The policy and politics of Trumpism

Jon

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This article contains excerpts from Mary Trump's book due to come out July 14th. Some of it is juicy.


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Damn, you are picky. ;)

Mary Trump’s Book Accuses the President of Embracing ‘Cheating as a Way of Life’
The president’s niece, Mary L. Trump, is the first to break ranks with the family and release a tell-all memoir.



President Trump has long been estranged from his niece, Mary L. Trump.

President Trump has long been estranged from his niece, Mary L. Trump.Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times
By Maggie Haberman and Alan Feuer
  • July 7, 2020, 11:43 a.m. ET


    • +
Mary L. Trump, President Trump’s niece, plans to publish a tell-all family memoir next week, describing how a decades long history of darkness, dysfunction and brutality turned her uncle into a reckless leader who, according to her publisher, Simon & Schuster, “now threatens the world’s health, economic security and social fabric.”
The book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” depicts a multigenerational saga of greed, betrayal and internecine tension and seeks to explain how President Trump’s position in one of New York’s wealthiest and most infamous real-estate empires helped him acquire what Ms. Trump has referred to as “twisted behaviors” — attributes like seeing other people in “monetary terms” and practicing “cheating as a way of life.”
Ms. Trump, who at 55 has long been estranged from President Trump, is the first member of the Trump clan to break ranks with her relatives by writing a book about their secrets. Since late June, her family — led by the president’s younger brother, Robert S. Trump — has been trying to stop the publication of the book, citing a confidentiality agreement that she signed nearly 20 years ago during a dispute over the will of the family patriarch, Fred Trump Sr., the president’s father. But a judge in New York has refused to enjoin Simon & Schuster from releasing the memoir and is expected to soon rule on whether Ms. Trump herself violated the confidentiality agreement.
Here are some of the highlights from her manuscript:
Cheating on a College Entrance Test
As a high school student in Queens, Ms. Trump writes, Donald Trump paid someone to take a precollegiate test, the SAT, on his behalf. The high score the proxy earned for him, Ms. Trump adds, helped the young Mr. Trump to later gain admittance as an undergraduate to the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton business school.
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Mr. Trump has often boasted about attending Wharton, which he has referred to as “the best school in the world” and “super genius stuff.”
Sending a Brother to the Hospital Alone
It has long been part of the Trump family’s lore that the eldest child of Fred Trump Sr., Fred Trump Jr., who was better known as Freddy, was the black sheep of the dynasty. Freddy Trump was a handsome, garrulous man and a heavy drinker who, after a miserable experience working for his father, left his job in real estate to pursue a passion for flying, becoming a pilot for Trans World Airlines.
Donald Trump has often remarked that his brother’s departure from the family business opened space for him to move into and succeed. “For me, it worked very well,” Mr. Trump told The New York Times during his presidential campaign about serving under his father. “For Fred, it wasn’t something that was going to work.”
Fred Trump Sr. could be brutal to his namesake, shouting at him once as a group of employees looked on, “Donald is worth ten of you,” Ms. Trump writes.
Freddy Trump died in 1981 from an alcohol-induced heart attack when he was 42, and Ms. Trump tells the story in her book about how his family sent him to the hospital alone on the night of his death. No one went with him, Ms. Trump writes.
 
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Originally, I asked people to indicate a paywall. Later, I posted that it wasn't necessary with the well-known ones like the NYT, WaPo, WSJ and a couple of others. I do appreciate it when it's an obscure site - and more and more seem to be turning paywall...
 
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FWIW, in my post above you can expand the second window and read the NYT article. It doesn’t claim anything earth shattering, but it is interesting. For example, Trump cheated on college entrance exams.
 
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This is yesterday’s Facebook post by Heather Cox Richardson. A childhood friend made me aware of Richardson. She teaches Civil War history and history of the West at Boston Universiity. I find her very insightful. Currently, I am reading her newest book, How The South Won the Civil War.
My reading queue is getting rather long.

My apologies for the length.

