Sunday, March 26, 2017

Donald Trump — public-relations master By SYDNEY H. SCHANBERC (Newsday) - 1987

Donald Trump —
public-relations master


(Run in the Finger Lakes Times Opinion Page, Geneva NY September 14, 1987)

Every time you look up, there he is — the world's most successful public relations man. He's in Moscow trying to talk the communists into luxury-hotel capitalism. He has become the gambling king of the East Coast and is now reaching for a casino in Australia. He says he is John Cardinal O'Connor's adviser on real estate, and according to one published account, gave the cardinal as a character reference on his application for a Nevada gaming license. He has issued a kind of press-release foreign policy, and a Republican operative in New Hampshire is trying to draft him for the presidency.

That's not even the quarter of it. He recently bought his own private Boeing 727 with two bedrooms and a sauna, after which he commissioned the world's longest limousine. He continually makes big rolls on the stock market, manipulating certain prices higher, at which point he sells for impressive profits. For all his wealth, he manages to get big tax abatements on his luxury apartment projects in New York City. He feuds with the mayor and calls him a moron and worse. His autobiography, "Trump by Trump," is due out this winter. And there's got to be a sequel, because he is only 41 years old.

The part I like best about Donald Trump is his deep and abiding concern for the homeless and the poor. He never misses an opportunity to tell us — in print, on radio and on television — how very upset he is about the working-class people who can't afford decent apartments at the going rates and about those who end up completely shelterless, living on the streets. It's terrible, he says, as he dedicates his latest condominium tower for the moneyed, with his name in giant letters on it.

And even last week, when he purchased full-page ads in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe calling for more "backbone" in America's foreign policy, he took care to include an expression of his pain over the plight of the troubled among us. He said we ought to stop carrying wealthy nations like Japan and Saudi Arabia on our backs and instead make them pay us for defending them militarily in the Persian Gulf and elsewhere. Then we could take these billions of dollars and use them to "help our farmers, our sick, our homeless.

It came as no surprise that Mayor Edward Koch, another public-relations virtuoso and thus a rival of Donald Trump's for the world title, sneered at the foreign-policy ads and said that as a politician, Trump was "a flop" and "a schoolboy." Trump responded by calling Koch a "jerk" and "a loser who will go down as the worst mayor in the history of the city."

They've gone through this routine before, so it's quite polished by now. In their last go-around, which had Something to do with Trump's grab big tax abatements, the mayor called him "Piggy, Piggy, Piggy" and Trump purred back with "moron."

It's not always easy to understand their spitting matches, given that they're so much alike in their religion: Mirror Worship. Not only that, but Koch is just as verbal a champion of the downtrodden as is Trump — so that's something else they have in common.

Never the less a new chapter in the sandbox war opened Thursday. Trump, smarting over Koch's barbs about his international views, volunteered some insults about Koch's plans to visit Nicaragua as head of a fact-finding group. "How can our idiot mayor go to Nicaragua," Trump asked, "when he can't even run New York City? The man is totally incompetent ..." and more of the same. The only thing Trump left out this time (he must have been so overwrought he forgot) was a sentence about poor people.

After he got through reading his anti-Koch remarks to a New York Newsday reporter, he said, "I know you guys like this kind of stuff." He's right. That's what makes him the master of public relations that he is.

He can deny all he wants any designs on the White House, but Trump has the kind of instincts that are perfect for the age we live in — the age of stage smoke and magic mirrors and imagery. He looks out and sees public-relations mayors and public-relations senators and a public-relations president. In short, he sees the kind of men we admire and elect these days and he naturally asks; Why not me?

For example, he offered us a couple of years ago his belief that he could do a better job at negotiating arms control with the Soviet Union than "the kind of representatives that I have seen in the past." Blowing high-grade smoke, he added: "It would take an hour and a half to learn everything there is to learn about missiles. I think I know most of it anyway." .

When Trump bought Resorts International's casino and extensive properties in Atlantic City earlier this year, he said he felt a sense of social responsibility to the slum-ridden New Jersey casino city and was therefore going to build housing there for families with small pocketbooks.

