Michelle Obama endorses Hillary Clinton at DNC in Philadelphia


July 26, 2016

Michelle Obama endorses  Hillary Clinton at DNC in Philadelphia

Michelle Obama Makes the Case for Hillary Clinton in Stirring Speech

First Lady Michelle Obama endorsed Hillary Clinton in a speech to the Democratic National Convention, telling the gathering that “this election isn’t about Democrat or Republican, it’s about who we trust with power to influence our children in the next four to eight years.”

Her speech, which referenced a speech that she gave to the convention in 2008, but made no mention of the fact that portions were strikingly similar to a speech given by Melania Trump last week, was greeted by huge applause, as she set about making the case for Clinton and at the same time getting in attacks on Donald Trump without mentioning his name.

“The issues a President faces are not black and white and cannot be boiled down to 140 characters,” she said.

Her speech was inspirational and personal in that she recounted moving into the White House and sending off her two daughters to school. On the first day, as they left with Secret Service agents, she said, “I saw those little faces up against the window and the only thing I could think, ‘What have we done?’” The line drew laughs.

She also noted the awareness she and her husband had of the significance of being in the Oval Office.

“I wake up every morning in a house built by slaves,” she said. “And I watch my daughters, two beautiful daughters, two beautiful intelligent black young women, playing with their dogs on the White House lawn.”

She then seemed to struggle against tears as she recounted the history making nature of Clinton’s bid. She said that “because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters can take it for granted that a woman can be President.”

“Hillary has spent the decades to do the absolutely thankless work to actually make a difference in their lives,” she said.

Michelle noted that when Clinton “didn’t win the nomination eight years ago, she didn’t get angry or disillusioned. Hillary didn’t pack up and go home.” The message was not lost after a day in which supporters of Bernie Sanders openly expressed their dismay at the party and booed at points when speakers mentioned unifying behind Clinton.

She needled Trump’s signature slogan. “Don’t let anyone tell you that this country isn’t great — that we somehow need to make it great again,” she said.

Her speech seemed to unify Clinton and Sanders supporters, as the delegates waved “Michelle” signs passed out before she took the stage.

From Michelle to Elizabeth Warren and The Bern (Bernie Sanders)

Man, oh man!–Another Racist Political Party in Malaysia


July 26, 2016

Man, oh man!–Another Racist Political Party in Malaysia

by Azmi Sharom

http://www.thestar.com.my

Man, oh man! This new party being proposed by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has really set some alarm bells ringing.

First and foremost, I think that if anyone wants to set up a political party, that’s their right to do so.Go ahead, knock yourself out, have fun.

My concern is what this does to the already incredibly messy and chaotic political scene of the country. The Opposition is in disarray. Top leaders are either locked up or being dragged through the legal process.

Pakatan Rakyat  To Pakatan Harapan– From one Mess to Another

The promising Pakatan Rakyat has torn apart with PAS suddenly rediscovering its medieval roots. The new Pakatan Harapan (PH) is still finding its feet and I do not believe it has captured the public imagination as how the Pakatan Rakyat did all those years ago.

Plus, now with PAS dancing to its own tune (figuratively of course, because I am sure the party frowns on dancing), it looks like three-cornered fights is going to be the order of the day.

If that is the case, then Barisan Nasional will stand to gain the most.All this mess, and that is without taking into consideration any internal politicking in the three component parties of the PH.

I am certain such politicking exists, although I have no idea what they may be, being an outsider and all. But even without such shenanigans, things do not look good for the Opposition.

And into this situation a new political party may jump in. We aren’t even sure what this party is all about. It appears to be concerned with working with the Opposition to get rid of the Barisan Nasional Government.

Yet, at the same time, its figurehead is saying that it may not go up against UMNO. I’m sorry. What? Maybe I am missing some subtle political point here but the last time I looked, the Prime Minister, his Deputy and many other ministers are from UMNO.

With Mahathir’s  New Party? You must be kidding, man

You want to get rid of the current Government leaders but not fight against UMNO? Can this be correct or was there a total misunderstanding and the news report I read was wrong?

Furthermore, I am most curious to find out just what this new party is all about. What is its manifesto? Is it just to fight Barisan? Or will it have other things it wants to champion?

Perhaps it is going to promise to fix the institutional disaster that we are faced with today. A disaster that can trace its roots to the regime of Dr Mahathir (1981-2003).

