The Licensing of the Presidency (White House for Sale)


It’s how Trump has done business the past couple of decades. After six bankruptcies, Trump did learn a new trick and started selling his name and not trying to run a profitable business. Trump doesn’t really own many of the properties with his name on them. In 2015, his name was on seventeen properties in New York of which he owned only five. At present, the number of buildings in New York with his name has dwindled to eleven, as the six“Trump Place” properties elected to have the Trump name removed. The Trump Organization continues to manage the properties. A typical deal involves Trump licensing his name which once attracted buyers/renters for a fee while also being paid for management duties.

Last Two NYC Buildings Named ‘Trump Place’ Vote to Remove President’s Name

Trump’s new business model allowed him to eliminate risk while raking in a percentage, whether the venture succeeds or fails. When The Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama City filed for bankruptcy in 2014. It was the owner Roger Khafif that took the hit, even though it was the mismanagement by Trump Panama Condominium Management LLC. that helped run the property aground, approving $2.2 million in unauthorized debts, and approving undisclosed bonuses to its executives.

Last Two NYC Buildings Named ‘Trump Place’ Vote to Remove President’s Name

Trump had found a way to make money he couldn’t possibly screw up. Until he brought the same tactics to his campaign and ultimately to the White House. The first clue should have been when Paul Manafort volunteered to work with the Trump campaign for free. At the time, Manafort was being sued by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska for an allegedly misspent $19 million and had reportedly received an additional loan for $26 million. In all, Manafort was on the hook for up to $60 million dollars. How was he in any position to work in a highly visible position for free when people with ties to the Russian mob were trying to collect from him.

Last Two NYC Buildings Named ‘Trump Place’ Vote to Remove President’s Name

The answer, which was part of a now obvious pattern is that Manafort provided services to Trump, and was allowed to run free with his own side deals, using access to Trump to make money. Among the first things he did was provide information to Deripaska about internal Trump polling data and get Trump to change the Republican Platform in a manner favorable to Russia.

Last Two NYC Buildings Named ‘Trump Place’ Vote to Remove President’s Name

That change to the RNC platform didn’t go unnoticed but Trump and Manafort were able to stonewall efforts to pin down the story and it got lost in a sea of Trump scandals. One might think Trump would be wary of selling his name and position after that but apparently he was just getting started.

At the time of Scott Pruitt’s resignation as the EPA head, he was facing eleven investigations including his relationships with lobbyists which included a highly favorable housing arrangement while in D.C. Pruitt used his White House expense account to fly first class and use private planes. He had a woman on the payroll as an advisor that apparently rarely came to work. It was all good as long as Trump got his wishes which included gutting regulations that were protecting the environment.

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry recently resigned as Energy Secretary (a department he couldn’t remember in a televised debate when running for President). It seems he took advantage of his role as one of the “Three Amigos” advancing Trump’s Ukranian policy to hook up his friends with a huge energy contract. Those friends were loyal Perry campaign donors and I consider it likely Perry would ultimately be rewarded for the favor.

Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Guiliani was apparently working his own side deals while allegedly doing the country’s bidding. He was paid $500,000 by recently-arrested Lev Parnas; a Ukranian-American businessman that was allegedly working for Rudy, digging up dirt on Joe and Hunter Biden in Ukraine. Who pays someone else half-a-million bucks to go work for them?

Last Two NYC Buildings Named ‘Trump Place’ Vote to Remove President’s Name

Recently released documents show Rudy was negotiating a contract with former Ukranian prosecutor Yuriy Letsenko with whom he was working to dig up Biden dirt. Their negotiations got as far as a deal memo which Guiliani signed for $300,000. Trump is suddenly “unaware” of what Rudy was doing in Ukraine. Weeks ago Rudy said Trump was his “only client,” while Trump claims Rudy has lots of other clients than himself. One of them is lying.

Last Two NYC Buildings Named ‘Trump Place’ Vote to Remove President’s Name

Extend the pattern of grifters throughout the Trump administration. Take Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross whose net worth is over $700 million. He’s was sued by and later settled with former business partner David Storper who alleged Ross ripped him off for millions. Ross was Vice-Chairman of the Bank of Cyprus when he oversaw a Russian deal for which the bank was found to have laundered hundreds of millions of Russian money and was also Paul Manafort’s bank at the time. Birds of a feather. Throw in Jared Kushner and wife Ivanka who made $80 million last year while “volunteering” at the White House and it’s all so clear.

