Archive for the ‘Donald Trump’ Category


The skeletons are still tumbling out. It has become clear that Facebook is now one of the biggest threats to the western liberal democracy. This is the message from the latest scandal that the company, along with data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica, finds itself embroiled in. The story is still linked to Russia meddling in the US presidential election that saw Donald Trump racing ahead of Hillary Clinton. But around two years after the talk of this meddling started, the contours of the whole operation are coming into sharper focus. And it is in this big picture we meet Cambridge Analytica.

A lot has been said about how Cambridge Analytica worked with the Trump camp to target US voters and how it got data to build psychological profiles of voters from Facebook, so I am going to keep it short. But here is the takeaway: the data that Facebook has on people, and the way this data can be used to build very detailed profiles of people — including their socio-economic conditions, their orientation, their fears, their desires and their political leanings — give companies like Facebook or whoever uses this data an unprecedented leeway. It gives people, companies and organisations that have this data the ability to impact elections in very direct and nefarious ways.

The scandal involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica angered regulators and lawmakers in the US and Europe. In the US, senators are leading fresh inquiries into just how much Facebook, which probably knows its users better than the users themselves, is responsible for the US presidential debacle.

fb-690_032018060558.jpg It gives people, companies and organisations that have this data the ability to impact elections in very direct and nefarious ways. Photo: AP

The regulators in the UK are probing Cambridge Analytica and its role in BREXIT vote, in which against all expectations “leave” triumphed over “remain”. The European regulators are taking a fresh look at whether Facebook violated the EU privacy laws or not by allowing its data to be used by Cambridge Analytica.

There are calls to regulate Facebook and streamline its privacy policies. There are calls to force Mark Zuckerberg, one of the most powerful persons in the world right now given how much private data his company has on nearly two billion people, to testify in senate hearings.

But even as the rest of the democratic world takes a look at the threat Facebook is posing to the functional democracy, in Malaysia there is no talk on this matter. The Election Commission is either turning a blind eye to it or is probably woefully ignorant about the ways in which foreign countries can use Facebook to influence elections in Malaysia. It’s not unthinkable. Russians allegedly used Facebook to influence the US elections. There are signs that BREXIT too was a vote that was influenced with social media campaigns.

In fact, Cambridge Analytica has said on record that it has worked with political parties for elections in Malaysia. CA Political Global managing director Mark Turnbull had revealed to an undercover Channel 4 reporter that the firm did work in Malaysia. On its website, CA says it “supported BN in Kedah state with a targeted messaging campaign highlighting their school improvements since 2008”. BN took back Kedah from the opposition in GE13, winning 21 out of 36 state seats, and 10 out of 15 parliamentary seats.

It reportedly worked with the Barisan National, with help of its Malaysian partner in Kedah in the 2013 GE13 and got a success rate of 90 per cent on the seats for which it provided inputs.

Yet, in Malaysia, the Election Commission is not looking at how Facebook, or for that matter social media and tools like WhatsApp, can be used by outsiders or by people with dubious aims to influence elections. May be it is already happening. If the presidential election in the US has been influenced by outsiders, what guarantee do we have that some country hasn’t tried to shape elections in Malaysia using Facebook or WhatsApp?

The process with which voters can be targeted to influence an election unfairly has been made very easy due to all the data collected by Facebook. And the company, so far, has been fairly cavalier about sharing this data. If you are an advertiser, Facebook is mostly more than happy to share even the most private details of its users with you. If you wave money, it will even let you micro-target the voters so that you can influence their franchise.

The Election Commission in Malaysia is supposed to guard elections from exactly the kind of threat that Facebook poses. There is a reason why exit polls in Malaysia have to be made public only after voting has ended. There is a reason why during the campaigning there exists a model code of conduct. There is a reason why politicians can’t say some things in their speeches, or political parties can’t induce people by giving them money on voting day.