It would be interesting if it did want to champion this, seeing as how its de facto head does not have any inclination to admit that perhaps, just perhaps, he has to bear some responsibility for the situation we and he find ourselves in today.

Also there is a possibility that this new party is going to be a Malay party. Really? Great, that’s just what we need; another party that reinforces racial politics. I suppose since its target demographic is UMNO and PAS supporters, it wants to appeal to the Malay heartland.

Even if that is the case, it is a sad state of affairs that these people seem to think that the only way they can do this is by reverting to a political norm that has in the long term caused a divisive and divided society.

And how about their potential partners? How can the PH accept a race-based party when all three parties in PH are not race-based and have spoken out against such things in the past? Additionally, just what exactly is the relationship going to be between this new party and the PH.

Will someone like Dr Mahathir–a megalomaniac by inclination– allow himself to be merely an equal partner or will he want to dictate everything? There is no clue whatsoever as to how this new party will fit into the existing system. All this does is add confusion to an already depressing state of affairs. And I do not know if it is going to help or not.

Let’s be frank, the reason I keep singling out Dr Mahathir is because without him, this new party will not exist. He has been campaigning against the Prime Minister for a long time now and you must be naïve to think that this new party, whatever it may be, will be formed if Dr Mahathir didn’t want it to happen.

But how influential is he anyway? In the last two by-elections, there seems to be no indication that his presence can make a dent in the UMNO support.

Will his party do better? Who knows? Yet, the PH are probably hoping that the Mahathir factor can help turn that particularly Umno-centric demographic.

They obviously decided that it is worth it to consort with their former enemy to do so. The question is, what if the Mahathir factor is not a factor at all? Will it then be worth it to have him in the same team?

Only time will tell.

Azmi Sharom (azmi.sharom@gmail.com) is a law teacher. The views expressed here are entirely the writer’s own.

Public Intellectual Kassim Ahmad tells disgraced Najib Razak to resign


July 26, 2015

Public Intellectual Kassim Ahmad tells disgraced Najib Razak to resign

by Kassim Ahmad

After the indirection mention of his name with two others related to him by the United States Department of Justice two days ago, it is best that Prime Minister Najib resigns. There can be no use whatsoever for him to continue to hold office, seeing the financial scandals that have surfaced involving him and his cronies. He should own up and ask for forgiveness from the Malaysian people. The Malaysia people are known for their magnanimous treatment of repentant wrongdoers.

The UMNO supreme council should call into session an extraordinary UMNO general assembly which will accept his resignation and recommends the calling of the 14th general elections. Our Parliament should convene and call for the General Election.

An UMNO general assembly should also elect new delegates and a new supreme council. This new general assembly should pass a resolution to root out corruption completely from the party and the government. If Singapore can do it, why cannot we?  A system of cadre-and-leader training must be instituted to bring about a zero corruption system by giving rise to principled politicians. Our people must not and should not accept less than that. We should base ourselves on the shining example of Prophet Muhammad, the leader who wrought an exemplary vessel of statecraft

Our Federal Constitution should be changed to reflect a just system of governance, as ordered by God in the Quran. This would better suit our constitutional stipulation that “Islam is the religion of the Federation.” With due respect to the famous jurists of the Reid Commission which drafted our constitution, they seemed unaware of the Prophet’s seminal constitutional document, known as the Medina Charter, the first written constitution in the world.[1]

It should be noted that the Medina Charter assigns the autonomous administration of religions to their respective its adherents, thus at one stroke of the pen eliminates religious conflicts. The state does not concern itself with religion.

Kassim Ahmad–The Rebel  and Fellow Kedahan I admire and disagree from time to time–Din Merican

Government, as are other affairs,  is carried out through consultation by the community. This is far more satisfactory than the Western concept of checks and balances. It is strange that the two hand that God gave us is made to fight one another! Why can they cooperate to enjoin good and prevent evil? More over this checks-and-balances theory has not been able to prevent the rise of colonialism and the creation of the Zionist State of Israel, a clear illegal and unjust occupation of Arab Palestine.

