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FTR #935 The Making of Donald Trump (Top Banana Republic), Part 4

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]thinkbignkickass [7]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 [8] (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 fourth install­ment of the series ref­er­ences 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 [9] 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 [10] 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 [11] that 46 per­cent of like­ly vot­ers believe he is the more hon­est and trust­wor­thy can­di­date, while 38 per­cent believed it was Hillary Clin­ton [12]. This marks the biggest gap between the two can­di­dates in five ABC News/Washington Post polls that asked the ques­tion, begin­ning in May.”

The bulk of the pro­gram focus­es on Trump Uni­ver­si­ty, the focal point of sev­er­al law­suits, set­tled by Trump after the elec­tion. (The Mak­ing of Don­ald Trump,; pp. 117–128.)

Mr. Emory feels that, in a sense, the case of Trump Uni­ver­si­ty is a micro­cosm for what Amer­i­ca will be under a Trump pres­i­den­cy. ” . . . . The tes­ti­mo­ny above all comes from a 2012 suit, but two oth­er law­suits claimed that the whole Trump Uni­ver­si­ty enter­prise was a fraud–a scam in which the des­per­ate and the gullible paid Trump about $40 mil­lion for what turned out to be high-pres­sure sales­man­ship. . . .” (The Mak­ing of Don­ald Trump,; pp. 120–121.)

In a very real sense, Trump’s pitch in a pro­mo­tion­al video embod­ies Trump as a pro­fes­sion­al, a per­son and a politi­cian: ” . . . ‘At Trump Uni­ver­si­ty, we teach suc­cess . . . . That’s what it’s all about–success. It’s going to hap­pen to you. We’re going to have pro­fes­sors and adjunct pro­fes­sors that are absolute­ly terrific–terrific peo­ple, ter­rif­ic brains, suc­cess­ful. We are going to have the best of the best. These are all peo­ple that are hand­picked by me.’ . . . . None of those state­ments were true. . . .” (The Mak­ing of Don­ald Trump,; pp. 117—118.)

Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the oper­a­tions of this “uni­ver­si­ty” is Trump’s “fac­ul­ty.” ” . . . . Trump did not even hon­or his com­mit­ment to hand­pick the fac­ul­ty. In 2012, when Trump was sued for civ­il fraud in Cal­i­for­nia, attor­ney Rachel Jensen read the names of one fac­ul­ty mem­ber after anoth­er, dis­played pho­tographs of them, and offered video footage of fac­ul­ty at Trump Uni­ver­si­ty ‘live events.’ Trump, who com­plained that this line of ques­tion­ing was a waste of time, could not iden­ti­fy a sin­gle per­son. ‘Too many years ago . . . too many years ago . . . it’s ancient his­to­ry,’ he said. Some of these events had tak­en place few­er than two years ear­li­er. Again and again and again, Trump tes­ti­fied that he could not remem­ber. . . .” (The Mak­ing of Don­ald Trump,; p. 119.)

An inves­ti­ga­tion of Trump Uni­ver­si­ty in Texas had a reveal­ing polit­i­cal foot­note: ” . . . . To the sea­soned fraud inves­ti­ga­tors who com­piled the report, the case against Trump seemed iron­clad. The inves­ti­ga­tors con­clud­ed with the sug­ges­tion that Trump  . . . . be named per­son­al­ly in a civ­il action suit alleg­ing decep­tive trade prac­tices. We know all this because John Owens, who retired in 2011 as chief deputy in the Texas attor­ney gen­er­al’s con­sumer pro­tec­tion unit made the inter­nal report pub­lic in 2016. The Texas attor­ney gen­er­al’s office, Owen­s’s for­mer employ­er, respond­ed with a let­ter cit­ing six laws Owens may have bro­ken in releas­ing the report and sug­gest­ing his law license might be revoked. . . . Greg Abbott, the Texas attor­ney gen­er­al, took no pub­lic action. . . . Abbott has since been elect­ed gov­er­nor. He endorsed Trump in 2016. . . . In 2013, three years after [assis­tant Texas attor­ney gen­er­al Rick] Berlin failed to per­suade Abbott to adopt his rec­om­men­da­tion to recov­er mon­ey for Texas con­sumers, Trump donat­ed $35,000 to Abbot­t’s cam­paign for gov­er­nor. . . .” (The Mak­ing of Don­ald Trump,; pp. 122–123.)

The Abbott-Trump rela­tion­ship mir­rors the high­ly sus­pi­cious con­tri­bu­tion Trump made to the reelec­tion cam­paign of Flori­da attor­ney gen­er­al Pam Bon­di, who dropped the inves­ti­ga­tion into Trump Uni­ver­si­ty in exchange for the “favor.”

As report­ed dur­ing the cam­paign, Trump’s con­tri­bu­tion was made from one of Trump’s char­i­ties, which are the focal point of Chap­ter 16 of John­ston’s book. (The Mak­ing of Don­ald Trump,; pp. 129–134.)

Enjoy­ing the sup­port of many vet­er­ans, accord­ing to polls, and, also accord­ing to polls, active duty mil­i­tary per­son­nel, Trump attempt­ed to use vet­er­ans as cam­paign props by donat­ing to them in vio­la­tion of reg­u­la­tions gov­ern­ing char­i­ta­ble dona­tions. (The Mak­ing of Don­ald Trump,; pp. 135–136.)

The pro­gram con­cludes begins and ends with a read­ing of the poem Be Angry at the Sun by Robin­son Jef­fers.

“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.