Plaintiff in Chief: A Portrait of Donald Trump in 3,500 Lawsuits

Donald Trump is the eye in the sky. He is looking at you, and me, thinking he can read our minds. He believes he is the maker of rules, dealing with fools, whom he has cheated blind.

Plaintiff in Chief: A Portrait of Donald Trump in 3,500 Lawsuits

by James D. Zirin

A comprehensive analysis of Donald Trump’s legal history reveals his temperament, methods, character, and morality.
Unlike all previous presidents who held distinguished positions in government or the military prior to entering office, Donald Trump’s political worldview was molded in the courtroom. He sees law not as a system of rules to be obeyed and ethical ideals to be respected, but as a weapon to be used against his adversaries or a hurdle to be sidestepped when it gets in his way. He has weaponized the justice system throughout his career, and he has continued to use these backhanded tactics as Plaintiff in Chief.
In this book, distinguished New York attorney James D. Zirin presents Trump’s lengthy litigation history as an indication of his character and morality, and his findings are chilling: if you partner with Donald Trump, you will probably wind up litigating with him. If you enroll in his university or buy one of his apartments, chances are you will want your money back. If you are a woman and you get too close to him, you may need to watch your back. If you try to sue him, he’s likely to defame you. If you make a deal with him, you had better get it in writing. If you are a lawyer, an architect, or even his dentist, you’d better get paid up front. If you venture an opinion that publicly criticizes him, you may be sued for libel.
A window into the president’s dark legal history, Plaintiff in Chief is as informative as it is disturbing.

Eye in the Sky
The Alan Parsons Project

Produced by Alan Parsons & Eric Woolfson
Album Eye In The Sky

Don’t think sorry’s easily said
Don’t try turning tables instead
You’ve taken lots of chances before
But I ain’t gonna give anymore
Don’t ask me
That’s how it goes
‘Cause part of me knows what you’re thinking

Don’t say words you’re gonna regret
Don’t let the fire rush to your head
I’ve heard the accusation before
And I ain’t gonna take any more
Believe me
The sun in your eyes
Made some of the lies worth believing

[Chorus]
I am the eye in the sky
Looking at you
I can read your mind
I am the maker of rules
Dealing with fools
I can cheat you blind
And I don’t need to see any more to know that
I can read your mind, I can read your mind

Don’t leave false illusions behind
Don’t cry cause I ain’t changing my mind
So find another fool like before
Cause I ain’t gonna live anymore believing
Some of the lies while all of the signs are deceiving

[Chorus]
I am the eye in the sky
Looking at you
I can read your mind
I am the maker of rules
Dealing with fools
I can cheat you blind
And I don’t need to see any more
To know that
I can read your mind, I can read your mind

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Crossfire Hurricane: Inside Donald Trump’s War on the FBI

Jumpin’ Jack Flash
The Rolling Stones

Produced by Jimmy Miller
Album Through the Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2)

[Intro]
One two!

[Verse 1]
I was born in a crossfire hurricane
And I howled at the maw in the drivin’ rain

[Chorus]
But it’s all right now, in fact, it’s a gas
But it’s all right, I’m Jumpin’ Jack Flash
It’s a gas, gas, gas

[Verse 2]
I was raised by a toothless, bearded hag
I was schooled with a strap right across my back

[Chorus]
But it’s all right now, in fact, it’s a gas
But it’s all right, I’m Jumpin’ Jack Flash
It’s a gas, gas, gas

[Verse 3]
I was drowned, I was washed up and left for dead
I fell down to my feet and I saw they bled
Yeah, yeah
I frowned at the crumbs of a crust of bread
Yeah, yeah, yeah
I was crowned with a spike right thru my head
My, my, yeah

But it’s all right now, in fact, it’s a gas
But it’s all right, I’m Jumpin’ Jack Flash
It’s a gas, gas, gas

[Outro]
Jumpin’ Jack Flash, its a gas
Jumpin’ Jack Flash, its a gas
Jumpin’ Jack Flash, its a gas
Jumpin’ Jack Flash, its a gas

https://genius.com/The-rolling-stones-jumpin-jack-flash-lyrics

Why Isn’t Trump a Real Populist?

Why Isn’t Trump a Real Populist?

