Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Trump's Path To Power

"Trump brings to Washington a leadership style built on his father's success in the rough-and-tumble world of developing apartment buildings in New York's outer boroughs, and refined under the tutelage of Roy Cohn, the infamous Manhattan lawyer who taught young Donald that all publicity is good publicity and that victory comes only to those who fight back a hundred times harder than any hit they might absorb."

"Trump built a real estate empire that morphed into a casino gambling business, which largely failed, driving the struggling mogul to pivot into a period of leasing his name to all manner of luxury and not-so-fancy products. Through it all, Trump spent much of his time not on the finances of his initiatives or on their daily management, but rather on cultivating his own image as a playboy billionaire who was bluntly decisive, refreshingly impolitic, and singularly devoted to all things Trump....."

"For four decades, Trump led his business empire through triumphs and disasters, through domination of the Atlantic City casino world and through six corporate bankruptcies, devoting his time and energy perhaps above all to his dealings with the news media."

"The "key to the way I promote is bravado," he wrote in his best-selling book Trump: The Art of the Deal. "I play to people's fantasies. People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That's why a little hyperbole never hurts.... I call it truthful hyperbole. It's an innocent form of exaggeration — and a very effective form of promotion."

"In business and in the 2016 campaign, he alternately bashed reporters and privately treated them to praise and access. "From a pure business point of view," he wrote, "the benefits of being written about have far outweighed the drawbacks.... Even a critical story, which may be hurtful personally, can be very valuable to your business."

"His longtime construction executive Barbara Res said, "Donald had a way of getting to print whatever he would say, even if it wasn't necessarily the whole and honest truth. He managed to say what he would say, and people would write it, and then it would be the truth. That was the thing with him that they call the big lie. You say something enough times, it becomes the truth." .....

"He scoffs at deep study and goes, instead, with his gut. He believes in his instincts. He believes he will naturally do the right thing. He believes, as he wrote in his book Think Like a Billionaire, that "a narcissist does not hear the naysayers."

Dumpster Effect: Civil Forfeiture Reform Resisted

"Rockwall County Sheriff Harold Eavenson believes so strongly in his ability to seize private citizens’ property without charging them with a crime that he recently laughed with the president of the United States about destroying a Texas state senator’s career for opposing him. That senator’s offending behavior? Promoting the constitutional due process rights of hardworking, law-abiding Texans."

"The sheriff’s complaint centers on a bill in the Texas Legislature, Senate Bill 380, that would require law enforcement agencies to secure a criminal conviction before the government could seize somebody’s property. Under civil forfeiture, it does not matter if the owner is never charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one."