CURRENT EVENTS QUIZ REGARDING HISTORICAL PARALLELS

Who said this? My measures will not be crippled by any bureaucracy. Here I don’t have to worry about Justice; my mission is only to destroy and to exterminate; nothing more.

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Hermann Goering

Who said this? Shoot first and inquire afterwards, and if you make mistakes, I will protect you.

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Hermann Goering

Who said this? Guns will make us powerful; butter will only make us fat.

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Hermann Goering

Who said this? The people were merely to acknowledge the authority or leader, or, let us say, to declare themselves in agreement with the leader?

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Hermann Goering

Who said this? The only one who really knows about the Congress is I, because I set it on fire!

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Hermann Goering

Who later said this in reference to the Congress? “I had nothing to do with it. I deny this absolutely. I can tell you in all honesty!

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Herman Goering

Who said this? I especially denounce the terrible mass murders, which I cannot understand … I never ordered any killing or tortures where I had the power to prevent such actions!

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Herman Goering

Who said this? I know you want to study me psychologically. That’s reasonable and I appreciate it. At least you don’t lecture to me and pry into my affairs. You have a good technique as a psychiatrist. Let the other fellow talk and stick his neck into the noose. I don’t mean that the way it sounds. But you hardly say anything. Someday I’m going to ask you questions.

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Hermann Goering

Who said this? Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Hermann Goering

 

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

The Nuremberg Interviews (2004)[edit]

  • What do I care about danger? I’ve sent soldiers and airmen to death against the enemy — why should I be afraid?
    • To Leon Goldensohn (15 March 1946)
  • Hitler decided that. I thought it was stupid because I believed that first we had to defeat England.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, about attacking Russia (15 March 1946)
  • No. It was the last hours and he (Hitler) was under pressure. If I could have seen him personally it would have been different.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, after being asked if he felt any resentment toward Hitler (15 March 1946)
  • I know you want to study me psychologically. That’s reasonable and I appreciate it. At least you don’t lecture to me and pry into my affairs. You have a good technique as a psychiatrist. Let the other fellow talk and stick his neck into the noose. I don’t mean that the way it sounds. But you hardly say anything. Someday I’m going to ask you questions.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (21 May 1946)
  • I have always been interested in family history. Chromosomes are funny things, aren’t they? They may skip a generation and you can find children who resemble the grandfather, rather than either parent. Heredity is more important than environment. Blood will tell. For example, a man is either musical by heredity or he is not. You can’t make a man musical by the environment. You can find a person who is very musically inclined and be puzzled because neither parents nor grandparents had any ear for music. But if you trace it back, you will find that the great-grandfather was a musician. But the environment plays a great part in the development of a man. It is significant whether a man is brought up in the city or in the country, near a lake or on the shores of the ocean.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (21 May 1946)
  • In Berlin Jews controlled almost one hundred percent of the theaters and cinemas before the rise to power.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (21 May 1946)
  • Hitler had the willpower of a demon and he needed it. If he didn’t have such a strong willpower he couldn’t have achieved anything. Don’t forget, if Hitler had not lost the war, if he did not have to fight against the combination of big powers like England, America, and Russia — each one he could have conquered individually — these defendants and these generals would now be saying, ‘Heil Hitler,’ and would not be so damn critical.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (24 May 1946)
  • To me there are two Hitlers: one who existed until the end of the French war; the other begins with the Russian campaign. In the beginning he was genial and pleasant. He would have extraordinary willpower and unheard-of influence on people. The important thing to remember is that the first Hitler, the man who I knew until the end of the French war, had much charm and goodwill. He was always frank. The second Hitler, who existed from the beginning of the Russian campaign until his suicide, was always suspicious, easily upset, and tense. He was distrustful to an extreme degree.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (24 May 1946)
  • I am a man who is basically opposed to atrocities or ungentlemanly actions. In 1934, I promulgated a law against vivisection. You can see, therefore, that if I disapprove of the experimentation on animals, how could I possibly be in favor of torturing humans? The prosecution says that I had something to do with the freezing experiments which were performed in the concentration camps under the auspices of the air force. That is pure nonsense! I was much too busy to know about these medical experiments, and if anybody had asked me, I would have disapproved violently. It must have been Himmler who thought up these stupid experiments, although I think he shirked his responsibility by committing suicide. I am not too unhappy about it because I would not particularly enjoy sitting on the same bench with him. The same is true of that drunken Robert Ley, who did us a favor by hanging himself before the trial started. He was not going to be any advantage for us defendants when he took the stand.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (24 May 1946)
  • The atrocities are, for me, the most horrible part of the accusation in this trial. They thought that I took it lightly or laughed about it or some such nonsense, in court. That is definitely a mistake. I am the type of person who is naturally against such things and my own psychological reaction is to laugh or smile in the face of adversity. Perhaps that explains my attitude in court. Besides, I was not to blame for these horrors. It’s not just that I am a hard man because of my long experience in the army and in politics. It’s true that I saw plenty in the First World War and during the air raids and at the front in this war. But I was always a person who felt the suffering of others. To paint me as an unfeeling ogre who laughs in court at the atrocities is stupid.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (24 May 1946)
  • All nonsense. Nobody knows the real Göring. I am a man of many parts, but the autobiography, what does that tell you? Nothing. And those books put out by the party press, they are less than useless.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (27 May 1946)
  • I think that women are wonderful but I’ve never met one yet who didn’t show more feeling than logic.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (27 May 1946)
  • If I didn’t have a sense of humor, how could I stand this trial now?
    • To Leon Goldensohn (27 May 1946)
  • In the first place I’m sure Hitler did not write that damned testament himself. Probably some swine like Bormann wrote it for him. But I don’t see what is so terrible in the testament when you examine it, anyway. There was Berlin, bombed every minute. The noise of artillery from the lousy Russians, the American and British bombers overhead. Maybe Hitler was a trifle unbalanced by all that. If he wrote the testament at such a time, it was hysteria. But essentially, what difference does it make?
    • To Leon Goldensohn (27 May 1946)
  • I have to laugh when the English claim they are such a wonderful nation. Everyone knows that Englishmen are really Germans, that the English kings were German, and that in Russia the emperors were either of German origin or received their education in Germany.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (28 May 1946)
  • The Russians are primitive folk. Besides, Bolshevism is something that stifles individualism and which is against my inner nature. Bolshevism is worse than National Socialism — in fact, it can’t be compared to it. Bolshevism is against private property, and I am all in favor of private property. Bolshevism is barbaric and crude, and I am fully convinced that that atrocities committed by the Nazis, which incidentally I knew nothing about, were not nearly as great or as cruel as those committed by the Communists. I hate the Communists bitterly because I hate the system. The delusion that all men are equal is ridiculous. I feel that I am superior to most Russians, not only because I am a German but because my cultural and family background are superior. How ironic it is that crude Russian peasants who wear the uniforms of generals now sit in judgment on me. No matter how educated a Russian might be, he is still a barbaric Asiatic. Secondly, the Russian generals and the Russian government planned a war against Germany because we represented a threat to them ideologically. In the German state, I was the chief opponent of Communism. I admit freely and proudly that it was I who created the first concentration camps in order to put Communists in them. Did I ever tell you that funny story about how I sent to Spain a ship containing mainly bricks and stones, under which I put a single layer of ammunition which had been ordered by the Red government in Spain? The purpose of that ship was to supply the waning Red government with munitions. That was a good practical joke and I am proud of it because I wanted with all my heart to see Russian Communism in Spain defeated finally.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (28 May 1946)

 

Trump and Hitler- Five Months of Power! June 12, 2017

Donald Trump has been president for 142 days since his inauguration on January 20th, 2017. Look how many opportunities the country had to stop this unfit brigand from taking office! He could have been stopped in the Republican primaries. They had the “goods” on Trump. They were well aware of his adultery, his involvements with nefarious bankers, crime syndicates, gambling interests, his bankruptcies, his vulgarities, and his contradictory statements. They could have used volumes of testimony and evidence regarding his scandals. But, they were cowed by his threat to run a third party race against their eventual nominee, assuring the election of Hillary Clinton. But, what of the Democrats? They had the same information on Trump! Did they secretly want to run against this unfit, unqualified and unhinged bounder? Yes, assuredly so! I warned people that letting this criminal anywhere near the nomination was a risk. But, the Democrats were afraid that if they went after Trump with leaks during the primary campaign, someone like Governor Kasich could win the nomination, and he could be much more difficult to defeat. They felt assured that he would be the easiest to expose, ridicule and defeat. In fact, in each of the debates, he reflected his ineptitude, his lack of knowledge, discipline and incompetence. He even could have been stopped in the Electoral College. But, as he famously stated, in probably the only true statement he has uttered in eighteen months, when he stated on January 24, 2016, “I could shoot someone and not lose any voters.”

In the same way, Hitler could have been killed at the Munich Beer Putsch in 1923, assassinated while he was in prison writing Mein Kampf, defeated in 1932 election, by a coalition of the leftist forces in Germany, or even stopped by the French numerous times up and through the Nazi invasion of Poland. How the world would be different.

But, look at what we are facing today, 142 days into the Trump Administration! Lies, more lies and more broken, empty promises. What is the historical parallel with Hitler and 150 days into his regime!

