Grab Your Wallet

The Donald

Dear Friends,

I hope you will join me in boycotting Trump and Trump related products and supporters.The reason is succinctly stated on the website

“For those who do not want to support the Trump family and their politics, this guide identifies businesses to boycott for CURRENTLY PROFITING from a relationship with the Trump family.”

 I hope you will be aware the next to time you grab your wallet.

Brands, Clothing and Shoe Stores to Boycott: Retailers that Sells Trump Family Products

Buy Buy Baby



Ross Stores

TJ Maxx


Bon Ton


Elder Beerman

Filene’s Basement



LL BEAN: board member raised funds for Trump campaign


Marketplace Stores to Boycott: Retailers that Sells Trump Family Products






Hudson’s Bay




Accessories and Household Stores to Boycott:Retailers that Sells Trump Family Products

Bed Bath & Beyond





Others to Boycott

Scion Hotels (brand to be opening soon in multiple locations)

Trump Golf courses: Trump Owned, Branded, or Operated Business

Trump Office Spaces: as above

Trump Real Estate: as above

Trump Residences: as above

Trump Restaurants and Bars: as above

Trump Spas: as above

Trump Winery: as above

Kushner properties: Owner Jared Kushner led Trump’s campaign

MillerCoors: Board member Peter Coors raised funds for Trump PAC

New Balance: CEO raised funds for Trump PAC

Breibart News: hate speech site/propagates fake news

King’s Hawaiian: celebrity apprentice advertiser

See’s Candies: same as above

The New Celebrity Apprentice: Donald is executive producer

Trident: celebrity apprentice advertiser

Universal Studios Hollywood: same as above

Uber Technologies Inc.

Welch’s:same as above

ABC Supply: CEO raised funds for Trump PAC

Lending Tree: CEO raised funds for Trump PAC

Uline: CEO raised funds for Trump PAC

Hobby Lobby: Company CEO endorsed Trump

NASCAR: CEO Endorsed Trump

Ultimate Fighting Championship: President endorsed Trump

Yuengling Beer: Founder endorsed Trump


Trump’s budget: the dream of a paranoid strongman and a vicious Scrooge

GOP Presidential Candidates Take Part In CNN Town Hall In Milwaukee

Dear Friends,

I’ve been reticent to write my current thoughts about Donald. Between his preposterous positions and the intelligent press I’m left with little to say (speechless). Only to say I hope his “infrastructure spending” includes a secure looney bin to house him and his cohorts if this all continues.

Best to all of you,



Donald Trump isn’t a details guy, which is why his skinny budget is skinnier than most. Every president sends these proposals to Congress to specify their general spending preferences. Trump’s plan is especially sketchy when it comes to how it actually pays for everything. As a political vision, though, it couldn’t be clearer: a kind of banana republic militarism designed to fleece taxpayers, enrich defense contractors, punish agencies deemed disloyal and screw the poor at every turn.

It is at least refreshing that Trump’s budget plan makes no pretenses of fiscal responsibility. It seeks to lift the spending caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act, the last big attempt to rein in deficits, because the BCA set limits to defense and non-defense discretionary spending alike. Trump wants a $54bn boost for the military, and promises to pay for it by eliminating programs popular with many, including Republican, members of Congress. Which won’t happen, which means some combination of austerity and deficit spending instead.

Trump likes to compare himself to Reagan, and the comparison isn’t unwarranted: Reagan’s legacy, too, was putting the country massively into debt to pay for an arms race. That Trump’s arms race is not only wasteful but impractical is, like Trump, another 80s throwback: the proposal leans heavily on military hardware that is entirely inappropriate for the wars the US finds itself fighting today, with outlays for warships and fighter jets, despite the fact that Isis, last anyone checked, does not have a navy or air force.

Trump doesn’t want an effective military; he wants a big, expensive, ostentatious one that he can march down Pennsylvania Avenue like a Soviet May Day parade. The centerpiece to this, Trump’s Star Wars, is the disastrous F-35 joint strike fighter, which Republicans and even Trump himself have derided as a turkey that can’t perform any of the functions it’s supposed to, other than make money for Lockheed Martin.

