Wednesday, April 10, 2019


One cautionary example is President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, whose ticket into Harvard, according to the 2006 book The Price of Admission: How America’s Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges, was his father’s $2.5 million dollar gift to the university. Jared got his Harvard degree, but he has been the butt of social-media taunts precisely because his daddy had to pay a fortune to get the school to admit him. The cost of a brag-worthy degree? Millions. The cost of the right- and left-brain stuff? Priceless.

VISUALIZE REVOLUTION!.... We know where they live!

“Underwood is a Democrat and is seeking millions of dollars in penalties. She wants Trump and his eldest children barred from running other charities.”

Coulter: All Hail President Javanka!


While other reporters waste their time examining Donald Trump’s public statements, interviewing his high school classmates and poring over legal filings, investigative reporter Vicky Ward has produced the definitive book on our current president.

For example, did you know our president got breast implants in high school (Ivanka claimed she was just “curvy”), bought his way into Harvard (Jared is even dumber than you thought), and together have no books in their New York apartment? (Some dispute that there are no books, citing “a few art books” or “decorator-curated books.”) 

Ward’s recently released blockbuster, Kushner, Inc.: Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The Extraordinary Story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, tells you all this and more about our actual commander in chief: President Javanka. 

On the bright side, Jared has stopped rolling his eyes so much about his father-in-law now that Trump is president, er, “president.” Until Trump’s nomination was a virtual lock, Jared was back in New York pretending not to be related to him. 

Only after Trump had racked up a slew of primary wins did a lightbulb go on in Jared’s head: Hey! This presidential campaign could be great for business! According to a close associate, Jared viewed the campaign as a terrific “networking opportunity.” 

In short order, Jared moved himself in, and moved campaign manager Corey Lewandowski out.

Trump’s loyal campaign manager had been with him through the “Mexican rapists” speech, Macy’s dumping Trump’s ties, the “McCain isn’t a war hero” controversy, the Muslim ban, the “hand size” embarrassment, and on and on and on. But when all was said and done and Trump was still cruising to victory, Jared and Ivanka walked in and delivered an ultimatum to Trump: “It’s Corey or us.” 

Jared would later shyly cop to being “[The Man Who] Won Trump the White House,” as a Forbes magazine cover story put it. 

And who understood the beating heart of the Trump voter like Jared and Ivanka? With Javanka in charge, the campaign schedule was soon bristling with such items as “women’s empowerment week,” “education week” and “entrepreneur week.” 

In no time, Trump was 16 points down and sinking fast. Steve Bannon was brought in, whereupon he promptly threw out all the Working Women’s Intersectional Global Warming weeks and got back to Trump’s issues. 

Jared assured Bannon that the campaign had $25 million on hand. That’s when Bannon had to explain “debits” to Kushner. The campaign had $25 million — provided you didn’t count all the unpaid expenses. When those were included, it turned out the campaign was in debt. 

As the SAT board had discovered, math wasn’t Jared’s strong suit. 

Although it has been well reported that Jared’s Harvard admission was purchased for him by his father, Ward produces a shocking new detail. Of the five tracks at Jared’s high school, he wasn’t at the bottom of track one, perhaps suitable for a lesser Ivy League with solid SAT scores. He wasn’t even in track two. Jared was in track three. But now he has co-opted the Make America Great Again movement for his own personal advancement. I guess that makes him smarter than Trump. 

Apart from staging photo-ops, including her “princess moment” at the inaugural ball (her words), Ivanka’s first order of business upon winning the presidency was assigning White House office space. Her map showed a big office for her, a big office for Jared — and also a nice corner office, which was designated “Trump family office.” 

Transition officials, Ward reports, “were surprised that the first lady did not appear to have an office. So, too, was Melania Trump, who quickly put an end to Ivanka’s scheming.” 

Jared’s BFF, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Muhammad bin Zayed (MBZ), refer to Jared as “the clown prince.” Bone-cutter MBS assured those around him that he had Jared “in my pocket.” 

MBS and MBZ derided Jared’s Middle East peace plan as infantile, while using him to achieve their objective: war with Qatar. According to an American businessman’s leaked emails, their attitude was, “Nobody would even waste a cup of coffee on him if it wasn’t for who he is married to.” 

As one former top White House official explained: “Jared never understands the details of anything. He’s just impressed by names.” 

Following meetings at the White House and also with the Kushners over their 666 Fifth Avenue property, former Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim reported back to the emir that “the people atop the new administration were heavily motivated by personal financial interest.” 

After Ivanka’s speech introducing her father at the Republican National Convention — rivaled only by Billy Carter’s introduction of his brother, Jimmy! — she tweeted from her personal account: “Shop Ivanka’s look from her #RNC speech.” 

After the Trump family was interviewed on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Ivanka’s company emailed out a “style alert” advertising the $10,800 diamond bracelet she’d worn on the show — “available from Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry.” 

Ivanka has managed to win a slew of trademarks in China since her father became the Figurehead President, with several approvals being fast-tracked at about the same time Trump was hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago. 

Instead of “Make America Great Again,” the motto of the Trump presidency is, as one of Trump’s legal spokesmen put it: “The advance team for Jared and Ivanka.” 

This is not what anyone voted for. 

One cautionary example is President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, whose ticket into Harvard, according to the 2006 book The Price of Admission: How America’s Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges, was his father’s $2.5 million dollar gift to the university. Jared got his Harvard degree, but he has been the butt of social-media taunts precisely because his daddy had to pay a fortune to get the school to admit him. The cost of a brag-worthy degree? Millions. The cost of the right- and left-brain stuff? Priceless.



