Joanne pre-NYMHM: 2 Nov 2016

2016 continues to be bonkers.

  1. The Irrational Downfall of Park Geun-hye [Ask a Korean]
  2. “He has solemnly told the country to trust him while refusing to produce any records to prove whether he speaks the truth or has utter contempt for it.” [Newsweek, “Donald Trump’s Companies Destroyed Emails in Defiance of Court Orders“]
  3. “For instance, could his judicial appointments be influenced by his own court cases? . . . Would lawyers, parties in cases and even judges seek to curry favor with a powerful individual in a way that might alter the outcome?” [USA Today, “How 75 pending lawsuits could distract a Donald Trump presidency“]
  4. Another great story from David A. Fahrenthold with this amazing anecdote:

In the fall of 1996, a charity called the Association to Benefit Children held a ribbon-cutting in Manhattan for a new nursery school serving children with AIDS. The bold-faced names took seats up front …[with] a seat saved for Steven Fisher, a developer who had given generously to build the nursery.

Then, all of a sudden, there was Donald Trump.

“Nobody knew he was coming,” said Abigail Disney, another donor sitting on the dais. “There’s this kind of ruckus at the door, and I don’t know what was going on, and in comes Donald Trump. [He] just gets up on the podium and sits down.”

Trump was not a major donor. He was not a donor, period. . . . So they warbled into the first song on the program, “This Little Light of Mine,” alongside Trump and a chorus of children — with a photographer snapping photos, and Trump looking for all the world like an honored donor to the cause.

Afterward, Disney and Buchenholz recalled, Trump left without offering an explanation. Or a donation. Fisher was stuck in the audience. The charity spent months trying to repair its relationship with him.

[Note from the future: NYMHM grew out of these public posts from Joanne Merriam’s Facebook account. We retain them here in archives to provide a record going back to the beginning of Trump’s presidency.]

Joanne pre-NYMHM: 28 Oct 2016

Strong words from the Sierra Club:

We’ve seen North Dakota, in particular, put out messaging that says folks are violent, that we’re aggressive, that we are antagonizing the situation and somehow necessitating this militarized response. The reality is, if you’re here and you’re seeing the grassroots media coming out, it’s people who are gathered together in prayer and unity and coming together for the first time, really, in history. This is a historic moment for tribal nations to come together like this. We’ve got people who are historic enemies camping alongside each other, learning to live together and be together in this space . . . . People are out exercising their first amendment rights and being met with militarized response in incredibly dangerous situations: guns drawn, mace, planes flying overhead.

Amnesty International is to “monitor the response of law enforcement to protests by Indigenous communities.”

[Note from the future: NYMHM grew out of these public posts from Joanne Merriam’s Facebook account. We retain them here in archives to provide a record going back to the beginning of Trump’s presidency.]

Joanne pre-NYMHM: 18 Oct 2016

Reached Kenya safely – have pretty much been on media blackout since Saturday. Logged in to check FB and this is basically the first news I saw. Woah.

1.

Former senior U.S. national security officials are dismayed at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s repeated refusal to accept the judgment of intelligence professionals that Russia stole files from the Democratic National Committee computers in an effort to influence the U.S. election.

Chicago Tribune

2.

Pretty concerning. From the original study: “Findings revealed that when expecting challenging behaviors teachers gazed longer at Black children, especially Black boys. Findings also suggested that implicit biases may differ depending on teacher race. Providing family background information resulted in lowered severity ratings when teacher and child race matched, but resulted in increased severity ratings when their race did not match.” [NPR]

[Note from the future: NYMHM grew out of these public posts from Joanne Merriam’s Facebook account. We retain them here in archives to provide a record going back to the beginning of Trump’s presidency.]

Joanne pre-NYMHM: 10 Oct 2016

1.

“I’ve been in favor of getting rid of carried interest for years,” Clinton replied. “Starting when I was a senator from New York.”

“Why didn’t you do it?” Trump asked. “Why didn’t you do it”

“Because I was a senator with a Republican president,” Clinton replied.

“If you were an effective senator, you could have done it,” Trump shot back.