On the non-defense side, Trump’s plan calls for austerity that will fall squarely on the shoulders of the poor. Someone has to pay for all those F-35s, after all, and it won’t be Trump’s golfing buddies at Mar-a-Lago, who he’s promised tax cuts (“the biggest since Reagan, maybe bigger”). The cutbacks include those to the women, infants and children program, loans for small business owners, after-school programs and work-study aid for students, and job training programs for both low-income youth and senior citizens. And the proposed budget eliminates outright the Community Development Block Grant program, the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program, the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Economic Development Administration, programs which give grants and provide financial services to poor communities.

There are many other programs on the chopping block, most of which are economically insignificant: foreign aid, long targeted by Republicans despite its role in counterterrorism, is 1% of the federal budget. Trump’s plan to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts entirely, for example, would pay for one F-35. Yet even if voters may not care about Sesame Street, or national parks, or finding a cure for cancer, there’s something deeply sadistic about eliminating a program that helps elderly poor people heat their homes in the winter – especially coming from a president who has charged taxpayers $10m and counting for weekend getaways to his Palm Beach mansion.

Trump’s budget isn’t about saving money – he’s said so himself, that military spending is “more important” than a balanced budget. And it isn’t about rebuilding a “depleted” military for a country that already spends more on defense than the next twelve countries combined. Trump’s plan is about catering to his base. Not the fabled white working class, who will soon lose their WIC, heating subsidies, and job training. No, his real base, those golfing buddies and board members at companies like Lockheed, who want lower taxes and access to the government spigot, and want poor people to pay for it all.

It’s also about disciplining the deep state. Notably, the agencies facing the sharpest cuts are not the most expensive but those Trump has suspected of disloyalty: the EPA, state department and the USDA, all of which Trump’s transition team sought to muzzle and requested lists of names of employees working on programs he opposes.

Taken as a whole, Trump’s proposal points to an increasingly paranoid strongman who sees budgets as tools to reward friends and punish enemies, the military as a personal ornament, and poor Americans as piggy banks for his boondoggles and vanity projects. This doesn’t even cover the wall, which would cost enough to pay for the NEA for the next 146 years.

The likelihood that Congress will pass a bill looking much like Trump’s proposal is slim. After all, everyone hates government spending except when it funnels into their home district. Most likely Trump sees it as an Art-of-the-Deal-style opening bid, in which Congressional Republicans will come back with slightly less draconian cuts that look reasonable only in comparison.

What remains to be seen is how long Trump voters, many of whom will be on the losing end of any bargain that makes it through Congress, will go along with it. This will be the eighth straight year of austerity for non-defense discretionary spending, and it’s about to get a lot worse. Anger at austerity has brought down governments in other countries. Which may be why Trump’s been planning those military parades.


Plunge Protection Team


Steve Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary

Dear Friends,

From time to time I’m asked for a market opinion, especially in today’s confusing economic environment. When contemplating market movement, it might be helpful to think about the possibility of legal government sponsored manipulation. This article which I wrote in 2016 might be enlightening.

Asher Edelman

We often point our finger at the Chinese government’s manipulative market intervention not knowing that the U.S. Government has in place the “Working Group on Financial Markets” created on March 18th, 1988 with precisely the purpose of manipulating markets.

This body is composed of the Secretary of the Treasury, the Chairperson of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Chairperson of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. It is colloquially referred to as the “Plunge Protection Team.”

It has the right, and probably uses it more often than we might imagine, to enter into all markets with taxpayer money and the responsibility to encourage the major financial players (banks) to join in. As no minutes are kept and there is no transparency as to the activities of the “anti plungers” one can only guess that when the markets are struggling the favored banks are informed and enter the market along with the U.S. taxpayer. The 1% is thankful.
Watch those sudden rallies from out of nowhere. If we are correct, in our observation the “Plunge Protection Team,” though successful for the short term pops, protectors have fared no better than the Chinese in turning markets.