Last Two NYC Buildings Named ‘Trump Place’ Vote to Remove President’s Name

Government service is supposed to be honorable; serve your country for a few years at a government pay scale and perhaps you go on to make real money afterward. Trump and associates couldn’t wait that long. Everyone has a side hustle and is using Donald Trump’s name as collateral. The worst part is that many people within his own party know, but simply don’t care. If Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ever pressed the issue, someone might start looking at the millions in gifts he’s received from his father-in-law who owns a Chinese shipping firm? Selling access and favors is a great job if you can get it.

Paul Manafort and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day


With apologies to Alexander, Paul Manafort also had a very bad day. Last week he arguably got a very light sentence of 47 months when sentencing guidelines dictated he receives between 19–24 years in Federal prison. Judge T.S, Ellis had somehow been bamboozled into believing that Manafort had, “led an otherwise blameless life.” Calling into question his own fitness to continue serving on the bench.

Manafort rolled the dice again, this time before Judge Amy Berman Jackson who added another 3 and 1/2 years to his sentence, berated him for his lies and conduct, criticizing his attorneys as well. She put the lie to the claims of Manafort’s attorneys who keep saying, “No Collusion,” which they ran to repeat in a press conference on the courthouse steps.

You’d think facing 7 and 1/2 years in Federal prison would be bad enough? His lawyer, begging Trump for a pardon by repeating, “No Collusion!” despite the evidence presented about his conspiring with Konstantin Kilimnik and providing internal polling data to the Russians. Was shouted down by protesters, calling him a liar and correctly pointing out the Judge didn’t say there was no collusion.

Topping things off, minutes after his court appearance. The State of New York charged Manafort with 16 counts of criminal behavior related to mortgage fraud, conspiracy, and falsifying business records. If convicted, these charges will not be eligible for a Presidential Pardon, something Manafort was desperately hoping for.

Manafort is allegedly suffering from a variety of medical conditions including gout which he claims have worsened as a result of his months in prison during his trial. He wasn’t allowed his jet black hair dye, exposing his white hair as surely as his fraud was uncovered. His hopes that the highly unreliable Trump would free him appear to have been dashed by the State of New York with a big F.U. to both Manafort and Trump. A very bad day indeed!

Why Some People Aren’t Shocked About Manafort’s Light Sentence


Paul Manafort was finally sentenced in a Washington D.C. Federal Court after being found guilty on eight counts of tax fraud, banking fraud and failing to register as a foreign agent. He was originally tried on 18 separate counts, but there was a mistrial on ten of those counts where one juror held out on those charges. Manafort later admitted guilt on those charges in another courtroom. Manafort showed no remorse at his sentencing, which the judge remarked on, yet Judge T.S. Ellis still saw fit to ignore the sentencing guidelines which recommended a sentence of 19–24 years, instead, giving him 47 months, before being credited for time served and the equivalent of good behavior.

When his sentence was announced, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth by people, particularly the media, who expected a much harsher sentence. They were shocked, that a rich white man, who stole tens of millions of dollars from the public in terms of unpaid taxes. Who lied to prosecutors while pretending to cooperate, who tampered with witnesses, gave confidential polling data to a Russian oligarch, and aided dictators and murderers for the last twenty years of his life. Shocked that he got away with what amounts to a slap on the wrist.

For all the dismay of the newscasters across the media. Black people who just watched the police officers that shot an unarmed man in his grandmother’s back yard and never went to trial were not surprised. The rape victims that discovered their rapists were given a sweetheart deal by a U.S. Attorney, illegally without their knowledge while labeling the underage victims as prostitutes were not surprised. Crystal Mason, a black woman who just started serving a five-year sentence for voting, not realizing her voting rights had not been restored after serving time for a felony charge, she’s not surprised. The Ohio State wrestlers who were molested while one of their former coaches knew and said nothing, watch as their story blew over and that coach is a prominent member of Congress; not surprised.

Justice is a wonderful notion, however flexible in its application. The best way to avoid it is to be rich, white and powerful. In the Manafort case, Judge Ellis claimed Manafort had led, “an otherwise blameless life.” This while Manafort was awaiting sentencing for other crimes in a different jurisdiction. Judge Ellis has a reputation for being notoriously soft on “white-collar crime.” Why not be clear, there are whole categories of crime generally associated with rich white people, for whom justice is rarely meted out fairly. The Manafort case was no exception.

Manafort appeared in court in a wheelchair, green jumpsuit, claiming a litany of medical ailments. Were it not for his remaining sentencing next week, he might have hopped out of his chair and thanked his lawyers. He acknowledged being, “embarrassed and sad,” which apparently was penalty enough when you’re white, male, and rich.

