Wit and Wisdom of Donald J Trump. Free pdf

Biographies of famous people always include some of the subject’s wise and witty sayings. Donald J. Trump is no exception. Here within are the up-to-this-date collection of sayings by Donald J. Trump which have earned him a top spot in the annals of American Presidents.

Download your free copy in PDF format…. Wit & Wisdom of Donald J Trump

And the Oscar for worst President EVER goes to….

Photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters

Photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters

Donald Trump.

And the Oscar for the worst supporting actor to the President is…

Stephen Bannon, chief strategist for Donald Trump. CNN.

Stephen Bannon, chief strategist for Donald Trump. CNN.

Stephen Bannon, the chief strategist for Donald Trump. Isn’t he doing a terrific job? Just fabulous. Wonderful. The best. The greatest. Ask him. Ask Donald. They’ll both tell you Stephen Bannon is amazing. He’s done such a fabulous job so far. It’s amazing. Really. It’s amazing.

How Donald Trump became Deutsche Bank’s biggest headache

 Since Trump’s election, Deutsche has fielded numerous calls from the media on a possible financial trail to Moscow. Photograph: Pool/Getty Images


Since Trump’s election, Deutsche has fielded numerous calls from the media on a possible financial trail to Moscow. Photograph: Pool/Getty Images

Donald Trump has become a big headache for Deutsche Bank. Here’s how.

The language was scathing, the tone sarcastic. “[Donald] Trump proclaims himself the archetypal businessman, a deal-maker without peer,” the memo said.

It mentioned Trump’s boast that he was worth “billions of dollars”. And it listed his interests in “numerous extraordinary properties” across the world, from New York to Panama, not to mention his latest golf course in Scotland.

Another document noted: “Trump is no stranger to overdue debt.”

The angry memos were written by lawyers acting on behalf of Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest lender, which was suing the billionaire.

It was November 2008. Three-and-a-half years earlier the bank had loaned Trump the cash to build one of his grandest projects yet: a hotel and mega-tower in Chicago.

Trump had given his personal guarantee he would repay the $640m. As per agreement, he was now due to hand over a large chunk, $40m.

There was only one problem: the future 45th president of the United States was refusing to pay up. Deutsche initiated legal action. Trump responded with a blistering, scarcely credible writ of his own, a 10-count complaint in New York’s supreme court, in the county of Queens.

In it, Trump adopted a highly unusual defence, known as “force majeure”. He claimed that the 2008 economic crisis was a “once-in-a-century credit tsunami”, an act of God that was equivalent to an earthquake.

Since it couldn’t have been anticipated, and it wasn’t his fault, he wasn’t obliged to pay Deutsche anything. It wouldn’t get the $40m or the outstanding $330m, his writ said.

He went further. Trump claimed Deutsche Bank had actually helped cause the crunch. Therefore it owed him. Trump demanded $3bn from Deutsche in compensation.

Its New York property division first loaned money to him in 1998 at a time when the bank was attempting to expand its commercial real estate portfolio. By that stage, other major banks were becoming cautious about Trump, in part, the Wall Street Journal has said, because of frustration with his business practices.

A decade later, Deutsche was to find out for itself quite how capricious and unpredictable he could be.

Then came Trump’s Scottish golf course venture.

It was what happened next that strikes many in the banking world as unusual – bizarre, even. In 2005 Trump had borrowed money from Deutsche’s commercial real estate division. In 2010 the parties settled their legal differences.

But rather than walking away, the bank’s private wealth division then resumed lending to Trump, the troublesome four-times bankrupt client who had defaulted on a major loan.

Why? It’s unclear what assurances Trump offered. He had given his word before, only to break it.

Deutsche has refused to discuss its lending arrangements to the first family. Its clients also include Trump’s daughter Ivanka, her husband, Jared Kushner, and Kushner’s mother, Seryl Stadtmauer.

Kushner is a senior White House adviser. Just before the US election Deutsche refinanced $370m he owes against commercial property in Manhattan belonging to Kushner’s company.

Sources inside Deutsche say the investment banking side of the business is entirely separate from the private bank that handles the Trumps. Personal relationships also play an important role in private banking.

