Saturday, December 31, 2016

Ode to Baron Sir Rikkkki De Riiiik , Count and Grand Duke of the Kingdom Of Zion by the Bard of Bat Yam, Poet Laureate of Zion

Image may contain: people sitting, cat and indoorImage may contain: catImage may contain: people sittingImage may contain: screen, cat and indoorImage may contain: 1 person, cat and close-upImage may contain: screen, cat and indoor

Hey You Two Legs instead of Four, I am  Rikkki de Riiik,  the JAP  Ginger Cat
Like all Jewish American Princes,  , lie on Steve"s book cluttered desk all day long
And yes, I am a cat that is  chubbyportlyflabby but not yet fat

I am related to George Windsor, posh,polished  and proud to be a Aristocrat
The Lord Mayors, an  Earl, pearl  and apple  in  Steve eyes I never can do any wrong
I am The Riiik his  snuggable, huggable,  lovable cuddly hot water bottle Ginger Cat

I will not wash the dishes , Steve, nor chase those free ranging bugs , slugs or even a  rat
Wrapped in  fleece blankets , on Steve's sofa and desk all day long  is were I belong
And yes,I am Rikkkie de Riiik Grand Duke of Chalet Darori , Palace de  Bat Yam  a Plutocrat

The Proletarian Wall Refuge Cats can bash the rat with a bat
Butter and barbecue spice  him in a crok pot, feed him to Mr. Mordechai Ching  Chong
I am a Rukkki de Riiik ( 3 xI  3 x K) Steve's favourite and most favoured  Ginger Cat

When other cats see me., bestest buddy of Steve, they do bow to my heritage ,fearand  frat
I am The Bard of Bat Yam's top cat and the kittycat muse cof the midnight meouing  song
And yes I am Ginger with white strips, a cat with a Coat of Arms not at all a yeechy fruit bat

I am that the Cat who sleeps all day on The Poet Laureate of Zion's couch also his mat
And at night nose to nose with him , yes I can be  exceedingly jealous and headstrong
My Name is Baron Sir Rikkkki De Riiik and Count  Steve's Most Favoured  Ginger Cat 

Donald Trump is my ex-husband By Greek Goddess

Image result for Cartoon Donald Trump is my husband red flags RipUSA

When we met, he smiled, complimented my looks, took me to fine restaurants, took me dancing. He showed me off, flashing me on his arm like expensive cufflinks. He swept me off my feet, showered me with attention, overwhelmed me with the intensity of his desire for me. He told me how great and accomplished he was and how lucky I was to have him, marveled at the confluence of events in the universe that had brought us together. One month after the day we met he told me he loved me, and one month after that he proposed. Not so much proposed as began talking about how we would be married some day, as though it were the most natural assumption in the world, the inevitable result of our miraculous joining. He said that having a ceremony was almost redundant because we were already married in God’s eyes, yet it was urgent that we marry as soon as possible because the only way we could be together physically was within the sanctity of marriage, which was the only way he wanted his children (and mine) to witness our relationship. We would be a shining example to them, and to the world, of a real family, a Christian family, a good and proper family, where the man treats the woman like a precious diamond and the woman is her husband’s helpmeet in all things. Even though I was an atheist, he declared that my character and outlook on life were more Christian than those of all the other women he had known. He readily admitted that he had been a player, with a string of marriages, one-night stands, three-ways, and physically confrontational relationships behind him. But he was now changed. He was godly, Christian, a new man, a tender and attentive father of two innocent girls. A beloved teacher, a devout churchgoer, a devoted brother to his single sister, and a forgiving son to his deeply damaged father, whose marital indiscretions had resulted in his parents’ divorce when their children were very young. And I was his angel, his love, his inspiration, his very reason for living. #SoTackySoTrump

Six months after we met, we married. We continued living in our separate households for a year to help our children transition into our new life. We visited each other and had sleepovers when the kids weren’t home. It was like a year-long date weekend. He hung a photo of us on his bedroom wall with the caption, “A man’s greatest treasure is his wife. She is a gift from the Lord. Prov. 18:22.”

I moved into his house after our first anniversary. I put the contents of my house into storage with the idea that I would gradually incorporate my furniture, appliances, and pictures into my new home. But his house was so completely furnished that there simply wasn’t room for any of my things, which he took to calling “junk.” Once all my things were in storage and I was more or less settled in to the space I was allotted (a dresser and a closet—or, as one of my best friends observed later, “You went from a five-bedroom house of your own to a nursing home.”), he came home one night, found that I hadn’t done something he had wanted me to do, and called me a name. I laughed in his face—it had to be a joke, right?—until I saw the hate in his eyes and realized he was serious. I could hardly believe it. I never dreamed this side of my husband existed. But from that point on, that was the side I primarily saw. There were moments when the charming, sweet, solicitous man I thought I ‘d married came out, particularly at gatherings or in public, and so long as that man was beaming at me, I was limp with relief. I redoubled my efforts to be as good and hardworking as I could be to avoid arousing his ire, which I found terrifying. After several such episodes I managed to screw up the courage to ask him, gently, to explain what had happened. He told me that sometimes he reacted the way he did because of his traumatic childhood watching his father abuse his mother. He said that he needed me to reassure him that he was valuable and lovable and that he never wanted to be “on the outside of” my love. I believed his promises that he had changed because I desperately needed to. My credibility, my son’s happiness, our very lives depended on it. When the smiles were replaced by the flashing eyes and the silent treatment that often stretched on for weeks, I felt sick and useless and worthless. He called it being in “the man cave”; I felt I was in the doghouse. I tiptoed on eggshells.

Then the threats came. He always said he’d married me because he needed a good woman to help him “get to the next level”; now he said that if I didn’t help him, he would find someone who would. I was in it too deeply; a year and a half into the marriage three children watching anxiously, hopefully, for the stability they were promised. I clung to the good times that would eventually emerge after the “man cave” times and told myself that the good times were our “real” life, our “real” marriage, and that the ever-lengthening periods of his white-hot anger were the anomalies.

Presently I discovered that he had active profiles on several online dating sites and was hitting on women daily. I managed to save screen shots of his activities and messages, knowing that they would be useful sometime.

I hid it well. I didn’t breathe a word of what I was enduring to my family or friends. I even went to great lengths to tell them how happy I was. I smiled at church, which I attended with him because he said it was important to him. Once the pastor invited to the altar women who had ever been abused. I sat stiffly in the pew, watching in horror as women poured down the aisles by the hundreds, some weeping, and clogged the front of the sanctuary (it was a mega-church with a weekly attendance averaging nearly 5,000). I longed to join them, but I knew that if I did I would pay dearly later.

Any time I was busy with one of my community activities, he would accuse me of neglecting my family who needed me more than did a “bunch of strangers.” I was involved in a local Dancing with the Stars production, and I frantically rushed from rehearsals to get home in time to avoid his wrath. During the show I went backstage to check my messages. I had received a text message from him, and my heart jumped—was he coming to see me in the show? I opened the message to read, “I think it’s best if we get a divorce.” I felt my body freezing from the inside out, my neck tingling, my limbs hardening and then becoming brittle as though they might shatter if I moved a muscle. I stood motionless until the lights dimmed, signalling the end of intermission, then I put down my phone, walked onstage, and danced with my blissfully oblivious partner, a prominent doctor in the community. Afterwards I went home and slept fitfully on the couch. But when morning came he woke me up with yelling, putdowns, accusations and, finally, violence. A broken dresser remained after he stalked out of the house, but I understood that the furniture was a proxy for me, and that if I stayed, I would be next.

Within days, he brought me flowers, declared his undying love, begged me never to stop loving him. I had called the National Domestic Violence Hotline several times over the past few months, but I always stopped short of following their advice to get out as soon as possible. After the broken dresser, I acted. I got a referral to a local support group for survivors of domestic violence and began attending weekly meetings. Ready at last both to acknowledge that I was in an abusive relationship and to follow the advice I was given, I squirreled away money, packed a bag with necessities, made copies of important documents, secured promises of shelter from a few close friends, and waited, with as much cool as I could muster, for the right time to leave.

