HOME/ABOUT  Prayer  SCOTUS  ProLife  BangList  Aliens  StatesRights  ConventionOfStates  WOT  HomosexualAgenda  GlobalWarming  Corruption  Taxes  Congress  Fraud  MediaBias  GovtAbuse  Tyranny  Obama  ObamaCare  Elections  Polls  Debates  Trump  Cruz  Kasich  OPSEC  Benghazi  InfoSec  BigBrother  IRS  Scandals  TalkRadio  TeaParty  FreeperBookClub  HTMLSandbox  FReeperEd  FReepathon  CopyrightList  Copyright/DMCA Notice 

Please keep those donations coming in, folks. Our 2nd quarter FReepathon is off to a great start and we have a chance of getting 'er done early! Thank you all very much!!

Or by mail to: Free Republic, LLC - PO Box 9771 - Fresno, CA 93794
Free Republic 2nd Quarter Fundraising Target: $88,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $39,804
45%  
Woo hoo!! And the first 45% is in!! Thank you all very much!! God bless.

Posts by CutePuppy

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • Trump Names Former Goldman Partner, Soros Money Manager As Finance Chairman

    05/05/2016 9:00:54 PM PDT · 288 of 301
    CutePuppy to SPRINK; ken5050; ifinnegan; Mase; FreeReign; HLPhat; major-pelham; maddog55; The Iceman Cometh
    For clarity, some timeline of Mnuchin's business and political activity:

    Mnuchin started his career in the early 1980s at Salomon Brothers. He moved to Goldman Sachs in 1985. Mnuchin was one of the instrumental people in the promotion of financial instruments like Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDO) and Credit Default Swaps (CDS).

    Mnuchin spent 17 years at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., becoming partner and head of the mortgage department before working with Hank Paulson in 1999 as the firm's Chief Information Officer.

    Mnuchin cashed in on the Goldman Sachs' IPO in 2002 and left to join Lampert's ESL Investments hedge fund as vice chairman — he knew Eddie Lampert (whose equity firm owns Sears Holdings and K-Mart) from his time at Yale, where they were roommates.

    In 2003 he started new fund with $1 billion from George Soros. In 2004, with two other ex-Goldman Sachs partners, he combined his fund holdings to form hedge fund Dune Capital Management, which led a group (which also included George Soros) that in 2009 raised $1.55 billion to acquire what was left of collapsed mortgage loan bank IndyMac from the FDIC receivership — it was renamed OneWest Bank, and in 2015 acquired by CIT Group for $3.4B.

    Partly due to this purchase he was subjected to 2011 protests on the lawn of his Bel Air mansion by foreclosed homeowners.

    Mnuchin's father, Robert Mnuchin, was a partner at Goldman Sachs in the 1960s.

    Steven Mnuchin and Donald Trump have known each other for 15 years and have done business together, though Mnuchin declined to comment on the nature of their dealings and also declined to comment on Trump's attacks on the "carried-interest" that many hedge fund and private equity managers use to lower their taxes.

    Mnuchin is a registered Republican but like Trump, he has given money to Democrats, including about $7,000 to Hillary Clinton for her U.S. Senate bids and 2008 presidential campaign. He has also given a substantial amount to Republicans, including $20,000 to the RNC. But the Democratic donations exceeded the ones to Republicans, according to the opensecrets.org - Steven Mnuchin, NY.

  • What MakerBot exit means for N.Y.C. and the 3D business

    05/03/2016 6:32:31 PM PDT · 1 of 11
    CutePuppy
    High taxes, expensive mandates, onerous regulations, increasing costs of doing business (like increases in minimum wage, medical insurance, increases in mandatory paid leaves from work etc.) are forcing even the most creative and relatively high gross-margins businesses out of production in the U.S. If "inversions" to escape double or triple taxation are shut down by sleight of hand by DOJ, SEC or other administrative agencies, there will be plenty of companies doing design and manufacturing elsewhere, with the money flowing one way - out of the U.S. ...

    10 years ago U.S. corporations had $2T in cash on their balance sheets — $1.2T in the U.S. and $800B outside; today corporations have about $3T in cash, of which $800B are in the U.S. and nearly $2.2T outside (which they cannot bring home, lest they be taxed another 45% tax on it, so they keep reinvesting it there, providing jobs, and building plants and other infrastructure.)

    Tariffs, VATs and higher taxes are not going to fix this, more likely just exacerbate the exodus of capital from the U.S. and diminishing the capital formation in the U.S.

    "Capital will always go where it's welcome, and stay where it's well treated" - Walter Wriston

    "The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen" - Dennis Prager

    "Big government is not the solution to our problems. Big government is the problem" - Ronald Reagan

    "One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results" - Milton Friedman

  • FBI arrests brother of San Bernardino terrorist and 2 others on marriage fraud charges

    04/28/2016 6:13:57 PM PDT · 14 of 14
    CutePuppy to Eddie01; Dr. Ursus; outpostinmass2
    Good, only took 5 mos.

    It might be related to the [new] information they've gotten recently from the recovered iPhone (thanks to the Israeli digital forensic company, no thanks to Apple management and their phony 'privacy' argument).

  • Are the GOP rules really rigged against Donald Trump?

    04/26/2016 2:24:17 AM PDT · 1 of 103
    CutePuppy
    * (Abramson is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, and director of policy at the Iron Dome Alliance. Ballabon is CEO of B2 Strategic where he advises and represents corporate and political clients on interacting with the government and media.) *

    "Open" primaries that allow "Operation Chaos" subterfuge in many states is not a new subject and should have been dealt with by national and states' party leaderships long time ago.

    Getting 95% of the delegates while getting 60% of the vote in a large state like NY and then complaining about "rigged" and "unfair" system may be considered "good politics" or strategy in the primary (like Charlie Sheen's "Winning!!" refrain), but it should not confuse anybody but low-information voters or be tolerated by anyone but the audiences of Comedy Channel and late-night "comedy news" shows.

    Today's celebrity-driven culture (particularly of younger generations, like Millennials or younger Gen-Xers) favour those with name recognition (see Eddie Murphy's "The Distinguished Gentleman" (1992))  —  whether in politics or "entertainment"  —  and/or those who mass media wants to elevate and make the "king" or the "queen" (if only temporarily, for "15 minutes" or only to set up an easier "kill" later.)

    Current election rules and limits on personal donations give enormous advantage in primaries to ego-driven super-rich with little or no ideology or attachment to the constituents of the party, but who don't need to spend tremendous amount of time and money on fund-raising efforts just to be able to stay in the race, e.g., Perot, Romney, Trump. These rules also need to be changed and simplified, or we will keep getting the "lesser of the evils" candidates who represent, at best, a small fraction of what "we" [want to] believe in.

  • The Latest: Trump says bathroom laws 'discriminatory'

    04/21/2016 7:23:07 PM PDT · 238 of 263
    CutePuppy to TexasCajun; don-o; Bruce Campbells Chin; Yashcheritsiy; Vigilanteman; bramps; Cobra64; ...
    People are finally figuring out that Donald Trump is in the TransParty — he can "identify as" a Democrat, Republican, UniParty or independent depending on how he feels and who he thinks he is talking to at the moment...

    Depending on circumstances that transpire, he can be transparently transgressive or translucently transactional, but always transitionally transposing and transforming, and whatever he says can be translated and transfigured to take on some kind of almost transcendental meaning.

  • Trump 1991: Reagan's Tax Reform A 'Catastrophe,' U.S. Is Like The Soviet Union

    04/21/2016 12:19:52 AM PDT · 47 of 47
    CutePuppy to babble-on; KansasGirl; PROCON; RaceBannon; norwaypinesavage; All
      The ability to shelter income through tax losses in real estate limited partnerships was severely curtailed, and it hurt people like Trump whose equity required the cheap financing pipeline to stay open. I think this was the middle of one of Trump's many bankruptcies.

    1986 tax reform signed by Reagan was a compromise (like most of these "sausage" bills are) that further built on the 1981 general tax reductions and simplification — one of which was about getting rid of counterproductive and revenue-costly "tax shelters" that were used in a lot of shady and outright phony real-estate deals which existed only for purposes of tax "losses," on top of which many of them were also partly or entirely financed by other local, state and federal tax incentives. **

    And no, that had nothing to do with Trump's many bankruptcies which destroyed about $5B in wealth of Other People's Money, while some hundreds of millions of these dollars ended up in Donald's pockets (yet he still grossly underperformed the average annual gains in real-estate and equity markets over time, though he did build the "Trump brand"). And Trump is still using phony "charity" loopholes (like "conservation" on his golf courses) through his Foundation, while bragging how "charitable" he is... **

    ** Ref : The son-in-law also rises: For Jared Kushner, championing Trump marks break with Democratic past - Kushner Cos. CEO was an active donor to liberal politicians in NJ, NY - FR, posts #75, #81, 2016 April 07


    Ref : Fresh document trove sheds light on Clinton-Trump ties - FR, post #56, 2016 April 12


    ** Ref : Who will buy New York's Plaza Hotel? Chinese or Arabs (What Donald Trump's Plaza Deal Reveals About His White House Bid) - FR / NYT / TSC / DR, posts #1, #2, #9, 2016 March 31


    ** Ref : Here's what Trump gets wrong - FR / CNBC, posts #2, #49, #54, 2016 March 16


    Ref : Is the Media Protecting Donald Trump? - FR / FBN / TCP, posts #1, #96, 2016 March 09


    ** Ref : Reports question Trump's giving to veterans groups - FR / FN, posts #1, #115, #122, #124, 2016 January 29


    ** Ref : In Ego, Obama and Trump Are Two Of A Kind - FR, post #275, 2015 October 25


    THCR / DJT stock - Trump's chumps

    The [often irrelevant non-tangential single-factor] ridiculous comparisons of ideals, character and motives of Trump to Reagan — as a way to win or blunt the opposite argument — are so inapplicable, superficial and phony that they shouldn't belong on FR (though, unlike Trump and his supporters, I wouldn't advocate banning them) :

    "Great minds talk about ideas. Average minds talk about events. Small minds talk about people. And the smallest of minds talk about themselves"

    I think everyone can clearly see which part belongs to Ronald Reagan and which parts belong to Donald Trump.

  • Is There Not Cause to Fight for Conservatism?

    04/20/2016 10:17:08 PM PDT · 51 of 91
    CutePuppy to montanajoe; writer33; TheWriterTX; KansasGirl; PROCON; RaceBannon; norwaypinesavage; babble-on; ...
      Reagan united the three legged stroll of Conservatism e.g. fiscal responsibility, religious liberty and overwhelming military superiority.

    ... While Trump has been busy dividing, alienating and destroying the people whose support and votes he would need to have even a decent showing in the general election, not even talking about the damage to down-ballot/down-ticket races who can't win the ir races hitching their wagon to Trump's half-baked, unserious 'ideas' and incoherent mesh of Ron Paul-ish and liberal economic and foreign policy 'philosophies' — just like he's been doing in his failed businesses, with the same kind of 'hyperbole and bravado' sales pitch (what does his brand stand to lose, anyway?)...

    Ref : The son-in-law also rises: For Jared Kushner, championing Trump marks break with Democratic past - Kushner Cos. CEO was an active donor to liberal politicians in NJ, NY - FR, posts #75, #81, 2016 April 07


    Ref : Fresh document trove sheds light on Clinton-Trump ties - FR, post #56, 2016 April 12


    Ref : Who will buy New York's Plaza Hotel? Chinese or Arabs (What Donald Trump's Plaza Deal Reveals About His White House Bid) - FR / NYT / TSC / DR, posts #2, #9, 2016 March 31


    "Great minds talk about ideas. Average minds talk about events. Small minds talk about people. And the smallest of minds talk about themselves"

    I think everyone can clearly see which part belongs to Ronald Reagan and which parts belong to Donald Trump.

