Thursday, June 22, 2017

Night off.

MORE DISCLAIMERSNo post tonight, field hands.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

OPEN THREAD WEDNESDAY.

TWEET MEIt's hump day in America, people, and I need to know your thoughts on a few stories in the news.

First, the dems are 0-4 in these recent special elections (yeah I know I know, they were close, but close only counts in horseshoes), is it time to rethink their strategy in picking candidates? Or is the voter purge and gerrymandering just too much to overcome at this moment in time?

Also, what's up with all of these state killings  of black folks and the killers walking free?

Will Donald trump's justice department step in? Or will the police have to start killing innocent white people before he cares?     

Finally, what's up with Otto Warmbier's family refusing the autopsy for their son?

Thoughts?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Orange hawk.

MORE DISCLAIMERSI remember in the middle of the 2016 campaign some folks (even some progressives) were trying to say that Hillary was the more hawkish of the two major candidates. They said that at least trump was an isolationist and that he would not get us involved with foreign conflicts like a president Hillary Clinton would.

What a difference a few months make. Herr trump has us careening towards World War III and there is nothing we can do to stop it. His foreign policy team has decided that the best way to show us that he is not in bed with the Russians is to shoot down a jet belonging to a Russian ally. Now, the entire region is one big clusterf**k.  

Then there is Afghanistan. Herr trump has decided to send more troops there as well. I am not sure when world leaders are going to learn that war is the  national sport of Afghanistan.  Sending more troops there will not make a damn bit of difference in terms of tipping the scale of power in the region or stopping the spread of terror.

Finally, there is the other leader with a bad haircut; this one happens to be running things in North Korea.

He is a man who our fearless leader says he admires. This was before he tortured a young American citizen to death. Now Mr. trump is scrambling for answers. North Korea has been firing more missiles than fireworks at a 4th of July picnic, and there is no telling how far some of those missiles will go.

But back to that young American who died, recently. Mr. trump actually tried to blame the previous administration for his death, because, in his words, they didn't get him home soon enough. I am not sure what Mr. trump thinks that he is going to do, but I am afraid of what could happen. In case you haven't been paying attention, our president is not one to think things through.  He is the kind of guy who will start a war for all the wrong reasons. 


'"It's a disgrace what happened to Otto," Trump said to reporters. 'It's a total disgrace what happened to Otto.'
'It should never, ever be allowed to happen. And frankly, if he were brought home sooner, I think the results would have been a lot different. He should have been brought home that day."'
Now might be a good time to buy shares of some stock in a company with a large defense contract.
 

 

   



Monday, June 19, 2017

"Make America great again"?

Image result for make america great idiot imageA drug epidemic in the heartland.

There is still a water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

There is still questionable state killings of people of color.

More and more America loving, hard working people, are  facing deportation.  

There are levels of corruption never seen before in a White House.

Seven  American servicemen just died at sea. 

It's damn near 125 degrees in some parts of the West, and our leader continues to deny climate change.

World War III is possibly breaking out in the Middle East.

Right-wing hate crimes are on the rise.

Crime in general is on the rise.

So is fake news.

Wages remain stagnant.

The GOP health care pan is a mess.

There is still no wall.

"Make America great again"?

I don't think so.

*Pic from twitter.com

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Another day, another lie.

Image result for trump imagesToday we learned that seven Navy sailors tragically lost their lives when their US Naval destroyer collided into a cargo ship.

Sadly, instead of our president offering his condolences and "prayers" on behalf of himself and the nation, he was doing this:

The new Rasmussen Poll, one of the most accurate in the 2016 Election, just out with a Trump 50% Approval Rating.That's higher than O's #'s!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

CAPTION SATURDAY


Image result for ivanka snooty images

I need a caption for this pic.

*Pic via twitter.com

Friday, June 16, 2017

Is he really "deranged" ?

Image result for photo crazy trump image*The following article from Andrew Sullivan (a man who I sometimes disagree with) is a must read for all objective Americans who want some insight into what is going on with their leader.

The field Negro education series continues.