Where is our nation’s broken dresser? How much longer will we deny we are in an abusive relationship with a lying, cheating, controlling, violent bully? When will we finally screw up the courage to call him what he is and reclaim our dignity and peace of mind? How did we even get to this point in the first place? Why did we allow ourselves to be seduced by an empty showman? How did we miss the red flags?

And how will we ensure we will never fall into this trap again?

I left without a backward glance with my preparations in order and my spirit intact. It took the better part of a year to regain my footing, and my son is still regaining his. But he and I reach, ever hopeful, toward a new future. Will America? #AmericaHangsItsHeadInShame #RipUSA

Cameos From Zion: #RIPUSA , # SoTackySoTrump Melania poses with a Gu...

Cameos From Zion: #RIPUSA , # SoTackySoTrump Melania poses with a Gu...: .... and the alt right had a problem with Michelle's arms ? Oy Vey #AmericaHangsItsHeadInShame Well there you have it… He thinks he i...

#RIPUSA , # SoTackySoTrump Melania poses with a Gun, Thong on Trump's $60 Million Plane

.... and the alt right had a problem with Michelle's arms ? Oy Vey #AmericaHangsItsHeadInShame

Well there you have it… He thinks he is King of the World and she poses like she in an auditon for a James Bond movie. The NRA endorsed Trump.. HA. totally classless and they call themselves conservative. Hypocritical right wing trashed our First Lady because she bared her arms differently.

I guess to get millions of voters on the right has proven that all you have to do is bully, threaten violence and have a wife show her ass. So much class...Oh my. I just can’t see these people in the White House.

Cameos From Zion: 2016 Oy Vey World Richest made $330 billion thanks...

Cameos From Zion: 2016 Oy Vey World Richest made $330 billion thanks...: Their combined fortunes were up 5.7 per cent at $US4.4 trillion by the close of trading on December 27. "In general, clients rode throu...

2016 Oy Vey World Richest made $330 billion thanks to #RIPUSA Donald Trump , Populist won the Presidential Elections #America HandsItsHeadInShame that they actively opposed.

Their combined fortunes were up 5.7 per cent at $US4.4 trillion by the close of trading on December 27.

"In general, clients rode through the volatility," said Simon Smiles, chief investment officer for ultra-high-net-worth clients at UBS Wealth Management. "2016 ended up being a spectacular year for risk assets. Pretty remarkable given the start of the year."

The gains were led by Warren Buffett, who added $US11.8 billion during the year as his investment firm Berkshire Hathaway saw its airline and banking holdings soar after Trump's surprise victory on November 8. That averages to gains of $US32.2 million ($44.9 million) a day for the octogenarian Sage of Omaha.

Buffett, who's pledged to give away most of his fortune to charity, donated Berkshire Hathaway stock valued at $US2.6 billion in July.
Berkshire bonanza

The legendary US investor reclaimed his spot as the world's second-richest person two days after Trump's victory ignited a year-end rally that pushed Buffett's wealth up 19 per cent for the year to $US74.1 billion.
Warren Buffett had rallied for Hillary Clinton, but Trump's victory has been good for his portfolio: Averaged out over the year, he made about $45 million a day. Photo: AP

"2016's been event-driven with global news driving prices rather than fundamentals," said Michael Cole, president of Ascent Private Capital Management, which has about $US10 billion of assets under administration. "The belief that Trump is going to come in and deregulate big parts of the economy is driving the markets right now."

The individual gains for the year were dominated by Americans, who had four of the five biggest increases on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, the world's richest person with a fortune of $US91.5 billion, and oilman Harold Hamm.
Microsoft's Bill Gates remains the world's richest person with a fortune of $US91.7 billion. Photo: Chris Goodney

The country's richest were largely opposed to a Trump presidency during the election, including Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who told the media in May that stocks could fall as much as 20 per cent if Trump were to win the election.

Trump's wealth cabinet

U.S. billionaires -- including Buffett -- favoured Trump's rival Hillary Clinton. Still, they profited from his victory when they added $US77 billion to their fortunes in the post-election rally fuelled by expectations that regulations would ease and American industry would benefit. founder Jeff Bezos, who doubled his fortune to $US60 billion in 2015, led gains among technology executives again this year. Photo: David Ryder

The New York real estate mogul is building a cabinet heavy on wealth and corporate connections, and light on government experience, a mix that hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio said last week would unleash the "animal spirits" of capitalism and drive markets even higher. Dalio is the world's 63rd-richest person with $US14.1 billion.

Investors and executives welcomed Trump's choices - including billionaire Wilbur Ross to lead the Department of Commerce and former Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin as his Treasury secretary -, who have a combined net worth of at least $US5.6 billion, according to the index.

"You know, I was not opposing Trump as much as most people," Saudi Arabian billionaire Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber said in an interview on December 11. "He's capable and -- as a businessman -- he's shrewd about the bottom line. The people he's surrounding himself with have baggage but they're also successful and shrewd."

France's Bernard Arnault was the sole non-American representative among the five best performers, adding $US7.1 billion to take his fortune to $US38.9 billion. His LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton said the Chinese luxury-goods market is improving.

Gates remained the world's richest person throughout the year. Amancio Ortega, Europe's richest person and founder of the Zara clothing chain, was in second place on the index for most of the year until he ceded it to Buffett in November. Ortega, who dropped $US1.7 billion in 2016, is the world's third-richest person with a $US71.2 billion fortune.

Mining cash

Wildcatter Hamm's fortune was propelled by a strengthening oil price and expectations a Trump administration will slash fossil-fuel regulations. Hamm added $US8.4 billion to more than double his fortune to $US15.3 billion. He led the 49 energy, metals and mining billionaires, who were the best-performing category on the ranking, adding $US80 billion and reversing the $US32 billion fall they had in 2015.

Billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch each dropped $US2 billion after Koch Industries reported on its website that annual revenue is estimated to be "as high as $US100 billion," compared with the estimate of "as much as $US115 billion" that the conglomerate published on the site previously. Company spokesman Rob Carlton stated in an email on November 17 that Koch revenue fluctuates with the price of commodities.

Tech winners

Technology fortunes were the second-best performing on the ranking, with 55 billionaires adding $US50 billion to their fortunes over the year, despite worries that a Trump presidency might introduce policies that could hurt their companies.

"I think we'll have to see what the policies of the administration are," Google co-founder Sergey Brin told the media gathered on the red carpet of the annual Breakthrough Prize gala in Silicon Valley in December. "I certainly hope they will be pro-science, pro-technology and all the things this world has really benefited from." founder Jeff Bezos, who doubled his fortune to $US60 billion in 2015, led gains among technology executives again this year, gaining $US7.5 billion in 2016 on robust sales growth at the online retailer. He was followed by Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, who added $US5.4 billion.

Hidden wealth

Some of the industry's biggest relative gains went to the founders of the world's leading startups, such as Uber's Travis Kalanick and Snap's Evan Spiegel. The so-called "unicorn" billionaires, which include Spotify co-founder Martin Lorentzon, who was identified as a billionaire for the first time in 2016, secured a series of mammoth funding rounds while moving closer to testing their fortunes on the public markets.

Other billionaires uncovered by the Bloomberg index in 2016 included the father and son behind Jose Cuervo tequila, New York real estate developer Axel Stawski and Kosovo construction tycoon Behgjet Pacolli.

The index also unveiled 11 surviving family members of reclusive Thai entrepreneur Chaleo Yoovidhya, the inventor of Red Bull, whose heirs share a combined $US22 billion net worth, the world's largest energy-drink fortune. Three billionaires emerged in Argentina, including the country's first technology billionaire Marcos Galperin, as markets rose on enthusiasm for President Mauricio Macri's finance-friendly economic policies.