In William Shirer’s massive study of Nazi Germany, “The Rise and Fall of the 3rd Reich,” on page 205, he writes, almost 150 days after Hitler assumed power on January 30, 1933, “ For (Hitler) him the Nazi socialist slogans had been merely propaganda, means of winning over the masses on his way to power. Now that he had the power he was uninterested in them. He needed time to consolidate his position and that of the country. For the moment at least the Right – business, the Army, the President (Hindenburg)-must be appeased.”

In the same vein, it seems with Trump’s healthcare initiative which will deprive 24 millions of health care coverage, his cuts in the social safety net, his deregulation efforts through executive orders, his opposition to banking and consumer regulations in the Dodd-Frank laws, his attacks on Planned Parenthood and women’s healthcare and his sponsoring of tax cuts for the rich, including his opposition to the Federal Inheritance law, are eerily similar to Nazi aims, policies and actions.

Of course, with the extreme elements on the left and the more idealist of the Nazis in Germany, embodied by Ernst Roehm, there was a call for a 2nd Revolution. For whatever he was worth, he embodied the millions of poor and disillusioned Germans who wanted reform and relief from the ravages of the past! Maybe, in the same sense, as it happened in Russia with the overthrown of Alexander Kerensky by Lenin and the Soviets, Shirer continues is narrative! Hitler made it plain in a speech to the S.A and the S.S. leaders, on July 1, 1933 approximately 150 days into his regime; the following; ‘What was needed now in Germany,’ he said, “was order.” He continued, “I will suppress every effort to disturb the existing order as ruthlessly as I will deal with the so-called second revolution, which would lead only to chaos!”

The parallels from 1933 to today are eerily and frightfully similar. He went on to offer olive branches to assure the leaders of business and the military that he was in their corner. Don’t we see that with Trump today? Eventually, almost one year to the day, on June 30, 1934, Hitler ordered and participated in the murder of his rival Ernst Roehm, as he then went on to dismantle the power of the S.A. From then on he controlled the Reichstag (their rump, Nazi-dominated Congress), the military, the secret police, the Courts, as he dismantled the press, the unions and the power of the Church. Can we afford to wait another year with Trump? I say no!

 

Trump, Kushner, the Russians and the Next Chapter of Dirty Money, Black Mail, and Treason! Fall of 2018

Of course, each day as the news becomes worse for the King of Self’s motley crew, and his family of criminals, worthless scoundrels and money-launderers, we still are fascinated that the MAGA Moron loyalists will defend the King until after he has been sent packing.

Aside from guilty pleas from Flynn, Papadopoulos, Gates, and an encyclopedic indictment of Manafort, which continues to grow, the indictment of thirteen Russians and the continuing revelations regarding Jared Kushner’s inability to get security clearance and the reports of his duplicity with foreign powers, the denials from the lunatic fringe right continues. But, who are the King’s greatest loyalists, Wayne LaPierre, and his NRA, who represent the Merchants of Death industry, the Evangelical hypocrites, who want to turn America into a theocracy and return women to that status of being bare foot and pregnant, the neo-fascists who hate everyone who looks different and prays to a different deity, and his small group and shrinking group of yes men, acolytes and hirelings that he continues to plant in his nepotistic inner circle at the White House.

But, what is next? Will it be Americans exposed and tied to the Russian spymasters and hackers? Will it be connections between the King and the WikiLeaks hacking of the DNC? Will it be Roger Stone and his connections with the Russians and Julian Assange?

The King of Self met the Russian Ambassador in 1986, according to his own book, the ghost-written “Art of the Deal.” He’s been involved since those days. He started with the Soviets and then moved on to other projects like the Plaza Hotel which he lost in bankruptcies in 1991 and 1992. By then he got re-involved, with the Vector Group, a holding group that then owned a Russian cigarette company and now owns Douglas Elliman, which helps wealthy Russians seeking property in the United States.

Trump bragged about his plans in January 1997, when he and Eric Lorber met visiting Russian politician Aleksandr Lebed in New York. A 1997 New Yorker article of Trump captured their exchange and showed the breadth of Trump’s hopes for Moscow investment and business connections.

“We are actually looking at something in Moscow right now, and it would be skyscrapers and hotels, not casinos. Only quality stuff. . . . And we’re working with the local government, the mayor of Moscow, and the mayor’s people. So far, they’ve been very responsive. . . . I always go into the center.”

“If you didn’t target the Russian billionaires, then you shouldn’t be in the business,” said Dolly Lenz, a former Douglas Elliman broker, wrote in 2008. Lenz told USA Today that in 2016 that she had brokered deals for about 65 apartments in Manhattan’s Trump World Tower to Russian buyers. “They all wanted to meet Donald,” she said.  One magnet for Russian money was a private resort called Fisher Island in Biscayne Bay, just off Miami. Lorber has been a director of the Oceanside at Fisher Island Condominium Association since 2000 and is currently a director of the Fisher Island Club.

Among Fisher Island’s many Soviet-born property owners have been Aras Agalarov, a Russian-Azerbaijani magnate who sponsored Trump’s Miss Universe 2013 pageant and whose pop-singer son Emin organized the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower; and Felix Sater, a Russian-born former adviser to Trump who worked with the Bayrock Group that helped develop the Trump SoHo project in New York.  Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg that Counsel Mueller and his team are investigating.

The next chapter, which most probably will be written, is about dirty money, black mail, extortion and very possibly treason. What deal did Putin make or force on the King? Was it for the lifting of Sanctions, a free hand in the Ukraine, influence in Syria and a blind-eye towards the independence of the Baltic States from the Russian bear?

Any MAGA Moron denier that continues to say, that there is no there, there, is delusional They are anchored to a very heavy rock, in fact a boulder, which is going to the bottom and will drag all the Trumpinistas to Davy Jones’ Locker.

Woman, Woman, Women 8-15-18

Only in America can we have the blind, deaf, and dumb post pictures of the First Couple as an example of marital fidelity. Here are two adulterers who probably hate each other, walking hand and hand, to oblivion. What an ideal, story book, social history is behind this idyllic coupling!

But, first, let’s look at the Borgia-Style Trump crime Family!  The King of Self’s number one princess should be analyzed first! What qualifications did she bring to the White House? She ran a possible money-laundering jewelry business, funded by her old man, the King. She’s married to the son of a felon, whose father framed his own brother, and went to Federal prison. He, of course, has his own nefarious record with laundered money, as he solicited financing while in the White House, and is a big slum-lord in Baltimore. Of course, Princess Ivanka, is the daughter of his first foreign wife, a visa violator, who he beat up, and sexually attacked, after she left his bed. Why did she do that? Well, he was cheating with his girlfriend Marla Maples. Maples is the mother of their illegitimate daughter, Tiffany, not long after their marriage. What happened to Marla, she signed a non-disclosure and was dumped by the Donald weeks before her pre-nuptial agreement was to expire. But, of course, he was cheating with his third wife, another illegal alien, who had violated her visa, worked illegally in America, and was a Sapphic, nude model, who has been accused of being an Escort Queen. In 1996, she moved to New York City, living in an apartment in Zeckendorf Tower, Union Square with a roommate, photographer Matthew Atanian.  She did at least ten paid modeling jobs in the U.S. in the seven weeks before she received legal permission to work in the country. Where are her 1099’s, who paid her rent, did she pay taxes? Where was the promised press conference on her duplicitous statements on her travels back and forth to her homeland?

But, what of her parents? Why and how are they living here? I thought the King of Self was against “Chain Migration!” So, aside from his cheating on both his first wives, he has now been exposed as cheating with at least two women, Stormy Daniels and Playmate Bunny Karen McDougal. Of course, he is being sued for sexual harassment and he has been accused by 19 women for all levels of sexual harassment, which covers the gambit from grabbing, fondling, kissing and more.

Women, Women, Women!

Trump has got a problem!

  1. Three wives
  2. Two visas violators
  3. Ivana Zelnickova Trump
  4. Melania Knauss Trump
  5. One Sex trade Worker
  6. Melania Knauss
  7. Two adulterers
  8. Marla Maples Trump
  9. Melania Knauss Trump
  10. Two sexual affairs paid off by Cohen
  11. Karen McDougal- she’s suing him
  12. Stormy Daniels-she’s suing him and has tapes
  13. Nineteen women accusers of sexual attacks
  14. Kristan Anders
  15. Mariah Billado
  16. Lisa Boyne
  17. Rachel Crook
  18. Tasha Dixon
  19. Jessica Drake
  20. Jill Harth
  21. Cathy Heller
  22. Samantha Holvery
  23. Ninni Laaksoner
  24. Jessica Leeds
  25. Melinda McGillivray
  26. Cassanda Searles
  27. Natasha Stoynoff
  28. Bridget Sullivan
  29. Temple Taggart
  30. Ivana Trump
  31. Karena Virginia
  32. Summer Zervos
  33. Two White House Women
  34. Hope Hicks
  35. Omarosa Manigault-Newman- she’s got tapes
  36. Miss Teen USA
  37. Leering in the locker room
  38. Bragging about it
  39. Rape Case of a 13 year old
  40. Katie Johnson
  41. Rape case of an adult
  42. Jean Carrol

The King of Self and His Stale Television Act! 11-13-18

Most of the thinking public assume Donald Trump was anxious to deflect and mute the image in Michael Wolff’s book that he is an unfit brigand, mentally ill-equipped and possibly certifiable. On Tuesday, he allowed a diverse, bipartisan meeting, reflective to attend a White House confab about immigration to be televised for nearly an hour. As usual it was the put-on farce that this unprincipled so-called, “reality star” loves to parade in front of his brain-dead supporters.

