Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 5/9/2019: Incompetence Parade!

Good Morning!

1. Here, as if objective observers needed any more, is the definitive proof of what a dishonest, untrustworthy, biased partisan hack New York Times columnist Paul krugman is. Do present this to any of your Krugman-worshiping Facebook friends. I’m dying to hear their best spin attempts. It should be hilarious.

Yesterday, Krugman tweeted  a photo of the President awarding Tiger Woods the Presidential Medal of Freedom , and wrote,

I’m old enough to remember when Presidential Medals of Freedom were given for showing courage and making sacrifices on behalf of the nation and the world. Tiger Woods … hits golf balls for money.

Washington Free Beacon editor Andrew Stiles quickly compiled this partial list of recipients of the honor during Obama’s Presidency:

  • Michael Jordan
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Meryl Streep
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Robert Redford
  • Robert De Niro
  • Tom Hanks
  • Yo-Yo Ma
  • Bob Dylan
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Gloria Estefan
  • Barbara Streisand
  • James Taylor
  • Diana Ross
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Warren Buffett
  • Tom Brokaw
  • Lorne Michaels

What does this teach us about Krugman? Well, let’s see…

—He doesn’t check his facts before shooting off his metaphorical yap.

—He is so biased against the President that his judgment is untrustworthy and useless except to anti-Trump fanatics.

—He flagrantly endorses double standards, condemning one President he hates for the exact conduct that he found unobjectionable from a President he supported.

—He’s an idiot. Any pundit with multiple brain cells firing would hesitate to set himself up for ridicule like this, and would automatically make sure his complaint was supported by reality.

—This is the quality of columnists the New York Times employs.

2.  And while we are on the topic of utter incompetence...Here is former Attorney General Michael Mukasey embarrassing CNN’s Chris Cuomo, who plays a lawyer on TV but who repeatedly makes misstatements of the law and legal ethics that any second year law student would be humiliated for making in class:

CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time
May 8, 2019
9:23:59 p.m. Eastern

(…)

CHRIS CUOMO: So, now you have this confounding question of what the President has the right to do in terms of blocking oversight versus what is right to do. I know you find that part of it cumbersome sometimes because, you know, your mind goes to the law all the time. But this is a political situation as well.

MICHAEL MUKASEY: Right, but it doesn’t always go to the law. In this case it goes to what prerogatives the President wants to protect. Not necessarily for his own sake but for the sake of the next guy. That is a concern of the White House on an ongoing basis. Every time they consider one of these questions, they consider not only what’s at stake now, but what’s going to be at stake later on if we turn this over or not.

CUOMO: Do you really believe that this President is worried about what precedent will be set for next administration?

MUKASEY: I believe that people in the White House counsel’s office are worried about that. I believe people on his staff are worried about that. Whether he’s worried about it, I don’t know and I share some of your doubts.

CUOMO: When you look at the categories of different things that would amount to privilege, what do you have here? Because when you look at national security, well, they have clearance in Congress. Certainly, certain members of them have high clearance. Then the other categories. What would apply as privilege?

MUKASEY: What would apply is executive privilege.

CUOMO: Why?

MUKASEY: McGahn’s disclosures. Because —

CUOMO: Even if he doesn’t work there anymore.

MUKASEY: Correct. It’s not whether he works there anymore, it’s whether he worked there at the time that he made them.

CUOMO: But does the privilege survive? I mean, it’s not the privilege of me giving you $5 and you representing me in a case against someone else. That’s a complete privilege. This is an incomplete privilege.

MUKASEY: That privilege — there are various ways that that survives. Number one, the disclosures that McGahn made to Mueller, which your last guest said were a complete waiver. That’s just flat-out wrong.

CUOMO: How do you know?

MUKASEY: [Laughs] Mueller is still a member of which branch of government?

CUOMO: Executive.

MUKASEY: Thank you. It’s an executive privilege. Disclosure from one part of the executive to another part of the executive is not a waiver of the executive privilege.

CUOMO: Who says? It’s hard to find cases on point that’s why I ask you.

MUKASEY: Okay. The concept is inconsistent with waiver. Number one. Number two, if it is a waiver, it’s as you know from law school, waivers are narrowly construed. It’s a relinquishment of a right.

CUOMO: Doesn’t it go to the same corpus of fact.

