votes away from George Bush. So you have these two guys running, or even one of them running, I think George Bush could be in big trouble.
OK. Let’s pause here for a little background on Duke from the great documentary, Louisiana Boys, directed by Louis Alvarez and Andrew Kolker and UT”s Paul Stekler
Duke is very pleased with what Trump is saying, Reminds him of himself.
Of course, Duke would like it better if Trump was a little more head-on in taking on the Jews – who far more than blacks or Mexicans or anyone else are, for Duke, the root of the problem – but, he said, going after immigration is really going after the Jews andJewish control, and he understands that Trump may have to be ever-so-slightly more politically correct than he is.
And Duke said, Trump is head and shoulder above his opponents.
“This idea Cruz is an outsider, it’s total hogwash folks. Hogwash, ” said Duke.
But, amid the outrage about Trump and Duke, it is useful to remember that Duke went from neo-Nazi to Grand Wizard of the KKK to a serious Republican candidate for governor.
And then, remarkably, there is Katrina Pierson, the former Cruz acolyte who is now Trump’s national spokeswoman, on CNN, explaining how Duke is a former member of the Klan, just as the late Democratic Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd was, and yet, she said, when Byrd endorsed Obama for president, no one demanded that Obama apologize.
Clearly, Trump is the inheritor of the Duke constituency, though Trump’s constituency is vastly larger and broader.
From Public Policy Polling’s pre-primary poll in South Carolina:
Trump’s support in South Carolina is built on a base of voters among whom religious and racial intolerance pervades. Among the beliefs of his supporters:
-70% think the Confederate flag should still be flying over the State Capital, to only 20% who agree with it being taken down. In fact 38% of Trump voters say they wish the South had won the Civil War to only 24% glad the North won and 38% who aren’t sure. Overall just 36% of Republican primary voters in the state are glad the North emerged victorious to 30% for the South, but Trump’s the only one whose supporters actually wish the South had won.-By an 80/9 spread, Trump voters support his proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States. In fact 31% would support a ban on homosexuals entering the United States as well, something no more than 17% of anyone else’s voters think is a good idea. There’s also 62/23 support among Trump voters for creating a national database of Muslims and 40/36 support for shutting down all the mosques in the United States, something no one else’s voters back. Only 44% of Trump voters think the practice of Islam should even be legal at all in the United States, to 33% who think it should be illegal. To put all the views toward Muslims in context though, 32% of Trump voters continue to believe the policy of Japanese internment during World War II was a good one, compared to only 33% who oppose it and 35% who have no opinion one way or another.
Trump was roundly criticized for his demurral Sunday on Duke.
But what about Ted Nugent, friend of Rick Perry, who campaigned for then Attorney General Greg Abbott for governor in 2014, not long after he said this about President Obama:
I have obviously failed to galvanize and prod, if not shame enough Americans to be ever vigilant not to let a Chicago, Communist-raised, Communist-educated, Communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel like the ACORN, community organizer, gangster Barack Hussein Obama to weasel his way into the top office of authority in the United States of America.
On a First Reading at the time I wrote:
What makes Nugent’s description of Obama as a “subhuman mongrel,” different in kind from even most of Nugent’s other outrageous statements, is just what an evocative throwback it is to a time – which, depending on your age, is either a very long time ago or not so long ago at all – when interracial marriage was considered an offense to God and man and the children of such a marriage were somehow less than fully human. It is a deeply personal insult that suggests that Obama was “subhuman” from the moment he was conceived, by his very being, and not because of anything he ever did aside from being born.
That doesn’t make Nugent a Klansman, but it’s the kind of language that would warm the heart of a Klansman, and after all, as Katrina Pierson notes, even David Duke is no longer a Klansman.
And Abbott, at last Thursday’s debate, declined to advise Trump on whether to accept white supremacist support.
Nugent is high on Trump.
I am a big fan of Donald Trump because I believe in bold, aggressive unapologetic truth, period. And I’m not a fan of Megyn Kelly, though I often turn on Fox just to look at her. Sometimes when I’m loading my magazine I like to just look at her and usually sit naked on the couch dropping hot brass on my stuff.
You don’t fight a culture war politely like Mr. Rogers, Jeb Bush.
You get angry … you swing some crowbars and you lop off heads as necessary.
This is a nasty, mean culture war, and you’re not going to win it by adjusting your tie.
Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, who endorsed Trump Sunday, had this to say on Monday. From Buzzfeed.
Asked on The Matt Murphy Show on Alabama radio if he was “comfortable” that Donald Trump believes in equality, Sessions said, “Well, I think so. He’s disavowed this before. And, you know, you get asked these questions — I don’t know what happened. But I would just say this: he needs to make that clear and I think it would be important for the people to know that.”
You can listen here.
Well, I suppose Session is an authority on the perils of racial insensitivity.
