He’s losing friends, staff and still causes more problems

Convicted pervert and former hedge fund manager, Jeffrey Epstein, is in trouble again for his perversions. He is supposed to be a friend of Donald Trump but Trump said he hasn’t seen Epstein in 15 years. If you believe that.

Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, who as a US attorney in Miami signed off on what critics now say was a lenient non-prosecution agreement with Epstein’s plea agreement in 2008. Epstein went to jail – for 13 months of an 18-month sentence – registering as a sex offender and putting the world on notice that he was a sexual predator.

Trump is not the only top politician who is being asked what he knew about Epstein’s behavior: Friends of Epstein include Attorney General William Barr’s father, Donald Barr. Also included are Trump, Bill Clinton, celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz, singer Courtney Love, actor Alec Baldwin and billionaire David Koch

Epstein is quoted as saying, “I want to set up my modeling agency the same way Trump set up his modeling agency.” Legend has it that he sometimes would walk into the dressing room at one of his pageants while some of the contestants were at least partially nude.

Epstein could be charged with possible witness tampering where he made $350,000 in payments to two possible co-conspirators after a series of newspaper stories alleged he sexually abused dozens of girls. He also had investigators follow some of his victims and supposedly harassed some as well.

Acosta – who announced his resignation – said he decided to step aside because he didn’t want his previous handling of a plea deal with Jeffrey Epstein to become the focus of the Labor Department. Acosta had made an agreement with Epstein to avoid major repercussions for Epstein, even though a federal investigation had identified 36 underage victims and there could be over 100.

Months ago Trump said “He’s [Acosta] done a fantastic job. He’s a friend of everybody in the administration…. He made a deal that people were happy with, and then 12 years later they’re not happy with it.”

Acosta is the 9th cabinet official to leave the Trump administration. During the Obama Administration, there was no turnover in cabinet agencies, two and a half years into his first term. During the Bush Administration, one cabinet secretary had left office as of June 2003.

Trump said “It will be like obliteration [of Iran] that you have never seen before.” Luckily, for now, we have never seen obliteration. So we don’t know what it’s looks like.

Trump still wants his wall and yet he says his people at the border are doing a great job. Does that mean he doesn’t want a wall?

There is talk of maybe an insert with additional questions. I guess those against the census questions [like 99% of Democrats, immigrants, illegals and basically anyone who is sane] will not return those questions. I wonder how much extra these questions will cost. Mailing, printing, lawyers, lawsuits, etc.

Instead Trump will get the information the needs from other departments and use what the administration can to cheat out some people from getting their [indirect] share of future budgets.

“Congratulations to the US Women’s Soccer Team on winning the World Cup! Great and exciting play. America is proud of you all!” Trump tweeted from his golf club in New Jersey. That’s nice – except it took a 5 hours after his wife, President Obama and others congratulated them. The US government’s delegation to the final in France also lacked a bit of firepower, given that it was led by a comparatively junior official in the deputy Secretary of Commerce. No word if the team will be actually invited to the White House.

After leaked cables sent from United Kingdom’s Ambassador to the United States, Sir Kim Darroch, back to London describe Trump as “inept,” “insecure” and “incompetent,” Trump [of course], lashed out at Darroch saying “We’re not big fans of that man and he has not served the UK well, so I can understand it,” Trump said. “And I can say things about him but I won’t bother.” Funny how he only says negative things after he is criticized. If Darroch did a lousy job why not complain about him sooner?

Trump continued his rant against the soon to be ex-UK Ambassador to the US, Darroch, by saying “I do not know the Ambassador, but he is not liked or well….” He is the ambassador to one of the biggest US allies. Trump never met Darroch at all? He tweeted that the ambassador was “wacky,” “a very stupid guy” and a “pompous fool”. Either he knows him or is just [as usual] making comments without knowing the Darroch.

Even with all the mess regarding Brexit? Darroch is now branded an anti-Trump globalist by his foes back home, is no longer welcome in the White House. Darroch was recently was dis-invited from a dinner with Trump, the Emir of Qatar and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Petty.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt – Darroch’s boss – said officials would consider whether a hostile foreign power keen to disrupt relations between the US and Britain was behind the leak. While Hunt sort of sided with Darroch in Darroch is allowed to state his opinion, Hunt said that Darroch’s opinions were not his.