  • In meeting with Orthodox, Donald Trump reveals Israel advisers: His Jewish lawyers

    04/16/2016 12:21:52 AM PDT · 17 of 18
    CutePuppy to 2ndDivisionVet; SJackson
    Related articles:

    Fearing Trump, Republican Jews give Cruz another look - JP, by Ron Kampeas, 2016 April 12

      LAS VEGAS — Ted Cruz came here to woo Republican Jews over the weekend, and in the absence of his opponents for the GOP presidential nomination came away with qualified support based not on who he is but who he is not — Donald Trump.

      Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich skipped the spring meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition, leaving Cruz as the sole hopeful to address the 560 Jews packed into a conference room at The Venetian casino resort.

      Trump's high negative approval ratings among women and minorities coupled with his seeming fecklessness on Israel — pledging neutrality one week and support the next — seemed to drive many in attendance to give Cruz a second look after months of shunning the Texas senator for his social conservatism and reputation for not making nice with other Republicans. ..... < snip >

      ..... No one questioned Cruz's Israel bona fides, and his impassioned expressions of support for the country earned standing ovations, the longest when he swore to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. But his more important qualification was the possibility that he could beat Trump, whose candidacy, as folks whispered in conversations in the corridors, would lead inexorably to President Hillary Clinton. ..... < snip >

      ..... After Cruz spoke, many in the room appeared reassured. ..... < snip >

    Cruz, acknowledging social issues gap with Republican Jews, stresses Israel support - JP, by JTA, 2016 April 10

      Ted Cruz appealed to Republican Jews to back him for his outspoken support of Israel, while acknowledging differences with the constituency on social issues and immigration.

      "I recognize that is a question that many people here wrestle with," Cruz said Saturday at the Republican Jewish Coalition's leadership meeting, which gathers annually in Las Vegas, after one of the attendees earned applause for saying Cruz's attitudes on abortion and gay marriage were unpopular with Jewish Republicans.

      But Cruz, the Texas senator running for the Republican presidential nod, said he would not abandon his social conservatism.

      "No Republican has ever won without campaigning and running as a fiscal conservative, a national security conservative and a social conservative," he said.

      Cruz was the only one of the three remaining presidential candidates to attend the RJC confab, and held separate private meetings with donors over the weekend. He is seeking Jewish support in his bid to keep front-runner Donald Trump from accruing enough delegates to win on the first round of voting at the convention. Cruz believes he can win a second round of voting. ..... < snip >

  • In meeting with Orthodox, Donald Trump reveals Israel advisers: His Jewish lawyers

    04/15/2016 6:34:21 PM PDT · 15 of 18
    CutePuppy to Greetings_Puny_Humans
      Who's demanding? ... if a Jewish columnist like Ben Shapiro demands we take in Muslims because we are "big,"

    I really don't care what Ben Shapiro or anyone else "demands" what does any of this in any way have to do with the subject of the thread?

  • In meeting with Orthodox, Donald Trump reveals Israel advisers: His Jewish lawyers

    04/15/2016 6:14:01 PM PDT · 13 of 18
    CutePuppy to Greetings_Puny_Humans
    Israel's population consist of more than 20% percent of Muslims and more than 20% of Arabs. Israel does take refugees from other countries on a regular basis — as a matter of policy, particularly Druze from Lebanon or Syria, which are considered official religious minority, with some special rights and independence accorded to them.

    I doubt there is a huge flood of Syrian refugees trying to get to Israel, nor do think demanding that a tiny country like Israel with all the geopolitical and religious problems and constraints should take "their fair share" of Muslim refugees is in any way reasonable.

  • In meeting with Orthodox, Donald Trump reveals Israel advisers: His Jewish lawyers

    04/15/2016 5:26:16 PM PDT · 11 of 18
    CutePuppy to sheik yerbouty
    Everyone knows that Trump is not the first person to ask that question of American Jewish population in general nor is he the first to refer to certain segment of population as "you people."

    What is strange is asking that question of Jewish journalists, especially when Orthodox Jews are solidly in conservative camp and usually generously donate to and vote for GOP candidates.

  • In meeting with Orthodox, Donald Trump reveals Israel advisers: His Jewish lawyers

    04/15/2016 5:14:44 PM PDT · 9 of 18
    CutePuppy to Don Corleone
      Who knew My..Gyn Kelly was Jewish?

    Exactly, that's what immediately caught my attention. Why would Trump even have the need to mention Megyn Kelly at the meeting with the invited Jewish reporters? That is so immature and insecure.

  • In meeting with Orthodox, Donald Trump reveals Israel advisers: His Jewish lawyers

    04/15/2016 4:50:42 PM PDT · 7 of 18
    CutePuppy to Yashcheritsiy
      Thanks for highlighting all the places that were solely the article author's opinions.

    Only one highlighted sentence was author's opinion, the rest are either direct quotes by Trump or the facts about the meeting. "Eye of the beholder"?

  • In meeting with Orthodox, Donald Trump reveals Israel advisers: His Jewish lawyers

    04/15/2016 4:32:16 PM PDT · 2 of 18
    CutePuppy to CutePuppy
    Some bullet points from the article:

      • Trump's chief "Jewish/Israel 'policy' advisers" are real estate and bankruptcy lawyers.

      • Trump said that he cancelled his planned visit to Israel in December 2015, not Netanyahu.

      • Trump said "the world would be much better off if Saddam Hussein of Iraq ... had been left in power ... because now you've destabilized the entire Middle East."

      • "Tell my friends from, in some cases Israel, how loyal was Mr. Trump to you, Corey?"

      • When Ttump saw that almost all reporters around the table were Orthodox he immediately summoned some "Orthodox Jews of his own" into the room. "It was an exchange reminiscent of ... the first episode of "Mad Men" ..."

      • Trump on Hillary Clinton: "She's been saying strongly in favor of Israel and so do I. ... She's not a trustworthy person..."

      • Trump talked about his Jewish 'philantropy' saying that his father bought some Israel bonds.

      • Trump chastised American Jews for supporting Democrats and Barack Obama fundraisers: "Someday you people will explain to me what you're doing."

    • Now that Trump confirmed (there was little doubt) that his ghostwriter for AIPAC speech was his son-in-law Jared Kushner, some information on him and his Democrat family, donations and ties (I wonder if that was the [only] reason why Ivanka and Eric Trump 'forgot' to register for NY GOP primary — after all, their votes are not needed in NY primary, so why mess up the Trump brand with the 'Republican' label?):

    Refs: The son-in-law also rises: For Jared Kushner, championing Trump marks break with Democratic past - Kushner Cos. CEO was an active donor to liberal politicians in NJ, NY - FR, posts #75, #81, 2016 April 07

    Refs: Fresh document trove sheds light on Clinton-Trump ties - FR, post #56, 2016 April 12

  • In meeting with Orthodox, Donald Trump reveals Israel advisers: His Jewish lawyers

    04/15/2016 4:30:45 PM PDT · 1 of 18
    CutePuppy
    Worth reading the entire article.
  • Fresh document trove sheds light on Clinton-Trump ties

    04/13/2016 11:37:24 AM PDT · 59 of 59
    CutePuppy to jjotto

    Thanks, I didn’t know that, but I am not surprised. Humility is not Trump’s strong suit.

  • Fresh document trove sheds light on Clinton-Trump ties

    04/12/2016 5:43:22 PM PDT · 56 of 59
    CutePuppy to ScottinVA; Oldeconomybuyer; Charles Martel; Seruzawa; Bloody Sam Roberts; Innovative; Nickname; ...
      Released by whom specifically? Or by whose directive? And why now?

    It's in the article:

      The National Archives said they had reviewed a batch of several FOIA requests, for which they planned to release more than 9,000 pages. Regarding the Trump files request, the record-keepers said just three pages would be restricted. The FOIA request itself came from BuzzFeed ..... < snip >

      ..... The documents released Tuesday also reflect the Clinton White House's interest in Trump's flirtation back in 1999 and 2000 with a third-party presidential run.

      One internal White House email in early 2000 among staff notes that Trump "has his eye on the big JOB." Another from November 1999 forwards an Associated Press article detailing then-potential candidate Trump's proposal for a one-time 14.25 percent tax on the net worth of wealthy Americans. ..... < snip >

      ..... FoxNews.com has asked the Cruz and Trump campaigns for comment on the Clinton documents. Neither campaign has yet weighed in. ..... < snip >

    Little more on Trumps-Clintons ties and Trumps-Democrats ties (including Ivanka and their extended family, Kushners) : The son-in-law also rises: For Jared Kushner, championing Trump marks break with Democratic past - Kushner Cos. CEO was an active donor to liberal politicians in NJ, NY - FR, posts #75, #81, 2015 April 07

    So, Little doubt about Trump being a big-tax / big-tariffs / big-government authoritarian Democrat / third-party (which can be hijacked with little money and effort, especially for rich celebrity) guy...

    And his constant — since the beginning of campaign — threats that if he is not "treated fairly" (which could mean anything at any given time, and provide an out for Trump if/when things don't go his way) he could go third party (supposedly damaging Republican chances, particularly down-ticket) that he keeps trying to use as a leverage over Republican primary voters, show that he is in it only for his ego, his brand, and has very tenuous relationship with conservative or Tea Party movement, but will say anything he thinks "we" want to hear to get the nomination :

    Trump: The Two-Party Political System Is 100% Rigged, "It's A Crooked Deal," - FR / RCP, by Tim Hains, 2016 April 11

  • ‘You dirty SOB!’ Spluttering Geraldo calls Ted Cruz’s ‘New York values’ comment ‘anti-Semitic’

    04/08/2016 8:28:03 PM PDT · 102 of 112
    CutePuppy to CutePuppy
    Right URL, wrong number in second link description - s/b : FR, post #17, 2014 April 07
  • ‘You dirty SOB!’ Spluttering Geraldo calls Ted Cruz’s ‘New York values’ comment ‘anti-Semitic’

    04/08/2016 8:15:52 PM PDT · 101 of 112
    CutePuppy to Mastador1; livius; jjotto
      ... if your impressed by someone with a big wallet I bet you would be thrilled if soros ran, or bloomberg, or maybe bill gates, hell they're all successful businessman that could write large checks, and run for President without being beholden to anyone,hell they can all make big promises too. I mean that's the new standard right? Only billionares that self fund are allowed to run for President?

    And that's exactly the problem that has been festering since at least McCain-Feingold's stupid Campaign Finance Reform that went in the wrong direction — restricting, instead of liberalizing campaign donations — and that has not gone away with the Citizens United decision, it just allowed creation of SuperPACs but it is nowhere near of removing the advantage of very rich self-funding candidates who can "loan" money to their campaigns in primaries and suffocate most worthy but cash-strapped candidates, particularly with many candidates running and donations being spread among them.

    Look at the one-richer-than-the-other candidates Republicans had recently — McCain, Romney, now almost/possibly Trump? What's the next stop — "successful, self-made, many times richer than Trump, one-time-Republican" Michael Bloomberg? Or better yet, Hillary Clinton donor Warren Buffett, who is self-made, has 15-20 times more humility than Trump despite being 15-20 times richer — they were worth about the same $40M in 1974 — doesn't sue or gets sued by many people and created $billions of wealth for other people, instead of destroying $billions of other people's money?)

