Trump Settles Trump University, After Boasting That He “Doesn’t Settle”


President elect Donald Trump is trying to wrap up his many legal entanglements before entering the White House in January. The charges of forcible rape of a minor have been dropped. Trump himself dropped a decades long case against the Palms Springs airport, who he was suing because they were flying planes over his posh Mar-a-lago club. Turns out that as a part time residence of the President, it will probably be made a no-fly zone without a court case.

But those cases were dropped. The Trump University case was a different matter all together, with dozens of plaintiffs claiming fraud against the “university.” I use quotation marks because the organization had no accreditation of any kind and conferred no diplomas, two things that universities generally do.

The court date was looming over the President elect, as he slowly began filling candidate positions this week, when the news broke that he had decided to settle for the princely sum of $25 million dollars.

Trump hates settling, seeing as an admission of guilt. Back in March he said the following about the University case.

“It would be easy for me to settle the case, it’s a simple civil case,” Trump said.“Probably I should, but I don’t want to because I give them a great soundbite, but I don’t settle cases. I don’t get sued because I don’t settle cases, I win in court.”

No one reading this blog should be surprised that Trump has decided to settle this case despite vowing no to. Trump’s promises are not binding to him in any way and should not be viewed as a promise future action, but might be valuable as an indication of what the man believes to be expedient at the moment the words tumble out of his mouth. During the election Trump thought that considering a settlement would be seen as an admission of guilt and a sign of weakness, but now that he has won it is convenient for him to get this of the docket.



Don’t Boo. Vote.


When I started this little exercise on February 20th, it never occurred to me that I would be writing a post on Election Day. 257 posts and 25,000 views later I’m writing this as I’m about to go vote.

The name and concept for the site came to me out of blue one morning, and I quickly grabbed the domain name. I wrote the first post the next morning. I’ve only missed a few days in between despite trips, spotty WiFi and the birth of my first child.

It started mostly as a writing exercise for myself, and an excuse to become more active in educating myself about the upcoming election season and to practice some short form journalistic articles. I did not envision this as an eight month long project.

Despite being immersed in Donald Trump’s falsehoods for these eight months, the depth and breadth of his lying is still astounding to me. It saddens me that vast portions of the American people care so little for something so precious as the truth that they will overlook and even embrace falsity.

Trump didn’t just lie, he tried to change reality. He will often repeat a lie so often and so loudly that it will become truth to his supporters.Trump would lie just for the sake of lying, making “factual” statements that just weren’t true and easily disprovable.

I hope that Trump has not forever damaged the ability for a reasonably honest candidate to succeed with his supporters. I hope that the American people soundly reject Donald J. Trump today. I hope that Americans realize that America is already great, and that Trump’s dark, negative vision is not who we are as  a people.


Trump Doesn’t Believe FBI Can Vet 650,000 Emails In Eight Days, and Clinton Is Still Guilty


The Trump campaign has derived great benefit from the revelation that the FBI was reexamining some Clinton emails in the last two weeks, and Trump was understandably disappointed that the Bureau was able to vet the massive amount of emails in just eight short days. So Trump refuses to believe that it’s possible.

“Right now she’s being protected by a rigged system. It’s a totally rigged system. I’ve been saying it for a long time,” Trump said in Michigan yesterday. “You can’t review 650,000 emails in eight days, you can’t do it, folks. Hillary Clinton is guilty.”

Trump’s mouthpiece General Flynn decided to apply a little math to the proceedings on Twitter.

It seems “IMPOSSIBLE” that a man who has reached the rank of General would publicly stated the insane notion that FBI Director Comey went through all 650,000 of the emails personally.

There were dozens of agents working around the clock to try and get through all of the emails by the election.

Computer searches were used to eliminate the vast majority of the emails as most were duplicates that had already been examined in the previous investigation. Computers! Each email has a unique code that can be quickly eliminated with a simple algorithm.

That is how 650,000 were sifted through in just over a week.

