The Donald I Knew

Joni Evans reflects on a telling experience with the mogul who would be President

So around the fall of 1987, I was the publisher of Random House. I had inherited a fabulous book from my predecessor: Donald Trump’s “The Art of the Deal.” Trump was not yet a household name outside New York City, but he was working on it — changing the abandoned property that became the Jacob K. Javits Center, turning a seedy Central Park’s Wollman Rink into a vibrant playground again, transforming a sad old hotel into the flashy Grand Hyatt. And more.

No one knew how big “The Art of the Deal” (co-authored by Tony Schwartz) might become, and it was my responsibility to oversee the publication. While my memory is not perfect, I do recall we took a bold stance … starting our printing at 100,000 copies, then revising it upward to 200,000; then revising it again to 300,000 and before Christmas, flooding the market with an extra 50,000 copies or so. (These were considered spectacular printings for such a local personality and publishers — always cautious because books are returnable — knew the cost of overprinting a title.)

The book climbed up and up to the #1 position on the New York Times bestseller list and I left for the Christmas vacation in a very smug mood.

Until the phone rang mid-vacation.

It was The Donald (though he wasn’t yet “The” back then). He was calling from Aspen. Actually, he was shouting from Aspen. He was livid. The two bookstores in Aspen had no more copies of “The Art of the Deal!” They had sold out. He was stuck on his Christmas vacation and there were no books to sign; no books to sell. He was furious.

How upset was I? Muchly. I tried to tell him that this was the real life definition of a “runaway” bestseller. He was not amused .. he countered he could sell at least another 2000 copies over the holiday if only books were in the Aspen bookstores. I countered that it was Christmas — the Random House warehouse in Pennsylvania was closed — there would be no way to get the books out. And, even if we could get the books out of the warehouse, they would never get to Aspen in time. He countered: if “you want to get it done, you can.” He volunteered he send his PERSONAL 747 airplane to transport the books.

Long story short: my frantic calls to the owner of Random House; his instant orders to the warehouse personnel; etc etc etc. … books miraculously  loaded onto the Trump airplane to Aspen, 2000 books loaded into the two Aspen bookstores and (ta-dah!) all books sold out. The book eventually sold over a million copies.

The end of the story:  He was (goddamnit) right.

The moral of the story:  Never underestimate THE Donald.

80 Responses so far.

  1. avatar Joan Larsen says:

    Joni .   .   . Sharing The Donald tale from the past, telling it so well as you did, makes this one worth repeating.  As a woman in business, I read business books on a regular basis – the good ones – and always have.  Early on, Trump co-wrote this book (a pretty good one), filled with points. . . and not surprisingly (at least to me), I think I can remember one of them.  In big black letters, his topic of that chapter was “DELIVER THE GOODS”.  And – oh Lord – somehow in Aspen not enough of the GOODS were delivered.  To him, scandalous.  After all, it was a major point of his book. . . and it fits right into your story.

    Loved it — and NOTE: I didn’t say “love him!”


    • avatar O E says:

      I wonder: What ended up in the balance sheet for this Christmas Rush operation for The Donald?  After getting people to leave their Christmas plans to open the warehouse and load and later unload books to the bookstores?  Trump got his way, but I bet somebody lost money on this stunt.  The publisher? Trump?  And all to massage his ego!

      • avatar crystalclear says:

        Donald Trump is a successful businessman.   Put yourself in his shoes for a moment.   He invests heavily in his book.   The publisher doesn’t print enough of them not anticipating that they would fly off the shelves of bookstores!   He had the right to demand that more be delivered at once!    He was protecting his investment.    Had I been in his shoes I would’ve demanded the same.   This wasn’t about his ego, in my opinion, but a measure to protect his investment.

        We often times find ourselves in a position of wanting to hate successful people as if it is a bad person who strives for financial security.   I find that curious.    I, on the other hand, respect those who can take a one dollar bill and turn it into ten dollars.   We are a country of many opportunities.   Some will not take advantage of the many opportunities to become financially secure throughout their lifetimes.    Others will take advantage of opportunities and expand and explore.   Why anyone in the US would look down on successful people is something very difficult for me to understand.   Perhaps there is someone here who would entertain taking a few minutes to explain why successful people are considered greedy people with inflated egos.

