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A doorman stands as people walk past the Trump Tower in N.Y. on May 23, 2016. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

It's not just his campaign: Trump's 'brand' may never be the same

10/25/16 08:00AM

In late June, the day after the "Brexit" vote, Donald Trump hosted a press conference in Scotland, against the backdrop of one of the most important political moments in the modern history of the United Kingdom. As we discussed at the time, the Republican presidential candidate spoke at great length, and in great detail, about ... his new golf resort.

Tomorrow, the GOP nominee will do it again, leaving the campaign trail to promote the opening of his new hotel in Washington, D.C. -- a venue Trump has touted on multiple occasions from the campaign stump, blurring the lines between candidate and salesperson.

It's a reminder that while Trump almost certainly wants to be president, he also remains committed to his lucrative business enterprise. What he may not fully appreciate, however, is the degree to which one is affecting the other. The New York Times ran an interesting report overnight on some of the many people who suddenly want nothing to do with Trump's "brand."
At three large rental buildings emblazoned with gold letters spelling out T-R-U-M-P P-L-A-C-E on the Upper West Side, the lobby rain mats embossed with the same name are being replaced, tenants say. The new versions, they have been told, will proclaim the buildings' addresses, 140, 160 or 180 Riverside Boulevard.

At the same buildings, they say, the doormen and concierges have been measured for new uniforms that will no longer carry the Trump name. And 300 people, most of them tenants, have signed an online petition titled "Dump the TRUMP Name" in less than 10 days.
The article noted that Trump, throughout his career, has boasted that slapping his name on a building increases its value, apparently because consumers are supposed to associate "Trump" with luxury and high quality. But it's not exactly a secret that his presidential campaign has changed public perceptions about the New York Republican, and for many, his name is now more closely associated with misogyny and ethno-nationalism.

And as a consequence, the Trump "brand" is not only taking a severe hit; it may never be the same.
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Monday's Mini-Report, 10.24.16

10/24/16 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:

* ISIS: "America and its allies have launched more airstrikes against ISIS in the past week than at any other time in its ongoing fight against the extremists, according to President Barack Obama's counter-ISIS envoy."

* Iraq: "U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter's push for Iraq to let Turkey play a role in the Mosul battle encountered resistance Saturday from Iraq's prime minister, who said his country's forces will oust Islamic State the militants from the northern city."

* Pennsylvania: "Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane was sentenced Monday to 10 to 23 months in jail for orchestrating an illegal news leak to damage a political enemy, capping a spectacular downfall for a woman who three years ago was seen as one of the state's fastest-rising stars."

* France "on Monday began clearing out the gritty, squalid migrant camp in Calais known as 'The Jungle' as refugees waited in long lines to be processed and bused to reception centers across the country."

* Cold War: "Russian authorities have stepped up nuclear-war survival measures amid a showdown with Washington, dusting off Soviet-era civil-defense plans and upgrading bomb shelters in the biggest cities. At the Kremlin's Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Cold War is back."
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U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, meets with members of the media at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., May 25, 2016. (Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty)

Paul Ryan: Dem Party 'run by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren'

10/24/16 04:22PM

Though Election Day is still a couple of weeks away, and unpredictable things may yet happen, polling gives a reasonably good sense of what's likely to happen. And with that in mind, it's reasonable to think Hillary Clinton will be president next year, hoping to get something done by a Republican-run House led by Speaker Paul Ryan.

Ryan, however, is already sounding pessimistic notes about governing opportunities. The Wall Street Journal had an interesting report on the House Speaker's perspective the other day.
Mr. Ryan tried to work out a corporate-tax-reform-for-infrastructure trade with Sen. Chuck Schumer, which he says failed because the Democratic Party is now "run by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. This is not a party run by Alice Rivlin and Erskine Bowles. There aren't 1990s Democrats in this party anymore." He isn't optimistic about an emergence of a pragmatic Hillary that some like to imagine.
Let's note at the outset that tax reform failed, not because of Democratic extremism, but because Republicans walked away from the table, unwilling to accept a compromise.