Darroch made his decision to step down after seeing that Boris Johnson, the current frontrunner to replace Theresa May as British Prime Minister, had refused to support him during a leadership debate. “Good government depends on public servants being able to give full and frank advice,” outgoing UK Prime Minister Theresa May told the House of Commons.

Trump also went after May for “… their failed Brexit negotiation, and not be upset with my criticism of how badly it was handled. I told @theresa_may how to do that deal, but she went her own foolish way-was unable to get it done. A disaster!” As if the UK would allow Trump to play a hand in Brexit negotiations when it is none of his business. The US is not part of the EU.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an amendment to New York law that would allow Congress to get hold of Trump’s state tax returns while the legal battle for his federal returns rages on. The law requires the state’s tax commissioner to provide New York state tax returns to Congress upon request from the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, or the Joint Committee on Taxation and mandates the removal of any federal tax information that might appear on state returns.

The House Judiciary Committee broadened its investigation into Trump and possible obstruction of justice, authorizing subpoenas to a dozen individuals that included Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. The committee also authorized subpoenas to current and former Trump administration officials related to the “zero-tolerance” immigration policy that led to the separation last year of migrant families who crossed the southern border illegally.

“We’re going to send people in. We’re going to have some of the press go in,” said Trump comes days after Democratic members of Congress toured two Texas border facilities, including one in Clint, and expressed outrage over the growing humanitarian crisis on the southern border.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement plans to begin the previously postponed raids across the country to arrest thousands of family members of undocumented immigrants who already have court orders to be removed. Raids are expected to take place in at least 10 cities, will occur “over multiple days” and will include “collateral” deportations in which “authorities might detain immigrants who happened to be on the scene, even though they were not targets of the raids.”

[I guess if you move yourself temporarily to a nice rural mid-west location where they vote for Republicans en mass, then you are safe.]

Federal prosecutors have requested information about former top GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy’s contacts with foreign leaders and businesses while working for Trump’s inauguration. They are seeking documents and records relating to Broidy, five companies associated with him and foreign politicians — including the presidents of Angola and the Republic of Congo and two Romanian politicians.

The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a New York judge’s ruling and found that Trump “engaged in unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination by utilizing Twitter’s ‘blocking’ function to limit certain users’ access to his social media account, which is otherwise open to the public at large, because he disagrees with their speech…. We hold that he engaged in such discrimination.”

The administration had won only three of 42 deregulatory cases, a paltry success rate of only 7%.

Trump tweeted “Word just out that I won a big part of the Deep State and Democrat induced Witch Hunt.” This after an appeal court ruled that his Trump International Hotel in Washington harms hotels and other businesses the states partially own. The court’s decision effectively keeps the states’ attorneys general offices from gathering financial information from the Trump Organization and Trump himself. Trump now thinks that there a body of people who are involved in the secret manipulation or control of government policy.

The US budget deficit increased by $140 billion during the first nine months of this budget year to $747.1 billion US as government revenues and spending both hit records. The deficit for the current fiscal year through June is up 23.1% over the same period a year ago with receipts rising by 2.7% while spending increased 6.6%. The deficit for the full budget year, which ends on Sept. 30, will top $1 trillion.

The Trump Organization’s golf resort in Doral, Florida, will host a charity golf tournament this week put on by a strip club [Shadow Cabaret] in the Miami area that will include dancers serving as “caddy girls” for the tournament’s participants. Trump name and family crest are displayed prominently in the strip club’s advertising materials. I’m sure Trump will be upset…. that he wasn’t invited.

[From 2015 to 2017, revenue fell 18%, net operating income shrank from $13.8 million to $4.3 million and Trump Organization sought to lower the property’s tax bill. The Trump Organization earlier this year shelved plans to expand two US hotel chains, citing a toxic political climate for the Trump brand. has previously listed Doral in federal disclosures as his biggest money-maker.]

“We live in a climate where everything will be used against us, whether by the fake news or by Democrats who are only interested in Presidential harassment and wasting everyone’s time, barraging us with nonsense letters,” Eric Trump said in February. Or maybe it’s your father or even your incompetence in running a business.

The Trump Organization said in a separate statement to the Post that the decline in revenue at Doral is unrelated to the Trump name, and instead cited “fears of the Zika virus in 2016, and hurricanes in 2016 and 2017, for driving tourists away from South Florida.” There will be hurricanes every year.