  2. avatar Linda Myers says:

    I have no doubt, Donald Trump gets what he wants, but is it the making of a president for the people? I am not from NYC, though curious what he has done as an effort for the most destitute people of the city to improve their lives and how would those efforts reflect his ability to be president? Where is his balance point between wealth and humanity?

    • avatar Anais P says:

      The Donald has no record of helping anyone in need and in fact is now being questioned about his alleged racist rental policies that got him into trouble with the federal government. He inherited money and is not a self-made man. Didn’t he go bankrupt twice? So different from Obama, a former community organizer who tried to help others and who did not come from money. Now Trump is swearing and calling our leaders “stupid.” His temperment is decidedly UNpresidential.

      • avatar Linda Myers says:

        The story above indicates he will get what he wants at any cost, to satisfy his own ego and desires. Fiscal responsibility in comparison as president would not seem to be in the best interest of the country.

        At this point, his strategy seems more to discredit his opponent rather than outline a platform as president. Another Trump and win in play.

        • avatar Anais P says:

          Not at all. Trump comes off very badly. He’s all bluster and zero substance, standing for nothing. You can’t always be criticizing the other guy. If that were a recipe for Presidential success, Palin would be President by now.

      • avatar Lila says:

        So true! Temperament and bearing are important for a President! And the President is not… NOT… a CEO. Our system of checks and balances means that bullying behavior won’t get the President anywhere. We need leaders, not screamers and pompous bullies.

        • avatar Linda Myers says:

          If a presidents focus has been on business with a take all attitude, imagine the global affects as commander in chief – we do not have enough troops in this country to soothe the ego and at what cost?

          It is time people decided what their issues were and then looked at performance by the best person aligned to resolving the issues, rather than show boating an election.

    • avatar crystalclear says:

      Linda, most of our elected officials are millionaires or better.   They may have inherited family money or they may have made it on their own before deciding to play their hand in our congress.    We have no idea how much they have given to charities.    Why single out Donald Trump?   President Obama was criticized for giving very little of his income to charities.  Now, under the microscope, his 2010 tax return reflects more charitable contributions.   His income soared with his books!   Do you feel that because he has an income over $1 million a year that he is one of the wealthy bad guys?    I have a hard time understanding why some Americans resent the rich for being rich.    They contribute heavily to our tax base and since 45% (approx) of Americans pay no tax at all, I, for one, am thankful for the rich which carries the burden of paying the taxes.

      Yes, the middle class is getting clipped at the moment and we need to ask ourselves why and be very honest with ourselves before providing the answers.   Many businesses fall into the middle class income category.   Not one thing has been done since 2008 to help them through a recession.   Now they can look forward to higher taxes as the Bush Tax Cuts are lifted.   This administration is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.   They are manuevering through a back door raising taxes on the middle class and saying they are not.

      Leadership, honesty, clarity and planning for our country’s fiscally sound future is lacking in this administration.   In my opinion, they need to be removed one by one starting with President Obama.    There are those who who will disagree with me and I fully expect that.   When you do disagree please take into consideration that I am speaking from my point of view having voted for this President the same as you in 2008.    I can no longer support incompetence which has directly impacted the poor in our country as well as the middle class.

      We made a mistake. 

      • avatar Andromeda Jakes says:

        Based on your comments I dont believe you voted for the current President crystalclear. 

  3. avatar Bonnie O says:

    Good story, Joni.   Thank you for a different perspective of Donald Trump from what has been bandied about here for the last week.  I only know him as a real estate mogul and his rennovation of The Plaza;  I was unaware of the projects you mentioned,  i.e. the Javits Center.  Your story gives a more complete picture of the possbile GOP candidate.

  4. avatar Baby Snooks says:

    The end of the story:  He was (goddamnit) right.


    I remember what Leona Helmsley said about how women are perceived differently from men – had it been her, she wouldn’t have been right. She would have been a bitch.  I also remember what she said about Donald Trump. Of course at that point, well, I guess she was being a bitch.. But she was also right. As everyone will find out for themselves.