Most fortunes outside of the U.S. didn't get the same boost from Trump's victory, and were hurt by fluctuating commodities prices and the rise of the US dollar, the currency used for the Bloomberg ranking. Nine of the 10 biggest decliners in 2016 were from outside the US, led by China's second-richest person, Wang Jianlin, who lost $US5.8 billion. Wang ended the year as the world's 21st-richest person with $US30.6 billion.

Nigeria's Aliko Dangote, the richest person in Africa, lost $US4.9 billion - or one-third of his wealth - as the combined effect of falling oil prices and the June devaluation of the naira pushed him to No. 112 with $US10.4 billion. Dangote was the world's 46th-richest person in June.

Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud's fortune fell by $US4.9 billion, a 20 per cent drop. Alwaleed said in November that all of his stakes in public companies including Citigroup are potentially for sale, reversing a longstanding policy that some of his most prized shareholdings were "forever."

Chinese downturn

Wealth creation in China turned negative for the first time in five years, with the country's richest losing $US11 billion in 2016 amid a slump in the Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 index and a 7 per cent decline for the yuan against the US dollar.

Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma closed the year with $US33.3 billion, adding $US3.6 billion in 2016. He dropped in and out of his place as Asia's richest person for the first four months of the year before claiming it for good in May after Alibaba's finance affiliate, which is laying the groundwork for an initial public offering expected as soon as next year, completed a record $US4.5 billion equity fundraising round.

China has 31 billionaires on the index with $US262 billion, trailing the US. which has 179 billionaires who control $US1.9 trillion, and Germany, whose 39 individuals own a combined $US281 billion. Russian billionaires also began to put the negative effects of US and European sanctions behind them, reversing the combined $US63 billion declines for 2014 and 2015 and adding $US49 billion in 2016.

'Expect the unexpected'

Wealth managers for the world's richest are girding themselves for a similarly frenetic start to 2017 as the seismic changes voters demanded this year start to take shape.

"Expect the unexpected," said Sabine Kaiser, founder of SKadvisory, which advises family offices on venture capital and private equity.

"I don't think family offices are overly concerned or getting too nervous but after Brexit and Trump they've resigned themselves to market volatility."

Friday, December 30, 2016

Cameos From Zion: A Poem to Celebrate the Union of Richard and Annie...

Cameos From Zion: A Poem to Celebrate the Union of Richard and Annie...: Oye Vey The Bard of Bat Yam tongue tied I began  But what better muse did I have other than the  wedding of Richard and Rhoann The Po...

A Poem to Celebrate the Union of Richard and Anniekins.... Mazal Tov from Kimmie , Jonty and Rikkki and the Bard of Bat Yam , Poet Laureate of Zion

cover picture

Oye Vey The Bard of Bat Yam tongue tied I began
But what better muse did I have other than the wedding of Richard and Rhoann
The Poet Laureate of Zion could not temporary speak in rhythm and rhyme
And send a greeting to those under the Chuppah did stand and then bells did chime

On your wedding day Rikkki de Riiik and I send,
Some loving wishes to you as a long long time friend.
Don't worry what the future brings,
We are sure it will be full of the most happy happy things!

The brachot and blessings you exchange;the rings you will wear, 

For both , Anniekins and Richard to share!
A circle of real happiness to look to
The day of your marriage,yes it really really is true

So come rain or sunshine everything will be brilliantly fine,
The Riiik and I are sure you had a wonderful great time.
With all family and friends, digitally and physically beside you in your bros pozzie
We wish you showers of love, simcha v'sasoon , Richard and Annie

Starting your lives as one, Rikkki de Riiik ,Kimmie , Jonty and I wish you happiness together
May reign over your lives forever forever forever and ever

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, indoor

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Cameos From Zion: Zion loses its Virginity ( finally) to backstabbin...

Cameos From Zion: Zion loses its Virginity ( finally) to backstabbin...: 0    In four respects, UNSCR 2334 undermines the prospects of Israeli-Palestinian peace and threatens what little regional stability is...

Zion loses its Virginity ( finally) to backstabbing Uncle Sambama : United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 a step away for the Cause of Peace.


 In four respects, UNSCR 2334 undermines the prospects of Israeli-Palestinian peace and threatens what little regional stability is left. First, it could force Israel to fall back on its powerful legal position as the only existing legal inheritor of the British Mandate. Second, it compounds the error made by Obama's transition team even before he came to power of ignoring a written commitment of a US president. Third, it has placed Sisi's government in Egypt – a keystone of regional stability – in an untenable position. Fourth and most painfully, it will make it far more complicated – if not impossible – for the Palestinian leadership, enticed by the prospect of international coercion, to accept a reasonable compromise. The New Zealanders, do-gooders with a very dim understanding of what they have wrought, can be forgiven such folly. The Obama administration has no such excuses.
"Be careful what you wish for; you might get it" says the old adage, and sober elements among the Palestinian leadership may yet rue the day they managed to secure an American abstention leading to the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334. The resolution condemns “settlement activity” anywhere, including East Jerusalem, and calls upon all members to distinguish in practice between Jews who live on one side of the Armistice Line of 1949 and those who live beyond it. It presumes to speak in the name of international law and to create the conditions for further progress towards peace in the interests of both Palestinians and "legitimate" Israelis. In fact, this poorly designed and atrociously timed diplomatic tool seems set to harm, if not entirely destroy, the very purposes it was designed to serve.
It is bound to do damage to Israeli interests (and those of Palestinian employees in Jewish-owned businesses) through the encouragement of practices already promoted by the EU (labelling, differential tariffs, etc.) and by giving momentum to the BDS movement, which aims at the ultimate delegitimization of Israel and the entire Zionist project. But these effects can be effectively countered by energetic action by Israel and its friends, not least in the US Congress. As in the (non-comparable) case of terrorism, they must not be allowed to dictate life and death decisions to Israel that need to be taken strictly according to the national interest.
Much greater harm has been done to the prospects for peace and regional stability.  There are several sad aspects to this, all pointing to the short-sighted and perhaps vindictive mindset behind the Obama administration's decision to let it happen when it could easily have been avoided. In line with several of the administration’s past decisions, it speaks the language of high morality but fails to attend to basic facts or possible consequences.
To begin with, the entire disquisition rests upon President Jimmy Carter's costly mistake of allowing a similar text, UNSCR 465, to slip through in March 1980. The passage of that resolution had serious consequences both to Carter’s political standing (Obama, preferring to act in his lame duck period, took no such risks) and to the advancement of the process initiated at Camp David. When Israeli leaders are confronted with a UN and US endorsement of the Arab narrative, which ignores the circumstances of both 1949 and 1967, they are unlikely to feel comfortable enough to work for an equitable compromise, and certainly not when there is no partner for compromise on the other side.
Moreover, by using litigious language (which may lead to trouble at the ICC, if the Prosecutor's office is not careful in the use of criteria such as gravitas and complementarity), UNSCR 2334 may leave Israel no choice but to stand on its own interpretation of international law. That interpretation stands on very firm ground, as suggested by the late Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy. The so-called "Palestinian Occupied Territories" were never Palestinian at any point for these reasons: first, the Palestinian leadership rejected UNGAR 181 (November 1947) in all its aspects and launched a war of annihilation; and second, the territories were held between 1949 and 1967 by an occupying power that gained the recognition of only two states (Britain and Pakistan) to their annexation to Jordan. They are therefore, as the late Prime Minister Begin was fond of reminding his listeners, res nullius. Israel is thus the only existing inheritor of the League of Nations mandate, which called upon the mandatory power to secure the "close settlement of Jews on the land."
Israel never chose to turn the political effort to reach a compromise into a legal wrangle, but that choice may now have been thrust upon it. The Israeli government has sidestepped even elementary legal arguments, such as the obvious meaning of the phrase in UNSCR 242 calling for withdrawal from "territories," not "the territories." The assumption was that a narrow legal approach would bind Israel’s hands when the day came to offer significant concessions. But now that Israel has been essentially put in the dock by 2334, it has ample legal tools at its disposal with which to counter the assault – at the expense, sadly, of a coherent discussion of practical compromises.
A second unfortunate aspect is that the Obama administration, secure in the presumption that it was "saving Israel from itself," drew no lessons from its own past errors of judgment. This goes all the way back to the decision, taken by Obama’s transition team before the 2009 inauguration, to annul a written commitment by President George W. Bush in an exchange of letters with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in April 2004 that implied that the terms of reference for negotiations should reflect the demographic realities on the ground. This abandonment, which shook Israeli professionals and politicians, was unprecedented, and did much to undermine the prospect of peace from day one. Indeed, Obama's efforts to create "daylight" between US and Israeli positions led to the one of the longest barren periods in the history of the peace process. Now the mistake has been repeated and worsened. A tragedy replayed as a farce is still a tragedy.
A third and highly damaging, if indirect, result of the vote is the potential discrediting of Egyptian President Sisi as a useful influence in the region. Approached by President-elect Trump, with whom he has established a warm relationship, Sisi was willing to pull the Egyptian draft. Instead of honoring Trump’s wish to let the incoming administration take its own stock of the situation, Obama dismissed the effort as irrelevant. With the proclamation “we are still here,” he went ahead with the resolution, cooperating with the likes of Venezuela and Malaysia, putting Sisi in the untenable position of being less loyal than they are to the Arab cause. Obama’s ill-judged action has reduced Sisi’s vital role as a cornerstone of regional stability, and rapid action will be required to undo the damage.
Finally and most tragically, the resolution greatly reduces the likelihood that the Palestinian leadership will have what it takes to strike a workable compromise at the negotiating table. It is weak and divided (notwithstanding President Abbas’s success at the Seventh Fatah Conference, where he isolated and even criminalized his rival, Muhammad Dahlan), and has not been marked hitherto by the courage necessary to make an implementable outcome possible.
Abbas did offer a conciliatory note after the UN vote, calling for coexistence and implying that he is aware that the future still depends on the Israeli electorate. But he is less able now than ever before to offer a vision that departs from the template of expectations he and his colleagues have generated. A "solution" tailored to satisfy the hopes fostered by the UNSCR text – i.e., the delegitimization and ultimate removal of each and every Jew living beyond the 1949 armistice lines, absurdly including East Jerusalem – simply cannot be implemented. Anyone who encourages the Palestinians to believe that the forced removal of hundreds of thousands is preferable to a convoluted but practical compromise that would involve human dislocation on a much smaller scale – and that leaves Jerusalem a living, united city – is abetting a pipe dream.
Venezuela and Malaysia, virulent anti-Israel players, did this for their own reasons. Senegal tagged along. New Zealand may have failed to comprehend what the initiative entails, and in Europe the settlements have been an obsessive preoccupation for years. But the Obama administration was well positioned to know that this resolution would do little but harm. Its decision to let it happen anyway, when Egypt offered a legitimate and honorable way out, raises troubling questions about Obama’s motives. Still, there is a silver lining. Given the Obama administration’s own practice of annulling its predecessor's position, it is now their position that can legitimately be undone – by practical and symbolic acts – come January 21.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Cameos From Zion: #RIPUSA Defying U.N., Israel Prepares to Build Mo...

