Tag Archives: Trump University

Self-awareness is MIA

Donald John “Smart Gut” Trump’s jaw-dropping absence of self-awareness is on full display this week.

He has taken aim at the man he selected this past year to lead the Federal Reserve Board. Jerome Powell took the hit for the reeling stock market, giving Trump the headache of watching people’s retirement funds — such as mine — shrink before our eyes as investors sell off their stocks.

Chairman Powell is not giving anything back to Trump, the president complained. Trump said he is quite unhappy with the selection of Powell to lead the Fed.

For starters, the Fed is an independent agency that doesn’t answer to the president of the United States. Trump doesn’t understand that, along with all the other elements of government he doesn’t understand.

Then he said he has “a gut” that tells him more than “anyone else’s brain” can tell him.

Oh, really, Mr. President?

Well, did your gut tell you to invest in all those endeavors for which you filed bankruptcy before you entered political life? How did Trump University or the Trump Taj Mahal resort work out? Not too well.

Trump’s “gut” let him down . . .  again and again and again!

Karma might have struck once again

Oh, the irony is too rich to ignore.

U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel is going to hear a case involving a young man who says he is being deported illegally by the federal government.

Judge Curiel isn’t just any ol’ federal jurist. He happens to someone whom presidential candidate Donald John Trump slammed for being of “Mexican heritage” while he was hearing a case involving the defunct Trump University.

Curiel now gets to hear a case regarding the deportation of Juan Manuel Montes. He got the assignment by luck of the draw, it turns out. Montes, who’s now 23, is one of those “Dreamers” who came here when he was 9 years of age and had obtained DACA status.

Why is this case so tantalizing? It’s because Curiel is an American; born in Indiana and educated in the United States. He is a fine jurist. He’ll now get to hear a case brought by a young man who contends that the federal government didn’t provide sufficient documentation requiring him to be sent back to Mexico.

Judge Curiel’s citizenship didn’t stop Trump from defaming him during the 2016 presidential campaign by alleging that his Mexican heritage disqualified him from judging the Trump U case fairly. Trump, you’ll recall, opened his presidential campaign by declaring his intention to build a wall across our southern border to keep all those immigrants who were coming here to commit heinous crimes.

Stand tall, Judge Curiel

The wall? Blocking immigrants from Mexico? The judge’s parents are of Mexican descent? Why, of course he cannot judge the Trump U case fairly and without bias, according to Donald Trump.

As it turned out, Trump settled that matter with a $25 million payout to those who complained about the “education” they received. The president didn’t admit to any wrongdoing … quite naturally.

How will Judge Curiel do with the Montes deportation case? I am confident he’ll judge the case the way judges are supposed to judge such matters.

If the case goes against the federal government, though, expect the president to launch yet another tweet tirade.

Don’t you just love it when karma bites back?

Trump draws bead on another federal judge

Let me see a show of hands: Has anyone out there ever seen or heard a president of the United States attack individual members of the federal judiciary?

I didn’t think so. Me neither.

Donald “Smart Person” Trump is setting a new — lower — standard for behavior.

A judge in western Washington state, James Robart, has stopped the president’s ban on refugees from certain countries. The Department of Justice is seeking an injunction against Robart’s ruling. That’s all normal reaction.

What is quite abnormal has been the president’s Twitter tantrum, calling Robart a “so-called judge” and saying if “anything happens” because a criminal sneaked into the country, we should blame the judiciary for it.

You’ll recall how as a candidate for president, Trump took on U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel because of his Mexican heritage. Curiel is presiding over a case involving Trump University. Trump said the judge couldn’t adjudicate the matter fairly because “he’s a Mexican, OK?” Actually, the Indiana-born jurist is as American as Trump.

Trump needs lesson on presidential behavior.

Trump as a candidate behaved disgracefully. Now that he’s president, he is expected to conduct himself with dignity and decorum. He isn’t. Trump continues to launch into these Twitter-borne tirades against a duly appointed federal judge.

Indeed, it is reasonable to question whether the president is trying to coerce another member of a co-equal branch of government into doing his bidding.

