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FTR #934 The Making of Donald Trump (Top Banana Republic), Part 3

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained HERE [1]. The new dri­ve is a 32-giga­byte dri­ve that is cur­rent as of the pro­grams and arti­cles post­ed by ear­ly win­ter of 2016. The new dri­ve (avail­able for a tax-deductible con­tri­bu­tion of $65.00 or more.) (The pre­vi­ous flash dri­ve was cur­rent through the end of May of 2012.)

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This broad­cast was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment [5].

making-of-trump [6]Intro­duc­tion: In the after­math of the ascen­sion of Don­ald Trump to the Pres­i­den­cy, we are doing some­thing unprece­dent­ed in the long his­to­ry of For The Record. Ear­li­er in 2016, award-win­ning jour­nal­ist David Cay John­ston pub­lished a very well-writ­ten and researched, yet rel­a­tive­ly short and com­pact biog­ra­phy of Don­ald Trump–The Mak­ing of Don­ald Trump [7] (Melville House [HC]; copy­right 2016 by David Cay John­ston; ISBN 978–1‑61219–632‑9.)

For some weeks, we have been–and will be–reading most of the book into the record, to pro­vide peo­ple with a mea­sure against which to eval­u­ate not just “The Don­ald,” as his first wife Ivana called him, but our soci­ety, its insti­tu­tions and its cit­i­zens. We can’t rec­om­mend strong­ly enough that lis­ten­ers buy this book, read it and use what­ev­er means avail­able to spread the word about it. (We note that nei­ther Mr. Emory nor any of the sta­tions that air this pro­gram get mon­ey from this book, its pub­lish­er or author.)

This third install­ment of the series com­mences with a review the sub­stance of an arti­cle that embod­ies the enor­mous and fun­da­men­tal flaw in our polit­i­cal and civic process: a poll short­ly before the elec­tion found that most of the prospec­tive vot­ers polled felt that Trump was more hon­est and trust­wor­thy [8] than Hillary Clin­ton. As our read­ing of John­ston’s excel­lent book unfolds, the grotesque, spec­tac­u­lar­ly fal­la­cious char­ac­ter of this per­cep­tion will become uncom­fort­ably clear. Don­ald Trump [9] is cur­rent­ly track­ing as the more hon­est of the two pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates in a poll, although fact-check­ing of his state­ments dur­ing the cam­paign have shown he’s lied sev­er­al times. The lat­est ABC News/Washington Post track­ing poll reports [10] that 46 per­cent of like­ly vot­ers believe he is the more hon­est and trust­wor­thy can­di­date, while 38 per­cent believed it was Hillary Clin­ton [11]. This marks the biggest gap between the two can­di­dates in five ABC News/Washington Post polls that asked the ques­tion, begin­ning in May.”

The pro­gram fea­tures a con­tin­u­a­tion of John­ston’s account of Trump’s “curi­ous” rela­tion­ship with con­vict­ed felon and drug deal­er Joey Weich­sel­baum. “Among the assort­ed crim­i­nals with whom Trump did busi­ness over more than three decades, his most mys­te­ri­ous deal­ings involved a drug traf­fick­er named Joseph Weich­sel­baum. Trump did unusu­al favors for the three-time felon, repeat­ed­ly putting his lucra­tive casi­no license at risk to help a major cocaine and mar­i­jua­na traf­fick­er for rea­sons that remain unfath­omable. . . .” (The Mak­ing of Don­ald Trump; p. 59.)

Where­as Trump had many oth­er places to turn to for the var­i­ous aero­nau­ti­cal, auto­mo­tive and sup­ple­men­tal ser­vices Weichels­baum and his broth­er pro­vid­ed, Trump con­tin­ued to use them and pro­vid­ed them and their asso­ciates with remark­able “perks.” (The Mak­ing of Don­ald Trump; pp. 59–65.)