Surely, he thought that he would be able to demonstrate to the planet his balanced and learned grasp of the issues and his relish for accommodation with his political adversaries. Of course, in his own account, he knows all, therefore he doesn’t have to read up on anything. In his case, “ignorance is bliss” every time.

But, instead, what came through was the stark reality of a man who had absolutely no idea what he was talking about; a man who says things that are diametrically opposite to the things that he has said before; a man who has no clear avenue of thinking, a man who is over his head, and is willing to prostitute himself to entertain his blind, deaf and dumb followers. In the midst of his mindless agreement with a plausible Democratic proposal, he was interrupted by one of his handlers, Kevin McCarthy, who said basically, “Hold up clown, you have no clue what you are agreeing to!” In clear language, The King of Self exposed himself once again as the untutored buffoon that the world knows.

He demonstrated once again that he is a man without principle, interested only in how good he can make himself look and how much money he can make. Of course, with the King of Self, it is all about himself and his (fetid) image. Everyone with a brain, knows he is playing to the 33% who will eventually pressure the Senate Republicans not to vote for his impeachment.

Yes, he always reflects his basic animosity to people who are different, (women, minorities, etc.) particularly when they question his logic, legitimacy and lack of understanding the simplest issue. As a matter of policy, the whole idea of building a wall, for which Mexico would pay for, was just a feckless, campaign stunt to, once again, please the lemming-like people who grovel to his xenophobic racism.

Trump is not committed to that wall in the least. It is another media prop for the great unwashed, who he promises the world. He is committed only to burnishing his flawed and bloated image, no matter whatever comes of it. Mexico is not going to pay for it, and he knows it. Of course, he believes he can extort the money through other means. If thus is so, he is quite mistaken or delusional.  But, of course, he has always known that the Great Wall of the Donald is not going to be built. Can one just imagine the needs of our country that will be ignored, if that $35 billion was ever spent? Of course, it is just another of his unlimited (6400+ at last counting) lies. Some White House flack must have stuck the phrases “chain migration” and “diversity lottery” into his pea brain. I am sure he has no clue what they mean and stand for. In fact, he couldn’t care less. (his wife’s criminal father is part of “chain migration!”)

But, ironically, he is completely flexible on the issue of actual immigration policy. He doesn’t have the patience or brains for that much reading. Learning about our past and present immigration history would require reading more words than could fit on a tweet.

If Donald Trump followed through with what he initially agreed with his Eurocentric, white nationalistic base will once again be bombastic, Bannon-driven and out for blood, his! He will have proved once again that he was saying anything to keep them angry, even telling lies. He will have reflected once again his unfitness, his lack of qualifications and his unhinged, directionless mentality. And once again, they couldn’t care less

That is because Trump has no real message, except follow me, greed is good, and I am the King. But in this case, and many others, the public is starting to notice that this King has no clothes.

 

Trump and Reality 6-25-19

When I read the bleating of members of the MAGA Moron cult, I am reminded of the Elie Wiesel’s quote, “To remain silent and indifferent is the greatest sin of all.” Thus, all of us should raise our voices, lift ourselves out of our comfortable chairs, use our wits, strength, and our pens to confront this unhinged brigand and his coterie of willing executioners. If only the German people, in the late 1920’s, would have recognized the doom that awaited them through Hitler and his cult of blind followers, who used every excuse to abandon decency, values and the rights of man. I hear these inane explanations and justifications all the time, often from the “Blue Collar” patriots who think everyone else is abusing them. Unfortunately, these folks are quite myopic and cannot see the forest through the trees. In reality, they have no idea who and what dynamics of our society are really at fault.  Never forget the fascist mantra, “The ends justify the means!” Is that why we are treating children on the border like animals? Is it to teach them a lesson in American democracy and charity?

Often these people find their convenient scapegoat in someone who is different, like Barack Obama. Yes, he is, and was, different from Trump.  Yes, he was poor, from a mixed race background. Thus, with that obvious difference, he is a family man, who has never lowered himself to being a profane, foul-mouth bully, a sexual predator, a serial adulterer and an endemic liar. He is a person who actually earned his way into and through of two of the best colleges and actually paid attention and learned something. What was Trump’s excuse? How did Trump transfer into Penn without his father’s largess in creating a real estate discipline? What was his record at Penn? But, why did Trump lie about his education, his grades and his degrees? He never earned an MBA from Wharton, and for sure was never above the bottom of his class. But, was it a lie that Obama was president of the Harvard Law School’s Law Review? No! But, has anyone, we have ever known or heard about, including Nazi Propaganda Minister Dr. Joseph Goebbels, publicly lie at the level of Herr Trump? In other words, amongst his 11,000 lies, in only the past 2.5 years, what hasn’t he lied about in his whole nefarious existence? One could only then discern he is a liar and no dishonest person can ever be trusted, followed or believed in.

Of course, the Carmodys of this world, think that they are the only ones who have ever sweated, toiled with their hands, or have earned the moral high ground. In fact, ever citizen is affected by this boundless, inarticulate, rabble-rousing, fascist wannabe, who will cling to power by using any means at his command. As for his faux patriotism and religious fervor, let us not forget he is an admitted draft-dodger, who after hiring a number of generals into his administration, we found out soon enough that they all left or were fired. Let us also not forget, that this irreligious Barking Cur has never been in a church in his life, except for a wedding or a funeral. In closing, I am reminded of the oft-repeated Samuel Johnson quote, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel!” One could easily add in religion. Even though he claims that the Bible is his favorite book, assuming that this functional illiterate ever read a book, his first wife, who in her now-sealed, divorce statement, after accusing him of beating and raping her, stated, in a signed deposition, that the only book by his bedside was Mein Kampf.  Draw your own conclusions!

 

Commander in Cheat, by Rick Reilly, a World Class Expose of Trump and Golf! June 8, 2019

Golf to Rick Reilly, a longtime, highly respected golf writer for Sports Illustrated, is almost a religion. His background in the game goes back decades. He looks at the sport, like many around the world, as the Holy Grail of honesty, self-regulation, decorum. Golf, to millions, is a game of decency, politeness, respect, sportsmanship and gambling! To others, it is a great game of comradery, challenge, exercise and competition at any age from 10 to 90! As Reilly has written, golf has always been in my family. “Golf solves everything. Our very bones are made of balata. The whole family golfs-nieces, uncles, aunts, nearly every single one of us.” The Reilly family has a yearly family golf event called the Reilly Roundup! “Everyone wears a yellow shirt like the one we buried my dad in! So when a man like President Donald Trump pees all over the game I love, lies about it, cheats at it and literally drives tracks all over it, it digs a divot in my soul!” (page 238)

This book is about Trump, golf, and his cheating, dishonesty, lies, and the lack of character. But of course, every page (241) of Reilly’s book is devoted to three interconvertible realities: he is a liar, a cheat and doesn’t pay his debts! Maybe the most direct statement was by LPGA golfer, Suzanne Petersen, who has firsthand experience, “He cheats like hell!” (page 36)

“Trump doesn’t just cheat at golf, he cheats like a Three Card Monte dealer!” He throws it boots it, and moves the ball, or his caddy does it for him. Remember Oddjob caddying for Auric Goldfinger in his match against James Bond! “He lies about his lies. He fudges and foozles and fluffs. At Winged Foot where Trump is still a member, the caddies got so used to seeing him kick the ball onto the fairway they came up with a nickname for him, Pele!” (page37)

One time an old singer/songwriter friend of Reilly’s played Golf with Trump at his Trump Los Angeles Club. Every club he buys at a discount he renames the club with his name and brands it with the city’s name. Unfortunately, Trump LA is nowhere near LA. In fact, almost all of his “Trump” clubs are no where he names them! “On the very first hole Trump kicked his ball from the rough into the fairway.  ‘Wait a second (his opponent) yelled, so this is how it’s going to be today Donald?’” Of course, what else would we expect from DT, “Oh, Trump explained, ‘all the guys I play with throw it out of the rough, you have to do it with them to keep up with them!’” As Reilly wrote, “Just for the record, I’ve played for 50 years and I only know one guy who does this and his picture is on the cover!” (page 39)

By the way, he buys clubs at deep discounts, values them at 10 times their value and when it comes to paying taxes, he claims they are worth virtually nothing! This goes on everywhere he can fight the assessor and get away with it. Who gets stiffed? The local community!