Controversy hits 2016 DNC at Philadelphia–Debbie Wasserman Schultz


July 25, 2016

Controversy hits  2016 DNC at Philadelphia–Debbie Wasserman Schultz

By Dan Roberts in Philadelphia, Ben Jacobs in Washington and Alan Yuhas in New York

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/24/debbie-wasserman-schultz-resigns-dnc-chair-emails-sanders

 

DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz

“She is not someone you would want in a foxhole with you.” and “a gift for Trump –John Morgan, a major Democratic donor from Florida and long time critic of Wasserman Schultz

The chair of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz (above), has announced her resignation on the eve of the party’s convention, dealing a blow to hopes of demonstrating unity in the face of the threat from Donald Trump.

Schultz said she would step down after the convention. She has been forced to step aside after a leak of internal DNC emails showed officials actively favouring Hillary Clinton during the presidential primary and plotting against Clinton’s rival, Bernie Sanders.

“Debbie Wasserman Schultz has made the right decision for the future of the Democratic Party,” Sanders said in a statement, adding that the party leadership must “always remain impartial in the presidential nominating process, something which did not occur in the 2016 race”.

The Sanders campaign has long claimed that the party establishment had its “finger on the scales” during the bitter and surprisingly long primary, but the embarrassing new revelations proved to be the final straw for a figure who had been a lightning rod for tension within the party.

The DNC chair, whose named is emblazoned at the top of thousands of convention credentials, was originally expected to play a central role in the four-day meeting of delegates and party leaders. But as the convention prepared to get under way in Philadelphia on Sunday, there were already reports that Schultz had lost a prestigious speaking slot and would only “gavel-in” proceedings.

Internally, the resignation may reduce tensions, removing from the stage a figure who was almost certain to have been greeted with boos by sections of the large pro-Sanders delegation. Nevertheless, the turmoil risks undermining public attempts to show that Democrats have come together as a party and draw a contrast with chaotic scenes at on the floor at the Republican convention in Cleveland last week.

It will also raise new questions about the source of the leaked emails, which emerged on Friday and are the latest in a batch of documents believed to have been hacked from DNC computers earlier this year.

Wikileaks published the latest batch, but on Sunday, Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said “experts” believed the Russian government may have played a role, even claiming their motive was to help elect Donald Trump.

“What’s disturbing to us is that experts are telling us Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails, and other experts are now saying that the Russians are releasing these emails for the purpose of actually of helping Donald Trump,” Mook told CNN.

In June, Wasserman Schultz called the breach a “serious incident” and said Crowdstrike, a cybersecurity firm brought in by the DNC, had “moved as quickly as possible to kick out the intruders and secure our network”.

The Trump campaign has angrily denied the suggestion that it is being promoted by the Russians, though it has taken a noticeably softer line toward Vladimir Putin than most other western parties and politicians. Crowdstrike experts who examined the first release of hacked emails several weeks ago suggested they bore the hallmarks of a government-sponsored hacking attempt.

More immediately, the Schultz resignation may inflame anger among Sanders supporters, many of whom had resisted the idea that the only way to stop Trump is by supporting Clinton.

The most explosive new revelation from the Wikileaks release was an official’s suggestion that Sanders’ religious faith, or lack thereof, could be flagged as a way to dissuade voters from backing him in Bible belt states.

“I think I read he is an atheist,” the DNC chief financial officer, Brad Marshall, wrote in one email. “This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”

Sanders, who is Jewish, spoke little of religion during the primary, but the sight of a supposedly neutral body apparently seeking to weaken one of its own party candidates caused particular anger among progressives.

Schultz, a congresswoman from Florida who is herself Jewish, is not thought to have been directly involved in this email exchange, but she was seen in other messages writing dismissively of the Sanders campaign.

On Sunday, she said she had discussed her decision with Barack Obama, who appointed her in 2011, and with Clinton, in the interests of helping the party secure the election in November.

“Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish those goals is to step down as party chair at the end of this convention,” Wasserman Schultz said in a statement.

“As party chair, this week I will open and close the convention and I will address our delegates about the stakes involved in this election not only for Democrats, but for all Americans,” she said.

“We have planned a great and unified convention this week and I hope and expect that the DNC team that has worked so hard to get us to this point will have the strong support of all Democrats in making sure this is the best convention we have ever had.”

Earlier, Sanders told ABC: “I think she should resign, period.” “I don’t think she is qualified to be the chair of the DNC,” he added to CNN. “Not just because of these emails, which revealed the prejudice of the DNC, but also because we need a party that reaches out to working people and young people. And I don’t think her leadership style does that.”