But using Facebook and WhatsApp, chances are that political parties, or for that matter even actors outside Malaysia, can bypass the model code of conduct and break the whole democracy. Facebook data, in a way, can let political parties and organisations play on the fears of the voters, instead of their hopes. It can help politicians reach deep within the minds of voters, using algorithms and big data. In tech parlance, you can say that it can let parties and organisations hack into the minds of voters, and the Cambridge Analytica scandal shows that this can be done by just collecting and analysing the likes and videos that people post on Facebook.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal is a wake-up call. The lessons from the last US election were alarming, but the latest scandal involving Facebook shows just how badly social media is damaging democracy. It’s time for Malaysia to have a conversation about big data, how it influences elections, the micro-targeting of voters and just how much control Facebook should be allowed to have over people’s lives.

We need to have this conversation now because in the next 100 days or so we will be voting in the general election – GE14

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President Trump’s lawyer secretly obtained a temporary restraining order last week to prevent a pornographic film star from speaking out about her alleged affair with Mr. Trump, according to legal documents and interviews.

The details of the order emerged on Wednesday after the White House’s spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said that Mr. Trump’s lawyer had won an arbitration proceeding against Ms. Clifford, who goes by the name of Stormy Daniels.

Ms. Sanders’s statement put the White House in the middle of a story that Mr. Trump and his lawyer had been trying to keep quiet for well over a year. The turn of events created the spectacle of a sitting president using legal maneuvers to avoid further scrutiny of salacious accusations of an affair and a payoff involving the porn star.

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The actress, known as Stormy Daniels, had prepared to speak publicly about her alleged affair with Mr. Trump.

The social network, more than any other technology tool, was singled out on Friday by the Justice Department when prosecutors charged 13 Russians and three companies for executing a scheme to subvert the 2016 election and support Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign. In a 37-page indictment, officials detailed how the Russians repeatedly turned to Facebook and Instagram, often using stolen identities to pose as Americans, to sow discord among the electorate by creating Facebook groups, distributing divisive ads and posting inflammatory images.

The special counsel’s indictment detailed how crucial Facebook and Instagram were to the Russian campaign to disrupt the presidential election.

Since our Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had received a US681 million donation from a Saudi prince, this story is appropriate but has no relations to the donation.

The sweeping campaign of arrests in the Saudi royal household appears to be the latest move to consolidate the power of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman 32, the favorite son and top adviser of King Salman.

Among those arrested is Prince Alwaleed, who controls the investment firm Kingdom Holding and is one of the world’s richest men, has major stakes in News Corp, Time Warner, Citigroup, Twitter, Apple, Motorola and many other well-known companies. He also controls satellite television networks watched across the Arab world. Prince Alwaleed was giving interviews to the Western news media as recently as late last month about subjects like so-called crypto currencies and Saudi Arabia’s plans for a public offering of shares in its state oil company, Aramco. He has also recently sparred publicly with President Donald J. Trump. The prince was part of a group of investors who bought control of the Plaza Hotel in New York from Mr. Trump, and he also bought an expensive yacht from him as well. But in a twitter message in 2015 the prince called Mr. Trump “a disgrace not only to the GOP but to all America.”

As powerful as the billionaire is, he is something of an outsider within the royal family — not a dissident, but an unusually outspoken figure on a variety of issues. He openly supported women driving long before the kingdom said it would grant them the right to do so, and he has long employed women in his orbit.
In 2015 he pledged to donate his fortune of $32 billion to charity after his death. It was unclear Saturday whether Saudi Arabia’s corruption committee might seek to confiscate any of his assets.

Salman’s consolidation is reminscent of Aurangazeb’s. The four sons of Shah Jahan all held governorships during their father’s reign. The emperor favoured the eldest, Dara Shukoh. This had caused resentment among the younger three, who sought at various times to strengthen alliances between themselves and against Dara. There was no Mughal tradition of primogeniture, the systematic passing of rule, upon an emperor’s death, to his eldest son. Aurangazeb in turn killed Dara Shikoh, Shah Shuja and Murad.

