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The Clamoring Masses Give Thanks for Trump U

It's a minor part of the Trump University swindle saga. But one of the most humorous parts of it is Trump's continued reference to the 98% satisfaction rating given by students of 'Trump University'. They even gave emphatic video testimonials saying how great Trump University was! Now, there's been abundant reporting on the pressure tactics 'students' received to give rave reviews - begging, hounding, guilting, threatening or just whether or not you'd give a good grade to the person whose support you were relying on to help you get rich. But step back. Does anything get a 98% approval ratings? Anything? Trump University was basically the North Korea of student evaluations.

Only in the Trump universe would this be a positive rather than comical.

How Long Can They Sustain This?

As Lauren Fox explains here, Trump has managed to shatter the fragile and improbable unity Republicans achieved after he clinched the GOP nomination last month. As of today, he seems to have achieved something even more impressive. A who's who of Republican elected officials over the last 36 hours have openly said Trump's attacks are "racist" and "unforgivable" and yet they will continue to support him. Because they need him to be president.

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Bernie Sanders should drop out and endorse Hillary Clinton. Period.

Bernie Sanders may win California today, but whether or not he does, he won’t have enough delegates to deny the nomination to Hillary Clinton. But Sanders says he is going to carry the fight to the convention, and his campaign talks of prying loose super-delegates and waging platform battles. I voted for Sanders in the primary, so perhaps I can offer advice that rises above the partisan clamor: drop out of the race, give Clinton your full support, and train your sights on Donald Trump, who thinks a judge whose parents were from Mexico, and who was born in Indiana, is not an American.

Sanders had a commendable political agenda, and he can return to it with some authority after November if Clinton wins and he becomes the Budget Chair. But a convention

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Low Dollar, Same Grift

There are two things Donald Trump is notorious for in the business world - one is simple bullying as a business tactic, another is cheating people out of money they're owed and then making the 'deal' stick by grinding the counter-parties down with the promise of endless litigation. As Times columnist Joe Nocera puts it, in the business world Trump "is notorious for refusing to pay full price to contractors and vendors after they’ve completed work for him. And he basically dares the people he has stiffed to sue him, knowing that his deep pockets and bevy of lawyers give him a big advantage over those who feel wronged by him." Both traits or patterns of behavior are surprisingly good guides to Trump's presidential campaign.

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Introducing Our New Series on the Privatization Movement

Today we are excited to announce a new feature series on privatization, one of the most significant, far-reaching and little understood trends in American politics, society and economics of the last half century. As we did in our earlier series on the rise of inequality, we've commissioned four in-depth articles looking at the issue from numerous of vantage points: the history of privatization, including its political and ideological origins, a look at key privatized industries like the so-called "corrections industry", public-private partnerships and more. Here's my introduction to the series. We look forward to your feedback and hope you enjoy it.

Caught Out

The start of the week brings us a raft of latter-day Trump endorsers who now have the look of a base-runner caught between 1st and 2nd after a miracle line drive catch. They already committed; no easy way back.

Part of this is the reaction to Trump's escalating round of racist tirades against the federal judge presiding over the complex, far-ranging and increasingly damning fraud lawsuits brought against him. But there's another part of the equation garnering much less attention. Just after Trump clinched the nomination, his head to head poll numbers against Hillary Clinton surged. May horse race polls are erratic and often misleading. We shouldn't read too much into them. But people do read a lot into them. And there's little doubt that seeing Trump go from what seemed like a sure loser to a maybe winner helped a lot of Republican elected officials get over the hump and come out in favor of Trump as their nominee.

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