Even Losing Will be a Business Opportunity for Trump

Thom plus logo When Donald Trump first decided to run for president, he confided to friends that his real goal was to get publicity for his brand and squeeze a larger payment out of NBC for his TV show. He even bragged that he'd be the first person to make money running for the White House.

Once he unexpectedly won, he turned that into a business opportunity, redirecting over $100 million of government money into his own properties and businesses.

Now, with the possibility of losing the presidency, he's setting up his Plan B, his next business opportunity.

The suckers who've been funding his reelection campaign are complaining that when they made a donation, they didn't notice that the “make this a recurring donation“ check-box had been pre-filled-in. Every week, Trump is extracting more and more money from their checking accounts or credit cards.

Hundreds of millions of dollars have gone missing from Trump' inaugural fundraising and his 2020 election fundraising; odds are most of it has ended up in Trump's pockets.

So now he's launching lawsuits and a PR blitz to convince his cult followers that they need to hang in there with him until after his presidency so they can continue to buy his products, subscribe to his new online TV network, and pay to attend his rallies.

Trump has taken America closer to authoritarian fascism than any president in our history, and shown us exactly how a future truly fascist and truly competent president could destroy our republic.

The good news is that he was more interested in lining his own pockets than being the next Mussolini. As a result, it wasn't until the third year of his presidency that he really got going with the fascist agenda, mostly with the help of Bill Barr.

But his presidency has shown us how fragile our republic has become as the result of massive consolidation of power in the executive branch, a process that really began with the Nixon administration in the war in Vietnam, and went on steroids after 9/11.

As Trump moves on to his next hustle to extract cash from his cult followers, America needs to take on to the serious work of rebuilding the executive branch so the next Republican president, who might be a very competent fascist, can't completely pull off what Donald Trump nearly did, and can't ever again use the White House like it's an ATM.



stopgap's picture
stopgap 3 years 32 weeks ago

Metaphorically speaking, Biden is the USA’s Dr. Jekyll and Trump is the USA’s Mr. Hyde. Sadly about half of the USA has been won over by Mr. Hyde...addicted to greed, mendacity and maybe even evil.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 3 years 32 weeks ago

Among his starry-eyed devotees, will being a guilty-as-hell convicted felon hurt his brand or help it? Probably the latter.

alis volat's picture
alis volat 3 years 32 weeks ago

The amount of money that has already disappeared is curiously about what he owes Deutsche (the amount publicly known at least). Who knows how much he is truly in debt to various criminal elements. He will be needing legal fees. Real lawyers, as in not Giuliani, are going to make him pay up front. Maybe a divorce settlement and big child support payments are in his future. Not all the people he considers to be losers and suckers are in the military cemetaries. You would think he'd be more careful about killing them with big rallies when they are a revenue source.

Come January, he will still be a sociopath who has never been satisfied or happy for even one full day in or out of the White House. I know how to find joy, and I bet you do too. If the arc of the moral universe is bending toward justice, I hope by then we can say "let the healing begin".

MagnusReputo 3 years 32 weeks ago

Trump will continue to be a showman and huckster but he is not as relevant as the Senate. Even if we win presidency and house, this election was a failure due to:

Failure of Democratic messaging to refute Socialist label.

Failure of Democratic messaging to forcefully condemn anarchist and provocateur violence that were co-opting BLM protests.

Failure of Democratic messaging to refute ‘defund police’ label and make it more ‘demilitarize war on drugs’.

Failure of Democratic leadership to meet with possible Trump voters to understand their real issues and realize they don’t care about personally defects that had us clutching our pearls.

Failure of Democratic messaging to explain ‘two Santa’ and show evidence of the real Republican agenda regarding Social Security, Medicare, post office, deficits, & tax breaks.

Failure of Democratic messaging to explain how Trump economic surge was caused by the tax stimulus that was denied to Obama.

Failure of Democratic messaging to explain how an infrastructure stimulus could employ workers.

Failure of Democrats to address the harm caused to the working class by Bill Clinton policies.

Legend 3 years 32 weeks ago

Thom, you talked a lot yesterday about the need to get left wing radio. I for one have not listened to a radio in at least 10 years. I download podcasts on my phone. They automatically load, are commercial free or have minimal commercials and I select what I listen to. I down load more than I need and delete the ones that I did not get to that week. If I am driving a lot or working in the garage I listen to more. It just depends on what I do that week. Currently I have on my list:

Thom Hartmann (the only one that I pay for)

Rachel Maddow

Bill Press

Rumble with Michael Moore

Can He Do That?