He seems determined to betray his base.

By Paul Krugman

June 17, 2019

“I love the poorly educated.” So declared Donald Trump back in February 2016, after a decisive win in the Nevada primary. And the poorly educated love him back: Whites without a college degree are pretty much the only group among whom Trump has more than 50 percent approval.

But in that case, why has Trump been unwilling to do anything, and I mean anything, to help the people who installed him in the White House?

News media often describe Trump as a “populist” and lump him in with politicians in other countries, like Hungary’s Viktor Orban, who have also gained power by exploiting white resentment against immigrants and global elites. And there are indeed strong and scary parallels: Orban has effectively turned Hungary into an authoritarian state, retaining the forms of democracy but rigging the system in such a way that his party has a permanent lock on power.

It’s alarmingly easy to envision the U.S. going the same way, and very soon: If Trump is re-elected next year, that could mark the end of America’s democratic experiment.

Steven Tyler Demands Trump Stop Playing Aerosmith Songs at Rallies

Steven Tyler Demands Trump Stop Playing Aerosmith Songs at Rallies

By broadcasting the 1993 hit “Livin’ on the Edge” at a West Virginia arena, the President infringed on the singer’s copyright, says his attorney.

By Shirley Halperin

Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler is demanding President Donald Trump stop using the band’s songs at rallies, like the one held at the Charleston Civic Center in West Virginia on Tuesday (August 21). The band’s 1993 hit “Livin’ on the Edge” was played as Trump devotees entered the venue, which has a capacity of 13,500. Tyler has in turn sent a “cease and desist” letter through his attorney Dina LaPolt to the White House accusing the President of willful infringement in broadcasting the song, which was written by Tyler, Joe Perry and Mark Hudson.

Citing the Lanham Act, which prohibits “any false designation or misleading description or representation of fact … likely to cause confusion … as to the affiliation, connection, or association of such person with another person,” Tyler’s attorney contends that playing an Aerosmith song in a public arena gives the false impression that Tyler is endorsing Trump’s presidency.
Steven Tyler Demands Trump Stop Playing Aerosmith Songs at Rallies

Of all the possible songs Trump Incorporated could have used for a “rally” why was this one chosen?”

Livin’ On The Edge

Aerosmith

Produced by Bruce Fairbairn

Album Get A Grip

[Verse 1]
There’s something wrong with the world today
I don’t know what it is
Something’s wrong with our eyes
We’re seeing things in a different way
And God knows it ain’t his
It sure ain’t no surprise

[Chorus]
Living on the edge
Living on the edge
Living on the edge
Living on the edge

[Verse 2]
There’s something wrong with the world today
The light bulb’s getting dim
There’s meltdown in the sky
If you can judge a wise man
By the color of his skin
Then mister you’re a better man than I

[Chorus]
Living on the edge
You can’t help yourself from falling
Living on the edge
You can’t help yourself at all
Living on the edge
You can’t stop yourself from falling
Living on the edge

[Verse 3]
Tell me what you think about your sit-u-a-tion
Complication – aggravation
Is getting to you
If chicken little tells you that the sky is falling
Even if it wasn’t, would you still come crawling
Back again?
I bet you would my friend
Again and again and again and again and again
Tell me what you think about your sit-u-a-tion
Complication – aggravation
Is getting to you
If Chicken Little tells you that the sky is falling
Even if it was would you still come crawling
Back again?
I bet you would my friend
Again and again and again and again

[Bridge]
Something right with the world today
And everybody knows it’s wrong
But we can tell ’em no or we could let it go
But I’d would rather be a hanging on

[Chorus]
Living on the edge
You can’t help yourself from falling
Living on the edge
You can’t help yourself at all
Living on the edge
You can’t stop yourself from falling
Living on the edge
https://genius.com/Aerosmith-livin-on-the-edge-lyrics

Glowing Orange Lunatic Fringe

The Times finally gets to the bottom of Trump supporters: It turns out they’re garbage human beings

Hunter
Daily Kos Staff
2018/07/04

Go team adultery / child detention / fake charities / money laundering / sexism / racism / actual genuine treason. Getty Images

In the New York Times‘ quest to get to the bottom of what makes every last Trump supporter in America tick, we have been treated to endless interviews, loving tributes to downtrodden towns in which nary a non-white person is ever seen, and one particular day when the op-ed pages were turned over to Trump supporters to argue for Trump’s genius directly. But this is still not enough, and so Sunday’s paper included a zoological analysis from a journalist who grew up among them.