"Let me put this as simply as I can. After firing FBI Director James Comey  for investigating the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russians, the president is now openly smearing and threatening to fire Comey’s replacement, Robert Mueller. There is no question about the motive behind all this, because Trump has told anyone within hearing distance or access to a television that he fired Comey to kill a vital and important investigation into Russian interference in our elections, which yesterday Putin all but admitted: “They meddle in all other countries’ affairs, what did they expect?” For good measure, Trump is now openly arguing through surrogates that Mueller is acting in bad faith, pursuing a “witch hunt,” and should be fired if his investigation gets anywhere near the president.
Every now and again, you have to take a moment, stop being distracted by the constant breaking news, and let all this sink in.
 
This is now a slow-moving version of Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre — but graver. It’s graver because the original crime — the Kremlin’s attempt to hack our elections in possible cahoots with some on the Trump campaign — has so much wider ramifications than an office break-in. It’s an act of virtual war by a foreign adversary that came close to rigging the voting machines, for Pete’s sake. If it was in any way abetted by an American connected to Trump, we absolutely need to find out. And this crisis is more dangerous because the president has not only been trying to prevent or rig any such investigation for months — demanding personal loyalty from the FBI director, pressuring national intelligence officials to exonerate him before the inquiry is finished — but also continues to boast about this obstruction of justice as if there were nothing wrong with it at all.
 
Which brings us to Trump’s mental illness, by which I mean simply that he would not pass a clinical psych test for any other job in the country. Yesterday morning, the mad king tweeted: “They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice.” He then called Mueller “a very bad and conflicted” individual. Later, like a spoiled child, he wondered out loud: “Why is that Hillary Clintons family and Dems dealings with Russia are not looked at, but my non-dealings are?”
 
The truth is Trump cannot abide any kind of investigation of his campaign or of himself by anyone. That would require him to defer to someone else, and his psyche cannot let that happen. (This is the core reason behind his refusal to release his tax returns.) The very idea of actually wanting inspection to clear his name simply doesn’t occur to him. After a lifetime of lying, fraud, debt, secrecy, and bankruptcy, his instinct is always to deny everything and to do all he can to subvert any smidgen of accountability or transparency. And so, despite arguing that there is nothing there in the Russian investigation (which might very well be true), and waiting for vindication, he has attempted to end it prematurely. He literally knows no other way. And he is likely to keep doing this — especially if he is now under direct scrutiny for abuse of power. Asking him to subject himself to a neutral third-party inquiry comes as easily to him as it would to Putin or Duterte or Mugabe. It seems absurd to them — and they, like Trump, would react with incandescent rage.
 
Again, it takes a while for this to register. But the president, in his anger, is now asserting that the FBI inquiry was initiated by nameless people who already knew that there was no basis to the allegations. Therefore the investigation is “the single greatest witch-hunt in American political history” — surpassing the lowest lows of McCarthyism no less. If Trump cannot stop the investigation, he is doing all he can to delegitimize it, whatever the costs to the credibility of our system of government. And personally attacking the integrity of a Republican former FBI director, who was only recently regarded as a near-parody of bipartisan rectitude, would be a shocking event, if we had not become numb to this president’s malevolent derangement.
 
And this is more potentially lethal to our democracy than Watergate because today’s Republican Party is utterly different than Nixon’s. It has been taken over by a mass movement led by a cult idol and there are no Republicans of any stature or heft who are prepared to stand up to him, as some once famously did with Nixon. Hence the spectacle of Newt Gingrich. A month ago, he called Mueller “a superb choice.” This past week, he tweeted that anyone who thinks Mueller will be fair in his investigation is “delusional.” Worse, actually: Mueller is “now clearly the tip of the deep state spear aimed at destroying or at a minimum undermining and crippling the Trump presidency.” The official RNC talking points in response to the latest Washington Post bombshell about Trump himself being under scrutiny include this beaut: “This story is nothing more than an example of even more leaks coming out of the FBI and special counsel’s office in an effort to undermine the President.”
 
The right-wing media chorus is also instantly on fleek. “Now we find out that [Mueller is] Leaky Jim Comey’s bestest buddy there ever was. These guys are pals, and now Mueller is going to investigate the dude who fired his amigo? Does that seem cool to you?” vents Kurt Schlichter at Townhall.com. The Daily Mail’s US editor opines: “I’ll say it: If the special counsel’s office is leaking prejudicial information about an investigation, it should be shut down immediately.” Libertarian law professor, Randy Barnett: “Mueller should resign not recuse. If he recuses, the matter will be delegated to one of the Democrat attack lawyers he’s hired.” A key barometer of Republican partisanship, the blogger Glenn Reynolds, endorses all of these arguments. Kelly-Ann Conway is also busy asserting that because three individuals in Mueller’s legal team have donated to Democrats, it’s automatically rigged.
 