The senator’s campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, said the emails proved his suspicion that the party establishment was biased against the Vermont senator.

This spring, Sanders and Wasserman Schultz had clashed over alleged improper access to a DNC voter database, the scheduling of TV debates during the primary campaign and the angry reaction of Sanders supporters to a Nevada nominating convention.

In May, the feud reached such an acrimonious level that the senator promised to support her opponent in the Democratic primary race this fall.

But Democratic leaders praised and thanked Wasserman Schultz in emphatic statements. “For the last eight years,” Obama said in a statement, she “has had my back. This afternoon, I called her to let her know that I am grateful.”

Wasserman Schultz, the President said, “brought Democrats together not just for my re-election campaign, but for accomplishing the shared goals we have had for our country”. Obama also saluted her role in “supporting our economic recovery, our fights for social and civil justice and providing health care for all Americans”.

Clinton paid extensive tribute to a “longtime friend”, adding: “there’s simply no one better at taking the fight to the Republicans than Debbie.”

“I look forward to campaigning with Debbie in Florida and helping her in her re-election bid,” the presumptive Democratic nominee added. “Because as president, I will need fighters like Debbie in Congress who are ready on day one to get to work for the American people.”

Staffers also had praise for the representative, despite the controversy around her. “Regardless of the circumstances, you got to feel for someone who has logged the hours DWS has over the last five years,” a former DNC official told the Guardian. “Leaving under these circumstances is a shame.”

However, the same official pointed out that “no one is elected DNC chair for life. She overstayed her welcome and this result was a matter of time”.

Bernie Sanders.

The former DNC staffer added: “Moving forward, Hillary Clinton has an opportunity to select someone as chair who will complement the ticket and serve as yet another high-level surrogate. Remember, [vice-presidential pick] Tim Kaine served as chair [from 2009-2011] when he was a runner-up in the veepstakes. The candidates Clinton just vetted could all be assets – more so than Wasserman Schultz would have been in the closing months.”

Another former DNC staffer simply told the Guardian that he high-fived former co-workers when he heard the news, which he described as the “best thing to happen to the party committee in years”.

Others revealed even wider schisms within the party. “Wasserman Schultz was a disastrous and divisive chair,” said Lis Smith, a veteran Democratic operative and former deputy campaign manager for Martin O’Malley.

“Her resignation is good news for Democrats, and great news for anyone who believes the DNC needs wholesale reform. Hopefully we can all learn from her little experiment this past primary season and never repeat it as a party.”

John Morgan, a major Democratic donor from Florida and long time critic of Wasserman Schultz, rejected the praise offered her by the President and Clinton. He said in an email that the representative’s leadership “was a gift for Trump, the definition of polarizing”.

Morgan then accused Wasserman Schultz of betraying Clinton in 2008. “She is for herself first, second and third. She was with Hillary until it became apparent Obama was going to win.” He added: “She is not someone you would want in a foxhole with you.”

Trump’s first comment on the scandal came in a tweet contrasting Democratic leadership with that of the RNC chair: “Today proves what I have always known, that Reince Priebus is the tough one and the smart one, not Debbie Wasserman Shultz” [sic].

Give Mahathir a chance to give to “Save Malaysia”


July 25, 2016

Give Mahathir a chance to give to “Save Malaysia”, says Ambassador Dato’ Dennis Ignatius

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com

“There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat.” ~ William Shakespeare

Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir is reportedly in the midst of forming a new political party to take on UMNO and challenge Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. It comes after months of frustrating failure to cajole and shame the party he once led into changing its ways. And it follows on the heels of his “Save Malaysia” campaign that, thus far, has failed to catch fire.

Having effectively taken control of all the levers of state power, Najib remains as entrenched as ever. And, notwithstanding the long list of scandals, he still commands sufficient support within his party as well as amongst key segments of the population to stay afloat.

There is now speculation that Najib might call early elections to consolidate his hold on power following UMNO-BN’s recent by-election victories in Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar. If Najib gains another five years, and there’s a good chance he will given the gross distortions in the voting system, there will be no end in sight for Malaysia’s long nightmare.

Mahathir’s strategy may simply be to divide the Malay-Muslim vote with a new party in order to give a reconstituted opposition coalition under his general stewardship a chance to wrest power away from UMNO-BN or force it to compromise.