Aurangzeb was a notable expansionist and during his reign, the Mughal Empire reached its greatest extent, ruling over nearly all of the Indian subcontinent. During his lifetime, victories in the south expanded the Mughal Empire to 4 million square kilometres, and he ruled over a population estimated to be over 158 million subjects, with an annual yearly revenue of $450 million (more than ten times that of his contemporary Louis XIV of France), or £38,624,680 (2,879,469,894 rupees) in 1690. Under his reign, India surpassed China to become the world’s largest economy, worth over $90 billion, nearly a quarter of world GDP in 1700. The decline of the Mughal Empire began soon after he died in 1707.

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Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the world’s richest men, was reportedly arrested in Saudi Arabia on Saturday. Credit Ishara S.Kodikara/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

LONDON — Saudi Arabia announced the arrest on Saturday night of the prominent billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, plus at least 10 other princes, four ministers and tens of former ministers.

The announcement of the arrests was made over Al Arabiya, the Saudi-owned satellite network whose broadcasts are officially approved. Prince Alwaleed’s arrest is sure to send shock waves both through the Kingdom and the world’s major financial centers.

He controls the investment firm Kingdom Holding and is one of the world’s richest men, with major stakes in News Corp, Time Warner, Citigroup, Twitter, Apple, Motorola and many other well-known companies. The prince also controls satellite television networks watched across the Arab world.

The sweeping campaign of arrests appears to be the latest move to consolidate the power of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the favorite son and top adviser of King Salman.

At 32, the crown prince is already the dominant voice in Saudi military, foreign, economic and social policies, stirring murmurs of discontent in the royal family that he has amassed too much personal power, and at a remarkably young age.

The king had decreed the creation of a powerful new anti-corruption committee, headed by the crown prince, only hours before the committee ordered the arrests.

Al Arabiya said that the anticorruption committee has the right to investigate, arrest, ban from travel, or freeze the assets of anyone it deems corrupt.

The Ritz Carlton hotel in Riyadh, the de facto royal hotel, was evacuated on Saturday, stirring rumors that it would be used to house detained royals. The airport for private planes was closed, arousing speculation that the crown prince was seeking to block rich businessmen from fleeing before more arrests.

Prince Alwaleed was giving interviews to the Western news media as recently as late last month about subjects like so-called crypto currencies and Saudi Arabia’s plans for a public offering of shares in its state oil company, Aramco.

He has also recently sparred publicly with President Donald J. Trump. The prince was part of a group of investors who bought control of the Plaza Hotel in New York from Mr. Trump, and he also bought an expensive yacht from him as well. But in a twitter message in 2015 the prince called Mr. Trump “a disgrace not only to the GOP but to all America.”

Mr. Trump fired back, also on Twitter, that “Dopey Prince @Alwaleed_Talal wants to control our U.S. politicians with daddy’s money.”

As president, Mr. Trump has developed a warm, mutually supportive relationship with the ascendant crown prince, who has rocketed from near obscurity in recent years to taking control of the country’s most important functions.

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At 32, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is already the dominant voice in Saudi military, foreign, economic and social policies. Credit Fayez Nureldine/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

But his swift rise has also divided Saudis. Many applaud his vision, crediting him with addressing the economic problems facing the kingdom and laying out a plan to move beyond its dependence on oil.

Others see him as brash, power-hungry and inexperienced, and they resent him for bypassing his elder relatives and concentrating so much power in one branch of the family.

At least three senior White House officials, including the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, were reportedly in Saudi Arabia last month for meetings that were undisclosed at the time.

Before sparring with Mr. Trump, Prince Alwaleed was publicly rebuffed by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who rejected his $10 million donation for the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York because the prince had also criticized American foreign policy.

As powerful as the billionaire is, he is something of an outsider within the royal family — not a dissident, but an unusually outspoken figure on a variety of issues. He openly supported women driving long before the kingdom said it would grant them the right to do so, and he has long employed women in his orbit.