Once Trump hosted three ESPN broadcasters; Mike Tirico. Jon Gruden and Ron Jawarski. No one at his clubs will play with him, except his guests. “Off they went, and at one point they were playing a blind (dog leg) par 5 and Tirico, who’s a 12.4 handicap (that’s his average over par, determined by all his submitted rounds he has played. That is also golf’s way to create a competitive game between players of different abilities), had 230 yards to reach the green. He hit the 3 wood of his life.” It wound up being a fantastic shot. “’Oh my God,’ his caddy said, open mouthed. The ball crested the hill perfectly, was going tight to the pin!” Of course, Tirico was quite excited, and he “high fived his caddy and strode to the green his shoes hardly touching the grass!” Interestingly, when he approached the green, “the ball wasn’t near the pin (the hole). It wasn’t even on the green, it was 50 feet to the left of the pin, in the bunker (sand trap).”

 

 

“Lousy break” Trump said to Tirico. Then Tirico checked the ball to see if it was his, and it was. He was “pretty befuddled, and it took Tirico 2 swipes to escape the bunker on his way to a 7,” instead of putting for an eagle (a three on a Par 5). After the match, “Tirico remembers, Trump’s caddy came up to me and said, ‘you know that shot you hit on the par 5, it was about 10 feet from the hole! Trump threw it in the bunker (trap). I watched him do it!’” (page 29)

By the way, in Scotland, even though Trump’s mother was a Scot and his brother tapped out on Scotch, they despise the King of Self. According to Rick Reilly, when DT was in Turnberry, Scotland and “On the day after the UK’s Brexit vote, Trump happened to be there and he tweeted, ‘Just arrived in Scotland, place is going wild over the vote. They took their country back, just like we will take America back.’” (back, and from whom?) Of course, as usual, the King of Self, didn’t realize that Scotland voted 62% against Brexit! (page 78)  Of course, later he said, “You know, my mother is from here, I am Scotch!” Too bad that’s a whisky, they don’t like to be called Scotch, but Scottish! (page 72). As for Scotland, every time he comes to his course, which his hemorrhaging millions of dollars each year, he faces incredibly protests from the local citizenry! They don’t hate him, they despise him. I would quote what is said on the signs, but I don’t write that language.

There’s a famous story about the time DT lost $50 to a guy at Winged Foot (where I caddied as a mere lad as a young teenager in 1958 and 1959.) Trump (after losing) said he didn’t have any cash to pay! “That’s okay, the guy said, I’ll take a check. Trump said he didn’t have any checks on him! That’s okay, I’ll get a bank draft for $50.” He drives to a bank and gets one, and bring it back to the club and Trump signs it. “Weeks later, Trump sees him, pissed off” He says, “You cashed my check!” Of course I did!” Trump says, “Nobody chases my checks, they frame them!”  (page 94)

Part II- Commander in Cheat

In the words of Donald Trump, “I like having friends, but I like having enemies more!” (page 132). I’ll include one story that really caught my eye. Aside from his stiffing vendors, playing through foursomes that were ahead of him, the countless protests at his course, the objections of people living near his course, his draconian actions against anyone who displeases him, his threats of litigation, his empty promises to zoning boards, his violations of written agreements, his losses in court, his fights with club architects, and employees, this event sums up Trump! Reilly tells this story about Winged Foot, a place I am quite familiar with. “Trump likes talking tough, fistfights in golf are rare, but Trump likes telling a story about the time he punched a guy out at Winged Foot. “It was a big handsome asshole, Trump told me, ‘And he was being a complete jerk” So I sink this putt on the 9th hole to win the match and then I turn to him and coldcock him, just knock him, out right there on the green!…They ended up suspending both of us, I was back off suspension after two weeks and he never got back in!’”

Of course, the whole story was a complete fabrication from beginning to end, regarding who won the match on the 9th hole. Matches are won on the 18th. If Trump suddenly swung, why was the other guy booted, and why for good? According to folks at Winged Foot, that’s not what happened.  “First of all, Trump is not well liked at Winged Foot,” says member Bill Fugazy (who I have met through the O’Hara’s many times), and who has known Trump for years and whose late father (who I also met) also knew him there. “He’s just bad news to be around, a weird guy. It is hard for hard for him to get a game.”

“When it happened, he was playing by himself.” At Winged Foot the there is no back nine, the turn is at the 10th so one starts again at the 11th tee ( there is a back 8). According to Fugazy, “But the guys ahead of him were getting on the tee. One of them goes, ‘Donald, what do you think you are doing?’ Trump goes, ‘Playing through.” The guy goes, ‘Yeah? Well, usually you ask permission for that. That’s kinda of rude!’ Words were exchanged, Trump goes, ‘Get the f-k out of my way.’ The guy goes, ‘Who are you talking to?’ Trump shoves him and leaves the course. He was brought in and suspended!’”

In the words of Bill Fugazy, “Who’s he going to punch?” Fugazy says, “He’s got tiny spongey hands, He couldn’t punch anybody!”  Doesn’t that sound familiar? (page 135)

Again, the list of people that Reilly cites who have witnessed his cheating is almost endless. “He even declares that any putt he has under 6 or even 8 feet is a ‘gimmie’” What is a “gimmie” a term which ever golfer understands? It is when an opponent who tells YOU that the putt, usually under 18 inches is good. No one can “take” a ‘gimmie!” It is not taken, but given!

By the way, as I had mentioned, I caddied, as a teenager, for two summers at Winged Foot GC, in 1958 and 1959, and never saw anyone ever do that. In fact, I have walked around that course with my friend Bill O’Hara, whose family have been members since 1946, many times, from the 1960s through the early 90’s. In fact, I remember, as if it were yesterday, an old member of Winged Foot, the legendary SB Mastin, take nine strokes out of one of Winged Foot’s very tough sand traps. He had a bad back and actually wore a brace and couldn’t really bend. He told his playing partner that he took a nine!

I played golf with my father from 1959 at the Ryewood GC (Rye, NY) to the 1990s at Leewood GC (Eastchester, NY) and never saw anyone do that. I have played golf very casually for 60 years and yes, I have improved my lie many times, but, I have never played any kind of a match in decades since my early 20s and rarely have I seen a minute fraction of what Reilly writes about Trump.  I play strictly for recreation, fresh air and to hit a good shot twice in a row! But, not only is he a con man, and an endemic liar, but an endemic cheat.

My father, Milton Garfunkel, who was scrupulously honest, in every endeavor he partook, loved golf, and played it until his mid-90’s. He never talked about his rounds, he never bragged, he never demeaned anyone else, and he actually had two “Holes in One” within a few weeks of each other when he was in his 80s. I played golf with him when I was 14 and when I was in my late 40s.

“But why? Why does Trump cheat so much when he’s already a decent player? How can he be so shameless to cheat right in front of people?  They call him on it, but he just shrugs and cheats some more.” From my perspective he is a mentally ill person, but Reilly writes from the perspective of the world of golf.  As he wrote, “It ruined his reputation in the golf world.” As Reilly continues, “90% of the people I interviewed- on and off- the record say he openly cheats. A lot of them say they stopped playing with him because of it. So why? Why cheat? Why lie? Why exaggerate his handicap, his scores, his so-called club championships?”

By the way, he has never won a club championship at all.  Talking of matches with others, he tweeted-“Golf match? (with Mark Cuban) I’ve won 18 Club Championships, @mcuban swings like a little girl with no power or talent, Mark’s a loser.” Donald Trump (Twitter, March 19, 2013.) To Trump, everyone is a loser! “Eighteen championships? That’s like an NFL quarterback telling you he has won 18 Super Bowls!” It is preposterous, it is a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day float of a lie. (page 4). “In an interview with the Washington Post, he said, humbly, ‘My life has been about victories. I’ve won a lot, I win a lot. I win – when I do something. I win. And even in sports, I always won. I was always a good athlete,

And, I always won. In golf, I’ve won many club championships. Many, many club championships. And I have people that can play golf great, but they can’t win under pressure, So. I’ve always won!’” (page 5). In fact, he has never WON any championship or any event!

Each claim is an out and out lie, fabrication or ridiculous story. Reilly explains every single one of his ludicrous claims, and frankly, they are beyond imagination. Trump would play a round of golf on the same day as a club event, cheat through the round, post a totally phony score, go into the clubhouse later and say that he had a better round, and tell the management of HIS club, that he is the club champion! Believe it! I have never heard or read anything like this in my life. These stories could come out of the film “Caddy Shack!” (page 40)

A true measurement of Trump’s game was the American Century Celebrity Championships at Lake Tahoe. “Tahoe gets a stellar, raucous field of celebs most years- ex-athletes, actors, singer, scratch players (no handicap), and duffers. Trump played the event three times- 2004, 2005, and 2006.”

“In those three tries, he never finished in the top half of the field. The first year he was 56th out of 80.” As for the next two attempts, “he finished 42nd out of 80 and finally, in that calamitous 2006 Tahoe tournament, he finished 62d out of 80 and averaged 89.3 per round, and that’s with Tahoe’s rule that no player can take worse than a double bogey on a hole (two over par).” That doesn’t sound like someone who claims to be a 2.3 handicap (or plays around 2 over par!). (page 51) More lies!