The White House announced a social media summit in late June, describing it as an event to bring together “digital leaders for a robust conversation on the opportunities and challenges of today’s online environment.” But the White House has not extended invitations to Facebook and Twitter. They said they believe the summit would amount to a right-wing grievance session and was not aimed at seriously discussing some of the issues facing large technology companies.

Trump has poured fuel on the fire, attacking large technology companies on a regular basis and suggesting they need to be regulated by the government. Trump has suggested, without evidence, that Twitter makes it difficult for his supporters to follow him.

Among those invited to Trump’s “social media summit” are Bill Mitchell, a radio host who has promoted the extremist QAnon conspiracy theory on Twitter; Carpe Donktum, an anonymous troll who won a contest put on by the fringe media organization InfoWars for an anti-media meme; and Ali Alexander, an activist who attempted to smear Sen. Kamala Harris by saying she is not an “American black” following the first Democratic presidential debates.

Other eyebrow raising attendees include James O’Keefe, the guerrilla journalist; Charlie Kirk, the founder of the right-wing student group Turning Point USA who sometimes posts misleading information on social media; and Benny Johnson, the journalist-turned-activist who was fired for plagiarism by BuzzFeed and demoted at the Independent Journal Review for violating company standards.

At least one of the individuals invited proved to be too far off in the fringe even for the White House as the White House had rescinded its invitation to cartoonist Ben Garrison, who had drawn a cartoon widely condemned as anti-Semitic.

At the “social media summit” this week…..

  • Trump said it used to take him a mere “short number of days” to gain 100,000 new followers, but it now takes “10 times as long” even though, he claimed, his personal brand is “much hotter” than it was when he was gaining followers more quickly. – Except it is normal for the numbers to fall off. Anytime you start off with big numbers, it will slow down as anyone who wants to follow you has.
  • Trump spoke at length about what he falsely suggested was a deliberate attempt by social media companies to prevent him from gaining followers, alleging that “a lot of bad things are happening.” – This is his standard fiction as there is no evidence that Twitter or other social media companies have made it difficult for people to follow Trump.
  • Trump said that he census survey can ask people about the number of beds and toilets they have but not about whether they are citizens. – Except that could be asked in the supplemental surveys from the Census Bureau, which do ask questions about living conditions of a small sample of households but also asks questions of citizenship. The 2010 didn’t ask about plumbing, bedrooms, and desks.
  • Trump says “….darling you’re up 77% this year.” – Trump claims 401(k)s are up that much which is possible but at the close of trading on the day Trump spoke, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up by 16%, the S&P 500 Index by 20%, the Nasdaq by 24%. Even since his inauguration day, the highest is 58% for Nasdaq.
  • Trump claims at his June rally he had 20,000 people in the arena and 109,000 outside. – Except the city said the arena was just below capacity and the Orlando Sentinel newspaper reported that the overflow area outside the arena was “virtually empty” as Trump spoke, with only “a few dozen people in the holding area.”
  • Trump claimed that the Democrats “were all in favor of a wall just a few years ago.” – Except 17 of 26 senators voted no and he wanted a fence then, not a wall.
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And the shutdown continues, and he rants

“We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with,” Donald Trump tweeted. “Hard to believe there was a Congress & President who would approve!” So he’s becoming the Blackmail President.

He also said that he could kill the renegotiated NAFTA and the US would terminate aid with Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, which he said are doing “nothing for the United States but taking our money” if he didn’t get his Trump Wall money.

Meanwhile, he has been “President” for almost 2 years now. Why hasn’t he changed the laws? Blame everyone but himself. He is getting nervous because when the Democrats take over on the 3rd, not only will it be more difficult to get rid of the shutdown but he knows the Democrats will begin investigations in him and his administration. So instead of trying to tone down and be willing to compromise, he goes the other way.

Did he really write The Art Of The Deal? Because he seems to have problem making deals. North Korean deal? Nothing really came out of it. The new NAFTA deal? May not pass in at least 1 of 3 countries. Can’t seem to get a long term deal with the third shutdown this year.

Trump tweeted “Any deaths of children or others at the Border are strictly the fault of the Democrats and their pathetic immigration policies that allow people to make the long trek thinking they can enter our country illegally. They can’t. If we had a Wall, they wouldn’t even try! The two children in question were very sick before they were given over to Border Patrol. The father of the young girl said it was not their fault, he hadn’t given her water in days.”