It is meant to be flattering, or at least neutral, but the short version is that the people who have been bleating about “family values” for the last half-century do not actually give a flying damn about family values and never did. It was all garbage from the get-go. While people from “college” or “in New York” or “religiously conservative” or “liberal” or take-your pick all had harsh words for the crooked, lying, adulterous, misogynist trash-heap of a human being, the salt-of-the-earth Trump supporters back in Nebraska could not possibly care less about the bullshit-laden values attributed to them in fawning tributes to the heartland’s common clay.

To hell with it all: Go team adulter-crook!

In contrast, almost all of the people I know in my hometown in Nebraska proudly supported him. They glossed over his infidelities and stressed that he seemed to be a good father. They were impressed by his “respectful” sons and admired the success of his daughters.

“Glossed over” is a fine phrase. “Good father” is quite the phrase itself. And this new notion of “respectful,” which apparently consists of “glossing over” his sons’ histories of charity fraud, public attacks on black politicians, and that whole ‘met Russian agents in Trump Tower’ thing, is doing quite the heavy lift.

Reading between the lines, what we have here is a group of people who practice what is known in the rest of the world as aggressive ignorance. You can’t say that Trump’s behavior bothers you if you drive wooden stakes into both ears and swear you didn’t hear about any of it.

The author goes through some trouble and many paragraphs to explain this phenomenon of Trump support despite Trump’s grotesque family-values-averse behaviors via a mix of sociology and class, because we are not allowed to point out that these people are simply dishonest bullshitters. When you grow up in Nebraska, you are apparently expected to bleat about family values and the corruption of the elites, to be sure—but, socioeconomically speaking, it is apparently all a ruse meant for the children and whatever gullible reporters wander through town. In reality, when it comes to the churches and the voting booths, you can be as adulterous as you want, cheat your neighbor eagerly and gleefully, lie to everyone about everything and—if you are in the right tribe, and only if you are in the right tribe—it is expected.

We’re not supposed to say it, but that is what the sociological modal boils down to. I think all of us have ample experience with these sorts of human beings, and it is not necessarily political. I believe I have pointed out multiple times that in my own experiences, for example, if any business owner mentions Jesus within the first 10 minutes of meeting you you can be absolutely, 100 percent assured they are out to scam you, good and hard, which is an interesting metric of what so-called Christianity has been reduced to in many subsets of the American psyche. But in general, journalists and other neutral observers are not supposed to notice that wide swaths of society are, in fact, Not Good People. Even if there are entire churches or towns filled with them.

And so we instead get it explained to us in very neutral, analytical terms. Can’t very well take to the pages of the New York Times to explain that Trump voters are wife-beating fascists who admire Trump’s ability to build a golden tower for himself by cheating other people out of their money, but even in its most anodyne formulation the message is clear: Trump’s version of “family values” plays well to people who themselves have none.

Baffling as it may be to elites, Mr. Trump embodies a real if imperfect model of family values. People familiar with the purple family model tend to view his alienation from his children’s mother as normal and his closeness to his children as exceptional and admirable. I saw this among my acquaintances in Nebraska. Even those from red families were more likely than my acquaintances in New York to know someone who has had a child out of wedlock or is subject to a restraining order.

See there? By God, being a do-nothing father with no apparent love for his kids is the downright admirable way to raise a family. And who, among Trump’s base, has not had a restraining order slapped on them at some point in their lives? Oopsies have been made.

The only way Trump could connect with these fine upstanding voters any deeper than he has, I tell you, is to start a meth lab in his basement.

Yes, yes, this is all very rude—but strip the roundabout talk of religious denominations and average family incomes and the rest of the ancillary smoke tossed into the piece and you are left with the blunt notion that Trump’s supporters absolutely Do Not Care about his adultery, his misogyny, his lies, his crookedness, his racism, or the possibility that he committed treason against his nation in order to sit at the desk he now sits at. That is what they, themselves, will eagerly tell you.