Meanwhile, “the answer to this psychosis came from Harvard psychiatrist, Dr. Lance Dodes, co-author of ‘The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump’”.   Dr. Dodes explains, “He needs to be the best at everything. He can’t standf not winning, not being the best. It have to have started very early in his development. To him, not being the best is like fingernails on a blackboard to you. He can’t live with it…he exaggerates everything. He has to. He exhibits all the traits of a narcissistic personality disorder. People with this disorder have no conscience about it. He has no sense of morality about things. He lacks empathy to others. He is a very ill man! He doesn’t get that other people have rights or feelings. Other people don’t just don’t matter to him.”  Of course, I didn’t need a Harvard trained psychiatrist to explain this to me. He did the clinical analysis, but any person, with half a wit about them, could recognize his syndrome. He is an unfeeling, insensitive, brutal and sick person, who should not be the head of anything, no less position of authority.

This book is a most cogent and documented analysis of Trump, Trump World, and I recommend it to all who are interested in the future of America and who enjoy and love golf. The stories are remarkable. They cover his history of his “stiffing” of vendors, cheating his associates (he has no real friends), golfing with the pros, who look the other way, reneging on deals, along with his threats, his unlimited litigation and his fabrication of events. This book is Trump, a liar, a cheat and a fraud!

 

 

 

 

More Reminders of Trump, his House of Cards, his Borgia-Style Criminal Family and how Things have gotten Worse! 7-1-18

Let us see, Jared Kushner’s father went to Federal prison for illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion and witness tampering. Of course those are the nicer elements of his nefarious career. But, what of his son, the wunderkind Jared? He’s up to his neck is all sorts of deals, has lost his top security clearance and he is banned from state secrets. The wunderkind was supposed to negotiate with China and Russia and broker a peace in the Middle East. Let’s put all that on hold. No security clearance, negotiating $500 billion loans while in the White House!

But, what of his daughter, the King of Self’s number one princess. What qualifications did she bring to the White House? She ran a possible money-laundering jewelry business, funded by her old man, the King. Of course, she is the daughter of his first foreign wife, who he beat up and sexually attacked after she left his bed. Why did she do that? Well he was cheating with his girlfriend Marla Maples.  She is the mother of their illegitimate daughter, Tiffany, born months before their marriage. She was dumped by the Donald weeks before her pre-nuptial agreement was to expire. But, of course, he was cheating with his third wife, an illegal alien, who had violated her visa, worked illegally in America, and was a Sapphic, nude model, who has been accused of being an Escort Queen. In 1996, she moved to New York City, living in an apartment in Zeckendorf Tower, Union Square with a roommate, photographer Matthew Atanian, per Zampolli’s arrangements. She did ten paid modeling jobs in the U.S. in the seven weeks before she received legal permission to work in the country. Where are her 1099’s, who paid her rent, did she pay taxes?

 

But, what of her parents? Why and how are they living here? I thought the King of Self was against “Chain Immigration!” So, aside from his cheating on both his first wives, he has been exposed as cheating with at least two women, Stormy Daniels and Playmate Bunny Karen McDougal. Of course, he is being sued for sexual harassment and he has been accused by 19 women for all levels of sexual harassment, which covers the gambit from grabbing, fondling, kissing and more.

 

But, what of Trump’s loutish sons, Junior and Eric. They have been traveling the world on the White House travel tab. From 2007 to 2016, Eric led The Eric Trump Foundation, a charity that raised money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In June 2017, it was reported that the Eric Trump Foundation shifted a portion of that money to the Trump Organization ostensibly to cover the expenses of various fundraising events, though charity experts say there was no reasonable cost justification. Trump denies any wrongdoing and pledges to cooperate with any official review of the matter. What has done to justify his existence? Forbes also reported that more than $500,000 of the money donated for cancer patients “was re-donated to other charities, many of which were connected to Trump family members or interests, including at least four groups that subsequently paid to hold golf tournaments at Trump courses.”[  According to Forbes, “All of this seems to defy federal tax rules and state laws that ban self-dealing and misleading donors. It also raises larger questions about the Trump family dynamics and whether Eric and his brother, Don Jr., can be truly independent of their father.” The Foundation says that relevant donors were informed that donations would be redirected.

On June 9, 2016, Donald Trump Jr. attended a meeting arranged by publicist Rob Goldstone on behalf of Emin Agalarov. The meeting was held in Trump Tower in Manhattan, between three members of the 2016 Donald Trump presidential campaign: Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort – and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, her translator Anatoli Samochornov, Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, and Ike Kaveladze, a Russian-American, U.S.-based senior vice president at Crocus Group, the real estate development company run by Aras Agalarov.

 

Approximately a year later, Trump Jr. initially told the media that adoption of Russian children was the main subject of the meeting. On July 8, 2017, Trump Jr. tweeted his email exchange with Goldstone. It revealed that Trump Jr. had agreed to attend the meeting with the understanding he would receive information damaging to Hillary Clinton, which he considered opposition research. Goldstone also wrote in one of Trump Jr.’s publicly-disclosed emails that the Russian government was involved. Robert Mueller, the special counsel of the Department of Justice in charge of Russia-related investigations, is investigating the emails and the meeting. Although the White House lauded Trump Jr. for his transparency, he released the e-mails only after The New York Times informed him that they had them and were going to publish a story about them.

So, here it is the beginning of the Fall of 2018, and it has gotten worse. Massive scandals, ethics and emoluments violations, litigation from sexually harassed women, shake-ups in his Cabinet, his White House staff, his legal representation, and anything else this unhinged brigand touches. What else is new? Trump Charity- More crimes, and rip-offs!

Trump loots his own phony Foundation as his own Piggy Bank for himself and his family! In 2007, Donald Trump bought a six-foot-tall portrait of himself at a fundraiser auction, and paid with $20,000 from his namesake charity, the Donald J. Trump Foundation.

Artist Michael Israel — the “speed painter” who painted the portrait of Trump — released the first public photos of the portrait. Israel painted the piece in just five or six frenetic minutes, during a charity gala at Trump’s own Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla.

Inside Post reporter David Fahrenthold’s investigation of Donald Trump’s charitable giving

Afterward, Israel auctioned the portrait off. Trump’s wife Melania won the auction, with a bid of $10,000. Then the auctioneer convinced her to double it. Half of the proceeds went to Israel, the painter, and half went to the charity that hosted the event, then called the Children’s Place at Home Safe.  The charity is now called HomeSafe. It helps children and families harmed by domestic violence. When a check came, however, it wasn’t Trump or his wife who actually paid for the painting. Instead, it was Trump’s charity — which, even by that time, was largely filled with money from other donors, and not from Trump himself.

A few years later, Donald Trump used a fake bidder to buy a portrait of himself for $60,000 using his own charity’s cash, Michael Cohen’s testimony has revealed. During his explosive testimony to the House oversight committee, Mr Cohen said that the President had instructed him to find a ‘straw bidder’ to buy the portrait of him that was being auctioned at an event. He said Mr Trump then told the Trump Foundation – a charitable organization – to repay the fake bidder the $60,000 that had been spent on the painting, despite keeping the piece of art himself. There’s always a tweet: Cohen’s testimony edition pic.twitter.com/71evsrzSEj

Cohen told the committee: “Mr Trump directed me to find a straw bidder to purchase a portrait of him that was being auctioned at an Art Hamptons Event. “The objective was to ensure that his portrait, which was going to be auctioned last, would go for the highest price of any portrait that afternoon.”

Now, a new Washington Post report reveals new details about how the real-estate billionaire has used his tax-exempt, private foundation to benefit himself in unusual ways—including branding others’ charitable donations as his own. In 2010, for instance, Trump was honored by the Palm Beach Police Foundation for contributing $150,000 to the group, but none of the money came out of his pocket. Instead, Trump solicited the money from the Charles Evans Foundation, which gave his foundation the $150,000 over the previous months. In addition to receiving the credit, Trump may even have profited from the transaction; according to the Post, the police foundation gala was held at Trump’s pricey Mar-a-Lago resort.

The Trump Foundation isn’t low on cash because it is so charitable, either. The family foundation writes few checks each year, and of these, several either raise red flags or appear to be violations of I.R.S. rules. According to the *Post’*s investigation, on one occasion the Trump Foundation paid $20,000 for a six-foot-tall portrait of Trump. On another, it reportedly paid $12,000 for a football helmet signed by Tim Tebow, who was playing for the Denver Broncos at the time. Both instances could be classified as examples of “self-dealing” if Trump kept both items, which the Post reports is when members of a charity use its funds to purchase items for themselves. (It is unclear where both items are today.)

The Trump Foundation also reportedly footed the bill for a number of on-air promises Trump made to pay “out of my wallet” while he was the star of NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice and when the billionaire participated in a contest called Trump Pays Your Bills!, which aired on Extra. Many of Trump’s other donations, which the Post reports range from about $1,000 to $50,000, go to charities that rent out Trump properties, such as Mar-a-Lago. The paper also identified four charities that said they never received the contributions the Trump Foundation said it had donated to them. Accountants for the Trump Foundation did not respond to the Post’s request for comment.

 

 

 

Roy Cohn and his Willing Protégé, Donald Trump Richard J. Garfunkel May 20, 2017

Roy Cohn, born in the Bronx in 1927, was the son of Albert Cohn,(1885-1959), a NY State Supreme Court Judge, who appointed by Governor Herbert Lehman in 1929 and was a prominent Democrat. He attended both Horace Mann and Fieldston School in the Bronx. I was quite familiar with both schools and attended Horace Mann for a short time in the late 1950s.