    Newt Gingrich was right "on the money" in 2014 about the checkbook politics and what needs to be done:

    Newt Gingrich: Unlimited campaign donations will 'equalize the middle class and the rich' - FR, post #4, 2014 April 07
    and
    Newt Gingrich: Unlimited campaign donations will 'equalize the middle class and the rich' - FR, post #4, 2014 April 07

  • Ivanka Trump Scarves Recalled Because Of "Burn Risk"

    04/08/2016 5:23:29 PM PDT · 81 of 81
    CutePuppy to jjotto; Steelfish
      Ivanka and Chelsea are friends because they have so much in common.

    Yep, here are just a couple of "uncommon" things in common:

    Both Ivanka and Chelsea have fathers-in-law who committed [financially-related] felonies and served time in prison.

    Both Ivanka and Chelsea chose to keep their last names after marriage ("not that there is anything wrong with that" nor is it that unusual anymore) likely for the very same reason: Trump and Clinton are brands, Kushner and Mezvinsky — not so much...

    TRUE: Father of the Groom - The father of Chelsea Clinton's husband is a former congressman who pled guilty to fraud charges.

  • Ivanka Trump Scarves Recalled Because Of "Burn Risk"

    04/07/2016 4:28:01 PM PDT · 75 of 81
    CutePuppy to jjotto; betsyross60; Duchess47; nickcarraway; Steelfish; ETL; dp0622; altura; Larry Lucido; Kipp; ..
      Unlikely. Because Ivanka has her own business endeavors, she has chosen to be more PC like most businesses. Her husband Jared Kushner is definitely an active Republican, and is actively helping The Donald.

    Jared Kushner and his family were very active Democrats. Now that Trump is running as a Republican (just like Bloomberg in NYC, because it's easier for salesmen to bamboozle the people who are often impressed by and associate and confuse the personal riches and BS / "Business Success" with "conservatism" and economic and political knowledge and acumen, i.e., "more money = more blind unquestionable respect with many aspects of personal, financial and political history") he has no choice but to [pretend to] be a "Republican" (whatever it is or may mean today). Generally, I would say that the Trump family is only in the Trump Party (T-NY,FL,CA,...).

    From The son-in-law also rises: For Jared Kushner, championing Trump marks break with Democratic past - Kushner Cos. CEO was an active donor to liberal politicians in NJ, NY - TRD, by Konrad Putzier, 2016 March 11 :

      These days, political observers may recognize Jared Kushner as the man who stands on stage at some campaign events next to his father-in-law, Donald Trump. ..... < snip >

      ..... Whether out of political conviction or family obligation, the CEO of development firm Kushner Cos. is now a high-profile supporter of the Republican Party's front-runner. But until 2014, Jared, who is married to Trump's daughter Ivanka, was a reliable and influential patron of the Democratic Party.

      His paper, the New York Observer, was the first in the city to endorse Barack Obama for president in 2008. "It was hard for me to do," said Jared in an interview for a book about the Observer, "because I really like Hillary a lot and respect her, and she's as stand-up as they come as a person. But I felt that Obama would be a great president for the country at the time."

      And he has a long history of financially supporting Democrats: In 2014, he donated $10,000 each to the New Jersey Democratic State Committee and the New York State Democratic Committee, according to data from watchdog site OpenSecrets. In 2013, he donated a combined $20,800 to the U.S. Senate campaign of then-Newark mayor Cory Booker and $5,200 to Sean Eldridge's unsuccessful congressional campaign.

      Jared declined to comment for this article. ..... < snip >

      ..... In 2005, his father Charles Kushner pleaded guilty to charges of making illegal campaign contributions (among other things). According to news reports, he avoided contribution limits in part by donating through different entities and under the names of relatives.

      Charles, whom Jared succeeded as CEO of the family firm after his 2005 incarceration, is known as a long-time supporter of the Democratic Party in New Jersey. According to New York magazine, he gave more than $1.5 million to Jim McGreevey in his 1997 and 2001 New Jersey gubernatorial campaigns.

      Jared's brother Joshua, a co-founder of health insurance startup Oscar and venture capital firm Thrive Capital, which is a significant investor in the real estate technology space, is also no stranger to the Democratic Party. In October 2013, he donated $4,950, the maximum amount permitted, to Bill de Blasio's mayoral campaign, according to New York City campaign finance records. ..... < snip >

      ..... His father also appears to be in the Trump camp: In August, Charles hosted a fundraiser for Trump in his New Jersey home and also gave $100,000 to a Super PAC supporting him, according to Politico. And in one of the many ironies of the Trump campaign, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who prosecuted the case against Charles, is now Trump's most important cheerleader. ..... < snip >

    More on Kushners, from Is the Media Protecting Donald Trump? (Trump Tower Funded by Rich Chinese Who Invest Cash for Visas) - FR, post #37

      Throughout his presidential campaign, Donald Trump has attacked China and warned about the dangers of deficient immigrant screening.

      "They've taken our jobs, they've taken our money, they've taken everything," he said of China in a speech late last month. He has called for a revamping, even a freezing, of the immigration system, but says he would make an exception for the highly skilled.

      Yet no skills are required of the wealthy Chinese being courted by a Chinese-subtitled video to help finance a huge Trump-branded tower in New Jersey. ..... < snip >

      ..... The video was produced to help raise tens of millions of dollars through a controversial government program that offers expedited visas to foreign investors overwhelmingly from China. ..... < snip >

      ..... Trump Bay Street is a 50-story luxury rental apartment building being built by Kushner Companies, whose chief executive officer, Jared Kushner, is married to Trump's daughter Ivanka. ..... < snip >

      ..... The Jersey City project has raised $50 million, about a quarter of its funding, from loans obtained through EB-5, according to a slide presentation by US Immigration Fund. Mark Giresi, general counsel of US Immigration Fund, said he believed nearly all of the EB-5 investors in the Trump project were from China. ..... < snip >

      ..... Department of Homeland Security Inspector General found politically connected participants may have received favorable treatment, citing projects involving Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and Hillary Clinton's brother, Tony Rodham. ..... < snip >

      ..... Kushner Companies is a New Jersey-based real estate firm built by Kushner's father Charles, a former rainmaker in New Jersey Democratic politics who pleaded guilty to a federal campaign finance violation, filing false tax returns as well as attempts to silence a witness. Charles was sentenced in 2005 to a prison term of two years. He remains active in the company. ..... < snip >

    Another "one of many ironies" is that Trumps are using "off-shoring" manufacturing of their clothing, jewelry and other "product lines" in China, Mexico and Bangladesh.

    And the Trump campaign's "mysterious" PR / communications manager Hope Hicks (because she deleted and scrubbed her entire social media profile — Facebook, Twitter, even LinkedIn before starting to work for the campaign) comes with a long line of Democratic connections and worked almost exclusively in liberal PR and media sphere, where she met Ivanka Trump before coming to work for her as an employee of Trump Organization, where she is still employed simultaneously with the campaign.

    Ref: Ivanka: My Dad's Feud With Megyn Kelly Was 'Sensationalized' - FR, posts #22, #24, 2015 October 15

    Ivanka Trump is also a friend of Chelsea Clinton, which is not surprising, considering how much money Donald contributed to Hillary and the friendly relationship between their families. From 2006 to 2009 Chelsea was "employed" as an "associate" at the Avenue Capital Group hedge fund, co-founded and controlled by Moroccan-born Jewish liberal billionaire and big Democratic Party donor Marc Lasry, who was asked in 2009 by Donald Trump to help avert Carl Icahn's takeover bid of what remained of his twice-bankrupt THCR (Trump Hotels and Casino Reports) company.

    From Trump's attacks raise eyebrows on Wall Street - CNBC / FT, by Gina Chon, 2015 December 28

      As Donald Trump has barnstormed his way across America in recent months stirring up the Republican heartland with populist invective, it is not just immigrants the billionaire property tycoon has had in his sights.

      The frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination has also waged a vituperative campaign against Wall Street, accusing hedge funds of "getting away with murder" — somewhat to the entertainment of the bankers who helped finance the rise of his business empire.

      "I have been highly amused about Trump's comments about us given he's almost one of us, at least in a business sense," said one Wall Street banker whose group has provided Mr Trump's properties with millions of dollars in financing. "He is totally comfortable around Wall Street and bankers."

      Mr Trump characterises himself as not beholden to special interests, ridiculing hedge funds as "guys that shift paper around and ... get lucky" and highlighting a contrast with his own record of building large construction projects.

      Big banks and hedge funds, however, have played a pivotal role in the growth of his real estate empire, providing his companies with loans, acquiring stakes in Trump properties and restructuring debt terms in his times of trouble — as he has acknowledged happily in the past.

      "Morgan Stanley is one of the finest investment banking names on Wall Street," Mr Trump said in a 2004 press release, when the bank helped during the 2004 bankruptcy of Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, a holding company for several properties. ..... < snip >

      ..... A banker who has worked on Mr Trump's real estate deals said he built good relationships with Wall Street, capitalising on financial professionals' desire for his business. He was also skilled at renegotiating debt deals, taking advantage of banks and hedge funds that wanted to get at least some money back from their investments.

      Those skills helped Mr Trump at the time of his first corporate bankruptcy in 1991, which involved the debt-laden Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City. Although Mr Trump had personally guaranteed at least $900m in Taj Mahal debt, he avoided having to declare personal bankruptcy by convincing the banks, led by Chase Manhattan Bank, to restructure the liabilities.

      A year later, Mr Trump's Plaza Hotel in New York filed for bankruptcy. Citigroup stepped in, leading a handful of lenders to buy a 49 per cent stake in the property. ..... < snip >

      ..... Mr Trump's relations with high finance were more amicable in 2009, on the occasion of his last corporate bankruptcy. ..... < snip > ..... Mr Trump teamed up with Avenue Capital, the hedge fund founded by Marc Lasry, to beat back a takeover attempt by Beal Bank and Carl Icahn the activist investor. ..... < snip >

    More details on Trump's dealings and how the Wall Street bankers saved him from personal bankruptcy are in: Who will buy New York's Plaza Hotel? Chinese or Arabs (What Donald Trump's Plaza Deal Reveals About His White House Bid) - FR / NYT / TSC / DR, posts #2, #9

  • Trump's Plan to Make Mexico Pay for the Wall by Blocking Money Transfers

    04/06/2016 2:06:15 AM PDT · 40 of 41
    CutePuppy to Thibodeaux; RedWhiteBlue; Kaslin; semimojo; All
    Are we already in Idiocracy?

    First, there was a "Great Wall of Trump"... now, there's another grandiose Trump idea: "let them eat cake pay for it."

    People can transfer the money to almost anywhere in the world, so the only money transfers to Mexico will be from gringos bailing out their friends and relatives tourists (I would expect more incidents of that happening... sooner than later). Mexicans in the U.S. would just set up different, inexpensive alternative channels for sending regular remittances.

    Oh, and did The Donald hear about digital currencies that people use to transfer money from countries like China? There already are or will be TrumpCoin, MexicanCoin, FUDJTcoin, at least for a few months until enough people would be sufficiently pissed off for Trump to declare a "great success" and put the kibosh on yet another "brilliant" harebrained Donald "Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho" Trump idea.