The whole country will, no doubt, be watching keenly to see how all this plays out and whether Mahathir will even be able to accomplish the formidable feat of cobbling together an opposition coalition against UMNO-BN.

Is Dr Mahathir the man?

For many, the real issue, however, is not whether UMNO-BN needs to go; that’s already axiomatic. The gnawing question is whether Mahathir is the right person to lead the charge for change.

Many rightly argue that much of the country’s present predicament is due to policies he initiated during his long tenure in office, the crony-capitalist culture he nourished, the people he appointed to high office, the manipulation of race and religion for political purposes.

His disrespect for democratic and other national institutions, particularly when they got in his way, also undermined the nation to such an extent that one man can now defy all the mores of democracy with absolute impunity. In a perfect world, Mahathir’s past record would, of course, disqualify him as a potential saviour.

Time is not on our side

Unfortunately, we don’t inhabit a perfect world. Our nation is deteriorating rapidly. Our democracy is dying. A slew of oppressive laws has effectively curtailed many fundamental rights and freedoms. More are being planned as part of a determined effort to quash all dissent, all criticism, all opposition.

As well, the continuing manipulation of race and religion is slowly but surely edging us towards the abyss. People are jittery. Rumours spread quickly. At this rate, it won’t take much to reach breaking point.

At the same time, our once stable, secular and moderate nation is gradually morphing into a hotbed for extremism and intolerance. Who would have thought that a senior mufti would declare his fellow citizens “kafir harbi” and be defended by senior establishment figures? Who would have thought that dozens of young Malaysians would be sucked into radical jihadi movements?

We have also experienced the first ISIS attack on our homeland and, as the Inspector-General of Police has warned, more attacks are now a possibility. In short, time is not on our side. How long can we continue to spiral downwards and not reach the point of no return?

Mahathir or Najib?

The urgency of the moment compels us all to now consider what was perhaps unthinkable before – looking to Mahathir, as bitter a pill to swallow as that may be for some.

Mahathir may not be the ideal candidate to lead the charge for change but, like it or not, he is now the only one with the experience, the standing and the gravitas to seriously challenge UMNO-BN.

Of course, it’s a sad commentary of where we are as a nation but the stark choice before us is Mahathir, warts and all, or the prospect of sliding further into a failed state overwhelmed by corruption, racial division and religious extremism. These are desperate times; we simply do not have the luxury of better options, more democratic leaders or more perfect men. It’s Mahathir or Najib; take your pick.

Even Anwar Ibrahim, who has arguably suffered more at the hands of Mahathir than anyone else, considers Mahathir’s latest move a “positive step.” If Anwar is willing to put aside his own grievances against Mahathir for the sake of the greater national interest, can we do any less?

Furthermore, the fact that the UMNO-BN propaganda machine is now working overtime to discredit Mahathir’s new party, even before it is launched, is a sure sign that they are worried and afraid, and that says something about its potential.

After all, UMNO’s nightmare has always been a strong Malay-Muslim leader at the head of a united multiracial opposition; that’s why Anwar was seen as such a threat and that’s why Mahathir might be able to do what others can’t.

And finally, although he is loathe to admit it, one wonders if now, in the winter of his life, Mahathir finally sees the folly of his policies, and wants to make it right. At 91, this may well be his last chance to redeem himself, his legacy and the country along with it. As he has made clear, he is not seeking to regain power for himself but to ensure that our system of governance is brought back on track.

He should given that chance.We don’t need to overlook the past but we do need to empower him with our qualified support so that he can hopefully change the future.

Getting it right this time

If there’s anything that can be learned from the now stalled “Save Malaysia” campaign, it is that simply focusing on ousting Najib from office – which has been Mahathir’s main goal – is insufficient in itself to generate the kind of mass support that is needed to decisively win an election.

The very process of negotiating a coalition with PKR, DAP and Amanah to face the next elections will in itself force Mahathir to compromise in order to reach agreement on a broader and more acceptable agenda for national renewal.

A clear and unequivocal commitment to our democratic and secular constitution, to institutional reform, to justice and equality, and to fighting the cancer of corruption that is destroying our nation will undoubtedly be part of the mix.

And what better opportunity to revive Mahathir’s own, now forgotten, vision of “Bangsa Malaysia” where all of Malaysia’s diverse peoples, cultures and faiths are treated with respect and dignity.

