TRUMP, THE "RESET" - Down &  Dirty

So Donald's new brain trust's first big idea was to make a play for the black vote. A glaringly madcap notion, given that Trump is running somewhere south of 2% among African Americans in the most recent polls. Of course, the ever modest GOP candidate promises that he would be pulling in 95% of the African American vote by the end of his first term as president of these United States. How? He answered: "You live in your poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?"

To which Hillary responded quickly, "This is so ignorant it's staggering."

Then on Saturday, Trump met with a group I didn't know existed: the National Hispanic Advisory Council for Trump.

Apparently many of those who attended were evangelical pastors. The hapless Reince Priebus called the meeting "just one component of our expansive effort to engage the Hispanic community." Yessir, we're well on our way to making up that 46 point Trump shortfall among Latino voters. No problem. Facil.

Kellyanne Conway, Trump's newly minted campaign manager, has said that "expanding the base" is at the top of her to do list.

She will also try to close the gap with women, 60-65 percent of whom intend to vote for Hillary in November. For more than 20 years, Conway has been insisting that gender doesn't determine what voters care about, that what sways women are economic and national security. A glib, talented spin-mistress, Conway has cable news hosts eating out of her hand. And print analysts regularly credit her with adding female voters to the rolls. It's what leads her resume, a reputation that's earned her a lot of money. There is little evidence that it's true.

Of course there is no way any of this is going to broaden Donald Trump's base of support sufficiently to win him the election.

The new Trump CEO (sic) Steve Bannon will spout some of the same cockamamie claims for Trump's appeal to blacks, Latinos and women. But he knows better. There is a dark undercurrent to the Trumpian outreach program. Ultimately, women, people of color, and other unfortunates don't know what's good for them. They must in the end subordinate themselves to the chauvinistic vision of Donald J. Trump.

Trump's amateurish and flailing campaign has moved aside one chief thug and replaced him with another, more committed, thug.

KellyAnne Conway and Paul Manafort

Paul Manafort, the outgoing thug, had just been exposed in the pages of the New York Times for some graft he pulled back in the day, when he worked for a tinhorn Ukrainian pol who was also a stooge for Putin. Not a good look for Trump, who's been taking a beating for his apparent approval of the Russian president. Also, it is said that Trump was chafing under Manafort's attempts to restrain him in an effort to make the candidate more "presidential". So he was kicked to the curb.

Enter Steve Bannon, head of Breitbart News, which is renowned for headlines like these:





This guy Bannon is a little hard to figure. He's an ex naval officer whose career as an investment banker led to a brief but successful run as a Hollywood deal maker and then to becoming a filmmaker in his own right. His movies were all roundly panned except in the right wing press. It's not entirely clear how or when Steve Bannon came up with the far right agenda that animated these works, especially two gushing, fawning films about Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin. During filming on one of them, Bannon interviewed Andrew Breitbart who liked him well enough to put him on the board of his company. Then, when Breitbart died suddenly at 43 in 2012, Bannon became the head of the Breitbart website.

How did this slime team get to Trump? The broker seems to be Rebekah Mercer, the daughter of Robert Mercer, the computer scientist and billionaire hedge fund manager who was a major contributor to the Ted Cruz campaign. Kellyanne Conway also worked for Cruz, and has a longtime relationship with the Mercers.

Rebekah Mercer is also notorious for sinking almost $30 million bucks into buying six condos in one of Trump's Manhattan buildings and combining them into a 14,000 square ft. triplex. With 17 bedrooms, the residence is a quarter of the size of the White House.

Donald Trump would not have been this cabal's first choice. They had been all in for Ted Cruz, whose Tea Party views more clearly match up with theirs.

But Trump will be a perfect puppet for Mercer and Co. Bannon and Conway have a more articulated and coherent worldview than Trump, but his talking points are pretty much in line with their preoccupations.


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