thinkbignkickass [12]With Trump poised to name a num­ber of Supreme Court jus­tices, we note that the venue of one of Weichels­baum’s cas­es was changed in a high­ly sus­pi­cious, reveal­ing and inaus­pi­cious man­ner. ” . . . When Weichels­baum made a deal with pros­e­cu­tors to plead guilty to one of the eigh­teen counts in the Cincin­nati case, some­thing very sus­pi­cious hap­pened. His case was trans­ferred out of Ohio for the guilty plea and the sen­tenc­ing. Log­i­cal­ly, the case might have gone to South Flori­da, where Brad­ford Motors [one of the Weich­sel­baum drug-traf­fick­ing fronts] was locat­ed, or to New York, where Weich­sel­baum lived. Indeed, that is exact­ly what Weich­sel­baum’s Ohio lawyer, Arnold Morel­li, sought in a Jan­u­ary 30, 1986 motion request­ing his case be trans­ferred to either Man­hat­tan or Mia­mi for ‘the con­ve­nience of human beings such as the defen­dant and wit­ness­es.’ Instead the Weichels­baum case was moved to New Jer­sey. There it was assigned to Judge Maryanne Trump Barry–Donald Trump’s old­er sis­ter.

Judge Bar­ry recused her­self three weeks lat­er, as judi­cial ethics required, but the mere act of remov­ing her­self from the case came with a pow­er­ful mes­sage: a sit­ting fed­er­al judge, as well as her hus­band (lawyer John Bar­ry) and fam­i­ly, repeat­ed­ly flew in heli­copters con­nect­ed to a major drug traf­fick­er. . . .When Judge Harold A. Ack­er­man replaced Trump’s sis­ter, Trump wrote him a let­ter seek­ing lenien­cy for Weich­sel­baum on the drug traf­fick­ing charge. Trump char­ac­ter­ize the defen­dant as ‘a cred­it to the com­mu­ni­ty’ and described Weich­sel­baum as ‘con­sci­en­tious, forth­right and dili­gent’ in his deal­ings with the Trump Plaza and Trump’s Cas­tle casi­nos. When asked about the let­ter under oath in a pri­vate 1990 meet­ing with New Jer­sey Divi­sion of Gam­ing Enforce­ment lawyers, Trump tes­ti­fied that he could not recall whether ‘he had writ­ten any let­ters of ref­er­ence to the fed­er­al judge who sen­tenced Weich­sel­baum.’ Sub­se­quent­ly, the divi­sion obtained such a let­ter, and Trump acknowl­edged that it bore his sig­na­ture. . . .” (The Mak­ing of Don­ald Trump; pp. 63–64.)

IlDuceIlDouche [13]Dur­ing the cam­paign, Trump tar­get­ed dis­af­fect­ed, alien­at­ed blue-col­lar work­ers, chaf­ing under the effects of glob­al­iza­tion and lin­ger­ing dam­age from the finan­cial col­lapse of 2008. “The Don­ald” also, of course, made expelling ille­gal immi­grants a cor­ner­stone of his cam­paign. There could be no bet­ter bal­ance in which to hang the integri­ty of Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump than to exam­ine the chap­ter John­son titled “The Pol­ish Brigade.” (The Mak­ing of Don­ald Trump; pp. 69–76.)

When demol­ish­ing the old Bon­wit Teller build­ing in New York City to make way for one of his sig­na­ture projects, Trump not only broke a promise to sal­vage the valu­able art deco piece at the build­ing’s entrance (pro­vid­ing disin­gen­u­ous respons­es to crit­i­cism about this), but employed ille­gal Pol­ish immi­grants to dis­man­tle the struc­ture. The abuse to which Trump sub­ject­ed those immi­grants is strik­ing and bodes poor­ly for those ele­ments of “Mid­dle Amer­i­ca” who sup­port­ed him dur­ing the elec­tion.

The “Pol­ish Brigade” were not giv­en even ele­men­tary work­ing tools, nor basic safe­ty equip­ment such as hard hats. They worked long hours at very low pay under hor­ri­ble work­ing con­di­tions and were often not paid at all, until they threat­ened a top Trump assis­tant, Thomas Macari.

“Instead of hir­ing an expe­ri­enced demo­li­tion con­trac­tor, Trump chose Kaszy­c­ki & Sons Con­trac­tors, a win­dow wash­ing busi­ness owned by a Pol­ish emi­gre. Upward of two hun­dred men began demol­ish­ing the build­ing in mid­win­ter 1980. The men worked with­out hard hats. They lacked face­masks, even though asbestos–known to cause incur­able cancers–swirled all around them. They did­n’t have gog­gles to pro­tect their eyes from the bits of con­crete and steel that some­times flew through the air like bul­lets. The men did­n’t have pow­er tools either; they brought down the twelve-sto­ry build­ing with sledge­ham­mers. . . .