And from a moral point of view, rather than a socioeconomic one, there’s no “but economic status” or “but particular sub-denomination of Jesus” that justifies that.

Plainly put: These are the hallmarks of terrible human beings. People who you would not trust with your children. People you would go out of your way to avoid, if you did care about honesty or family values. These are the people who press their mistresses for abortions but who also are not vexed by abortion-providing doctors being murdered in their Kansas churches; they are confederate flag-wavers in Union states, miffed that new civil rights laws a half century ago slighted their own ne’er-do-well families in some never-quite-describable way; these are people who are so obsessed with the thought that someone better is looking down on them that they are willing to punch whatever kittens need punching in order to prove they’re at least better at kitten-punching than the rest of you. The opioid epidemic is centered in Trump-supporting counties. The demand that brown-looking children be placed in detention camps for fear that a terrified 8-year-old might be a hardened gang leader is a phenomenon of Trump-Supporting counties. The insistence that Treason Might Be Good Now is peddled by Fox News celebrities to die-hard Trump supporters who will repeat and retweet it willing and eagerly; it was Trump supporters, Jesus-punchers every one, who gave Alabama crapsack Roy Moore their votes even after his exposure as a child molester—complete with Bible citations from “conservative” pastors arguing that Roy Moore trolling the malls for a child bride was, in fact, in fine Old Testament tradition.

There is an obsessive need, in our journalistic culture, to explain bad behavior away. Donald Trump is not an amoral cesspool of lies, he is merely engaging in a particular brand of political rhetoric that seeks to persuade via the creative denial of the world everyone else can see with their own two eyes—and it’s not for we keepers of the truth to judge. Donald Trump’s supporters are not themselves dismal human beings who have open contempt for anyone not in their own small tribe, people who are forever obsessed with harming every other tribe in every other way, regardless of how it is done or how many family values rules need to be broken to do it, but are waving their little rebel flags and demanding child internment camps because their economic anxiety has gotten their stomachs all a-knotted of late.

But the acts speak for themselves. Trump’s supporters do not care about his values, his lies, the means by which he achieves his ends, or whether or not he burns the Constitution in a barbecue pit so long as he can make them feel better about their own lot in life. This is not our construction, but their own; you need not look very far in any interview to find it. They are not good people. They are not good Americans, and their so-called morals are reptilian at best. We are allowed to say it.

You want to find good people, look for the people who are just as poor but care for others anyway, or who are under just as much economic stress but do not use it as excuse for cheating and stealing their way through it—or offering up eager praise for those that do. Good people don’t claim to have family values and then discard those values at the drop of a hat when a rich, shouting hatebag they saw on their television set tells them to ignore all that. Good people don’t soak themselves in transparent lies about immigrants or minorities, then declare everyone else to be “elites” arrayed against them in “elite”-minded conspiracy when some newspaper, somewhere, points out that those things were, in fact, cheap and tawdry lies.

The more we hear from Trump defenders, the more transparent it is that they are indeed, well, bad. It’s terribly rude to say, and the press cannot say it, but the rest of us can. If you still support Trump at this late date, you are a terrible human being. You should, in fact, feel bad about yourself.

Yes, the rest of us do indeed look down on these people. Those of us with actual family values do; those of us who care about honesty in government do; those of us who are not furious bulging-eyed racists do; those of us who believe thousands of years of scientific discoveries are worth more than the dribbling pronouncements of a street-corner charlatan do; those of us with actual religious convictions do; those of us who are actual patriots do.

And we’re not sorry. Get your act together, you losers. You voted for a two-bit conman you saw on a television show, and you did it because you either didn’t care, didn’t pay attention, or because you wanted to be conned good and hard. But that was then, this is now, and you are allowed to change your mind and remember all the things you supposedly believed in before this glowing orange lunatic arrived on the scene to Make Sleaze Great Again.