Cameos From Zion: #RIPUSA Defying U.N., Israel Prepares to Build Mo...: Housing construction last week on the outskirts of Ramat Shlomo, a Jewish housing development in East Jerusalem. CreditJim Hollander/Europea...

#RIPUSA Defying U.N., Israel Prepares to Build More Settlements

Housing construction last week on the outskirts of Ramat Shlomo, a Jewish housing development in East Jerusalem. CreditJim Hollander/European Pressphoto Agency

 Undeterred by a resounding defeat at the United Nations, Israel’s government said Monday that it would move ahead with thousands of new homes in East Jerusalem and warned nations against further action, declaring that Israel does not “turn the other cheek.”

Just a few days after the United Nations Security Council voted to condemn Israeli settlements, Jerusalem’s municipal government signaled that it would not back down: The city intends to approve 600 housing units in the predominantly Palestinian eastern section of town on Wednesday in what a top official called a first installment on 5,600 new homes.

The defiant posture reflected a bristling anger among Israel’s pro-settlement political leaders, who not only blamed the United States for failing to block the Council resolution, but also claimed to have secret intelligence showing that President Obama’s team had orchestrated it. American officials strongly denied the claim, but the sides seem poised for more weeks of conflict until Mr. Obama hands over the presidency to Donald J. Trump.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has lashed out at Security Council countries by curbing diplomatic contacts, recalling envoys, cutting off aid and summoning the American ambassador for a scolding. He canceled a planned visit this week by Ukraine’s prime minister even as he expressed concern on Monday that Mr. Obama was planning more action at the United Nations before his term ends next month.Continue reading the main story

The prime minister defended his retaliation. “Israel is a country with national pride, and we do not turn the other cheek,” he said. “This is a responsible, measured and vigorous response, the natural response of a healthy people that is making it clear to the nations of the world that what was done at the U.N. is unacceptable to us.”

The Security Council resolution that passed Friday condemned Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as a “flagrant violation under international law” and an obstacle to peace. The Council approved it 14 to 0, with the United States abstaining instead of using its unilateral veto, as it has in the past.

Mr. Trump publicly pressed for a veto of the resolution and has chosen a settlement advocate as his administration’s ambassador to Israel. He turned to Twitter on Monday night to air complaints that the United Nations “is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time.”

Palestinian leaders made clear that they would use the resolution in international bodies to press their case against Israel. With the imprimatur of a United Nations finding of illegality, they said, they will campaign to require that other countries not just label products made in the settlements, but ban them.

“Now we can talk about the boycott of all settlements, the companies that work with them, et cetera, and actually take legal action against them if they continue to work with them,” Riad Malki, the Palestinian foreign minister, was quoted as saying by the Palestinian news media.

He outlined other steps the Palestinians could now take, using the resolution to press the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israeli leaders, file lawsuits on behalf of specific Palestinians displaced by settlements and urge the international authorities to determine whether Israel is violating the Geneva Conventions.

“We are looking to devise a comprehensive vision, and hopefully 2017 will be the year when the Israeli occupation ends,” Mr. Malki said.

Israeli officials said such pronouncements showed that the resolution actually undermined chances for a negotiated settlement because the Palestinians now have less incentive to come to the table. By declaring Israeli settlements illegal, they said, the United Nations essentially took away the one chip that Israel had to trade, meaning land.

“The Palestinians are waging a diplomatic and legal war against Israel. That’s the strategy,” Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador to the United States, said in a phone interview. “Their strategy is not to negotiate an agreement with Israel because a deal is give and take. They want take and take.”

Israel’s settlement project, once a scattering of houses across the so-called Green Line marking the borders before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, has grown substantially over the years. In 2009, the year Mr. Obama took office, 297,000 people lived in West Bank settlements and 193,737 in East Jerusalem. That increased to 386,000 in the West Bank by the end of last year and 208,000 in East Jerusalem by the end of 2014, according to Peace Now, a group that opposes settlements.

Israeli officials note that when Mr. Netanyahu acquiesced to a 10-month settlement freeze sought by Mr. Obama in 2009, the Palestinians still did not agree to negotiate until just before time ran out. But the addition of more than 100,000 settlers during Mr. Obama’s tenure convinced him that it was time to change his approach at the United Nations, aides said.

The 618 housing units to be granted building permits in East Jerusalem on Wednesday have been in the works for a while, and the planning committee meeting agenda was set before the United Nations acted. But the committee chairman said he was determined to go forward with units totaling 5,600.

“I won’t get worked up over the U.N. or any other organization that might try to dictate to us what to do in Jerusalem,” Deputy Mayor Meir Turgeman, the planning committee chairman, told the newspaper Israel Hayom. “I hope that the government and the new administration in the United States will give us momentum to continue.”

