Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Donald Trump calls it quits

As you have probably heard by now, our country's most famous importer of Eastern European wives vulgarian has decided not to run for President. Of course he had to make this announcement all about how wonderful he is and how unfortunate we all are that he won't be running.

After considerable deliberation and reflection, I have decided not to pursue the office of the Presidency. This decision does not come easily or without regret; especially when my potential candidacy continues to be validated by ranking at the top of the Republican contenders in polls across the country. I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election. I have spent the past several months unofficially campaigning and recognize that running for public office cannot be done half heartedly. Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector.
Yeah, right whatever, Donald. Far be it from me to disagree with such an obviously talented real estate mogul. But no he wouldn't win if he officially entered the race. The guy was tied for fifth place in a currently lackluster field of Republican candidates. I never thought he would run because of the financial disclosure requirements and what looks like a pretty thin skin as far as criticism goes.

With the President's one-two-three combo (two right hooks to the gut and left jab to the head) of the release of his long form birth certificate, killing OBL and effortlessly mocking Trump at the White House Correspondent's Dinner, Trump's inflated poll standings collapsed. Running on whether or not the President deserved to get into Harvard had zero electoral appeal beyond the most rabid right-wing mouth breathers. But everyone knew that.
What some of you may have missed was this fascinating and lengthy New York Times story that pointed out that some (much?) of Trump's income and wealth is built not on creating and selling buildings but on licensing his name and selling very expensive "knowledge" about wealth creation.
But as Mr. Trump, who is weighing a bid for the White House, has zealously sought to cash in on his name, he has entered into arrangements that home buyers describe as deliberately deceptive — designed, they said, to exploit the very thing that drew them to his buildings: their faith in him.
Over the last few years, according to interviews and hundreds of pages of court documents, the real estate mogul has aggressively marketed several luxury high-rises as “Trump properties” or “signature Trump” buildings, with names like Trump Tower and Trump International — even making appearances at the properties to woo buyers. The strong indication of his involvement as a developer generated waves of media attention and commanded premium prices.
But when three of the planned buildings encountered financial trouble, it became clear that Mr. Trump had essentially rented his name to the developments and had no responsibility for their outcomes, according to buyers. In each case, he yanked his name off the projects, which were never completed. The buyers lost millions of dollars in deposits even as Mr. Trump pocketed hefty license fees.

A lawsuit filed in 2010 by four dissatisfied former students, who are seeking class-action status, accuses Trump University of offering classes that amounted to extended “infomercials,” “selling nonaccredited products,” and “taking advantage of these troubled economic times to prey on consumers’ fears.”
According to the court papers, the university used high-pressure sales tactics to enroll students in classes that cost up to $35,000, at times encouraging them to raise their credit card limits to pay for them. It promised intensive one-on-one instruction that often failed to materialize. And its mentors recommended investments from which they stood to profit.
“It was almost completely worthless,” said Jeffrey Tufenkian, 49, who along with his wife, Sona, enrolled in a $35,000 “Gold Elite” class at Trump University to jump-start a career in real estate.
Mr. Tufenkian, who lives in Portland, Ore., was especially drawn to what Trump University described as a year-long mentorship. But he said that it amounted to a real estate expert from California taking him on a tour of homes in Portland that he could have seen on his own, for free.
At one point, he said, the mentor suggested an educational trip to Home Depot, an idea he found comical; at another, he said, the mentor recommended a sales technique (selling the option to buy a house), that several lawyers later told Mr. Tufenkian he was ineligible to perform because he lacked a real estate license. He recalled how, during a much cheaper Trump class on foreclosure, he and his wife were encouraged by instructors to raise their credit card limits, ostensibly in anticipation of investing in real estate, only to have the accounts maxed out with the purchase of the next $35,000 class, a charge mirrored in the lawsuit. The fee, and the resulting credit card interest payments, have wiped out much of the couple’s savings. Mr. Tufenkian’s requests for a refund have been rejected.

So basically from this article it appears that Mr. Trump is in some respects just a better heeled slicker version of Tom Vu. You do remember Tom Vu, don't you. If not let me refresh your memory.

Now, would you have voted for this man for President of the United States? Be honest...
It appears that Barack Obama's improbable victory and election to the highest office in the land has emboldened people who are to put it charitably, not quite ready for prime time. I guess the thought must be "If some guy named Barack Obama can get elected, why not me?"
As it turns out I do happen to have an extra $35,000 lying around. Since Tom Vu has evidently retired from real estate to become a professional gambler I am sure that Mr. Trump will be willing to take my money and show me how to be rich just like him. After all, he said he had people looking into the President's birth certificate and they could not believe what they were finding. He's obviously a very truthful man. I'm sure those people complaining about getting scammed out of their money are just losers, not winners like Mr. Trump. I mean even though my blog partner The Fed told me that "Donald Trump is like an internet troll that shows up, causes some destruction and leaves smiling looking back at the destruction he caused", I know that Trump is rich. Giving money to rich people is a great way to get rich yourself. Everyone knows that. Now where was my credit card number?

Did you ever think Trump would run?
Is Trump not running actually a good thing for the Republican Party?
What if anything did we learn from the Trump non-candidacy?
Do you remember Tom Vu?
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