MUKASEY: It’s not a question of corpus of fact, it’s a question of the actual disclosure. He can be deemed to have made a waiver to the extent that any of those disclosures were disclosed.

CUOMO: The larger question becomes why block —

MUKASEY: And limited to that.

CUOMO: Why block so much. You say you were fully exonerated. You say you have nothing to hide. You say you’re going to give everything you can. Everybody around him keeps saying he’s always transparent, he’s always giving everything. He’s giving nothing.

MUKASEY: Because the point of this is not to find out facts. We learned that when the report was made available on a far less redacted basis than it had been when originally disclosed, and three people came to look at it.

CUOMO: Right.

MUKASEY: How many Democrats do you think were among them? [Holds up zero with his hand]

CUOMO: Oh, you’re saying you don’t believe they want to look at facts because —

MUKASEY: Correct.

CUOMO: Because they say they want the whole thing. They don’t want to come and look at a limited thing. They want it all.

MUKASEY: Well, if they want — if they want it all then it would be unlawful to disclose it all.

CUOMO: But you think Mueller was out for facts, right?

MUKASEY: I think — of course I think Mueller was out for facts.

CUOMO: Good. That’s a good thing to say.

MUKASEY: The question is what he did with them.

CUOMO: Well, we’ll see when we get the full unredacted report. But here’s my concern–

MUKASEY: No, we’ve seen — come on. We got what? Six percent redacted. Mostly having to do with ongoing investigations.

CUOMO: It’s what percentage of it that you want to see.

MUKASEY: Please.

CUOMO: Why not give it all if you have nothing to hide? Assuming it’s not about national security matters.

MUKASEY: Because –

CUOMO: Why not just do it.

MUKASEY: It’s about three things. National security matters, which you agree shouldn’t be disclosed. Matters that could affect ongoing cases, which I assume you think shouldn’t be disclosed. And grand jury material, which it is unlawful to disclose.

CUOMO: Well, but, you can go and petition a judge.

MUKASEY: No, you can’t.

CUOMO: Why can’t you go and deal with the 6E material that way? It’s been done before.

MUKASEY: No, you get a 6E order only for law enforcement purposes. That’s the limit.

CUOMO: So you can’t do it for anything else?

MUKASEY: No, sir.

CUOMO: The idea that in blocking all of these things he attacking the legitimacy–

MUKASEY: You can’t do it to satisfy congressional curiosity.

CUOMO: Well, it depends if it falls within their role of oversight.

MUKASEY: No, it doesn’t depend on that —

CUOMO: They have a constitutional duty to do that.

MUKASEY: The law says that you get a 6E order from a judge.

CUOMO: Oh, you’re talking about just that. I’m saying all of it in general. The President and his people keep arguing “all of this is wrong. It goes wrong all the way back to FISA. Everything they did with surveillance was wrong, wrong, wrong and wrongly intentioned.” Why spread it so wide like that when there is so little proof of the same?

MUKASEY: I don’t know that — who spread it that wide?

CUOMO: The President says it all the time. Now they’re saying that was spying what was done with Carter Page. “It was nefarious and wrongful.” We have no reason to believe that.

MUKASEY: We have a lot of reasons to believe that something was done that shouldn’t have been done.

CUOMO: How do you know? They got the — they got the FISA application for Carter Page. It was successively reauthorized. What was wrongs with that?

MUKASEY: Based on incomplete information. Number one. Number two, the person who was the occasion for the surveillance, Carter Page.

CUOMO: Yeah.

MUKASEY: Was never charged with anything.

CUOMO: Who said he had to be?

MUKASEY: You had to make a showing and an allegation in that application not only that he was a foreign agent but he was involved in the commission of a crime.

CUOMO: That is not true.

MUKASEY: Yes, it is.

CUOMO: To get a FISA application, you need to find probable cause he may be a foreign agent, not that he committed a crime and you need never charge him.

MUKASEY: No, for an American citizen, which Carter Page was, you need a showing that he was involved in the commission of a crime.

CUOMO: I do not — are you sure that that’s the standard?

MUKASEY: Yes, I am.

CUOMO: Because I have somebody from the DOJ who was involved in that who says it’s not the standard. You have to show that he had probable cause or you had probable cause he was a foreign agent.

MUKASEY: Chris, I will send you the statute by email.

CUOMO: It has to check both boxes?