Heather Cox Richardson
1 hrs ·
July 6, 2020 (Monday)
It is becoming clearer that there are currently two different versions of America. The White House and Trump supporters are trying to pretend that the world Trump continually tweets about is real, while the rest of the country is proving that reality doesn’t much care about the fictions Trump is peddling.
Today began with Trump frantic-tweeting, and those tweets were an impressionistic picture of how he hopes to win voters. He defended his performance in combatting what he called “new China Virus” cases, touted the strong stock market, and warned that “if you want your 401k’s and Stocks, which are getting close to an all time high…, to disintegrate and disappear, vote for the Radical Left Do Nothing Democrats and Corrupt Joe Biden. Massive Tax Hikes—They will make you very poor, FAST!”
He tweeted “China has caused great damage to the United States and the rest of the world,” then attacked Black race car driver Bubba Wallace for the discovery of a noose in his garage (it was not Wallace who discovered it) and NASCAR’s decision to ban the Confederate flag. He complained that “the Washington Redskins & Cleveland Indians, two fabled sports franchises, look like they are going to be changing their names in order to be politically correct. Indians, like Elizabeth Warren, must be very angry right now.”
Then he defended his handling of the coronavirus, and once again insisted that hydroxychloroquine was an effective treatment for Covid-19. He tweeted “SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!” and said that Democrats opposed reopening the schools “for political reasons, not for health reasons! They think it will help them in November. Wrong, the people get it!” Finally, he boasted that his border wall “is moving fast in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California. Great numbers at the Southern Border. Dems want people to just flow in. They want very dangerous open Borders!”
This frantic tweeting offered racism, attacks on Democrats, hopeful economic news, and Trump’s signature border wall (which has cost more than $3.6 billion already, for about 120 miles of wall, most of it replacing older fencing). It was a narrative tailor-made for Trump’s base.
Looming over Trump’s portrayal of his version of America, though, was the coronavirus. While other advanced countries have gotten the virus under control and are cautiously beginning to reopen, we are moving the opposite direction. As of today, we have almost 3 million confirmed cases and more than 130,000 deaths. In a number of states, especially in the South, cases are hitting new highs. Europe has banned American visitors, and Mexico and Canada have both closed their border with the U.S. Rather than trying to stop the crisis, the White House is launching new messaging about the coronavirus: “Learn to live with it.”
Trump is doubling down on the idea that the United States must simply reopen, and take the resulting deaths as a cost of doing business. Three people who have been privy to administration thinking about the issue told reporters for the Washington Post that officials are hoping “Americans will go numb to the escalating death toll and learn to accept tens of thousands of new cases a day.” Advisors have urged Trump to try to avoid responsibility for the administration’s disastrous response to the pandemic by simply blaming China for it. Their goal is to try to repair the economy before the election, recognizing that economic recovery is the only way to make up the gap between Trump’s poll numbers and those of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Meanwhile, governors who reopened their states before cases had begun to decline significantly are now backpedaling. Texas governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order last Thursday requiring masks in more than half of the state’s hardest hit counties; Georgia Governor Brian Kemp asked Georgians to wear masks; Florida’s Miami-Dade County closed gyms, party venues, and ballrooms; and California closed beaches in Orange County over the holiday weekend. Washington state has stopped its reopening process for at least two weeks and is requiring face masks; Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have issued travel advisories requiring people coming from fifteen states experiencing Covid-19 spikes to self-quarantine for fourteen days.
But Trump is barreling ahead as if fears of the coronavirus are illegitimate. He is insisting that public schools must reopen for the fall on schedule, with no plan for doing so safely: “SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!” Today, Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran called for this plan exactly, issuing an executive order for all Florida K-12 schools to reopen in August. Florida set the national record for the most new coronavirus cases in a single day—11,458—two days ago.
Today, just as colleges and universities are trying to figure out how to manage their fall classes, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that foreign students have to leave the country if their universities go to on-line instruction in the fall. The decision appears to be designed to pressure schools to resume face-to-face instruction or lose their foreign students, who pay the full tuition that most American students do not.
Urging Americans to plow headfirst into a deadly crisis that is racking up horrific numbers of dead is an unprecedented abdication of presidential leadership. It is hard to imagine what the endgame is, because it seems unlikely that Americans will, in fact, become numb to rising numbers of dead. Trump has suggested that there will be a vaccine sooner than we think, and perhaps he hopes such a miracle will win him goodwill to overcome our horror at the national death toll (there is even some speculation that he will announce one falsely as part of his “October surprise” before the election).
But the observations of his briefers that he cannot hear anything that does not conform to his worldview have stuck with me as I thought about this today. Perhaps he doesn’t have an endgame at all; he is simply making a gamble that the virus will magically go away, as he has suggested. It strikes me that, until now, he has always been able to get away with ignoring reality in favor of his worldview. The coronavirus, though, can’t be bullied or flattered, and it certainly cannot be ignored.
 

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