The FBI stated that while there were new emails found, none were pertinent to a criminal investigation.


Yes, Donald Trump, the FBI Can Vet 650,000 Emails in Eight Days

Trump Reponds to Comey’s New Letter: ‘You Can’t Review 650,000 New Emails in Eight Days’

NBC: Nearly All the Emails on Weiner’s Laptop Were Previously Reviewed by FBI

Trump Claims Clark County Polling Stations “Rigging” Election By Following The Law


Yesterday at a rally in Reno, NV, Donald Trump lamented his performance there in early voting and blamed a conspiracy to keep early voting polling stations open late specifically to service the large Hispanic population there. The early numbers suggest that Hispanics are rejecting Trump and the Republicans in record numbers in Clark County, home of Las Vegas.

“It’s being reported that certain key democratic reporting stations in Clark County were kept open for hours and hours after closing time to bus and bring democratic voters in,” Trump said. “It’s a rigged system, and we’re going to beat it.”

Before Trump’s speech, Chairman of the Nevada Republican Party Michael McDonald spoke to the crowd, alleging an even more sinister and negative tone.

“If we don’t get our people out to vote, they’re going to win. Last night in Clark County they kept a poll open till 10 o’clock at night so a certain group could vote,” McDonald said. “It wasn’t in an area that normally has high transition. The polls are supposed to close at 7. This was kept open till 10. Yeah, you feel free right now? Think this is a free or easy election?”

I think we can safely assume that the “certain group” he was referring to are Hispanic voters. Spanish speaking Hispanic voters in polls are favoring Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by nearly 50 points.

Here’s the thing. Yesterday was a historic day for early voting in Clark County. 57,000 people there cast their votes. Lines were very long, with reports of wait times of several hours. Nevada law requires that polls stay open if a voter got in line by the time that the poll closed. Thus the poll had to stay open until 10, or until all of the voters in line could be serviced.

I could find no reports of Democratic voters being bussed in, despite this story being widely reported by credible news sources with reporters on the ground in Clark County.

A spokesman for the Clark County Election Board stated that no polls stayed open later than advertised, and no wrongdoing was reported.


Donald Trump’s Calls Obama’s Treatment of a Protester a “Disgrace.” Obama Was Defending a Trump Supporter.

At a rally in Pennsylvania yesterday, Donald Trump had some very strong words about how President Obama handled a protester.

And yet Obama today spoke, in front of a much smaller crowd than this, by the way…And there was a protester, a protester that likes us. And what happened is they wouldn’t put the cameras on him. The camera’s on Obama. And I said that’s strange. He was talking to the protester, screaming at him, really screaming at him. By the way if I spoke the way Obama spoke to that protester they would say *mocking* ‘He became unhinged, he became…’ You have to go back and look and study and see what happened. They never move the camera. And he spent so much time screaming at this protester and frankly it was a disgrace.

The reality of what happened is much, much different.

Please watch that video, but here’s a quote.

Hold up! First of all, we live in a country that respects free speech. So, second of all, so it looks like [the protester] may have maybe served in our military so you gotta respect that. Third of all, he was elderly and we’ve got to respect our elders. And fourth of all, don’t boo. Vote! Don’t boo, vote!

First of all, if Obama tells you to “hold up,” you hold up. Second of all “Don’t boo, vote!” is my favorite quote of the election.

This is a stark difference here. Trump calls it a disgrace that Obama screamed at a protester, when in reality Obama was urging his supporters to allow the Trump supporter to exercise his right to free speech.

Can we repeal the 22nd Amendment?


Trump Claims Insurance Premiums Are As High As Mortgages, Rent

Donald Trump made a speech in Valley Forge, PA this week in front of a modest crowd, and trotted out one of his favorite whipping boys: Obamacare. It’s pretty easy to do this week, with the announcement that premiums will be jumping considerably next year. But Donald Trump’s hyperbole over shot the mark a bit when he said that premiums will be more than most people’s rent.

