What’s in a name? Or what did Roger Rosenblatt know in 1980?

Between Ronald Reagan’s election and his inauguration in 1980, Roger Rosenblatt, essayist for TIME and other magazines wrote a humor piece (most of his were) asking what we should call Reagan when he became President. One sentence is eerily prescient. What did Rosenblatt know that the rest of us didn’t?

From the NBC archives, in 1980 Tom Brokaw interviewed a then less known real estate developer, Donald Trump.

Rosenblatt, Roger. “Is Reagan Dutch Or O & W?.” Time 116.26 (1980): 68.

[. . . .]  On the whole, however, people will fight through a forbidding given name, especially when they want to make someone more vivid in their minds. Where would baseball be without Gosse, hockey without Boom, football without Mean Joe? Common criminals would sound like common criminals were there no Machine Gun, Killer or Mad Dog among them, Not that all gangster names are so picturesque. Nathan Kaplan’s moniker was “Kid Dropper” for reasons too awful to contemplate. And Al Capone was known as the Millionaire Gorilla, though it is hard to picture some floozie chucking him under the chin and cooing. “Come on, you big, bad Millionaire Gorilla.”

Unfortunately, none of this offers much of a guide toward what to call soon-to-be President Reagan. Neither does America’s own history, which is packed with presidential sobriquets equally various and baffling. George Washington was known not only as the Father of His Country, but also as the Stepfather of His Country and the Father of Pittsburgh. At least four U.S. Presidents were known as “His Accidency” (Tyler, Fillmore, Arthur and Andrew Johnson). That name, while suggestive, is still a cut above “His Fraudulency” (Rutherford B. Hayes). Martin Van Buren was alternately called “Whiskey Van,” because he could hold his liquor, and “The American Talleyrand” (though Talleyrand was never known as the French Van Buren). We will not discuss Wobbly Wille Mckinely or Old Rough and Ready.

A good many former Presidents were known as “The” something–“The Napoleon of the Stump” (Polk); “The Sage of Wheatland” Buchanan); “The Square of Rancho del Cielo,” or “The Gipper,” in reference to his second most memorable movie role, or in reference to the first, “The Rest of Me.” New York Builder Donald Trump is called “The Donald.” It is too early to tell.

“Adhering to another hallowed American tradition, he is threatening creditors with protracted litigation. . .(2004)”

Trump’s “Phoenix Penthouse” Bachelor pad, New York, c. 1975.

Jodie T Allen. “Trump’s Latest Chumps.” U.S. News & World Report 136.12 (2004): 35.


It’s hard to feel sorry for the creditors of Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts. True, they have been pressing the cash-strapped firm to do something about its near $2 billion in debt, even mumbling darkly about a trip to bankruptcy court. But on the theory that hurt me once shame on you, hurt me twice shame on me, the only fingers they can justly point are at themselves. After all, no one made them back that same “top drawer” entrepreneur who, in the 1990s, stiff-armed another bunch of billion-buck bondholders, while wiggling out of personal bankruptcy. Yes, we are talking about the Donald, the self-proclaimed Artist of the Deal, now at new heights of fame as the firer-in-chief on the TV hit The Apprentice and author of yet another bestselling book with the modest title How to Get Rich. Clearly, the backers of his ventures over the years didn’t read his books–or maybe they did.

“Don’t blame the Donald, blame his underwriters and bankers,” says Christopher Whalen, managing director of Institutional Risk Analytics, a financial research service. Whalen notes that Trump Hotels had to offer a sky-high 17.6 percent yield on its bond offering last March, a code-red warning for investors.

In the grand American tradition of buck-passing, Trump quite agrees that no fault should attach to him. “This has nothing to do with me,” he told the New York Times recently. Never mind that he is chairman and chief executive, holds 49 percent of the stock, and has garnered millions of dollars in management fees and perks from the company and its Atlantic City casino holdings, even as he has rebuilt his personal real-estate-based fortune to well over $1 billion, by his own count.