A Short History of the Trump Family


Written by Sidney Blumenthal on London Review of Books

The most enduring blight left behind by Donald Trump, long after he has smashed things up, will be the pile of books devoted to trying to make sense of him. It will grow after investigative journalists have spent years diving for hidden records, exploring subterranean corporations and foreign partners but never reaching the dark ocean bottom. It will continue after political scientists have trekked through mountain ranges of survey data seeking the precise source of his magnetic attraction for the aggrieved white lower-middle and working classes. It will outlast the pundits holding forth on TV, collecting lecture fees and cranking out bestsellers that retail inside dope gleaned, single-sourced and second-hand, from somewhere near the elevators of Trump Tower. It will not be stemmed even after the memoirs of Trump’s associates, unreliable narrators in the spirit of their leader, have been removed from the remainder bins in used bookstores.

Read the full story here




New York Times

Feb. 10, 2017

What will you do when terrorists attack, or U.S. friction with some foreign power turns into a military confrontation? I don’t mean in your personal life, where you should keep calm and carry on. I mean politically. Think about it carefully: The fate of the republic may depend on your answer.

Of course, nobody knows whether there will be a shocking, 9/11-type event, or what form it might take. But surely there’s a pretty good chance that sometime over the next few years something nasty will happen – a terrorist attack on a public place, an exchange of fire in the South China Sea, something. Then what?

After 9/11, the overwhelming public response was to rally around the commander in chief. Doubts about the legitimacy of a president who lost the popular vote and was installed by a bare majority on the Supreme Court were swept aside. Unquestioning support for the man in the White House was, many Americans believed, what patriotism demanded.

The truth was that even then the urge toward national unity was one-sided, with Republican exploitation of the atrocity for political gain beginning almost immediately. But people didn’t want to hear about it; I got angry mail, not just from Republicans but from Democrats, whenever I pointed out what was going on.

Unfortunately, the suspension of critical thinking ended as such suspensions usually do – badly. The Bush administration exploited the post-9/11 rush of patriotism to take America into an unrelated war, then used the initial illusion of success in that war to ram through huge tax cuts for the wealthy.

Bad as that was, however, the consequences if Donald Trump finds himself similarly empowered will be incomparably worse.

We’re only three weeks into the Trump administration, but it’s already clear that any hopes that Mr. Trump and those around him would be even slightly ennobled by the responsibilities of office were foolish. Every day brings further evidence that this is a man who completely conflates the national interest with his personal self-interest, and who has surrounded himself with people who see it the same way. And each day also brings further evidence of his lack of respect for democratic values.

You might be tempted to say that the latest flare-up, over Nordstrom’s decision to drop Ivanka Trump’s clothing line, is trivial. But it isn’t. For one thing, until now it would have been inconceivable that a sitting president would attack a private company for decisions that hurt his family’s business interests.

But what’s even worse is the way Sean Spicer, Mr. Trump’s spokesman, framed the issue: Nordstrom’s business decision was a “direct attack” on the president’s policies. L’état, c’est moi.

Mr. Trump’s attack on Judge James Robart, who put a stay on his immigration ban, was equally unprecedented. Previous presidents, including Barack Obama, have disagreed with and complained about judicial rulings. But that’s very different from attacking the very right of a judge – or, as the man who controls 4,000 nuclear weapons put it, a “so-called judge” – to rule against the president.

The really striking thing about Mr. Trump’s Twitter tirade, however, was his palpable eagerness to see an attack on America, which would show everyone the folly of constraining his power:


Never mind the utter falsity of the claim that bad people are “pouring in,” or for that matter of the whole premise behind the ban. What we see here is the most powerful man in the world blatantly telegraphing his intention to use national misfortune to grab even more power. And the question becomes, who will stop him?

Don’t talk about institutions, and the checks and balances they create. Institutions are only as good as the people who serve them. Authoritarianism, American-style, can be averted only if people have the courage to stand against it. So who are these people?

It certainly won’t be Mr. Trump’s inner circle. It won’t be Jeff Sessions, his new attorney general, with his long history of contempt for voting rights. It might be the courts – but Mr. Trump is doing all he can to delegitimize judicial oversight in advance.

What about Congress? Well, its members like to give patriotic speeches. And maybe, just maybe, there are enough Republican senators who really do care about America’s fundamental values to cross party lines in their defense. But given what we’ve seen so far, that’s just hopeful speculation.

