NY Times equates President Trump with a mobster

This is about the strongest attack on Trump I’ve seen from the New York Times (there have been many), and it’s fully justified. It represents the views of the paper’s entire editorial board, so it carries a lot of weight:

If you listened to Sunday’s “60 Minutes” interview with Stephanie Clifford (aka “Stormy Daniels”), as I did, you’ll have heard her recount a chilling story involving a threat. As the Times tells it:

. . . after she sold her story about Mr. Trump to a magazine in 2011, a man approached her in a parking lot, while she was with her infant daughter, and said: “Leave Trump alone. Forget the story.”

“And then he leaned around,” she continued, “and looked at my daughter and said: ‘That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom.’ ”

The hairs stood up on my neck when I heard that, as who else would be behind that other than Trump? And, if that was the case, he’d be acting like a mafiosi.  But this isn’t the only such incident:

Last year, BuzzFeed News reported that in 2009, a lawyer representing investors at risk of losing more than $1 billion in a Trump casino bankruptcy got a frightening phone call from a man who called himself Carmine. If you keep messing “with Mr. Trump,” the caller said, using more pungent language, “we know where you live, and we’re going to your house for your wife and kids.” The F.B.I. found that the call was made from a telephone booth across from the Ed Sullivan Theater, just before Mr. Trump was a guest on the “Late Show With David Letterman” there.

Jebus! Carmine—a name clearly designed to cause extra fear! Could Trump have made that call? Or even asked someone else to do it?

But wait—there’s more!

In 1982, after the New York City housing commissioner, Anthony Gliedman, declined to grant a $20 million tax abatement for Trump Tower, Mr. Gliedman told the New York City police commissioner that he had received a call “threatening his life” over the abatement, according to BuzzFeed. (Mr. Gliedman later went to work for Mr. Trump.)

Now Trump’s lawyer, and the lawyer of his lawyer, deny involvement, so there’s no smoking gun—yet. But I ask you: who else could be behind a pattern of threats issued to those who stand in Trump’s way? Who else would have the motivation to go after Stormy Daniels with the explicit instructions to “leave Trump alone.”

Having seen Trump in office for over a year, I don’t have any trouble believing that the man is a thug and capable of behaving that way. Verbal threats are part and parcel of his Presidency. He may not be threatening people with violence since he took office, but it doesn’t strain credulity to think he did so beforehand. Either way, or even if he’s completely innocent here, this isn’t the man we want running our country. The sooner we can get rid of him, the better. Trump is worse than Reagan and Nixon rolled up in one ball of malevolence, and it’s a nightmare to turn on the news each night. What did the fool do today?

The Times, of course, agrees:

We live at a time when a porn star displays more credibility and class than a president, the president’s lawyers distinguish themselves through swagger more than legal skill, and we seriously wonder just how thuggish the man in the Oval Office is. It seems like a bad dream.

And that’s from the whole editorial board.


  1. yazikus
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Trump has long been known to make calls masquerading as someone else to talk about himself, no? I have no reason to doubt that he either made these calls or directed them.

    • grasshopper
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      President Trump does like to talk about himself. These are the opening words from the song “I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter.”
      I changed one word, as Donald Trump might have written it.

      “I’m gonna sit right down
      And write myself a letter,
      And make believe it came from me.
      I’m gonna write words oh, so sweet
      They’re gonna knock me off of my feet,
      A lot of kisses on the bottom,
      I’ll be glad I got ’em.”

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted March 28, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Permalink


  2. Mark Cagnetta
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Trump used to pretend he was John Baron, a publicist for himself. He’d call newspapers and give them gossip about himself. The man is a bit deranged, to say the least.

    • Carl S
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      Doubt it was Trump or John Barron, but maybe it was David Dennison…

      • GBJames
        Posted March 28, 2018 at 4:06 pm | Permalink


    • dabertini
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      A bit deranged?!! That has to be the understatement of the century. No! Wait, the millennium.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      The Wapo spells the name “Barron” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/03/21/the-amazing-story-of-donald-trumps-old-spokesman-john-barron-who-was-actually-donald-trump-himself/?utm_term=.efcf0d1df744. Barron happens to be the name he gave his youngest son. I wouldn’t speculate on the significance of this other than to observe that he must like the name, but it’s an interesting aside.

      I certainly think he’s capable of making mafia-like threats. Now he’s got bigger fish to threaten, capisce?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted March 28, 2018 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

        I think Trump likes the royal connotations of the word “Baron” (or “Barron,” as he spells it). The Donald’s got a thing for Eurotrash (and apparently for home-grown rough trade, too).

        • Jenny Haniver
          Posted March 28, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

          Ha-ha. You’re right on all counts.

        • Filippo
          Posted March 28, 2018 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

          Anyone know what if any name exists for the U.S. equivalent of Eurotrash? I made a brief attempt locate it on the internet. (There exists the pejorative “white trash,” which of course is something different.)

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted March 28, 2018 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

            There can’t be an equivalent U.S. term – it would imply there’s a breed of young American aristocrats invading foreign lands who are, slovenly fashionable, snobby, pretentious, entitled, wealthy [trust fund – not through work!], skinny & mostly dimwitted by choice of not learning shit.

