Saturday, June 16, 2018

Donald the Despot

Trump says he wants "his people" to ‘sit up to attention’ the way North Koreans do for Kim Jong-un.

When The Hollywood Reporter published an interview with Alec Baldwin, who, when asked how much longer he planned to play Trump on "Saturday Night Live," said doing the bit had become "like agony."

The USA has been sliding into despotism since Richard Nixon was President.

Trump actually attempted to begin the day with the Baldwin jab, but because that initial effort was strewn with typos -- "Alex [sic] Baldwin" ... "dieing [sic]" -- someone deleted it and that someone tweeted an edited version about 25 minutes later.

What gives with the Donald?

A nuance is a small difference in sound, feeling, appearance, or meaning.

This difficulty exists for some persons of affluence as well as many homeless persons.

The nuances and the difficulties processing them are well illustrated by the study of persons with mental retardation who often exhibit difficulties in particular areas. Poor social skills; may miss nuances, may miss meaning of social cues, display limited savvy (i.e., intellect, persistence, and ability to recognize nuances).

As a youth, Trump had difficulty in learning effectively in regular classrooms and made social misjudgments. His difficulties with adaptive skills, and other problems developed well before the age of eighteen.

Sometimes, the way something is written can change its very ideas. Nuance, or subtle differences in meaning, completely escapes the Donald. After all, reality is highly nuanced and difficult to capture in a relatively simple and small set of words.

Every year thousands begin their new life as a cadet in military high schools. These boarding schools provide them with strict but limited foundation to build upon for their adult lives.

New cadets learn how to make their own beds, shine their own shoes, walk, respect superiors, and experience regimented study. No part of their daily schedule is left unsupervised.

Cultural nuances may be missed in public high schools. Cultural nuances are nowhere to be found in most military high schools. The nuance of Donald's incorrect sword placement is noteworthy.

At least Donald the Despot finished high school - after 5 years at the New York Military Academy High School. Donny's fists reveal his discomfort. Notice NYMA is an organization [.org] and not an educational institution [.edu]

Friday, June 15, 2018

New York sues Trump over his 'self-dealing' charity

(Reuters) - The New York state attorney general sued Donald Trump, three of his children and his foundation on Thursday, saying Trump illegally used the nonprofit as a personal “checkbook” for his own benefit, including his 2016 presidential campaign.

Barbara Underwood, the attorney general, asked a state judge to dissolve the Donald J. Trump Foundation and to ban Trump, his sons Donald Jr. and Eric, and his daughter Ivanka from holding leadership roles in New York charities.

The three children joined the foundation’s board in 2006, although Ivanka stepped down to work at the White House in 2017.

Underwood said her office’s 21-month investigation uncovered “extensive unlawful political coordination” by the foundation with Trump’s campaign, as well as “repeated and willful self-dealing” to benefit Trump’s personal, business and political interests.

Among the transactions the lawsuit cited as illegal was a $10,000 payment to the Unicorn Children’s Foundation for a portrait of Trump purchased at a fundraising auction in 2014.

The portrait would end up decorating a wall at Trump’s Doral golf resort near Miami, the Washington Post reported.

Another $100,000 went to another charity in 2007 to settle a legal dispute over a flagpole erected in violation of local ordinances at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s private club and sometime residence in Palm Beach, Florida.

"Mr. Trump ran the Foundation according to his whim, rather than the law."

Trump blasts New York lawsuit: 'I won't settle this case!'

The lawsuit, filed on Trump’s 72nd birthday in the state Supreme Court in Manhattan, seeks $2.8 million of restitution plus penalties, a 10-year ban on Trump serving as a director of a New York nonprofit, and one-year bans for his children.

“As our investigation reveals, the Trump Foundation was little more than a checkbook for payments from Mr. Trump or his businesses… regardless of their purpose or legality,” Underwood said in a statement. “That is not how private foundations should function.”

The foundation had no employees, had never written a required protocol for disbursing funds and its board of directors, which “existed in name only,” had not met since 1999, the lawsuit said.

During the 2016 presidential race, Trump frequently derided a charity run by the family of Hillary Clinton, saying [without proof] that the former secretary of state gave favorable treatment to the Clinton Foundation’s wealthy donors.

Both Clinton and the Clinton Foundation, best known for helping to lower the cost of HIV drugs in the developing world, dismissed those attacks.