Outside investors in his gaming halls have not been so lucky. Trump took the Trump Taj Mahal and Trump Casino through bankruptcy in 1991 but persuaded bondholders–including some major institutional investors–to restake him. Starting in 1995, he melded his casino holdings into the publicly held Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts. Wall Street pushed the stock above 35 in 1996, but by 1998 it had fallen into single digits as the profitless company struggled even to pay interest on its $1.8 billion debt, let alone make the investments needed to keep up with flashy new competitors like the Borgata.

“These money traps are no longer special, and the Donald is no longer a young bull,” says Whalen. But Trump, whose executive vice president, Scott Butera, stoutly denied on CNN last week that Trump Hotels is near bankruptcy, is mightily resisting any effort to push his gaming properties into receivership, thereby wiping out the value of his stock. Adhering to another hallowed American tradition, he is threatening creditors with protracted litigation that would further erode, if not obliterate, any remaining value in the properties.

[. . . .]

Donald Trump is, I am sure, thankful today

Home for sale today in Dayton, Ohio, Farmersville is the PLACE To Be (2016 Americanlisted.com). Trump carried Ohio with 53 % of the vote.

Today is the day of giving thanks for Americans. I wonder if citizens of Ohio, and Michigan, and Wisconsin, and such places who are out of work, who live in modest homes and have little extra to be thankful for, are looking forward to the vast change that is about to overtake the country as the man in whom they have put their hopes takes charge.

I did a little research in academic databases for Donald J. Trump. I found many words of advice and encouragement from Mr. Trump that are especially appropriate for this day of gratitude and spiritual remembrance. Here are a few samples.

  • from:  Punday, Daniel. “Kavalier & Clay, The Comic-Book Novel, and Authorship in a Corporate World.” Critique 49.3 (2008): 291-302.

Businessmen can be vengeful too. Donald Trump, in his recent book Think Big & Kick Ass (Trump and Zanker 2007) which teaches how to be successful in business and life beyond, devotes an entire chapter to the importance of revenge. Part of the message reflects repeated-game or reputation concerns, but part is clearly reflecting an innate joy of getting even. The following passage illustrates (p. 198):

Most business writers won’t be so blunt and honest
with you about getting even. They know it’s the truth,
but won’t tell you because they want people to think
of them as a “nice person.” I don’t like to mince
words. When you are wronged and do nothing about
it, you aren’t “nice” you’re a schmuck. That is why I
say when you are wronged, go after the those people,
because it’s a good feeling …  I love i

Take a look inside Donald Trump’s opulent Manhattan Penthouse. (Photo: iDesignArch.com)
  • from:  Hirschman, Elizabeth C. “Secular Immortality and the American Ideology of Affluence.” Journal of Consumer Research 17.1 (1990): 31-42.

Entrepreneurial achievement is closely linked [to the] concept of achievement motivation, and indeed, most of the persons whose lives and possessions were documented . . . are culturally labeled as high achievers (e.g., Malcolm Forbes, Donald Trump). Because the ideology of affluence is constructed around the acquisition of money and material possessions, many of those whose achievements were documented in the texts examined have succeeded as business entrepreneurs and in other forms of capitalistic enterprise.

[. . . .] . . . the primary theme resulting . . . was an advocacy of entrepreneurial achievement. Entrepreneurial achievements were those in which the individual demonstrated personal efficacy in some secular realm. Entrepreneurial achievement is closely linked to [the] concept of achievement motivation, and . . . the ideology of affluence is constructed around the acquisition of money and material possessions, many of those whose achievements [we have] examined have succeeded as business entrepreneurs and in other forms of capitalistic enterprise.