  5. avatar KarenR says:

    I wonder what the financial costs of that effort were (on both sides – Random House and Trump, airplane and all) were versus the sales profit of those 2,000 copies…

  6. avatar phyllis Doyle Pepe says:

    … Justin Elliott of Salon has been plumbing the history books lately. Today he reprises an old episode of Donald Trump’s problem with “the blacks.” It was a big problem. In the early 1970s, “his New York real estate company was sued by the federal government for discriminating against potential black renters. After a lengthy legal battle, it ultimately agreed to wide-ranging steps to offer rentals to nonwhites…. In 1978, the government filed a motion for supplemental relief, charging that the Trump company had not complied with the 1975 agreement.”

    Joni’s story illustrates Trump’s bellicosity, his kingship-like quality, and his determination to get his own way. He may have been right, but his method was wrong. Snook’s point is well taken––if that had been a woman, then…

    Joni’s story illus

    • avatar Paul Smith says:

      Phyllis, in all fairness, real estate has a long history of stark discrimination practices. There is nothing to say Mr. Trump is racist because he was slow to come around in the ancient 70’s.  Even you are probably aware of the recent dust up at the celebrated Dakota, the kingdom of many left-wing liberals, where a resident African-American Ivy-Leaguer, Investment Banker, former head of the co-op board, accused the board of persistant racist practices.  

      • avatar phyllis Doyle Pepe says:

        Paul: Of course I can say, in all fairness, that Trump is racist given his actions of late, along with his actions back, as you coined them, the ancient 70’s. He, obviously, was part of the sad long history of discrimination in the housing arena and your example of the Dakota situation suggests it is alive and well.

        • avatar crystalclear says:

          Everyone in the real estate arena would’ve been considered racists back in the day.  It wasn’t until 1968 that we ushered in the Fair Housing Act.  I remember growing up that  those in my neighborhood (the seller) had full authority to decide who they would sell their homes to.  It wasn’t against the law to discriminate on a federal level.   Fortunately, the Fair Housing Act in 1968 took care of that.  We had laws that promoted discrimination with the exception of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 forbiding discrimination but it wasn’t supported by a federal law.

          Things changed for the better….and then we regressed with the subprime mortgage (2003) lending practices which exploited minorities.  

        • avatar Baby Snooks says:

          The co-ops for the most part have kept Manhattan, at least in the “better” co-op buildings, segregated as Gloria Vanderbilt found out. She was acceptable.  Bobby Short was not.  I suppose the law just doesn’t apply to the very rich.  I have heard through the years that some units are merely “pulled from the market” once the  Fair Housing Act is mentioned by the few who risk “social annihilation” for even mentioning it.  But the Fair Housing Act doesn’t really apply. And that unfortunately is the one part of the Fair Housing Act that allows continued discrimination.  The Seller may pull the property from the market just as long as they have not accepted a contract. And in a co-op the Seler cannot accedpt a contract until the co-op board has approved the Buyer. Even if the board approves the Buyer the Seller can still pull the unit foorm the market. The same right every Sellear in the country has. And quite a few do pull it.  Blatantly in some cases. Denying that the contract from a minority that was presented had anything to do with it. They just decided not to sell. In reality the co-op boards can legally reject anyhone for any reason without having to state the reason simply because they have the right to. And I doubt a challenge of that right would stand up in court. Someone on the board doesn’t like you? Too bad. So sad. Start looking at condos. 

          Fair? Of course not. But then the Fair Housing Act was never really fair. Not in certain neighborhoods. Or in certain buildings.

        • avatar isa says:

          Exactly! And if you factor in gentrification, then you get the picture….

          • avatar Baby Snooks says:

            Most people don’t understand what gentrification is but without doubt it is the biggest threat to minorities in this country. Simply put people are taxed out of their own houses. Or find themselves losing their houses to condemnation under eminent domain when developers decide to “revitalize” a neighbhorhood. With the approval of HUD I might add.  But hey, rich people suddenly want to move closer in to the downtown business districts, you know? And they don’t want to live next door to a poor person. So, well, the poor person needs  to go. So. well, they do.

          • avatar crystalclear says:

            Without gentrification, we end up with slum areas.   Tell me how that is in anyway good.

          • avatar crystalclear says:

            correction:   ” in any way good.”

