Daily Archives: July 3, 2016

Take the Fourth of July presidential mediocrity quiz!


1. Trump won’t be the first president whose arrival in office was greeted with sorrow. Who was deemed “probably the man of smallest caliber who has ever been made president of the United States”?

a) Thomas Jefferson
b) Calvin Coolidge
c) Harry Truman

2. Trump would not be the first president who neither held previous elective office nor served in the military. That distinction is shared with a man whose stump style was described this way: “Throughout the campaign he refused to answer pertinent questions and openly resented the fact that they were asked.” Who is he?

a) Herbert Hoover
b) Lyndon Johnson
c) Jimmy Carter

3. Just as Trump uses Twitter to sidestep a critical press, so this president went on a tour of the country trying to speak directly to the public. The press savaged him. “He was pictured as a drunken demagogue and the impression was given that the trip was just a drunken orgy,” one history noted, quoting a newspaper which said the president had “the face of a demagogue, the heart of a traitor.” Who was he?

a) Abraham Lincoln
b) Andrew Johnson
c) Woodrow Wilson

4. While bigotry is a hallmark of Trump’s campaign, he wouldn’t be the first president to stoke hatred. Presidential non-entity Millard Fillmore sought re-election as head of the “Know-Nothing” Party that opposed Catholics and immigrants. What did their 1856 platform declare?

a) “Americans must rule America.”
b) “America first”
c) “America doesn’t want foreigners here.”

5. Like Trump, Fillmore was born in New York. If he wins, Trump will be the first resident of New York City elected president since . . .

a) George Washington
b) Theodore Roosevelt
c) Richard Nixon

6. Patriotic Republicans like the Bushes and Mitt Romney have refused to support Trump, citing his unfitness for office. While several presidents have chosen not to run for re-election, only one sitting president was refused the nomination by his own party. Who was it?

a) Franklin Pierce
b) Chester Arthur
c) Lyndon Johnson

7. While Trump would be the first president who married three times, several predecessors have remarried. How many U.S. presidents married twice?

a) four
b) five
c) six

8. Trump is tarnished by various morally reprehensible scams, like Trump University. One president, Rutherford B. Hayes, was known as “His Fraudulency.” Why?

a) Elected president while receiving fewer votes than opponent
b) Not being born in this country
c) Attempted to sell shares in his administration

9. Warren G. Harding was not only a businessman, like Trump, but the sort of business he was in was itself a source of embarrassment. What badge of shame did Harding wear?

a) pawnshop owner
b) brothel proprietor
c) newspaper publisher

The answers and link will be posted tomorrow…

Quote of the day

“Who are to be the electors of the Federal Representatives? Not the rich, more than the poor.” -James Madison

Leading GSE reform authors linked to controversial Wall Street deal

Did these two Congressman make money on the housing crisis?


While many may be suspicious that Wall Street seemed to be unaffected by recent financial crisis, it is actually two congress members that made the most money from the crisis, according publicly available documents, Bethany McLean wrote in an articlefor Yahoo Finance.

While there is no evidence that either Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) who was the governor of Virginia until his Senate term began in 2009, or Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who took office in 2007, was aware of the strategy, both have since reported millions of dollars of income from the fund they were invested in of Goldman Sachsproducts that were designed to bet against the real estate market, according to the article.

Goldman Sachs developed ABACUS and sold it to investors on behalf of its hedge fund client Paulson & Co. in 2007.

“Goldman Sachs’ scheme was to design ABACUS to fail, so that Paulson could reap huge profits by shorting the portfolio and Goldman Sachs could reap huge investment banking fees,” alleges a complaint from bond insurer ACA Financial Guaranty in a lawsuit they filed against Goldman Sachs in 2011.

From the article:

“This amount of money that’s going into AIG, there is no upside now,” Corker told Politico in early 2009 about the taxpayer bailout of the company. “This is all just like gone money.”

Gone where? Well, what is clear is that Corker especially, but also Warner, made money from their overall investments in Pointer.  According to his disclosure forms, Corker’s investment in Pointer first shows up in 2006. He put the value of his investment between $5 million and $25 million. In July 2007, several months before the effective dates for Pointer’s Abacus deals, he put an additional $1 million to $5 million into Pointer. From 2006 to 2014, he reported total income from Pointer of between $3.9 million at the low end and $35.5 million at the high end (including funds from the sale of part of his stake in the fund in 2012.) He sold the rest of his stake in 2014 and reported a cash receivable from Pointer of between $5 million and $25 million that year.

According to Warner’s disclosure forms, he first invested in Pointer in 2007. He assigned his stake the same value range as Corker did his: between $5 million to $25 million. Warner, who sold his entire position in 2012, reported total income from Pointer of between $1.5 million and $10 million.

And now, Corker and Warner are sponsors for the Corker-Warner bill, the purpose of which is to reform the housing system via the government-sponsored enterprises,Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

From the article:

Let’s give them some credit. Since they already benefitted from the last crisis, maybe they’re trying to protect us from the next one?

Ex-Trump University Executives Run College That Gets $150 Million From Taxpayers

Two former high-ranking executives of Trump University are now two of the top executives at a Florida-based career college, Ultimate Medical Academy, that has 13,000 students enrolled, has been receiving more than $150 million annually in federal student aid, and is accredited by the imperiled agency ACICS. The school, previously a for-profit institution tied to a New York-based investment company, last year was acquired by a Denver-based tax-exempt non-profit organization that had little activity prior to the merger.

Ultimate and Trump

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has faced scrutiny for his unlicensed real estate “university,” which has been sued by former students, as well as New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who allege that Trump University was a scam that failed to deliver on its promises and left students with little to show for tuition payments as high as $34,995.

Documents produced in the lawsuits against Trump University reveal that David Highbloom, who is now the co-chief executive officer of Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA), was the chief operating officer of Trump University. The 2013 complaint filed by former students in federal court in San Diego asserts that, despite Trump University’s claims that instructors were hand-picked by Trump, “it was [Trump University president Michael] Sexton and COO David Highbloom who interviewed the instructors and was in charge of hiring instructors.”

Some former Trump University students and employees claim that some of the venture’s instructors had little actual real estate experience; some, instead, excelled at high-pressure recruiting of students, and coercive recruiting tactics are described in detail in depositions and documents produced in the litigation.

Highbloom also has been deposed in the students’ lawsuit.

Read on.

Attorneys in the DNC and Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s class action suit served the lawsuit at the DNC live

From DNC Fraud Lawsuit Facebook:

Lawyers served DNC and Debbie Wasserman’s Schultz lawsuit on July 1 at the DNC office. By the way, security was notified that they were filming the servicing of the lawsuit. DNC and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz have 21 days from July 1, 2016 to respond to the Complaint and summonses. Will keep you posted on the outcome of the lawsuit. Stay tuned!