I believe such activity — if it’s ever alleged — would be illegal. As in against the very laws the president took a solemn oath to defend and protect.

Trump settles suit … with no admission of guilt? Really?


Donald J. Trump once said he’d never settle a fraud lawsuit brought against him by former students of “Trump University.”

Oh, but wait! Then the president-elect did settle. This past week he agreed to pay $25 million to those students who had alleged they were cheated out of money they paid to attend the university. They didn’t get the bang for the buck they expected, they said.

These settlements often puzzle me.

Lawsuit defendants — such as Trump — agree to settle but insist they did nothing wrong. If that’s the case, then why the payout? Why fork over that kind of dough if they insist, as Trump has done, that the lawsuit lacked merit?


Trump said he settled the lawsuit so that he can devote his full attention to “the country” he is about to lead as president.

I’m going to remain skeptical about Trump’s stated reasons for settling. My gut tells me he well may have wanted to cut his losses, which well might have been a whole lot more had this case gone the distance.

A vote is not an ‘endorsement’ … Hmmm


Can we split this hair any more finely than this?

Put this another way: How can a vote for a candidate be seen anything other than endorsement?

U.S. Rep. Bill Flores is a Republican from Bryan, Texas, who says he’s going to vote for Donald J. Trump for president of the United States … but he isn’t going to “endorse” him.

While I scratch my head over that one, I’ll just ask out loud: Didn’t he just endorse the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee?

Flores is angry at Trump over the candidate’s suggestion that U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel cannot preside over a case involving Trump University because of his Mexican heritage.

As the Texas Tribune reported: “I was incredibly angry to see Mr. Trump question a judge’s motives because of his ethnicity,” (Flores) added. “Like tens of millions of Americans, I will not vote for Hillary Clinton and desire to vote for a bold, conservative leader. Mr. Trump can be that leader, and we are ready to help him when he focuses on vision instead of inappropriate attacks.”

But … no endorsement, right?


The Republican Party political class is facing this difficulty across the nation. A lot of pols seem willing to acknowledge they’ll vote for Trump, but they won’t endorse him.

I guess that means they won’t stand on a campaign stage and hoist their presidential nominee’s hand in the air. They won’t introduce him to crowds with glowing praise.

Is it interesting to anyone — other than yours truly — that the Democrats don’t appear to have this problem with their presumed presidential nominee, Hillary Rodham Clinton? Are we hearing Democratic politicians say things that Rep. Flores is saying, that they’ll vote for Clinton but won’t endorse her?

Yes, I’ve seen the polls that suggest a lot of Democrats who currently support Bernie Sanders will defect to Trump if Clinton gets the party nomination.

We’ll see, though, whether that defection rate holds up as the general election campaign moves forward.

Meantime, I’ll be watching other Republican political leaders try to explain how a commitment to vote for Donald Trump isn’t an endorsement of his presidential candidacy.

Trump winnows the judicial field

checks balance

This business of Donald J. Trump’s comments on a judge’s racial heritage is getting a little out of hand.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee remains in some seriously hot water over comments he made about a judge who’s presiding over litigation involving the defunct Trump University. U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel is an American-born jurist whose parents are Mexican immigrants.

Trump railed against the judge, saying he’s “a Mexican” who has been “very unfair to me” because of Trump’s proposal to “build a wall” across the southern border with Mexico.

Thus, Judge Curiel is disqualified, according to Trump.

Then he told CBS News’s John Dickerson that he might want Muslims disqualified from hearing any cases involving Trump because of his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States.

Now, get a load of this one.

A Trump spokeswoman said female judges might have to be disqualified because of Trump’s statements denigrating women.

Hmmm. Let’s play this out.

Who else might be unable to serve on the bench to litigate a case involving Trump?

A judge with a physical disability is one. Trump once mocked a disabled New York Times reporter.

A former prisoner of war. Trump once said that U.S. Sen. John McCain is a “war hero” only because he was shot down, captured and held captive for five-plus years. “I like people who weren’t captured, OK?” Trump said.

A judge who’s been married only one time. Trump is on his third marriage and has boasted openly about the affairs he’s had with women other than those to whom he was married.