Holy craps! Where to begin. He’s been in office for 2 years and he hasn’t changed the policies of the Democrats even though he HAD a majority in the House and Senate. No water in days? Is that a federal regulation not to give migrant people water [or food or medical attention]? Bloody lying fool.

In a sign the deadlock will continue, Trump announced he would travel to Texas in late January to observe part of the wall being built – if there is a wall being built there as he claimed in a tweet “I am in the Oval Office & just gave out a 115 mile long contract for another large section of the Wall in Texas.”

Problem is the White House administration knows nothing about it. As well, where did the funding come from and whether there were any tenders as is required by government [this alone takes time]. If he is thinking of getting it from the battle over the shutdown, good luck there.

Trump tweeted “This isn’t about the Wall, …. This is only about the Dems not letting Donald Trump & the Republicans have a win.” Oh ya. For sure Donnie.

Trump claimed, without evidence, that “… many of those workers have said to me and communicated, stay out until you get the funding for the wall.” Yes. I’m sure he polled them all. He claimed “Do the Dems realize that most of the people not getting paid are Democrats?” The president of the American Federation of Government Employees [which represents 700,000 federal employees] debunked that by saying to his knowledge, workers are evenly split when it comes to the party they support.

Trump tweeted “Virtually every Democrat we are dealing with today strongly supported a Border Wall or Fence. It was only when I made it an important part of my campaign, because people and drugs were pouring into our Country unchecked, that they turned against it.” Yes. He asked them all and why. Not.

As if it can’t get worse for federal employees, Trump issued an executive order freezing federal workers’ pay for 2019 [for non-military employees], following through on a proposal he announced earlier in the year. The move, which nixes a 2.1% across-the-board pay raise that was set to take effect in January. Merry Christmas from Trump the Grinch. Waiting for him to blame the Democrats on this.

In Trump’s Christmas Day talk, the drugs are flowing over the border, the Federal Reserve is imperiling the economy and the Democrats are preparing to harass him with oversight requests. “It’s a disgrace, what’s happening in our country,” Trump fumed after decrying Democrats as hypocrites. “But other than that,” he said, his hands gesturing outward, “I wish everybody a very merry Christmas.”

Trump claims that drugs flow through the border but the DEA and DoHS say that drugs go through legal ports of entry. So who do you think is right?

Once again, no class from him. You look at any Christmas message – from the Queen of England to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – none of them complained about what’s going on in their countries [or equivalent]. Even go back to previous Presidents. They didn’t whine.

The Trump administration said it is appealing a federal judge’s order that blocks the administration from implementing asylum restrictions on the southern border.  Trump signed a presidential proclamation last month that would bar migrants who illegally cross into the United States over the southern border from seeking asylum outside of official ports of entry.

Trump is predicting “presidential harassment” – as he calls it – when the Democrats take over the house in under a week and begin investigations in the administration. Already, it looks like they will add another as another young illegal migrant died while in Customs and Border Protection custody. There are still over 15,000 migrant in US detention centers.

Trump continues on his rant against outgoing Secretary of Defense James Mattis by tweeting “We are substantially subsidizing the Militaries of many VERY rich countries all over the world, while at the same time these countries take total advantage of the U.S., and our TAXPAYERS, on Trade. General Mattis did not see this as a problem. I DO, and it is being fixed!” So blaming on Mattis. He whines about issues like this and yet he knows about the subsidizing since before he became the US leader and has done nothing. Blame everyone but himself. And how do they take “advantage”? [Notice how I still don’t call him by his title]

The daughters of a Queens foot doctor say their late father diagnosed Trump with bone spurs to help him avoid the Vietnam War draft as a “favor” to his father Fred Trump, according to the New York Times. The Times did not find documentation to help corroborate the family’s account and one daughter was unsure whether her father ever examined The Draft Dodger.

Trump called some children across on Christmas. Sounds normal. Except he asked one 7 year old child “you still a believer in Santa?” Seriously?

Trump took a secret trip to Iraq to finally visit US troops in a war zone – first time in his term as Commander in Chief. So the 11 hour flight had Air Force One escorted by fighter jets, set with lights out and “windows closed”. Hmmm. I hope they were closed!