Pod Save America

The Axe Files

Al Franken

trump Inc

Daily Market Review

There are lots more out there. Also, I am open to suggestions. I am sure that right wing listeners download right wing podcasts. I have never even checked on what is available in that catagory. Spotify also has Podcasts now. You cannot download them. Michelle Obama is on Spotify. I listen to that when in the house or garage and in WIFI range. Radio is old fashion. I also download books.

Legend 3 years 32 weeks ago

A lot of Republicans ignored what was out there telling them not to vote for Trump. The Lincoln Project, numerous high level former aids, numerous well known Republicans, Dozens of books. Look at the list of former aids in jail or convicted. Look at his business conflicts. Non release of taxes. What taxes that have been released by NY Times are a disaster. Defunding Social Security (That is going to hit the fan in January). They complain about Hunter Biden and look at what The Trump Crime Family gets away with. It is never even mentioned that George Bush's daughter makes millions on NBC Today show with zero experience. They ignored his handling of Covid-19. The list goes on and on. They also ignored the fact that every Republican Senator enabled all of this.

Suze O's picture
Suze O 3 years 32 weeks ago

The Democrats did not "fail" to get their message out. The polls showed that people were getting it. The trouble is that the Republicans have been playing the long game and have gotten a good deal of expertise at voter purges (enough to make lies of the polls - watch them play those to the hilt), voter suppression and all kinds of other tricks. If you think we really have "free and fair" elections in this country, you are being pretty gullible. W's administration wrote the "Help America Vote" Act (didn't you notice all the Orwellian titles the WBush admin used for things? One of the hallmarks of fascism). Roberts gutted the Voting Rights Act. Then there was the gerrymandering. Believe me, it's been an all-out assault, just on the QT and in slow motion. The GOP furthered their numbers in Congress just so they could keep a tight collar on Biden and stymie any progress, not to mention any undoing of their damage. The people need to do a lot more than vote if they want their democracy back, but in the meantime, Democrats WILL have to vote like fiends to offset the suppression, which is not going to let up. Politics is war by other means.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 3 years 32 weeks ago

I second the motion: alis volat (#3) says, "...let the healing begin."

The Great Thinker (#4) neglected to add to his list of profound thoughts "the failure of Trumpees/Republicans/fascists/warmongers/international and domestic billionaire pariahs/white supremacists/misogynists/xenophobes/QAnon conspiracists/false Christians/liars/and just plain fcking idiots to recognize simple reality when it grabs 'em by their pussies/nuts." No wonder they are losers.

The truth heals.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 3 years 32 weeks ago

The next major political battle in the neverending war on fascism is for control of the Senate in 2022, if that isn't accomplished after the most-expensive-ever Georgia runoffs coming up next (a long shot, IMO, but who knows).

Meanwhile, Democrats need to focus on reforming the mechanics of voting from top to bottom to make it much easier, maybe even mandatory, and to encourage more citizens to take part in THEIR democracy.

Needless to say, people are fed up with all the overwrought false drama always conjured up by Republicans every election season. If we don't fix what should be just the simple acts of voting and then counting the votes -- in a democracy, for chrissake! -- and wrestle the process away from the iron grip of the Republican Party's anti-democratic, psychotic obsessions (the fewer votes, the better their odds), then nothing else of consequence really matters, does it?

If the Republican-held U.S. Senate and red-state legislators don't play along with at least fixing our nightmarish election system (yeah, right!), then that abject failure of leadership should be one of the top-tier, bumper-sticker slogans that citizen-minded, liberal and progressive TV, radio, internet, and podcasting needs to hammer home every fcking day until the midterms, and forever after!

Legend 3 years 32 weeks ago

What is Trump going to do for the next 74 days? Expect lawsuits. Rally's, he loves rally's, Super spreaders, really crank up resistance. He will never concide. He will not cooperate in a transition. He will resign near the end and Pence will pardon him. On the 75th day Don Jr. will announce.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 3 years 32 weeks ago

That's the "fun" part, watching losers lose -- these ones anyway, who most deserve it. But once Trump dead-enders fade from the scene -- please! -- maybe the daily news cycles can make more room for the issues that matter the most. End-all climate destruction comes to mind.