If, like me, you’re an avid observer of human affairs at their most vain and status-crazed, you have been studying the College Cheating Scandal, or what investigators called Operation Varsity Blues, with all the intensity of a rabbinical scholar poring over Leviticus. Each reading yields delicious new details of greed, ambition, hypocrisy, and decadence. “Ah! Vanitas, Vanitatum!” as the author of the classic nineteenth-century novel Vanity Fair sighed. But eventually the mordant fun gives way to the recognition that what we have here is evidence of a serious sickness in the American meritocracy.
The story is well known by now, but before it disappears into the overflowing landfill of tawdry contemporary Americana, some of its more obscure gems deserve a farewell salute. Let’s begin with the master of ceremonies, William “Rick” Singer, owner of a Newport Beach, California college-consulting company. Singer bribed college coaches and staged mockups of his clients’ slacker children at athletic events, sometimes photoshopping their faces onto a picture of actual soccer players or rowers, or, weirdly, pole-vaulters. A 36-year-old Harvard grad, Mark Riddell, could take a standardized test and get an agreed-upon, specific score with the precision of an expert archer. Singer hired him to take or to correct tests for clients whose preliminary scores would put them on the reject pile: Riddell is now Cooperating Witness #2. My favorite bit of chicanery was Singer’s money-laundering operation. To hide the eye-catching sums that he was earning for his ploys—and to give his clients the extra perk of a (legal) tax deduction for their (illegal) contributions—Singer set up the Key Worldwide Foundation, which he advertised as “provid[ing] guidance, encouragement and opportunity to disadvantaged students around the world.” The IRS estimates that Singer earned $25 million for his good works.
The charitable donors are a treasure trove of you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up farce. Jane Buckingham, Beverly Hills mother and businesswoman, paid Singer $50,000 to have Ridell take her son’s ACT for him so that he could score high enough to get into the University of Southern California; Ridell got the boy a 35 out of 36. Earlier in her career, Buckingham had parlayed her expertise as a “youth marketing specialist” into a TV show, Job or No Job, offering millennials career advice. Evidently she forgot what she told an interviewer at the Observerwhen she described some of the young people who came on her show as “so entitled that you want to slap them.” Another donor was Willkie Farr & Gallagher co-chair Gordon Caplan, named as The American Lawyer’s 2018 Dealmaker of the Year. Also in the lineup are actress Felicity Huffman and her husband William Macy, most recently star of a television series called—will the dark irony never stop?—Shameless. For reasons not entirely clear, Macy has not yet been indicted.
First prize for sheer gall goes to actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion-designer husband Massimo Giannulli. The two paid Singer a half-million to package their daughters as accomplished rowers in order to buy their place in the University of Southern California freshman class, though evidently neither girl knew the difference between a coxswain and an entry on Pornhub. Nor, at least in Olivia’s case, were they thinking much about their course load. As it happens, Olivia spent the first week of school in Fiji. She wasn’t there to visit the renowned libraries of the South Pacific, but for a photo shoot in her role as a “social media influencer.” Using the stage name Olivia Jade, she video-splained to her 1.9 million followers that, while she would be doing a lot of traveling for her career, “I do want the experience of, like, game days, partying. I don’t really care about school, as you guys all know.”
A few final, irresistible details about the dewy Loughlin: the actress made her name on the hit sitcom Full House. She played Aunt Becky to the golden-girl Olsen twins. Aunt Becky was supposed to be the show’s moral compass; in one episode, she marched into the office of a preschool admissions director to tell on her husband for lying on his niece’s application. Back in the real world, Loughlin went on to groom her own daughter for a future on the red carpet—witness the Internet photos of the luminous mother and daughter posing at celebrity events and gabbing on The Today Show. It seems unlikely that Olivia Jade could have collected her Sephora, Amazon, and Dolce Gabbana deals on her own; her doting mother was the influencer there. In short, the Hallmark-wholesome Aunt Becky turns out to be a modern-day Becky Sharp.
This kind of arrogance, greed, and ambition has been the stuff of literary satire and philosophical reflection throughout the ages. What sets Operation Varsity Blues apart and caused the public outrage, of course, is its American context. The parents were not seeking riches, fame, or even elite status in any conventional sense: they already had that. Between the two of them, Felicity Huffman and Bill Macy are estimated to be worth $45 million; their daughters would never be lacking in American Express black cards or invitations to friends’ Aspen chalets. Olivia Jade was already on her way to online stardom, at least within her peer group.
No, they were not looking for financial rewards or klieg lights. What they wanted was for their kids to fit in as members of the cognitive elite. Anand Giridharadas, NBC political analyst and fire-and-brimstone scourge of America’s richest, tweeted about the scandal that America’s ruling class “confuses its privilege for merit.” That’s exactly backward. The Operation Varsity parents opened their wallets precisely because they knew their children did not have the right stuff. They wanted elite status for their children, and in a meritocracy, even one as tattered as our own, high SATs and extracurriculars leading to a hoity-toity college degree are the ticket. The parents of Operation Varsity will probably get over the humiliation of a mugshot, but their kids will never live down being outed as meritocratic losers.
Which takes us to the only good news in this whole sordid affair: buying your way into cognitive-elite respectability is trickier than anyone thought. Even if you avoid jail, you are surrounded by people who are expert at sniffing out meritocratic poseurs, namely those with modest IQs. One cautionary example is President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, whose ticket into Harvard, according to the 2006 book The Price of Admission: How America’s Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges, was his father’s $2.5 million dollar gift to the university. Jared got his Harvard degree, but he has been the butt of social-media taunts precisely because his daddy had to pay a fortune to get the school to admit him. The cost of a brag-worthy degree? Millions. The cost of the right- and left-brain stuff? Priceless.
The current system of college admission doesn’t have many defenders at this point. Everyone knows that it corrupts us all: the high school teachers who feel obliged to inflate the talents of their ordinary students, the therapists selling their professional credentials to parents who want special-disability diagnoses for their healthy kids so that they have extra time to take their exams, the middle-class parents who have neither the funds nor the stomach to violate the law but help create the panic that is driving their kids (and their educators) out of their minds. Worst of all, it demoralizes less-advantaged kids and their parents, who are already tempted toward resentment-filled hopelessness.
For all higher education’s sins, though, there’s no easy way to fix its role in the broken meritocracy. Limit legacies and sports admits? Sure. Look skeptically at résumés filled with service trips to Guatemalan villages and computer camps? Yes, please. But an increasingly high-tech economy will have to reward those who can decipher complicated deals, program robots, and pursue similarly complex cognitive tasks. The challenge is to reduce the prestige and honor attached to those talents and rewards—and to the schools that develop them. Ironically, Operation Varsity Blues may be a step in that direction.


