Was Trump University A $40 Million Dollar Fraud? (VIDEO)

Donald_Trump_by_Gage_Skidmore_2Donald Trump (aka “The DONALD”; aka “His Hairness: aka “hairball”) is running for CEO of the CSA (Corporate States of America.) In his campaign, he keeps bragging about his YUUUGE fortune and his “Trump Class” business acumen. Since political claims are fair game, I did some checking. Turns out, he’s a lousy businessman. In my research, I’ve run across 19 major business FAILS in the last three decades. The one that is currently garnering the most attention, was his much “Trump”eted Trump University.

Trump University was founded in 2005. The “University” part of the name was a stretch of extreme magnitude. Not only wasn’t it a university, by it’s very definition, it wasn’t even a college offering degrees or even licensed as a school. The New York State Department of Education said that it was “misleading and even illegal” to call itself a university. What it was, was a series of real estate seminars, held in various hotel ballrooms around the country.

The advertising for Trump U included a number of claims:

  • consumers would learn “everything [they]need[ed]to know” to become successful real estate investors; Attendees at the three day seminars discovered, that despite claims that vital secrets to would be disclosed, to get those really secret secrets it was going to cost them a lot more and failure to pay meant failure. (Can you say, “bait & switch?”)
  • consumers would quickly recoup their investment by doing real estate deals, with some instructors claiming that consumers would earn tens of thousands of dollars within thirty days; (Somehow, that never seemed to happen.)
  • instructors were “handpicked” by Donald Trump; In fact, several instructors came from other fields and some of those that did have a real estate background became instructors after going bankrupt with their own investments. And, it turns out, The DONALD didn’t do any of the “hand picking.” That job was pushed off onto subordinates.
  • consumers would be taught Donald Trump’s very own real estate strategies and techniques; The curriculum wasn’t developed by Trump. It was developed by a company that creates material for motivational speakers.
  • consumers would receive access to private sources of financing (“hard money lenders”); Actually, instructors provided handouts with scripted talking points for students to use in their phone calls with credit card companies, explicitly encouraging people to falsify their current income. (Last time I checked, credit card companies weren’t exactly “private sources of financing.”)
  • the three-day seminar would include a year-long “Apprenticeship Support” program. Never happened!

Tuition ran from $1,495 for a three day seminar, to $35,000 for a “Trump Elite” membership, that included personal advice from His Hairness, himself. (Which he never provided.) In fact, he never even visited any Trump U classes. (In fairness, student’s did get to pose with a cardboard cutout of The DONALD.) All the students got for their $1,495 was a generic seminar and salesmen pressuring them to buy additional (and much more expensive) courses.

5,000 people paid Trump U around $40 million. And, while Trump U claimed it was formed as a philanthropic project and Trump would not financially benefit, his cut of that $40 million amounted to $5 million dollars.

According to NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is currently bringing suit,

Mr. Trump used his celebrity status and personally appeared in commercials making false promises to convince people to spend tens of thousands of dollars they couldn’t afford on lessons they never got.

The NY attorney general is currently seeking “full restitution for the more than 5,000 consumers nationwide who were defrauded of over $40 million in the scheme, disgorgement of profits, as well as costs and penalties and injunctive relief prohibiting these types of illegal practices going forward.”

The AG’s lawsuit claims “Trump University also committed violations of federal consumer protection law.” It also accuses Trump U of “deceptive acts and practices,” false advertising, “operating an unlicensed private school,” refusing to provide mandated refunds and several other no-nos!

In the “playbooks” that were released by the trial judge, phone recruiters were given detailed instructions including the background music to be used. (“For the Love of Money” by the O’Jays.) Among the other instructions,

The words ‘I noticed’ have a powerful subconscious effect on people because they send a subliminal message to them that they stood out in the crowd, that they are attractive or charismatic or that they impressed you. People love recognition and attention.

You don’t sell products, benefits or solutions — you sell feelings. You may begin with some small-talk to establish rapport but do not let them take control of the conversation. You must be very aggressive during these conversations to in order to push them out of their comfort zones.

Money is never a reason for not enrolling in Trump University; if they really believe in you and your product, they will find the money.

Trump, of course, is responding to the trial with his usual demeanor: that of a seven year-old, screaming insults on the playground. Here are a couple of examples tweeted by the twit.

I have a judge in the Trump University civil case, Gonzalo Curiel (San Diego), who is very unfair. An Obama pick. Totally biased-hates Trump.

I should have easily won the Trump University case on summary judgement but have a judge, Gonzalo Curiel, who is totally biased against me.

Then, last Friday at a rally in San Diego, hairball said,

I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump, a hater. He’s a hater. The judge, who happens to be, we believe, Mexican, which is great. I think that’s fine.