Although he did not specify which projects he had in mind, Ir Amim, a private group tracking settlements in East Jerusalem, said he was probably referring to projects in Gilo and Givat Hamatos. Betty Herschman, the group’s director of international relations and advocacy, said it was “defiance demonstrated after Trump’s election, now reinforced by the U.N. resolution.”

Anat Ben Nun, the director of development and external relations for Peace Now, said such construction was problematic. “Netanyahu’s attempt to avenge the U.N.S.C. resolution through approval of plans beyond the Green Line will only harm Israelis and Palestinians by making it more difficult to arrive at a two-state solution,” she said.

Israeli leaders said they had no reason to stop building. The Security Council resolution “was absurd and totally removed from reality,” said Oded Revivi, chief foreign envoy for the Yesha Council, which represents West Bank settlers. “Israeli building policies are set in Jerusalem, not New York.”

For the fourth day, Israeli officials accused Mr. Obama’s team of ambushing them at the United Nations. While the White House denied it, Israeli officials pointed to a meeting between Secretary of State John Kerry and his New Zealand counterpart a month before the Council vote discussing a resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. New Zealand was a sponsor of Friday’s measure.

Mr. Dermer, the ambassador, said Israel had other, nonpublic information proving the Obama administration’s involvement but provided no evidence and would not elaborate beyond saying it would be provided to Mr. Trump’s team when he takes office.

“They not only did not get up and stop it, they were behind it from the beginning,” Mr. Dermer said. “This is why the prime minister is so angry. We’re going to stand up against it.”

Israeli officials worried that Mr. Kerry would use a coming speech or a conference in France to outline an American peace plan that would be hostile to Israel’s interests. Mr. Kerry’s office had no comment.

The fury of Mr. Netanyahu’s response has generated debate at home. Mitchell Barak, a political consultant, said the political left considered the resolution “an epic foreign policy and diplomatic debacle” by Mr. Netanyahu.

But to his base, the Security Council action confirmed what they believed all along, that Mr. Obama is inherently anti-Israel, and so the prime minister comes across as a champion beset by enemies. “For them,” Mr. Barak said, “Netanyahu emerges from this unscathed, as the lone wolf in a lion’s den of hatred.”

Cameos From Zion: Yael MCCann ,another proposal from the Bard of Bat...

Cameos From Zion: Yael MCCann ,another proposal from the Bard of Bat...: Yael McCann ,behold a beautiful, majestic  Canadian Goose She appears to only be feathered , web foot and a Clucker we must Deduce She seek...

Yael MCCann ,another proposal from the Bard of Bat Yam , Poet Laureate of Zion

Yael McCann ,behold a beautiful, majestic  Canadian Goose
She appears to only be feathered , web foot and a Clucker we must Deduce

She seek a strong, capable guy who wants to study with Her
Someone to grow  in Torah and Mitzvos.and be her handsome Ben Hur

Repeated Marriage Proposals from The Poet Laureate of Zion she does not Lack
But all this single  Ashkenazi jean loving beauty does is respond negative Quacks.

She is specially fond of Gemara, Doctor Who, History Brits and Roman
A Journalist and Publicist in the USAF her secret clandestine  Alaskan  Trojan

When she,not with me in Israel but alone, kosher dines and Sups
Hey,is Skål, Gesondheit ,Sei gesund,Lechaim, In Your Face, Cheers and Bottoms Ups.

Milk and Honey is my favorite food-and I know it Yael's  favorite Too
,migrate to Zion and marry the Bard of Bat Yam and with that proposal ...Adieu 

Monday, December 26, 2016

#RIPUSA Donald Trump's Many Business Failures, Explained #StopTrumpKleptocracy,

 Donald Trump was thundering about a minority group, linking its members to murderers and what he predicted would be an epic crime wave in America. His opponents raged in response—some slamming him as a racist—but Trump dismissed them as blind, ignorant of the real world.

No, this is not a scene from a recent rally in which the Republican nominee for president stoked fears of violence from immigrants or Muslims. The year was 1993, and his target was Native Americans, particularly those running casinos who, Trump was telling a congressional hearing, were sucking up to criminals.

Trump, who at the time was a major casino operator, appeared before a panel on Indian gaming with a prepared statement that was level-headed and raised regulatory concerns in a mature way. But, in his opening words, Trump announced that his written speech was boring, so he went off-script, even questioning the heritage of some Native American casino operators, saying they “don't look like Indians” and launching into a tirade about “rampant” criminal activities on reservations.

Trump claims that his business acumen and personal wealth are ample evidence that he’ll be a great president.MARK WALLHEISER/GETTY

“If [Indian gaming] continues as a threat, it is my opinion that it will blow. It will blow sky high. It will be the biggest scandal ever or one of the biggest scandals since Al Capone,” Trump said. “That an Indian chief is going to tell [mobster] Joey Killer to please get off his reservation is almost unbelievable to me.”

His words were, as is so often the case, incendiary. Lawmakers, latching onto his claim to know more than law enforcement about ongoing criminal activity at Indian casinos, challenged Trump to bring his information to the FBI. One attacked Trump’s argument as the most “irresponsible testimony” he had ever heard. Connecticut Governor Lowell Weicker Jr., whom Trump had praised in his testimony, responded by calling him a “dirtbag” and a bigot; Trump immediately changed his mind about the governor, proclaiming Weicker to be a “fat slob who couldn't get elected dog catcher in Connecticut.”

For opponents of Trump’s presidential run, this contretemps about American Indians might seem like a distant but familiar echo of the racism charges that have dogged his campaign, including his repeated taunting of Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas” because she claims native ancestry. But, in this case, there was more to it than that: Trump, through his offensive tantrum, was throwing away financial opportunities, yet another reminder that, for all his boasting of his acumen and flaunting of his wealth, the self-proclaimed billionaire has often been a lousy businessman.

As Trump was denigrating Native Americans before Congress, other casino magnates were striking management agreements with them. Trump knew the business was there even when he was testifying; despite denying under oath that he had ever tried to arrange deals with Indian casinos, he had done just that a few months earlier, according to an affidavit from Richard Milanovich, the official from the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians who met with Trump, letters from the Trump Organization and phone records. The deal for the Agua Caliente casino instead went to Caesars World. (In 2000, Trump won a contract to manage the casino for the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians, but after Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts declared bankruptcy in 2004, the tribe paid Trump $6 million to go away.) And in his purposeless, false and inflammatory statements before Congress, Trump alienated politicians from around the country, including some who had the power to influence construction contracts—problems that could have been avoided if he had simply read his prepared speech rather than ad-libbing.

Lost contracts, bankruptcies, defaults, deceptions and indifference to investors—Trump’s business career is a long, long list of such troubles, according to regulatory, corporate and court records, as well as sworn testimony and government investigative reports. Call it the art of the bad deal, one created by the arrogance and recklessness of a businessman whose main talent is self-promotion.

He is also pretty good at self-deception, and plain old deception. Trump is willing to claim success even when it is not there, according to his own statements. “I’m just telling you, you wouldn’t say that you're failing,” he said in a 2007 deposition when asked to explain why he would give an upbeat assessment of his business even if it was in trouble. “If somebody said, ‘How you doing?’ you're going to say you're doing good.” Perhaps such dissembling is fine in polite cocktail party conversation, but in the business world it’s called lying.

And while Trump is quick to boast that his purported billions prove his business acumen, his net worth is almost unknowable given the loose standards and numerous outright misrepresentations he has made over the years. In that 2007 deposition, Trump said he based estimates of his net worth at times on “psychology” and “my own feelings.” But those feelings are often wrong—in 2004, he presented unaudited financials to Deutsche Bank while seeking a loan, claiming he was worth $3.5 billion. The bank concluded Trump was, to say the least, puffing; it put his net worth at $788 million, records show. (Trump personally guaranteed $40 million of the loan to his company, so Deutsche coughed up the money. He later defaulted on that commitment.)