MUKASEY: Yes. For an American citizen.

CUOMO: For an American citizen.

MUKASEY: Not for a foreigner.

CUOMO: If it’s an American citizen you need to check both boxes.

MUKASEY: Correct.

CUOMO: Good, let me know. Mike Mukasey, I always appreciate you making the case.

MUKASEY: Good to be here.

Give Cuomo some credit: Mukasey has told him on other occasions that he doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about, and Cuomo still brings him on as a guest. However, Mukasey wasn’t “making the case.” He was correctly stating the law, and CNN continues to allow Cuomo, who seems like a nice guy but just isn’t very bright, to misinform its viewers.

3. Publishing old news as new news is fake news. The New York Times was eliciting orgasms with its report on President Trump’s massive business failures and  $1.17 billion loss between 1985 and 1994.  When I pointed out to some mid-climaxing Facebook friends that this was just more re-litigating of the election, and completely irrelevant to President Trump, he responded, (I’m paraphrasing) “No! It proves he was lying when he claimed to be a competent businessman who would run the nation like a successful business!”

The Washington Examiner correctly pointed out yesterday, the story has been told before, by Trump himself, on NBC’s “The Apprentice.”:

Here’s a side by side of what Trump said in the monologue in 2004 with what the Times report said 15 years later.

Trump, 2004: “It wasn’t always so easy. About 13 years ago, I was seriously in trouble. I was billions of dollars in debt.” Times, 2019: “The numbers show that in 1985, Mr. Trump reported losses of $46.1 million from his core businesses — largely casinos, hotels and retail space in apartment buildings. They continued to lose money every year, totaling $1.17 billion in losses for the decade.”

Trump, 2004: “But I fought back and I won big league. I used my brain. I used my negotiating skills. And I worked it all out.” Times, 2019: “Mr. Trump’s 2005 returns … showed that by then he had significant sources of income and was paying taxes.”

Trump, 2004: “Now my company’s bigger than it ever was, stronger than it ever was and I’m having more fun than I ever had. I’ve mastered the art of the deal and I’ve turned the name Trump into the highest quality brand.” Times, 2019: “Mr. Trump built a business licensing his name, became a television celebrity and ran for the White House by branding himself a self-made billionaire.

Summary: Trump never hid his decade long disaster. The New York Times didn’t bother to track down this story because it never thought Trump could win, but now is trying to present it as a “scoop” as part of the “resistance” effort to undermine the Presidents’ respect and support so Democrats can escape the consequences of their ongoing harassment.

32 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 5/9/2019: Incompetence Parade!

  1. 1. If it weren’t for double standards, anti-Trump folks would have no standards at all.

    2. This is what is going to cause Nadler and company trouble when the court battles are ultimately resolved: The law prohibits the release of some information. They are demanding it anyway. They’ve been spoiling for this fight since November 9, 2016, I get the feeling they will not like how it ends.

    3. The battle over the old news as new news is really a smokescreen for a bigger issue:While the publication of the article shows the New York Times is willing to violate journalistic standards, here is the elephant in the room:

    Somehow, Donald Trump’s tax data was leaked to the media AGAIN. This is data that is supposed to be private. Improper disclosure is a CRIME. Yet for the second time in his presidency, the data is out and being blasted to the country by a media outlet (Rachel Maddow got a part of one of Trump’s tax returns a while back). Yet nobody is concerned about this invasion of privacy, any more than when the National Organization for Marriage had its Form 990 leaked to the press in the 2012 campaign.

    Of course, the targets in this case were conservative Republicans. White male conservative Republicans. I guess that made it okay in the minds of the “woke.”

    I wonder how the same outlets hunting Trump would react if it had been reveled that the George W. Bush Administration had used the FBI to spy on the Obama campaign to protect the enhanced interrogation program and to avert a withdrawal from Iraq. Imagine how Jerrold Nadler would react if prominent conservative media outlets were declaring the 2008 election invalid due to allegations of collusion with Iran. Would Rachel Maddow be silent as the CIA colluded with foreign agencies to dig up dirt on Obama campaign advisors?

    We already have a hint – at one point in the mid-2000s, a DOD official in the Bush Administration suggested that the law firms representing detainees at Gitmo be boycotted. The same outlets hunting Trump today pretty much ran him out of office – and that WAS a legitimate case of national security (the Gitmo Bar will go down in history as making Hanoi Jane look like a piker).