[. . . .]  Two best-selling autobiographies of current entrepreneurs similarly evoke the thesis that those who work hard and make successes of themselves deserve to be socially recognized (and materially enriched) for it. In keeping with Horatio Alger mythology, both Lee lacocca and Donald Trump present themselves as embodying the rags-to-riches tale. . . .  Donald Trump represents himself as an entrepreneur in its purest form—an independent person who built “something from nothing.” Like many of the affluent entrepreneurs . . . Trump is fascinated with acquiring possessions that will be recognized as the biggest or the best of their genre. Trump had reserved a triplex apartment on the top of Trump Tower for himself and his family, but after visiting a nearby apartment owned by Saudi billionaire Adnan Khashoggi, he decided his was not large enough. “Why shouldn’t I have exactly the apartment I wanted—particularly when I built the whole building? I decided to take over one of the other apartments on the top three floors and combine it with mine. It has taken almost two years to renovate, but I don’t think there is any apartment in the world that can touch it” (Trump 1987, p. 187). Just as importantly, Trump Tower made him a social celebrity: “Trump Tower was an unqualified success. It has given me visibility, credibility, and prestige” (1987, p. 191).

[. . . .] Trump also views himself as an heir. His father was already a locally prominent real estate entrepreneur when Donald began his real estate career in Manhattan. However, Trump was determined, and has succeeded, in enlarging the family legacy to international proportions. He clearly views himself as establishing a dynasty, has constructed several family monuments (e.g.. Trump Tower), has acquired a family estate (Mar-a-lago), and has begun to structure the possessions he intends to leave his children. One passage in his 1987 autobiography notes that a clause in his will gives his children control over the construction of future Hyatt Hotels in the New York City area.

[. . . .]  It is probably not surprising that an ideology celebrating the acquisition of wealth and possessions primarily seeks immortality through material means. What is puzzling is that social scientists in general and consumer researchers in particular have been reluctant to recognize this as a central motivation driving exceptional personal achievement and the oft-resulting accumulation of wealth and possessions. Although some criticize secular monuments as idols of materialism [we have found] little evidence that the possessions acquired by the affluent as a result of their secular achievements represented . . .  “terminal materialism.” Terminal materialism is “a habit of consumption [that] can become an end in itself, feeding on its autonomous necessity to possess more things, to control more status, to use more energy.” However . . .  media such as magazines directed to the affluent tend to put a gloss on the rich, rarely citing their failings or character flaws. Hence, we must look elsewhere to find evidence of terminal materialism among the affluent.

Trump also resides at Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida – See more at: http://nairobiwire.com/2016/01/

“daily trench Twitter warfare”

Aug. 1, 2012. Steve Bannon, left, and Larry Solov aim to see the late Andrew Breitbart’s… (Photo: Brian van der Brug, Los Angeles Times)

Steve Bannon has been, if not in fact, at least in spirit Trump’s strategist for some time. It would seem, at any rate, that Trump’s idea of being the President of Twitter comes from Breitbart via (most likely) Bannon. Has anyone researched Trump’s use of Twitter back to 2010? Is he going to continue to be President By Twitter, or will the “lying” media (or perhaps the sycophantic Republicans) somehow manage to shame him into stopping? Or have we slipped into the altered state of reality in which social media is the the arbiter not only of pop culture but also of affairs of state?

From New Yorker, May 24, 2010. “Rage Machine, Andrew Breitbart’s empire of bluster,” by Rebecca Mead.

“This pisses me off–this really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really pisses me off,” Breitbart said, as he sat at his desk the morning after the health-care vote. [. . . .]  he moved into office space in Santa Monica that is being provided gratis by a friend of his, Stephen K. Bannon, who is a conservative filmmaker and a former Goldman Sachs banker. Also moving in were Breitbart.com’s three Los Angeles staff members: Larry Solov, a childhood friend and a former attorney, who is Breitbart’s business partner; Darren Rush, the chief technical officer; and Alex Marlow, a young factotum who recently graduated from Berkeley. Marlow told me, “What Andrew and I have in common is that we have always lived behind enemy lines.”

[. . . .]  He checked Twitter to see what his detractors were saying about him. “How does @andrewbreitbart sleep at night knowing 32M more Americans will have health care????” Eric Boehlert, of Media Matters for America, a watchdog Web site, had written. With the left-leaning Boehlert, Breitbart engages in what he gleefully calls “daily trench Twitter warfare.”