Speaking to troops at Al Asad Air Base during his surprise visit to Iraq, Trump told troops: “You protect us. We are always going to protect you. And you just saw that, ’cause you just got one of the biggest pay raises you’ve ever received. … You haven’t gotten one in more than 10 years. More than 10 years. And we got you a big one. I got you a big one. I got you a big one.”

Ummm. They have received raises every year. The last two years were over 2%. The last 4 years of the Obama administration were a bit under 2% But the first few years of the Obama administration actually went over 3%. For 2019, it will be 2.6%. Trump told the troops about the latest pay raise. “I said, ‘No. Make it 10%. Make it more than 10%.'” Retired General John Kirby said Trump’s lie to troops is “unconscionable”.

Trump tweeted “CNN & others within the Fake News Universe were going wild about my signing MAGA hats for our military in Iraq and Germany.” Ummmm. I was on CNN’s web site and they mentioned nothing about his cheap made in China hats. But how did those hats get to Iraq?

Trump has canceled his New Year’s plans at held at his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, in order to remain in Washington until a deal over border wall funds is reached and the partial government shutdown ends, according to the President’s incoming acting chief of staff.

Mar-a-Lago guests will pay a hefty $1,000 to ring in the New Year at Trump’s private Palm Beach club, up from $750 last year and $575 the year before. This year Mar-a-Lago members will pay $650 for New Year’s Eve tickets, sources said, up from $600 last year and $525 the year before. The ticket prices don’t include a 20 percent gratuity and 7 percent tax, which can add another $270 to a $1,000 guest ticket. But as a bonus, you won’t see him!

A federal judge has denied a Justice Department request, because of the shutdown, to pause all deadlines in a DC federal court case challenging the administration’s asylum restrictions. The judge wrote that those challenging the asylum restrictions view this as a case related to human safety and as such, despite the shutdown, deadlines for case filings remain in place.

Trump supporter, Republican Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, commented about attending a “public hanging” sparked weeks of controversy, given the state’s history of racially charged lynchings. It prompted major corporate interests, ranging from health insurance giant Aetna to Facebook to Major League Baseball, to demand refunds of their political donations.

Major League Baseball, Amgen and the National Cattlemen’s Association received their donation refunds, however the filings indicate that MLB and Amgen received refunds by stopping payments on their checks. She returned contributions to three individuals — including San Francisco Giants’ principal owner Charles Johnson and his wife, Ann, who each donated the $2,700 maximum.

And a Happy New Year to one and all.

I am hoping it would be good for all of us. But for that Orange Idiot in the US….

 

 

Soggy crisis after crisis

Well in a week where one hurricane devastated south central America and another hurricane expected to go straight through Florida, it was for the most part a quiet week with Donald Trump. But it wasn’t quiet!

Trump surprised the leaders of his own party in Congress when he backed a deal pushed by Democrats to attach hurricane relief money to a shorter-term bump in the debt ceiling as well as keeping the government open, cutting off his own Treasury secretary to strike a deal. Republican congressional leaders, in control of both chambers of the legislative branch, were “shell-shocked” and “visibly annoyed”. Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin was in the middle of arguing for a longer-term deal in the meeting when the President abruptly cut him off and sided with the Democrats. The House easily approved with the deal where all but 90 Republicans approved.

House Republicans unleashed their fury over Trump’s deal with the Democrats at Steve Mnuchin, with conservatives calling the treasury secretary’s appeal to them to “vote for it for me” insulting and inappropriate. Most rank-and-file House Republicans don’t know Mnuchin and more than one said they believed he was a Democrat, based on his previous donations to political candidates.

Republicans were hoping to get am 18 month extension of the debt ceiling. Do the math. The 18 months would expire after the mid-term elections. 18 months would of helped many Republicans up for mid-term elections tell their constituents that it would have been a big win – maybe [so far] the only big win in this session of Congress.

Trump will phase out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals [or DACA] that has protected hundreds of thousands of young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children. Trump tweeted “Make no mistake, we are going to put the interest of AMERICAN CITIZENS FIRST!” Sure, but most of these people are taking courses in colleges and universities. Others have graduated. Microsoft has 27 of these “Dreamers” working for them.

Trump was expected to end the program with a potential six-month delay, during which Congress could potentially pass legislation protecting people who would otherwise lose their legal protection under DACA. Trump claims he is sympathetic to the plight of the immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children and in some cases have no memories of the countries they were born in. During the elections, his campaign rhetoric blasting DACA as illegal “amnesty”. Last week, Trump said, “We love the ‘Dreamers'”.