The judge was born in Indiana.

Trump’s lawyers have managed to get the fraud trial postponed until after the election. That raises the possibility of a sitting president having to testify under oath in court as to whether he perpetrated a $40 million dollar fraud.

On May 32, 2010, Trump University morphed into the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative. He got sued over that one too. In a New York trial, he was found personally liable for running an unlicensed school and ordered to pay restitution to approximately 800 students suckers.

Stay tuned!

Idaho Republicans Want The Bible Taught In School

Creation???Khristian filberts along with their Regressive allies (when they are not one and the same) keep trying to inject their bible mythology and their Bronze Age laws into the mainstream. Never mind the fact that the United States was founded as a secular nation with a constitutional division between church and state. They don’t believe that anyway. In their bubble, fantasies trump facts!

Which brings us to Oregon’s embarrassing next door neighbor, Idaho, or at least its legislature. In its infantile wisdom the legislature has decided that what schools really need is some good old fashion bible sttudy.

Of course, besides that silly old 1st Amendment’s separation of church and state, there’s Idaho’s constitution, which is even more specific. In Article 9, Section 6 it states,

No books, papers, tracts or documents of a political, sectarian or denominational character shall be used or introduced in any schools established under the provisions of this article, nor shall any teacher or any district receive any of the public school moneys in which the schools have not been taught in accordance with the provisions of this article.

However, one spudhead has decided that he can overrule both. According to Rep. Sage Dixon,

The little Supreme Court in my head says this is OK.

This latest brain fart comes to us courtesy of an Idaho Republican Party conclave last June.

idaho-gop-logoTHEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That the Idaho County Central Committee encourages the Idaho legislature to draft and support a bill stating that the Bible is expressly permitted to be used in Idaho public schools for reference purposes to further the study of literature, comparative religion, English and foreign languages, U.S. and world history, comparative government, law, philosophy, ethics, astronomy, biology, geology, world geography, archaeology, music, sociology, and other topics of study where an understanding of the Bible may be useful or relevant;

(Geology? Biology? Archaeology? Can you say “Creationism?”)

A month or so back, Senate Bill 1342 was introduced to enable the Idaho County Central Committee’s dream to become reality. One of the drafter’s attorney defended the bill stating,

Nobody should be concerned that what we’ve asked for is to allow religious training in school.

(Of course, that’s exactly what it does!)

After some minor tweaking, the bill was passed 34 – 3 on March 7th. It then proceeded to the house.

There was an attempt in the house to remove the word “bible” and just use “religous texts” instead. That went down 52 – 15.

Representative Dixon and some of his fellow troglodytes claimed that the bill only refers to the bible is because only the bible is “under attack.” Besides, the bible is nonsectarian and nondenominational.

There are many religions that refer back to the Bible in their tenets.

Also, Rep. Vito Barbieri claimed the bible is different because it’s “fundamental to the American way of life.”

Monday, the house passed the bill 54 – 15. It now goes to the Governor for his signature. No word so far on whether he intends to sign it.

The state Attorney General has stated that it “violates the Idaho Constitution and likely would be overturned in court, as it’s “specifically prohibited” by Article IX, Section 6.

 Stay tuned!

Texas Politician: Obama Was a Male Prostitute

mary-louWHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO TEXAS?

The state used to produce some outstanding individuals, such as Ann Richards, LBJ and Barbara Jordan. Lately, we’ve been given the likes of Rick Perry, Louie Gohmert and Ken Paxon.

I think it’s entirely possible that fracking fluid as seeped into the aquifer.

Screen-Shot-2016-02-15-at-10.03.27-AMAnother prime example of the current crop of Texas filberts is one Mary Lou Bruner. That’s her on the right with Cruzy’s addlepated pater, Rafeal.

Ms Bruner is running for a position on the Texas School Board. (I’ll have a few cogent comments on the Board and Texas education in general a few paragraphs down the line, but one wacko item at a time.)

Ms Bruner has a 36 year history in the Texas educational(?) system as a teacher, counselor and educational diagnostician. She’s one of three persons running for the District 9 position on the 15 member board and is given a good chance to be elected.

For a supposedly educated educator, Ms Bruner has expressed some amazingly dumb things on her FB page, including anti-science and anti-Islamic rants. However, the one that grabbed my attention was this:Bruner-Conspiracy-Oct-26-2015_png_800x1000_q100Of course, she provides absolutely no evidence for her claims. But what does evidence have to do with truth? (At least according to Regressives.)

It seems, that like most Texas troglodytes, (as well as those from other states) she seems to have a bit of trouble with not only the LGBT community, but the Constitution as well. Back in August, she had this to say about the situation:Screen-Shot-2016-02-15-at-9.57.16-AMAre there a few problems with this rant? Oh lawdy, let me count the ways!