    Rolling Stones (of the free concert for "culturally starved" Cubans fame) were right about Trump:
    "If you start me up
    If you start me up I'll never stop
    If you start me up
    If you start me up I'll never stop
    I've been running hot
    You got me ticking gonna blow my top
    If you start me up
    If you start me up I'll never stop
    I'll never stop
    You make a grown man cry
    Spread out the oil, the gasoline
    I walk smooth, ride in a mean, mean machine...

    Love the day when we will never stop, never stop
    Never stop, never stop
    Tough me up
    Never stop, never stop, never stop..."

  • Why Apple Really Lost Its Privacy Fight with the FBI

    04/04/2016 9:58:55 PM PDT · 110 of 111
    CutePuppy to DiogenesLamp; All
      A COMMON obfuscatory tactic used by those people who are losing a debate is to state things that are factually correct, but which have no relevance to the point in question.

    Exactly, it also helps to ignore the facts, like Apple and Google having been cooperating with LEAs and their legally obtained court orders to help "unlock" a small number of phones / devices for years, with apparently no loss of "privacy" by average citizens, nor any compunctions of such "possibility" or likelihood, nor worries about loss of Apple / Google phones' secrets.

    The company's attitude should not have changed with the changes in technology, especially with FBI being very accommodating to Apple's [unfortunately public] demands. Yet, all of a sudden, now they decided to make a very unnecessary and public "populist" stand... Fortunately, the FBI seems to be stepping into the middle, as an intermediator, to facilitate needed "access" for local and state agencies and to draw the heat off NSA.

      ... they try to present themselves as an "expert" in the topic, and they hope that the listener will be "awed" by their supposed command of the material, and just stop arguing with them.

    Well, when someone states that "Certificates are registered. ... Those enterprise certificates are guarded like the crown jewels for obvious reasons." (Well, duh!) or that "Fake certificates will not work. ... A fake one will fail the registration test." — it will certainly put nobody in "awe" of their "expertise" — we all know that faked and stolen CAs have been used in cybercrimes (including very recent cases) and particularly via MITM type of attacks. Certainly, CheckPoint guys are not dummies and didn't present this as a "theoretical" vulnerability, yet the reaction from Apple was stunningly dismissive.

    The reason I usually stop arguing the issue at some point is when:

    1. I hope that by that time, the other readers, who really want to know and educate themselves on the issue, will have been provided enough factual material and references so that they can easily understand what the real issues are, without belaboring the point and beating the dead horse by keeping to talk past each other and getting off on tangents.

    2. When it becomes obvious that it's useless to try and convince someone, because of his/her obvious bias, ego, rudeness and/or being "invested" in the specific outcome of the argument, I don't mind letting them "win" and have the last word:

    "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink"

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it" - Upton Sinclair

    "Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength" - Eric Hoffer

  • Why Apple Really Lost Its Privacy Fight with the FBI

    04/01/2016 3:20:22 PM PDT · 101 of 111
    CutePuppy to Swordmaker
      Fake certificates will not work. Certificates are registered. A fake one will fail the registration test. This shows you don't know what your are talking about.

    Again, read the post, do the search, and think about how the CheckPoint guys did crack Apple's MDM MITM flaw.

    That's about all I can say any more on the subject. We obviously have different NDAs.

  • Why Apple Really Lost Its Privacy Fight with the FBI

    04/01/2016 1:10:23 PM PDT · 96 of 111
    CutePuppy to Swordmaker; ImJustAnotherOkie; DiogenesLamp; CodeToad; All
      I see what you did there. . .

    "Did what" exactly, leave the MITM mechanism specifics out of the excerpt? Was that so essential to be included for people to understand Apple's "feature, not a bug" attitude? Or does anybody claim that the hack is so "trivial" that anybody could do it? On the contrary, the point is that these issues are not trivial, which is exactly why FBI / LEOs went to court to get a legal warrant to ask Apple to open access to the phone, which they have done before (few times over many years) without the phony "privacy" hissy fits.

      That means for this to work, they'd have to have stolen the involved company's Enterprise Certificate. There is why it won't work.

    No, not exactly and necessarily "stolen," and getting them is not impossible, and because these are aimed at enterprises they are well worth the time to get / fake — and there have been successful MITM with fake or stolen CAs / EVCs in real life (e.g., search "fake certificates mitm attack" without quotes) — but it's a separate subject.

      Good try.

    "Good try," really? I am sure some people appreciated the information which I didn't see posted before, and they don't try to attack the messenger, even if they don't like the message. "Don't shoot the messenger, for you may never again be warned of impending danger"

      ... but has been able to retrieve un-encrypted data for law enforcement pursuant to legal search warrants on devices prior to devices which were fully encrypted to which Apple does not have the keys. ..... < snip > ..... included devices that did not have any encryption at all and were only protected by the passcode with no lock-out.

    That's a nice fudge of real issues. As you well know, this request / warrant had nothing to do with encryption / decryption (which Apple kept putting emphasis on, to confuse the uninformed) — FBI didn't ask Apple to decrypt the contents of the disk, only to enable the access to the contents of the [encrypted] device bypassing the data destruction mechanism. That the previous devices that Apple helped legally unlock had older technology (duh!) that "included devices that did not have any encryption at all and were only protected by the passcode with no lock-out" doesn't tell us anything about the mechanism Apple used to unlock, nor do we have a need to know.

    In other words, it may be 100% correct (especially with fudged language) but it's also 100% irrelevant.

    Again, there was nothing about encryption or decryption. Here's what FBI did ask Apple to do in the legal warrant, and it was well within Apple's capabilities to comply, without jeopardizing anyone else's or any of their users' "privacy," any more than their previous [for the time] "state-of-the-art" security measures. U.S. Says It May Not Need Apple's Help to Unlock iPhone (What FBI wants from Apple) - FR, post #47, 2016 March 21

    It's time to take the tinfoil off where it's not needed. If anyone's iPhone is lost or stolen, then the data is encrypted and if password / bio security are enabled and applied by user, then that phone is of no use to the casual thief or hacker, so iPhone users' privacy is already very well protected. It's not endangered by Apple cooperating with LEAs to unlock a terrorist's phone (especially if it were done quietly, just like they did before and will surely do in the future with the Chinese or some other governments).

    Few dozen cases over decade of federal and state law enforcement agencies obtaining legal court orders and asking Apple or Google to cooperate in unlocking the phones / devices should hardly warrant the hue and cry about "loss of privacy" to the government that Apple decided to generate by going "full Snowden" and obfuscating issues with the phony "backdoor" and "breaking encryption" pretenses.

    Our devices are better protected than ever, if we exersise even a modicum of caution and common sense, and Apple and Google and Facebook know more about average citizen or non-citizen than the government. Time to take the tinfoil off where it's not needed.

  • Why Apple Really Lost Its Privacy Fight with the FBI

    04/01/2016 12:05:25 AM PDT · 79 of 111
    CutePuppy to ImJustAnotherOkie; Swordmaker; CodeToad; rlmorel; nascarnation; marron; vette6387; DuncanWaring
    From Unpatched stealthy iOS MDM hack spells ruin for Apple tech enterprises - Reg, by Darren Pauli, 2016 March 31 :

      Clicking 'OK' to ordinary and expected phishing prompt enough for complete iPhone compromise.

      Enterprises the world over are at risk from a seamless new attack that allows the latest Apple devices to be quietly compromised in what researchers say requires a total overhaul of Cupertino's enterprise provisioning architecture for mobile device management.

      The unpatched hack – dubbed SideStepper and crafted by Israel-based Check Point hackers Ohad Bobrov and Avi Bashan – begins with a near-perfect phishing attack targeted at staff, and ends with complete compromise of fully updated iOS devices running version 9.2.

      It takes advantage of Apple's newly streamlined enterprise provisioning architecture, which allows tech shops to install non-App Store applications on staff handsets.

      Mobile device management of Apple devices is a system used by almost all Fortune 100 companies and scores more enterprises. Almost all are at risk of the attack, the pair told The Register.

      Apple's upgrade means attackers need only send an SMS – to trick staff into accepting a legitimate-looking request to install a configuration file – for attackers to have remote man-in-the-middle access. From there, attackers can install applications that will quietly eviscerate Apple devices. ..... < snip >

      ..... Apple has been contacted for comment. However, the pair say they informed the tech giant of their research, and Apple labeled it "a feature, not a bug."

      The pair say the attack is cleaner and more deadly than any that have come before, and is explicitly thanks to Apple borking its enterprise provisioning service. ..... < snip >

      ..... "Apple tried to solve the problem but actually made it worse, because now it is even easier to infect a mobile device." ..... < snip >

      ..... Bobrov and Bashan are already working on further iOS vulnerability and exploitation research. They also have Android in their sights. ..... < snip >

    "And now for something completely different..."

    From US asked Google to unlock phones 9 times since 2012 - CNBC, by Arjun Kharpal, 2016 March 31 :

      Fresh off the back of the tussles between U.S. law enforcement and Apple, new research has revealed that search giant Google has been asked several times since 2012 to help unlock Android phones.

      The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) found 63 cases where the government had used the 1789 All Writs Act to ask Apple and Google help unlock data on phones.

      While the majority of these cases across the U.S. involved Apple, there were nine instances where Google was asked by law authorities for help. ..... < snip >

      ..... law enforcement has been asking tech companies for help for eight years. It appears the firms have been willing to help law enforcement too. Prosecutors have said that Apple has helped unlock phones 70 times since 2008. The uncovering of the 63 cases however is the first major look at government requests to Google, which owns the Android operating system installed on the majority of the world's smartphones. ..... < snip >

      ..... While Apple has been known to comply with such requests in the past, the latest battle with the government was a step too far for the technology giant. ..... < snip >

      ..... Most of the orders related to drug cases in which officers were trying to access devices of people who were in possession of drugs. Warrants requesting help from Google were filed in Oregon, California, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alabama and North Carolina.

    Sometimes "quiet is good," but I guess this time it was not a "bug" [up their @ss], it was a "feature" — it was about terrorism, not drug-related?

  • Why Apple Really Lost Its Privacy Fight with the FBI

    03/31/2016 2:50:05 AM PDT · 63 of 111
    CutePuppy to ctdonath2; Swordmaker; ImJustAnotherOkie; nascarnation; marron; vette6387; DuncanWaring; ...
    Why? The flaw has already been fixed.

    Which one, and how "fixed" are they?

    If you mean iOS 9.3, then not quite - iPad bricked by iOS 9.3?, Reg, by Shaun Nichols, 2016 March 24 :

      Earlier this week, word broke of a bug in Apple's iOS 9.3 update that was leaving some iPad 2 tablets unable to function.

      We asked Reg readers if they had experienced this problem, and the responses came pouring in, along with tips for workarounds that at least let you use your iPad until Apple can come up with a fix.

      So, we've decided to share our collection of reader horror stories in the hopes that, should your iPad 2 be stricken by this malady, you can take some comfort in knowing that you're not alone. ..... < snip >

      ..... Apple has finally published a couple of suggested fixes if you get stuck installing iOS 9.3. It's also suspended downloads of the new OS for older iThings until it's sorted out the problems at its end.

    The latest one is more fun / serious (depending on how you look at it) - Apple's fruitless rootless security broken by code that fits in a tweet, Reg, by Chris Williams, 2016 March 30 :

      Apple's much-hyped rootless security mechanism in OS X can be evaded even in the latest version of the operating system, according to a top researcher.

      The Cupertino goliath fixed an exploitable bug in its rootless code in the latest round of patches for Macs and iThings. But that's the not the end of the story, we're told.