Javier Palomarez, the head of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said he plans to work until the “bloody end” to sway Trump to keep intact an Obama-era program extending legal protections to young undocumented immigrants. “If he gets rid of DACA, he’s showing that he is a liar.” He changed his mind as he announced he would step down from Trump’s National Diversity Coalition.

If the Dreamers left, it would cost the government $60 billion over 10 years and $400 billion in the economy over 10 years.

In 2011, Trump said that it would be very wrong to deport the Dreamers. They do a good job, good marks, etc.

A coalition of 16 Democratic and nonpartisan state attorneys general filed suit in New York federal court on Wednesday to stop Trump’s sunset of DACA and they say Trump’s comments about Mexicans should be used against him. The lawsuit also devotes a section to Texas, the state that pushed Trump to end the program, using a section to describe Texas as “a state found to have discriminated against Latinos/Hispanics nine times since 2012.”

Trump, who styles himself a master negotiator, threw himself into the middle of the fight between Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE by offering to mediate the dispute at the White House. You know they won’t take him seriously.

A watchdog group is looking into a trip that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin made recently with his wife, Louise Linton, aboard a government plane. He supposedly went there to discuss tax reform and later the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox. The group is investigating whether the purpose of the trip was actually to view the total solar eclipse. Has he visited anywhere else regarding the tax reform or is it a coincidence that he went to one of the best locations to see the eclipse at the same time?

Trump always boasted that his Mar-a-Lago mansion can withstand any storm. His boasting will get the big test this weekend with Hurricane Irma heading its way. Strikes by four major hurricanes have done little damage to Mar-a-Lago in the 90 years. The mansion’s walls are 1 meter thick, anchored by steel and concrete beams embedded into coral rock.

[While I think we hope there is no damage to the joint, I’m sure a few hope that the place does get hit a bit so it would put Trump in his place.]

An AP investigation last year showed Trump received a $17 million insurance payment for Mar-a-Lago damage in 2005 after hurricanes Frances, Jeanne and Wilma hit in two years, but he said in an unrelated lawsuit deposition in 2007 that he didn’t know how much was spent on repairs. He conceded to pocketing some of the money. Anthony Senecal, Trump’s longtime butler and Mar-a-Lago’s unofficial historian, told the AP the roof lost some tiles and some trees were flattened. Town of Palm Beach records showed no permits were issued for major repairs during that period.

Woops. White House aides reportedly refer to Ivanka Trump as “Princess Royal” behind her back, and it’s definitely not meant to be a compliment. Ivanka Trump has little to no political experience and was not elected to office, so many questioned what qualifications she had to act on the president’s behalf in such a formal, international setting at the G-20 summit, during which at one point she sat in for her father.

According to Vanity Fair, one former Trump adviser responded by stating, “Excuse me. This is not a royal family, and she’s not the princess royal,” which helps explain the nickname.

Former Trump Chief Strategist Steve Bannon claims that illegal aliens are filling the churches of America. The church “have an economic interest”. James Rogers, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’s chief spokesman, called Bannon’s comments “preposterous” and accused the conservative agitator of presenting a false choice between compassion and security. “Our pro-immigration stance is based on fidelity to God’s word and honors the American dream. For anyone to suggest that it is out of sordid motives of statistics or financial gain is outrageous and insulting.”

According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, more than a quarter of American Catholics (27%) were born outside the country, mostly from the Americas; and one out of three American Catholics now identify as Latino or Hispanic. Of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States in 2011, for example, 82% were Christian, mostly from Latin America.

How the Trump family is profiting from charities [updated]

Updated. See slow….

According to Forbes, the charity Eric Trump Foundation, brought in $1.2 million from donors in 2015, And while donors to the Eric Trump Foundation were told their money was going to help sick kids with cancer, more than $500,000 was re-donated to other charities [some not related to cancer or sick kids foundations], 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.

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. Foundation had no actual employees until 2015 and all board members were friends of his. In 2014, 4 left and 14 were added. Almost half had connections to the Trump Organization.

Holding an annual charity golf tournament at Mar-A-Lago saw cost balloon from $59,000 in 2012 to $230,000 in 2013 jumping to $322,000 in 2015 as Donald Trump insisted nothing is for free and charged Eric’s foundation. After calculations, no one can figure out how they were billed that much at full cost in 2015. While the event pulled in $2 million in donations, in subsequent years, it never went reached $2 million.