In 2015 he pledged to donate his fortune of $32 billion to charity after his death. It was unclear Saturday whether Saudi Arabia’s corruption committee might seek to confiscate any of his assets.

Saudi Arabia is an executive monarchy without a written Constitution or independent government institutions like a Parliament or courts, so accusations of corruption are difficult to evaluate. The boundaries between the public funds and the wealth of the royal family are murky at best, and corruption, as other countries would describe it, is believed to be widespread.

The arrests came a few hours after the king replaced the minister in charge of the Saudi national guard, Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah, who controlled the last of the three Saudi armed forces not yet considered to be under control of the crown prince.

The king named Crown Prince Mohammed the minister of defense in 2015. Earlier this year, the king removed Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as head of the interior ministry, placing him under house arrest and extending the crown prince’s influence over the interior ministry’s troops, which act as a second armed force.

Rumors have swirled since then that King Salman and his favorite son would soon move against Prince Mutaib, commander of the third armed force and himself a former contender for the crown.


by Barnard Law Collier, Former New York Times Bureau Chief in Buenos Aires.

Yes. The young Donald Trump.

When I met him on occasion as a reporter, he was in his mid-20s, well dressed, handsome, semi-brilliant, the son of a well-to-do real estate developer. He displayed a natural curiosity about anything and anyone who could help him show his overbearing father how he, “Junior,” could erect buildings and amass a fortune in the family enterprise.

The young Donald hung like a rock groupie on every word that a hotshot lawyer named Roy Marcus Cohn spoke. The lessons he learned from Roy Cohn (and which I was party to at various steakhouse-ish venues around midtown) were ones that Trump has clung to all of his life since.

The core Roy Cohn commandment:

“Don’t tell me about the law, tell me about the judge.”

Immorality was defined in the Roy Cohn/Trump realms as doing anything not of direct personal benefit to oneself or one’s “satellites.” It was considered “stupid” if adversaries would not do dirty tricks because of “morality.” Roy Cohn taught that it was anti-business to allow one’s money-making activities to be hampered by any “moral” concept, including any bias against malicious lying, cheating, framing, and stealing.

Roy Cohn was supremely brilliant. He graduated Columbia University School of Law at age 20. He guided the shameless un-American activities and anti-homosexual “witch hunts” by Senator Joseph McCarthy. As attorney for several top Italian mob guys, Roy Cohn made both prosecutors and judges terribly uneasy. His opponents were met by the lowest, meanest, and dirtiest possible counters. His tactics were the talk of those New York real estate people who cared a wit about “the law” and ethics, much less morality.

Trump was then, as he is now, referred to by business people who knew him and his operations as “a noisy pipsqueak.”

Mark Cuban, a contemporary billionaire investor and television celebrity, has asked:

“If he was such a good businessman, where are the hundreds and thousands of people who will come out an say they made money with him?”

They seem not to exist, although many people who were stiffed and conned by Trump do.

By the time he was in his 40s, everyone who counted in New York and New Jersey real estate and banking were aware that the only persons to benefit from a Trump deal was Trump.

Nonetheless, an array of politicians from the major parties begged him for donations, including the Clintons. That’s how Trump got to know the fixers and the judges.

Trump’s ghosted book about the “art” of the deal was itself a scam. There was no art.

His artless point is that to be honest or scrupulous about a business deal (or any deal) is for suckers. To stick it to anyone stupid enough to be stuck is “smart,” and that includes any and all governments.

It was Roy Cohn’s advice to die, as Roy Cohn would die, owing millions of dollars in taxes to the Internal Revenue Service. Currently the public does not know how well Trump may carry out that advice.

Most important, taught Roy Cohn, is to obtain a sharp lawyer, take your adversaries to court at every opportunity, accuse the opponents of doing what you yourself are guilty of, and fight ferociously on all fronts to protect your lies.

