Let’s be clear about one thing: Trump is a crook. Always has been, always will be.

One remarkable thing about the 2016 election is the way Trump’s business career was given such a superficial examination by the media as a whole. Again and again, some crazy story or unusual aspect of his financial life would be the topic of one or two investigative stories, but those stories wouldn’t get pick up by other outlets.

Making this more problematic, Trump isn’t someone who played close to the line a time or two, or once did a shady deal. He may well be the single most corrupt major business figure in the United States of America.

  • He ran scams like Trump University to con struggling people out of their money.
  • He lent his name to pyramid schemes.
  • He bankrupted casinos and still somehow made millions while others were left holding the bag.
  • He refused to pay vendors.
  • He exploited foreign workers.
  • He used illegal labor.
  • He discriminated against African-American renters.
  • He violated antitrust laws.
  • He did business with the mob and with Eastern European kleptocrats.
  • His properties became the go-to vehicle for Russian oligarchs and mobsters to launder their money. 

    So it was no accident that when he ran for president, the people who joined him in his quest were also a collection of grifters, liars, and crooks — people like Paul Manafort.  For all his life, Trump has attracted liars, crooks, thugs. Honest, upright people with a deep respect for the law don’t go to work for Donald Trump.

Mr. Trump has spent his career in the company of developers and celebrities, and also of grifters, cons, sharks, goons and crooks. He cuts corners, he lies, he cheats, he brags about it, and for the most part, he’s gotten away with it, protected by threats of litigation, hush money and his own bravado. Those methods may be proving to have their limits when they are applied from the Oval Office. Though Republican leaders in Congress still keep a cowardly silence, Mr. Trump now has real reason to be afraid. A raid on a lawyer’s office doesn’t happen every day; it means that multiple government officials, and a federal judge, had reason to believe they’d find evidence of a crime there and that they didn’t trust the lawyer not to destroy that evidence.

On Monday, when he appeared with his national security team, Mr. Trump, whose motto could be, “The buck stops anywhere but here,” angrily blamed everyone he could think of for the “unfairness” of an investigation that has already consumed the first year of his presidency, yet is only now starting to heat up. He said Attorney General Jeff Sessions made “a very terrible mistake” by recusing himself from overseeing the investigation — the implication being that a more loyal attorney general would have obstructed justice and blocked the investigation. He complained about the “horrible things” that Hillary Clinton did “and all of the crimes that were committed.” He called the A-team of investigators from the office of the special counsel, Robert Mueller, “the most biased group of people.” As for Mr. Mueller himself, “we’ll see what happens,” Mr. Trump said. “Many people have said, ‘You should fire him.’”

Among the grotesqueries that faded into the background of Mr. Trump’s carnival of misgovernment during the past 24 hours was that Monday’s meeting was ostensibly called to discuss a matter of global significance: a reported chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians. Mr. Trump instead made it about him, with his narcissistic and self-pitying claim that the investigation represented an attack on the country “in a true sense.”

No, Mr. Trump — a true attack on America is what happened on, say, Sept. 11, 2001. Remember that one? Thousands of people lost their lives. Your response was to point out that the fall of the twin towers meant your building was now the tallest in downtown Manhattan. Of course, that also wasn’t true.

FBI raids home, office of Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen . . . “not good news for Trump”

Responding to news that President Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen had been raided by the FBI, a former federal prosecutor outlined how the bureau likely got their warrant to search the lawyer — and why it spells trouble for the lawyer.

“Having a search warrant executed at your business on a Monday is never a good day,” former U.S. attorney Chuck Rosenberg told MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace Monday.

To acquire their warrant to search Cohen’s business and home, the former prosecutor said, “the government must have concluded two things: probable cause that a crime had been committed, and probable cause that stuff or evidence that would prove that crime would be located in Mr. Cohen’s office.”

According to the New York Times, who first reported on the raid, the warrant to search the attorney’s home and business came from a referral made by special counsel Robert Mueller. That bit of the story, Rosenberg noted, demonstrates that although the raid was related to allegations made in Cohen and Trump’s case with Daniels, Mueller “followed the facts” and likely has something on the attorney.

“It’s not good news for Mr. Cohen and it’s not good news for the president,” Rosenberg concluded.


Trump, DeVos, evangelicals want to wipe out public schools to keep young people locked into low-wage jobs

Lafer explains that in the new system, the children of the wealthy will be taught a broad, rich curriculum in small classes led by experienced teachers. The kind of thing everybody wants for kids. But the majority of America’s children will be consigned to a narrow curriculum delivered in large classes by inexperienced staff —or through digital platforms with no teachers at all.

Most kids will be trained for a life that is more circumscribed, less vibrant, and, quite literally, shorter, than what past generations have known. (Research shows that the lifespan gap between haves and have-nots is large and rapidly growing). They will be groomed for insecure service jobs that dull their minds and depress their spirits. In the words of Noam Chomsky, who recently spoke about education to the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), “students will be controlled and disciplined.” Most will go to school without developing their creativity or experiencing doing things on their own.

The New Reality: Two Americas, Not One

Economist Peter Temin, former head of MIT’s economics department and INET grantee, has written a book, The Vanishing Middle Class, which explains how conditions in America are becoming more like a third-world country for the bulk of its people. He agrees with Lafer that the corporate-driven war on public schools is not just about money, but also about a vision of society.

