a lethal blow’
The indictment against the Trump organization is nothing at all to sneeze out with the 15 counts against Allen Weisselberg and the company with, very likely, more indictments to come, including the man at the top.
But, even without this “Sword of Damocles,” the Trump organization has been dealt a lethal blow as a viable business. Trump was already losing credibility with the major banks like Deutsche Bank, having defaulted on so many of his colossal real estate loans over the years and the six — not four — bankruptcies. No bank will touch a business, even with the most pedestrian services such as checking accounts, with this pall hanging over it. They will probably have to find a funding service that will charge very high rates for even just payroll services.
The service will require a very high deposit even just to open the account. Business insurance and bonding for their properties will be next to impossible to obtain even through Lloyds of London because no potential insurer is going to want to touch this organization.
Any vendors still willing to do business with Trump will probably only operate COD with them. Legal representation will be impossible to find given Trump’s history of paying lawyers. Trump is like crime; he doesn’t pay.
Even in this crazy housing market, I predict the values of condos in Trump properties will drop precipitously until they are able to extricate themselves from the Trump name. If you were in a management position with Trump, how would you like to have that on your resume when you go seeking a new job?
Regardless of the further criminal legal action to take place, the name “Trump” is tainted, it is sullied, it is contaminated with the stench of corruption. In business, the name Trump is dead!
The presidents are waiting for you
If you want to understand the history of the United States, you must study the leaders we have elected as president. We are fortunate that we can visit and learn of their successes and failures by visiting the homes, libraries and museums of these individuals we, as a people, have given the responsibility to lead this great nation for the past 233 years.
In his second term in office, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proposed a public repository to house his papers. That was the start of the presidential libraries that now span the nation. These libraries are administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.
There are now 13 libraries in the system, starting with Herbert Hoover in Iowa and ending with George W. Bush in Texas. The Barack Obama Presidential Library is under construction in Chicago. Presidents, prior to Hoover, have homes, museums and libraries that were privately established and administrated.
I propose you put on your bucket list a plan to visit all our presidents. That is my plan, and I have been to all 13 in the system and the majority of those from the earliest days of our Republic.
For presidential visit No. 1, you may question where to start, and I suggest you begin with our first president, George Washington. Mount Vernon, on the Potomac River, was his home from 1759 till his death in 1799. You can visit the mansion, restored to look like it was in the last year of his life. The museum has 23 galleries and a theater and gives an in-depth history of his life. On our last visit, we sailed down the Potomac, from Washington, D.C., to dock at Mount Vernon. A lovely and educational day.
Make visit No. 2 Abraham Lincoln. There are a number of sites recognizing Honest Abe from birth to assassination. The place to go is Springfield, Illinois. He lived there for 17 years, and you can visit his home and law office. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has the finest collection of historic information about our 16th president.
For presidential visit No. 3, head to California and visit the Nixon and Reagan libraries and museums in Yorba Linda and Simi Valley. They could not be more different. They are built with private donations to include an endowment for future maintenance. When Nixon left office, he was disgraced and raising money was difficult. Reagan, on the other hand, was popular, and the money rolled in. On the top of the hill, in Simi Valley, sits Air Force One. How it got there is a great story, but you can visit the plane that carried President Reagan around the world.
For presidential visit No. 4, head east on I-10 to Texas and Arkansas to visit the libraries and museums for Presidents Lyndon Johnson, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Each unique and powerful.
For presidential visit No. 5, fly to Columbus, Ohio, rent a car and hit the road. My wife and I did just that. Why Ohio? Eight presidents have roots in the state, and each of them is worth a visit. They are William Harrison, Rutherford Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, U. S. Grant, James Garfield, William McKinley, William Taft and Warren Harding. My favorite is the James Garfield National Historic Site outside Cleveland. I’m biased since President Garfield is the only president to graduate from my college (Williams College). While in the state, visit the Dayton Aviation Heritage Site, home of the Wright Brothers and the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. In Canton, you can visit the First Ladies National Historic Site and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
For presidential visit No. 6, visit Virginia. In addition to Washington, the state is the home of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Tyler and Woodrow Wilson. While touring the Revolutionary War and Civil War sites, visit these presidents.
For presidential visit No. 7, head to the Northeast. The first shots of the Revolution were fired in Boston, Concord and Lexington. The history of the United States is located in this part of our nation. It is also the homes, libraries and museums of John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Jack Kennedy.
For presidential visit No. 8, visit the Heartland. Don’t forget the center of our nation and the presidents who came from the Heartland — Andrew Jackson, Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and Gerald Ford. All are noteworthy, but my favorite is the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri. It is the site where LBJ signed into law Medicare and Medicaid on July 30, 1965. It revolutionized our health care system, and former President Truman got Medicare card No. 1.