In Roy Cohn’s alternative world, the “lie” was the alternative truth, and the real truth, such as the fact that Roy Cohn was dying of a new and deadly disease called AIDS, was a “truth” he denied until his dying day, but the autopsy proved that complications from AIDS are what actually killed him. His death came only months after he was disbarred in 1986 by a five-judge panel of the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court for unethical, unprofessional conduct, including misappropriation of clients’ funds, lying on a bar application, and pressuring a client to amend his will by guiding the hand of a nearly comatose millionaire to put his signature on a will that favored Roy Cohn’s client.

By the time Trump was in his 40s, his working motto became:

“Overpromise, underdeliver, keep the difference.”

There may be no more pithy definition of a scam.

Later in his career he ran into a hard problem he could not solve: His funding among most American banks dried up after several real estate gambles came up snake eyes. However, he found, the Russians do business almost exactly as Trump does.

But Trump is shrewd enough to know, going in, that if you try to scam the Russians, and they catch you, as they inevitably will, they will ruthlessly assassinate you or those you may love, no matter how rich and important you may think you are. (A lot of dead Russians testify to this caution.)

If you or your businesses borrow money from the Russians, there is going to be a payback.

It’s time to face it: The Russians have grabbed Donald Trump by the knurled noil and they know how to shake him.

He’s never had qualms about lying (he has often called it “natural exuberance”), quite probably to himself; a “lie detector” test may prove only that Trump is so expert at lying for a lifetime that his pulse, perspiration, respiration, and pupil size doesn’t budge a micron when he lets loose a mendacious whopper.

It’s time, in my opinion, for all Americans at least to admit and to deal with the fact that the Russians have landed themselves a whopper of a pipsqueak scam artist.

To Russians, more than a few of whom play high level chess, Trump might well represent the “passed pawn”проходная пешка. In slang, the term may also mean “an enterprise likely to bring in gold.”

The pawn is the most minor piece in chess (a pipsqueak). But, when allowed to pass behind the defenses of opponent pawns, the passed pawn has an unobstructed line to the eighth rank, where it can be promoted to a queen, a bishop, a knight, or a rook.

A passed pawn requires an opponent to defend against it, which requires the employment of major pieces which otherwise might be used as attackers.

The Russians may quite literally be “laughing at us” (as Trump has said) because Vladimir Putin has promoted his passed pawn into a golden queen, which would have made Roy Cohn laugh, too.


The United States and China will fight a war within the next 10 years over islands in the South China Sea, and “there’s no doubt about that”. At the same time, the US will be in another “major” war in the Middle East.

Those are the views – nine months ago at least – of one of the most powerful men in Donald Trump’s administration, Steve Bannon, the former head of far-right news website Breitbart who is now chief strategist at the White House.

the guardian

Benjamin Haas in Hong Kong

Thursday 2 February 2017 03.55 GMT
Last modified on Thursday 2 February 2017 12.07 GMT

The United States and China will fight a war within the next 10 years over islands in the South China Sea, and “there’s no doubt about that”. At the same time, the US will be in another “major” war in the Middle East.

Those are the views – nine months ago at least – of one of the most powerful men in Donald Trump’s administration, Steve Bannon, the former head of far-right news website Breitbart who is now chief strategist at the White House.

In the first weeks of Trump’s presidency, Bannon has emerged as a central figure. He was appointed to the “principals committee” of the National Security Council in a highly unusual move and was influential in the recent travel ban on citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, overruling Department of Homeland Security officials who felt the order did not apply to green card holders.

While many in Trump’s team are outspoken critics of China, in radio shows Bannon hosted for Breitbart he makes plain the two largest threats to America: China and Islam.

“We’re going to war in the South China Sea in five to 10 years,” he said in March 2016. “There’s no doubt about that. They’re taking their sandbars and making basically stationary aircraft carriers and putting missiles on those. They come here to the United States in front of our face – and you understand how important face is – and say it’s an ancient territorial sea.”

China says nearly the entire South China Sea falls within its territory, with half a dozen other countries maintaining partially overlapping claims. China has built a series of artificial islands on reefs and rocks in attempt to bolster its position, complete with military-length airstrips and anti-aircraft weapons.