“People all across the country are devastated. In many instances, their health care costs are more than their mortgage costs or their rent which, by the way, is a first in American history,” Trump told the gathered crowd. “This is particularly unfair to millennials and younger Americans generally who will be totally crushed by these massive health care costs before they even get started on their journey through life.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, housing costs (rent and mortgage interest only, as mortgage principle payments were not included in the study) made up nearly one third of household expenses, at 32.9%. Healthcare costs on the other hand, made up only 7.8%.

But Politifact points out that there are hidden costs not reflected in these numbers. The housing number includes appliances, cleaning supplies, utilities and taxes. Much of the insurance in this country is paid by employers, so that is not reflected in that 7.8% number, but Trump said “in many instances, their health care costs are more than their mortgage costs or their rent.” The average does not seem to bare that out.

He’s also wrong that this is a “first in American history.” Rent and healthcare have been going up as a portion of income for a decade, but the separation is pretty stark. Here’s a graph that I copied from Politifact that they copied from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:


While Trump is right to criticize the ballooning costs of the Affordable Care Act, his assertion that the average American pays more in health care than in rent is a fallacy.


Trump Asks His Supporters To “Pretend We’re Down”


Trump has a on again/off again relationship with the polls, on one hand constantly tweeting about favorable polls, but dismissing unfavorable polls as part of the dishonest media’s crooked agenda. Prior to the FBI announcing that there were again looking into some emails, when Clinton was up 7 to 8 points nationally, Trump had almost completely stopped tweeting polls. Those polls were so bad for Trump that they seemed to make it through his egotism and register with the candidate.

Well, that’s all out the window now that Trump seems to be within striking distance in some battleground states. Trump is back to loving polls, and telling his supporters not to pay too much attention as they may think that they’ve got it in the bag.

“The polls have just come up. We’re way up in Florida,” Trump told his ecstatic supporters in Miami, FL yesterday. “I shouldn’t say that because I want you to go vote. OK, ready? We’re gonna pretend we’re down. We’re down. Pretend, right? We’ll pretend we’re down…Nah, we gotta win. We gotta win big. We gotta beat her. Gotta beat her. We’re up in Ohio. We’re up in Iowa. We’re up in North Carolina. I think we’re doing great in Pennsylvania, from what I hear. Folks, you’re gonna be so proud.”

While Trump has been gaining in the polls and the race is definitely tightening, to say that he is far enough ahead that they have to “pretend we’re losing” isn’t based in reality, especially in Florida.

According to polls guru Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight and the dozens of high quality polls that they aggregate, Donald Trump is now 0.1% ahead in Florida. He is 2.4% up in Ohio. Trump is up 3.4% in Iowa. Trump is up 0.1% in North Carolina. Trump is down 3.8% in Pennsylvania, and while not “great,” it is a lot better than he has been doing in this “tipping point” state.

While technically correct, all of those states land in the toss up category and Hillary Clinton has had the worst week in politics since we learned where Donald Trump likes to grab women.

This is quite a turn from the truculent, defiant and losing Donald Trump of a few weeks ago, angrily shouting that the election is fixed and the media rigged against him. Unfortunately, Donald Trump’s national picture doesn’t look nearly as rosy. FiveThirtyEight still puts Hillary Clinton’s chances at better than 2 to 1, though that is down from a high of 6 to 1.

Trump has gained some ground, it is true. But even if Trump won every one of those states except Pennsylvania he would still be losing by more than 50 electoral college votes, 293 to 243. Trump was essentially telling his supporters that their vote was worthless in a rigged election, and now he’s telling them to make sure to vote as they’re not winning by enough yet. This could be an election that is won or lost based on turnout, and Trump’s wishy washy faith in our political system definitely gives his supporters a conflicting and confusing message.



Trump Accuses Twitter, Google and Facebook of Burying Email Scandal


Despite having easily the best week of his campaign two weeks before the election, Donald Trump took time out last week to blast the “very dishonest media” for burying the FBI criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton.