Paul Manafort Goes To Jail

Paul Manafort has a certain sense of style, his fashion sense might not be for everyone, but records show he paid $849,215 to a men’s clothing store in New York. He paid New York tailor Eugene Venanzi almost $100,000 on items including two sports coats made of silk and custom cashmere at $8,500 each, along with several $7,000 suits. Over six years he paid $520,440 to a Beverly Hills clothing store. In his several court visits, he was always well-groomed and properly accessorized. As of today, he’s forsaking his tailored suits for a prison uniform as a Federal Judge ordered him jailed while awaiting trial based on his attempts to contact and influence witnesses. At 69-years-old, Manafort likely hadn’t anticipated going to jail at this point in his career for even a brief time. He may now never see another day of freedom, based on the average sentences for the crimes he has been charged with by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

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The additional charges against Manafort, which led to his jailing. Have no doubt sent shock waves through the remaining uncooperating witnesses, not yet giving Mueller what he needs? Michael Cohen must be feeling increased pressure to sell out the President. Manafort may decide that real jail wields far more influence than a potential pardon. Until now Manafort has been inconvenienced, house arrest and occasional trips to court… two ankle bracelets. Now he has to worry about dropping the soap in the shower? That’s a whole different scenario.

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Michael Cohen has told friends he feels like he’ll be arrested in the near future. Rumors are circulating that Mueller will announce a new round of indictments so as not to be too close to the mid-term elections. Donald Trump Jr… are you ready? Jared Kushner? For all those for whom potential charges were just a mental exercise, shit just got real!

Will Paul Manafort Run?

Paul Manafort has basically been under house arrest while awaiting two trials to start later this year. He is scheduled to begin trial in Alexandria, VA on July 24, 2018, on charges of bank fraud and tax crimes and in September in Washington D.C. on charges including; conspiracy, bank and tax fraud, money laundering and failing to register as a lobbyist. Manafort is wearing two ankle bracelets and has been appealing to the courts to loosen the restrictions on him which basically require him to remain home, with exceptions for medical and legal appointments. The Special Counsel has just made a motion to the Washington D.C. judge to remove him from the supervised house arrest program and wait for his trials to start in jail because of attempts at witness tampering and suborning perjury, according to a filing in the DC Court.

Manafort, the former Campaign Manager for Donald Trump has connections in multiple foreign countries that may not extradite him were he able to get there. He has long ago surrendered his passport but a desperate man with means and friends in the right places might be able to go far if given the chance? To this point, he’s resisted pressure to flip on Donald Trump regarding activities of which he may have knowledge. Perhaps trading his luxury apartment for a small cell might make him reconsider?

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There’s probably no good time to go to prison, at 69 years old, Manafort seems unlikely to thrive in that environment. He’s used to $5,000 suits and fine dining. Nothing about his life has prepared him for even Federal prison where things are a bit more lax. This was not how Manafort planned to live out his final years, so what to do now?

He hasn’t been inclined thus far to take a deal. My impression of Manafort is far more Goodfella than an astute businessman. Some of his former associates might not take too well to the thought of Manafort providing evidence to the State. He might see flipping as a death sentence? Of course in prison, he’d still be a threat as one day he might decide he’s had enough and make that deal after the fact. The one other option… is to run.

It seems his every move has been tracked by the FBI to this point. The judge will be ruling on the motion at any time which could send him to prison in days if not hours. A hearing will likely be scheduled, giving Manafort a chance to explain his actions. If things go badly, he might be whisked away from the courtroom, perhaps experiencing freedom for the last time?

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The odds are likely against him. He’s being monitored, his apartment likely watched. Nowhere in the country would be safe, his every communication is reviewed. Who would even dare to help him? Part of the evidence against him regarding witness tampering was from the people he reached out to. Paul has always been a gambler though, high stakes risks with potentially great rewards. He might just give it a try. After all, what’s the alternative?

Who Will Go To Jail First? Take The Poll

Grand Juries are impaneled, subpoenas have been issued, testimony is being given, two men have been indicted and another has pled guilty. His sentence, however, may be as little as zero because he is providing evidence against others. My question is, “Who will be the first to actually go to jail?”

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Take the poll and we’ll see how it compares to the actual results:

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You can only vote once but feel free to come back and check the results. Please share!

A House Without Honor

We’ve officially run out of hope there was anyone in the White House with some semblance of honor. None we can trust in discussing the smallest of matters, let alone the big ones. The nation knew what it was getting in Donald Trump, serial cheater with an extensive background of sexual assault and financial bad faith. Liar extraordinaire.