He graduated from Columbia Law School in 1947, and the day he was admitted to the bar, he got a job in the office of the Manhattan United States Attorney, thanks to his father’s connections.

He became known for his arrogant courtroom style, notably in the case of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, American citizens convicted of conspiring to give information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. They were executed, and Cohn was promoted to assistant U.S. Attorney. After helping convict the Rosenbergs as a young federal prosecutor he then went to work in Washington as a top aide to McCarthy,

In Washington, his first assignment was to prepare the indictment of Owen Lattimore, an expert on China and professor at Johns Hopkins University, who had been accused of being “the top Russian espionage agent in the United States” by Senator Joe McCarthy.

The charges were ultimately dismissed, but Cohn’s aggressive performance left a lasting impact on McCarthy, who named him chief counsel to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. (Robert F. Kennedy was assistant counsel.)

During the Army-McCarthy Hearings, Senator McCarthy went after the Army Counsel, Joseph Welsh, the lead partner of the Boston Law firm Hale and Dorr. In that famous hearing, Welsh, famously remarked to Senator McCarthy. “…You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?” But, what was forgotten was his aside to his counsel Roy Cohn, who, in most cases, initiated the whole investigation because of the supposed mistreatment of his buddy, G. David Schine, who had been drafted into the US Army. In stark contrast to the domineering, aggressive and snide hectoring demeanor of McCarthy, Welch appeared calm, genteel, and well prepared in the hearing room. He managed to inject a bit of humor into the proceedings on more than one occasion. When Welch questioned a witness about how he had come into possession of a photograph, he asked the witness if he thought it came from a pixie. Senator McCarthy interrupted to ask for the definition of a pixie. Welsh replied, “I should say, Mr. Senator, that a pixie is a close relative of a fairy. Shall I proceed, sir? Have I enlightened you?” Of course, this was a not so subtle hint to Cohn regarding homosexuality, which it seems was at the heart of the Cohn-Schine relationship and the whole reason for Cohn urging McCarthy to open an investigation of communists in the Army. After that remark Cohn was markedly changed.)

McCarthy and Cohn, who was gay and would later die of AIDS, claimed that foreign communists had blackmailed closeted, homosexual, U.S. government employees into giving them secrets. The charge resulted in President Eisenhower’s Executive Order 10450, which allowed the government to deny homosexuals employment. Cohn helped McCarthy wage similar witch-hunts on the State Department, Voice of America, and the Army.  When McCarthy was finally censured, in 1954, Cohn was thought to be finished, too.

Eventually, he moved back to New York City and joined the law firm Saxe, Bacon & Bolan. But instead of disappearing, Cohn reinvented himself and became a social butterfly. He represented Andy Warhol, Studio 54 (until its owners: Rubell and Schrager were convicted of charges of tax evasion), the Roman Catholic Church and Cardinal Francis Spellman, along with mafia leaders Carmine “Cigar” Galante and Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno.  Cohn’s tactics were thought to be so unethical and dishonest by the legal establishment (he was eventually disbarred) that Esquire dubbed him “a legal executioner.” The reputation didn’t hurt his reputation with his mob contacts, a group of high-powered, infamous, and allegedly murderous clients.

Mr. Cohn eventually formed a “concierge style” practice in his sort of weather-beaten townhouse on East 68th Street. The structure of the assignments in the firm was eventually delineated. “We called him the rainmaker,” said Michael Rosen, a partner who handled many of the firm’s organized-crime cases. “We did all of the grunt work, if grunt work means preparing the case and trying the case.” Mr. Cohn lived on the third floor, often coming downstairs in his pajamas and bathrobe, long into the workday as he took clients upstairs to a small balcony style porch. The elevator was a mess and in the winter, the lawyers were often freezing because the windows were quite porous.

Business meetings tended to morph into social get-togethers, with all sorts of New York personalities, including the young Donald Trump. He and Mr. Cohn became social companions, lunching at “21” or attending games at Yankee Stadium as the guest of George Steinbrenner, the Yankees blusterous and bombastic owner, another Cohn client.

Cohn was known for his parties, thrown in his Greenwich Village home, and attended by politicos, the glitterati of the artist world and the usual NY characters. He intimated that the news personality Barbara Walters, a friend, was his girlfriend. “He was a very complicated man,” she told SFGate in 2008. “He was very smart and funny. And, at the time, seemed to know everyone in New York. He was very friendly with the cardinal, he was very friendly with the most famous columnist in New York, Walter Winchell. He had a lot of extremely powerful friends.”

According to The New York Times’ obituary for Cohn, those friends included “dozens of politicians, Democrats and Republicans alike, at every level, from Cabinet members to county judges,” including President Reagan.  Trump saw in Cohn the power of “celebrity.” It is said that Cohn saw in Trump “front page stuff, and Roy was always attracted to celebrity,” He clearly wasn’t lacking for celebrity in his life. It was quoted from a Cohn associate, “I think he saw in Trump a kindred spirit,” the friend said. “He saw a certain toughness that he also saw in himself.”

The young, brash and obnoxious Trump, who had been sent off to boarding school, finally graduated and went to Fordham College in the Bronx. He later transferred, after his sophomore year into a “real estate” discipline, probably funded by his slum lord father at the University Pennsylvania’s undergraduate business school (Wharton.). It seems like Trump managed to not only stay unnoticed by the administration but by his classmates as well. The Daily News reports that none of the students that attended Wharton between 1966 and 1968 have any recollection of Trump. Even though he claimed he was a top student, no one has seen his academic records, and for sure, “He was not first in the class. He was not known on campus for any reason at all,” his Wharton classmate Nancy Hano told Daily News. Another classmate, Stanton Koppel, told the publication, “I have no memory of him whatsoever. “Salon also looked into the matter back in May, and found nothing that would support Trump’s claims that he was an honor student:

After graduation and successfully avoiding the military with a questionable “1Y” deferment for bone spurs, joined the family real-estate business and in 1971, moved to a studio apartment on the Upper East Side. He quickly began his campaign of social climbing. “One of the first things I did was join Le Club,” he wrote in his 1987 book The Art of the Deal, (written by Tony Schwartz, who said the book was almost a total fabrication!) “Which at the time was the hottest club in the city and perhaps the most exclusive—like Studio 54 at its height. Its membership included some of the most successful men and most beautiful women in the world.” Le Club, Trump wrote, “turned out to be a great move for me, socially and professionally.”  This social-mixing helped match up Trump with Cohn and he became his lawyer. Trump had great admiration for his unconventional style.  “If you need someone to get vicious toward an opponent, you get Roy,” he was quoted as saying by the Associated Press. “People will drop a suit just by getting a letter with Roy’s name at the bottom.” In 1973, at Cohn’s urging, Trump sued the federal government for $100 million in damages, after the government sued the Trump Management Corp. for allegedly discriminating against blacks in its leasing of 16,000 apartment units throughout New York.

 

Trump accused the government of making “irresponsible and baseless” charges. “I have never, nor has anyone in our organization ever, to the best of my knowledge, discriminated or shown bias in renting our apartments,” Trump said at a press conference, held at the New York Hilton Hotel, according to a December 13, 1973 New York Times report. Trump said, in true Trump fashion, that the government had singled out his business because it was big. The judge dismissed Trump and Cohn’s suit, saying they were “wasting time and paper.”

When Trump was accused of using his political contacts to engineer deals for himself, Cohn jumped into the fray and his defense. “Donald wishes he didn’t have to give money to politicians, but he knows it’s part of the game,” he told the Times in 1980. “He doesn’t try to get anything for it; he’s just doing what a lot of people in the real estate business try to do.” In other words, in today’s parlance, he wasn’t “draining the swamp,” he was adding to it as a political fixer.

But the intimacy of their association and friendship didn’t end with Cohn’s spirited defenses of his client. Cohn, in his own words to the NY Times, was “not only Donald’s lawyer, but also one of his close friends.” When Cohn first got ahold of him, according to a close source, “Donald was a bit of a political neophyte.” It was Cohn who molded him politically.

Eventually, Cohn, the master manipulator, was a frequent guest Donald and Ivana’s Trump Tower apartment, with its garish, neo classical wall hangings. They were also regulars at Mr. Trump’s box at the Meadowlands, the home of his ill-fated sports team, the New Jersey Generals of the short-lived United States Football League. Mr. Cohn was host and MC at a Trump birthday party at Studio 54; years later, Mr. Trump returned the favor with a birthday toast of his own at a party in Trump Tower, joking that Mr. Cohn was more bark than bite. “We just tell the opposition Roy Cohn is representing me, and they get scared,” Mr. Trump said, according to a cousin of Mr. Cohn’s, David L. Marcus, who attended. “He never actually does anything.”

Cohn, nominally a Democrat, was a Reaganphile. In his law office he had a framed photo of the former president and a signed letter of thanks he sent to Cohn. He and his law partner, Thomas Bolan, fundraised for Reagan’s 1980 campaign. According to sources, Cohn acted to “recruit Donald and Donald’s father for Reagan’s finance committee.” In an 1983 Times report, Trump was characterized as a Reagan supporter and was said to have visited the White House “several times.” There’s a picture of the two together, shaking hands. Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan was “Make America Great Again!, which was Reagan’s slogan in 1980. Trump has claimed he invented the slogan and trademarked it in order to prevent other candidates from using it in speeches. “I mean, I get tremendous raves for that line,” Trump told The Daily Mail. “You would think they would come up with their own. That is my whole theme.”

