America Great Pumpkin and the Cuban Revolutions

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By ann summers

How many elections have had this kind of “battling billionaires” interplay with a major candidate… It is more of a battle for Q-ratings rather than electoral polling and yet this is the choice ahead — rock-em sock-em ruling class. entertaining us with petty feuds that lapse into the political campaigns.

Shark-Tank (ABC) apparently will overtake the Apprentice (NBC) position in prime-time media about competitive capitalism as Trump begins to destroy his brand.

“If @realDonaldTrump loses this election, im betting he personally goes bankrupt w/in 7 yrs. Thats how toxic his brand now is.” So tweeted self-made billionaire Mark Cuban yesterday. And while I take no position on the bankruptcy forecast, Cuban’s point about Trump’s brand is valid and important.

Trump’s presidential run – unlike virtually all his previous attention-seeking behavior – may cost him significant money.

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Dart of the Eel

 

Trump deserves credit for hatching a genuine business innovation: branded high-end real estate. No one had previously created a brand that could be put on an office building or a hotel or an apartment building or a golf course and that would give any of those properties a patina of luxury and success. Trump did it, and the brand was his name. His business strategy over the past 40 years has been to keep himself in the public eye because every mention of his name in the media built the value of the brand. At least that’s how it worked until now.

Over the past 12 months Trump has almost certainly been devaluing his brand among the customers who are most important to his businesses – high-income individuals plus the corporations that rent space in his office buildings and hold conferences and meetings in his hotels or hotels that have licensed his name.

Trump goes after @mcuban today: “The problem with Mark, he is not smart enough to understand what we are doing.”

 

In 1998, a decade after his ghostwritten memoir, “The Art of the Deal,” made him a household name in the United States, the New York real-estate developer Donald Trump sent a team of consultants to Cuba to sniff out new business opportunities. According to a story in the current issue of Newsweek, Trump paid the expenses for the consultants, who worked for the Seven Arrows Investment and Development Corporation. Their bill came to $68,551.88.

great american pumpkin

 

The payment was illegal, and was also covered up. Documents obtained by Newsweek suggest that Trump’s executives knew as much, and sought to conceal the payments by making it appear that they had gone to a charitable effort. Clearly, Trump’s company, then called Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, knowingly violated the long-standing U.S. trade embargo with Cuba, part of the Trading with the Enemy Act—which, as it happens, is still on the books today, despite President Obama’s restoration of relations with Cuba, in December, 2014. The embargo is a complex bundle of laws and prohibitions that have accrued over a half century and that can only be done away with by a majority vote in Congress, which seems unlikely to happen anytime soon.

If Trump’s violation of the act had been discovered earlier, the developer could have been sentenced to up to ten years in prison and fined as much as a million dollars. In 2004, the U.S. imposed an undisclosed fine on the Spanish airline Iberia for transporting Cuban goods through the United States. In 2005, an American businessman pleaded guilty to violating the embargo by selling water-purification supplies to Cuba. He and two of his associates, who pleaded guilty a year earlier, were given probation sentences, after years in court. The statute of limitations on Trump’s venture into Cuba has now run out, and he has escaped the likelihood of criminal prosecution. But by compounding the growing perception that he is an inveterate cheat and liar, it could further damage his chances of winning the Presidency on November 8th.

Trump not only violated the embargo but also took ostentatiously hypocritical positions on it. In November, 1999, less than a year after he sent the consultants to Cuba, Trump flirted with launching his first Presidential bid, as the candidate of the Reform Party, at an event hosted by the anti-Castro Cuban American National Foundation, in Miami. Trump swore to his audience that he would never do business in Cuba until Fidel Castro, whom he called “a murderer” and “a bad guy in every respect,” was dead and gone. He added that he thought the embargo was a good thing because money spent on the island went to Castro, not to the people of Cuba.

TRUMP RECEIVED BIG APPLAUSE FOR HIS EXPRESSIONS OF SOLIDARITY WITH CUBAN-AMERICANS, AND EVEN CRACKED A JOKE THAT HE’D OVERSEE THEIR VICTORY OVER COMMUNISM AS EITHER “THE GREATEST DEVELOPER IN THE COUNTRY OR THE GREATEST PRESIDENT YOU’VE HAD IN A LONG TIME.”

www.newyorker.com/…

Hmmm…Newsweek says the DDOS attack that hit them after the Trump/Cuba piece came mainly from Russian IP addresses http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/dos-hack-newsweek-trump-cuba-embargo-story 

 

 

Irony: Trump illegally trades in Cuba; 1 in 3 Trump supporters want an ATLANTIC WALL to keep out Muslims. Vol.11:

 

This entry was posted in 2016 Election, Celebrity, Media, Presidential Elections, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to America Great Pumpkin and the Cuban Revolutions

  1. I have a question for our Constitutional lawyer readers.

    If Trump is indicted, what then? The US Marshals show up to cuff him, which will throw the Secret Service into a tizzy they have never had to face before.