      Apple's rootless design, aka System Integrity Protection (SIP), marks sensitive directories in the computer's file system as being off-limits even to the root user.

      Normally, on Unix-flavored OSes, root is all powerful and can do whatever it likes. Well, Apple hates that idea: it means malware with elevated privileges or a clumsy user can infect or trash vital executables and other files. On OS X El Capitan, root is no longer allowed to rule the roost and take over all aspects of the computer.

      The way SIP works is simple: mark /System, /bin, /sbin and /usr except /usr/local with a special flag that means only programs with a particular attribute can modify files in those directories. And very few programs – the software update tool being one of them – are given this special com.apple.rootless permission to access SIP-guarded folders. A shell running as root certainly doesn't have it.

      There are other restrictions imposed by SIP, such as limiting the debugging of certain apps and the blocking of certain kernel extensions from being loaded.

      Earlier this month, Apple squashed a logic bug in SIP found by SentinelOne researcher Pedro Vilaça. It could be exploited by software already running on a Mac to bypass Apple's SIP defenses, rendering the safeguards useless. Vilaça demonstrated at the SyScan360 2016 conference the design weakness using GDB to modify and create files in /System as a normal root user.

      However, flaws within SIP remain. One problem is that just like bugs lingered in root-owned setuid binaries that were exploited by hackers, flaws present in SIP-entitled programs can be abused, too. ..... < snip >

    Looks like Tim Cook picked the wrong fight with the wrong people at the wrong time. He could have handled things very quietly, just like he did before, and just like he is and will be doing with China — they can squeeze Apple in Chinese market and with Chinese manufacturing and materials (e.g., Hon Hai / Foxconn and some parts suppliers) much easier than the U.S. can with Huawei, Xiaomi or ZTE, for example — instead of going "full Snowden" on the phony "privacy" and "encryption backdoor" pretext.

  • Clinton Foundation Corruption and Pay to Play Schemes

    03/26/2016 2:20:29 AM PDT · 19 of 25
    CutePuppy to kcvl; All
    Yes, Trump's financial, political and ideological ties to high-level Democrats (not just his friends Clintons) run far and deep; Kushners and other scoundrels among them:

    From Trump Tower Funded by Rich Chinese Who Invest Cash for Visas - FR, post #37, 2016 March 07

      < snip > ..... Trump Bay Street is a 50-story luxury rental apartment building being built by Kushner Companies, whose chief executive officer, Jared Kushner, is married to Trump's daughter Ivanka. ..... < snip >

      ..... The Jersey City project has raised $50 million, about a quarter of its funding, from loans obtained through EB-5, ..... < snip >

      ..... ..... Department of Homeland Security Inspector General found politically connected participants may have received favorable treatment, citing projects involving Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and Hillary Clinton's brother, Tony Rodham. ..... < snip >

      ..... Kushner Companies is a New Jersey-based real estate firm built by Kushner's father Charles, a former rainmaker in New Jersey Democratic politics who pleaded guilty to a federal campaign finance violation, filing false tax returns as well as attempts to silence a witness. Charles was sentenced in 2005 to a prison term of two years. He remains active in the company. ..... < snip >

    That's the man who is going to hijack take over the Republican Party and save the conservatives from GOPe and the "Big Government Uniparty"!!

  • Why Restaurant Automation Is on the Menu

    03/25/2016 9:41:45 PM PDT · 72 of 72
    CutePuppy to Kent C
    Direct result of minimum wage, obamacare and union organizing. Caesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers union campaigning 'for the good of farm workers', made it 'economical' to use tomato picking machines.

    Yep. It's called "pricing oneself out of the market" and then complaining about "the market" and the "capitalist greed" and the "banksters" and whoever/whatever else the OWC crowd come up with...

    The fear of automation and increase in productivity has been as old as Ned Ludd (and the Luddites).

  • How Microsoft’s Friendly Robot Turned Into a Racist Jerk in Less Than 24 Hours

    03/25/2016 2:57:38 AM PDT · 45 of 45
    CutePuppy to Kent C
    I think FR has been invaded.... lol

    Give a robot/AI a Twitter account and 24 hours and it turns into Trump?

  • U.S. Says It May Not Need Apple’s Help to Unlock iPhone

    03/21/2016 10:46:57 PM PDT · 47 of 55
    CutePuppy to Hugin; DiogenesLamp; All
      Apple built software encryption that was to the best of their ability uncrackable.

      The government now want's them to create software that will crack software that they designed not to be crackable.

    Not even close, but that's what Apple's hysterical propaganda claims want you to think...

    1. Apple didn't "build" software encryption — they are using standard military-grade AES-256 encryption engine, like most everyone else.

    2. Government / FBI has not asked Apple to crack the software or decrypt the phone.

    3. Apple is deliberately defying a court order having to do with national security, to appear to care about their users' "privacy."

    Here's what they are actually asked to do — it has nothing to do with encryption / decryption or wide-ranging "backdoors" or some such nonsense and it should not take more than 10 minutes for any software engineer at Apple who has the firmware's source code to create it — in fact, they woud not be able to test their phones' firmware without this "pseudo-hack":

    Apple - FBI

  • Who will buy New York's Plaza Hotel? Chinese or Arabs

    03/21/2016 2:11:04 AM PDT · 9 of 16
    CutePuppy to iowamark
    After Trump's divorce from Ivana Trump, who was the Plaza Hotel's president, Trump sold the hotel for $325 million in 1995 (equivalent of $505 million today) to CDL Hotels International Ltd. and Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal...

      ..... more than $3 billion in loans — $900 million of which were personally guaranteed — went into default. Dozens of banks came calling and, after lengthy negotiations, a meeting was held in a large conference room in the law offices of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, the firm that represented the largest lender, Citibank. There, some 50 bankers and lawyers watched Mr. Trump sign over nearly all of his properties — the Plaza, other buildings, the shuttle, the yacht, the jet — in exchange for more favorable terms on his personal guarantees.

      The banks could have easily toppled Mr. Trump into personal bankruptcy, "but we all agreed that he'd be better alive than dead," said Alan Pomerantz, then head of the real estate department at Weil. "We needed him to help sell all of his assets, and the deal was that as he sold off more, we'd reduce his personal guarantee."

      In effect, the banks allowed Mr. Trump to remain solvent so that they could get the benefit of his gift for salesmanship. In exchange, the banks provided him with $450,000 a month to operate his business and cover personal expenses. It was so tight a leash that when Marla Maples, his girlfriend at the time, turned up on television waving the costly Harry Winston diamond she'd been given as an engagement ring, the paymasters wanted a word with the groom-to-be. ..... < snip >

      ..... The banks shopped the Plaza around, without success, for a few years before finally selling it in a deal that valued it at $325 million to a partnership between Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia and CDL Hotels International of Singapore in 1995. None of the proceeds went to Mr. Trump, according to several people involved.

      Still, he told me that the sale was yet another victory. ..... < snip >

    From The Backstory on Donald Trump's Four Bankruptcies - TSC, by Emily Stewart, 2015 September 15

      1992, Plaza Hotel

      ..... Four years later, Trump and Ivana had split, and the hotel had millions of dollars in debt. ..... < snip >

      ..... In November 1992, the now-billionaire filed for bankruptcy protection for the Plaza after the hotel was unable to meet its debt service payments. A month later, federal bankruptcy judge Prudence Abraham approved a plan for Trump to reorganize more than $550 million in debt.

      As part of the restructuring and to receive easier payment terms, he gave a 49% stake in the property to Citibank (C) and five other lenders. He kept his post as chief executive — without pay — and no longer had a role in the day-to-day operations of the luxury hotel.

      Three years later, in 1995, Trump made a deal to sell the Plaza to Singapore-based international property and hotel conglomerate CDL Hotels International and Saudi Arabian Prince Walid bin Talal.

      The deal largely entailed buyers paying off most of $300 million owed to creditors, according to the New York Times. The last $25 million was to be converted to equity held by a Citibank-led consortium, and the buyers also agreed to pay down the first mortgage on the property, held by the Industrial Bank of Japan.

    From By the Numbers: Donald Trump's $4.7 Billion in Bankruptcies - DR, by Jimmy Atkinson, 2015 July 30

      ..... Bankruptcy #2: Plaza Hotel in 1992

      Shortly after striking a deal on the Taj Mahal, Trump returned to bankruptcy court when he was unable to cover the interest payments related to a prominent Manhattan hotel.

      In 1988 Trump bought the Plaza Hotel, which overlooks Central Park, for approximately $390 million. That price tag represented an increase of more than 1,500 percent from the $25 million paid for the property just 13 years earlier by the Westin Hotel company. ..... < snip >

      ..... by 1992, the hotel's cash flows were insufficient to cover the interest on some $550 million in debt related to the purchase and subsequent renovations. Trump filed for bankruptcy in November 1992, and about five weeks later a judge approved a plan that called for Trump to give up 49 percent of his ownership in exchange for group of creditors included Citigroup and the Industrial Bank of Japan.

      As part of the restructuring, Trump stayed on as CEO of the hotel but was not paid a salary and did not have a role in the day-to-day operations of the hotel.

      Three years after filing for bankruptcy, Trump sold the Plaza for $325 million to a group that included a Singapore businessman and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

      Trump remained a minority partner in the hotel following the sale, but didn't see a dime from the sale. Proceeds from the sale went to paying down the debt held by banks, which was reduced from about $300 million to $25 million. The remainder of the debt was converted into an equity stake.

      In 2012, Indian conglomerate Sahara Group paid $570 million for a 75 percent stake in the Plaza.

    Debt Involved in Bankruptcies

    Trump Ownership Interests Before and After

    Donald Trump Proceeds from Bankruptcies

      ..... Ultimately, the value of Trump's ownership stake in the reorganized companies was worth very little: Though Trump did receive $40.5 million when the post-bankruptcy Taj Mahal was sold, it came in the form of stock in THCR — which ultimately experienced multiple bankruptcies of its own and today is close to worthless.
  • Who will buy New York's Plaza Hotel? Chinese or Arabs

    03/20/2016 11:24:06 PM PDT · 5 of 16
    CutePuppy to pepsionice
      Well, it won't be the Arabs....their oil money is dwindling.

    So many more reasons to diversify, especially for sovereign funds — "Investors from Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Malaysia and Singapore, to name a few, have also proven willing to move outside their traditional comfort zones in trophy office properties and into the U.S. hotel sector." ...

    That said, Chinese have been very active of late in the trophy real-estate acquisitions and, [even] with their own markets crashing, have more than enough interest in diversification and yuans to outbid anybody.

  • Who will buy New York's Plaza Hotel? Chinese or Arabs

    03/20/2016 10:54:22 PM PDT · 2 of 16
    CutePuppy to CutePuppy
    The storied NY Plaza is in the news and on the block again... At one point it was "owned" and managed by Donald Trump (he overmortgaged it before finally defaulting on the debt):

    From a long but very informative article What Donald Trump's Plaza Deal Reveals About His White House Bid - NYT, by David Segaljan, 2016 January 16

      The day Donald Trump called and asked for a one-on-one meeting in the winter of 1988, Tom Barrack was a relative newcomer to the high-stakes poker game of New York real estate. He had worked for nearly two years for Robert Bass, the Texas billionaire investor, and had played an important role in winning the Plaza Hotel for his boss the year before. Mr. Trump was the country's most quotable and ostentatious financial celebrity, a guy with a jet, a 282-foot yacht and a fondness for peach-toned marble. ..... < snip >

      ..... Mr. Trump quickly agreed to a price of slightly more than $400 million, an unprecedented sum for a hotel at the time. Just a few years later, the Plaza wound up in bankruptcy protection, part of a vast and humiliating restructuring of some $900 million of personal debt that Mr. Trump owed to a consortium of banks. Never one for regrets, Mr. Trump today regards the purchase as a triumph. ..... < snip >

      ..... In the Plaza tale, Mr. Trump demonstrated both strengths (an ability to charm or strong-arm, as the occasion required) and weaknesses (a kind of hungry impatience that left him searching for new trophies as soon as one had been acquired). ..... < snip > In fact, the more you know about Mr. Trump's past, the more his run for high office looks like an effort to close the biggest deal of his life.