Trump’s many misrepresentations of his successes and his failures matter—a lot. As a man who has never held so much as a city council seat, there is little voters can examine to determine if he is competent to hold office. He has no voting record and presents few details about specific policies. Instead, he sells himself as qualified to run the country because he is a businessman who knows how to get things done, and his financial dealings are the only part of his background available to assess his competence to lead the country. And while Trump has had a few successes in business, most of his ventures have been disasters.

Dependent on Daddy

When he was ready for college, Trump wanted to be a movie producer, perhaps the first sign that he was far more interested in the glitz of business than the nuts and bolts. He applied to the University of Southern California to pursue a film career, but when that didn’t work out, he attended Fordham University; two years later, he transferred to the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and got a degree in economics.

Trump boasted when he announced his candidacy last year that he had made his money “the old-fashioned way,” but he is no Bill Gates or Michael Bloomberg, self-made billionaires who were mavericks, innovators in their fields. Instead, the Republican nominee’s wealth is Daddy-made. Almost all of his best-known successes are attributable to family ties or money given to him by his father.

The son of wealthy developer Fred Trump, he went to work for his father’s real estate business immediately after graduating from Wharton and found some success by taking advantage of his father’s riches and close ties to the power brokers in the New York Democratic Party, particularly his decades-long friend Abe Beame, the former mayor of the city.

Governor Hugh Carey points to an artists' conception of the new New York Hyatt Hotel/Convention facility to be built on the site of the former Commordore Hotel, June 28, 1978. At the launching ceremony are, from left: Donald Trump, son of the city developer Fred C. Trump; Mayor Ed Koch of New York; Carey; and Robert T. Dormer, executive vice president of the Urban Development Corp.AP

Even with those advantages, a few of Trump’s initial deals for his father were busts, based on the profits. His first project was revitalizing the Swifton Village apartment complex in Cincinnati, which his father had purchased for $5.7 million in 1962. After Trump finished his work, they sold the complex for $6.75 million, which, while appearing to be a small return, was a loss; in constant dollars, the apartment buildings would have had to sell for $7.9 million to have earned an actual profit. Still, Trump happily boasted about his supposed success with Swifton Village and about his surging personal wealth.

He already ached to be part of the Manhattan elite rather than just be known as the son of a Brooklyn developer. So, in 1970, he took another shot at joining the entertainment business by investing $70,000, to snag a co-producer’s credit for a Broadway comedy called Paris Is Out! Once again, Trump failed; the play bombed, closing after just 96 performances.

The next year, he moved to Manhattan from the outer boroughs, still largely dependent on Daddy. In 1972, Trump’s father brought him into a limited partnership that developed and owned a senior citizen apartment complex in East Orange, New Jersey. Fred Trump owned 75 percent, but two years later shrunk his ownership to 27 percent by turning over the rest of his stake to two entities controlled by his son. Another two years passed, and then Fred Trump named him the beneficiary of a $1 million trust that provided him with $1.3 million in income (2015 dollars) over the next five years. In 1978, he boosted his son’s fortunes again, hiring him as a consultant to help sell his ownership interest in a real estate partnership to the Grandcor Company and Port Electric Supply Corp. The deal was enormously lucrative for Donald Trump, particularly since it just fell into his lap thanks to his family. Under the deal, Grandcor agreed to pay him an additional $190,000, while Port Electric kicked in $228,500. (The payments were made over several years, but the value in present-day dollars on the final sum he received is $10.4 million.)

Despite having no real success of his own, by the late 1970s, Trump was swaggering through Manhattan, gaining a reputation as a crass self-promoter. He hung out in the fancy nightspot Le Club, where he was chums with prominent New Yorkers like Roy Cohn, the one-time aide to Senator Joe McCarthy who was one of the city’s most feared and politically connected attorneys. Cohn became one of the developer’s lifelong mentors, encouraging the pugilistic personality that showed itself all the way back in second grade, when Trump punched his music teacher.

Soon Trump gained the public recognition he craved. Through a wholly owned corporation called Wembly Realty, Trump struck a partnership with a subsidiary of Hyatt Hotels. That partnership, Regency Lexington, purchased the struggling Commodore Hotel for redevelopment into the Grand Hyatt New York, a deal Trump crowed about when he announced he was running for president.

He failed to mention that this deal was once again largely attributable to Daddy, who co-guaranteed with Hyatt a construction loan for $70 million and arranged a credit line for his boy with Chase Manhattan Bank. The credit line was a favor to the Trump family, which had brought huge profits to the bank; according to regulatory records, the revolving loan was set up without even requiring a written agreement. Topping off the freebies and special deals that flowed Trump’s way, the city tossed in a 40-year tax abatement. Trump’s “success” with the Hyatt was simply the result of money from his dad, his dad’s bank, Hyatt and the taxpayers of New York City.

Despite the outward signs of success, Trump’s personal finances were a disaster. In 1978, the year his father set up that sweet credit line at Chase, Donald’s tax returns showed personal losses of $406,386—$1.5 million in present-day dollars. Things grew worse in 1979, when he reported an income of negative $3.4 million, $11.2 million in constant dollars. All of this traced back to big losses in three real estate partnerships and interest he owed Chase. With Trump sucking wind and rapidly drawing down his line of credit, he turned again to Daddy, who in 1980 agreed to lend him $7.5 million.

All of these names and numbers can grow confusing for voters with little exposure to the business world. So to sum it all up, Trump is rich because he was born rich—and without his father repeatedly bailing him out, he would have likely filed for personal bankruptcy before he was 35.
Rolling Snake Eyes

As his personal finances were falling apart, Trump got a big idea for how to make money: casinos.

In early 1980, he received a phone call from Alan Lapidus, an architect who was a friend of Fred Trump. Lapidus gave Donald Trump a hot tip—there was a parcel of land available in Atlantic City that was zoned for use by a casino hotel. Gaming had been legalized in New Jersey in 1978, and casinos in Atlantic City were already reporting big business. At the time, Trump was deep into plans to turn Bonwit Teller’s flagship department store into Trump Tower—a transformation achieved with the help of Roy Cohn, who fought in the courts to win Trump a huge tax abatement. Still, Trump jumped on the casino idea and had a lawyer reach out to the owners to negotiate a lease deal.

In August 1980, the Trump Plaza Corporation was incorporated in New Jersey, and nine months later it applied for a casino license. Trump wanted to build a 39-story, 612-room hotel and casino, but the banks refused to finance his adventure. So, instead, he struck a partnership with Harrah’s Entertainment in which the global gaming company and subsidiary of Holiday Inn Inc. put up all the money in exchange for Trump developing the property. In 1984, Harrah’s at Trump Plaza opened, and Trump seethed. He had wanted his name to be the marquee brand, even though Harrah’s had an international reputation in casinos and he had none. He even delayed building a garage because his name was not being used prominently enough in the marketing.

Trump and father Fred Trump at opening of Wollman Rink.DENNIS CARUSO/NY DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE/GETTY

According to court papers, Harrah’s spent $9.3 million promoting the Trump name, giving the New York developer a reputation in the casino business he’d never had before. And Harrah’s quickly learned the price—now, with Trump able to argue he knew casinos, financing opportunities that did not exist before opened up, and he was able to use Harrah’s promotion of him as a lever against the entertainment company. Soon after that first casino opened, Trump took advantage of his new credibility with financial backers interested in the gaming business to purchase the nearly completed Hilton Atlantic City Hotel for just $320 million; he renamed it Trump Castle. The business plan was ludicrous: Trump had not only doubled down his bet on Atlantic City casinos but was now operating two businesses in direct competition with each other. When Trump Castle opened in 1985, Harrah’s decided to ditch Trump and sold its interest in their joint venture to him for $220 million.