Even putting this aside, Ryan's complaint is one of his more common arguments: Democrats, the Wisconsin congressman believes, have moved too far to the left. In the 1990s, folks like Alice Rivlin and Erskine Bowles helped set the party's direction on budget and fiscal issues, and now, the argument goes, they've been replaced by progressive firebrands. Ergo, well-intentioned Republicans, ready to negotiate and reach constructive solutions, are stuck trying and failing to negotiate with left-wing ideologues.

It's a nice little theory, which simply isn't true.
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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump talks with press on Sept. 5, 2016, aboard his campaign plane, while flying over Ohio, as Vice presidential candidate Gov. Mike Pence looks on. (Photo by Evan Vucci/AP)

Trump puts press freedoms in his crosshairs

10/24/16 12:54PM

Throughout American history, presidents and presidential candidates have complained about the press. It's effectively part of the process: news organizations, responsible for holding public officials responsible, invariably draw criticisms from those they cover. It's an inescapable part of an adversarial process.

But Donald Trump's approach to democratic norms and institutions tends to be, shall we say, unique, and this certainly applies to the First Amendment's free-press protections. Consider this exchange yesterday between Jim DeFede at the CBS affiliate in Miami and the Republican presidential candidate.
DEFEDE: In the past you have talked about wanting to amend laws and rework things to make it easier to sue. Do you think there is too much protection allowed in the First Amendment?

TRUMP: Well in England, they have a system where you can actually sue if someone says something wrong. Our press is allowed to say whatever they want and they get away with it. And I think we should go to a system where if they do something wrong -- I'm a big believer, tremendous believer in the freedom of the press, nobody believes it stronger than me -- but if they make terrible, terrible mistakes, and those mistakes are made on purpose to injure people -- and I'm not just talking about me, I'm talking anybody else -- then yes, I think you should have the ability to sue them.
As the transcript excerpt shows, Trump went on to further tout the benefits of a British system, in which the First Amendment does not exist.

It's worth noting, of course, that the U.S. system already has libel laws and Americans can already sue for "actual malice." Trump should probably be aware of this -- because his friends at the National Enquirer and other tabloids have faced lawsuits along these lines before.

Nevertheless, the Republican presidential hopeful apparently sees these laws as inadequate and wants to "go to a system" that makes it easier to target news organizations.

And that's just part of a broader series of changes Trump has in mind when it comes to American journalism.
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Monday's Campaign Round-Up, 10.24.16

10/24/16 12:00PM

Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.

* An ABC News tracking poll released yesterday showed Hillary Clinton enjoying a sizable advantage over Donald Trump, 50% to 38%, in a four-way race.

* On a related note, though the ABC poll showed Clinton ahead by 20 points among women voters, Trump told CBS yesterday, "I really think those polls are very inaccurate when it comes to women. I think we're doing better with women than with men, frankly."

* Yesterday, Trump's campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, conceded on "Meet the Press" that the Republican ticket is "behind" in this year's presidential race. This morning, Trump nevertheless argued via Twitter, "We are winning and the press is refusing to report it."

* Separately, the GOP nominee added that Democrats "are making up phony polls in order to suppress the the [sic] Trump." I have no idea what this means.

* A week after Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) sent out a mailer suggesting he's cooperated with President Obama, the president mocked the far-right congressman relentlessly yesterday.

* If elected, would Trump try to replace FBI Director James Comey, a Republican appointed to the post by Obama? Asked about the possibility, the Republican nominee said yesterday, "I'm not going to say."

* As Rachel noted on Friday's show, the Clinton campaign is making a surprising play in Utah this year, dispatching five paid staffers to the traditionally red state and flying surrogates in to reach out to Utah voters.
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In this Jan. 29, 2015 file photo, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by J. Scott Applewhite/File/AP)

As Court struggles, Grassley argues hearings are expensive

10/24/16 11:20AM

The U.S. Supreme Court has had a vacancy since February, and President Obama's compromise nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, has been pending since March. Nevertheless, by all appearances, the Senate Republicans' unprecedented blockade against any Obama nominee will continue through at least 2016 (and if Sen. John McCain is to be believed, perhaps longer).