It cots him a federal judgeship when he was nominated in 1986 by President Reagan.
Sarah Wildman in New Republic in 2002, wrote about the ultimately successful effort in the Senate to block Sessions’ appointment to the federal bench because of his racial views.
Another damaging witness–a black former assistant U.S. Attorney in Alabama named Thomas Figures-testified that, during a 1981 murder investigation involving the Ku Klux Klan, Sessions was heard by several colleagues commenting that he “used to think they [the Klan] were OK” until he found out some of them were “pot smokers.” Sessions claimed the comment was clearly said in jest. Figures didn’t see it that way. Sessions, he said, had called him “boy” and, after overhearing him chastise a secretary, warned him to “be careful what you say to white folks.” Figures echoed Hebert’s claims, saying he too had heard Sessions call various civil rights organizations, including the National Council of Churches and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, “un-American.” Sessions denied the accusations but again admitted to frequently joking in an off-color sort of way. In his defense, he said he was not a racist, pointing out that his children went to integrated schools and that he had shared a hotel room with a black attorney several times.
During his nomination hearings, Sessions was opposed by the NAACP, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, People for the American Way, and other civil rights groups. Senator Denton clung peevishly to his favored nominee until the bitter end, calling Sessions a “victim of a political conspiracy.” The Republican-controlled Judiciary Committee finally voted ten to eight against sending Sessions to the Senate floor. The decisive vote was cast by the other senator from Alabama, Democrat Howell Heflin, a former Alabama Supreme Court justice, who said, “[M]y duty to the justice system is greater than any duty to any one individual.”
Since his election as a senator, Sessions has not done much to make amends for his past racial insensitivity. His voting record in the Senate has earned him consistent “F”s from the NAACP. He supported an ultimately unsuccessful effort to end affirmative action programs in the federal government (a measure so extreme that many conservatives were against it), he opposed hate-crimes laws, and he opposed a motion to investigate the disproportionate number of minorities in juvenile detention centers. Says Hillary Shelton, director of the NAACP’s Washington bureau, “[Sessions’s] voting record is disturbing. … He has consistently opposed the bread-and-butter civil rights agenda.” But it has been on judicial nominees that Sessions has really made a name for himself. When Sessions grabbed Heflin’s Senate seat in 1996, he also nabbed a spot on the Judiciary Committee. Serving on the committee alongside some of the senators who had dismissed him 16 years earlier, Sessions has become a cheerleader for the Bush administration’s judicial picks, defending such dubious nominees as Charles Pickering, who in 1959 wrote a paper defending Mississippi’s anti-miscegenation law, and Judge Dennis Shedd, who dismissed nearly every fair-employment civil rights case brought before him as a federal district court judge. Sessions called Pickering “a leader for racial harmony” and a “courageous,” “quality individual” who was being used as a “political pawn.” Regarding Shedd, he pooh-poohed the criticism, announcing that the judge “should have been commended for the rulings he has made,” not chastised.
And yet, despite his record as U.S. Attorney, attorney general of Alabama, and senator, Sessions has never received criticism from conservatives or from the leadership of the Republican Party. President Bush even campaigned for him in the last election. It’s true, of course, that Sessions isn’t in a leadership position, like Lott. But, if conservatives are serious about ending the perception that the GOP tolerates racism, they should look into his record as well. After all, if Noonan and friends are really “tired of being embarrassed” by this kind of racial insensitivity, they can’t just start yelling once the news hits the stands.
Sessions emerged in the 2016 presidential candidate, the arbiter of anti-immigration-amnesty purity – at least in the estimation of Ted Cruz.
From the Washington Post
Ted Cruz just can’t stop name-dropping Jeff Sessions.
By our count, Cruz said the words “Jeff Sessions” five times at Thursday’s GOP debate in Des Moines. He also did it twice at the Jan. 14 debate in Charleston, S.C. Oh yeah, and once at the CNN debates in Simi Valley, Calif., and in Las Vegas. And each time, it probably left a few viewers wondering, “Who the heck is this Jeff Sessions guy?”
Cruz and Sessions (R-Ala.) are among the most conservative members of the Senate and have repeatedly and publicly praised each other — especially when it comes to their mutual resistance to comprehensive immigration reform. Both senators vocally opposed the 2013 “Gang of Eight” bill, which would have provided a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the United States. Sessions later gave Cruz effusive praise, saying, “Without the vigorous opposition of Ted Cruz, this bill likely would have passed.”
Most importantly, though, Sessions happens to be the guy who vouches for Cruz’s continued assertions that he never favored legalizing undocumented immigrants. Cruz keeps trying to explain an amendment he filed to that Gang of Eight bill allowing for a path to legal status — not citizenship — was a “poison pill” meant to kill the bill. Even legal status, you see, is regarded by many on the right as “amnesty.” Cruz insists he never actually favored a path to legal status but wanted to kill the Gang of Eight bill with that amendment. (Our fact-checker has said it’s impossible to know for sure exactly what Cruz’s intent was.)