Even so, banking experts have told the Guardian it is unusual for a private bank to take on such loans, and unbelievable that a bank would continue to deal with a man who had refused to pay his debt, and then countersued using force majeure.

One former Deutsche employee, based in New York, said: “Real estate refused to deal with him [Trump]. Only the private bank is willing to accept personal guarantees.”

Joe Crowley, chair of the House Democratic Caucus, said: “President Trump’s web of global financial entanglements are of serious concern. When a foreign-owned bank that is under investigation by the Department of Justice holds hundreds of millions in personally-guaranteed debt for the president, that is problematic for ethical, diplomatic, and judicial reasons. This is why we must know more about all of Donald Trump’s business ties.”

Crowley also said he wanted the president to release his elusive tax returns.

Deutsche has not explained why it continued to bankroll Trump and his real estate deals. Even before the 2008 legal dispute, Trump’s chequered business record was infamous. Other financial houses in New York refused to give him credit, following a string of failed ventures including an airline and a casino empire in Atlantic City.

Bloomberg reported that Deutsche was now trying to restructure Trump’s $300m debt, which is guaranteed by four of his properties. The difficulty is obvious: conflict of interest. The president owes the bank money. At the same time the Trump administration and its Department of Justice is investigating Deutsche over its Russian money laundering scheme.

According to an analysis by Bloomberg, Trump now owes Deutsche around $300m. He has four large mortgages, all issued by Deutsche’s private bank. The loans are guaranteed against the president’s properties: a new deluxe hotel in Washington DC’s old Post Office building, just round the corner from the White House; his Chicago tower hotel; and the Trump National Doral Miami resort.

Trump and his businesses have a long history with the German bank, which this month posted its latest net loss, of €1.4bn. It has been the only financial institution willing to lend Trump significant sums. In the 1990s other Wall Street banks, which had previously extended him credit, turned off the tap after Trump’s businesses declared bankruptcy four times.

Trump remains the bank’s most high-profile client. He is also, increasingly, its biggest PR headache.

Read more on The Guardian newspaper here and here.

 

Palm Beach businesses stung by cost of hosting Trump’s weekend retreat

 Donald Trump arrives at Palm Beach international airport on 3 February. County aviation officials say the president’s four-day visit cost more than $250,000 in lost revenue. Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters

Donald Trump arrives at Palm Beach international airport on 3 February. County aviation officials say the president’s four-day visit cost more than $250,000 in lost revenue. Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters

Trump’s four-day visit last weekend caused more than $250,000 in lost revenue from fuel sales and landing fees, according to a dossier released this week by county aviation officials, mostly at Palm Beach international airport, where Air Force One lands and departs.

At Lantana general aviation airport, inside the 30-mile flight restriction zone around Mar-a-Lago imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration, all operations cease during presidential visits. Jonathan Miller, chief executive of airport operator Stellar Aviation, said the repeated groundings, including training and sightseeing flights, are forcing several Lantana tenants to consider their futures. Palm Beach Aircraft Services estimates losses could reach $2m a year and several private plane owners have already switched to other airports, Miller said.

“When [the president’s] here for three days we lose at least $30,000. Our small businesses can’t survive, they’ll either shut down or leave,” said Miller, who added that more than 400 people work at the airport.

“People will just say I’m not going to stay in the Palm Beaches, I don’t need the aggravation. It’s going to grind our economy to a halt,” said Jeff Greene, a hotel owner who says that he has already lost bookings from prospective guests at his upmarket Tideline Ocean Resort and Spa further south along Ocean Boulevard from Trump’s waterfront estate.

“And basically the opportunities in a town like this are exactly the times he’s planning on being here, Christmas, New Year, Presidents’ weekend, Easter and all these other weekends, like last weekend and this coming weekend. In our hotel we depend on February and March to make 50% of our annual profit.”

While hoteliers such as Greene are unable to yet put a dollar figure on their expected losses, Palm Beach County’s airports, flight schools and other aviation-related businesses are already counting the cost.

While the airports’ losses grow, Palm Beach is also seeking relief for security costs to protect Trump, including policing of demonstrations. About 3,000 people took part in a peaceful protest at Mar-a-Lago last weekend and another is planned for Sunday.