          • avatar Anais P says:

            OK, so you gentrify poor neighborhoods so the rich move in and the poor move out because their homes are taken by eminent domain, or maybe they were renters in the first place and can no longer afford to live there. Exactly where are poor people supposed to live? Or would you rather they be homeless and live on the streets and die there? Tell me how THAT is in any way good!

          • avatar isa says:

            Thank you Anais for your clarifications and….unfortunately, not only the poor, but also the black middle class has been hit over and over by the effects of gentrification.  Middle class blacks who have lived in the same neghborhood for years, over the last years with the whole real estate bubble mess kept witnessing “the white folks” moving in.  As Snooks pointed out, gentrification is not good news for blacks and minorities.  In a nut shell (to clarify for crystalclear) since minorities are not dealt the same cards in the game of social and financial competition, they are being squeezed out of their neighborhoods economically and socially.  Ideally, if fair housing were based on equal access for all and not on profit alone, gentrification would be obsolete.  Of course, gentrification, has always existed and on some level will always be present, regardless of progress, but the donalds of this world have thrived on it.  And that’s not cool.

          • avatar crystalclear says:

            Anais, we are a country built on capitalism.   We will not become a “nanny state” with equal & fair housing for all.   We will not be a country that provides a job for everyone much less provide a home for everyone.    I believe fair housing is provided for those who can afford it and for those who cannot we are nearly bankrupt providing welfare and health insurance.   As I said above or below, we are like a dog chasing its tail due to our mismanagement of taxpayer dollars.  

            I clearly remember the enormous “earmarks” that soaked the bailout plans late in 2008 and early in 2009.   Instead of addressing what could be done for the poor in our country our elected officials opted for frivolous studies in their states to secure their re-election.  It’s all wrong.   As we know, this course of action directly affects the poor because elected officials in their area deem the study of frogs and bees a far more worthier expenditure.

            I cannot in any way blame Donald Trump for being a highly successful real estate mogul.   As an American, he has the right to chart his own path financially by buying real estate at a low price, dumping his “bucks” into the refurbishing of a property to bring him a profit.    I find nothing wrong with that because he isn’t doing anything wrong.  

            Gentrification will always be necessary to maintain the infrastructure of our cities and towns.   If we do not embrace that then we can expect widespread slum areas across our country.   Take a minute to look at other countries who do not apply gentrification methods and you’ll see widespread deplorable living conditions spreading throughout their countries.     And, that’s not cool either.

          • avatar crystalclear says:

            Gentrification is necessary for rebuilding the infrastructure of our cities.  When there are no longer funds from landlords to maintain these structures they are then sold to someone who does have the means to restore, upgrade and then sell these properties to those who can afford the higher prices. 

            Our social programs are virtually bankrupt because of mismanagement of our taxpayer dollars.   We have not elected the right people to lead our country and in so doing provide adequately for the poor. 

            Until we can clean up the misappropriation of funds in our social systems we will never be able to adequately care for those in need.   It’s like a dog chasing his tail meanwhile the costs to maintain the poor have soared be it medicaid or welfare subsistance.   

            Seems that areas dedicated to the poor i.e. government subsidized living quarters eventually turn into gang infested neighborhoods and dangerous areas to live in.    There are areas, however, all over the country usually in more rural areas where government subsidized apartments remain well cared for but for the most part this is not the case.   

            Until we can pay down our country’s debt, pull out of two wars and avoid a third and fourth one, we will not have adequate funding for the poor.   I find that extremely sad.   As a voting democrat for years it was blatant that democratic states with large inner cities who always say they want to help the poor never seem to make a difference in their inner cities.

            I wish I had the answers to these serious issues via a plan but that is not my background.   We elect people to make these changes and they never do once in office.

            If run down areas are not gentrified then our country would have slum areas in every city dwellings not fit for a rat.   We cannot expect people to live in conditions that are uninhabitable.   The cost to refurbish them raises the cost to live there enormously.   Sadly, the poor are pushed out.   Nothing lasts forever as we can all witness with our tremendous debt to foreign countries and our bankrupt social security, medicare and medicaid.   

            The answer?    We need to elect honest people to lead and guide us. 