            There are nearly zero American aristos unless you count the Kennedy clan, the Hiltons, Kardashians & children-of-film-stars & rock stars as the new aristos. Those types don’t seem particularly aware of ‘foreign lands’ unless one counts private jet to Bali, sunning on a yacht at Festival de Cannes & doing the exact same at Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco.

            Some Eurotrash work/play/network in NYC publishing, fashion & medja – perhaps there’s an equivalent group of Americans in London, Milan or Paris, but I don’t know of them. Yah!?

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted March 28, 2018 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

              I was gonna say it might be those Burning Man & Aspen types, but they are really the young upward [& almost entirely male] merchant bankers, venture capitalists & Siliconites + the female gold hunters. Not an equivalent to Eurotrash either.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted March 28, 2018 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

              The closest I can think of were the expatriate American ne’er-do-wells and trust-fund layabouts Hemingway parodied in The Sun Also Rises.

          • Stephen Barnard
            Posted March 28, 2018 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

            Eric and Don Jr., aka Uday and Qusay

  3. Posted March 28, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Trump supporters will not be fazed by this. Trump is a thug, but he is their thug.

    • Posted March 28, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink


    • darrelle
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Worse, many view this as a desirable characteristic for a president. They’ll like him even more for it.

    • Randy Bessinger
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      They only care that he is a self-described “winner”. His supporters don’t care how he wins and even if he does win. They only care if he presents himself as a winner and if he loses, it is another group or persons fault.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      CNN sat with a group of Trump-supporting women as they watched the 60 Minutes interview, then interviewed them afterwards. It didn’t dent their support of Trump one bit. All the things that cause cognitive dissonance etc were on display in their comments. A couple I remember went something like, “I worked really hard to get Mr Trump elected and I’m not going to stop supporting him now,” and, “I know Mr Trump is the right choice and nothing can make me change my mind.”

      They believed Stormy Daniels about having sex, (not about the threat) but said that was between him and the Lord. All believe he was put in the White House by God to do God’s work.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted March 28, 2018 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        That figures. It is okay to cheat all you want on the wife and it is just fine to lie about it and break campaign finance laws and this is all part of g*ds work. In other words g*d is just as sleazy as Trump.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted March 28, 2018 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

          Well, it’s okay if you’re God’s candidate. This is a group that CNN has been going to for years. These same women were criticizing Hillary because Bill had an affair in office. They don’t even recognize the hypocrisy in that. It’s bad because a Democrat did it, and it’s forgivable because a Republican did it.

    • Diane G.
      Posted March 30, 2018 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

      I liked this WaPo opinion piece:


      Trump is essentially invulnerable to moral “scandals” and the more Dems concentrate on them, the more they’re letting him and his henchpeople get away with the really damaging actions and policies.

  4. Posted March 28, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I agree that it is not hard to imagine Trump initiating these threats. We have had the opportunity to develop a fairly comprehensive profile of him through his many crazy statements, body language, and such over the last couple of years. I, for one, feel like I really understand what kind of creature he is and he’s totally capable of doing this. He’s a bully and getting someone else to threaten an enemy is an obvious part of that.

    Perhaps these past threats were not pursued as diligently as they could have. Since he’s now president, I expect there will be a huge interest in tracking down the person that threatened Stormy Daniels. She claims that she would know the person if she saw him. Someone should get a sketch artist involved.

  5. Posted March 28, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    It is very insulting to call Trump a thug. No real thug could have survived at such a level of ineptitude.

    • Posted March 28, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      I know what you mean but anyone who is able to make so much money and get elected President obviously has some skills. I agree, though, he is inept when it comes to the skills needed to be good at the job. His slogan ought to be “No Bad Idea Left Behind”.

      • yazikus
        Posted March 28, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        who is able to make so much money

        Except that there is quite a bit of evidence he hasn’t made near as much as he would like us to think. And it isn’t as if he won the popular vote (or won on his own, either).

        • Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

          It’s just a balloon (inflated with Russian Rubleskis now).

          I look forward to its implosion.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        I’m not going to make a habit of disagreeing with you Paul, but…

        Trump is not skilled at money making nor at money keeping & terrible at cash flow management. His net worth is highly disputable, but it may be less [at today’s prices] than the monies he started out with + regular top up cash from Fred + his share of Fred’s will. Trump has always had cash flow problems & I suspect that’s the door that let in the NYC mob [via the unions] & later the Russians.

        The most likely cash situation with Trump is he’s over-leveraged as usual & only a gentle push puts him in bankruptcy for his 4th [or is it 5th?] time. Presumably he’s learned to hide restart cash here & there since nobody loans him anything these days & his net earnings are from his renting out of name rather than the ownership of anything physical.

        • Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

          I don’t disagree with anything you say here. Still, he obviously has access to funds even if it isn’t his money. His brand is worth something, just not to us. It is also well-known that he is making money off his presidency.

          • yazikus
            Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

            He is a skillful grifter- if one can call that a skill.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

            He’s ‘hand to mouth’ cash poor. Whatever cash is coming in is staving off the wolves – his [if he still owns them] golf courses & associated facilities are loss makers for example.