The Palm Beach sheriff’s office did not respond to the Guardian’s request for cost details of last weekend’s visit, or Trump’s extended Christmas and New Year break at Mar-a-Lago, but its overtime bill alone topped $250,000 for the then president-elect’s short Thanksgiving sojourn.

“Back in the 1960s John F Kennedy was here but it was a different town then, much smaller and quieter,” said Laurel Baker, a longtime Palm Beach resident and executive director of the town’s chamber of commerce.

Baker said tourists had always come to gawk at the Rolls-Royces, Bentleys and Maseratis parked outside the upscale jewellery and fashion stores along Worth Avenue, but the challenge now is turning Trump’s notoriety into financial gain for the island’s business owners.

“People want to see the winter White House but they’re drive-bys, which is a terrible word to use, but that’s what it is,” she said. “It’s all well and good, but it doesn’t help unless they also stop for a bite to eat.”

There are, of course, no such worries inside Mar-a-Lago, where the opulent dining room is full every dinnertime when Trump is in residence, and the non-refundable membership fee doubled to $200,000 within weeks of his election victory.

Read the complete article on The Guardian web site here.

 

 

Americans more likely to be killed by cows than immigrant terrorists

Flickr/Amanda Parsons

Flickr/Amanda Parsons

Americans are vastly more likely to find employment with a Muslim refugee than to be killed by one. They are in fact much likelier to be killed by cows, fireworks and malfunctioning elevators than an immigrant terrorist.

Cows kill 20 Americans every year on average. (Source) Yes, cows are twenty times more lethal than sharks, bears, or alligators. In 2015 toddlers in the U.S. killed more Americans than foreign terrorists.(Source) There were 301,797 firearm-related deaths in the past decade, compared to 71 deaths from domestic acts of terrorism. (Source) As a means of keeping Americans safe, Mr Trump’s order is almost worthless.

The reputational damage done to America by Mr Trump’s action will be dangerous, as well as large. The attributes that make America attractive to migrants—its openness, fairness and opportunity—are also among its most effective security mechanisms. They help explain why America is at once the most desirable destination for migrants and less prone to jihadist violence than almost any other country with a large Muslim population. By singling out Muslims for discrimination—including a group currently detained at John F. Kennedy airport in New York who had risked their lives working with Americans in Iraq—Mr Trump’s order is a repudiation of these American strengths.

Worsening the damage, he also signalled, in an interview with a Christian television channel, that the ban would not apply to Christians. Syrian Christians, claimed Mr Trump, were “horribly treated” by his predecessor. “If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible,” he said. “I thought it was very, very unfair. So we are going to help them.” This was not merely incendiary but untrue: last year America accepted 37,521 Christian refugees and 38,901 Muslims.

Senator Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska, suggested the ban went too far: “If we send a signal to the Middle East that the US sees all Muslims as jihadis, the terrorist recruiters win.” But this was a rare exception. Most Republicans have either stayed silent or welcomed the ban. Paul Ryan, the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, was among its fans: “We are a compassionate nation, and I support the refugee resettlement programme, but it’s time to reevaluate and strengthen the visa vetting process,” he said. This is a bad moment for America.

Trump is proof evident of the old joke about politicians. “When do you know a politician is lying? When he’s lips are moving!”

‘Up Is Down’: Trump’s Unreality Show Echoes His Business Past

 President Trump on Air Force One after a trip to Philadelphia on Thursday. As a businessman and candidate, he often made fantastical or false claims, and in his first days as president he has issued a series of untruths. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Trump on Air Force One after a trip to Philadelphia on Thursday. As a businessman and candidate, he often made fantastical or false claims, and in his first days as president he has issued a series of untruths. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

As a businessman, Donald J. Trump was a serial fabulist whose biggest-best boasts about everything he touched routinely crumbled under the slightest scrutiny. As a candidate, Mr. Trump was a magical realist who made fantastical claims punctuated by his favorite verbal tic: “Believe me.”

Yet even jaded connoisseurs of Oval Office dissembling were astonished over the last week by the torrent of bogus claims that gushed from President Trump during his first days in office.