And so it seems to me completely plausible – even inevitable – that Mueller will be fired too at some point. More saliently, if his team’s work eventually exposes and proves Trump’s obstruction of justice, the only possible recourse, impeachment, will never happen. There will never be 18 Republican Senators who will vote against the leader in this Congress or any other. We will have a criminal in the White House indefinitely, utterly impervious to sanction, and emboldened even further. And he will have brought almost half the country along with him, digging deeper in with every news cycle.
 
Over a year ago, in this magazine’s pages, I wrote the following sentence: “In terms of our liberal democracy and constitutional order, Trump is an extinction-level event.” We are about to find out if I was right. [Source]
 
*Image credit to motherjones.com

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Political foes not friends.

Image result for pelosi ryan  unity scalise*Excuse me if I pass on all the kumbaya moments and hand holding going on after the recent shootings in Virginia.

Don't get me wrong, I will certainly be civil to those who hold opposing political views than I do, but don't expect me to be their friend. Not. Going. To. Happen. I have very few friends to begin with, so I am not going to waste my energy or time with someone who I view as an ideological foe. You tell me your views, I tell you mine, and we keep it popping.

Anyway, watching pundits on the right bemoan the acrimony an rancor in our political debate is laughable, since they did more to contribute to the current state that we are in than anyone else.
The result  has been terror laid upon us from the right in droves. [See below]
One republican politician, right on cue, blamed the shootings on Obama.

I refuse to be lectured to by these talking heads from the right who have made millions of dollars peddling in hate. [Ted Nugent??!! Are you kidding me?]

Their glorious leader built his campaign around a lie, and he made hateful comments about the former president for years. What was his reward? We made him president.

So now after one horrific incident I am supposed to cede the moral high ground to these clowns?
I don't think so.

h/t to the following commenter from mediaite.com for reminding me of all of the following incidents of right-wing domestic terror.

Avatar
talk2thepuppet
"There's a reason why Right Wingers are considered a domestic terror organization and Bernie Bots are not.
RW terrorism since 9/11:
The 2017 Portland train attack (2 killed),
The 2017 stabbing of Timothy Caughman in New York City (1 killed),
The 2015 Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting (3 killed),
The 2015 Charleston church shooting (9 killed),
The 2014 ambush attack on Las Vegas police officers (5 killed),
The 2014 Overland Park Jewish Community Center shooting in Kansas (3 killed),
The 2014 Pennsylvania State Police barracks attack in Blooming Grove, Pennsylvania (1 killed),
A 2012 tri-state killing spree by white supremacists, David Pedersen and Holly Grigsby (4 killed),
A 2012 ambush of St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana police (2 killed),
The 2012 Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting (6 killed),
The 2011 FEAR group attacks (3 killed),
A murder in 2010 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania (1 killed),
A 2010 suicide attack by airplane in Austin, Texas (1 killed),
The 2009 shooting of Pittsburgh police officers (3 killed),
The 2009 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum shooting (1 killed),
The 2009 assassination of George Tiller (1 killed),
The 2009 murders of Raul and Brisenia Flores in Pima County, Arizona (2 killed),
The 2009 murders in Brockton, Massachusetts (2 killed),
The 2008 Knoxville Unitarian Universalist church shooting (2 killed),
The 2004 bank robbery in Tulsa, Oklahoma (1 killed)."
 
 
Donald J. Trump 
 
@realDonaldTrump
"Crooked H destroyed phones w/ hammer, 'bleached' emails, & had husband meet w/AG days before she was cleared- & they talk about obstruction?"
 
I guess the kumbaya moment is over.
 
*Pic from cnn.com

  •  



    Wednesday, June 14, 2017

    Who is to blame for political violence?

    Image result for scalise shooting imagesAs a kid growing up in Jamaica, I had a front row seat to real political violence and the horror it can bring on families and communities.