Ivanka Trump Wants America to Kick Addiction to Four-Year College, Massive Student Debt

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

America’s ever-deepening college debt problem is really a symptom of a worse malady: our societal addiction to college itself.

Any sober assessment of the facts would indicate that too many Americans are going to college. As a result, college costs—and debt—have skyrocketed while the rewards for college have plunged.
Yet this is something that has escaped the attention of our political elites. And, as it turns out, our financial and cultural elites—as the recent college admissions scandal indicates. Many Democrats want to double-down, promising “free college” to young people—a euphemism for college funded by taxpayers.
Perhaps surprisingly, Ivy-league educated Ivanka Trump has recently come out as a skeptic about America’s love affair with college. The first daughter has taken up a leadership role in the Trump administration’s workforce development efforts—and shown a remarkable candidness when it comes to our college problem.
“I think culturally, for a long time we have created and perpetuated the narrative that there is one pathway to achieving the American dream and its four-year university,” Ms. Trump said in a recent interview.
Trump goes on:
That has been instilled into American students, it’s often American parents that feel that is the only viable path. So you have kids going into school racking up enormous amounts of student debt that they’ll often take decades if there ever able to pay it off without a skill, if they ultimately graduate. So I think opening up the prism and saying there are many different pathways. It depends what you want in your life and taking the stigma away from those who choose alternative pathways who choose technical schools, vocational education. At the end of the day, it’s about connecting workers with their passion, with their jobs. There’s very little opportunity for somebody who wants to the vocational route, the technical route because all the money pushes you into a four-year college system.
Just as her father drew attention to the incredibly bad hand American industrial workers had been dealt by decades of anti-American trade deals, Ms. Trump is drawing attention to the bad hand the U.S. has dealt our young people.
The facts are stark. Over the past 40 years, the U.S. has doubled the share of high school graduates who go on to get college degrees. Forty-six percent of high school graduates receive degrees from four-year colleges, and another 24 percent get degrees from two-year colleges.
This increase in college education, however, has come at a steep cost. The relative benefits of a college degree have been declining for nearly two decades, while costs have been escalating.  College graduates still earn more than high school graduates and are less likely to be unemployed—but the gap has been contracting.
And the income and employment benefits may overstate the lifetime effects of college degrees. The college wealth premium—the amount of extra wealth college graduates have accumulate the course of their lifetime—has declined even more rapidly than the income and employment premium, according to a recent study by the Federal Reserve. And among blacks, Hispanics, Asians—that is, everyone except whites—there is no wealth premium at all, the study found.
After ten years, nearly one-third of college graduates wind up in a job that does not require a college degree, the Wall Street Journal reports.
That should not be surprising. It demonstrates that the supply of college graduates has outpaced demand, which is exactly what you would expect would happen when ample subsidies and societal pressure are applied to increase college attendance. When, as Ms. Trump put it, “all the money pushes you into a four-year college system.”
The average sticker-price of a four-year college, including room and board, is now $50,000 per year. As Barron’s Jack Hough recently pointed out, $200,000 in cash invested in the name of a 22 year old would produce a $3 million retirement nest egg by the age of 68, if the money is invested at about a 6% year return.
This high price is being financed by debt. On average, a college graduate owes twice as much debt as she did twenty years ago, according to the Wall Street Journal.  Educational loans now amount to more than $1.5 trillion. More than one out of ten student loan borrowers will default on their loans.
Federal Reserve economists recently studied the impact all that debt is having on those aged 24 to 32. They found that while it plays a significant role in keeping young people from buying homes, although other factors—including the high price of homes—were more important.
“In surveys, young adults commonly report that their student loan debts are preventing them from buying a home,” Fed researchers Alvaro Mezza, Daniel Ringo, and Kamila Sommer found. “Our estimates suggest that increases in student loan debt are an important factor in explaining their lowered homeownership rates, but not the central cause of the decline.”
This is having a profound effect on American society. People are getting married later, which reduces the number of children they have. Women, in particular, delay marriage when they bear lots of student debt. And a significant number of people who say they do not want children cited student debt as the reason.
Twenty-two percent of college graduates were delayed by at least two years in moving out of a family member’s home due to their student loans, a survey of millennials by the National Association of Realtors found. More than half of respondents said they were delayed in continuing their education or starting a family due to student loan debt.
Bernie Sanders and others who have endorsed the idea of relieving students of the burden of paying for college address the debt side of the problem only. And it’s not clear that this is really much progress at all since professors will still have to be paid, buildings maintained, textbooks purchased. So while a student might not have to foot the bill, that debt will need to be borne by workers—which is really just a transformation of individual debt into higher taxes. And if history is any experience, the government will not effectively be able to contain the burgeoning costs. If anything, quite the opposite: cost increases will accelerate once individuals no longer see the bills.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch, even if in a college cafeteria.
The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. We have a problem, as Ms. Trump has indicated. Others in Washington, DC, should take note.

you can't separate the Obomb from his Saudis paymasters!

Barack Obama’s back door, however, was unique to him. Before prosecutors send some of the dimmer Hollywood stars to the slammer for their dimness, they might want to ask just how much influence a Saudi billionaire peddled to get Obama into Harvard.