"With the vast land holdings we now have, we want to create some moderate- and low-income housing on a private basis," Trump said. "So far, nobody has been able to do it, but we have an opportunity now and we are making a commitment to do it."

That was on March 19. On July 23, he amended his pledge. He said that Resorts had big financial pressures and "must straighten out its affairs" first. This meant, he said, that until he completes the costly Taj Mahal — a new casino that he has under construction,which will be the world's largest — the low-income housing will have to wait.

The March commitment got substantial news coverage; the July pullback was hardly noticed.

In an age where smoke is everything, Donald Trump can blow it with the best of them.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Philly Tale - The Donald Trump Story - The Not So Great Gatsby

A Philly Tale

Now that Trump's legacy is turning into toast, maybe it is time to say how somebody like Trump got to where he is now.

In the Seventies, finding a place to hide out from his office responsibilities, young Donald found himself sometimes killing an afternoon watching recent and vintage flicks at an artsy film house in the Village near NYU - all for a buck fifty. 

For some reason this one film house was still showing the bomb of the 1974 Robert Redford's film The Great Gatsby. He of course identified with the rich handsome blond dude Redford aka Gatsby. 

The other story line of Nick and Daisy got lost in the slowness of the firm, so Donald daydreamed which is what he was good at all his life. 

The Nick character reminded him on the one time he ate Pizza in Philly with his ritzy U of P purebreds. Nick reminded him of the time he had a moment of sudden passion in his mind with the girl behind the counter selling the Pizza, one Bridget Sarcone (not her real name). He of course would not ask her to go out on a date in front of his rich friends. Now he put the address of the place on a napkin and vowed to come back alone and talk to Bridget, a mix of Irish and Italian immigrant stock. 

Maybe they could go out on a date and maybe she could introduce him to Philly Cheese Steaks and Italian Hoagies. He had heard about them somewhere in the background noise of the Philly Streets. etc. 

Well Donald's napkin with the address was left in the pocket of a shirt and got laundered and was unreadable and worse than than the ink had bled though and ruined a very expensive made in Hong Kong shirt. 

Watching and fantasizing on those lazy movie afternoons were a prelude to his buying the old 1920s Florida estate of some long forgotten billionaire heiress, Mar-a-Lago, and the decadent Gatsby style parties he would throw there to attract the Bridget Sarcone of his dreams - a dead ringer in his memory of the film persona of Mia Farrow - Daisy - oh the ships that have sailed to Troy and crashed onto the rocks with the image of Mia on their seafaring fevered little brains.

It all came together in his mind, Castle, Estate, Robert Redford, Pizza, Cheese Steak, Hoagie and the dozen times and afternoons he watched that horrible Great Gatsby movie rather than work.

In the end, the movie was real and reality was a movie and Donald Trump's whole life was not even as good as a bomb movie he once watched in a Village film house. 

The End


Saturday, March 18, 2017

"Mick" Mulvaney's Compassionate Catholic Values Budget

I was reminded of some article I wanted to write for a year or two now.

And it is more of a pet peeve and it goes back to the young buck who tried to fire me in my old job because he had a mandate to get rid of me, a whistleblower of sorts to HR about sexual harassment to myself among others and because I was over 50 and the benefits budget for healthcare apparently more so tiered to more and higher actuary figures, high premium tiers for old people. 

That said, the young buck was raised in upstate Westchester county type country and gleaning facts here and there, the bottom line is that Jack was educated from 1st grade to college degree in private Catholic education. 

Nothing wrong with that. But I have noticed this lately of a lot of politicians on the right DO NOT have what I consider traditional Christian values even though the religions checked for them next to a preference or a poll finding box is marked as that of "Christian" and or "Catholic".