Is it reasonable to assume that in Trump’s mind the only people who could judge a case involving him fairly and without bias are people who are just like him?

If so, then the pool of potential judges appears to have been narrowed considerably.


A summation of Trump’s unfitness


Erica Grieder writes a blog for Texas Monthly.

She is highly opinionated, which is why I enjoy reading her blog. She doesn’t hide her disdain for Republican presumptive presidential nominee Donald J. Trump.

She writes: “My contempt for Donald Trump is admittedly sincere and abiding, but I suspect that even observers who take a more temperate view of the man might agree that the Republican Party’s decision to accept him as their presidential nominee is a calculation that could haunt them for years.

Here is more of what she wrote about Trump’s candidacy: “Trump is GOP nominee for president. His opponent, in the general election, will almost certainly be Hillary Clinton. He is technically qualified to hold the office, should he win 270 electoral votes, as he was born in the United States and is over the age of 35. At the same time, Trump is an uninformed and emotionally unstable plague who has, over 70 years of life, proven himself incapable of wielding any form of power without immediately looking for some ham-fisted way he can leverage it to serve his profoundly fragile ego.”

Here’s the entire blog posted on the Burka Blog website:


She writes that Gov. Greg Abbott is backing Trump even though he knows Trump is a phony and a fraud.

Back to one of the points in her paragraph that I shared with you here.

Trump’s candidacy is not built on a commitment to public service. It is built solely on his monstrous ego. Listen to what he says about his supposedly immense wealth, about his “world-class business” ventures, about the women in his life, about his singular plans to “make America great.”

Public service? It’s a foreign concept to this guy.

Say what you will about the ills of the nation — which I believe have been grossly overstated by Trump and those who have glommed on to what passes for this fellow’s campaign message.

We must do better than elect an entertainer with zero experience dealing with a government he now proposes to fix. He has no template from which to pattern whatever he intends to do.

If he intends to repair the government, someone needs to explain to me what he intends to produce.

Does this guy have a clue about anything that resembles an understanding of the massive governmental machine he intends to operate?

Has the GOP nominee-to-be finally gone too far?


This might be considered something of a rhetorical question with no answer at least readily available, but I’ll pose it anyway.

Has Donald J. Trump finally issued the nonsensical statement that delivers the message many of us have known all along — that he is temperamentally unfit for the office of president of the United States?

The presumptive Republican nominee is getting shelled not just by Democrats, but by his new “best friend,” House Republican Speaker Paul Ryan, over comments he made about a federal judge.

Trump referred to U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel as “a Mexican” while declaring that the judge is guilty of a conflict of interest in the case he is hearing regarding the defunct Trump University.

Some former students have filed suit against Trump and the “university” he founded, claiming they were bilked out of money they shelled out to attend this online educational program.

Curiel isn’t Mexican. He’s an American. He was born in Indiana. His parents are immigrants from Mexico. He went to California after completing law school and became a hard-charging prosecutor who put many drug lords behind bars.

Now he’s hearing this Trump U case, but Trump says he’s got a conflict because the presidential candidate wants to “build a wall” along our border with Mexico to keep illegal immigrants out. Therefore, according to Trump, Curiel cannot judge this case fairly because of his heritage.

The blowback on this comment has been intense and sustained.

Ryan, who just 24 hours before Trump made the “Mexican” comment had endorsed Trump’s candidacy, criticized the candidate’s “left-field” assertion.


And, of course, the comment has drawn relentless fire from Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, who said: “If our president doesn’t believe in the rule of law, doesn’t believe in our constitution with a separation of power with an independent judiciary, that is one of the most dangerous signals that we are dealing with somebody who is a demagogue.”

She added, “If we start disqualifying people because of who their parents and grandparents might be and where they came from,” Clinton continued. “That would be running counter to everything we believe in.”

I am leery of predicting that Trump has finally uttered the politically fatal campaign gaffe. He’s had so many such moments along the way that — in a normal election season –Trump’s candidacy would have been tossed aside long ago.

I am an optimist by nature. My optimism has been dealt a boost once again by the Republican candidate’s loud and uncontrollable mouth.