BARACK OBAMA and his SAUDIS PAYMASTERS: Did they build his Muslim tower in Chicago?

Malia, Michelle, Barack and the College Admissions Scandal

What shocked even the old timers in my hometown was that Mayor Hugh Addonizio, the man who gave me my Eagle Scout Award, would accept kickbacks in cash right across his desk. They were troubled less by his criminality -- that was expected in Newark -- than by his lack of subtlety. Addonizio paid for his indiscretion with a lengthy prison sentence.
So it is with the current college admissions scandal. People have been scamming their ways into prestige universities for decades, maybe centuries, but in the past they have had the good sense not to put the cash on the table. It seems that in this scandal a few of the bribers and their brokers may well pay for their indiscretion with prison sentences as well.
The media pretend to be shocked. In an editorial on the scandal, the New YorkTimes singled out Harvard University for its “special admissions preferences and back doors for certain applicants.” This is the same New York Times, however, that published an entirely uncritical article three years prior headlined, “Malia Obama Rebels, Sort of, by Choosing Harvard.” 
Malia is the fourth member of the Obama family to attend that august university, none of whom, save perhaps for Grandpa Obama, deserved to be there.
Let’s start with Obama Sr., the only member of the extended family to attend college before the affirmative action/diversity era. Obama arrived at Harvard in the early 1960s with the goal of getting a Ph.D. in economics. According to biographer Sally Jacobs, Obama “struggled” with his studies but managed to get a Masters degree.
Alas, the university booted him on moral grounds before he could get his doctorate. An inveterate playboy despite his two ongoing marriages, Obama had an affair with a high-school girl. Denied his Ph.D., says Jacobs, “He goes on to claim the title, nonetheless. He's Dr. Obama. The older he gets, the more he claims it.” As will be seen, intellectual fraud runs in the family.
Michelle was the next to attend Harvard, in her case Harvard Law School. Told by counselors that her SAT scores and her grades weren’t good enough for an Ivy League school,” writes Christopher Andersen in Barack and Michelle, “Michelle applied to Princeton and Harvard anyway.”
Sympathetic biographer Liza Mundy writes, “Michelle frequently deplores the modern reliance on test scores, describing herself as a person who did not test well.” She did not write well either. Mundy charitably describes her senior thesis, "Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community," as “dense and turgid.”
The less charitable Christopher Hitchens observed,  “To describe [the thesis] as hard to read would be a mistake; the thesis cannot be ‘read’ at all, in the strict sense of the verb. This is because it wasn't written in any known language.” Hitchens exaggerated only a little.  The following summary statement by Michelle captures her unfamiliarity with many of the rules of grammar and most of logic:
The study inquires about the respondents' motivations to benefit him/herself, and the following social groups: the family, the Black community, the White community, God and church, The U.S. society, the non-White races of the world, and the human species as a whole.
Michelle even typed badly.  Still, she was admitted to and graduated from Princeton and Harvard Law.  I have been told by those on the inside that there are ways of recognizing affirmative-action admissions. Still, one almost feels sorry for Michelle.  She was in so far over her head it is no wonder she projected her angst onto the white people around her. “Regardless of the circumstances underwhich [sic] I interact with whites at Princeton,” she wrote in the opening of her thesis, “it often seems as if, to them, I will always be black first and a student second."
Barack was the smarter and better educated half of the couple. That said, had Obama’s father come from Kentucky not Kenya and been named O’Hara not Obama, there would been no Harvard Law Review, no Harvard, no Columbia.
In his overly friendly biography, The Bridge, David Remnick writes that Obama was an “unspectacular” student in his two years at Columbia and at every stop before that going back to grade school. A Northwestern University prof who wrote a letter of reference for Obama reinforces the point, telling Remnick, “I don’t think [Obama] did too well in college.” As to Obama’s LSAT scores, Jimmy Hoffa’s body will be unearthed before those are.
How such an indifferent student got into a law school whose applicants’ LSAT scores typically track between 98 to 99 percentile and whose GPAs range between 3.80 and 4.00 is a subject Remnick avoids.
Obama does too. Although he has admitted that he “undoubtedly benefited from affirmative action programs” during his academic career, he has remained mum about some reported “back door” influence peddling that may have been as useful to him as affirmative action.
In late March 2008 the venerable African-American entrepreneur and politico Percy Sutton appeared on a local New York City show called "Inside City Hall." When asked about Obama by the show’s host, Dominic Carter, the former Manhattan borough president calmly and lucidly explained that he had been “introduced to [Obama] by a friend.”
The friend's name was Dr. Khalid al-Mansour, and the introduction had taken place about twenty years prior. Sutton described al-Mansour as "the principal adviser to one of the world's richest men." The billionaire in question was Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, the same billionaire whose anti-Semitism caused Mayor Rudy Giuliani to reject his $10 million gift to New York City post 9/11.
According to Sutton, al-Mansour had asked him to "please write a letter in support of [Obama]... a young man that has applied to Harvard." Sutton had friends at Harvard and gladly did so.
Three months before the election it should have mattered that a respected black political figure had publicly announced that an unapologetic anti-Semite like al-Mansour, backed by an equally anti-Semitic Saudi billionaire, had been guiding Obama’s career perhaps for the last twenty years, but the story died a quick and unnatural death.
As for Malia, whose grades and scores are as much a state secret as her father’s, the old man damns with the faint praise of  “capable” and “conscientious.” But hell, Bill’s daughter Chelsea got into Stanford and George’s daughter Barbara got into Yale, so this particular path to the back door was well worn.
Barack Obama’s back door, however, was unique to him. Before prosecutors send some of the dimmer Hollywood stars to the slammer for their dimness, they might want to ask just how much influence a Saudi billionaire peddled to get Obama into Harvard.