Bannon’s sentiments and his position in Trump’s inner circle add to fears of a military confrontation with China, after secretary of state Rex Tillerson said that the US would deny China access to the seven artificial islands. Experts warned any blockade would lead to war.

Bannon is clearly wary of China’s growing clout in Asia and beyond, framing the relationship as entirely adversarial, predicting a global culture clash in the coming years.

“You have an expansionist Islam and you have an expansionist China. Right? They are motivated. They’re arrogant. They’re on the march. And they think the Judeo-Christian west is on the retreat,” Bannon said during a February 2016 radio show.

On the day Trump was inaugurated, China’s military warned that war between the two countries was a real possibility.

“A ‘war within the president’s term’ or ‘war breaking out tonight’ are not just slogans, they are becoming a practical reality,” an official wrote on the website of the People’s Liberation Army.

Aside from conflict between armies, Bannon repeatedly focused on his perception that Christianity around the world is under threat.

In one radio show, used to promote an article incorrectly claiming that a mosque had been built at the North Pole, Bannon focused heavily on China’s oppression of Christian groups.

“The one thing the Chinese fear more than America … they fear Christianity more than anything,” he said.

But China is not the only hotspot Bannon sees, and forecasts another ground war for American troops in the Middle East.

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This has been broadcast by Russia Today which gives a good idea who Vladimir Putin is backing.

Secret World of US Election: Julian Assange talks to John Pilger (FULL INTERVIEW) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sbT3_9dJY4

Published on Nov 5, 2016: Whistleblower Julian Assange has given one of his most incendiary interviews ever in a John Pilger Special, courtesy of Dartmouth Films, in which he summarizes what can be gleaned from the tens of thousands of Clinton emails released by WikiLeaks this year.Published on Nov 5, 2016 Whistleblower Julian Assange has given one of his most incendiary interviews ever in a John Pilger Special, courtesy of Dartmouth Films, in which he summarizes what can be gleaned from the tens of thousands of Clinton emails released by WikiLeaks this year.

Whistleblower Julian Assange has given one of his most incendiary interviews ever in a John Pilger…
youtube.com

Quite often these debates turn on just one or two repartees or candid camera moments. The picture of Sen.McCain’s twitching jaws and angry glint in his eyes when debating a cool and calm Barack Obama in 2008 almost entirely fixed him. Last evening I saw the historic Kennedy -Nixon debate of 1960. Nixon’s sweaty looks and five o’clock shadow did more to do him in than the content. Incidentally JFK spoke of a “missile gap” with the Soviet Union when the Russians hardly had a handful of ballistic missiles. Nixon did not deal with it as it was classified CIA information and JFK got away looking tough on defence.

The story is that Kennedy looked great, which is true, and Nixon looked terrible, which is also true—and that this visual difference had an unexpected electoral effect. As Theodore H. White described it in his hugely influential book The Making of the President 1960, which has set the model for campaign coverage ever since, “sample surveys” after the debate found that people who had only heard Kennedy and Nixon talking, over the radio, thought that the debate had been a tie. But those who saw the two men on television were much more likely to think that Kennedy—handsome, tanned, non-sweaty, poised—had won.

2016 US Presidential Elections, when Donald meets Hillary who will win the debates? Trump’s approach was an important part of his strength in the primaries. But will it work when he faces Clinton onstage?

By James Fallows of The Atlantic .com
The most famous story about modern presidential campaigning now has a quaint old-world tone. It’s about the showdown between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy in the first debate of their 1960 campaign, which was also the very first nationally televised general-election debate in the United States.

The story is that Kennedy looked great, which is true, and Nixon looked terrible, which is also true—and that this visual difference had an unexpected electoral effect. As Theodore H. White described it in his hugely influential book The Making of the President 1960, which has set the model for campaign coverage ever since, “sample surveys” after the debate found that people who had only heard Kennedy and Nixon talking, over the radio, thought that the debate had been a tie. But those who saw the two men on television were much more likely to think that Kennedy—handsome, tanned, non-sweaty, poised—had won.