  1. Ms Bruner is clearly unclear on the ramifications of the 1st Amendment. Primarily, other than giving any idiot the right to spout any insanity, (Can you say “Bullshit Mtn?”) it requires the separation of church and state. SCOTUS cannot rule that preachers have to perform gay marriages. And the court has not done so. Preachers have the right to refuse, built into the 1st Amendment. However, marriage licenses are not issued by any church. They are issued by states. This is not a matter of “religious freedom,” this is a matter of civil freedom.
  2. So called “Constitutional lovers” have a very bad habit of forgetting about the parts they don’t like, such as Article VI, which clearly states that Federal laws trump (no relation) state rulings: “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” And then there’s the fact that we tried “States Rights Ascendant” under The Articles of Confederation. That didn’t work out so well. Finally, we fought a war to settle that question: “The War of Northern Aggression.” (Most normal people call it the “Civil War.”)
  3. Gay marriage is also a tradition that goes back thousands of years. Many cultures, including the Greeks and Romans, practiced it. As for “bedrock of our society?” That is very open to debate.
  4. As for “over-ruling the voice of the people?” 55% of the people are in favor of gay marriage and the trend line is up. That’s opposed to 39% against it, with the trend line going in the opposite direction.

If elected, Ms will join a state school board already mired in controversy over reinventing history to reflect their fantasies and trying like hell to inject “Khristian” (As apposed to “Christian”) religion into education. For instance, they consider Moses a “founding father” and the Constitution, divinely inspired. Sorry, trogs, it ain’t! And, since evolution is a tool of the devil, they want Creationism installed as a viable alternative.

No wonder Texas ranks 39th out of 50 states in education.

Stay tuned!

Tea Bagger Explains How To Murder Elementary Students

Kids in playground

While most voters pay attention to the presidential race and to their congressional and/or gubernatorial candidates, quite a few don’t pay too much attention to their local races. Unfortunately this allows organized fringe (i.e. Tea Bagger and Religious Wrong) types to slip in under the radar. The subject of this post is a case in point.

Meet Jorge Mesa-Tejada, ex-marine, current tea bagger and chairman of the Hampstead, New Hampshire Advisory Budget Committee. Mr. Mesa-Tejada has a history of being an inflammatory gadfly, but last Thursday, he topped himself.

The scene was a Hampstead School Board Meeting to discuss an upcoming $4.5 million construction bond. A portion of the money would go towards eliminating modular classrooms and new classrooms to the main building. One of the more minor reasons for this would be to better protect children in an active shooter situation.

Mr Mesa-Tejada objected to this reasoning.

Based on today’s situation, we can have snipers anywhere shooting people and all that, they might be shot. Well, that’s true, it could happen — but based on my Marine Corps training, if I wanted to really do harm, I wouldn’t do it while they’re going from the portables to the main building. I would wait until recess. I would hide in the woods behind them and I’d have a field day.

Needless to say, that went over about as well as a reshaped tootsie roll in a Baptist picnic punch bowl.

In a letter, School Board Chairman, Jason Cipriano and Superintendent, Earl Metzler called Mr. Mesa-Tejada’s statements offensive and disgusting.

We take seriously these offensive and disgusting statements made by Mr. Mesa-Tejada and wholeheartedly denounce his behavior and blatant display of disregard for our children and their safety.

Mr. Cipriano stated publicly,

I can’t even begin to explain how someone goes from discussing a bond article, talking about construction at the school, to detailing how he would commit a mass shooting at our elementary school,” said Jason Cipriano, Hampstead School Board chairman. “I can’t speak to him and his mentality, or how he got there. All I can say is that I am very disturbed.”

The Mr. Metzler added,

Anybody that puts our children’s safety at risk, I don’t think is fit to serve in any public capacity.

One of the students parents also commented,

When I saw the recording, I had two first reactions. One was disbelief that an elected official would be talking this way, and my second reaction was to feel sick to my stomach.

The superintendent has placed a no-trespassing order on Mr. Mesa-Tejada, so he is not allowed on any school property including fields or playgrounds.

Mr. Mesa-Tejada has apologized for his remarks.

My intention was to highlight the fact that the children are more at risk on the playground than when moving between the trailers and the main building, should someone want to harm them. Stupidly, I used excessively graphic language. It’s inexcusable and I apologize.

Lunch Lady Fired For Feeding A Hungry Child For Free.

bowdenLast week in Pocatello, Idaho, a 12 year old girl stood in the lunch line with a tray of food. She was hungry, but she didn’t have $1.70 to pay for her lunch.

The Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 has a policy to cover situations like this: Take the food away from the child and throw it in the garbage.

Like you and I and any decent human being, Dalene Bowden, a food service worker at Irving Middle School, did the right thing. She let the child eat her lunch for free that day. Ms Bowden said she told her supervisor that she would pay for the girl’s lunch, but her supervisor rejected her offer.

Instead, for this act of kindness, she was placed on termination leave. Then she received a letter from the school district informing her that she has been fired for “theft of school district property and inaccurate transactions when ordering, receiving and serving food.”

Ms Bowman told the Idaho Statesman,

This just breaks my heart. I was in the wrong, but what do you do when the kid tells you that they’re hungry, and they don’t have any money? I handed her the tray…I broke the rules, but I offered to pay for the meal and I don’t think I deserved to lose my job over it,

Ms Bowman has worked for the district for three years with a clean record except for getting written up for giving a child a free cookie.

The Interim Superintendent, Douglas Howell, claims that children who live in low income homes receive free or reduced price hot lunches, however that doesn’t seem to be the case in this instance.

According to the school district’s spokesperson, the child owed over the $11 credit limit and that she should have just been given a pb&j sandwich and milk.

Raushelle Guzman, who has two children attending school in the district, has started an online petition to have Ms Bowden reinstated in her job. As of this morning (12/23/15) it had 48,322 signatures/.
As Ms Guzman put it,

I think (Bowden) did the right thing and I think we need to make sure that every child that wants lunch can have lunch. I think the district’s policy needs to be changed. We do not need to humiliate or demean any child or worker in that situation. Students must be provided with an adequate meal.

Stay tuned!

Do Rapture-Waiting Students Need An Education?

S583VAFB6BV25BT7-cp0x0x600x449-fill640x360When I first ran across this story, I had to check to make sure it wasn’t an “Onion” post. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. But, it is the next screwiest thing, it’s TEXAS! (I swear, the fracking fluid must be seeping into their aquifer!)

Texas, in its infinitesimal wisdom, had already decided that home-schools don’t don’t have to teach state-approved curricula, (currently ranked 39th in the country) measure student progress with standardized tests or even register with education officials. Now, it could get even worse! The Texas Supreme Court is about to decide whether home-schooled students have to be educated at all.

Le’ me ‘splain! (With apologies to Desi Arnez’s script writers.)

Back in 2004, Michael and Laura McIntyre pulled their nine kids out of school so they wouldn’t be contaminated with all that elite secular nonsense like evolution and other Satanically inspired lies. Once they did that, they seemed to decide not to educate them. After all, why waste all that time and energy, when the children were just going to be “raptured” anyway. I mean, who needs an edjimication, when you’re going to spend eternity sitting around on clouds, playing the harp and singing “Hallelujah.” (No, not the Leonard Cohen song.) In preparation for that eternity of cloud choir, the kids’ class time was composed, according to Michael McIntyre’s brother, not of of readin’, ritin’ and ‘rithmatic, but just playing musical instruments and singing.

Well, it’s been 11 years and J.C. still hasn’t shown up with his heavenly elevator. All the kids, except for one, have “graduated.” Well, there was one other exception. In 2006, their eldest daughter ran away from home at 17 and enrolled herself back in Satan school. She was placed in the 9th grade, right where she was prior to her removal. In the previous two years of home-schooling(?), she had not learned enough (if anything) to be placed with her chronological peers.

The McIntyre’s local school district subsequently required them to prove the children were being properly educated. When the parents wouldn’t or couldn’t, they were charged with truancy. Instead of cleaning up their act, the McIntyre’s filed a lawsuit. (It’s the ‘Murican way!) The McIntyres claim that their school district is biased against the poor little Christian majority and is making a “startling assertion of sweeping governmental power.” They’ve asked to be relieved from the burden of actually having to teach because of the Texas Education Code, the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act (TRFRA), the Texas Constitution, and the United States Constitution.

The primary issues in the case revolve around the boundaries of parental and religious rights and the parent’s obligation to actually teach their home-schooled kids.

According to the Executive Director of the Coalition for Responsible Home Education,

Parents should be allowed to decide how to educate their children, not whether to educate their children.

So far, the McIntyres aren’t faring well. Last year, the 8th Court of Appeals ruled against them. As Chief Justice Ann Crawford wrote,

No parents have ever prevailed in any reported case on a theory that they have an absolute constitutional right to educate their children in the home!

Not happy with that slap-down, the McIntyres have appealed to the Texas State Supreme Court.

If the Texas Supreme Court throws out the appellate court ruling, it could have serious consequences for not only the estimated 300,000 home-schooled students in Texas, but also, for the other 1.4 million home-schooled students in the rest of the country.

Stay tuned!