Only a complete fool would believe that Trump is any more for American Legal workers than the Democrat Party for Billionaires and Banksters!
“Trump Administration Betrays Low-Skilled American Workers.”
The latest ad from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) asks Trump to reject the mass illegal and legal immigration policies supported by Wall Street, corporate executives, and most specifically, the GOP mega-donor Koch brothers.
Efforts by the big business lobby, Chamber of Commerce, Koch brothers, and George W. Bush Center include increasing employment-based legal immigration that would likely crush the historic wage gains that Trump has delivered for America’s blue collar and working class citizens.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Silicon Valley investors are uniting with the Koch network’s consumer and industrial investors to demand a huge DACA amnesty


A handful of Republican and Democrat lawmakers are continuing to tout a plan that gives amnesty to nearly a million illegal aliens in exchange for some amount of funding for President Trump’s proposed border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.


Companies say they often pay good wages to their imported H-2B workers, often around $15 per hour. But that price is below the wages sought by Americans for the seasonal work which leaves them jobless in the off-season. The lower wages paid to H-2Bs also allows companies to pay lower wages to their American supervisors. NEIL MUNRO

JOHN DEAN: Not so far. This has been right by the letter of the special counsel’s charter. He’s released the document. What I’m looking for is relief and understanding that there’s no witting or unwitting likelihood that the President is an agent of Russia. That’s when I’ll feel comfortable, and no evidence even hints at that. We don’t have that yet. We’re still in the process of unfolding the report to look at it. And its, as I say, if [Attornery General William Barr] honors his word, we’ll know more soon.
“Our entire crony capitalist system, Democrat and Republican alike, has become a kleptocracy approaching par with third-world hell-holes.  This is the way a great country is raided by its elite.” ---- Karen McQuillan AMERICAN THINKER


In fact, Trump is steadily moving in the precise opposite direction of what he promised.

Illegal immigration is on track to hit the highest levels in more than a decade, and Trump has willfully decided to keep amnesty advocates Jared, Ivanka, Mick Mulvaney, Marc Short, and Mercedes Schlapp in the White House. For all his talk about immigration, did he ever consider hiring people who share his MAGA vision?
TRUMP’S CATCH AND RELEASE… all the “cheap” labor climbing our borders, jobs and welfare lines!
In newly confirmed federal data from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, Breitbart News has learned the massive scale and scope of DHS’s ramped up Catch and Release policy.

For months, DHS officials have said privately that the Catch and Release program has been taken to new heights, while ICE union officials declared this week that the program was in “overdrive” under the direction of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.  JOHN BINDER

Why is the Swamp Keeper and his family of parasites up their ar$es??

A massive tax cut for his plundering Goldman Sachs infested administration.

"During the same month that Schlafly had backed Trump for his “America First”


agenda, Nielsen’s committee released an ideologically-globalist report, promoting


the European migrant crisis as a win for big business who would profit greatly


from a never-ending stream of cheap, foreign migrants."


TRUMPERNOMICS FOR THE RICH…. and his parasitic family!
Report: Trump Says He Doesn't Care About the National Debt Because the Crisis Will Hit After He's Gone

 "Trump's alleged comment is maddening and disheartening,
but at least he's being straightforward about his indefensible
and self-serving neglect.  I'll leave you with 
this reminder of the scope of the problem, not that anyone in power is going to do a damn thing about it."

"The tax overhaul would mean an unprecedented windfall for the super-rich, on top

of the fact that virtually all income gains during the period of the supposed

recovery from the financial crash of 2008 have gone to the top 1 percent income




Swamp Keeper Trump prepares for the inevitable move to impeach him and ask for asylum in Scotland.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson said in an interview Thursday that President Donald Trump has succeeded as a conversation starter but has failed to keep his most important campaign promises.

“His chief promises were that he would build the wall, de-fund Planned Parenthood, and repeal Obamacare, and he hasn’t done any of those things,” Carlson told Urs Gehriger of the Swiss weekly Die Weltwoche.


“Truthfully, It Is Tough To Ignore Some Of The Gross Immoral Behavior By The President” WASHINGTON POST

“Mueller and the anti-Trump camp within the ruling elite know very well that the billionaire New York real estate and gambling speculator-turned president is mired in criminal activity, which is certain to be reflected in the material seized from Cohen. They have Trump by the throat, and Trump knows it.”
“Our entire crony capitalist system, Democrat and Republican alike, has become a kleptocracy approaching par with third-world hell-holes.  This is the way a great country is raided by its elite.” ----Karen McQuillan AMERICAN THINKER

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen testified before the House Oversight Committee Wednesday that the “whole Trump family” was potentially comprised by a foreign power ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Saving the 9-11 invading Saudis’ arses!
"I doubt that Trump understands -- or cares about -- what message he's sending. Wealthy Saudis, including members of the extended royal family, have been his patrons for years, buying his distressed properties when he needed money.
“The Wahhabis finance thousands of madrassahs throughout the world where young boys are brainwashed into becoming fanatical foot-soldiers for the petrodollar-flush Saudis and other emirs of the Persian Gulf.” AMIL IMANI

 I recommend that Ignatius read Raymond Ibrahim's outstanding book Sword and Scimitar, which contains accounts of dynastic succession in the Muslim monarchies of the Middle East, where standard operating procedure for a new monarch on the death of his father was to strangle all his brothers.  Yes, it's awful.  But it has been happening for a very long time.  And it's not going to change quickly, no matter how outraged we pretend to be. MONICA SHOWALTER