    But I guess there are different rules for progressives these days.

  2. Your laundry list of recipients missed, perhaps, the most important one of all:

    Charlie Sifford

    A golfer.

    -Jut

    • Nice work, Jut. Charlie Sifford, an important and very interesting guy. His autobiography is a great read.

      He tells about playing a Phoenix Open at Arizona Country Club and finding someone had shit in the cup he played to on a hole early one morning when he was first out. I wrote to Bob Goldwater and asked if he or anyone had ever apologized to Charlie about the ugly incident and he (Bob Goldwater) said he’d never heard of it happening and that Charlie must have been confused because the Phoenix Open was played at Phoenix Country Club that year, or something along those lines, but that Charlie was a great guy.

      As I recall, he began smoking cigars as a child.

      • I can’t take much credit. An article I read pointed out that Obama awarded a golfer and Bush gave it to 2.

        I had never heard of Charlie Sifford before, but if he is the “Jackie Robinson of golf,” he probably deserves more attention.

        -Jut

          • Sifford was very quiet, and not a big winner, but one of the very, very few black PGA golfers in his era (there aren’t a whole lot now). Hadn’t thought of him in years, but yes, he qualifies as a trail blazer.

            • Yeah, seems he was a good solid player, but not great. But, he was not a net negative, which, by itself, is good for a trailblazer. If nothing else, don’t justify the bigotry.
              -Jut

  3. I can sum up how anti-Trumpers looks at number one, number two and number three this way…

    “But it’s Trump, Trump is bad; therefore, Trump has earned negative press.”

    Thant’s the end of critical thinking for anti-Trumpers.

  4. MUKASEY: How many Democrats do you think were among them? [Holds up zero with his hand]

    I am left wondering what that hand symbol looked like… is Mukasey now barred from Wrigley Field as well?

  5. 2. I’ve talked about weaponized ignorance before… This isn’t uniquely a problem on the left, although I think it’s more obvious when it’s there because it’s jarring to see people who pride themselves on being intellectuals all of a sudden struggling to rub two neurons together, but every now and again you’ll come across a situation where the correct answer is obvious, and fairly easy to explain, but not generally well understood, and politically inconvenient for a group.

    At that point, in situations where ignorance is being weaponized, members of that group will start a process of sea-lion-style obfuscation, where they wrap themselves in the armor of disbelief and wield their ignorance like a cudgel. They don’t know what you’re talking about, they don’t want to know, and because they don’t know, and they think they’re smarter than you, then obviously you don’t know what you’re talking about either, and so the problem becomes unknowable, and the guy they saw on CNN reinforced their bias, so that’s that.

    The best example will remain classification standards around Hillary Clinton’s Email server. Clinton said that she made no errors because “The documents were not classified at the time they were sent”. Well, that only makes sense until you think about it for a second. It was wrong, it was obviously wrong, it was easy to explain why it was wrong (Some of that information ORIGINATED with Clinton, by her logic, she could have Emailed troop movements to ISIS and because the magical classification fairy wasn’t hovering over her shoulder to stamp “classified” on her iPhone as she was sending it, she really didn’t do anything wrong. In reality, there is no magic classification fairy, material coming from certain offices should be deemed by default to be classified, and then declassified through processes like FOIA.), but classification standards are generally not understood because they weren’t really in the public conscious, and they were definitely inconvenient for one group of people…. So we were treated to almost half a year of “I don’t know what you’re talking about, I don’t want to know, I think you’re wrong, you’re ugly, and smell of fish, neener neener.”

    Now we’re seeing the left weaponize their ignorance of things like Executive Privilege, the legal definition of Collusion, Impeachment Processes, the 25th Amendment, and how it’s hard to argue you were lied to by a summary of a report when 94% of that report was subsequently made public, and 98% of it is public to lawmakers who share many of the same biases you do.

    • “the magical classification fairy wasn’t hovering over her shoulder to stamp “classified” on her iPhone as she was sending it”

      You know, I was thinking about this again as I was writing this, and I wondered how much of that whole ordeal would have just been solved if someone grabbed her phone and stamped “Classified” on it. Yeah, that would have cleared everything up.

      • She could have wiped it off..you know…with a cloth.

        People determined to get around rules usually find a way after all.