            My speculative further example: I’m betting he’s already sold the expected profits from his presidential ‘autobiography’ to some speculator for ready cash before there’s even a bidding war & book deal. That’s how he rolls – nothing for a rainy day & dive down the bankruptcy hole occasionally to eternally avoid paying a few hundred creditors. In that sense he’s a negative billionaire – he sucks money out of the futures of honest business.

          • Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

            He hasn’t used up all of his daddy’s money yet. Evidence is accumulating that trump for years laundered money for the mafia, and then for the russian mob.

            • Heather Hastie
              Posted March 28, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

              His Mafia connections are the reason he was unable to get a Visa to enter Australia a few years ago.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted March 28, 2018 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

                Hell, the Aussies gave a visa to Sinatra, even after the scandal with mobbed-up money at the Cal-Neva casino he had a piece of in Tahoe. Of course, the Aussies also wanted him out soon as he insulted a woman reporter. That episode was grist for an entertaining flick, The Night We Called It a Day, with nice turns by Dennis Hopper as Sinatra, and Melanie Griffith as his missus.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      He is inept in a lot of things, but he excels at bullying and zooming in on a person’s weakness to exploit them.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted March 28, 2018 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        Stormy & her counselor seem to have him stymied, though.

        • tomh
          Posted March 28, 2018 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

          One can only hope. The final act hasn’t been played yet, though.

  6. Pliny the in Between
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    It’s not a fair comparison – the mob has had some business success.

    • TJR
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      There’s the thread-winner.

  7. Stephen Barnard
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    The best description of Trump’s administration I’ve heard is, “malevolence tempered by incompetence”.

    • W.T. Effingham
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      And as the great man himself (tRump) will be quick to proclaim, “Don’t ask me. There’s others to bLAME.”

    • Posted March 28, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      I must remember this!

  8. Diana MacPherson
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    I’m reading A World in Disarray by Richard Haas right now and what is chilling is he talks about the importance of statesmanship and diplomacy and how George H W Bush handled the dissolution of the Soviet Union well – how he didn’t gloat or rub anyone’s nose in it because he didn’t want to upset a delicate balance. Imagine Trump in the same situation?

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Yes. Bush the elder and other world leaders went out of their way to save Russia’s face back then. Russia was given all sorts of positions they didn’t really deserve, such as making the G7 the G8. Trump doesn’t even understand why such moves are necessary and important.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      The only one’s that takes Trump seriously (except in the sense of threatening war) is US citizens. 90-95 % of the rest of the world deems him a (tuggish) clown.

      • mikeyc
        Posted March 28, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        Depending on how the question is asked, this is not true.

        For example, clear majorities in seven countries -Russia, Philippines, Vietnam, Israel, Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya – say he is “well qualified to be president” and these same seven countries have a majority of people who say that Trump will “do the right thing regarding world affairs”. In twenty five countries a majority of people say he is a “strong leader”. It is worth noting that there are significant minorities in many other countries that agree with those propositions.

        OTOH, if one asks if they support Trump on the boarder wall with Mexico or withdrawal from climate accords – in no country polled is there a majority who support him. Most people around the world (in many countries by large majorities) see Trump as “arrogant”, “dangerous” and “intolerant”.

        See here; http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/06/26/worldwide-few-confident-in-trump-or-his-policies/

  9. Historian
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Throughout his business career Trump has relied on intimidation, at least of the verbal kind. Many of these actions were taken through his consigliere, Michael Cohen. I think Trump is beginning to realize that this tactic will not work as president. He can no longer intimidate people who threaten him as he was previously able to do by threatening vendors, etc. with lawsuits of which they could not afford attorneys to counter. Now the people he threatens have high quality counsel and Michael Cohen is now all bark and no bite. Much is known about Trump’s business career and more information comes out every day. This may bring the con man down. Of course, his cult followers will stay with him to the end and become more bitter and alienated.

    • GBJames
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure “beginning to realize” actually applies in his case. I don’t think he’s capable of that much intellectual rigor.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted March 28, 2018 at 4:47 pm | Permalink


  10. Randall Schenck
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    The real mystery still to resolve in this case is – What is Trump afraid of here. This entire matter with Stormy has proceeded without one twitter, one comment by him. Only his people have said anything and that is not much. The attorney for Stormy has run circles around Trump’s lawyers and it is about time for his deposition on this whole business. At the same time Mueller is closing in and he has almost no attorneys left to take this on. I suspect a big attempted firing is coming.

    • Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      He’s smart enough to know that he only won his election by a sliver and that sliver has disappeared now all idea of him being the bu. He knows he has to fight for every inch and against all opponents. H also knows that a large factor in his winning was that few expected him to win and stayed home on voting day. It is all about turnout. His opposition is now very, very motivated.

      • Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

        Indeed, as I have pointed out, probably ad nauseum, this is what happens when the Dems don’t (flipping) show up and vote!

  11. TJR
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    We should get Cameron Bancroft to sandpaper Donald Trump’s balls.

    • W.T. Effingham
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      He would need a good magnifying glass.tweezers, and dexterity of the thumbs and forefinger s..sad.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      To make them spin better? 😀

      • John Frum
        Posted March 28, 2018 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        I’m sure you’ve heard Heather (it’s headline news here in Oz) about the Australian cricket team rubbing the balls with sandpaper.
        But it doesn’t make them spin better. More like unpredictably from what I’ve read.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted March 28, 2018 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

          Spin better? Unpredictably?