The practical effects of the GOP's radical strategy are plainly evident, with the Associated Press reporting on Friday, "The Supreme Court is offering new evidence that the short-handed court is having trouble getting its work done." It includes the justices finding themselves unable to schedule cases for argument that have already been granted review by the court.

And yet, the Senate Judiciary Committee hasn't even bothered to give Garland a hearing. Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sat down with the editorial board of the Des Moines Register last week, and one of its members asked, "[W]hat would be the harm in simply holding a hearing on him and coming to your own conclusions as a committee?"

The typical Republican response has been there's no point in holding a hearing for a nominee the GOP majority simply refuses to consider, but Grassley went in a different direction.
"Sure, sure. Umm, I suppose, the tradition is -- and I'm not sure I would follow this tradition because I know who I have on my staff, I know how deep you have to go into going through a person's record, in order to hold a hearing that's worthwhile. And so you appropriate -- you get special, not appropriations -- you get 'special' from the rules committee; additional money to hire additional legal people. My staff tells me that's about a half a million to $750,000 to hire people to maybe work for three or four months to do it.

"And so when 52 senators say they aren't going to take it up, should I spend that money and have a hearing?"
I think this is the first time I've heard such an argument: senators could do their job and meet the constitutional obligations, but the process is too expensive to bother.
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Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump is greeted by his family after the third and final debate with Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in Las Vegas, Nev., Oct. 19, 2016. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Reuters)

List of Trump's women accusers continues to grow

10/24/16 10:40AM

Donald Trump declared Saturday that each of the women accusing him of sexual misconduct are "liars," whom he intends to sue after the election. If the Republican candidate follows through on the threat, his lawyers will apparently be quite busy -- with another woman coming forward soon after Trump delivered his speech.
Adult film star Jessica Drake alleged at a Los Angeles press conference that in 2006 Trump hugged and kissed her and two female companions in his hotel room without permission. She also charged that after she left the room, Trump or someone acting on his behalf called her and offered her $10,000 to return.

"Collectively, his words and his actions are a huge testament to his character: That of uncontrollable misogyny, entitlement and being a sexual assault apologist," said Drake.
The Trump campaign, as in every previous instance, denied the allegations, calling Drake's claims "false and ridiculous." For her part, Drake insisted on Saturday she's seeking neither money nor attention. "I understand that I may be called a liar or an opportunist," she said. "But I will risk that in order to stand in solidarity with women who share similar accounts that span many, many years."

Her allegations follow related claims from Karena Virginia on Thursday, which Trump's campaign also dismissed. "Give me a break," Jessica Ditto, Trump's deputy communications director said in a statement. "Voters are tired of these circus-like antics."

As for just how many women have now raised allegations of sexual misconduct against Trump, I've seen a couple of different counts, but I think this is the full list to date:
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Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice, Roy Moore, speaks to the congregation of Kimberly Church of God, June 28, 2015, in Kimberley, Ala. (Photo by Butch Dill/AP)

Alabama's Roy Moore, suspended, doesn't want to leave

10/24/16 10:00AM

About a month ago, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended from the bench following his effort to defy federal court rulings on marriage equality. It marked an ignominious end to a controversial legal career for the right-wing jurist.

Or at least, it was supposed to. Late last week, reported late last week that Moore is ignoring requests that he leave.
Suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore says he did not respond to the acting chief justice's request to clean out his office on or before Tuesday.

Acting Chief Justice Lyn Stuart sent a letter to Moore last week asking him to clean out his personal items and turn over his keys to the state judicial building in the wake of his recent conviction by the Court of the Judiciary on judicial ethics charges.
Moore, true to form, has said he intends to ignore the acting chief justice's request because, as he sees it, she doesn't have any authority in the matter. And so, Moore's holding onto his keys and keeping his stuff in the office he's supposed to vacate.

It's the kind of move that might make things a little tricky going forward.
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Launched in 2008, “The Rachel Maddow Show” follows the machinations of policy making in America, from local political activism to international diplomacy. Rachel Maddow looks past the distractions of political theater and stunts and focuses on the legislative proposals and policies that shape American life - as well as the people making and influencing those policies and their ultimate outcome, intended or otherwise.



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