      "He has the ability to imagine what the other party wants him to be and then be that person," said Michael D'Antonio... "He presents the Trump that will work in the moment." ..... < snip >

      ..... There was, for instance, the moment in 1984 when he told The Washington Post he could handle the United States' side of nuclear arms talks with the Soviets. "It would take an hour and a half to learn everything there is to learn about missiles," he boasted. "I think I know most of it anyway." ..... < snip >

      Huge Debt, Lost Prize

      ..... Opinion was split over the merits of the deal. Among the many who thought that Donald Trump had overpaid was Donald Trump. ..... < snip >

      By 1990, the Plaza needed an operating profit of $40 million a year to break even, according to financial records that Mr. Trump disclosed at the time. The hotel had fallen well short of that goal, and with renovating expenses, in one year it burned through $74 million more than it brought in.

      But Mr. Trump didn't spend a lot of time sweating over the Plaza's finances. He was too busy with new challenges. A few months after the Plaza deal closed, he purchased the Eastern Air Shuttle for $365 million, and in 1990, he opened the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, which cost $1 billion to build. Some of the loans he took out to pay for deals were personally guaranteed.

      "The fact is, you do feel invulnerable," Mr. Trump told Timothy O'Brien, author of "Trump Nation," discussing this period in his life. "And then you have a tendency to take your eye off the ball a little bit and hunt around for women. And hunt around for models."

      A lack of focus was not Mr. Trump's only problem. The updraft in the real estate market of the '80s turned into a headwind by the early '90s, and more than $3 billion in loans — $900 million of which were personally guaranteed — went into default. Dozens of banks came calling and, after lengthy negotiations, a meeting was held in a large conference room in the law offices of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, the firm that represented the largest lender, Citibank. There, some 50 bankers and lawyers watched Mr. Trump sign over nearly all of his properties — the Plaza, other buildings, the shuttle, the yacht, the jet — in exchange for more favorable terms on his personal guarantees.

      The banks could have easily toppled Mr. Trump into personal bankruptcy, "but we all agreed that he'd be better alive than dead," said Alan Pomerantz, then head of the real estate department at Weil. "We needed him to help sell all of his assets, and the deal was that as he sold off more, we'd reduce his personal guarantee."

      In effect, the banks allowed Mr. Trump to remain solvent so that they could get the benefit of his gift for salesmanship. In exchange, the banks provided him with $450,000 a month to operate his business and cover personal expenses. It was so tight a leash that when Marla Maples, his girlfriend at the time, turned up on television waving the costly Harry Winston diamond she'd been given as an engagement ring, the paymasters wanted a word with the groom-to-be. ..... < snip >

      ..... None of the proceeds went to Mr. Trump, according to several people involved. Still, he told me that the sale was yet another victory. The terms were, to use one of his favorite words, fantastic, and relieved him of a vast personal debt. ..... Of course, it cost the Saudi-Singapore partnership $75 million less than Mr. Trump had spent for the same building seven years earlier. Mr. Trump also claimed in the interview that he owned 100 percent of the Plaza until the day it was sold, a version of events totally at odds with published reports at the time and the recollections of others involved in the deal. ..... < snip >

      ..... This may be yet another parallel to Mr. Trump's performance on the hustings, where he has bent the truth into so many outlandish shapes that PolitiFact anointed his entire campaign the 2015 Lie of the Year. ..... < snip >

    Of course, these days the renamed and re-branded Trump Organization is all about branding and licensing Trump name, not building things — it's safer, and keeps the rich celebrities... well, rich and celebrated, e.g.:

    From Trump golf club in Puerto Rico files for bankruptcy - CNBC, by Karma Allen, 2015 July 13

      The Trump International Golf Club Puerto Rico, which bears the name of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, filed for bankruptcy protection Monday, court documents show.

      Owned by developer Empresas Diaz, the club uses the Trump name under a licensing agreement. Donald Trump does not own the club.

      "We merely licensed our name for a fee and have nothing to do with the ownership, development or entity," Eric Trump, executive vice president of The Trump Organization and son of Donald Trump, said in a statement. ..... < snip >

      ..... In 2014, Trump Entertainment Resorts, a Trump-branded casino in Atlantic City, filed for bankruptcy protection due to declining revenue and increased competition.

  • Who will buy New York's Plaza Hotel? Chinese or Arabs

    03/20/2016 10:52:41 PM PDT · 1 of 16
    CutePuppy
    The storied NY Plaza is in the news and on the block again...
  • Obama arrives in Cuba; hopes visit will usher in change

    03/20/2016 8:10:44 PM PDT · 29 of 36
    CutePuppy to Drago
    Has Mr. Trump made any other statements RE: normalizing relations with the repressive/commie Cuba dictatorship?

    Yes, exactly the same comment that he made regarding Iran deal: "I would have made a better deal."

    I took it to mean that the deals would be essentially the same, with the addition of having Trump-branded Towers and/or Plazas in Havana, Guantanamo and Tehran (of course, with Cubans and Iranians paying for it), to signify the new era of "Trump benevolent fair trade" and "peaceful relationships with peaceful people."

  • Here's what Trump gets wrong

    03/16/2016 1:53:13 PM PDT · 54 of 54
    CutePuppy to econjack
    Also, he closed his doors on the eve of the financial collapse, not well into it. Indeed, he was one of the first to tank while other investment banking houses were still in the black.

    Seriously? If you want to attack the author, just because you can't dismiss the facts, at least make your assertions and timelines half-way plausible.

    1. Insana closed the fund in mid-August of 2008, way past the collapse and forced selling of CountryWide Financial to BoA (January 2008), Bear Stearns to JP Morgan (March 2008), FDIC takeover of IndiMac (now OneWest, part of CIT Group, July 2008) and just a month before collapse of Lehman Brothers (September 2008), forced selling of giant financial institutions like Merrill Lynch to BoA, Wachovia to Wells Fargo, Washington Mutual to JP Morgan etc. - anybody who was watching the markets and the economy since late 2007 knew we were in the middle of the financial collapse.

    2. What part of losing 5% when S&P lost 15%, and "liquidity crisis" where nobody could raise additional capital don't you understand?

    3. investment banking houses are not hedge funds - article makes the distinction very clear. And could you tell me how many "other" hedge funds or financial institutions (except the very few who were selling short the mortgage-backed securities [MBS] and collateral debt obligations [CDO] via credit default swaps [CDS], like John Paulson, Jeff Greene et al) were "in the black" at the time?

    4. So, Insana, the guy who protected his investors from incurring major losses, has less credibility with you than a brand-making celebrity who borrowed $2 billion for various failing enterprises, skimmed hundreds of millions for himself while loading the debt onto gullible >>"Invest in Trump" public and then leaving them broke, while still bragging about his "brand"? The guy who brags about being "charitable" because he "donated" for fat tax breaks some land that he could not develop otherwise, despite years spent fighting it in courts? The guy who wasn't in any shape or form a Republican few years / months ago and was giving donations to liberal politicians and groups (but just like Bloomberg ran for NY mayor on (R) ticket he understands the Stupid Party is a much easier entry point, if you dazzle them with "business success" - BTW, Bloomberg's success is at least legitimate and self-made, not inherited or scammed through shady deals and Wall Street's debt and public market, not that I would vote for him)? The guy who sues or threatens everyone who has temerity to tell the truth about him (imagine him in charge of DOJ)? I could go on and on, but here's his own words on his "successes" - Ivanka: My Dad's Feud With Megyn Kelly Was 'Sensationalized - FR, post #24, 2015 October 15:

      This was the first of four bankruptcies that Trump casino-related entities filed over the next two decades. And at least in this instance, more folks suffered than just a bunch of big institutional lenders, branded by Trump in the August Republican debate as a bunch of "total killers," who by implication deserved their losses. In fact, many of the Taj bonds were owned by the general public via high-yield bond funds. Asked about the bankruptcies in a recent debate, Trump explained that "hundreds of companies" have gone through the same legal process and that he'd "used the law four times and made a tremendous thing. I'm in business. I did a very good job."

    Please read again the links I provided, it will help clear the confusion.

  • Here's what Trump gets wrong

    03/15/2016 7:00:29 PM PDT · 49 of 54
    CutePuppy to fortheDeclaration
    Most nations are debtor nations, some have more debt to GDP than the U.S

      What it has to do with Trump is his ending the bad trade deals that constantly are made for the benefit of the world and not the U.S.

    1. You are again confusing trade and trade deficit with one or more countries, with a budget deficit, which is the government spending in excess of government revenue (which results in increasing national debt and which Trump's "economic plan" is going to put on steroids) - they have nothing in common. For example, Japan has trade surplus with the U.S., yet it's debt to GDP is nearly 3 times bigger than U.S.

    2. If you think that trade wars or even the threat of them are going to help U.S. economy, or reduce budget deficits, you have little understanding of the basic economic principles or the economic history. I'd recommend excellent book or DVD (4-hours edition) "The Ascent of Money" by Niall Ferguson and almost anything by John Steele Gordon.

  • Here's what Trump gets wrong

    03/15/2016 5:38:02 PM PDT · 45 of 54
    CutePuppy to spokeshave; Doofer; urbanpovertylawcenter; fortheDeclaration; USS Alaska; Tucker39; econjack; ...
      So how come we have an annual $500 Billion trade deficit with China....?

    We don't. We have about $30B trade deficit with China and we have less than $10B trade deficit with a few other trading partners. How come? Simple - we buy more goods from them than we sell to them. Just like you are running a "trade deficit" with grocery stores, Amazon, phone or cable company, Uber, etc. You want to declare a trade war on them? Good luck and let us know how it works out.

      Could it be that their leaders are smarter than ours ?

    Could be, or may be not. If you look at their stimulus program (and the resulting GDP deficits, with ghost towns and busted shadow banking) - it was 4 times as large relative to the size of Chinese GDP than Obama's "shovel-ready" stimulus. It is covered in the article, did you read it? And in any case, in relatively free trade, this has nothing to do with the "leaders" — it's supply and demand between companies and consumers of each country. See, for example China's $500 billion mobile shopping mania and China's property market overheats in tier 1 cities, stagnates in lower tiers...

    And overall trade deficit is getting smaller as percentage of GDP, as article noted. U.S. economy suffers not from [relatively] free trade, but from idiotic tax code and high rates and suffocating regulations, but Republicans are pretty much on the record to lower rates and reduce the regulations chokehold, while reducing the budget growth and budget deficits.

      What about cost of living?

    What about it? We have been importing disinflation (mostly from China but also from other Asian and East European countries) for a while, so the cost of living should have been lower than would be otherwise. Currently, robotics and workplace automation and mechanisation will be having similar effect. Also, free trade is exceptionally good at busting the unions, which also lowers the cost of living.

      Hey Insana, if that is your real name

    Ron Insana's real name is Ronald G. Insana.