Still, he wanted more in Atlantic City—specifically, the Taj Mahal, the largest casino complex ever, which Resorts International was building. This made the Casino Control Commission nervous because it could have meant that the financial security of Atlantic City would be riding on the back of one man. But Trump brushed those concerns aside at a February 1988 licensing hearing—after all, his argument went, he was Donald Trump. He would contain costs, he said, because banks would be practically throwing money at him, and at prime rates. He would be on a solid financial foundation because the banks loved him so much, unlike lots of other companies and casinos that used below-investment-grade, high-interest junk bonds for their financing. “I’m talking about banking institutions, not these junk bonds, which are ridiculous,” he testified.

But Trump’s braggadocio proved empty. No financial institution gave him anything. Instead, he financed the deal with $675 million in junk bonds, agreeing to pay an astonishing 14 percent interest, about 50 percent more than he had projected. That pushed Trump’s total debt for his three casinos to $1.2 billion. For the renamed Trump Taj Mahal to break even, it would have to pull in as much as $1.3 million a day in revenue, more than any casino ever.

Disaster hit fast. As had been predicted by some Wall Street analysts, Trump’s voracious appetite cannibalized his other casinos—it was as if Trump had tipped the Atlantic City boardwalk and slid all his customers at the Trump Castle and Trump Plaza down to the Taj. Revenues for the two smaller casinos plummeted a combined $58 million that first year.

Meanwhile, another Trump disaster was brewing. Eastern Air Lines, which had been struggling, put its northeastern air shuttle up for sale. Trump persuaded the banks to lend him $380 million to purchase the route, and in June 1989 the Trump Shuttle began flying.

Trump introduced the airline with his usual style—by insulting the competition. At an elegant event at Logan Airport in Boston, Trump took the stage and suggested that the other airline with a northeastern shuttle, Pan Am, flew unsafe planes. Pan Am didn’t have enough cash, he said, and so it couldn’t spend as much as the Trump Shuttle on maintenance. “I’m not criticizing Pan Am,” Trump told the assembled crowd. “I’m just speaking facts.” But Trump offered no proof, and others in the airline industry seethed; talking about possible crashes was bad for everyone’s business.

He promised to transform his shuttle into a luxury service—bathroom fixtures were colored gold, and the plane interiors were decked out with mahogany veneer. He was spending $1 million to update each of the planes, which were individually worth only $4 million. With those changes, he boasted, he would increase the shuttle’s market share from 55 to 75 percent.

But just like with casinos, Trump was in a business he knew nothing about. Customers on a one-hour flight from Washington to New York didn’t want luxury; they wanted reliability and competitive prices.

Trump Shuttle never turned a profit. But it didn’t have much of a chance; even as he was preening about his successes, Trump’s businesses were falling apart and would soon bring the shuttle crashing down with them.

By opening the Taj Mahal, Trump was cannibalizing his other two Atlantic City casinos; their profits plummeted that first year.MARKO GEORGIEV/NORTHJERSEY.COM/AP
Bragging About How Much He Owes

At 1:40 p.m. on October 10, 1989, the four-blade rotor and tail rotor broke off of a helicopter flying above the pine woodlands near Forked River, New Jersey. The craft plunged 2,800 feet to the ground, killing all five passengers. Among them were three of Trump’s top casino executives.

With the best managers of his casinos dead, Trump for the first time took responsibility for running the day-to-day operations in Atlantic City. His mercurial and belligerent style made a quick impact—some top executives walked, unwilling to put up with his eccentricities, while Trump booted others. The casinos were struggling so badly that Trump was sweating whether a few big winners might pull him under. He once hovered over a baccarat table at the Plaza, anxiously watching a Tokyo real estate tycoon who had won big at the casino in the past; executives at the casino were humiliated, since Trump was signaling that he was frightened customers might win. (The Japanese tycoon lost that night.) By early 1990, as financial prospects at the casinos worsened, Trump began badmouthing the executives who had died, laying blame on them, although the cause of his problems was the precarious, debt-laden business structure he had built.

By June 1990, Trump was on the verge of missing a $43 million interest payment to the investors in the Taj’s junk bonds. Facing ruin, he met with his bankers, who had almost no recourse—they had been as reckless as Trump. By lending him billions—with loans for his real estate, his casinos, his airline and other businesses—they could fail if Trump went down. So the banks agreed to lend him tens of millions more in exchange for Trump temporarily ceding control over his multibillion-dollar empire and accepting a budget of $450,000 a month for personal expenditures. In August, New Jersey regulators prepared a report totaling Trump’s debt at $3.4 billion, writing that “a complete financial collapse of the Trump Organization was not out of the question.”

In September, Trump informed his bankers that he would not be paying the $1.1 million in interest due and asked that they defer $245 million of future loan payments. Once again, the banks could do little but agree. The shuttle business was put up for sale, as was his $29 million yacht, the Trump Princess. (In 1992, Trump defaulted on his debt for the shuttle and turned it over to his creditor banks.)

By December, Trump was on the verge of missing an interest payment on the debt of Trump Castle, and there was no room left to maneuver with the banks this time. So, just as he had in the past, Trump turned to Dad for help, according to New Jersey state regulatory records. On December 17, 1990, Fred Trump handed a certified check for $3.35 million payable to the Trump Castle to his attorney, Howard Snyder. Snyder traveled to the Castle and opened an account in the name of Fred Trump. The check was deposited into that account and a blackjack dealer paid out $3.35 million to Snyder in gray $5,000 chips. Snyder put the chips in a small case and left; no gambling took place. The next day, a similar “loan” was made—except by wire transfer rather than by check—for an additional $150,000. This surreptitious, and unreported, loan allowed Donald Trump to make that interest payment. (The Castle later settled charges by the Casino Control Commission of violations from this escapade and paid a $65,000 fine.)

It didn’t matter—Trump’s casino empire was doomed. A little more than a year after the opening of the Taj, that casino was in bankruptcy court, and was soon followed there by the Plaza and the Castle. Under the reorganization, Trump turned over half his interest in the businesses in exchange for lower rates of interest, as well as a deferral of payments and an agreement to wait at least five years before pursuing Trump for the personal guarantees he had made on some of the debt. The total debt remained huge, weighing down the reorganized company for years. In 2004, Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts—the new name for Trump’s casino holdings—filed for bankruptcy, and Trump was forced to relinquish his post as chief executive. The name of the company was then changed to Trump Entertainment Resorts; it filed for bankruptcy in 2009, four days after Trump resigned from the board.

In his books and public statements, Trump holds up this bankruptcy as yet more proof of his business genius; after all, his logic goes, he climbed out of a hole so deep few others could have done it. He even brags now about how deep that hole was. Trump falsely claimed in two of his books that he owed $9.2 billion, rather than the actual number, $3.4 billion, making his recovery seem far more impressive. (When challenged on the misrepresentation during a 2007 deposition, Trump blamed the error on Meredith McIver, a longtime employee who helped write that book. Trump testified that he recognized the mistake shortly after the first book mentioning it was published; he never explained why he allowed it to appear again in the paperback edition and even in his next book. McIver went on to garner some national recognition as a Trump scapegoat—nine years later, when Trump’s wife, Melania, delivered a speech at the Republican National Convention that was partially plagiarized from Michelle Obama, the campaign blamed McIver. But despite all this supposed sloppiness, Trump has never directed his trademark phrase “You’re fired!” at this loyal employee.)
Rich in Name Only

Huge corporate failures are the stuff of headlines, but Trump’s mistakes in business have included plenty of small deals as well. In 2008, he defaulted on a $640 million construction loan for Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago, and the primary lender, Deutsche Bank, sued him. Trump countersued, howling that the bank had damaged his reputation. In a snarky court reply, Deutsche Bank said, “Trump is no stranger to overdue debt.” (The suit was ultimately resolved, with Deutsche Bank extending the terms of the loan; another lender, Fortress Investment Group, had to suck up losses from its foray into Trump’s Chicago project.)