          Roughening one side of the cricket ball has no effect at all on the spin. The roughening [& polishing of the other hemisphere] disrupts the laminar airflow near the spinning balls surface. The disruption being different in each hemisphere – this produces a net force on the ball across the direction of flight. Depending on how you backspin the ball & the angle of the stitched seam on the ball [which defines the two hemispheres I mention above] the bowler can get the ball to…

          [1] drift sideways in the air much more than with a ‘legally’ roughened ball [swing bowling]. Or

          [2] Dip to the ground quicker than normal.

          Then the ball bounces & the spin contacting the grass [& sometimes an artfully concealed bump in the ground] will take the ball off in a new direction.

          Unpredictable if you’re the unfortunate batter I suppose!
          [I’m a non-cricketer so probably some of the above is wrong/simplified]

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted March 28, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, I’ve heard about it. We’ve been discussing it a lot on my site, and it’s big news in NZ too.

  12. Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    He may not be threatening people with violence since he took office

    Apart from everybody in North Korea, you mean?

    • yazikus
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      And John McCain.

      • Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        And everyone in S. Korea

  13. Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Trump is phony and mendacious through and through.

    No one should be surprised at anything he does.

    When the banks in the US gave up on him, he went to the Russians. This why he loves Russia so much: They are holding his paper!

    He used to call journalists calling himself John Barron.

    Everything (everything) about Trump is fake.

    • Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      I agree. The most likely source of his Russia love is that he owes them money. Everything is political in Russia so he’s right to worry. He knows they can out-thug him.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted March 28, 2018 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        I think it’s more than just owing them money. I think the money is from illegal sources, and the Kompromat is proof Trump knows that.

        • Posted March 28, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

          Agreed, it is much deeper (in the sh!t) than just standard loans. There is a oligarchy/kleptocracy running Russia, with Putin at its head. I would be quite certain the stuff is dirty money.

          I’m sure, for the Russian mob, it seems like a great way to launder/move the money.

          I have a good friend who tried to do business in Russia and Ukraine in the 90s. The place was run by the mob.

          • Merilee
            Posted March 28, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink


          • Heather Hastie
            Posted March 28, 2018 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

            My theory (many have a similar one – it’s no great brilliance on my part!) Putin used them to cement his power. He allowed a particular group in key positions to get very rich to enable him to control the country. He has become richest of all. Reliable estimates say he has amassed a personal fortune of $200 billion and is the richest person in the world.

            Despite the huge corruption he engages in and sponsors amongst his cronies, he pretends to be the great moralizer with his people. He’s making a big show of coming down on those whose corruption resulted in the fire in Siberia. This obviously makes him popular and makes it look like he’s moral even when he’s actually the opposite.

            I have no problem whatsoever believing your friend’s experience.

  14. Mike Cracraft
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    We may not be able to see Trump’s tax returns in the near future, but be patient, a day of reckoning is coming in November.

  15. Historian
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    My greatest fear is that as Mueller’s noose tightens around his neck, as a diversion Trump may start a war against either North Korea or Iran. Some day historians may look back and chronicle how one man brought ruination to the world for the sole purpose of saving his own neck. With John Bolton as National Security Advisor, such a scenario is well within the realm of plausibility.

    • yazikus
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Global instability is always a win for the robber-barons. He’ll profit from it, I’m sure, when he does start a war (and I have no doubt that if he is able to, he will).

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Watching the news shows last night with the following new reports – A group of congressmen, maybe 15 or so, sent specific letters to the next 5 in line after the current deputy of Justice. The letter asks for their assurance, as already given by the deputy, that they would not fire Mueller without good cause. So now we wait to see the response from each. This is another channel of protection they are attempting to get. The other long held bill put forth in the congress to protect Mueller remains hung up by the republicans, I mean the Putin party.

      • tomh
        Posted March 28, 2018 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        A promise is just that, a promise, signifying very little. Aside from that, if Trump decides to fire Mueller, there are ways to do it. Of course, with Trump, it won’t be a carefully plotted strategy, it will be a spur of the moment temper tantrum.

    • darrelle
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      I came up with a new fearful scenario just today. Hopefully it is completely implausible. But . . ., as the pressure on Trump from the investigations builds Putin decides that Trump has become too much of a liability, or perhaps just follows his apparent SOP for dealing with people that don’t stay bought, and has him assassinated. And convincing evidence that Putin was behind it readily comes to light. Whether the attempt fails or is successful, I’m not sure which result would be worse. Probably if it fails because Trump in charge while the US goes after Russia would probably be worse than just about anybody else being in charge as the US goes after Russia.

      In either case, the US put in a position in which it almost certainly would respond with military action of some sort with the likes of Russia would be about as bad as it could get I think.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted March 28, 2018 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think Putin would need to go to so much trouble. Putin would just deny any accusations against Russia and then go on his way.