In 1983, according to Trump: The Deals and the Downfall, Trump met with Cohn client Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno, the boss of the Genovese crime family, in Cohn’s New York apartment. Trump had employed S&A Concrete, owned by Salerno and Paul “Big Paul” Castellano, head of the Gambino crime family, to build Trump Tower. (In response to the allegations made in the book, in 1993, Trump said its author, Wayne Barnett, was “a second-rate writer who has had numerous literary failures, who has been writing negative stories about me for the past 15 years. The book is another example of Mr. Barrett’s personal prejudice and animosity towards me. The book is boring, non-factual, and highly inaccurate.”)

A year after the alleged meeting, Trump was doing an interview with The Washington Post. He told the reporter, Lois Romano, that he knew how the United States should negotiate nuclear policy with the Soviets, and Cohn, Trump told her, advised him that it was a good idea to use the interview as an opportunity to talk about the issue. “Some people have an ability to negotiate,” Trump said. “It’s an art you’re basically born with. You either have it or you don’t.”

For Mr. Cohn, who died of AIDS in 1986, not long after being disbarred for all sorts of ethical violations, Trump was something of a final triumph. If Trump’s father got his son’s career started by bringing him into the family business of slumlord housing in Brooklyn and Queens, Mr. Cohn escorted him personally across the East River and into Manhattan, introducing him to the social and political movers and shakers, while ferociously defending him against a growing list of enemies.

Years later, Roy Cohn’s influence on Mr. Trump is unmistakable. Mr. Trump’s wrecking ball of a presidential bid — the gleeful smearing of his opponents, the embracing of character assassination — has been a Roy Cohn-style modus-operandi for years. Mr. Trump’s response to the Orlando massacre, with his specious harangue regarding a jihadist-sponsored attack that could wipe out America and his conspiratorial suggestions of a Muslim fifth column in the United States, seemed to have been taken directly out of the Cohn political manifesto!

.“I hear Roy in the things he says quite clearly,” said Peter Fraser, who as Mr. Cohn’s lover for the last two years of his life spent a great deal of time with Mr. Trump. “That bravado, and if you say it aggressively and loudly enough, it’s the truth — that’s the way Roy used to operate to a degree, and Donald was certainly his apprentice.”

 

 

 

 

 

Two Plus Years of Trump Richard J. Garfunkel July, 2019

Speaking of Donald Trump and his troubled and disastrous two years in office, the question is what has been really accomplished. Well, he was able to appoint two Justices to the Supreme Court who will probably sustain his anti-environment, misogynist, anti-Choice, and anti-union policies. The other triumph of his first term was his tax cut, which was economically skewed to the top income brackets, the corporations and away from the Blue States which contribute the largest amount of money into the US Treasury. In 2016, American corporations paid the lowest percentage of revenue to the US Treasury in the 105 year history of the graduated income tax, enabled by the 16th Amendment to the Constitution. Within a year of the Trump tax cut, corporate contributions, already at their lowest level in that 105 year period, dropped another 40%. What then was the result of the tax cut?  Yes, there were jobs created, but interestingly, there were fewer jobs created in 2017 and 2018 than in 2015 and 2016. In the first three months of 2018, the average jobs that were created were 220,000. This year, that average fell to 180,000. A drop of 18%. By the way, during the Obama years, unemployment which hit 10.6% as a result of the Great Recession, authored by his predecessor, declined to 4.7%. Thus during the Obama eight years, there were over 15 million jobs clawed back, a net gain of 11 million and the DJIA, which bottomed in June of 2009 at 6600, reached 20,000.

The promised growth rate, of anywhere from 4 to 6%, grew at 2.9% and the annual deficit went from $585 billion in 2016 to an estimated $984 in 2019. How did those deficits effect the National Debt? It soared $2.4 trillion! Along with the growing deficits, where was the repatriation of trillions of US Dollars parked overseas? What happened to those “tax-sheltered” monies? Meanwhile, the Treasury Department said this week,(March 4th)  that the U.S. government’s deficit for the first four months of this budget year rose to $310.3 billion — a full $134.6 billion dollars more than the deficit during the same period last year. This is in spite of the government reporting a budget surplus amounting to $8.7 billion in January.

Experts say the higher deficit indicates increased public expenditures for social security, defense and the national debt as the government grapples with the consequences of the Trump administration’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The law, which Congress approved in 2017, reduced taxes for individuals and corporations by a massive $1.5 trillion.

But, what of trade and the tariff war that Trump promised? So with that strategy in mind, what happened to our international balance of trade deficit? The U.S. trade deficit surged to a 10-year high in 2018, with the politically sensitive shortfall with China hitting a record peak, despite the Trump administration slapping tariffs on a range of imported goods in an effort to shrink the gap.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday that an 18.8 percent jump in the trade deficit in December had contributed to the $621.0 billion shortfall last year. The 2018 deficit was the largest since 2008 and followed a $552.3 billion gap in 2017. The trade deficit has deteriorated despite the White House’s protectionist trade policy, which President Donald Trump said is needed to shield U.S. manufacturers from what he says is unfair foreign competition. In February, 2019, we had the largest trade deficit in one month in our history, $234 billion. In fact, during the first five months of the 2019 fiscal year (starting in October, 2018) the deficit hit $544 billion, up 40% form the same period of the 2018 fiscal year.

President Trump’s supporters would point to the quarterly figures on gross domestic product and crow about how his brilliant economic leadership had fulfilled his promise of growth of 3.5% or more. In February, the government released its preliminary GDP figure for 2018. It’s not 3.5% or more. It’s 2.9%. That may seem like much of a shortfall, but it points to the difficulty Trump has faced in reaching his promised goal on a sustained basis.

Moreover, the 2018 growth figure is beginning to look like a high point for his presidency. Growth for the fourth quarter came in at an annualized 2.6%, a sharp retreat from the 3.4% in the third quarter. (The figures are inflation-adjusted.) In fact, with all the growth of the GDP, 2017’s growth was 2.2%. But, let us understand that the comparison that Trump made is somewhat misleading. President Trump compared annual GDP growth in the Obama era to quarterly GDP growth in a three month period. And quarterly GDP often isn’t a good indicator for how much an economy will produce over the year, with quarterly GDP growth often differing significantly from the year’s overall GDP growth.

Take the Obama era for example. Between 2009 and 2016, GDP growth reached at or above 3% on a quarterly basis about eight times. But, let us not forget, that the first 2 years of the Obama Administration, unemployment had to come down from 10.5% in June of 2009, as a result of the effects of the Great Recession. Also, let us not forget, that every recovery from Recessions, after WWII, were led by housing. This one was caused by housing, which as a result, left millions of homes unsold.

The United States last year imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of goods imported from China, with Beijing hitting back with tariffs on $110 billion worth of American products, including soybeans and other commodities. Trump has delayed tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports as negotiations to resolve the eight-month trade war continue. The United States has also slapped duties on imported steel, aluminum, solar panels and washing machines. The goods trade deficit with China increased 11.6 percent to an all-time high of $419.2 billion in 2018. The bottom line, is that with this tariff effort, the export of agricultural products (our largest export commodity) has declined and the American government is subsidizing soy bean farmers to the tune of billions. The government faces three high-cost years for farm subsidies, beginning with $5.8 billion for this year, says the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), as low commodity prices drive up the cost of programs that stabilize crop revenue. In its latest budget baseline, CBO forecasts that crop subsidies will cost a total of $22 billion for fiscal 2016, 2017, and 2018. That’s a 9% increase from the estimate it made a year ago of $20.1 billion for the period.

Trump has the dubious distinction of being the first leader among the Group of Seven (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, U.K., US.) to see the deficit widen on his watch as a percentage of gross domestic product during a synchronized global expansion. It ballooned from 2.2 percent in February 2016 to 4.3 percent in November 2018, the most precipitous deterioration since 2008 when the financial crisis triggered the worst recession since the Great Depression. This measure, which tracks the relationship of deficits and growth, had improved more under Obama than any president since 1980, and only Clinton saw perennial deficits transformed into annual surpluses. Under Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cuts — the biggest rewrite of the Internal Revenue Service code in 30 years by the Republican Congress — the trend is reversing amid lower-than-forecast tax receipts, less-than-anticipated wage gains, a declining birth rate and an aging workforce. During the past year, when gross domestic product growth accelerated and unemployment reached an 18-year low — an achievement unmatched in the slower-growing G7 — federal revenues from corporate, payroll and personal income taxes fell by 2.7 percent, or $83 billion, from 2017. The last time U.S. growth approached 3 percent, in 2015, tax revenues increased 7 percent. If growth falters, as many economists predict, Trump will be the first president to preside over perennial deficits exceeding $1 trillion.