    I have enough contacts inside what is commonly called the “tradecraft” community to know that he can never pass a security clearance higher than Secret, and even that is questionable. He would be ineligible to even visit the White House Situation Room.

    For a titular Commander in Chief to be unable to have the required security clearances due to habitual lying and illegal foreign influences has never happened before.

  2. Terry Welshans says:

    Much to my dismay, it seems that a security clearance is not necessary for the President.What a shock!

    Three websites have some comments on this:

    From https://news.clearancejobs.com/2016/07/25/kind-security-clearance-president-get/:
    Quote:
    The president of the United States is not subject to a security screening and does not hold a security clearance. Once elected, only time and inclination separate a new president from opening the vaults and knowing the truth about everything. This will come as a great relief to the candidates of both major parties, neither of whom would likely otherwise qualify for a clearance. In the case of Donald Trump: his multiple bankruptcies, the ongoing Trump University lawsuit, and his contact with undesirable foreign nationals (Vladimir Putin would make a poor character reference on an SF-86) would probably add up to a big red X stamped across his form. Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, would have to answer—while hooked up to a polygraph—whether in the past seven years she ever received a warning or reprimand for any “violation of a security policy.” An honest answer to this would not be promising, and I doubt that investigators would be swayed by the defense “…but after his reprimand, the director of the FBI didn’t indict me!”

    From: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/291769-mcmullin-trump-couldnt-get-clearance-for-low-level-job-at-the
    Quote:
    Independent presidential candidate and former CIA operative Evan McMullin on Wednesday argued that Donald Trump shouldn’t get security briefings as the GOP presidential nominee.

    “If there’s anyone that shouldn’t be trusted with regard to intelligence, it’s Donald Trump, both in the literal sense and with regard to our intelligence services,” McMullin said on CNN’s “The Lead” Wednesday.

    “He shouldn’t have access to these briefings,” continued McMullin, who served for 11 years at the CIA, noting the briefings involve highly sensitive material.

    Lastly, from https://www.thebalance.com/security-clearance-secrets-3331997
    Quote:
    A security clearance investigation ensures that you are eligible for access to national security information. The investigation focuses on your character and conduct, emphasizing such factors as honesty, trustworthiness, reliability, financial responsibility, criminal activity, emotional stability, and other pertinent areas. All investigations consist of checks of national records and credit checks; some investigations also include interviews with individuals who know the candidate for the clearance as well as the candidate himself/herself.

    Standard Form 86 Sections 18 (Relatives), 19 (Foreign Contacts), 20A (Foreign Activities), 20B (Foreign Business, Professional Activities, and Foreign Government Contacts), 20B (20C – Foreign Travel), and 26 (Financial Record) would be difficult under his circumstances, but then he is exempt from filling it out if elected.

    • Now, I am gobsmacked!

      Incredible.

      This is what the “born in America” provision in the Constitution was supposed to prevent. The founders never imagined the global economy, and loyalty to money rather than country. This is what they sacrificed so much for?

  3. Trump’s kids are complaining now that his campaign is hurting business. Bad, they say.
    Grumpy Cat, Good

  4. pete says:

    http://fortune.com/2016/08/01/donald-trump-hotels-sales/

    Depends on where you are, I guess.

    “The Trump-owned Mar-a-Lago, a private club in Palm Beach and a popular meeting venue, is “booked solid” she says. “They are turning people away,””

    But,
    “Other agents, such as Robin Neil, a travel agent from Seattle, say several clients have told her flat-out “anything but a Trump hotel.”

    and
    A meeting planner in Dallas adds “The majority of my clients feel that booking one of his hotels would be too polarizing right now, potentially driving away a good portion of their members,” he says. “There is clear concern about driving away attendees who are or might be against his bigotry, racism, xenophobia, and intolerance.”

    Sounds like if he loses there may be another bankruptcy in his future.

    • wordcloud9 says:

      So if (shudder!) Trump wins, will he be divesting all his conflict-of-interest businesses?
      I wonder if he knows what the President gets paid.

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