        • darrelle
          Posted March 28, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

          That does seem to be much more likely. But yesterday I was reading stories about how Putin, allegedly, has been killing (or having killed) people that have crossed him or become liabilities for years and that this is well known among certain folks. One thing that does seem plausible to me is that Putin is capable of killing people that cross him to make a point and or for revenge. And given that Putin does seem to have his own fair share of narcissism it seems like he would purely love to off a US president and have everyone suspect it was him but not have any good evidence to justify serious political action against him. But it doesn’t seem probable that he would believe he could pull something like that off.

          Interestingly some of those stories speculated that Putin might not have good control of the criminal elements that he associates with and that he may be more beholden to them rather than the other way around.

          I’ve got no idea if any of that is even remotely accurate.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted March 28, 2018 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

            Putin is clever though – he wouldn’t risk taking on a full on war with the US for his narcissism. Think of how much he hated Hilary! He’s a vain narcissist but I think if you put him on a scale with Trump, Trump’s narcissism would be much more strongly mixed with sociopathy. Killing the leader of the most powerful country in the world, would be too risky and he would get little benefit for it. When Putin offs people, he often does so to send a message – hence the sloppy killings in the UK. He wants you to know it was him and he wants you to know you can’t do anything about it. When he kills off his enemies they are usually domestic ones though I’m sure there is lots I don’t know.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted March 28, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink


            “…Interestingly some of those stories speculated that Putin might not have good control of the criminal elements that he associates with and that he may be more beholden to them rather than the other way around.

            I’ve got no idea if any of that is even remotely accurate.”

            According to Business Insider:-

            “…Former Russian government adviser Stanislav Belkovsky estimated [Putin’s] fortune is worth $70 billion. Hedge fund manager Bill Browder**, a noted critic of Putin, claimed it was more like $200 billion. A fortune that enormous would propel him straight past Amazon founder and richest man in the world Jeff Bezos, who Forbes estimates has $125.6 billion to his name.

            ** Browder & Putin don’t get on. I expect to see Browder in the press soon on the wrong end of an unfortunate accident, illness or ‘suicide’.

            It is my impression that the criminal elements: motorcycle gangs, the highly organised football hooligans, Chechen gangsters [who sold out their people for Moscow], the Russian, Georgian criminal element who infest Spain, Cyprus, London etc, the Voya & so on are ALL instruments, home & abroad of the SVR, GRU & the FSB – from assassinations to supplying Black Money for ops abroad. The organised criminals back in 2000 feared Putin would put a spanner in their schemes, but what he actually did was stop the inter-gang wars & bring prosperity & peace to all the gangs that bent their knee to him & his Kremlin buddies – the biggest gang in town.

            And if anyone wants to argue with him he has a loyal, compliant military & para-military police to crush some skulls.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Iran is the most likely. Bolton wants to tear up the Iran deal, and has previously advocated a preemptive strike on them.

      However, I suspect the other signatories will stand strong, and so will Iran. It will depend on whether Netanyahu thinks a war will work in his favour to get him out of his current dilemma. That’s unlikely.

      The only one likely to stand with Trump is Saudi Arabia, and a lot of the world are looking for an excuse to pay them back for introducing Islamist extremism.

      So the US will be isolated diplomatically and Iran will look like the adults in the room.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted March 28, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        Yeah I thought Iran as well. What worries me is Trump tends not to listen to his advisors and would just nuke Iran.

        • W.Benson
          Posted March 28, 2018 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

          John Bolton will be his new national security adviser!

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      I think the odds of that just increased by an order of magnitude with Trump’s installing ultimate war hawk John Bolton as National Security Advisor. All Trump needs is Bolton whispering in his ear that a peremptory strike on NoKo or Iran will show the world once and for all what big balls he has.

    • Posted March 28, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Yes, this has been pretty standard for crappy GOP presidents since Reagan: Get reelected by starting a war.

      W upped the ante. I’m sure der Drumpfenführer doesn’t want to be “out-toughed” by a Bush!

      Several of my friends and colleagues have said ” … I just hope he doesn’t get us into a shooting war with North Korea …”

      • W.Benson
        Posted March 28, 2018 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        If a shooting war with N. Korea begins, can a shooting war with China be far behind?

  16. Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    For those that are interested these is a documentary about how Trump bullied and intimidated the residents of a part of Scotland he wanted to build a golf course on

    I sent a copy to the counsellors of Clare County in Ireland (Doonbeg is where Trump is building a wall to protect his golf course from climate change) to try to show them that even when he bribes official (rather than bullying them) he never pays up. Fat lot of good I did…

    • GBJames
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      Please say you addressed it to “… County Clare”! 😉

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      I live in the US and when I clicked the screenshot, I got this message: “This video contains content from [Merlin] Beggars, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.” When I Googled this entity, and read the Wiki for “Merlin,” it went to “Merlin Network,” and stated that it “is the global digital rights agency for the world’s independent label sector…” I also found
      a plethora of complaints and accusations of allegedly illegal video takedowns because of copyright claims, even for a small snippet of music in a video otherwise free from this sort of copyright constraint.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted March 28, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        I wonder if I made a video and uploaded it to Youtube, or published a story using the name Merlin Beggars as a character in the story (an evil character, to be sure), would this entity attempt to censor me because I used this name? I’d love to try.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted March 28, 2018 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

          Merlin Network taking advantage of the broken DMCA system on Google/YouTube. It’s gone on for years & Google have done feck all about it – Google get more ad revenue when Merlin wins the case & monetizes the track. We needz a Taylor Swift type to give Google a kick in the balls the way she sorted out Apple almost overnight.