“You saved my a rse again and again… So, I’ll save yours like Bush and Obama did!
"I doubt that Trump understands -- or cares about -- what message he's sending. Wealthy Saudis, including members of the extended royal family, have been his patrons for years, buying his distressed properties when he needed money. In the early 1990s, a Saudi prince purchased Trump's flashy yacht so that the then-struggling businessman could come up with cash to stave off personal bankruptcy, and later, the prince bought a share of the Plaza Hotel, one of Trump's many business deals gone bad. Trump also sold an entire floor of his landmark Trump Tower condominium to the Saudi government in 2001."
“The Wahhabis finance thousands of madrassahs throughout the world where young boys are brainwashed into becoming fanatical foot-soldiers for the petrodollar-flush Saudis and other emirs of the Persian Gulf.” AMIL IMANI
  I recommend that Ignatius read Raymond Ibrahim's outstanding book Sword and Scimitar, which contains accounts of dynastic succession in the Muslim monarchies of the Middle East, where standard operating procedure for a new monarch on the death of his father was to strangle all his brothers.  Yes, it's awful.  But it has been happening for a very long time.  And it's not going to change quickly, no matter how outraged we pretend to be. MONICA SHOWALTER


The Saudi Challenge
Jamal Khashoggi's murder -- and no one now questions whether the Washington Post contributor was killed by Saudi agents in the kingdom's consulate in Turkey -- has far-reaching implications for the Trump administration. President Donald Trump appears to want to help sweep the incident under the rug, providing cover for the Saudis' ludicrous suggestion that the killing was a rogue operation or an interrogation gone awry. And he's enmeshed the highest officials of his administration in the mess by sending Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Riyadh, where the secretary was photographed, all smiles, sitting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who most likely ordered Khashoggi's murder. The administration is giving itself little leeway to take serious measures to protest the killing, signaling to the world that the U.S. cannot be counted on to stand up against bloodthirsty autocrats, even when a U.S. resident and member of the American press is the victim.
I doubt that Trump understands -- or cares about -- what message he's sending. Wealthy Saudis, including members of the extended royal family, have been his patrons for years, buying his distressed properties when he needed money. In the early 1990s, a Saudi prince purchased Trump's flashy yacht so that the then-struggling businessman could come up with cash to stave off personal bankruptcy, and later, the prince bought a share of the Plaza Hotel, one of Trump's many business deals gone bad. Trump also sold an entire floor of his landmark Trump Tower condominium to the Saudi government in 2001. During the campaign, the Trump Organization registered more than a half-dozen limited liability companies in the kingdom, in anticipation of cashing in on Trump's enhanced renown. When Trump actually won (which apparently he didn't think he would at the time), someone must have explained he couldn't move ahead with new business there as president, because he withdrew the registrations. Of course, a little thing like benefiting from the office of the presidency hasn't stopped the Trump Organization, run by the president's two eldest sons, from accepting Saudi largesse since the election. With many Trump properties and brands losing customers in today's highly polarized political atmosphere, Saudis are spending lavishly on Trump properties in Washington, New York and even Chicago as many others avoid them.
But if Trump doesn't get why looking the other way when an American journalist is tortured, beheaded and hacked to pieces by a team of Saudi government operatives is bad, surely national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary Pompeo do. Autocrats are stepping up their game around the world. Russian President Vladimir Putin didn't hesitate to order a hit on British soil of an ex-KGB agent and his daughter earlier this year. But the United Kingdom responded quickly, kicking out Russian diplomats and imposing sanctions. The United States followed suit, but only because Congress, not Trump, knew that to do otherwise would have let down an ally and encouraged a despot. When asked in a "60 Minutes" interview Sunday whether he believes that Putin was involved in the poisoning and other assassinations, Trump's response was: "Probably he is, yeah. ... But I rely on them. It's not in our country."
The Trump administration relies on Saudi Arabia, too. It is the enemy of our enemy Iran, which, in political calculus, makes Saudis our "friends." But even friends require reining in at times. And these friends need us more than we need them. We are no longer dependent on oil imports; our oil reserves surpass those of Saudi Arabia. Although Trump worries about losing that promised $110 billion Saudi arms purchase he keeps touting (but which has yet to materialize), the Saudis don't have anywhere else to go if they want to keep their airplanes in the air. They are locked in by past purchases; no one else can deliver the spare parts for U.S.-built weapons. As for the help in challenging Iran, they have no choice there, either. Iran is far more a direct threat to the kingdom than it is to the U.S. And as for their most crucial role -- the war on Islamic terrorism -- the Saudis claim to fight terrorism but are also a major source of funding for radical Islamic schools and mosques that recruit terrorists around the world.
The administration has only a short time to come up with a proper and proportionate response to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The president thinks Americans will move on -- but his inaction makes the world a more dangerous place. And next time, the attack just might be on American soil.