Legend 3 years 32 weeks ago

34 Senate elections in 2022.

stopgap's picture
stopgap 3 years 32 weeks ago

Magnus…, since about 90 percent of the media is controlled by right wing corporatists, it’s not surprising that any Democratic message doesn’t “get out.”

But as Deepspace says, (I paraphrase…my own words) when these rightwing shitheads don’t have brains enough to come in out of the rain, what fucking message do you think these shitheads will ever understand? You can’t reason with a rabid dog or a bigot Republican.

Another thing. Voters should quit blaming politicians. Politicians only go where the voters lead them. Blame the voters that keep putting shithead, slime ball Republicans back into office. I’m sick of this bullshit of Democratic presidents that manage to get back into the Whitehouse and repair the damage of these corrupt Republicans, and then dumbass voters reward them by reelecting a bunch of scumbag, bigot Republicans that line the pockets of billionaires and try to take us back to the Middle Ages.

When about 50% of voters think like adolescents. Expect chaos!

avn013's picture
avn013 3 years 32 weeks ago

Assuming the counting of votes is pretty much correct, does a 50:50 split country deserve progress in the correct direction? Will it not be consumed by bitterness and disappointment?

@MagnusRepo. Very reasonable interpretation(s). Not all Dems are "created" equal. At least some of them (despite their talk) act as Reps. Labels like words have shifted in meaning. It takes a lot of work and even longer time to find out who is worth voting for. At least nowadays there is a lot of info available (Ok, misinfo comes in larger quantities, but that has always been the case if absence of info is included in misinfo).

@Deepspace "the neverending war on fascism"... Maybe "neverending" instead of "continous" is optimistic, because a world that is not fighting fascism has ceased generating it. Imo it is all of us who give birth, nourish, nurture and occasionally vote fascists. Germany provided a test case example less than a 100 years ago.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 3 years 32 weeks ago

As long as there are fascist leaders, there will always be fascist followers. Or is it the other way around? };--))

Fascism like socialism is an amorphous word that can mean different things to different people, depending on their conditioning. Politically/economically, the classic interpretation à la Mussolini is that the interests of big business become one with the interests of the state. In other words, the "guvmunt" becomes the enforcement arm of a tiny class of economic elite pursuing self-interests at the expense of the vast majority of citizens/customers, who are compelled to buy the products, pay the taxes, and provide the bodies for resource wars.

A small professional class, an even smaller ruling class, and a huge class of working poor (we the fools) is a historically recurring economic system, supported by a connected class of revolving-door politicos, that has been traditionally the most stable and reliable way that society can be ordered -- for the one percent. But that doesn't make it right; ergo, the other recurring theme for untold thousands of years: Viva la revolución!

Outwardly in society, a mindset of authoritarianism has been realized in many forms by many leaders since the days of hunting and gathering and mud huts. Inwardly, the innate fear of insecurity -- something we all share as survivalists on planet Earth -- drives certain badly damaged individuals to insane levels of greed and hedonism, ever satisfying voracious appetites for egomaniacal power and glory unimaginable and unattainable to most "normal" people, who only exist as mere objects to a narcissistic psychopath.

But that same primal fear can drive other wounded souls with lesser ambitions and resources to follow a seemingly strong and capable leader who promises to solve their problems and keep them safe, usually by scapegoating vulnerable minorities, which of course is a relationship that becomes highly delusional and dangerous, as Trump has proven. Fascist leaders and followers are a match made in Hell.

Religions love to hype our inner dichotomies as the ultimate battle between Good and Evil, but that's a cop-out, a lazy escape from hard reality. It's tough to look directly at ourselves as the cause of our own problems, individually and collectively. The most difficult "war" is first to recognize and understand the symptoms of fascism in our individual and collective psyches and then, as a natural reaction and repulsion, to do the hard work of eradicating this debilitating mental illness as much as possible from ourselves and from society.

Just as real as the evolution of the physical organism (a process that never ends, until it does ...when extinction ensues) is the evolution of the mind. Or at least we hope it's real. The basic senses of fairness, democracy, and altruism seem to be powerful, built-in, countervailing phenomena operating nearly everywhere in the natural world against the forces of selfishness and sadism, including in the human mind. Yet, as Yoda might say, "Not in everyone does empathy flourish."

Legend 3 years 32 weeks ago

2 QAnon supporter arrested in PA at vote counting center with weapons and fake ballots. FBI acted on informant info. Were they sent by Attorney General Bill Barr?