“plush-bottomed Pentagon bureaucrat”


Ted is looking out for the troops. He understands the trials and tribulations of being on the battlefield with a buddy who is of the 1 percent of Americans who suffer from celiac disease, the autoimmune disorder that makes a person intolerant to gluten. Thank you, Ted. Get rid of “gluten-free” in order to “rebuild our military so it will be so feared by our enemies and trusted by our allies . . . ”

“The last thing any commander should need to worry about is the grades he is getting from some plush-bottomed Pentagon bureaucrat for political correctness or social experiments — or providing gluten-free MREs,” said Cruz, equating the presence of dietary-sensitive MREs (Meal, Ready-to-Eat) to the efficacy of the national military.

“. . . people who respect the Constitution. . . “

“This is our fight. The answer will not come from Washington. It will come only from the men and women across this country, from men and women, from people of faith, from lovers of liberty, FROM PEOPLE WHO RESPECT THE CONSTITUTION.”   (Ted Cruz, Speech declaring his candidacy for President. March 23, 2015. Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA.)

United States Constitution, Article II, Section 2:

[The President] shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, SHALL APPOINT ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, JUDGES OF THE SUPREME COURT, and all other officers of the United States . . . .


Yes, Ted, protect us.



Islamophobic rally in Texas as senators push for anti-Palestinian bill

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My Man says “simply pray”

Janet and Ted. Marriage is made in heaven.
Janet and Ted. Marriage is made in heaven.

‘Tea party-backed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) this week called on his supporters to “simply pray” that LGBT Americans were not allowed to have equal rights because the thought of same-sex marriage was “heartbreaking.”’




“Janet Mefferd was, unsurprisingly, not pleased with President Obama’s remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast yesterday, and suggested on her radio program last night that Christians should stop attending the interfaith event.”
(I think Christians should stop attending, too. The “National” Prayer Breakfast is sponsored and organized by the secret christianist cabal, “The Fellowship.”)

George Washington called for a day of prayer in 1795 in thanksgiving for the peace that America enjoyed     at a time of war in Europe, although Washington was always careful never to limit his invocation to Christians.Thomas Jefferson, though, refused to issue such proclamations, insisting that they violated the First Amendment. He wrote: “Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the times for these [religious] exercises, … and this right can never be safer than in their own hands, where the constitution has deposited it.” James Madison, facing the War of 1812, issued Congressional prayer proclamations, but later regretted doing so, saying that such proclamations “seem to imply and certainly nourish the erroneous idea of a national religion” (Hamilton College History Professor John Ragosta).

My Man Loves Saturday Night (Live)!

My Man argues against the “Democracy for all” Amendment
to overturn Citizens United.
Everybody Loves Saturday Night (Live)

“7 Ridiculous Arguments Ted Cruz Made Against the Democracy for All Amendment”

Common Cause reports: “Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said some very bizarre things on Tuesday as he and his colleagues debated the Democracy for All amendment, which would overturn the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision and allow Congress to again regulate campaign spending.” 

But My Man is smarter than that. Take a pinch of the truth and turn it into a ridiculous argument.

Way to go, Ted!

This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it (Thomas Jefferson to William Roscoe, December 27, 1820).

“Nothing. . . authorizes judges to redefine marriage for the Nation. . .”

U.S. Senator Cruz speaks to members of the Texas Federation of Republican Women in San Antonio, TexasMY MAN on courts, the 14th Amendment, and Gay Marriage

“It is beyond dispute that when the 14th Amendment was adopted 146 years ago, as a necessary post-Civil War era reform, it was not imagined to also mandate same-sex marriage, but that is what the Supreme Court is implying today. The Court is making the preposterous assumption that the People of the United States somehow silently redefined marriage in 1868 when they ratified the 14th Amendment,” he said.

“Nothing in the text, logic, structure, or original understanding of the 14th Amendment or any other constitutional provision authorizes judges to redefine marriage for the Nation. It is for the elected representatives of the People to make the laws of marriage, acting on the basis of their own constitutional authority, and protecting it, if necessary, from usurpation by the courts.”

From “Ted Cruz Slams SCOTUS on Gay Marriage: ‘Tragic and Indefensible.”