    In Jamaica, as in most Third World countries, politics is literally a life and death business. For far too many people, if their party loses an election, their family might not eat, they might not have a job---- and depending on the political make-up of the neighborhood that they live in, they might have to move away against their will.

    Here in America we are supposed to be so much better than that. We live in a "true democracy", and we are united as a people regardless of our political beliefs and party affiliation. Presidents come and go, but it doesn't affect our lives, our jobs, or where we live. We trust our government and our Constitution to make sure that everything runs smoothly. Sure we will argue politics all day amongst each other, but we would never act out our dislike or hatred for each other in the horrific ways that we have come to expect from folks living in the Third World.

    But lately, things have changed. Today a deranged man did a very Third World like thing by shooting at politicians he disagreed with while they practiced on a softball field.  He is not the first of course, and he will not be the last. Just a few weeks ago, a man of a different political persuasion attacked and killed two men on an Oregon train, because they tried to stop his xenophobic rant against a young Muslim woman.

    Of course we all saw this coming. Social media, cable news, and other forms of media have become extremely balkanized, and everyone always invariably retreats to their own echo-chamber to hear the same rhetoric over and over again from like minded people.

    And now, as is to be expected, the blame game  will begin.  Some on the right have already started.
    They are pointing fingers at the left and the left's hatred for Donald trump. Eric Bolling, who spewed hateful words at the former President non-stop, actually had the nerve to say that words matter and that we should be careful what we say when talking about the current president.

    It took me seven paragraphs, but here we go: The current leader of these divided states of America built his campaign on hatred and anger. He encouraged his supporters to beat people, he openly bragged about sexually assaulting women, he had a man over at the White House who threatened to kill a former first lady, and one of his strongest  supporters (who was just elected to Congress) physically assaulted a reporter for simply asking him a question. Oh, and he promised to pay the legal fees of his supporters who beat up reporters.  And yet his supporters-- and those in his political gang--- have the nerve to point fingers from their huge homes with the spectacular views because they are all built from glass.  Anyone who doesn't understand why this current political climate exists
    have not been paying attention.  It exists because the current leader of our country acts more and more like an autocratic and totalitarian leader from  a Third World country than the man who should be leading the greatest democracy on earth. 

    When leaders act like Mr. trump, the people that they lead tend to do horrific and despicable things.

    "I can only hope that the Democrats do tone down the rhetoric," Collins told WBEN. "The rhetoric has been outrageous ... the finger-pointing, just the tone and the angst and the anger directed at Donald Trump, his supporters."

    Yes, the rhetoric has been "outrageous", but it has been coming mostly from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    *Pic from nbcnews.com






    Tuesday, June 13, 2017

    06/13/17.

    MORE DISCLAIMERSI'm off tonight field hands, but I will holla at you again tomorrow.

    In the meantime, try to stay safe, there are some homegrown terrorists on the loose. and our chief law enforcement official is too busy feigning outrage ("I did not have sex with that woman")
    down in Washington to be of any help.


    Monday, June 12, 2017

    NBC goes low.

    Image result for megyn kelly image   I am not sure what NBC was thinking when they hired the "white Santa" lady away from FOX VIEWS.

    For years she tried to put a pretty face and a short skirt on their race-baiting propaganda,  much to the delight of  their male dominated octogenarian crowd who ate it all up.  That all lasted until some of her fellow female "journalists" over at FOX decided that enough was enough, and they took things into their own hands (no pun intended) and blew the whistle on all the pigs who were allegedly chasing them around the desks.

    But back to NBC. So they hire Megyn Kelly, and one of her first big interviews is with....wait for it.....Alex freaking Jones. That was not a misprint: ALEX JONES. The disgusting conspiracy theorist who has made a mockery of the truth and common human decency. (Kind of like the current president of the United States.)

    Anyway, thankfully  NBC has been getting a lot of heat for their decision to have Kelly interview Jones, and one advertiser has pulled their news ads from NBC.  

    "Families of some of the 26 people who were killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre have criticized an upcoming NBC interview with Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist who has said the shooting was a hoax perpetrated by forces hostile to the Second Amendment.
     