      • Lizard Breath
        Posted March 28, 2018 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        It’s available (both as a DVD and Hoopla streaming) from my library. You might check your library if you are motivated. It is quite good (in an appalling kind of way).

  17. sensorrhea
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    He’s the first American president with aliases.

    “John Barron”
    “John Miller”
    “David Dennison”
    “Carmine” (apparently)

    Did I leave any out?

  18. Posted March 28, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Trump is a sociopath and about as unscupulous as can be throughout his bogus career. Once in power we seer echos of something worse than criminal: “Fake News”. Fake News is really just an echo of the Goebbelsian “Big Lie”. Completely turning the world/truith upside down. Sociopaths always leave a trail of Chaos and tears. And so he does.

  19. Posted March 28, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Mobster? Yes.

    Trump’s Russian Laundromat

    Over the past three decades, at least 13 people with known or alleged links to Russian mobsters or oligarchs have owned, lived in, and even run criminal activities out of Trump Tower and other Trump properties. Many used his apartments and casinos to launder untold millions in dirty money.
    Some ran a worldwide high-stakes gambling ring out of Trump Tower—in a unit directly below one owned by Trump. Others provided Trump with lucrative branding deals that required no investment on his part. Taken together, the flow of money from Russia provided Trump with a crucial infusion of financing that helped rescue his empire from ruin, burnish his image, and launch his career in television and politics.

    “They saved his bacon,” says Kenneth McCallion, a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Reagan administration who investigated ties between organized crime and Trump’s developments in the 1980s.

    It’s entirely possible that Trump was never more than a convenient patsy for Russian oligarchs and mobsters, with his casinos and condos providing easy pass-throughs for their illicit riches.”…”

  20. Michael Fisher
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    An old & great Politico story: Trump, Roy Cohn, the Genovese & Gambino crime families, ready-mix concrete & going to bat for a drug trafficker

  21. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Trump also casts a hypnotic spell over a section of the populace like a weird combination of Hitler and Tolkien’s Saruman. Acolytes of his such as Sean Hannity act like characters under an evil enchantment. (Edmund in C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” comes to mind.)

    Nixon was a malignant shark who surrounded himself by equally bad people like G. Gordon Liddy, but he was smarter and much more politically seasoned than Trump.
    IMO Reagan was a good man who was a bad president, manipulated by darker forces on the right (almost their stooge) and showed the effects of old age and deep emotional wounds.

    It has been observed that while Trump is not particularly like the typical villains of Star Wars or Sherlock Holmes, he is a LOT like a typical James Bond villain. After his election Reddit ran a quiz of 20 quotes, 10 from James Bond villains and 10 from Trump. (They later did one on Republican Congressmen and Margaret Atwood’s “The Handsmaid Tale”.) The quotes were a bit hard to tell apart.
    And the physical resemblance between Trump and Bond baddie Auric Goldfinger has been widely noted.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      I think that section of the populace who likes Trump, probably likes bullies when they are on their side. There is something appealing about a sociopath when they are on your side yelling at the people you don’t like. I believe James Fallon mentions this in his book about his own sociopathy, The Psychopath Inside.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted March 28, 2018 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        “There is something appealing about a sociopath when they are on your side yelling at the people you don’t like.”

        As Hitler and Goebbels knew very well.

        But I’m probably maligning Hitler by that comparison – there seems to be plenty of evidence that Hitler actually had considerable personal charisma.


    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      “Do you expect me to talk, Muellerfinger?”

      “No Mr. Trump; I expect you to die resign.”

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted March 28, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        OMG that made me laugh out loud!

    • Posted March 28, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      He really did not deserve that, the great Gert Fröbe! Not enough that he often had to portray the villain in the movie, now his character head has to serve as a symbol for Trump …

      After Fröbe had admitted in an interview with the Daily Mail in 1965 that he was a member of the NSDAP in 1929 (from which he resigned in 1937), his films were put on the index in Israel. However, the ban was lifted eight weeks later, when it became known that during the period of National Socialism, Fröbe helped hide a Jewish family from the National Socialists and provided them with food.

      • JonLynnHarvey
        Posted March 28, 2018 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        Frobe was cast as Goldfinger due to his effective performance as a serial child murderer in the German film Es geschah am hellichten Tag (It Happened in Broad Daylight), a film little seen outside Germany.

        He had a more appealing role in “Is Paris Burning?” as the Nazi general who betrayed Hitler, and surrendered Paris to the Allies rather than leveling it as Hitler ordered. (Dietrich von Choltitz).

        However, outside Goldfinger, I have only seen Frobe in a 5 minute cameo in “Mr. Arkadin”, easily the worst film Orson Welles ever directed.

        • Rod
          Posted March 28, 2018 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

          Check “Thse Magnificent Men in Their Fying Machines”
          sometimes I can’t type 0h!!! Sticky key!