For residential visit No. 9, I have left out a few of our past presidents, but I would be remiss in not highlighting the Jimmy Carter Library in Atlanta. It so reflects the personalities of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, who are celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary. My wife and I had the opportunity and privilege to participate in two conferences chaired by Rosalynn dealing with the mental health system in our nation. She was inspiring.
A trivia question: Joe Biden is recognized as the 46th president of the United States. He is, in fact, the 45th. How can that be? Let me explain. Grover Cleveland was elected as our 22nd president in 1884. He lost his bid for a second term in 1888 to Benjamin Harrison, who was our 23rd president. Cleveland then won the 1892 election to become the 24th president. He is the only person to accomplish that feat. Can it happen for a second time in 2024?
Arizona has never had one of our own as president. There have been a number of mighty efforts. Barry Goldwater in 1964 and John McCain in 2008 won their primaries but lost in the general election. Bruce Babbitt and Mo Udall made runs for their party’s nomination but failed. Doug Ducey is termed out as governor in 2020. Will he make a run for president in 2024?
Our history is the bedrock of our nation. Abraham Lincoln said it well. “We can see the past, but we may not claim to have directed it; but by seeing it we can feel more hopeful and confident for the future.” Plan your trip because the presidents are waiting for you.
Dr. Leonard Kirschner MPH
Col. U.S. Air Force (Retired)
Past President AARP Arizona
Former AHCCCS Director
Stop the growth
Evidently, our local West Valley city mayors and councilmen and women have not gotten the memo that the western United States is in a super mega draught, as they keep issuing one building permit after another.
Everywhere you drive in the West Valley you can see one development after another under construction. There are currently thousands of multifamily and single-family residential units under construction. This is not to mention the scores of additional warehouse facilities that are under construction.
Where do these governments think the water is going to come from to support this insane and out-of-control growth? I know that the driving force behind all of this construction is the revenue derived from the development fees that these municipalities collect. The greed for these fees is blinding them from the fact we don’t have water to support this pattern of growth.
Someone has to sound the alarm and take a hard look at where this growth is leading us. Every municipality is guilty — Goodyear, Avondale, Tolleson, Glendale, Buckeye and, yes, even West Phoenix. We are all going to end up paying a painful price for their mismanagement and greed down the road.
by both parties
Every time there is a change of political parties occurring in the U.S. Senate, the filibuster becomes an issue — mainly by the Democrats. On June 28, 2021, I researched senate.gov and Politico for who used the filibuster rule while that party had control of the Senate. Here are the results of what I found: In 2020, the Democrats used it 327 or 328 times, whatever search engine used. Republicans once.
From 2013 to 2020, both parties used it 909 times. Democrats during 2013-14 and 2019-20 used it 580 times, or 64%. The Republicans, during that same time frame, 2015-16 and 2017-18, used it 329 times, or 36%.
Based on the Democrats’ history and the comments made, I read in the newspaper they want to cancel the filibuster rule. Yet, they are the largest user of the filibuster. This shows that the filibuster is not some policy from the Jim Crow era they keep saying it is. This policy has been around for over 100 years, and it stopped many bad bills from becoming a law when only party votes for it.
We are a Republic, government of the people, by the people and for the people. We can’t have only one party passing bills without the other party having input. This is not what democracy is all about.
Low information voters
I am constantly amazed at the level of ignorance people allow themselves to be subjected to, and they still vote as if they know the entirety of what they are voting for.
Ellen Williams is a good example of this, not a personal attack just a suggestion that she (and everyone else) actually investigate what is put forth out of Washington, D.C.
Ellen endorses all the good things the infrastructure bill would accomplish in Arizona without considering all the damage and loss of freedom we would all endure. She says the bill would rebuild our roads, expand light rail, protect clean water and ensure reliable energy. These are all good things, to be sure. However, you have to look at the whole picture. If the items she mentions were all the bill contained, then I would imagine it would be passed tomorrow.
Some people view icebergs and think, “Isn’t that beautiful? A mountain of ice floating in the ocean.” Ms. Williams sees this pretty picture but, when you stop to think, you are only seeing 10% of the danger that lurks under the surface of the water. It becomes a very different picture. Can anyone say Titanic?
People need to read the entirety of what they endorse, including members of Congress as well as Ms. Williams. Most of this bill is a disaster that has absolutely nothing to do with infrastructure.
Irrelevant items in the bill are not being broadly advertised by those who put it forward are numerous. Here are just a few: $100 billion to make school lunches greener; billions to eliminate racial and gender bias in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math, for those who don’t know); $100 billion to expand broadband and government control of it; $20 billion to advance racial equity and environment justice, whatever that is; and $10 billion to create a Carbon Climate Corp. (great, another government bureaucracy). These are just a few; the list goes on and on.
It is no wonder we have do-nothing, incompetent, incapable buffoons at all levels of government running our lives, taxing us to oblivion and ruining our freedoms bit by bit. My advice to all is get a clue, wake up and read what you are voting for; otherwise, eventually you won’t be able to vote.