    As the host of “The Alex Jones Show” and the operator of the right-wing website Infowars, Mr. Jones has a wide following. He has called the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York City an inside job, promoted and then later apologized for helping spread the hoax known as “Pizzagate,” and asserted that an Idaho yogurt factory owned by a Kurdish immigrant was associated with a sexual assault before retracting that claim amid a lawsuit." [Source]
     
    As is to be expected, Kelly had a weak defense for her publicity stunt of an interview. Something about shining a light on people like Jones.
     
    Nice try. This is a ratings grab pure and simple, and the fact that NBC is letting Kelly take them down this rabbit hole speaks volumes about the bottom line profit driven journalism that companies like NBC push on all of us these days.  
     
    "Nelba Marquez-Greene, whose 6-year-old daughter Ana Grace was killed at Sandy Hook, said she fears that giving Jones exposure would encourage Jones' followers who have harassed her and others.
     
    'You can't just put him in a box and say he's just a character,"  said. "He's really hurting people."'
     
    It doesn't matter Ms. Greene, as long as people watch and boost their ratings, the "white Santa" lady will be just fine.
     
    Finally, if you have not had a chance to take a look at the trump cabinet meeting today,  please take the time to watch it.
     
    It was a disgusting display of butt kissing by grown ass men (and women) who should have so much more to offer in life than to kiss the big orange butt of the narcissist- in- chief.  Is that orange lipstick Betsy DeVos is wearing?
     
    It was both funny and sad at the same time.
     
    How can so many people not see that the emperor is naked? 
     
    *Pic from nbcnews.com
     
     
     
       
     
     

    Sunday, June 11, 2017

    Donald trump...."a lot of wreckage and rancor."

    TWEET METhis excellent article from   is a must read for all those people who want to know about the real Donald trump.

    The field Negro education series continues:

    "Dust swirled and jackhammers pounded outside the Bonwit Teller building in Manhattan as undocumented immigrants tore apart the faƧade. It was June 5, 1980, and a sense of bitterness hung over the work site that afternoon; paychecks were often weeks late, but since the Poles didn’t have legal status in the United States, there was little they could do about it.

    The exterior they were destroying was an architectural masterpiece—bronze, platinum, hammered aluminum, glazed ceramic and tinted glass that shimmered like jewelry. Many New Yorkers had hoped the grandest portion would survive; curators from the Metropolitan Museum of Art had asked the developer to carefully remove the two bas-relief sculpture panels so they could be restored and put on public display. But that afternoon, the laborers, acting on orders from the developer, smashed the 50-year-old art deco panels into a rubble of stone, pebble and dirt.
    The desecration horrified Manhattan’s art community, but the developer, a brash 34-year-old named Donald Trump, dismissed the criticism—pretending to be his own spokesman, “John Barron,” as he talked to reporters by phone. Saving the panels would have cost him $32,000 each, he said, and delayed work for a few days on his $100 million project, Trump Tower. Besides, he declared, he knew more than the curators—the panels had no artistic merit and little financial value.

    This incident from long before Trump became a household name is an ideal exemplar for his business career, in which he has repeatedly left bitterness and ruin in his wake. His destructive behavior—spurred by recklessness, arrogance and an unslakable thirst for vengeance—has victimized cities, businesses, investors, partners, even members of his family.

    Trump is now completing his biggest and most astonishing demolition: tearing down the Republican Party. Since the disclosure of a recording earlier this month in which Trump demeans women and boasts of sexually assaulting them, the GOP presidential nominee has vowed to make his campaign a scorched-earth mission. He now speaks of vast conspiracies against him involving bankers, the media and politicians, while raging against Republicans who have pulled away from his toxic campaign, ripping open chasms between his zealous supporters and the GOP. Win or lose on November 8, Trump, whose campaign did not respond to Newsweek requests for comment about this article, will leave the Republican Party as damaged as those art deco panels were 36 years ago.

    To anyone who has watched Trump over the past four decades, none of this is a surprise. His presidential campaign is built on the claim that he’s a brilliant businessman worth $10 billion who turns every challenge into success, but Trump is none of those things. Instead, he was born into an exceedingly wealthy family and tried to build upon his father’s success with ever-riskier ventures, and by any rational measure, he failed again and again.