    • Clinton lied in a number of ways when trying to justify the private email server. “The documents were not classified” is a lie in two ways:
      (1) According to Politifact, some documents were marked classified. Eventually, about 110 of them in 52 email chains were found to have classification markings, Eight of the chains contained top secret information.
      (2) Even if she believed there were no such markings, it still is a lie of omission because it is the information itself that is classified, not just the document containing the information.
      With some lower level classifications, it is not always obvious that the information is or should be classified. But, that is not the case for top secret information for anyone with even a smidgen of national security knowledge. I’m not aware that Clinton ever claimed to be completely ignorant in that area.
      Had Comey done a competent job, or had Mueller followed the obvious leads into the Clinton campaign, we might have found out the real reason she used an unsecure server; alas, we are stuck with the lie that it was for convenience and with the rumors, some of which might be closer to the truth.

      • There’s also the issue that the Secretary of State probably has the authority to decide the classification level of–and to declassify–any information originating from the State Department (unless overruled by the President).

        –Dwayne

    • So Trump pays 20 billion for properties in the 80’s. Of that, say 75 percent is leveraged so he puts up 5 billion of his own money. Assuming 20 year depreciation on the properties that is a non cash tax deductible expense of 1 billion per year over that time frame. He will also get to deduct the interest, property taxes, and operating costs which are cash outlays. Unless he liquidates the assets his losses are strictly paper losses provided the income generated covers the debt service, and other out of pocket expenses. Over time he will show a depreciated book value on those properties but book and market are hardly the same. The actual market value coul be more than what he paid originally. How many homeowners sell their homes for more than they paid? Most unless they are in distress. The only difference is they can’t take an annual depreciation allowance.
      Buildings sit on land and it does not depreciate. Did the value of the land that Trump Plaza sits grow or fall in value since 1985? We know the answer.

      To evaluate success or failure as a business person you have to look at more than the income statement. The balance sheet shows wealth growth and managerial effectiveness. Return on investment requires both the income and balance sheet.

      Evaluating business acumen by the income statement is ridiculous just ask any lottery winner or professional gambler.

      Now, if we evaluate the US balance sheets from January 20, 2008 through January 21, 2017 we will see a complete lack of business acumen at all levels. Our debt level doubled with little to show for it.

      • I meant to add:
        I wish I was as failed a businessman as is Trump.
        OK
        I just wish I had his energy.

  6. 3. Not only was Trump public about the dire straights he had been in on National TV, there are records that he’d actually brought his financial troubles up conversationally. There was an interview clip from a couple years before the election where Ivanka recalled a time when she was 9 or 10 and she and her father saw a homeless person outside of Trump Tower, Trump pointed to that person and said “You see that guy there? He’s got 8 billion dollars more than me right now”. Perhaps a little classless, and smacking of Clinton asserting that she left the White House penniless, but this *is* Donald Trump we’re talking about, and my point is that this information was very public.

    • Actually, that story about the homeless person is one that Donald Trump used to tell about himself. He has talked about his financial troubles in countless interviews since the early 1990’s and he wrote about them in at least three books, The Art of the Comeback, Surviving at the Top and Never Give Up. He even talked about them at some of his campaign rallies. What other public figure has ever been so open about his own failures?

  7. 1. Krugman

    Krugman is a malignant hemorrhoid on the anus of society.

    2. Mukasky vs. Cuomo

    Wow. Talk about a mismatch.

    Give Cuomo some credit: Mukasey has told him on other occasions that he doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about, and Cuomo still brings him on as a guest.

    If Cuomo were an actual journalist instead of the Democrat partisan, I might agree.

    But in this case, it’s kind of like giving a kid credit for challenging a bigger, stronger guy to a fight every day and hoping he comes out ahead after losing ten in a row.

    What’s that definition of insanity, again?

    Of course, it could be he’s too ill-informed to know he’s being whacked.

    3. Old news as new news

    Crazy is as crazy does, and presenting this as new and interesting is, well, crazy.

    • Of course, it could be he’s too ill-informed to know he’s being whacked.

      It would be difficult to find a better illustration of the Dunning-Kruger effect than Chris Cuomo.

  8. I have a question for the lawyers here.
    The primary premise that Trump obstructed justice is that Trump wanted McGhan to fire Mueller and his actual firing of Comey.