In the end, I fear, it’s going to rest on the people – on whether enough Americans are willing to take a public stand. We can’t handle another post-9/11-style suspension of doubt about the man in charge; if that happens, America as we know it will soon be gone.


NYT: American Universities Must Take a Stand


By Leon Botstein

Feb. 8, 2017

Not since the era of witch hunts and “red baiting” has the American university faced so great a threat from government. How is the university to function when a president’s administration blurs the distinction between fact and fiction by asserting the existence of “alternative facts”? How can the university turn a blind eye to what every historian knows to be a key instrument of modern authoritarian regimes: the capacity to dress falsehood up as truth and reject the fruits of reasoned argument, evidence and rigorous verification?

The atmosphere of suspicion and insecurity created by the undermining of truth provides the perfect environment for President Trump’s recent actions on immigration. The American university’s future, indeed its most fundamental reason for being, is imperiled by a government that constructs walls on the Mexican border, restricts Muslim immigrants and denigrates the idea of America as a destination for refugees.

Although American universities did not always welcome the huge influx of refugees after the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, that intellectual migration transformed a provincial and second-rate higher education system into the finest in the world. Manufacturing may have fled our borders, but American higher education remains a powerful and competitive force, a destination for students and scholars everywhere and a vital engine of employment and economic health. An astonishingly large percentage of graduate students and professors in science today are foreigners and immigrants.

I am a Jewish immigrant who came here as part of a family that was stateless, and my deep patriotism is rooted in that experience. I benefited from American humanitarianism, and I have worked my entire life to give back to this country. An America inhospitable to immigrants and foreigners, a place of fear and danger instead of refuge, is unthinkable in the context of the nation’s history and founding principles. If a more practical argument is required, think of the consequences for the quality and future of our colleges and universities, and their highly prized superiority in science and engineering.

Moreover, what will become of the major government agencies of scientific research, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation? Will their research agendas be manipulated to fit Mr. Trump’s view of reality? Will there be a continuing erosion of support for basic research as opposed to research that contributes to some commercial product? The greatest advances in medicine were a result of research conducted after World War II, motivated exclusively to enable humankind to better understand nature, not to come up with a new drug.

What, then, are we, the leaders of our institutions of higher education, to do when faced with a president who denies facts, who denies science? Is it best to stand by when he repudiates climate science and revives the credibility of discredited theories about autism? Facts and photographs did not stop him from rejecting the evidence regarding the election results or the size of crowds at his inauguration. He has undermined public confidence in the electoral system. In the face of this, standing up for the truth — which is, after all, higher education’s business — might appear to be an act of political partisanship. But this is not about political parties. It is about the proper role of the academy in a troubling time.

American colleges and universities, public and private, are properly seen as nonpartisan elements in civil society, committed to research and teaching in a manner that transcends ordinary politics. But to succeed, these institutions must ensure that academic freedom and the highest standards of scholarship prevail. This means respect for the rules of evidence, rigorous skepticism and the honoring of the distinction between truth and falsehood.

Doing this has never been easy. Institutions of higher education are dependent on state and federal funding, including tax exemptions, research funds and scholarship support. Pressures from within also exist, often inspired by students and faculty members seeking to create a consensus of belief that can marginalize disagreement and dissent. Nevertheless, the key to the astonishing success and international superiority of the American university, particularly in science and engineering, has been its resilient commitment to freedom and nondiscrimination, and its respect for truth, no matter how uncomfortable.

The presidents of our colleges and universities must defend the principles that have enabled institutions of higher education to flourish. These are freedom and tolerance, and openness to individuals no matter their national origin or religion. The actions and spirit of the new administration threaten the American university’s core values.

The voices of our leaders in higher education must be heard in opposition. The cause is not partisan. The cause is a democracy where citizens of the entire world are welcome, minorities are protected and dissent respected. Such a democracy is the only context in which research and learning and the pursuit of knowledge can thrive. The time to act together is upon us. The world must have no doubt about where the American university stands.

Leon Botstein is the president of Bard College. This is an article from the On Campus series at