“We’ve never seen anything this bizarre in our lifetimes, where up is down and down is up and everything is in question and nothing is real,” said Charles Lewis, the founder of the Center for Public Integrity and the author of “935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity,” a book about presidential deception.

It was not just Mr. Trump’s debunked claim about how many people attended his inauguration, or his insistence (contradicted by his own Twitter posts) that he had not feuded with the intelligence community, or his audacious and evidence-free claim that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote only because millions of people voted for her illegally.

Nearly 30 years ago, in his best-selling book “The Art of the Deal,” Mr. Trump memorably extolled the advantages of “truthful hyperbole,” which he described as “an innocent form of exaggeration — and a very effective form of promotion.” It is one thing when the hyperbole comes from a reality TV star exaggerating his ratings to a roomful of television critics. The stakes are infinitely higher when it comes from the leader of the free world, and this reality is provoking alarm from many across the political spectrum.

Steve Schmidt, who helped manage Senator John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, said in an interview that Mr. Trump’s cascade of falsehoods was “a direct assault on the very idea of representative democracy” in the United States. Mr. Schmidt said that when he heard Mr. Trump’s adviser Kellyanne Conway defend the Trump administration’s “alternative facts” on NBC’s “Meet the Press” last Sunday, he thought of George Orwell’s “1984,” in which the Ministry of Truth is emblazoned with three slogans: “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”

Deception, dissembling, exaggeration — what Fortune magazine called his “astonishing ability to prevaricate” — has deep roots in Mr. Trump’s business career. In innumerable interviews over the years, Mr. Trump glibly inflated everything from the size of his speaking fees to the cost of his golf club memberships to the number of units he had sold in new Trump buildings. In project after project, he faced allegations of broken promises, deceit or outright fraud, from Trump University students who said they had been defrauded, to Trump condominium buyers who said they had been fleeced, to small-time contractors who said Mr. Trump had fabricated complaints about their work to avoid paying them.

In the early 1980s, a New York City housing court judge ruled that Mr. Trump had filed a “spurious” lawsuit to harass a tenant into vacating a Trump building. In the early 1990s, a federal judge ruled that despite Mr. Trump’s denials, there was “strong evidence” he and his subordinates had conspired to hire undocumented workers and deprive them of employment benefits. In the case of Trump University, Mr. Trump repeatedly claimed that he had “handpicked” each of the instructors who were hired to teach students the secrets of his real estate investing strategies. Yet during a deposition, Mr. Trump struggled to identify a single instructor, even after he was shown their photographs.

The price Mr. Trump paid for this record of prevarication was modest and manageable. His lawyers quietly settled cases when necessary, almost always after binding plaintiffs to secrecy. Some major banks and law firms quietly pulled back from doing or seeking business with the Trump Organization. Skeptical judges turned away his libel suit against a journalist who wrote a book calling into question the amount of his wealth. But usually, by the time the truth caught up, Mr. Trump had moved on to the next big thing.

Once he stepped into the political arena, however, fact-checking operations began cataloging his false statements in ways he never experienced during his years as a real estate developer and reality television star. PolitiFact, for example, has scrutinized 356 specific claims by Mr. Trump and found that more than two-thirds of the claims were “mostly false,” “false” or, in 62 cases, “Pants on Fire” false.

Read more from the New York Times article.

Reading online newspapers around the world.

Rack of world newspapers. Image via Katy Stoddard (Flickr). From Indiana University.

Rack of world newspapers. Image via Katy Stoddard (Flickr). From Indiana University.

There a many online newspapers available for free or fee and I always try to drop in on some of them now and then to read their opinion of world or local events.

The web site I use has thousands of newspapers by country and region, and available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. Many of these online newspapers offer an English translation, which makes it easy for me as my French is certainly not up to snuff nowadays.

I find the site is easy to navigate and drilldown to find the newspapers available. Of particular interest to me at this time of my life is news about business, economics, environment, health and education, and science. I’ve always been interested in these areas, it’s just that now President Trump is placing gag orders on various government departments it will be more difficult to ascertain the truth compared to the ‘alternate facts’ President Trump will be offering the American people.

Link to my favorite online newspaper list.

Link to my second favorite online newspaper list. (English only site)