    At issue is whether the firing or attempt was predicated on a corrupt purpose.

    Barr has signalled his intention to investigated the origins of the Mueller investigation and a variety of other issues relating to the Trump Russia narrative. Democrats are calling for Barr’s impeachment and have voted to hold him in contempt which technically appears to be using the power of government to coerce the AG to violate the law.

    Does this constitute an act of obstruction of justice on the part of Nadler, et al that appear to be working in concert with each other?

    • I’m not a lawyer, but…..
      It sounds like you are onto something, at least at first blush. With multiple people working to violate the law you have what some might call conspiracy. However, somewhere in all those volumes of law and court decisions trying to make sense of them are most likely words that exempt members of legislative bodies from being legally responsible for most anything they do in the course of their legal shenanigans.

      • If the president can be impeached for obstruction of justice then it stands to reason that members of Congress are equally at risk.

        As I understand those seeing Trump’s obstruction feel that his motivation is predicated on covering up some wrongdoing.

        No one complained about Barr until he stated he would be investigating the “spying” then the smear campaign began. Thus it appears that these persons want to prevent an investigation into wrongdoing that might have been the precipitating factors that spawned the FISA warrants and ultimately the Mueller investigation. For a lay person like me that which is claimed about Trump is occurring in plain view among House committee chairpersons.

        • Members of Congress can’t be impeached, but they can be indicted for felonies and imprisoned just like a regular person. Article 1 section 6 of the Constitution says, in relevant part:

          They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.”

          As obstruction of justice is a felony, a congressperson may be charged, convicted and imprisoned while in congress.

          • Correction: Apparently the congressperson cannot be arrested while congress is in session, so if he is convicted, he wouldn’t be sent to jail until after the congressional session ended, or he was expelled or resigned.

          • Thanks Glen
            Do you see the parallel I made or am I off base? It just seems dubious that the attacks on Barr started the minute he announced he was looking into the acts occurring before he became AG which led to the collusion narrative.

            • I do, exactly. That was my point a few threads ago when I talked about the initiative. The Democrats fear to lose it, because the instant they do, Trump will have it, and an election looms.

              The Democrats are trying to stay on offense. They fear the release of the IG report and any information that implicates them from Barr’s investigation. Are they trying to shut Barr down by tying him up with baseless charges of contempt, lying, and a subtext of impeachment? You bet. Because if they don’t, they know they are going to be playing defense from now on now that the Mueller report brought forth a mouse.

  9. Talk about Old News. Here’s an article from late 1995 called “Crowning the Comeback King” by some newspaper in New York whose name I can’t recall:

    “Though there are still four years to go in the 90’s, business and government leaders in New York honored Donald J. Trump yesterday for pulling off what they called “the comeback of the decade.”

    Mr. Trump, the developer who came to epitomize opulent wealth during the 80’s before tumbling into deep financial trouble, has managed to erase much of his debt and is moving ahead with major projects at a time other developers are idling.

    Judging from the attention showered on him yesterday at the Union League Club, some of New York’s civic and business leaders are quite captivated by Mr. Trump, despite the financial uncertainties that still surround some of his properties.

    But the operative word at the luncheon was comeback, though Mr. Trump might dispute that he ever went far away. William D. Fugazy, the limousine magnate and chairman of the Forum Club, the group of business and civic leaders that sponsored the luncheon, presented Mr. Trump with a boomerang encased in glass. “You throw it and it always comes back,” he said as he handed it over.

    In a flattering speech, Lieut. Gov. Betsy McCaughey called Mr. Trump “the comeback kid.” Charles A. Gargano, who as chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation is himself considered one of the new powers of the state, joked about a Perot-Trump presidential ticket. “He would be the most loved Vice President since Spiro T. Agnew,” he said. Mr. Gargano, who heads the state’s economic development efforts, added, “Thank you for your tax dollars.”

    After the collapse of the real estate market of the 1980’s, Mr. Trump’s company was left holding some $8.8 billion in debt, causing his personal net worth to drop to a low of about $1 billion in the red by 1991.

    But since then, his fortunes have changed. He continues to pursue the trademark trophy-style projects he is known for, such as a hotel and condominium project on the southwest corner of Central Park that is expected to open by late 1996.”

    Hmmmmmmm. Does anybody know what newspaper this was?

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