It seems after a “successful” charity golf tournament at Mar-A-Lago, the foundation added a few other golf events and fundraisers.

Eric Trump also used foundation money for non-foundation purposed such as a copper wine still and an antique bottle washer. The foundation used money to send it to another foundation where a painter created a portrait of Donald Trump. That portrait ended up hanging over the couch in Eric Trump’s house.

But in 2015, with other people’s’ money, a new intensive-care unit at St. Jude opened with Eric Trump’s name on it, and the foundation’s money has funded research into a rare form of cancer. Last year, the Eric Trump Foundation donated $2.9 million, according to St. Jude.

More recently, the foundation has rebranded itself as Curetivity. A spokeswoman for the organization said it would continue hosting golf tournaments to raise money for St. Jude.

[Forbes will have a detailed article at the end of the month, the Trump family and foundations declined to comment when Forbes asked.]

Updated 2017/06/10:

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is “looking into” a charitable foundation founded by Eric Trump, a spokesman for Schneiderman said, after Forbes magazine raised questions about whether Donald Trump’s son had made misleading statements about how the foundation spent its money. It was at an early stage and could not be considered a formal investigation.

One item at issue was that the Eric Trump Foundation has rebranded itself “Curetivity” and held a fundraiser under that name. But, after a query from The Washington Post morning, the attorney general’s office said the charity had not officially changed its name with New York charity regulators

Schneiderman’s office is already investigating the Donald Trump’s own name-branded foundation. Trump had used his charity’s money to settle lawsuits involving his for-profit businesses or to buy portraits of himself. That investigation is ongoing, a spokeswoman for Schneiderman said.

[Not surprising, those pro-Trump supports claimed that Forbes has no evidence. I am sure a respectable magazine like Forbes would not publish a story unless there are facts – unlike Fox News, Breitbart, etc. Changing the registration of a charity should be easy for anyone to confirm.]

 

 

Trump and immigration

Businesses run and owned by Donald Trump and his adult children have been certified to legally hire 1,371 foreign visa workers since 2001. In addition, Trump-branded real estate has raised at least $50 million in foreign investor money through a program that gives foreign investors access to green cards, according to the company that did the development of the real estate. The Trump enterprise has made use of low-skilled permits for vineyard seasonal workers, for example, and has used high-skilled visas to bring in models for its modeling agency.

Trumps’ businesses have received 283 H-1B visas since 2001. The high-skilled visas have been used for Trump’s modeling venture, Trump Model Management, Mar-A-Lago, the Trump Corporation and businesses associated with his hotels and resorts. Yes, the H-1B visa is to be used for scientists, doctors and the like – not for models, cooks and accountants [all which can be found quite easily].

Trump businesses have received 1,024 H-2B visas since 2000, according to Labor records. Those visas have gone to Mar-A-Lago, Jupiter Gold Club, Lamington Farm and the Trump National Golf Club for jobs like cooks, waiters and waitresses and housekeepers. Trump Vineyards has received 64 H-2A permits since 2006 for agricultural work.

Melania Trump is Slovenian, but began modeling in the US with H-1B visas and was given a green card in 2001, before she married Trump. Trump self-sponsored herself for residency, according to a letter by her attorney released during the campaign. She became a US citizen in 2006. [She also had some run-ins with others claiming she was an escort while at Trump Model Management.]

Trump’s first wife, Ivana, was also an immigrant, coming to the US via Canada from Czechoslovakia. Ivana became a US citizen in 1988, 11 years after she married Trump.

Trump faced a lawsuit in the 1980s that accused him and business partners of withholding wages from undocumented Polish immigrants and union workers hired by a contracting company called Kaszycki & Sons to demolish the building that would make room for Trump Tower.

A judge ruled in 1991 that Trump and his associates owed the workers more than $300,000 plus interest. The ruling was appealed, and the case was eventually settled under a sealed agreement, according to a source familiar with the proceedings.

The Washington Post reported in 2015 that it interviewed workers on the construction of Trump’s hotel in the nation’s capital who said they entered the country illegally, several of whom were still lacking authorization to live and work in the US.

Ever notice that the only Trump business that didn’t fit the same area of ownership is the Trump Model Management which would have little to do with the other businesses unless the models need a room to stay or take a vacation at Mar-A-Lago.