Trump scrambles to cover for Saudi regime as crisis over Khashoggi murder mounts

By Barry Grey
19 October 2018
Following US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s emergency talks in Riyadh and Ankara, and amid mounting reports implicating Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Trump administration is scrambling to shield Washington’s closest ally in the Arab World.
On Thursday, Trump continued to suggest that Prince Mohammed and his father, King Salman, may have had nothing to do with the disappearance and evident torture and murder of Khashoggi on October 2 in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. However, after being debriefed by Pompeo following the latter’s talks with Prince Mohammed and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Trump told reporters it appeared that Khashoggi was dead.
The official line is that Pompeo secured a pledge from the Saudi leadership to hold accountable anyone found in the course of the regime’s own investigation to have played a role in Khashoggi’s disappearance. On that fraudulent basis, Pompeo advised Trump to give Riyadh several more days to provide an accounting, after which the White House will decide its response.
Meanwhile, unnamed Turkish officials and the pro-Erdogan newspaper Yeni Safak reported Wednesday on the contents of what they claim is an audio recording of the events that transpired in the Istanbul consulate following Khashoggi’s entering the building on the afternoon of October 2. The 60-year-old self-exiled Saudi national and resident of Virginia in the US, who went from being a regime insider to a Washington Post columnist and critic of the new crown prince, ostensibly went to the consulate to obtain documents in advance of his impending wedding to a Turkish national. He never emerged from the consulate.
According to the Turkish accounts, he was almost immediately attacked by a team of 15 men who had flown that day to Istanbul from Saudi Arabia, brutally tortured, drugged, murdered, beheaded and dismembered. These sources say his fingers were cut off, but do not stipulate whether that occurred before or after he had expired. One of those reported to have been in the group is a forensic doctor who carried a bone saw.
The Washington Post on Wednesday published a detailed profile of the 15 men, complete with photos and scans of travel documents. It reported that at least nine of the men have ties to Saudi security. The New York Times reported Wednesday that at least four are directly linked to the crown prince, having traveled with him as part of his personal security detail.
The claim of Crown Prince Mohammed that he had no foreknowledge of a plan to kill the former regime loyalist-turned critic is absurd on its face. He is an absolute ruler in a brutal totalitarian dictatorship, and is known to closely oversee the activities of his security apparatus and to be personally extremely cruel.
Pompeo’s meetings on Tuesday with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed were aimed at signaling continued US support while making a pretense of seeking a full accounting of Khashoggi’s disappearance. The same is true of his meeting the following day with Erdogan, at which he evidently did not ask for a copy of the audio recording of the events inside the consulate.
For his part, the Turkish president has yet to publicly make any accusation against the Saudi leadership or endorse the reports being leaked by Turkish officials and the media. At odds with Riyadh over the Saudi regime’s support for US-allied Kurdish forces in Syria, its backing for the el-Sisi dictatorship in Egypt, and its lineup with Washington over Iran, Erdogan appears nevertheless to be reluctant to sever relations with the oil-rich Saudis and may be seeking to use Riyadh’s crisis as leverage in obtaining concessions.
On Wednesday after meeting with Erdogan, Pompeo told reporters on his plane back to the US: “I do think it’s important that everyone keep in their mind that we have lots of important relations, financial relationships between US and Saudi companies, government relationships, things that we work on all across the world. The efforts to reduce the risk to the United States of America from the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, Iran.
“We just need to make sure that we are mindful of that as we approach decisions that the United States government will take when we learn all of the facts.”
This amounts to an unwitting admission of the outright criminality of both governments.
As the former CIA director and current secretary of state, Pompeo’s reference to the “things we work on all across the world” includes conspiring to strangle, destabilize and potentially wage war against Iran, in alliance with Israel and most of the other Gulf oil sheikdoms.
These “things” also include the near-genocidal Saudi-led war in Yemen, which has already killed some 50,000 men, women and children and threatens another 14 million with starvation and deadly epidemics of cholera and diphtheria. The Saudis could not carry out their relentless bombing and de facto blockade of the Arab world’s poorest country without US arms, its mid-air refueling of Saudi bombers, its provision of intelligence and help in selecting targets and the assistance to its naval forces.
It is notable that in all of the US press commentary critical of Trump and the Saudi crown prince, there is virtually no mention of the US role in the slaughter in Yemen.
There is as well the collaboration between Washington and Riyadh in suppressing the Palestinians and propping up Israel, and their joint support for Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist terrorists in the war for regime-change in Syria.
The US is particularly reliant on the Saudi monarchy at the present moment, in advance of its November 5 deadline for imposing sanctions against all Iranian exports. It is counting on Riyadh to open its oil spigot to prevent a spike in oil prices as a result of a sharp reduction in Iranian oil exports.
At the same time, the administration is coming under increasing pressure, both internationally and at home, to distance itself from the crown prince. It made a reluctant concession to this pressure on Thursday with the announcement that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would join the swelling ranks of Western officials, bankers and media organizations that have announced they will not attend next week’s international investors’ conference in Riyadh, to be hosted by Crown Prince Mohammed.
Dubbed “Davos in the Desert,” the event is on the brink of collapse. On Wednesday, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde pulled out. Businesses that have made similar announcements include Uber, JPMorgan Chase, Viacom, BlackRock and Blackstone Group. CNN, the Financial Times, CNBC, Nikkei and the New York Times are among the media organizations that have withdrawn as media sponsors.
The likely debacle of the investors’ conference will intensify an already acute crisis facing the Saudi monarchy. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that global investors are growing increasingly alarmed at what the newspaper called Saudi Arabia’s “debt binge” in recent months. In the two-and-a-half years since May 2016, the country has floated $68 billion in dollar-denominated bonds and syndicated loans—up from zero.
In addition, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund took out its first-ever bank loan last month, raising $11 billion. And the national oil company Saudi Aramco plans to raise up to $50 billion.
Reflecting declining confidence in the regime, the cost of insuring against Saudi default has risen by 30 percent since the disappearance of Khashoggi, and even before the Khashoggi allegations, foreign direct investment had fallen to historically low levels.
Also on Thursday, the Washington Post published Khashoggi’s final column for the newspaper. Introducing the piece, Global Opinions Editor Karen Attiah explained that the Post had received the column one day after Khashoggi’s disappearance, but had decided to hold it in the hope that he would reemerge. In publishing the piece, the newspaper acknowledged that the author had died.
The content of the column points to Khashoggi’s likely links to sections of the US state and intelligence apparatus. A former aide to the Saudi chief of intelligence and one-time ambassador to the US, Khashoggi had long been known as an interlocutor between the Saudi regime and Western media and government officials. He also had close ties to Osama bin Laden.
In his final column he compares the suppression of speech and expression in the Arab world to the Soviet “Iron Curtain,” and calls for the development of an “independent” news source in the Middle East modeled after the cold war-era propaganda organ Radio Free Europe.
This would in part explain the furious reaction of Trump critics in both political parties, the media and the intelligence establishment to the administration’s efforts to alibi for the Saudi leadership. Obama’s CIA chief John Brennan, for example, has repeatedly denounced Trump’s attempts to cover for the regime and insisted that the crown prince personally ordered the murder of Khashoggi

Trump’s Gentrification Scheme to Enrich Real Estate Developers

A tax loophole intended to help the poor is funneling money to wealthy investors.


