American Elephants


Free Speech? Trump Wants Stronger Libel Laws So He Can Sue Newspapers Who Aren’t ‘Nice’. by The Elephant's Child

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Donald Trump made his first definitive statement on just what he would do as president. Up to this point, he has been remarkably vague, but the Trump people seem to believe he’s making a commitment.  He is taking on The New York Times and The Washington Post saying they are dishonest and losing money. But he said when he’s president they’ll “have problems.”

“One of the things I’m going to do if I win, and I hope we do and we’re certainly leading. I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We’re going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected,” Trump said.

Well, they haven’t been ‘nice’ to him. What did you expect?

Donald Trump responded to demands that he release his tax returns, as he promised to do, by saying that he couldn’t right now because he was being audited. And he said he’s been audited every year for twelve years.

“I’m always audited by the IRS, which I think is very unfair — I don’t know, maybe because of religion, maybe because of something else, maybe because I’m doing this, although this is just recently,” Trump said in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo immediately following the 10th GOP debate on Thursday night.

That provoked major gales of laughter, but the IRS took him seriously: and said to Mr. Trump: “Nothing prevents you from sharing your tax documents.”

Donald Trump claims he can’t release his tax returns until he’s done being audited by the IRS. But the federal agency on Friday said that’s not true.

“Federal privacy rules prohibit the IRS from discussing individual tax matters. Nothing prevents individuals from sharing their own tax information,” a spokesperson for the IRS said in a statement. …

I want to [release them], except for many years, I’ve been audited every year,” Trump said during the debate. “Twelve years, or something like that. Every year they audit me, audit me, audit me. Nobody gets audited — I have friends that are very wealthy people. They never get audited. I get audited every year. I will absolutely give my return, but I’m being audited now for two or three years, so I can’t do it until the audit is finished, obviously. And I think people would understand that.”

Trump has been consistent about his business record and his defense of bankruptcy as a tactic. He has weathered four major bankruptcies and considers them as just a cost of doing business, or as his shrewdly using existing bankruptcy law to his advantage. While his Chapter 11 bankruptcies have allowed his businesses to live and see another day, that’s not so true for the smaller businesses who had made the mistake of contracting with the Trump empire.

People are inclined to deeply disapprove of companies who do big layoffs when the company is not doing well, Carly Fiorina was criticized or a major layoff of workers at Hewlett Packard, yet it was that action that saved the company and made it ready to prosper when the dot-com crisis passed. Bankruptcy means that smaller creditors may not be paid back, and for some of those it means going out of business.

The question is if this way of doing business is in any way transferable to the economy of a very large country. Overspending and defaulting on debts is for countries like Greece, hopefully not for the United States of America, although under the Obama administration the national debt has reached scary levels.

“Analysts have stopped trying to figure out Trump’s true positions or his political philosophy — if he has one—since he has flip-flopped so much.” The idea that his pride in his tactics might provide a model for a President Trump when dealing with an out-of-control public debt is frightening. It is fair to ask if he would default on all or any part of America’s multi-trillion dollar public debt.

Trump’s satisfaction clearly comes from wheeling and dealing, and building the TRUMP brand. He’s has some successes and a lot of failures, but it seems to be the game and the brand that he enjoys. I’m not sure that is an attractive quality in politics. I’d rather see a recognizable political philosophy like smaller government, free markets and free people. Mr. Trump doesn’t seem to understand free speech, he’d rather sue.

And he doesn’t talk much about what he’d do as president other than  do something really big, and it would be wonderful.

 


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I agree with the Donald on that one. The double standard of “absence of malice” for politics/politicians empowers the deceitful media at the cost of truth and a fully informed public. People don’t understand how dishonest the corporate media are. Power to slander without possibility of punishment is simply encouraging lies. “Bush lied and people died” is a good example. The failure to find WMD THAT MET THE STANDARDS OF THE MEDIA is not proof of lying. WMD were found, 5000 warheads, Yellow Cake Ore, which had been hidden, was found, 550 tons. Yet the media continues the lie. With power comes responsibility in an ethical society. There’s no responsibility in the media.

Comment by atmsafetypin

If that was as far as it would go, I might be inclined to agree as well. Unfortunately, Trump has a history of suing and threatening to sue people who say things about him that he doesn’t like and doesn’t want people to hear (note Trump’s threat to sue Cruz over an attack ad that used Trump’s own comments against him). Do you honestly think that Trump wouldn’t use a looser definition of the libel and slander laws to try to intimidate even more than he’s already done?

And Trump’s complaint that he’s being audited more than other “very wealthy people” is simply a disingenuous attempt to divert attention from the fact that he engages in some very questionable practices in his businesses, and that very often what he claims and what is real are often two very different things.

Comment by Lon Mead

Trump accused George Bush of lying about WMDs…just last week! So Trump is on the side of the lying media!

Comment by David Armock




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