      The fact is the U.S. is a debtor nation and produces nothing.

    Most nations are debtor nations, some have more debt to GDP than the U.S. (e.g., France and Japan), though under the "able" leadership of Obama, U.S. racked up a lot of debt without any benefit to the economy. What does it have to do with Trump, whose cut-and-paste "economic plan" will significantly increase the budget and the deficit?

    Manufacturing / Industrial sector in the U.S. comprises 19%, Service sector is 80%, Agticulture is 1%. Taken alone, manufacturing in the United States would be the ninth-largest economy in the world. I don't think that's "producing nothing" but with a better tax code and relaxed regulations there would be less incentive to outsource some manufacturing. BTW, China is fast becoming expensive for off-shore outsourcers, with Vietnam being the main beneficiary for relocation and several other Southeast Asian countries not far behind.

      Trump says we have a trade deficit with China...

    What Ron Insana really said: It is true that we run trade deficits with several other countries, but as a percentage of GDP, the U.S. current account deficit with other nations, the broadest measure of trade, is at its lowest levels in decades, only 2.2 percent of GDP.

      Trump says that our military doesn't win anymore...

    That's an issue of civilian leadership / CiC, and willingness to engage the right enemy (Iraq! Afghanistan!), not of military strength.

    What Ron Insana really said: The U.S. is also winning militarily, but that's a separate argument. Suffice to say the U.S. spends more on defense than the next 8 countries combined. Can those dollars be better and more effectively spent? Sure. But no military on earth is as strong as our own.

      Trump says illegals are pouring across the border...

    What Ron Insana really said: On immigration, more illegal immigrants, Mexicans to be specific, have departed the country in the last five years than have entered. The greatest numbers of new immigrants are Asian and Indian, not Hispanic.

      One tidbit of info I discovered is,"He was Managing Director of Insana Capital Partners from inception to collapse." And he wants to tell me what's wrong with Donald Trump.

      I have a suspicion why it collapsed...
    Actually if you'd look a little deeper than the word "collapse" in Wikipedia (which meant "financial collapse" / "credit crunch" / "liquidity crisis" rather than the collapse of his company) you would know that he closed his fund because he — as well as thousands of small fund managers — couldn't raise the money to make running the fund worthwhile for him and his investors. People who invested with Insana Capital Partners actually significantly outperformed the S&P (loss of 5% after fees and expenses, compared to loss of 15% for S&P index at the time of fund's closure) — which was no small feat in 2008, so it was a very decent thing to do for investors. See Running a Hedge Fund Is Harder Than It Looks on TV - NYT, by Andrew Ross Sorkin, 2008 August 18.

    That compares quite favourably to Trump, who left a trail of bankruptcies and defaults in just about any Trump-branded business, while siphoning money from these businesses at the expense of investors. "Invest in Trump" and "In Trump we trust" has only been good for Trump himself and Trump Organization (which is a branding, marketing and name licensing company, not REIT / real estate building company). Not surprising for anyone who watched Trump's business activities and court shenanigans for many years. "Art of the Deal" means Trump wins, investors and creditors lose.

    In Ego, Obama and Trump Are Two Of A Kind - FR, post #275, 2015 October 25

    Trump declared bankruptcy four times, leaving his gullible creditors on the hook for his debts. - FR, post #44, 2015 September 21 (several supporting links included)

      What planet is this clown from? Thirty years ago Reagan had pulled us back from the Carter brink and we had prosperity for the next 15 years.

    I think that if you read the article you'll find out that's what "this clown" is saying. How is Trump's position on the Obama's handling of the economy is different from other Republicans?

      Here is what obama gets wrong: everything - where have you been the past 7 years?!?

    What does this have to do with the article or Trump? Or do you conclude that because Obama "gets everything wrong" then it means that Trump "gets everything right" and Trump is the only one who "gets it"? Trump and Obama do agree on many issues, including 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan, so I guess it means that Trump is not always right? They are both wrong, of course.

      Do Americans agree with the Chinese who consider living in interesting times a curse?

    Well, I guess it depends on how "interesting" the times are... And it's the Year of the Red/Fire Monkey. 1908 (R), 1920 (R), 1932 (D), 1944 (D), 1956 (R), 1968 (R), 1980 (R), 1992 (D), 2004 (R), 2016 (?)

      Looks like CutePuppy (since 2006) is a Manchurian Freeper. A drive by post.

    You mean by this that I don't spend all my spare time (whenever such luxury exists) posting on FR? Let's see how the real "Manchurian" might sound like:

      "Raymond Shaw Donald Trump is the kindest, warmest, bravest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life..." - Major Bennett "Ben" Marco (Manchurian Candidate, 1962)

      "Allow me to introduce our American visitors. I must ask you to forgive their somewhat lackadaisical manners, but I have conditioned them - or brain-washed them, which I understand is the new American word." - Dr. Yen Lo (Manchurian Candidate, 1962)

      "His brain has not only been washed, as they say, it's been dry-cleaned." - Dr. Yen Lo (Manchurian Candidate, 1962)

    Or so you mean that if anyone posts a news article or editorial that may be critical of Trump and his say-one=thing-today-another-one-tomorrow is promptly moved into the Cheese-Moose-Sister topic that he is "Manchurian"?

      I take any Legal tax break I can, don't you?

    No, not any. But then again, I don't have an army of tax lawyers.

  • Here's what Trump gets wrong

    03/15/2016 3:18:46 AM PDT · 2 of 54
    CutePuppy to CutePuppy
    Didn't see this posted, either:

    From Donald Trump's Donations Put Him in Line for Conservation Tax Breaks - WSJ (sub), by Richard Rubin, 2016 March 10:

      Republican front-runner frequently donates development rights for properties, giving him the ability to claim a tax break in return

      Donald Trump might be scoring millions of dollars in federal tax breaks by promising to limit development on some of his properties.

      The self-described "ardent philanthropist" donated development rights for some of his most valuable properties to conservation groups and local governments, protecting songbirds and big brown bats, and giving himself the ability to claim federal tax deductions, according to land records in four states.

      Last year, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination pledged not to build on 74% of his Westchester County, N.Y., estate, and in 2014, he promised not to construct houses on a driving range in California, according to the records. He previously donated so-called conservation easements on his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., and his Bedminster, N.J., golf course. The land restrictions are legally binding and permanent.

      Mr. Trump's campaign in a news release described him last year as a "major contributor" to charities, citing donations of "valuable parcels of land throughout the country." The campaign said he had donated $102 million over five years, far exceeding reported gifts to his foundation.

      The campaign hasn't provided a detailed list of donations and didn't respond to requests for comment.

      Because Mr. Trump has so far declined to release his tax returns, citing continuing audits, it is impossible to tell what he deducted, how he valued the donations and whether the Internal Revenue Service challenged him. ..... < snip >

      ..... The break can be susceptible to abuse by wealthy landowners through inflated appraisals and tenuous definitions of conservation. The IRS routinely fights taxpayers over the tax break in audits and court cases, and the government often looks skeptically at easements on golf courses. ..... < snip >

  • Here's what Trump gets wrong

    03/15/2016 3:17:52 AM PDT · 1 of 54
    CutePuppy
    If only more of us would fight to have these truths heard over Donald Trump's constant stream of "doublespeak". Somewhere in Dystopia, Big Brother has found his apprentice.
  • Is the Media Protecting Donald Trump?

    03/09/2016 7:07:44 PM PST · 96 of 96
    CutePuppy to livius; Carry_Okie
      I think they just started by seeing him as amusing and, following the old adage that "if it bleeds, it leads," covered him heavily for the entertainment value. ...

      It was, in a sense, the media that turned him into the thing Americans love the best, a celebrity.

    There is no question that the media and Trump have been having a symbiotic relationship. He used them to get the free feel-good "celebrity ads" focused on personality and slogans and mostly devoid of issues, while sucking the media oxygen from issues-oriented and policy-minded candidates, and the media loved the circus atmosphere and didn't mind denying serious discussions by other Republican candidates, many of which were far from the "establishment" in this cycle.

    But the media also didn't mind having a chance to show cartoonishly "dirty and inarticulate" Trump as a proxy for "a Republican" and have him define / "expose" the Republicans as crude, rude, insulting, narcissistic, divisive, intolerant, unsophisticated, ignorant of issues bullies and single-issue or "he can win" voters, unserious loud-mouth braggarts with low social morals and business ethics and celebrity-starstruck rubes who fill the rallies' venues, and who will, in knee-jerk fashion, defend shady "billionaire or millionaire" with an (R) because he is by definition "successful" and thus his multiple faults (including making promises with no intention to keep them, bold exaggerations, outright lies, personal issues and [lack of] ideology) can be overlooked or ignored.

    It's a win-win for them, real loss for us. Imagine how Republicans in all those down ticket (Senate and House) races are going to feel when tied to Trump if he is the nominee. And they will be asked the "Trump questions," without being able to be "flexible" (depending on the place, crowd and time of day) like Donald. Or explain the "magic" phony BBB faxes re TrumpU or faux Trump steaks, water, magazine etc.

    In U.S. politics it pays (at least for a while) to be "a cross between P.T. Barnum and the Kardashians." That's why I don't dismiss out of hand Kanye West saying he wants to run for President. Actually, if Hillary were to pick him for VP ticket, she would swing a lot of certain "demographics" to her camp and would win very easily. IMHO... as sad as it sounds, but keeping with the themes of current election cycle.

    Money + Celebrity = Power.* (*Ideology and reason not included.)

  • Is the Media Protecting Donald Trump?

    03/08/2016 1:38:23 AM PST · 55 of 96
    CutePuppy to Prince of Space
      You obviously have a lot of free time on your hands.

    Sadly, I believe we are now firmly in the "ignore" the substance, "dismiss" the facts, and "attack the messenger" zone.

    Did you even try to check the facts before posting? My last 3 [short] posts before today were on February 25, February 01 and February 01, respectively. Only one was related to Trump candidacy.

    You have made more posts in the last 3 days than I have made in more than 3 months (since the beginning of this year). So which one of us obviously has more free time on his hands?

    Now that we are done measuring [respective free time], do you have any substantive comments on the facts within the articles in my two posts on this thread, #1 and #37?

  • Is the Media Protecting Donald Trump?

    03/07/2016 10:53:25 PM PST · 39 of 96
    CutePuppy to Teacher317
    Is the Media Protecting Donald Trump?,

      Possibly. Trump is underperforming the polling repeatedly, and badly.

    What are you doing, bringing the facts to an opinions fight?

    Glad to see I am not the only one who noticed the glaring difference between polling numbers and the results. But the casinos bankruptcies and other business failures were "tremendous things" and Trump was "proud of them", so what do I know?

  • Is the Media Protecting Donald Trump?

    03/07/2016 10:43:21 PM PST · 37 of 96
    CutePuppy to DoughtyOne; nickcarraway; Talisker; Cen-Tejas; Byron_the_Aussie; freespirit2012; Kenny; arl295; ...
    I am so sick of the anti-Trump trolling of this site.

    Ihave seen a lot of trolls on FR; surely you cannot confuse me with one — my posts are usually either factual or "informative" speculation / opinion based on facts that I and/or someone else provide. Would you prefer to find out the facts around these issues AFTER you select the nominee? Republicans have done this time and time again, with the same or "too close" to the same results.

    This is not Ted Cruz dot com.