This is, to put it mildly, not how the American political system works. Trump has always had an ambitious view of executive power, but here he showed a basic ignorance of the system’s basic functioning. Even an effective senator cannot, on their own, overwhelm a presidential veto.

Vox, “Donald Trump confirmed our worst fears about the kind of president he would be

2.

This is not funny. It is terrifying. The Russians engage in a sloppy disinformation effort and, before the day is out, the Republican nominee for president is standing on a stage reciting the manufactured story as truth. How did this happen? Who in the Trump campaign was feeding him falsehoods straight from the Kremlin?

Newsweek, “Dear Mr Trump, I Am Not Sidney Blumenthal

Here’s the email at Wikileaks.

[Note from the future: NYMHM grew out of these public posts from Joanne Merriam’s Facebook account. We retain them here in archives to provide a record going back to the beginning of Trump’s presidency.]

Joanne pre-NYMHM: 3 Oct 2016

1.

That Fahrenthold corruption story that I previously shared tweets about came out:

In 2013, it gave a donation to a political group supporting Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (R) — despite a ban on nonprofit groups making political gifts. The Trump Foundation then filed an incorrect tax filing, which omitted any mention of that gift, and said incorrectly that the money had gone to a charity in Kansas. Trump paid a $2,500 penalty tax for that political gift this year.

In two other instances, Trump’s foundation has made payments which appeared to help settle legal disputes involving Trump’s for-profit businesses. In 2007, Trump’s foundation paid $100,000 to settle a lawsuit involving his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida. And in 2012, the foundation paid $158,000 to the charity of a New York man named Martin Greenberg on the day that Greenberg settled a lawsuit against one of Trump’s golf courses.

WaPo: “Trump Foundation lacks the certification required for charities that solicit money” by David A. Fahrenthold, September 29, 2016

2.

“When people come back from war and combat and they see maybe what the people in this room have seen many times over, and you’re strong and you can handle it, but a lot of people can’t handle it,” Trump told a room full of veterans.

Buzzfeed

We don’t know yet why some people get PTSD and some don’t, but it has actual physiological effects, its not just ‘in your head.’ Saying that you’re strong if you avoid PTSD (and weak if you get PTSD) is the same as saying you’re strong if you keep all your limbs in a war zone, but weak if you get a leg blown off. It’s nonsense. Worse, it’s nonsense that makes the suicide epidemic currently happening amongst service personnel worse, because it reinforces the false but common idea that strength means not seeking treatment.

Trump is absolutely correct that we need to be doing more for vets, but that’s the only thing he’s right about here.

[Note from the future: NYMHM grew out of these public posts from Joanne Merriam’s Facebook account. We retain them here in archives to provide a record going back to the beginning of Trump’s presidency.]

Trump corruption: 14 Sep 2016

It’s easy for Trump’s corruption to get ignored in favor of reporting on his latest entertainingly-enraging word salad. So (following Matthew 7:16 here), just for the moment, let’s ignore all of the awful things he’s said and look at stuff he’s actually done:

He took $150k in post-9/11 taxpayer-funded small business recovery funding for rent loss, cleanup, and repairs. New York State used pretty loose guidelines for eligibility as a “small business,” putting Trump in the same company as Morgan Stanley and Bank of China in applying for these Empire State Development Corp funds. He now says he received that money because he (claims he) helped so many people, who (he claims) are constantly telling him how grateful they are for all of his help.

This is valor-stealing horseshit: charity was not a reimbursable item for this fund so it’s false on its face, and also where are all these grateful people.

Trump and his businesses have a habit of not paying people for their work. Since the 1980s, at least 3,500 lawsuits and 200 liens have been filed against him, including by small businesses, mechanics, subcontractors, hourly workers at his clubs and resorts, real estate brokers, and law firms who have represented him, as well as by undocumented workers he shouldn’t have been hiring to begin with. He currently has long-standing campaign workers who say they are not volunteers who have not yet been paid for their work. At this point I don’t know why anybody decides to work for the guy without cash up front.

In 2009, Trump licensed his name to pyramid scheme/multilevel marketing company Ideal Health, which became the Trump Network and sold “health” products which were “customized” based on customers’ urine samples, and which was the subject of several Federal Trade Commission complaints. Their marketing materials and his speeches on the company also misled participants about his level of involvement.