Sessions, though, hasn’t endorsed Cruz. He was seen donning a “Make America Great Again” hat at a Donald Trump rally in August, and he voiced his support for Trump’s immigration plan. So it’s no guarantee that Cruz will get Sessions’s support.
No guarantee. Definitely not.
Well, at least Cruz got the endorsement of Duck Commander Phil Robertson
Cruz has described the Robertson endorsement as the highlight of his campaign. It exemplifies his fight for real American duck blind values vs. liberal, Donald Trump New York values.
But Robertson has a kind of a Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah view of race.
From a GQ profile:
“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field…. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, I tell you what: These doggone white people—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”
I don’t know if Phil Robertson voted in the 1991 Louisiana gubernatorial election, or if he did, who he voted for.
Maybe he was among the minority of white voters who did not support David Duke.
In Iowa, I ran into Robert Smigel and his creation, Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog, who has produced some great videos out of the campaign. Like this.
Cruz has a lot to learn about the art of the comic insult.
On Hannity recently, he said, “Donald Trump, like Hillary Clinton, is a rich New York liberal.”
But listen how much more piquantly Triumph puts it.
Trump used to be a bigger Democratic supporter than Michael Moore’s bras
There’s Small Hands.
And, of course, the classic Wet His Pants.
But, face it, he’s still no match for Trump (you can’t spell TRIUMPH without TRUMP), who responded to Wet His Pants with It’s Rubio, a brilliant impromptu pantomime worthy of Chaplin.
If Cruz lacks the insult comic chops, it doesn’t mean doesn’t have a much-mentioned mean streak, which was on display Sunday, when he did the Full Ginsburg, appearing on all five Sunday shows.
He would have done better to have gotten an extra hour sleep and done a Half Ginsburg.
Watch him on Fox News Sunday.
WALLACE: Senator, I’ve got one more question for you.
Your campaign has been involved in a series of incidents that are people are calling dirty tricks. I want to put up a list to them.
In Iowa, the Cruz campaign sent out tweets saying Ben Carson was suspending his campaign. That was false. The campaign put out flyers accusing people of voting violations. That was false.
In South Carolina, a Cruz super PAC attacked Trump over the Confederate flag and your then communications director posted a link this week accusing Rubio of disrespecting the bible. That was false.
Question, do you take personal responsibility — this is your campaign except for the super PAC — do you take personal responsibility for this series of incidents? What does it say about the culture of the campaign you’re running?
CRUZ: Chris, every accusation you raised there is incorrect. I appreciate your reading the Donald Trump attack file on that.
WALLACE: Come on, sir.
WALLACE: Wait a minute. Wait a minute, sir. You personally — you personally apologized to Ben Carson on a debate stage.
CRUZ: Chris, please don’t interrupt me.
WALLACE: You fired your communications director.
CRUZ: Chris, please don’t interrupt me.
WALLACE: Don’t say this is an oppo file on our part, sir.
CRUZ: Chris, please don’t interrupt me. Our campaign from the beginning —
WALLACE: Well, I mean, please don’t say — please accuse me of something I didn’t do.
CRUZ: Go ahead, Chris. Let me know whether I’m allowed to answer.
WALLACE: Well, don’t accuse me of something I didn’t do. Two of those things you apologized for one and fired your communications director. Don’t say this is the oppo file.
CRUZ: Chris, our campaign from the beginning has been the highest level of integrity when others have engaged in personal attacks and insults. We don’t respond in kind.
And, you know, what’s striking, you just had Donald Trump on the air. You didn’t ask about the fact that he sent out a fabricated quote from Tom Coburn impugning my integrity. Tom Coburn, Senator Coburn came out and said it was an utter fabrication and yet Donald continued repeating what he knew to be false.
You didn’t ask Donald Trump about the robocalls that went out from a white supremacist group supporting Donald Trump telling people do not vote for a Cuban, vote for Donald Trump.
You know, when it comes to telling the truth and not telling the truth, you didn’t ask Donald Trump about the fact that in the last debate I asked him true or false, you support socialized medicine, the government paying for your health care. He said false and it’s directly contrary to what he said for 20 years on the record.
Listen, Chris, the facts matter. I understand that —
WALLACE: Senator —
CRUZ: — there are folks that don’t want to focus on the facts. But, listen, the voters care about the truth. They care about Donald Trump’s record of giving —
WALLACE: Senator Cruz, we’re flat out of time.
First of all, I don’t think anybody is going to think I did an easy interview with Donald Trump. I asked him about plenty of things.
If you want to ask him those questions, guess what? You’ll get the opportunity at the Fox debate on Thursday.