    Neither it is Donald Trump dot com... yet, at least. For the record, I am not a Ted Cruz supporter and, to avoid "20 questions" game, neither Rubio's nor Kasich's. I explained very clearly at the end of my original post why it was made and what the options are. I believe we are already well into simultaneous "ignore," "dismiss" and "attack the messenger" stages.

    It seems that I read the sources that don't get read or used by a lot of people on FR. "Conservatives" can and do ignore "inconvenient facts" as well as "progressives / socialists" can and do I think it's important to know them and the earlier the better. It seemed important to "vet" Romney in 2012, and we knew a lot more about him and his record and positions (before he became "severe conservative") than most people here know about "reality TV" celebrity Trump.

    Here's the latest info on Trump's "Art of the Deals": Trump Tower Funded by Rich Chinese Who Invest Cash for Visas - BL, by Jesse Drucker, 2016 March 06

      Throughout his presidential campaign, Donald Trump has attacked China and warned about the dangers of deficient immigrant screening.

      "They've taken our jobs, they've taken our money, they've taken everything," he said of China in a speech late last month. He has called for a revamping, even a freezing, of the immigration system, but says he would make an exception for the highly skilled.

      Yet no skills are required of the wealthy Chinese being courted by a Chinese-subtitled video to help finance a huge Trump-branded tower in New Jersey. ..... < snip >

      ..... The video was produced to help raise tens of millions of dollars through a controversial government program that offers expedited visas to foreign investors overwhelmingly from China. ..... < snip >

      ..... Trump Bay Street is a 50-story luxury rental apartment building being built by Kushner Companies, whose chief executive officer, Jared Kushner, is married to Trump's daughter Ivanka. ..... < snip >

      ..... The Jersey City project has raised $50 million, about a quarter of its funding, from loans obtained through EB-5, according to a slide presentation by US Immigration Fund. Mark Giresi, general counsel of US Immigration Fund, said he believed nearly all of the EB-5 investors in the Trump project were from China. ..... < snip >

      ..... Department of Homeland Security Inspector General found politically connected participants may have received favorable treatment, citing projects involving Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and Hillary Clinton's brother, Tony Rodham. ..... < snip >

      ..... Kushner Companies is a New Jersey-based real estate firm built by Kushner's father Charles, a former rainmaker in New Jersey Democratic politics who pleaded guilty to a federal campaign finance violation, filing false tax returns as well as attempts to silence a witness. Charles was sentenced in 2005 to a prison term of two years. He remains active in the company. ..... < snip >

  • Is the Media Protecting Donald Trump?

    03/07/2016 9:27:25 PM PST · 1 of 96
    CutePuppy
    Similar article in The Christian Post - Is Liberal Media Protecting Donald Trump? by Anugrah Kumar, 2016 February 28:

      The country's liberal media is being accused of ignoring Donald Trump's alleged business scandals and past support for liberal policy positions and giving far more time to his events than those of his rivals.

      When CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer appeared to help Trump in CNN's GOP debate by interrupting to move to other questions when it got rough for the Republican frontrunner more than a couple times on Thursday night, it was seen as an attempt to bail out Trump. ..... < snip >

        "This debate was 15 minutes of Rubio crushing Trump, 10 minutes of Cruz crushing Trump and 2 hours of media interrupting to protect Trump," read another tweet, by one Flint Crewneck.

      During the post-debate session, Trump was interviewed twice. And on Saturday, CNN covered Trump events most of the afternoon, while giving hardly a few seconds to Marco Rubio.

      It's not just CNN, MSNBC also had a town hall with just one GOP candidate, Trump.

      "As of Friday, Trump's seven-month-old candidacy has been the focus of an incredible 684 minutes of coverage on ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts, far more than any of his GOP rivals — more than four times as much as the next-most-covered candidate, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (151 minutes), and more than five times as much as Texas Senator Ted Cruz (122 minutes), currently Trump's leading rival in the polls," pointed out Media Research Center's NewsBusters on Jan. 28.

      "But amid that sea of Trump news, the networks have spent only about nine minutes (1.3% of Trump's overall coverage) discussing the candidate's clearly documented past support for liberal policy positions (i.e., pro-abortion, single-payer health care) and his praise of leading Democrats, including Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton." ..... < snip >

      ..... The New York Times, which ran an article about Rubio's speeding tickets, didn't write about Trump's alleged business scandals until it was brought up at the debate Thursday night. ..... < snip >

      ..... On CBS News "This Morning," Rubio said: "If any other candidate in this race had his record, there would be nonstop reporting on it. But, unfortunately, he is being pumped up because many the in the media with a bias know he'll be easy to beat in the general election." ..... < snip >

    ----------------

    Other recent articles that that may be of interest but didn't see posted here (feel free to post them in a separate thread):

    Trump as CEO and commander in chief? - CNBC, by Robert Frank, 2016 February 25 (potential conflicts of interests and 'Trump brand')

    Vast Majority Of Hispanic Voters Have Unfavorable View Of Trump - RTT News, 2016 February 25 (results of WaPo and Univision poll)

    Some Trump Charities Waiting on Funds - FBN, by Charlie Gasparino, 2016 February 26 (update on Trump's charity event for veterans, that "coincided" with January 28 Fox News debate)

    Trump vs. Clinton: The election no one wants - CNBC, by Bruce Abramson and Jeff Ballabon, 2016 February 26 (some very astute observations on the power, or lack of it, of the political parties)

    Checkered Past of Now-Defunct Trump University Comes Back to Haunt Candidate - CNBC / NYT, by Stephanie Saul, 2016 February 27 (many details that have not been covered in other coverage of TrumpU saga)

    Trump Says Judge in University Case Biased Because He's Hispanic - BL, by Michael Hytha and Ben Brody, 2016 February 27 (more details about intimidation of plaintiff witnesses and attorneys by Trump)

    Trump's Debate Was a Disaster. If Voters Notice. - BLV, by Jonathan Bernstein, 2016 February 26 (Jonathan Berstein is a San Antonio-based liberal columnist who has written for BLV, WaPo, Salon, and New Republic)

    The Most Baffling Republican Super Tuesday Ever - BLV, by Jonathan Bernstein, 2016 March 02 (Jonathan Berstein is a San Antonio-based liberal columnist who has written for BLV, WaPo, Salon, and New Republic)

    The Die-Hard Republicans Who Say #NeverTrump - BLV, by Megan McArdle, 2016 February 29 (Megan McArdle is a New York-based conservative columnist who writes on economics, business and public policy. She is the author of "The Up Side of Down")

    I voted for Trump to destroy the GOP - CNBC, by Bruce Bartlett, 2016 March 04 (somewhat different take on the GOP and the reasons from what you might expect just looking at the title) (Bruce Bartlett, who served as domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan and a Treasury Department official under George H.W.Bush. He also worked on Capitol Hill for the late Rep. Jack Kemp.)

    Interesting read, if only that we get other, fuller information (which may play a big role in general elections and affect down-ticket candidates) and points of view and are not just stewing in the juices of Drudge and internet insta-polls and "red states" political bloggers and selective anecdotal stories of relatives, friends, neighbours and coworkers. Now, we can reflect on it, ignore it, dismiss the author[s], facts or opinions presented, or attack the messenger[s]... but at least we would less likely be the "low information voters" like some of our opponents...

  • Some cracks emerge in GOP opposition to Trump

    02/25/2016 2:04:11 PM PST · 51 of 54
    CutePuppy to Theo
    What will happen in the general if Trump gets the nomination and media / Democrats will wrap him and his "compassionate conservative" ideas (like "need single-payer healthcare to take care of people that are dying on the streets") around down-ticket candidates for House and Senate?

      "Do you agree with your presidential candidate about... < pick the topic here > that it will be 'great, terrific, fantastic, tremendous, amazing' and that < so-and-so and such-and-such > are 'nasty, horrible, terrible, disgusting, low-energy liars'?"

    Wonder what "Trump platform" would look like and how much damage it's going to do downstream to state and local races?

    Good "deal" for Trump, Schwarzenegger, Ventura, Perot, Bloomberg — not so good for "conservatives" (what would that term even mean exactly, after rich celebrities are done with it?)

    If he becomes President, he'll have to build the imaginary wall on his own, because he will have to "deal" with his friends in the majority Democratic Senate and House. I am sure he can do a better deal for himself with them, that's how he scammed billions from those who "invested in Trump" brand.

  • Column - Norma White: You want change? Try these ideas

    02/03/2016 4:47:22 AM PST · 18 of 42
    CutePuppy to Persephone Kore
    Is this now a conservative position? Really?!! A limited Constitutional government cannot control what salaries private businesses are allowed to pay. And it wouldn't want to.

    Hope and change, dontcha know?

  • Column - Norma White: You want change? Try these ideas

    02/03/2016 4:44:24 AM PST · 17 of 42
    CutePuppy to Carry_Okie; All
      When you cut the pay of lawmakers below what they can live on guess what happens? They become even more beholden to those who will employ them on the way out.

      Term limits in California have been a disaster. What we got was a string of nameless incompetents planning to be future lobbyists if they couldn't move up the ladder.

    When people are frustrated they want to vent and not think too deeply of unintended consequences of part-time / cut-rate government and "revolving doors" — they are looking for simple and easy answers (often provided by competing special interests)...

    But just, as one example, who is going to run all the investigations of Clintons and Obamas and oversee all the runaway agencies and their unaccountable bureaucrats if the people "cut their pay and send them home"? If many Congress critters are not doing the job or not doing it well, that is no reason to slash and burn - people may end up with even weaker, less accountable and responsive institutions and system.

    "There is always an easy solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong." - H. L. Mencken

    "The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple." - Oscar Wilde

  • [false] Reports question Trump's giving to veterans groups

    02/01/2016 5:15:13 PM PST · 124 of 124
    CutePuppy to Hostage
    Here's proof that you are FOS:

    First, you completely ignored everything I posted (twice, second time with "feeling"). Probably because it doesn't fit your misguided meme of "Donald Trump raised money for some veterans' organizations and causes, and nobody else who is running raised more, therefore we must vote for him." Nobody is contesting that he can write bigger check than most, that was well covered in this and many other threads, in fact, that's what he extensively brags about. "Hi, I am Donald Trump and you are not."

    Second, you provided as "proof" (of what, exactly?) your own puff peace post with lots of pictures of NYC Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza with the misleading phrase "Donald Trump built the New York City Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza"...

    We already know that it's not true. This is from New York City Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza: The Making of a Memorial"

      In 1982, New York City Mayor Edward Koch established a 100-member commission to create a memorial that would reflect the conflicting emotions of the Vietnam War (as well as a "living memorial" to assist Vietnam veterans in need of jobs). .....

      ..... Built in 1985, the City's first bonus plaza was chosen because it provided a unique, spacious and respectful area in the midst of a supportive corporate neighborhood. In 1999, it was apparent that the Plaza was underutilized and in need of serious repairs in order to respectfully honor the men and women who served in Vietnam. .....

      In 1982 Donald J. Trump was named as Co-Chairman of the New York Vietnam Veterans Memorial Commission, established by Mayor Edward I. Koch. Their mission was to raise the necessary funds in order to build a memorial in honor of the men and women who served in the Vietnam War, and to create a counseling and employment program for veterans. The commission raised in excess of three million dollars. .....

      ..... In November of 2001, the Friends of the Vietnam Veterans Plaza completed the renovation phase by raising $7.1 million from both the public and private sectors.

    BTW, the Memorial is under renovation again, should be finished in a few months, but again, that is all non sequitur and missing the points. So, I give up trying to explain the obvious...

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it" - Upton Sinclair