You want to be respected, then do something worthy of respect. It’s as simple as that.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/7/4/1777434/-The-Times-finally-gets-to-the-bottom-of-Trump-supporters-It-turns-out-they-re-garbage-human-beings

The New York Times article referenced can be found at: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/01/opinion/trumps-purple-family-values.html?smid=tw-nytopinion&smtyp=cur

The Quisling-in -Chief

A Quisling and His Enablers

By Paul Krugman

June 11, 2018

This is not a column about whether Donald Trump is a quisling — a politician who serves the interests of foreign masters at his own country’s expense. Any reasonable doubts about that reality were put to rest by the events of the past few days, when he defended Russia while attacking our closest allies.

We don’t know Trump’s motivation. Is it blackmail? Bribery? Or just a generalized sympathy for autocrats and hatred for democracy? And we may never find out: If he shuts down the Mueller investigation and Republicans retain control of Congress, the cover-up may hold indefinitely. But his actions tell the story.

As I said, however, this isn’t a column about Trump. It is, instead, about the people who are enabling his betrayal of America: the inner circle of officials and media personalities who are willing to back him up whatever he says or does, and the wider set of politicians — basically the entire Republican delegation in Congress — who have the power and constitutional obligation to stop what he’s doing, but won’t lift a finger in America’s defense.

It’s important to understand that the fight Trump is picking with our allies isn’t about any real conflict of interest — because they are not, in fact, doing the things he accuses them of doing. No, Canada and Europe aren’t imposing “massive tariffs” on U.S. goods: A vast majority of U.S. exports enter Canada tariff-free, and the average European tariff is only 3 percent. These are simple facts, not disputable issues.

So Trump is justifying his attempt to destroy the Western alliance by accusing our allies of misdeeds that exist only in his imagination.

The same thing may be said about his claim that Canada’s Justin Trudeau somehow betrayed him and undermined the Group of 7 summit meeting. In reality, Trudeau’s remarks at the end of the conference were restrained and conventional, simply asserting — as any normal leader would — that he would defend his nation’s interests. The Trump rage-tweet that followed was responding to an insult that, like those “massive tariffs,” exists only in his imagination.

But that’s Trump, a man whose presidency has been marked by around seven false statements per day in office. What about his officials?

Well, they have been acting like the courtiers in the old story about the emperor’s new clothes. (The emperor’s new hairpiece?) If the boss says something whose falsity is obvious to anyone with eyes to see, they’ll claim to believe his version.

So Larry Kudlow, the administration’s chief economist (actually “economist,” but that’s another story) went on TV to declare that Trudeau “stabbed us in the back.” Peter Navarro, the administration’s chief trade expert (“expert”) went even further, repeating the stab-in-the-back line and declaring that Trudeau faces a “special place in hell.”

Remember when people used to imagine that Trump would be restrained by officials who would put some check on his worst impulses? Maybe that happened for a few months, but at this point he’s entirely surrounded by sycophants who will tell him whatever he wants to hear.

Still, America isn’t a monarchy — not yet, anyway. Congress has the power to check a president who seems to be betraying his oath of office. It can even remove him; but short of impeachment, there are many ways members of Congress could act to constrain Trump and limit the damage he’s doing.

But Congress is controlled by Republicans. And their response to a president whose actions are manifestly not just un-American but anti-American has been … a few sad tweets from a handful of senators who are unhappy about Trump’s behavior but not willing to do anything real. Most Republicans haven’t even gone that far: They’re just silent.

Why are Republican politicians unwilling to discharge their constitutional responsibilities? Relatively few of them, one suspects, actually want a trade war, let alone a breakup of the Western alliance. And many of them, one also suspects, are well aware that a de facto foreign agent sits in the Oval Office. But they are immobilized by a combination of venality and cowardice.

On one side, tax cuts for the rich have become the overriding priority for the modern G.O.P., and Trump is giving them that, so they’re willing to let everything else slide.

On the other side, the party’s base really does love Trump, not for his policies, but for the performative cruelty he exhibits toward racial minorities and the way he sticks his thumb in the eyes of “elites.” So any Republican politician who takes a stand on behalf of what we used to think were fundamental American values is at high risk of losing his or her next primary. And as far as we can tell, there is not a single elected Republican willing to take that risk, no matter what Trump does.

What all this tells us is that the problem facing America runs much deeper than Trump’s personal awfulness. One of our two major parties appears to be hopelessly, irredeemably corrupt. And unless that party not only loses this year’s election but begins losing on a regular basis, America as we know it is finished.