Urine samples, y’all. Urine. Samples.

He donated $25,000 to a group supporting Republican Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, to influence her office’s review of fraud allegations against Trump University, through his charitable foundation, in violation of tax regulations [501(c)(3) charities can’t make political contributions], and as a result had to pay a $2,500 penalty to the IRS.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing in this particular case, but speaking in general about pay-to-play, said in the Republican debates:

“When they call, I give. And you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me.”

He has also made contributions to at least three other state attorneys general whose offices have considered complaints against Trump U: Republican Greg Abbott (Texas; $35,000; he supports Trump and former Texas Deputy Chief of Consumer Protection John Owens says he was told in 2010 to drop a fraud investigation into Trump University despite having built a solid case); Democrat Eric Schneiderman (New York; $12,500; his lawsuit is still pending); and Democrat Kamala Harris (California; $6,000, which she says she donated to charity; their office is still investigating).

Trump University partnered with Mike and Irene Milin to set up Trump Institute (a wealth seminar series that was part of the “University”) despite their having previously been prosecuted in Texas for deceptive trade practices.

Trump University had to change its name to Trump Entrepreneur Initiative before it shut down because it was operating without a New York educational license.

As an aside, the Trump University fraud trial won’t be litigated until after the election. Yaaaayyyy for justice.

In 1973, when Trump was President of Trump Management, the Justice Department sued the company for violating the Fair Housing Act (that is, for housing discrimination against black potential tenants).

In the 1980s, he donated tens of thousands of dollars to the New York City Council’s president through a bunch of subsidiary companies to evade contribution limits.

In 1981, he bought a Central Park South property and from 1982 to 1986, intimidated tenants – cutting off heat and water, refusing to make repairs (two tenants said an unrepaired leak led to mushrooms in their carpet) – to attempt to get them to leave their rent-controlled units so he could replace them with luxury condos.

In the 1990s, the FEC fined him for exceeding the annual limit on campaign contributions by $47k.

In 2000, the New York State lobbying commission fined Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts $50k and two front groups each $100k for non-disclosure of $150k Trump paid through the front groups to finance ads opposing a proposed Catskills casino he thought would threaten his Atlantic City properties.

He made money off his Atlantic City casino bankruptcies, leaving investors bearing the financial burden. He’s actually proud of this. Like running multiple businesses into the ground makes him some kind of genius. And he keeps promising to run the United States like his businesses. So, if he wins, cash out your 401k and take up meth? I guess?

Since 2005, Trump Plaza and Trump Mortgage LLC combined have been cited for 24 violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act for non-payment of overtime and minimum wage.

According to the former models, Trump Model Management used at least four foreign models in the United States on tourist visas (which don’t allow you to work here), and then charged the models high rents and other expenses.

Trump’s Mar-a-Largo Club and Trump National Golf Club have both sought temporary visas from the Department of Labor to import foreign workers for hospitality positions despite local career services companies saying they have more than enough Americans willing and able to do the work.

The Trump Foundation sometimes lies to the Internal Revenue Service about giving donations to other charities (the other charities say they never received the donations).

Unlike most family foundations, Trump rarely gives money to the Foundation (his last gift was in 2008), using it instead as a pass-through for others’ charitable giving (and making himself look generous in the process, without having to spend a dime of his own money).

Oh but wait, just combine that information with the stuff above and you’ll realize that Trump used other people’s charity donations to try to bribe at least four state Attorneys General so they’d kill investigations into his fraudulent university. This fucking guy.

Additionally, the Foundation bought expensive things which Donald Trump has kept, including a $20k portrait of Trump and a helmet signed by Tim Tebow, probably violating IRS rules. Did I mention the portrait is six feet tall. No word on whether or not it pictures him naked riding a tiger.

Everything Trump has learned from turning his bankruptcies and his likeness and his family foundation into a way to spend other people’s money for his own benefit has been applied to his campaign. He stays almost exclusively in his own properties, sometimes flying unnecessarily to do so (e.g. he flew back to New York from the Republican convention rather than just staying in a hotel in Cleveland). He probably doesn’t have to sleep in a secret earth-filled coffin clad in a linen shroud or something, right? Probably not? So either he’s got an obsessive control-issue Thing about sleeping in places he owns, or he’s playing the wily businessman he’s so proud of thinking he is and wasting tons of time (that he could be spending campaigning) traveling back and forth to his properties so that they can make money from his campaign.