Then it was over to Meet the Press, and this edifying exchange around the three-minute mark.
Let me ask you this. You released summary pages of your tax returns, so did Marco Rubio. And you said the only reason you released summary pages is because Marco Rubio released summary pages. Why should Donald Trump – how are you forcing Donald Trump to release his tax return if you’re only releasing the first two pages?
SEN. TED CRUZ:
Well, listen. I’ve released nine years of tax returns. And by the way, the first five years have everything. The last four have summary pages. I’ve got nine years of tax returns. Donald Trump has not released so much as a paper clip. And Donald needs to release his taxes. You know, Mitt Romney this week–
So will you be happy if he just does summary pages? Will you be happy if he just does summary pages?
SEN. TED CRUZ:
Look, it would be a very positive step in the right direction. I would be thrilled, if he releases the whole thing, I’m happy to release everything. I’ve released, for five years, I’ve released everything. We just matched what the opponents did for the last four years. But the critical point, Chuck, as Mitt Romney observed, the fact that Donald seems terrified to release his taxes suggests that there’s a bombshell there.
And it’s natural to wonder, “Well, what is it that he’s hiding in his taxes?” Maybe it’s that Donald Trump doesn’t earn nearly as much as he has so loudly told everyone. Maybe he’s not as rich as he says he is. Who knows, maybe it’s the case that Mitt Romney is richer than Donald Trump. He can answer that by releasing his taxes. On the other hand, maybe it’s the case that he has given large sums of money to left-wing groups like Planned Parenthood.
You know, he praises Planned Parenthood in the debates over and over again. Maybe he’s been a big financial supporter of that. All of those questions Donald can put to rest. Or you know, maybe it is the case that Donald, there have been multiple media reports about Donald’s business dealings with the mob, with the mafia. Maybe his taxes show those business dealings are a lot more extensive than has been reported. Regardless of what the bombshell is–
Well, let me stop you. Wait a minute. Senator Cruz, let me stop you there. That’s openly speculative. Do you have any facts to support that Donald Trump has mob ties?
SEN. TED CRUZ:
Oh sure. ABC, CNN, multiple news reports have reported about his some dealings with, for example, S&A Construction, which was owned by “Fat Tony” Salerno, who is a mobster who is in jail. It is owned by two of the major New York crime families. And that has been reported in multiple media outlets. You know, you’re going to have Donald on the show later today, you ought to ask him, “Donald, have you written a check to Planned Parenthood? If so, how much and when?”
I mean, that’s the question that Donald ought to answer. We don’t know what it is that he’s hiding in those tax returns. But I can promise you this, if he’s the nominee come September, October, every day on the news will be about those tax returns, about whatever the bombshell is. And Republican primary voters deserve to know before the nomination, not after. Because you better believe Hillary Clinton and the media are going to go to town on it. And the primary voters should be able to vet all of us.
So, we are supposed to believe that if we get Donald Trump’s income tax returns, there will be Fat Tony listed as a dependent, or Mob bribes reported as income?
And, on the first two pages, which is all that Cruz is providing. And if he’s really trying to pressure Trump to reveal his taxes, why is he only providing two pages of his? Does he have something to hide?
MAPPING SOCIAL MEDIA INTEREST IN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES IN AUSTIN
IdealSpot in Austin, taps into social media, mostly Facebook data, to provide businesses with site selection and location analytics with advanced demographics.
They have recently used those tools to look at social media interest in presidential candidates, over time.
From Josh Winters at IdealSpot in December.
As poll after poll emerges from the morass of political dark waters, we often find ourselves confused about the truth of the 2016 Presidential race. The traditional source of truth in campaigning, polling, has become difficult to trust due to low response rates and otherwise poor results, but is so far without replacement. Further, the aim of traditional polling is to predict results using demographics and surveys, when what pollsters are really looking for is support within specific geographic boundaries. Much like in commercial site selection, campaigns are turning to social media and big data to develop a clear image of their base.
We at IdealSpot have developed a tool to do exactly that. By applying our Customer Location Targeting to the most popular 2016 presidential candidates (as of the time of writing), we are able to map the interest of voters in our hometown of Austin, TX. These maps represent the number of people who have expressed explicit interest in each candidate, whether that be through visiting a social media profile, clicking an ad, or searching for related terms. The darkest outlined regions represent locations with the densest support of each candidate, while the lightest regions are the least dense. Click each image to get a better look.
Austin is often considered a liberal city, but as we see here that is not entirely the case. Downtown Austin is definitely feeling the Bern, but suburbs and surrounding towns like Round Rock and Buda express more interest in the GOP. South of Sunset Valley (in the Slaughter Lane area) we see a region of contention between all candidates. We invite you to explore correlations with variables like age, net worth, and education using our free demographic overlays!
Here are some more maps, and animations made out of those maps, from Josh Winters.,