First of all, these aren’t media companies. All of those companies are technology companies. They simply aggregate news rather than create it. For a man that works the media as well as Donald Trump it is a little surprising that he doesn’t know what a media company does.

Mashable screen capped all these sites quickly after this pronouncement from Trump. It was the top news story on Google:


Google has also promised not to tweak its algorithm to affect stories relating to the election.

Twitter doesn’t have an algorithm to boost or depress stories, though was the top story on “Featured News” on Twitter under the hashtag #Election2016 and #news.


Facebook is a little tougher, as the algorithm for Facebook is based on your preferences of stories, pages etc. The story could have showed up in the user’s feed and sidebar in some cases and not in others depending on your tastes. No one has produced any evidence that the story was suppressed at Facebook.

Trump offered no evidence or even examples to back up his claim. In fact, all of the evidence is to the contrary that these non-media media outlets showed the story its due as the biggest story of the moment. Bask in the glory of your October surprise Mr. Trump, compliments of FBI Director Comey.


Trump Accuses Clinton of Wanting To Allow 650 Million Immigrants Into US. In One Week.

As Trump revels in Clinton’s email allegations, you would think that he would lay low and not make any completely ridiculous claims. You would be wrong. On Sunday in Greeley, CO Trump said that Hillary Clinton planned to allow 600 million immigrants into the country in one week. No context, no evidence, not even an explanation, just a completely insane accusation.

But that wasn’t enough. Later that day in New Mexico Trump bumped the number up a little bit. “She wants to let people just pour in,” Trump said. “You could have 650 million people pour in and we do nothing about it. Think of it. That’s what could happen. You triple the size of our country in one week.”

He’s right, that would triple the size of the country, as 325 million people currently live in the US.

Unfortunately, 650 million people is a lot of people. That is more than the populations of Canada, Mexico, Latin America and the whole of South America. That adds up to about 633 million. Sprinkle in a few million from other countries and we’ll get there. All it would take is for every single man, woman and child from the entire Western Hemisphere to somehow invade the US in a single week. That is about 8% of the entire world’s population.

I don’t even know what the hell Trump is talking about anymore, this is just a really stupid thing to say. Clinton never said anything of the kind, and does not advocate “open borders.” Did Donald Trump confuse 65,000 Syrian refugees by a factor of 10,000?


Trump Says Clinton Email Scandal “Bigger Than Watergate”


After the cryptic letter that FBI director sent to Congress hit the news cycle, Trump has ramped up his rhetoric against Hillary Clinton. It’s hard to believe that’s possible, as he has already threatened to throw her in jail without a trial at a debate in front of tens of millions of people.

But on Friday Donald Trump said that Clinton’s email scandal was bigger than Watergate. He said it several times, in fact. “This is bigger than Watergate. This is bigger than Watergate. In my opinion. This is bigger than Watergate,” he told the frenzied crowd of supporters.

Let’s take a look at that claim. In the Clinton email scandal there have been no charges filed, no arrests and certainly no convictions. Despite Hillary Clinton being the most scrutinized person in the history of the world, the FBI has so far said that there was no crime committed. Director Comey said there was no evidence of “clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information.” Watching that press conference in June and considering the political nature of the release, I think it’s safe to say there is no love lost between Clinton and Comey, and if there was anything there he would have found it.

Now let’s take a look at Watergate. This was  a burglary aimed at disrupting the political process. Many, many laws were broken by dozens of people leading to 69 people being charged with crimes and 48 pleading guilty. It lead to the resignation of a very popular President, and the conviction and jailing of many of his top advisors. The President had to be publicly pardoned by Gerald Ford so he wouldn’t go to jail. Watergate meant that the President was going to GO TO JAIL.

Trump is prone to hyperbole, but this is overdoing it, even for Trump. The President resigned in disgrace, Hillary Clinton is only up 6 points on her extremely unpopular opponent. Not much comparison there.


Fact Check: Donald Trump’s claim that the Hillary Clinton email controversy is “bigger than Watergate”