Friday, August 31, 2018


I was reading the other day that President Trump was blaming the Chinese for failing to reign in North Korea.

He intimated that the Chinese were not helping the United States in the matter because they were feeling a little sore over the current trade and tariff dispute. Imagine?

All I can say is, duh!  You bully people around and then you expect them to want to help you? Your reflexive first move with friend and foe alike is to throw your pointy little elbows and then you wonder what has happened to your allies? You think the Chinese are going to help you do anything right now?

Trump signed a preliminary trade agreement with Mexico the other day. The next day he said that the Mexicans were going to pay for the stupid border wall. You can guess how they reacted.

Today he says, off the record, that he is not going to negotiate with Canada on anything in the trade negotiations, they can take it or leave it and he is ready to apply maximum pressure. This is extremely foolish. Our northern neighbor is our largest trading partner and northern states like Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota need the trade to continue to keep their economies solvent.

While I have a lot of disagreement with Trump ideologically, I think the fact that he is so clumsy and such a lousy negotiator rankles me even worse. A spoiled rich kid, bumbler who can't get out of his own way. A sociopath with little or no natural empathy, at least as it is commonly construed.

His insatiable need to claim wins leads to the utter foolishness that results in statements like "North Korea is currently denuclearizing." Wishful thinking but not tied to reality. Sovereign nations are looking for a win - win, not to be dictated to.

The first thing you learn in kindergarten is to not be an asshole. Looks like a certain President flunked that part.

I was in construction a long time. I remember talking to a grading contractor in the late 1970's who had lost everything when a large Los Angeles developer decided to hold his money for no reason except that he could. They repossessed the contractor's bulldozer and loader, his home and finally his wife left him, taking the kids with her.  Two hundred thousand dollars was a lot of money back then and he had earned it flawlessly but couldn't get paid.

The way he told me the story was that he went to S-----L's offices and found the accountant. He opened the seventh floor window behind him, grabbed the scrawny bookkeeper by the collar and held the dangling man out the window, threatening to drop him to the pavement below. He said "You ruined my life, now I am going to ruin yours." The accounts payable man flipped out, pled for his life and said he would explain, the man finally relented and brought him inside.

The man told him, at least the story he told me, that he was paid to keep people's money as long as he could, because the developer made money on it, on the float. As Abe Vigoda said in the godfather, it was not personal, strictly business. A game with these sort of types, because they were big and because they could.

I bring the anecdote up because there are an awful lot of subs in New York and New Jersey that Trump broke and beat up like this, because he could. Having had my family business robbed of twelve million dollars in a  similar manner by a West Coast Trump wannabee I take serious umbrage at this sort of behavior.

Dishonorable people who break their word, who don't have any intention of honoring their commitments and paying their debts, these people should have a special room in hell.
Donald Trump often portrays himself as a savior of the working class who will "protect your job." But a USA TODAY NETWORK analysis found he has been involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits over the past three decades — and a large number of those involve ordinary Americans, like the Friels, who say Trump or his companies have refused to pay them.
At least 60 lawsuits, along with hundreds of liens, judgments, and other government filings reviewed by the USA TODAY NETWORK, document people who have accused Trump and his businesses of failing to pay them for their work. Among them: a dishwasher in Florida. A glass company in New Jersey. A carpet company. A plumber. Painters. Forty-eight waiters. Dozens of bartenders and other hourly workers at his resorts and clubs, coast to coast. Real estate brokers who sold his properties. And, ironically, several law firms that once represented him in these suits and others.
Trump’s companies have also been cited for 24 violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act since 2005 for failing to pay overtime or minimum wage, according to U.S. Department of Labor data. That includes 21 citations against the defunct Trump Plaza in Atlantic City and three against the also out-of-business Trump Mortgage LLC in New York. Both cases were resolved by the companies agreeing to pay back wages.
In addition to the lawsuits, the review found more than 200 mechanic’s liens — filed by contractors and employees against Trump, his companies or his properties claiming they were owed money for their work — since the 1980s. The liens range from a $75,000 claim by a Plainview, N.Y., air conditioning and heating company to a $1 million claim from the president of a New York City real estate banking firm. On just one project, Trump’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, records released by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission in 1990 show that at least 253 subcontractors weren’t paid in full or on time, including workers who installed walls, chandeliers and plumbing.
Guy is a low class chiseler. Strictly from Queens.

1 comment:

Jon Harwood said...

Well we have heard all the stuff about how wonderful it would be to have the country run by a businessman. Guess it ain't so. Something like the Federal Gubmint is a bit more complex than any business with multiple and conflicting objectives and a huge tendency to follow the law of unintended consequences. I guess we will see how it goes. Huge numbers of people seem to put more value on Trumps appeal to their emotions than on the Trump results but it doesn't look at this point as if his supporters will be able to pull off another freak election cycle. Should the Blessed Mother decide to intervene and allow the Democrats to take over at least half of Congress (The House) we may see a season of revenge. Too bad there is no way to know how it actually will turn out. I am betting on the millions of workers who were promised pay raises due to Republican tax reform. I think they may well figure out that they got stiffed by Trump just like Trumps subcontractors did. Perhaps they will give something stiff to Trump.