. . . . The demo­li­tion work­ers were not Amer­i­can cit­i­zens, but ‘had recent­ly arrived from Poland,’ a fed­er­al court lat­er deter­mined. The court also found that ‘they were undoc­u­ment­ed and worked ‘off the books.’ No pay­roll records were kept, no Social Secu­ri­ty or oth­er tax­es were with­held and they were not paid in accor­dance with wage laws. They were told they would be paid $4.00 or in some cas­es $5.00 an hour for work­ing 12-hour shifts sev­en days a week. In fact, they were paid irreg­u­lar­ly and incom­plete­ly.’ . . .

. . . . Fed up that their pay­checks kept bounc­ing, some of the work­ers cor­ralled Thomas Macari, Trump’s per­son­al rep­re­sen­ta­tive they showed him to the edge of one of the high­er floors and asked if he would like them to hang him over the side. The work­ers, like­ly hun­gry, demand­ed their pay. Oth­er­wise, no work.

When Macari told his boss what had hap­pened, Trump placed a pan­icked tele­phone call to Daniel Sullivan–a labor fix­er, FBI infor­mant, sus­pect in the dis­ap­pear­ance of Jim­my Hof­fa, and Trump’s per­son­al nego­tia­tor for the Grand Hyatt con­tract with the hotel work­ers’ union.

‘Don­ald told me he was hav­ing some dif­fi­cul­ties,’ Sul­li­van lat­er tes­ti­fied, ‘and he admit­ted to me that–seeking my advice–he had some ille­gal Pol­ish employ­ees on the job. . . .

. . . .There is no record of any fed­er­al, state, or city safe­ty inspec­tor fil­ing a report dur­ing the demo­li­tion. In a 1990 Tren­ton restau­rant inter­view. I asked Sul­li­van how a project of this size could have been erect­ed in the heart of Man­hat­tan with­out attract­ing gov­ern­ment job safe­ty inspec­tors. Sul­li­van just looked at me. When I widened my eyes to make clear that I want­ed an explic­it­ly answer, he said, ‘You know why.’ When I per­sist­ed, antic­i­pat­ing that Sul­li­van might spec­i­fy bribes to inspec­tors, he said that unions and con­crete sup­pli­ers were not the only areas where Trump’s lawyer, Roy Cohn, had influ­ence. . . . ” (The Mak­ing of Don­ald Trump; pp. 70–72.)

The text excerpts con­clude with a read­ing of most of chap­ter 10 of John­ston’s book, cov­er­ing how Trump’s esti­mates of his own net worth var­ied accord­ing to his mood at the time of the inquiry. This did not stop him from suing jour­nal­ist Tim O’Brien for alleged­ly mis-report­ing Trump’s worth. (The Mak­ing of Don­ald Trump; pp. 77–83.)

This pro­gram con­cludes with the read­ing of a poem by Robin­son Jef­fers, “Be Angry at the Sun,” which encom­pass­es Mr. Emory’s feel­ings about the recent elec­tion, as well as the peo­ple and insti­tu­tions that have pre­cip­i­tat­ed this event–one that fig­ures to be dev­as­tat­ing in its man­i­fes­ta­tions.

“Be Angry at the Sun” by Robin­son Jef­fers

That pub­lic men pub­lish false­hoods
Is noth­ing new. That Amer­i­ca must accept
Like the his­tor­i­cal republics cor­rup­tion and empire
Has been known for years.

Be angry at the sun for set­ting
If these things anger you. Watch the wheel slope and turn,
They are all bound on the wheel, these peo­ple, those war­riors.
This repub­lic, Europe, Asia.

Observe them ges­tic­u­lat­ing,
Observe them going down. The gang serves lies, the pas­sion­ate
Man plays his part; the cold pas­sion for truth
Hunts in no pack.

You are not Cat­ul­lus, you know,
To lam­poon these crude sketch­es of Cae­sar. You are far
From Dan­te’s feet, but even far­ther from his dirty
Polit­i­cal hatreds.

Let boys want plea­sure, and men
Strug­gle for pow­er, and women per­haps for fame,
And the servile to serve a Leader and the dupes to be duped.
Yours is not theirs.