His campaign events are often also at his properties, his campaign headquarters are at Trump Tower, and he uses his own private air fleet to travel, for all of which his campaign pays his companies (this is apparently legal as long as only market rates are charged). He has directed about 17% of his campaign money towards his own businesses, and he promotes Trump products at his campaign events. He’s paying himself to run for President.

And, incidentally, still refusing to release his tax returns.

Some donors are concerned that he’ll end up using their donations to pay himself back for the loans he made to his primary campaign, which is apparently a thing he could actually do. He’s said he won’t, but he’s a flagrant liar who breaks his promises: he promised he wouldn’t sell junk bonds to fund his casinos (but did it anyway), and he promised to recruit amazing instructors for Trump U and to provide personal counseling to students (neither of which he did), and he promised to pay literally thousands of people for services they provided to him (who have since sued him for non-payment), and he promised to self-fund his campaign (but is seeking donations), and so on and so on.

In 2000, he reportedly said:

“It’s very possible that I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it.”

Which may be the most honest he’s ever been.

SOURCES

  1. EXCLUSIVE: Donald Trump’s claim he got $150G in post-9/11 state funds for small businesses because he helped people in need is unfounded, docs show [NY Daily News]
  2. The Many Scandals of Donald Trump: A Cheat Sheet [Atlantic]
  3. Trump Agrees To Pay $750,000 Penalty To Settle Antitrust Lawsuit [AP]
  4. After 15 Years in Court, Workers’ Lawsuit Against Trump Faces Yet Another Delay [NYT
  5. ‘No Vacancies’ for Blacks: How Donald Trump Got His Start, and Was First Accused of Bias [NYT]
  6. Trump’s history of corruption is mind-boggling. So why is Clinton supposedly the corrupt one? [WaPo]
  7. N.Y.’s Trump U suit draws Florida officials’ attention [Orlando Sentinel
  8. Former Texas official says he was told to drop Trump University probe [CBS]
  9. Donald Trump Seeks Delay In Trump University Fraud Trial [CBS]
  10. How Donald Trump Bankrupted His Atlantic City Casinos, but Still Earned Millions [NYT]
  11. Hundreds allege Donald Trump doesn’t pay his bills [USA Today]
  12. Dozens of lawsuits accuse Trump of not paying his bills, reports claim [Fox]
  13. Donald Trump Doesn’t Pay All of His Campaign Staffers [Esquire
  14. How Donald Trump retooled his charity to spend other people’s money [WaPo]
  15. Trump’s Get Rich Seminar Partnered With Couple Prosecuted for Fraud [Daily Beast]
  16. The Trump Network sought to make people rich, but left behind disappointment [WaPo]
  17. Former Models for Donald Trump’s Agency Say They Violated Immigration Rules and Worked Illegally [Mother Jones]
  18. Trump Seeks More Foreign Guest Workers For His Companies [Buzzfeed]
  19. Florida AG asked Trump for donation before nixing fraud case [AP]
  20. Trump pays IRS a penalty for his foundation violating rules with gift to aid Florida attorney general [WaPo]
  21. Donald Trump’s Donation Is His Latest Brush With Campaign Fund Rules [NYT]
  22. This is the 5th time a charity told me they didn’t get $ that @realDonaldTrump’s Fdn told the IRS it had given them. [Fahrenthold]
  23. Trump likes to sleep in his own bed and it may cost him votes [Reuters]
  24. Trump’s campaign spends $6 million with Trump companies [AP]
  25. Donald Trump’s Self-Funding Includes Payments to Family and His Companies [NYT]
  26. Trump directs nearly one-fifth of his money to his own businesses [CNN]
  27. Trump’s long record of broken promises [Capitol Hill Blue]

[Note from the future: NYMHM grew out of these public posts from Joanne Merriam’s Facebook account. We retain them here in archives to provide a record going back to the beginning of Trump’s presidency.]