Whatever it is, unless Mahathir lays before the people a clear alternative to the tired and discredited policies of UMNO-BN, overcoming the traditional caution and inertia of the electorate might prove difficult. An honest and realistic vision, something to hope for, something to rally around, on the other hand, might just unleash the kind of groundswell that will propel the opposition to power.

Last chance for change

All those who want to see change must now consider putting aside whatever reservations they might have about Mahathir and support him at this critical hour in our nation’s history. There are, of course, no guarantees that everything will work out the way we want but under the present circumstances, he represents the only hope there is for change.

Sometimes, a glimmer of hope, a sliver of a chance, is all one gets.

Dennis Ignatius is a veteran of the Malaysian Foreign Service and has served in London, Beijing and Washington besides serving as High Commissioner for Malaysia to Canada from 2001 to June 2008.

 

America would be Trump’s banana republic


July 24, 2016

America would be Trump’s banana republic

by Fareed Zakaria

http://www.thewashingtonpost.com

Over the years, I have watched campaigns in third world countries in which one candidate accuses the other of being a criminal, sometimes even threatening to jail his opponent once elected. But I cannot recall this happening in any Western democracy until this week. The Republican convention has been colorful and chaotic, but above all, it has been consumed by a vigilante rage, complete with mock prosecutors, show trials and chanting mobs. The picture presented to the world has been of America as a banana republic.

We have descended so far so fast that it is sometimes difficult to remember that this is not normal. It was only eight years ago that the Republican nominee, John McCain, interrupted one of his supporters who claimed that Barack Obama was an Arab and thus suspicious to explain that his opponent was in fact “a decent family man [and] citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues.”

Contrast that with the tenor of this campaign, which has been set from the top by Donald Trump, who has repeatedly insisted that Hillary Clinton deserves to be in jail. He even promised that were he elected, his Attorney General would reopen the books and “take a very good look” at possibly indicting her, himself having concluded that she is “guilty as hell.” That might have happened in a Latin American country — 30 years ago.

The (just concluded Republican) convention (in Cleveland, Ohio) has been dominated by hatred of Clinton because it is the party’s only unifying idea right now. People have chosen a candidate who does not believe in the ideology that has inspired Republican leaders for decades — free markets and free trade, low taxes, limited government, deregulation, welfare state reform and an expansionist foreign policy.

In a breathtaking interview with the New York Times, Trump announced that he might not honor NATO’s guarantee of security to the United States’ European allies, practically inviting Vladimir Putin to destabilize Eastern Europe. That is a break not just with seven decades of Republican foreign policy but also with a core American commitment that has kept the peace since 1945. It is the most reckless statement made by a presidential candidate in modern times.

And yet, it is hardly surprising. Trump doesn’t even pretend to have an ideology. His main idea is that he is great, and if the country elects him, he will make it greater. “Share my glory,” cries Evita in the Andrew Lloyd Webber production, which is what Trump promises his supporters as well. It is ironic that Trump rails against Latino immigrants given that his campaign seems to mirror those of Latin America’s Peronists, believing in the strongman above any set of ideas.

The Peronist feel is reinforced by the cringe worthy emphasis on Trump’s children, who were filmed throughout the convention smiling beatifically and waving at adoring crowds from the royal box. (Bill Maher makes a similar point.) In good dynastic fashion, they are his key deputies in business and the campaign. As The Post pointed out, “there are as many Trumps speaking . . . as sitting senators.” In fact, a highlight of every evening has been a speech by a member of the family. And while the family got pride of place, Trump retainers were also showcased. Not one of the Republican Party’s five living former nominees (two of whom were presidents) spoke, but the manager of Trump Winery got a nice slot, as did an assistant to the kids.

The Republican Party has given itself up to a single family and its business interests. Its convention has become a prime-time platform for the enhancement of that family’s fame and fortune. Whatever happens to the party, the country and the world, the Trump brand will come out of this election with even greater global celebrity… Fareed  Zakaria

The Republican Party has given itself up to a single family and its business interests. Its convention has become a prime-time platform for the enhancement of that family’s fame and fortune. Whatever happens to the party, the country and the world, the Trump brand will come out of this election with even greater global celebrity, and thus with many more possibilities to affix its name to condos, golf clubs, suits and phony self-improvement courses. In fact, win or lose, one consequence of this election could be that, finally, Donald Trump will be worth what he claims.