Now, let’s talk about wages, the official numbers aren’t out for 2018 yet, but the Census Bureau’s surveys show that real median household income increased by about 1.8 percent from 2016 to 2017. That’s not nothing, but it’s not particularly rapid, especially given the robust overall expansion of the economy in that year, and the fact that income only recently caught up to the level that prevailed before the Great Recession. Private surveys, meanwhile, show continued small increases in the first half of 2018. So it appears that while Trump’s presidency has continued to benefit from the economic expansion that began under his predecessor, the benefits to average American households have been modest. And since this data became available, Trump has ramped up his trade wars and forced a lengthy government shutdown — delaying paychecks — while the corporate bond market has begun to look shaky. So even those modest gains may now be in danger.

Trump promised an economic turnaround in the four Rust Belt states that flipped red in 2016 — Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It hasn’t materialized. The unemployment rate in all four states was already low; it has since fallen somewhat, just as it has for the country as a whole. Yet there are still no signs of a pickup in the labor force, with the combined labor force in all four states only up slightly over the past two years.  While we don’t have the data at the state level, for the country as a whole whatever pickup in labor force growth we’ve seen seems more concentrated with women than men. The cyclical improvement in the labor market that began under Obama have continued in the first two years of the Trump administration, and that’s welcome news. But Trump supporters had hoped for more than a continuation of the Obama recovery. It’s still hard to find evidence of that in the data.

Trump vowed to get U.S. multinational corporations to bring back their foreign cash piles. That was one of the goals of his tax reform package. But, as is his wont, Trump wildly exaggerated the amount of cash the reform would bring back by allowing companies to pay a one-time, 15.5 percent tax on profits they’d hoarded overseas. “We expect to have in excess of $4 trillion brought back very shortly,” he said in August. There was never so much to start with. The overseas cash pile of U.S. public corporations was estimated at $1.4 trillion at the end of 2017. Even adding in non-cash assets purchased with the overseas profits, $2.5 trillion would have been a more plausible number. Even less money than that has come back — a total of $557.1 billion in the first three quarters of 2018.Data for the fourth quarter aren’t available yet, but the negative trend shows that companies are gradually running out of cash they’d like to repatriate. Their foreign subsidiaries need cash, too — and certain jurisdictions and schemes still offer companies better terms than Trump’s tax reform. Besides, companies have been having trouble getting refunds from the government on repatriation taxes they’ve overpaid.

Let us review the foreign policy accomplishments in the first two years and into 2019. After a number of months of saber-rattling with the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, Trump announced that after 75+ years, of many earlier administrations’ inability to solve the regional crisis involving the Korean Peninsula, Trump had found the magic formula. He announced that he would meet with Kim, end the Korean War, de-nuclearize the Korean Peninsula, and remove the threat of North Korean intercontinental missiles.  But, after promising Kim the lifting of sanctions, the growth of tourism through first class hotels, and the development of his beaches, Kim said, “No deal,” and is now re-building his missile launching sites. What happened? Of course, in between this glorious triumph and tragedy with Kim, who denied the responsibility of causing the eventual death of Otto Warmbier.

Aside from tariff wars with China, a love fest with Kim and Putin,  Trump went on a campaign to not only criticize our Western allies, but to undercut the mission of NATO and to accept Putin’s excuses regarding Russian interference with our elections and cyberspace hacking. Aside from that, Trump basically ignored the death of the Washington Post columnist, Jamal Khashoggi at the probably hands of Saudi’s real strongman, Mohammed bin Salmon. Again, even after our Intelligence Agencies basically stated that MBS, as he is known, was responsible, Trump ignored their evaluation. Of course, this has been a pattern of Trump ignoring our own intelligence agencies and taking the word of Putin, Kim and Mohammed bin Salmon.

Then again, Trump has been disregarding the independent advice of everyone in, and out, of his government, including our generals, admirals and the Joint Chiefs. Without consultation with the Defense Department, Trump announced, unilaterally, the withdrawal of our troops from Syria and Iraq. Of course, this action would undermine our Kurdish allies and the Syrian Opposition forces aligned against the Syrian strong \man, Bashir Assad. Of course, he inevitably had to walk back on that promise, and now that announced policy change has been completely reversed.

Now, let us look at our policies in our own hemisphere. We seem to be under pressure regarding regimes in Central America, which are causing massive migration to our southern border. What has been done with regards to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador? Do we have a diplomatic presence there? Are we dealing with those governments? Shouldn’t someone ask? But it seems that Trump’s vision of a resurgent America apparently excludes some of our closest neighbors. Instead of erecting bridges, he seems intent on erecting walls—not only against Mexico, but now against Cuba, Puerto Rico and possibly Central America as well. Are we going back to Gunboat Diplomacy?  So Trump is now being rejected by Congress regarding his call for a huge, incredibly expensive wall. Aside from the boondoggle wall, what has this administration done about its policy of separating and kidnapping children from their parents, who are seeking asylum from the threats from Central American gangs?

Of course, there are all sorts of debates on how to handle immigration, but what has he done about the close to 700,000 DACA children?  Does he really want to deport these children who know no other life but America? In other words, he has no real plan, except to use these children as pawns!

Aside from foreign policy and the border, what about problems here in America which transcend the 3% of our population who are considered illegal residents? What has he done about the Affordable Act (ACA-Obamacare) which he promised to dismantle? He called it a disaster, but where is its replacement? He had promised a much better plan, which would be less expensive and do all the things that the ACA cannot accomplish? Where are his promises to Veterans? His Mission Act is basically the enabling legislation to cut the VA Budget and work to privatize it. How is that to help the veterans and deal with the growing crisis of CTE and PSTD? What has he done about the Opioid Crisis? What has he done about our infrastructure and the growing income inequality in America over the past two years? What has he done about an epidemic of mass shootings?

Of course, the Trump Administration is big on Executive Orders, which he, of course, decried about the Obama Administration? With that in mind, what has his record been on the environment, regarding clean air and water? It’s been a disaster! What has it been on fracking, deregulation, regarding the coal industry polluters, off-shore drilling, which is opposed by almost every single coastal state governor? His proposed policies have been the worst for the environment in decades! What is his position renewable energy?  Even though it has been growing remarkably in America.  It is very clear, the Trump administration was poised in 2019 to ask Congress for deep budget cuts to the Energy Department’s renewable energy and energy efficiency programs/ This action has thus far generated less outrage than the White House’s abandonment of the Paris Climate Treaty, but has the potential to be far more damaging to efforts to respond to climate change. In fact, all of his vocal and incendiary rhetoric is focused on denying Climate Change, against the advice of 99% of the world’s scientists and climatologists.

According to documents obtained by the Washington Post, the White House is seeking to slash the budgets by 72% in fiscal year 2019, which would cut research in fuel efficient vehicles by 82%, bioenergy technologies by 82%, advanced manufacturing by 75%, and solar energy technology by 78%.

Let’s discuss health care in America! There was a fairly long list of reasons to overhaul the nation’s health care system, but the principal goal of the Affordable Care Act’s advocates was to bring down the nation’s uninsured rate. On this front, the law’s proponents have been able to brag about the ACA’s results: in the years following the implementation of “Obamacare,” the United States’ uninsured rate dropped to the lowest point on record. Over the last couple of years, that rate has moved in a discouraging direction. Gallup reported this morning:

The U.S. adult uninsured rate stood at 13.7% in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to Americans’ reports of their own health insurance coverage, its highest level since the first quarter of 2014. While still below the 18% high point recorded before implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s individual health insurance mandate in 2014, today’s level is the highest in more than four years, and well above the low point of 10.9% reached in 2016. The 2.8-percentage-point increase since that low represents a net increase of about seven million adults without health insurance. At a certain level, an increase of 2.8% may seem quite minor. But as we discussed a year ago, if you or people close to you are among those who’ve lost coverage, the uptick in the uninsured rate probably doesn’t look that small.

During the first few years of Obamacare, premium increases mainly were the result of health insurance companies underestimating the costs their new customers would generate. The companies made up for this by charging more in subsequent years. The market began to stabilize in 2015 and 2016, even though prices remained high, and it appeared that large annual rate hikes might cease.

Instead, the Trump administration has taken a number of steps that have had the effect of further driving up premiums for exchange customers and those who buy policies directly from insurers or through brokers…. Since his first day in office, Trump has directed and overseen policies that undermine the health insurance exchanges.

While the market has consistently gained under Trump, the gains (over the first 10 months) haven’t been record-setting. From inauguration day on January 20 through October 27, the S&P 500 shows a 15.38% annualized rate of return. That’s less than the annualized percentages achieved under five other presidents.

Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama all did better over the course of their terms. The top returns were achieved under a pair a pair of Democrats for whom Trump has expressed disdain–Bill Clinton at a 17.49% total return per year and Barack Obama at 16.25%.

Dow Jones Gains Since FDR:

Dow Jones Gains Since FDR:

Clinton 229%

FDR 199%

Obama 148%

Reagan 147%

Eisenhower 121%

Truman 72%

Bush 41 41%

Ford 41%

LBJ 26%

Trump 19% (23 months)

JFK 16%

Nixon -28%

Bush 43 -24%

Carter 0.7%

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 5,632.09 points, or 42.78 percent, during Obama’s first 741 days in office. Trump: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 7,219.45 points or 28 percent during Trump’s first 741 days in office.