The Trump Foundation issued a statement criticizing the latest lawsuit as “politics at its very worst” and accusing the attorney general of holding its $1.7 million in remaining funds “hostage for political gain.”

The lawsuit challenges the Trump Foundation’s role in an Iowa fundraiser for military veterans that Trump organized in 2016 instead of taking part in one of the Republican debates.

Some $2.8 million went to the foundation, the lawsuit said, and the foundation wrongly ceded control of those funds to Trump’s campaign staff, who wrongly disbursed grants at campaign rallies for Trump’s political benefit.

Tax-exempt nonprofit groups are legally required to avoid partisan politics.

The lawsuit said Corey Lewandowski, then Trump’s campaign manager, directed some of the funds to be disbursed in Iowa shortly before its caucuses, where voters from the state gather in the first electoral competition to choose parties’ presidential nominees. Lewandowski, who is not a target of the lawsuit, did not respond to a request for comment.

Paul S. Ryan, head of litigation at Common Cause, a nonpartisan watchdog group in Washington, said the New York filing provides details of actions that could also violate a federal ban on campaigns funneling “soft money” through nonprofits.

“This involvement of the Trump campaign in the foundation’s disbursements right before the Iowa caucuses may very well violate the campaign finance law soft money ban,” Ryan said in an interview.

The attorney general said she also sent letters about possible breaches of federal law to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and Internal Revenue Service. Both agencies declined to comment.

Thursday, June 14, 2018


Today, Mary Shelley's classic tale collides with Donald Trump.

Two hundred years after its publication in January 1818, Frankenstein still speaks to us directly as a myth about political life.

Trump, like the monster, now speaks to the GOP:
“You are my creator, but I am your master; Obey!

Putin assisted in the creation of this monster. He “trumped up” one more terrifying and menacing than any that has appeared in horror films: Trumpenstein!

"To rouse its voters, the GOP exploited hate, anger, and paranoia—and set the stage for the tycoon."

Notably, Putin is not the only ones to blame for this invention. Like his predecessor Frankenstein, Trumpenstein needed an energy source. Inspired by the prototype, Fox News joined the experiment. Who else could easily provide the high-voltage power and interconnected network needed to supply energy to such a contraption? Given life support through the electricity of Fox News, Trumpenstein has emerged as a dangerous monster.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Praise for Trump

For Donald Trump, calling someone a loser is not merely an insult, and calling someone a winner is not merely a compliment. His world is ‘those who take’ and ‘those who are taken.’ His win is someone's loss.

This is obvious in most of Trump’s books.

Of course, trying to make sense of Trump’s books is a fool’s errand. They contradict each other frequently, and often contradict themselves — like Trump.

No one can deny: Trump praises Trump!

Trump loves Putin because in Putin's world, you can lose your LIFE.

Trump and Putin -- peanut butter and jelly.

Trump believes in the world is a fundamental zero-sum game. Life is dealmaking, and dealmaking is about crushing your enemies.

Anybody who is not on board with Trump/Putin is a loser.

"You hear lots of people say that a great deal is when both sides win," he writes in Think Big and Kick Ass, co-authored with Bill Zanker. "That is a bunch of crap. In a great deal you win — not the other side. You crush the opponent and come away with something better for yourself." To "crush the other side and take the benefits," he declares, is "better than sex — and I love sex."

Trump came up in New York real estate. In Manhattan real estate, wealth is not created by offering new products that make consumers’ lives better. There is only so much land, and strict building regulations and permitting. You make money through skirting regulations and getting the rights to build on a valuable parcel, while other people don’t.

It’s an area of business characterized by economists as "rent-seeking." A "rent," in economic terms, is income received not because you’re creating something of value but because you control something that’s scarce due to policy decisions. The classical example is literal rent. Money you receive because you own a parcel of land doesn’t come to you because you’re producing a valuable good; it comes because the current system of property rights gives you a right to charge people rent to occupy a small part of that spot.

And here is a secret: Trump is not Manhattan, Trump is Brooklyn!

As a landlord, Donald Trump has made his living through maximizing rents. He does not create wealth; he takes it from others. And he has taken it upon himself not just to make money from real estate but to tell the world that his limited experience in real estate shows he knows how the world works.

Trump lays out a vision of the world based on his own limited business world, one that mistakes the absolute worst, most dysfunctional parts of the American economy for bad rent.

Well, Donald, you CAN be too greedy -- but NOT too stupid.

So go praise yourself, mr. trumpster in the dumpster. Few others will.