December 28, 2018

Buried within the more than 500 pages of Donald Trump’s 2017 tax cut was an unobtrusive line item with potentially damaging consequences. Proposed by Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, the provision allows governors to select certain census tracts in their states, in economically distressed areas, as “opportunity zones.” The Treasury certified the last of these zones in June, bringing the total number to 8,700. Now, investors who fund projects in these areas will get sizable tax breaks—even on unrelated investments. As long as they dump profits into a fund earmarked for the opportunity zones, they can defer or even eliminate the capital gains they would otherwise have owed.

Some of the census tracts that have been identified as opportunity zones may be truly distressed. But it’s dubious whether others should qualify—this summer, for example, much of Long Island City in New York was named an opportunity zone. Now that Amazon has announced it’s moving one of its two HQ2 branches there, the retail behemoth could nab a $225 million tax break simply because the site happens to fall in one such zone—this, on top of the $1.7 billion New York has already offered Amazon. Investors who purchase apartment buildings for the influx of tech employees will also see tax breaks. So will anyone building office parks, or grocery stores. That money may well be better spent elsewhere, but during the debate over the tax bill, such questions received very little attention. Neither, really, did the zones themselves. Since its passage, though, President Donald Trump has enthusiastically promoted the plan, issuing press releases boasting that “new investment will flow into blighted developments, stalled infrastructure projects, and other desperately needed economic enhancements” and create fiscal improvements that will “help turn dreams to reality.”
The thinking behind the zones reflects Republican faith in privatization as a cure-all. If Trump has departed from conservative orthodoxy on trade and entitlements, he is squarely with the party when it comes to this issue. On the campaign trail, he promised to spend $1.5 trillion on the country’s infrastructure, but when the details of his plan were released a month before the election, it was merely a proposal to privatize roads, bridges, and waterways. Trump has similar plans for the nation’s air traffic control system, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and even the Postal Service. Each one offers huge upsides for a select group of financiers and business owners, but does little to nothing for the American people.

None of these promises has fully gone into law—apart from opportunity zones, the first of which the Treasury implemented this spring. Since then, a number of funds have cropped up to cash in on the boom. Anthony Scaramucci, who served as Trump’s director of communications for all of ten days, plans to launch a $3 billion “opportunity fund” at his hedge fund Skybridge Capital. Cadre, the real estate crowdfunding platform partially owned by Jared Kushner and his brother, Joshua, is also focused on exploiting the zones. As Charles Clinton, the CEO of EquityMultiple, a real estate investment startup, said in September, they are “one of the biggest real estate investment opportunities in decades.” 

Similar efforts have been undertaken in the past. In the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher created eleven “enterprise zones” in the United Kingdom, which produced fewer jobs than promised. Each cost the government between $35,000 and $45,000, indexed for inflation. The areas are still home to some of the poorest people in the country. During the 1990s, Bill Clinton set up 104 “empowerment zones” in six urban areas around the United States, including Atlanta, Baltimore, and New York, as well as three rural areas, in Kentucky, Mississippi, and Texas. Clinton’s plan (unlike Trump’s) tried to encourage not just capital investment, but also hiring and upfront investments in equipment. But research on empowerment zones has found that they had little to no effect on economic growth or poverty. They were expensive, too, costing $850 per resident.

One of the reasons why these zones often fail to deliver an economic boost is that governors and investors tend to pick areas that are already on an upswing. (Long Island City is a good example; it had been gentrifying for years before Andrew Cuomo nominated it as an opportunity zone.) In May, the Urban Institute found that 28 percent of the census tracts governors had designated as opportunity zones already benefit from some of the highest levels of private investment. They’d be attractive areas in which to invest with or without a big tax giveaway. In other words, opportunity zones are a massive handout for investors, and there is scant evidence that they bring investment to the places that need it most.

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Of course, Trump himself has experience bilking tax breaks and subsidies to make massive profits. He accumulated at least $885 million in tax breaks, grants, and other subsidies from New York to build his empire of hotels and high rises, according to The New York Times, including the longest tax abatement the city ever handed out, 40 years, to rehabilitate the Grand Hyatt Hotel in the ’70s. He even pocketed $150,000 from a fund meant to help small businesses damaged in the September 11 attacks. (He owned a Wall Street skyscraper not far from Ground Zero, but it wasn’t damaged when the planes hit the Twin Towers.) Trump may be the country’s preeminent expert in spotting a government handout to developers and squeezing it for all it’s worth. It’s no surprise that he’d be as excited to stamp his name on these opportunity zones as he would one of his hotels.

Trump may be the country’s preeminent expert in spotting a government handout and squeezing it for all it’s worth.

But these misguided policies have lasting consequences. For one, there is no way to ensure that investors who were already planning to put money into housing or infrastructure don’t just decide to do it in opportunity zones to reap the tax benefits. Second, the zones typically allow investors to retain complete control over their projects. After state governments designate the areas, local communities get no say over what is invested in and by whom. Don’t like the new toll road in your town financed by a hedge fund? You may have no way to vote it down or give input into how it’s implemented.

There’s a better way. Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society directly financed construction across the country. Dwight Eisenhower built the country’s network of highways. The bipartisan Community Development Block Grant program, enacted in 1974 by Republican President Gerald Ford, gives local communities money for projects they decide are most important for their economies—a program that Trump wants to eliminate.

The Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated that the tax incentives in opportunity zones will cost $1.5 billion a year for the first eight years. Just think what that money could do if directed to build new water lines in Flint, affordable housing in Fresno, decent school buildings in Baltimore, or better roads in Akron. Bankers on Wall Street might not get a payday. But do we care more about their dreams, or those of poor residents in neglected communities? 

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