MagnusReputo 3 years 32 weeks ago

@Stopgap @Suze O True that voter suppression exists and Republican a-holes exist. Suppression accounts for Biden getting 70 million votes instead of perhaps 75 million. Not all 68.5 million Trump voters are a-hole racists. There were 17 million POC Trump votes. What are the issues that determined 68 million votes?

Legend 3 years 32 weeks ago

Once again yesterdays Thom Hartmann radio show was ruined by unintelligible phone ins and constant excuses about it. It ruins the show. If you are having telephone issues stop the call ins.

Long time listener that never calls in.

avn013's picture
avn013 3 years 32 weeks ago

The 'die hard' Dems must be very happy. Biden is, and has been on their conservative side. Kamala is pretty much the same, except for the "race issue" on which she is more liberal. The senate remains Red to control the fliw of money, keep the current status quo, allowing some nominal "democratic" superficial changes.

Real change is as difficult, if not more, as 4 years ago. The real issue is that the technology and the access to it, which has been mostly funded by the taxpayer, should be affordable to all, as COVID is showing. We all deserve a (natural) minimum of moden technology, like a minimumm of health support, education and living standard. Can a presidency of Biden achieve it? I hope so,but the future will show. If not, next time around a rising star, like AOC, may have more chances. It willbe time to rock and rock hard-not appropriate for the faint hearted or others with similar underlying cardiovascular illnesses.

Legend 3 years 32 weeks ago

While everybody is celebrating and distracted Trump is starting the next 73 days of madness. He Fired the heads of the National Nuclear Security Administration, Federal Energy Regulatory Commision and USAID. The next 73 days are as unpredictable as any in history. I am sure that there will also be lots of pardons for family and friends,

When the announcements were made today that Biden was truly elected there were masked celebrations in the streets in virtually every city. I do not remember celebrations for Trump. I really did not expect celebrations after the several days that it took to give the final count. I say masked because they were. They show a Trump protest and of course they were unmasked. We have had more than double the number of cases of the next highest country, India, this week. India is 4x our population. Trump is planning super spreader rally's.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 3 years 32 weeks ago

There have been many bad days. There will be many more to come. But today is not one of them.

avn013's picture
avn013 3 years 32 weeks ago

Of course it is a good day. And eventhough a bad day is necessary,the challenge is to understand it and make the next one (or the next tothe next...) a good one.

Trump served the Reps well by repealing a lot of things that should have been implemented and painting red the supreme court. However, when he becomes a sitting duck (after the lame-duck period) I doubt that he will be granted political asylum by the republican party. Reps had enough shitting from him.

Whatever goes up must come down. Or as some Jamaicans say "Di More monkey climb Di more im backside expose"

Xfilerose 3 years 32 weeks ago

Make no mistake about it, the reason djt is touting election fraud and legal actions is because he is beginning negotiations to exonerate he and his republican cronies for their actions over the past 4 years. If he wins, he takes it all, if he looses, he opens up negotiations to exonerate in exchange for giving America a clean exit after loosing. We are so past the post Nixon era where we agreed to allow political figures to plunder because we needed to “save face” for this country. That’s what empowered reigns like Trumps, knowing this is a country of lemmings and cowards. We need to be as committed to prosecuting the Republican party as they are to burying this democracy. These are not patriots, they are wolves in sheep’s clothing and they must be put to political rest and replaced with a new party with better values.

Legend 3 years 32 weeks ago

One more day in the lame duck session. Trump fires Defense Secretary Esper. Dr Ben Carson of HUD tests positve for Covid. Pfizer announces its vaccine is 90% effective. Pence takes credit. Pfizer retracts that they did this privately and were not in the Government Program. More, I am sure. 71days left.

Alaska has counted 47% of its ballots and plans to start counting again tomorrow. It is scheduled for a week. So far it is heavily Republican vote. Why would it be so heavily Republican?

deepspace's picture
deepspace 3 years 32 weeks ago

Wolves in sheep clothing are really just lame ducks in disguise. Haha, sorry, I just like animal metaphors. Trump is a cornered rat, and his cult is a bunch of lemmings going over a cliff into the pit of hell. C'est la vie. The almighty Steve Kornacki has spoken.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 3 years 32 weeks ago

Let the door hit you in the ass! Sure can't miss that gigantic target.

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