People like Betsy DeVos, he says, are following the thinking of earlier ideologues like James Buchanan, the Tennessee-born, Nobel Prize–winning economist who promoted current antigovernment politics in the 1970s. The “shut-the-government-down” obsession is really an extreme form of libertarianism, he says, if not anarchism.

Temin also agrees that shrinking the horizons of America’s kids makes sense to people who follow this philosophy. “They want to exploit the lower members of the economy, and reducing their expectations makes them easier to manipulate,” says Temin. “When they aren’t able to go to college and get decent jobs, they become more susceptible to things like racist ideology.”

In other words, dismantling the public schools is all about control.

much more of this terrifying idea here:

Ivanka Trump’s clothing line exempt from tariffs

Has this contemptible carney family stopped even bothering to try  to appear non-corrupt?

Ivanka Trump‘s clothing manufacturing company will be exempt from new proposed tariffs against China.

Just like Donald Trump’s mass-produced cheap clothing, Ivanka Trump’s fashion line is completely manufactured in China. Now, Trump officials swear that there was a carefully thought-out “algorithm” to determine who would get tariffs in order to have the “lowest impact” on Americans. Therefore, logically, we have a massive trade war over material being used to build everything from buildings, machines, roads, and cars. But tacky shoes? Thank goodness—you’re fine.

I’m certain the only math Trump used in that algorithm had to deal with Ivanka’s measurements.  (Sorry, but he really does fetishize his daughter. And this is another example of how his issues impact all of us.)

On a completely unrelated note, China happened to approve several new trademarks for Ivanka Trump’s fashion line the exact same day she had dinner with President Xi Jinping in her official capacity as White House advisor.

Perish the thought she’d ever use her offical capacity to help her business. She would never do that, except when she does.  All the time.  Like when she was hit with a copyright lawsuit alleging she stole a shoe design. A Trump lawyer essentially argued she couldn’t be sued as a “high-ranking government official”.  She also used her position to avoid comment on labor violations in her sweat shop factories.

This kind of thing you’d expect from a third-world, corrupt dictatorship, which this administration is looking more like every day.

Trump said he used an “algorithm” to calculate the tariffs.  Here’s the algorithm:


Tea Party hero Ted Nugent says Democrats should be shot down like “rabid coyotes”

Courtesy of Media Matters:  

TED NUGENT (NRA BOARD MEMBER): Don’t ask why. Just know that evil, dishonesty, and scam artists have always been around and that right now they’re liberal, they’re Democrat, they’re RINOs, they’re Hollywood, they’re fake news, they’re media, they’re academia, and they’re half of our government, at least. So come to that realization. There are rabid coyotes running around. You don’t wait till you see one to go get your gun. Keep your gun handy, and every time you see one, you shoot one.

What did that survey say about the number of gun owners suffering from mental illness again?

Because I think we are looking at Exhibit One right here.

Of course, none of this will cause the NRA to throw him off its Board of Directors.  None of this will cause Tea Partiers to dump him.

Trump follies . . . bullshit piled on bullshit

Besty DeVos not allowed to “teach” at Wednesday night bible study

President Trump stocked his administration with conservative Christians like Mike Pence, Betsy DeVos and Jeff Sessions.

As reported by the BBC, it turns out a lot of them attend the same Wednesday night Bible study. The location of the meeting is secret but the organizer is not. The meetings are helmed by Ralph Drollinger, a seven-foot tall basketball pro turned pastor from California who holds extremely conservative fundamentalist Christian views.

 For example, they do not allow women to teach—that includes the devout Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

“There is a prohibition of female leadership in marriage, and female leadership in the church. And those are clear in scripture… it doesn’t mean, in an egalitarian sense, that a woman is of lesser importance. It’s just that they have different roles,” Drollinger told the BBC.

A total of 10 Trump cabinet members belong to the group. Trump, who famously claims to be a Christian despite a his playboy lifestyle, refusal to ask for forgiveness and reluctance to attend church. Trump gets copies of the learning materials each week.

“He writes me back notes on my bible studies,” Drollinger told the BBC. “He’s got this leaky Sharpie felt-tip pen that he writes all capital letters with. ‘Way to go Ralph, really like this study, keep it up.’ Stuff like that.”

Trump started his trade war with China without a single meeting to discuss the matter

President Donald Trump’s legendary impulsiveness may have reached a new crescendo with his off-the-fly talk of huge new Chinese tariffs, according to new details reported by Axios.

“There wasn’t one single deliberative meeting in which senior officials sat down to debate the pros and cons of this historic threat,” the story says. “Trump didn’t even ask for advice from his new top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, instead presenting the tariffs as a fait accompli.”

John Kelly, the chief of staff who has been reduced to a “virtual White House intern,” and others were left in the dark, the report says. And no one had discussed the possible effect on the market.

Trump congratulates winner of Masters’ golf tournament, says nothing about the person who died in fire at Trump Tower

As the President of the United States, Donald Trump is a very busy man.

But although he has made no mention of the man who burnt to death yesterday at his sprinkler-less apartment building or found time to have a single meeting before starting a trade war with China, he did find time to tweet congratulations to Patrick Reed, a golfer, on his big win in this weekend’s golf contest, The Masters.