    He’d have done better if he’d never gone into business. In 1982, Trump reported to New Jersey regulators a personal net worth of $321 million, built largely on his father’s connections, as well as loans and guarantees for bank credit. Two years later, a Trump lieutenant testified that his worth had not changed much. In 2004, in reviewing his application for a loan, Deutsche Bank concluded he was worth $788 million. Trump now makes the highly dubious claim that he is worth $10 billion; Forbes estimates that the real number is $3.7 billion. That’s a lot of money, to be sure, but suppose Trump had never done any deals and instead sold all of his assets back in 1982 and invested them in a fund based on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. With dividends reinvested, he would have increased his wealth to $535 million by 1985. By 2004, his personal wealth would have increased to $5.9 billion. And three years ago, he would have exceeded what he claims to be worth now by more than $1 billion; today, he would be worth more than $13 billion, just under three times the Forbes estimate.

    In other words, if the Republican nominee had done nothing but mow his lawn for the past 35 years, he would be a dramatically wealthier man than he is today. The huge bonus in that scenario: Thousands of people would not have been ridiculed, ripped off or otherwise have suffered from encounters with Donald J. Trump.

    Demolition Man

    Donald Trump loves to put his name on buildings, but there are no hospital wings named for him. No museums have a piece of artwork with a plaque reading “A Gift of Donald J. Trump.” No buildings at the University of Pennsylvania bear his name, even though he constantly cites his graduation from its Wharton School as a sign of his intelligence. (Contrary to Trump’s suggestion, he attended the school for only two years as an undergraduate and did not obtain a degree from Wharton’s far more prestigious graduate business program.)


    Trump bears little resemblance to prominent billionaires such as Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Bloomberg or Charles Francis Feeney, who have dedicated huge sums of their wealth to aiding the less fortunate. There is no evidence that Trump has done much of anything to make the world a better place; what he has left behind is some buildings, along with a lot of wreckage and rancor.

    Trump regularly cheats at golf, even revising his scorecard after a match to transform defeat into victory, according to two people who have played with him. He persuaded an elderly couple who ran a Florida antique store to let him “try out” two valuable pieces, then refused to return or pay for them, according to someone close to the Trump family. He bought expensive jewelry at Bulgari on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, then colluded with the store to have empty boxes supposedly containing his purchase shipped out of state so he could dodge New York sales tax, court records show. After dragging a buddy through years of litigation, Trump told the man he had filed the suit only because he was angry the friend had not given him enough public credit for his success, according to a person who witnessed the conversation.

    When business executives came to his office, Trump bragged about his current wife, Melania, and showed them nude photographs from her modeling days, two bankers say. Trump encourages staff at the Trump Organization to tell him the faults of co-workers who are standing there, creating a vicious corporate environment, a former executive says. His niece and nephew sued him, alleging Trump used his influence over his then-demented father to rewrite his will and cut out his brother’s side of the family. Enraged by the suit, Trump reneged on a family commitment to pay the medical bills for his nephew’s sick baby. (They settled under confidential terms.)

    There are no names attached to those stories because the sources all know the Republican nominee strikes out viciously over any perceived criticism. They all asked to remain anonymous for fear that Trump would drag them to court or try to damage their careers. They know that is one of Trump’s greatest skills : bullying, threatening and suing anyone who criticizes him and cowing most of them into silence.

    He showed his willingness to harm others for his personal benefit early in his career. Using those undocumented Polish workers in 1980 for the razing of the Bonwit Teller building, for example, was deemed part of a civil conspiracy to defraud a union pension fund, a federal judge in New York later ruled.

    Another example emerged the following year. Trump purchased an old hotel and adjacent apartment building for redevelopment on Central Park South, one of the toniest streets in Manhattan. A little more than 100 tenants occupied the rent-controlled apartments, but Trump launched a campaign to drive them out, according to court documents filed by city and state officials. He filed a barrage of what the city called “nuisance suits” against the residents. He cut off their heat and hot water. He tried to move homeless people into empty apartments to annoy or even frighten the residents. He decreased security for the building, and over those 18 months, the number of burglaries in the building skyrocketed.

    Trump scoffed at complaints from residents and the government, publicly disparaging occupants of the apartments as pampered millionaires—a claim he made with no information to back it up. Instead, the court proceedings showed that many of the residents were elderly or middle class. In 1986, with the legal proceedings dragging on, Trump finally abandoned his plans to tear down the apartment building, and the residents were allowed to remain.