  22. Randall Schenck
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    By the way, heard the new name Trump has obtained from the Stormy interview? Spanky.

    • Mark R.
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Can’t wait for the SNL skit!

  23. Hempenstein
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Remember the spots for Hillary during the campaign with contractors that Tr*mp had stiffed? I remember one was a guy who owned a piano store and another was an architect. Those spots suddenly disappeared, for reasons I’ve long suspected were similar to Stormy’s encounter in the parking lot.

    Also, just before sending, I noticed that WordPress auto-filled my name etc. with ones I don’t use on this website. What’s up with that???

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      What happens when you click “Author Website” in right sidebar? Do you go straight through or get a certificate warning? Some WEIT behaviour has changed of late.

      • Hempenstein
        Posted March 28, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        Hmm, Firefox wouldn’t connect to it, saying it was improperly configured. ???!

        To also add to what I wrote above, WP had auto-filled a website for me, which turned out to be my FB page. I remember asking a question on another page that made me link to my FB page to ask it – something I’ve always avoided in the past – so this may have something to do with that, and correcting things back to normal procedure seems to have stopped the revisionist auto-fill.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted March 28, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

          Are you logged into a wordpress account anywhere?

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted March 28, 2018 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

          That explains it

    • Diane G.
      Posted March 30, 2018 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      Now if only we could figure out why they periodically prevent some of us from subscribing to a site/post. Me, for instance.

  24. Jon Gallant
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Let us not forget a 2016 lead article in Counterpunch, which bills itself as “the fearless voice of the American Left”, a few days after the November election. The fearless voice’s house philosopher, one Andrew Levine, was so overjoyed by the Democratic Party’s defeat that he wrote as follows: “The good news is that Hillary Clinton won’t be starting World War III.
    …For this, thank Donald Trump. Remember him on Thanksgiving Day. …We must never lose sight, however, of the underlying cause of the Trump phenomenon – the Clintonite (neoliberal, liberal imperialist, anti-working class) turn in American, especially Democratic Party, politics.”

    The whole piece can be enjoyed at:

    • W.Benson
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      As bad as things are with Trump, with Hillary – we never heard what she said in those Wall Street speeches – it could have been both worse and harder to wiggle out of.

  25. jhs
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    One has to wonder how many people have been paid off by Trump to keep quiet about his wrongdoings.

  26. Ken Kukec
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Whaddya ‘spect from a guy learned the ropes from Roy Cohn?

    Flim-flam and bunco are more Trump’s personal style rather than muscle, but I wouldn’t put it past him to hire a strong-arm guy to wreak fear in an enemy’s life. And I sure wouldn’t put it past him to have made the “Carmine” call. Trump’s got a history of impersonating people on the blower; he used to make calls claiming to be “Mr. Trump’s publicist,” under the pseudonyms “John Barron” and “John Miller.” And he’s the only POTUS ever to have a porn name — “David Dennison.” (It is a very bad porn name.)

    • darrelle
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Should’a been Harry Merkinkopf.

  27. Merilee
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink


  28. J. Quinton
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    As a native New Yorker, it was well known that most of his early successes came from his ties to the mob. They taught him everything he “knows”.

    So much so, that… well…


  29. Ken Kukec
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I suspect — and much more than suspect, if Trump follows legal advice (which is far from assured) — that we may be witness to the spectacle of a sitting United States president pleading the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination in response to a federal grand jury subpoena (something Trump said, in response to Hillary’s aides being granted immunity in the investigation over her email server, that only guilty mobsters would do).

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      So from the Fifth the next step is impeach?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted March 28, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        If the Dems retake the House in November, the Judiciary Committee will convene public hearings next year, and the nation will be treated to a Rodino-like airing of all Trump’s dirty laundry on daily tv. I expect Trump’s popularity will then slip to its deplorable minima, and congressional Republicans at long, long last, may finally find their long-lost spines, so that an investigation worthy of the name can move forward.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted March 28, 2018 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

          We should appreciate what a political hot-seat congressional Republicans are on right now. There has never been a US president as unpopular as Trump is at this stage of his presidency. And the GOP is down double-digits in the so-called “generic ballot” for congressional preferences in the coming election. If they stick with Trump, all signs are that congressional Republicans will drown in a blue wave this Fall. But if they turn on Trump, his hardcore deplorable base will stay home — or worse yet for the GOP, run some third-party candidates of their own. In which case, the Party will be in for an even worse beating.

          • Posted March 28, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

            Sounds good, but never underestimate the ability of the Democratic leadership to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted March 28, 2018 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

          I should think by then, if the Dems retake the house and Senate, Mueller should be able to deliver all that is needed to send him on his way.

  30. Posted March 28, 2018 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    “Seems like a bad dream”
    and a nightmare for the American history book.

    An orange clown right in the middle of it. Laughable if it weren’t so dangerous (potentially) and a mark on human cognitive behaviour in the 21st century.
    My wider view of this shambolic administration is like a brake on progressive ideas but, to be optimistic, it may herald a new direction. If you can go from Obama to Trump the reverse is also possible.
    But, i suspect it’s going to need some big heavy winches to get out of this quagmire.