Jack the supervisor made a comment to me one day, eating lunch at my desk about the smell. I explained to him that I was eating a tin of sardines in mustard which I did not think smelled. If you want me to eat sweet smelling food, don't ask me to work and to eat in on my lunch hour. Besides it was in the drawer with some crackers in a small tin and I had no money to buy the five dollar baloney sandwich in the company's Manhattan cafeteria, the cheapest item on the menu btw. I would usually go to this nearby fast food Chinese joint Kip's and get a Won Ton soup for a buck and a quarter and eat it outside in a small cubby hole urban park next door summer and winter. Oh the glory of Manhattan wages frozen since Reagan!

Aside from the ascetics of the thing, his look when I announced it was canned fish, I will remember the strange look on his face, to the day I die. One of disgust and of his pseudo-Patrician nose up in the air. How third world of you Mike?

A few more words of poor communication, more from his Catholic college educated side, than from my many self-helped book and college Psych courses labeled as or related to human communication. 

I finally asked if he had ever eaten sardines or canned fish. And again the disgusted look like I was the one covered in shit and he did not approve of my presence. This all in a face to face, my desk top across to a workstation where he was opening Fed EX packages containing certified checks and stock certificates. This is an area a lot of companies cash "The Cage" where raw cash or negotiables like bearer bonds are kept behind locked doors w/o windows.  The "Cage" tag no doubt goes back to 19th century banks, and brokerage houses where such a secured area was usually behind metal bars and locked doors. Of course in the old days, such places also handled gold bars etc. ...

This is where my own life experience kinda went back to being a kid of five and accompanying my father to the supermarket and seeing cans of Underwood Brand sardines in mustard sauce in wrapped cellophane wrappers and the likely price too was like a dime. Ancient American History.

The thought that his kid never had sardines, fish in a can, "Yuk" he said and or gestured in body language was something sad. Something I had shared with my dad was not something this kid shared with his dad. I was ignorant and his son/dad experience of taking Jack out on the golf course at the country club and caddying for dad in the same way he no doubt ever went shopping in a supermarket with anybody other than mom or the illegal nanny. 

Anyway to get to a point where I realize how old and useless this millennial thinks of me and in the line of the new Wharton Global Spreadsheet that reduces humanity to negative assets on that global spreadsheet in corporate American and corporate "Global" earth. 

That something as simple to me as a can of sardines and crackers reminds me of the lack to (of) empathy the ruling class have in dealing with a work force, my old job in fact now outsourced to India, disappearing from the landscape and making dysfunction everywhere, both coasts and flyover country in between, of people educated in private little Catholic colleges in upstate New York and charging tuition little different than Harvard. 

The gate/wall around the gated community extends to the gate around the country club next door and extends to the White Burb Catholic Educated minds of the people who have never eaten fish in cans such as sardines?

I always thought that it was po' people food like sardines, fish, that Jesus multiplied for the mixed crowds, mostly poor, in the desert?

This as an awful long prelude to a point in the news where the White Suburban Catholic Educated (Values) WSCEV Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, an asshole from South Carolina, where else but from where the Civil War started, - 

John Michael "Mick" Mulvaney thought that it was compassionate to chop "Meals on Wheels" from the Trump mean spirited GOP budget. And also how an after school snack for po' kids was also not cost efficient on the Wharton Global Humanity Destroying Spreadsheet. Mulvaney - 1st grade through Georgetown University - Catholic educated and with good Catholic "Values".

Compassion is in the eyes of the beholder. No doubt the guards at Auschwitz thought that they were being compassionate to the Jew getting off the cattle cars from the central cities of Europe. 

Good German Christian and Catholic Values practiced then and greatly unappreciated now as well with "Mick" Mulvaney's Compassionate Catholic Values Budget. 


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Humpty Dumpty - Trumpty Dumpty Queria Una Pared - Wanted a Wall

Trumpty Dumpty wanted a wall, 
lining the border 20 feet tall. 
The Mexican people agreed 
with the lout, 
"We will pay for the thing 
if it keeps Trump out!"

Trumpty Dumpty querĂ­a 
una pared, 
bordeando la frontera 
de 20 pies de altura. 
El pueblo mexicano estuvo  
de acuerdo con el burro, 
"¡Pagaremos por la cosa si 
mantiene a Trump fuera!"