Trump has also based huge projects on temporary business trends. For example, for a few years during the George W. Bush administration, wealthy expatriates from around the Middle East flocked to Dubai. In response, Trump launched work on a 62-story luxury hotel and apartment complex on an artificial island shaped like a palm tree. But, as was predictable from the start, there were only so many rich people willing to travel to the United Arab Emirates, so the flood of wealthy foreigners into the country slowed. The Trump Organization was forced to walk away from the project, flushing its investments in it.

Beginning in 2006, Trump decided to take a new direction and basically cut back on building in favor of selling his name. This led to what might be called his nonsense deals, with Trump slapping his name on everything but the sidewalk, hoping people would buy products just because of his brand.

Trump hosted a glitzy event in 2006 touting Trump Mortgage, then proclaimed he had nothing to do with managing the firm when it collapsed 18 months later. (Trump tried again, rechristening the failed entity as Trump Financial. It also failed.) That same year, he opened, an online travel service that never amounted to more than a vanity site; the URL now sends searchers straight to the Trump campaign website. Also in 2006, Trump unveiled Trump Vodka, predicting that the T&T (Trump and Tonic) would become the most requested drink in America (he also marketed it to his friends in Russia, land of some of the world’s greatest vodkas); within a few years, the company closed because of poor sales. In 2007, Trump Steaks arrived. After two months of being primarily available for sale at Sharper Image, that endeavor ended; the head of Sharper Image said barely any of the steaks sold.

Amusing as those fiascos are for those of us who didn’t lose money on them, the most painful debacles to witness were many involving licensing agreements Trump sold to people in fields related to real estate. There is the now-infamous Trump University, where students who paid hefty fees were supposed to learn how to make fortunes in that industry by being trained by experts handpicked by Trump; many students have sued, saying the enterprise was a scam in which Trump allowed his name to be used but had nothing else to do with it, despite his claims to the contrary in the marketing for the “school.” The litigation has already revealed plenty of evidence that the endeavor was a scam. Particularly damning was the testimony of former employee Ronald Schnackenberg, who recalled being chastised by Trump University officials for failing to push a near-destitute couple into paying $35,000 for classes by using their disability income and a home equity loan.

The bankruptcy of Trump’s Atlantic City casinos left him with a $3.4 billion debt, but he repeatedly boasted that it was $9.2 billion.VERNON OGRODNEK/THE PRESS OF ATLANTIC CITY/AP

Around the country, buyers were led to believe they were purchasing apartments in buildings overseen by Trump, although his only involvement in many cases was getting paid for the use of his brand. For example, in 2009, Trump and a developer named Jorge Pérez unveiled plans for Trump Hollywood, a 40-story oceanfront condominium that they boasted would sell at premium prices and feature such luxuries as Italian cabinetry. But with the entire real estate market imploding, condo buyers were looking for bargains, and sales were minuscule. In 2010, lenders foreclosed on the $355 million project. Even though Trump’s name was listed on the condominium’s website as the developer, he immediately distanced himself from the project, saying he had only licensed his name.

A similarly sordid tale unfolded for Trump Ocean Resort Baja Mexico, a 525-unit luxury vacation home complex that Trump proclaimed was going to be “very, very special.” His name and image were all over the property, and he even personally appeared in the marketing video discussing how investors would be “following” him if they bought into the building. Scores of buyers ponied up deposits in 2006, but by 2009 the project was still just a hole in the ground. That year, the developers notified condo buyers their $32 million in deposits had been spent, no bank financing could be obtained, and they were walking away from the project. Scores of lawsuits claimed the buyers were deceived into believing Trump was the developer. Trump walked away from the deal, saying that if the condo buyers had any questions, they needed to contact the developer—and that wasn’t him, contrary to what the marketing material implied.

The same story has played out again and again. In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, people who thought they were buying into a Trump property lost their deposits of at least $100,000, with Trump saying it was not his responsibility because he had only licensed his name.

Investors in another failed Floridian property, Trump Tower Tampa, put up millions in the project in 2005 believing the building was being constructed by him. Instead, they discovered it was all a sham in 2007, inadvertently from Trump, when he sued the builder for failing to pay his license fees. The investors lost their money, and finally got to hear Trump respond to allegations that he had defrauded them when they sued him. In a deposition, lawyers for the Tampa buyers asked him if he would be responsible for any shoddy construction; Trump responded that he had “no liability” because it was only a name-licensing deal. As for the investors, some of whom surrendered their life savings for what they thought was a chance to live in a Trump property, Trump said they at least dodged the collapse of the real estate market by not buying the apartments earlier.

“They were better off losing their deposit,” he said.

So said the man who now proclaims that Americans can trust him, that he cares only about their needs and their country, that he is on the side of the little guy.

Cholov Yisroel A Mitzva or Chova?

Chalav Yisrael
Halakhic texts relating to this article
Babylonian Talmud:Avodah Zarah 35b, 39b
Shulchan Aruch:Yoreh De'ah 115:1
Chalav Yisrael[1] (Hebrewחלב ישראל‎‎), common Ashkenazi pronunciation cholov Yisroel, is a halachic term which refers to all dairy products, including cheese and non-fat dry milk powder, which derive from milk that has been milked under the supervision of an observant Jew.
Cholov Yisroel sour cream sold in Canada.
According to Jewish law (halacha), milk is kosher only if it comes from a kosher species of animal (such as cows and sheep), while milk from a non-kosher species (such as horses and camels) is non-kosher.
Although it would have been exceedingly unlikely for farmers to mix the milk of non-kosher species with milk of kosher species, since it was conceivable to have a farm selling a mixture of kosher and non-kosher milk, the rabbinic authorities in talmudic times issued an injunction against the drinking of any milk whose milking was not done by, or under the supervision of, an observant Jew – such milk is alternately referred to in halachic literature as either chalav akum or chalav nochri. This prohibition was codified in the Shulchan Aruch which unequivocally forbids consumption of any milk not milked under Jewish supervision.
The first chalav Yisrael dairy farm on the East Coast of the United States, and possibly in the entire United States, was started by Isaac Balsam in 1903, and remained in business until 1955

In the USA and other countries with similar regulations

All dairy products made in the USA and countries with government regulations on milk, even when bearing a kosher symbol, are likely to be "chalav stam". Chalav stam is a classification literally translating to "plain milk," which is given to milk produced in a country where government regulations make it reasonable to assume that milk is 100% what it is labeled as (i.e. anything labeled as "milk" is 100% cows milk, goat's milk must be 100% goats milk and labeled as such, etc.). Because the supervising bodies in the United States and countries where chalav stam is acceptable impose penalties and fines on milk producers found to be in violation of this requirement, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein ruled that we can logically infer that milk produced there has not been mixed with non-kosher milk and therefore does not receive the designation of "chalav akum." Kosher certifications in such countries usually mark "chalav yisrael" in either English or Hebrew next to their kosher symbol. In Israel, kosher certifiers don’t usually mark “chalav yisrael” since it is the standard there—in fact, kosher dairy products in Israel that are not Chalav Yisrael need to be marked as such. This of course is tokenism even when marked Chalav Yisrael as almost every Dairy ( Refet) in Israel now uses extensive cheap labour that are not Jewish ....Volenteers , Tai , Filipinos, Chinese  and an increasing about of Arabs  workers .  This is also true for Refatim on the few Religious Kibbutzim and especially the Moshavim .
There are also Kabbalistic reasons for being strict concerning chalav Yisrael due to spiritual ramifications relating to the concept that drinking non-chalav Yisrael leads to "timtum ha-lev", a spiritual deadening of the heart.
"A chassid once came to the Alter Rebbe (Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, author of Tanya) lamenting the fact that his son-in-law was subject to periods when he would doubt his faith. The Alter Rebbe responded that the son-in-law had unwittingly consumed milk which was milked by a non-Jew, with no Jew in attendance. Though he was unaware of this fact, and though the prohibition against such milk is only of Rabbinic origin, this had so strong an effect upon him that it caused him to doubt his faith." - Chapter 8 of Lessons in Tanya with additions and explanations by Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson assisted by Rabbi Yosef Wineberg .