Historians who have followed up on this story haven’t found data to back up White’s sight-versus-sound discovery. But from a modern perspective, the only surprising thing about his findings is that they came as a surprise. Today’s electorate has decades of televised politics behind it, from which one assumption is that of course images, and their emotional power, usually matter more than words and whatever logic they might try to convey.

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THIS IS FROM THE MAN WHO HOPES TO EDUCATE THE WHOLE WORLD FROM NEXT YEAR.

Despite Trump University’s claim that it offered “graduate programs, post graduate programs, doctorate programs,” it wasn’t a university at all. It was a company that purported to be selling Trump’s secret insights into how to make money in real estate. From the time Trump University began operating, in 2005, the A.G.’s office repeatedly warned the company that it was breaking the law by calling itself a university.

Following the release, earlier this week, of testimony filed in a federal lawsuit against Trump University, the United States is facing a high-stakes social-science experiment. Will one of the world’s leading democracies elect as its President a businessman who founded and operated a for-profit learning annex that some of its own employees regarded as a giant rip-off, and that the highest legal officer in New York State has described as a classic bait-and-switch scheme?

This article from The New Yorker says it all, see here http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/trump-university-its-worse-than-you-think


This is an interesting piece about Donald Trump by The Times of India. Just wanted to share with all you guys….

WASHINGTON: Most Presidential elections in America have a pivotal campaign moment — some sublime, others ridiculous — that makes or mars a candidate’s prospect. Often it is a single visual (Michael Dukakis looking comical in a helmet, riding an Abrams battle tank; “the photo-op that tanked” it was called); or Gary Hart’s escapades on a yatch aptly called “Monkey Business”; or an aging Reagan destroying a youthful Walter Mondale on live television (“I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”)

No such electric moment has occurred in the 2016 election campaign already brimming with invective and name-calling. But the politically savvy comedian Jon Stewart surcharged the liberal set on Monday by called presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump a “man baby,” in a deft swipe at his limited powers of expression and lack of intellectual heft or vision.

“I’m not a constitutional scholar, so I can’t necessarily say, but are you eligible to run if you are a man-baby, or a baby-man?” Stewart told former Obama advisor David Axelrod during a live-taping of his Axe Files podcast on Monday. “He has the physical countenance of a man and a baby’s temperament and hands.”

Stewart also shredded Hillary Clinton in the hour-long interview that saw him emerge briefly from retirement as a trenchant political commentator, calling the presumptive Democratic candidate “a very bright woman without the courage of her convictions, because I’m not even sure what they are.” But he was quick to clarify that her flaws were not on the same magnitude as those of Trump, who he called an “unrepentant, narcissistic asshole.”

However, it was the “man baby” moniker that went viral within hours on social media surpassing anything Trump’s rivals coined for him (bully, con artist, phony etc) or what Trump has tied to his rivals (Little Marco, Lyin’ Ted, Crooked Hillary. Goofy Elizabeth). Considering he is openly vain about his looks and his manhood, the #manbaby moniker could well become the signature taunt of his critics in an election that is already being fought through #hashtags.

Many pundits concur that Trump has lived up to the charge of being shallow and immature with his off-the-cuff outbursts (expressed without much clarity or consistency) and lack of any policy depth. On Monday, Trump said people like the newly elected London Mayor Sadiq Khan could be an exception to his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States, because, he rambled infelicitously, he was doing a “good job.”

“Because I think if he does a great job, it will really — you lead by example, always lead by example,” Trump rambled incoherently with what critics say is the vocabulary of a high-schooler. “If he does a good job and frankly if he does a great job, that would be a terrific thing.”

Khan, in any event, snubbed Trump, saying it wasn’t about him alone and he did not want an exemption from “ignorant” Trump’s Muslim ban.

from The Times of India