On the presidential campaign trail, Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, often boasts of his success in Atlantic City, of how he outwitted the Wall Street firms that financed his casinos and rode the value of his name to riches. A central argument of his candidacy is that he would bring the same business prowess to the Oval Office, doing for America what he did for his companies. ...NYT
And just how well have those companies done?
The Trump Plaza Casino and Hotel is now closed, its windows clouded over by sea salt. Only a faint outline of the gold letters spelling out T-R-U-M-P remains visible on the exterior of what was once this city’s premier casino.
Not far away, the long-failing Trump Marina Hotel Casino was sold at a major loss five years ago and is now known as the Golden Nugget.
At the nearly deserted eastern end of the boardwalk, the Trump Taj Mahal, now under new ownership, is all that remains of the casino empire Donald J. Trump assembled here more than a quarter-century ago. Years of neglect show: The carpets are frayed and dust-coated chandeliers dangle above the few customers there to play the penny slot machines. ...NYT
He's proud of his score: "The money I took out of there was incredible.”
"Terror" is over-used. And maybe that word acts as an incentive to future malcontents. Whatever.
Police in Orlando said “approximately 20 people” were killed in what authorities are calling an act of domestic terrorism, and many others were injured in the violence at Pulse, a popular gay bar and dance club. ...WaPo
Because this is what we do -- or bring up our kids to do. We feel puzzled and, for the most part, guilt free. We haven't yet absorbed the possibility that inflicting terror on others -- elsewhere has led to "domestic terrorism" at home and to a thriving market for weapons... for guns. We appear to be in a state of endless worry and rage.
“It appears he was organized and well-prepared,” Orlando Police Chief John Mina said at a Sunday-morning news conference, noting that the shooter had an “assault-type” weapon and a handgun. .....WaPo
Make that 50 killed according to latest reports. Worst shooting in history, says the NYTimes. ISIS inspired.
So. I read the New York Times' thrilled response to John Oliver's latest "just do it" effort and tried to imagine how Oliver came up with simple way (weep, Mr. President!) of responding to damaging corporate greed.
For his latest trick, Mr. Oliver, the host of the HBO show, formed a company called Central Asset Recovery Professionals — or CARP, named after the bottom-feeding fish — and purchased $14.9 million worth of medical debt for just under $60,000. ...NYT
Well, some of it has to do with competition... with Oprah. But still. He (or maybe the whole thing developed in a staff meeting) just did it. He didn't do what so many of us do. He acted. He succeeded in one-upping Oprah and her car give-away. For $60K he was able to restore some financial security to some nine thousand people. He should get the Nobel economics prize. At least.
Face it. Bernie was doomed from the start. He was up against "a key feature of the American political system that makes a person with integrity ineligible for the White House."
According to some experts, the electoral system has developed a number of safeguards over the past few decades to prevent someone with independence and backbone from occupying the Presidency.
“Bernie Sanders’s failure to become a member of either major political party excludes him from the network of cronyism and backroom deals required under our system to be elected,” said Davis Logsdon, a political scientist at the University of Minnesota. “Though that failure alone would disqualify Sanders, the fact that he is not beholden to a major corporate interest or investment bank would also make him ineligible.”
Because of his ineligibility, Logsdon said, the Vermont Senator would be unable to fund-raise the one billion dollars required under the current system to run for President. “The best source of a billion dollars is billionaires, and Sanders has alienated them,” he said. “Clearly he didn’t think this through.” ...AndyBorowitz
Here we are: almost half way through the year. We've left the fantasies of Christmas far behind. By now, July fourth reminders are in every aisle of the supermarket and we are all Real Americans. Paul Krugman reminds us of reality, where "defining oneself at least in part by membership in a group is part of human nature."
Even if you try to step away from such definitions, other people won’t. A rueful old line from my own heritage says that if you should happen to forget that you’re Jewish, someone will remind you: a truth reconfirmed by the upsurge in vocal anti-Semitism unleashed by the Trump phenomenon.
So group identity is an unavoidable part of politics, especially in America with its history of slavery and its ethnic diversity. Racial and ethnic minorities know that very well, which is one reason they overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton, who gets it, over Mr. Sanders, with his exclusive focus on individual inequality. And politicians know it too.
Indeed, the road to Trumpism began with ideological conservatives cynically exploiting America’s racial divisions. ...KrugmanNYT
The acceptance of Trump as a viable candidate has relied on the streak of self-indulgence and cynicism peeking through the curtains of Christmas and the glorious Fourth. By now we should be willing to do something about inequality and racism. But the latest presidential campaigns positively depend on racism and income inequality as major "base" issues in the very unequal America.
... This is going to be mostly an election about identity. The Republican nominee represents little more than the rage of white men over a changing nation. And he’ll be facing a woman — yes, gender is another important dimension in this story — who owes her nomination to the very groups his base hates and fears. ...KrugmanNYT