  31. Historian
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    This Washington Post story on Trump supporters notes that a recent poll revealed that 61% of Republicans consider Trump a good role model for children. Only 2% of Democrats felt this way. Who is nuts?


    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      I never again want to hear these hypocrites claim “character counts” — or to hear Evangelicals proclaim they’re supporting “the more godly candidate.”

      • Posted May 2, 2018 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

        Who knew that golden showers would be a”Christian” value?

  32. allison
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    “Carmine—a name clearly designed to cause extra fear!”

    What’s so scary about “carmine”?

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      Mental associations with the bearers of that name:

      Carmine “The Cigar” Galante
      NYC Bonanno crime family ex-boss [d. 1979]

      Carmine “The Snake” Persico
      NYC Colombo crime family boss today although in jail until 2050

      Carmine “Mr Gribbs” Tramunti
      NYC Lucchese crime family ex-boss [d. 1978]

      Carmine “the King of Wall Street” Lombardozzi
      NYC Gambino crime family highest earner[d. 1992]

      Carmine Caputo
      Carmine Carini
      Carmine Schiavone
      Carmine Verduci
      Carmine “Spanish Garcia”
      Carmine Russo
      Carmine “Papa Smurf” Franco
      Carmine DiBiase

      And many more I suppose

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted March 28, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        I think I should name my next betta fish Carmine.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted March 28, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

          I’ve never seen one of those & had to look it up. Beaut! Make sure it’s a deep red one then.

          Wot I just found out: Carmine means “crushed beetles” because the dye “carmine” or “cochineal” comes the scale insect known as the cochineal Dactylopius coccus [which ain’t a beetle as it happens]

          • Merilee
            Posted March 28, 2018 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

            So what are cochineals if dey ain’t beetles? I’ve dyed some yarn using the little critters. Beautiful red.

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted March 28, 2018 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

              Since you asked I had to go look.

              Cochineal are one species in the order Hemiptera [or true bugs] of 80,000 species – all of em have a tube for a mouth & don’t do metamorphosis. So you have bedbugs, aphids, cicadas & our colourful dye beastie as examples

              Beetles are all the species in the order Coleoptera of which there’s well north of 400,000 species. Mostly all of them have front wings hardened into a shell.

              I like beetles – they remind me of busy little armoured tanks. The true bugs are not my cup of tea with the sneaky tube sucking of blood & innards, gimme honest beetle mandibles any day.

              • Merilee
                Posted March 28, 2018 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

                I have been educated. Thanks, Michael!
                Not mad for bedbugs myself. In my post-uni gap year, toodling around Europe with a friend and sleeping in all manner of flea-pits, the one time we decided to spring for a semi-civilized room, in gay Paree, we got eaten alive by the little buggers. Pas de punaises ici, said the concierge. Yeah, right. It was then I learned that in French the word for bedbug is the same as for thumb tack. Makes some kind of sense…

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted March 28, 2018 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

                Bloody Parisians! Literally.

              • Filippo
                Posted March 29, 2018 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

                I’m impressed how Noah kept track of all of them, preventing anteaters, etc., from eating them.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted March 29, 2018 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

                Ah well all the flood era anteaters & all the insects were vegetarian – I guess anteaters had a different name too.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted March 28, 2018 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        And let us not forget Carmine Lupertazi, the boss of the Brooklyn crime family on The Sopranos. As well as his son, “Little Carmine” — fictional mob-world’s king of malaprop. Some of his lines would make me laugh so hard, it was all I could do to keep from coughing ziti up through my nose.

        • mikeyc
          Posted March 28, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

          I’ll add Carmine Basilio – world welterweight champ who defeated the one and only Sugar Ray Robinson for the middleweight title in one of the best bouts in boxing history in front of 40,000 people at Yankee Stadium in 1957.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted March 28, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

          Ha! “Very observant, the sacred & the propane”

          • Merilee
            Posted March 28, 2018 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

            Precipice of a crossroad…Versales…trump loil

        • Historian
          Posted March 28, 2018 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

          There was also Carmine DeSapio. He was the lost political boss of Tammany Hall in NYC that controlled municipal politics.

          • Historian
            Posted March 28, 2018 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

            Make that last political boss.

      • allison
        Posted March 28, 2018 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, I know nothing about mafia persons.

  33. Posted March 28, 2018 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    You mean Trump isn’t a mobster?

  34. Jon Gallant
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    In my family, we always had fond memories of cousin Carmine “The Cigar” Galante, a member of our Sicilian branch. In fact, the prevalence of hitmen in my family led us to form a small business dedicated to academic assassination. Our motto is: “Let us help your university enemies to sleep among the pisces.” See:


    • Michael Fisher
      Posted March 28, 2018 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      What a great extended family! A great pity Bishop didn’t get to know of your services in time. Don’t agree with the recommended Sig P226 MK-25 9mm 4.4 with threaded barrel and Siglite night sights however – too fancy for close work. Recommend a stolen car or a nice, clean hefty steel tube.

  35. wiseape108
    Posted March 29, 2018 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Have the kids gone to bed? Good. I think it’s sweet the way you all pretend that the muppet Donald Trump is a real person. But how come he doesn’t have his own song?

  36. Posted April 1, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Terrifying stuff.

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