Let Them Eat Cake

There was some hope that those around him would do better, perhaps appeal to his better self should it exist. We were told he’d assembled an excellent National Security team. Men of honor who would put country first ahead of politics. Flynn, Tillerson, Pompeo, and Mattis. Gen. Mike Flynn lasted 24 days before resigning after reports of undisclosed meetings with Russians and being an undeclared foreign agent for Turkey. Tillerson has presided over the gutting of the State Department and the world sees him as castrated, unable to speak for the President without being overridden by a tweet. Pompeo recently proclaimed the Intelligence Agencies concluded Russia had no impact on the Presidential election when they said no such thing. Mattis initially fought the good fight but soon crumbled. becoming just another sycophant. Pence sold his soul long ago and Sessions is on a one=man tear to bring back mass incarceration and further legalize voter suppression. Carson is a joke!

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The professional liars that speak for the President; Spicer and Scaramucci are long gone, soulless Sanders misinforms us now with guest appearances on television by Kellyanne. Bannon left but exerts more power on the President and his Party than ever before. Someone has to coordinate with the Neo-Nazis, skinheads, and white supremacists.

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They told us Ivanka would be a good influence, promoting women’s issues, child care and protecting dreamers. Having influence on none of those things, she’s settled for her new business deals with China. Her free time is spent on her hidden e-mail account on a private server and talking with her new criminal attorney.

Ivanka Trump
Ivanka Trump

Jared was that bright young man that was our next, best hope. It seems he’s had even more Russian contacts than Flynn and almost as many conflicts of interest as his father-in-law. He hired some of the best criminal defense attorneys in the country, beating the run on criminal lawyers by pretty much the rest of the Administration as they ready themselves for Special Counsel Mueller’s questions. We won’t mention Manafort who didn’t even make it through the campaign before millions in Ukranian cash payments from pro-Putin oligarchs tripped him up. The FBI assures him he’ll be indicted.

Manafort under the bus

It seemed the only honorable person left in the White House was Gen. Kelly. That was before he stood behind the White House podium and lied about a speech by Congresswoman Frederica Wilson. Of course, Sarah Huckabee Sanders stands by the lie which makes it doubly false. He was “stunned” that the Congresswoman, “listened in” to a call from the President to the widow of a fallen Green Beret. This while Kelly and “several others” according to Sanders were listening in when the President made the call.

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There is nobody left we can hope to believe about anything. I’m waiting patiently until we get to the stage where we have public testimony in the Russia hearings. Lie then!

 

 

White House Throws Manafort Under The Bus! Who’s Going Down With Him?

The White House and friends are officially throwing Paul Manafort under the bus in hopes that we’ll forget about all the rest that colluded with Russia and committed untold financial crimes.

Corey Lewandowski, a former Trump Campaign Manager, said this, “I think if anybody, and I’ve said this, if Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, or Rick Gates or Carter Page, or anybody else attempted to influence the outcome of the U.S. election through any means that’s inappropriate – through collusion, coordination or cooperation – I hope they go to jail for the rest of their lives.”

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Vice-President Mike Pence said of the man perhaps most responsible for his selection, “We’re just going to let this process go forward.”

Many White House insiders are privately conceding the mountain of known evidence against Manafort is insurmountable and have chosen to disown him, suggesting there’s no way out for him.

The problem for the White House is, Manafort was not an island and often acted with Donald Trump, Jr. and Jared Kushner in his Russian dealings and we have no idea at what level the President himself was involved? With Manafort facing indictment (as has been reported widely by multiple news outlets), the question is, who will go down with him?

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Without knowing the man and looking at his proclivity for fancy suits and fine dining. I have no sense at all he’ll do well in jail. I have little doubt that if he has bigger fish to offer up, he’ll do so in a heartbeat. Racing to beat disgraced General Mike Flynn to the witness stand to tell all he knows.

White House insiders are even willing to accept there may have been some degree of collusion with Russia, pointing at Manafort while ignoring the elephants in the room including Donald Trump’s son and son-in-law. The question no longer seems to be “if” someone is going down. But who and how many?

Trump Word(s) For The Day: Probable Cause

As part of my patriotic duty I will begin sharing the word(s) of the day to help our President prepare for what’s coming. Because he doesn’t seem to attach the same meaning to words like honesty, news, Constitution and transparency. I feel that if given a little time to consider the actual meanings of words he can do better. I will provide both the common definition and when applicable the urban translation. Today’s words: Probable Cause

Definition: Probable cause generally refers to the requirement in criminal law that police have adequate reason to arrest someone, conduct a search, or seize property …

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Photo: sikwikit.com

Used in a sentence: The FBI had to show Probable Cause when they got a search warrant and raided Paul Manafort’s home at 3AM.

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Photo: bet.com

Urban Translation: They’re starting with the little fish and coming for your ass Trump!

Next Word: Informant

Featured Photo: groundreport.com