    During that five-year battle, Trump also destroyed a football league. He had been unable to purchase an NFL team—it’s unclear exactly why—so he bought one in the fledgling United States Football League. The idea for the USFL was simple: America had a passion for football and the NFL didn’t play in the spring, so that’s when the USFL would stage its games.

    The USFL got off the ground in 1983. The timing could hardly have been better. The NFL was still recovering from a players’ strike in the fall of 1982 , and ESPN, a cable sports network, had recently launched, creating a demand for more programming, one that industry analysts expected would grow dramatically. There were 12 teams in the upstart USFL. ABC Sports and the USFL agreed to a two-year broadcast contract worth about $20 million; that was followed by a contract with ESPN. John Bassett, an owner of the Tampa Bay Bandits who gained a reputation as the USFL’s visionary, said he planned to have the league grow slowly. The owners would take losses for a while—as they would from investing in any promising startup—but in seven or eight years, Bassett said, the USFL would be on par with the NFL and have the money to compete for the best players.

      The USFL owners planned to build slowly and spend wisely. Trump ignored that strategy and spent wildly on players such as Herschel Walker, setting off a ruinous spending war.

    After the first USFL season, Trump purchased the New Jersey Generals from an Oklahoma oilman. And with that, Bassett’s plan unraveled. Trump proclaimed that spring football was stupid. Bassett cautioned that competing against the NFL in the same season would kill the fledgling league, but Trump dismissed Bassett’s warning. “If God wanted football in the spring,” he said, “he wouldn't have created baseball.”

    Rather than holding down costs, Trump began spending wildly for star players, offering so much money that he set off a salary spiral in the NFL and the USFL, one that eventually drove up the price of tickets to cover the massive expense. Trump also decided to add cheerleaders, holding tryouts in the basement of Trump Tower and selecting a number of underage girls for the job.

    In 1986, Bassett was dying of brain cancer and struggled to control the brash new owner. Through browbeating, cajoling and intimidation, Trump persuaded the other teams to abandon the spring league concept and play in the fall. He and his supporters sent lawyers into court, arguing that the NFL operated an illegal monopoly. A jury eventually agreed but awarded the USFL just $1 in damages—an amount that, under antitrust rules, had to be trebled to $3.

    The USFL appealed and, as part of its legal strategy, did not start playing again that spring. When the Supreme Court let the judgment stand, the USFL collapsed. Hundreds of people—players, announcers, executives, cheerleaders and others—lost their jobs.

      Ugly, Incomprehensible Fights

    “I love to have enemies,” Trump once said. “I fight my enemies. I like beating my enemies to the ground.”

    He uttered these words in 1989, about the same time he was in a series of pointless battles: with other billionaires, with midlevel executives, with nobodies whose lives he destroyed just because he could.
    The ugliest—and most incomprehensible—fight involved a New York billionaire named Leonard Stern, who had turned a pet supply company into a real estate and media empire. The two men had been friendly enough until the spring of 1988, when one of Stern’s magazines, 7 Days, published a fairly innocuous article about Trump Tower, which contained a comment that resale prices on apartments were not as strong as their marketing suggested. This was hardly a surprise, as former Trump Tower residents had already publicly stated they had lost money on their resales.

    Although the comment was true, it infuriated Trump, who wrote to Stern, saying, “I just read a highly inaccurate and biased story in 7 Days by an obvious Trump hater—it is a disgrace.” Trump soon followed up with a note to David Schneiderman, president of Stern Publishing, which owned 7 Days, announcing a mass-plaintiff lawsuit brought by virtually everyone living in every Trump property, all of whom (he claimed) were outraged by the little-noticed comment in a little-read publication. While he was not keen on bringing litigation, Trump wrote, he could not hold back the hordes of apartment owners eager to sue and so decided to join them.

    Trump dropped the threat when he read a subsequent 7 Days article that included a compliment for his then-wife, Ivana, and the role she had played in redecorating his Plaza Hotel. He never explained why the infuriated (and unnamed) Trump apartment owners no longer cared about the damage supposedly done by the first piece." [More here]

    America, this is your president. *shakes head*