          • avatar Baby Snooks says:

            The attitude towards gentrification as being somehow “good” is just more of the “out of sight, out of mind” attitudes towards the poor in our country which in turn always seems focused, ever so discreetly, on minorities. In reality many of the victims of gentrification are elderly whites who like the elderly minorities worked their whole lives to buy something and maintain it despite the neighborhood itself not being maintained. One of the first indications that a developer has their eyes on a neighborhoood is when the streets are no longer repaired, parks are no longer maintained, and crime is allowed to run rampant. Despite the fact these are all services the property owners pay for through their property taxes.

            What makes it all the worse is the gentrification is usually acheived through “revitalization” by developers who form a “non-profit” community development corporation and then used HUD money, taxpayer money, to force property owners to sell at less than market value or risk losing their property through condemnation under eminent domain at which point the developers “flip” the land and make a lot of profit. Off the tazpayers I might add.  

            Anyone who wants to know how it works can google “Houston Renaiassance” which was pretty much the example everyone else follows. The Texas Attorney General’s Office is still “watching the situation” and could only force an agreement that the land purchased by Houston Renassance could only bve sold for the provision of affordable housing. Of course then HUD changed the rules and most of the people who need affordable housing really can’t afford it. Not in Houston anyway. According to one city councilmember they spent $24.5 million, all public funding including Fannie Mae loans never really explained to anyone including the Texas Attorney General’s Office, to purchase $6.5 million in land. Ethical? No. Legal? Apparenty it was. And still is. 

            Worse was the displacement of the minorities.  And yet despite the number of minority state and congressional representatives whose constitutent were affected, and displaced, not one of them said a word. Some of whom had “conflicts of interests” as they say. One hired a board member to run her congressional office in Houston promising more “transparency” with regard to the situation. He proceeded to fax notices of public hearings to everyone 15 minutes before the meetings began.

            Welcome to America. And to vulture capitalism.

          • avatar Baby Snooks says:

            Houston Renaissance.  Apparently what you type is what you get on wowOwow these days. Even when you go back and correct yourself which you have  to since spellcheck seems to have vanished.

  7. avatar crystalclear says:

    Great story, Joni!   What your story tells me is that Donald Trump KNOWS HOW to get things done.   He quite possibly could shake up the Congress if elected!   I see nothing wrong with that.   In fact, we need to have someone who LEADS AND TAKES CONTROL.    The past 2 1/2 years have been painful to watch.   Inexperience will bring you indecision and bandaid remedies as we have witnessed with President Obama.   And now he thinks he can win again.  That’s one big ego he is carrying around. 

    Hurry up in Alabama, Obama, time’s awasting!   Get back on that campaign trail!!   That’s what you do best!    Meanwhile, back at The White House….I believe Donald Trump could run circles around our old fuddy duddy congress members and he would tell them where to go with their delays and absurd political manuevers.   

    A bit refreshing…. 

    • avatar Anais P says:

      Not so sure a person who went bankrupt (was it once for Trump? twice?) is qualified to lead this country
      AT ALL. And while it is fine to “tell off Congress,” the fact is, the President must work WITH the legislative branch, not order its members what to do like a CEO passing top-down orders to the underlings. Trump has never held political office, and it certainly shows.

    • avatar D C says:

      “.I believe Donald Trump could run circles around our old fuddy duddy congress members and he would tell them where to go with their delays and absurd political manuevers.”

      Really?  I’m not sure what you think he can do — browbeat them and say “you’re fired!”?  If browbeating and bullying worked, I’m sure it would have been done by now.  Senators and Congressmen and women know that the President cannot do anything on his/her own.  They cannot be fired by anyone but their constituents.  And it takes a while for that to happen. 

      Whenever we have a President from one side of the street, and a congress/senate from the other side, things are going to move very very slowly, because they won’t work together.  The only time anybody’s agenda moves forward is when there is a majority of one party and the President is of the same party.  Until our elected officials actually learn how to work together for the COMMON GOOD, and the vast majority of the country agrees on what that common good is, nothing is going to change.  It doesn’t matter who is in the White House, and it certainly doesn’t matter if this particular blowhard gets elected. 

      The only thing electing this idiot will do is destroy foreign relations and make the USA a little island with no friends.  We’re getting there as it is. 

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Crystal…
      The Commander in Chief rarely commands. Rather , it is this and that, and bargaining with Congress and obeying the Constitution of the United States.  That’s why we are a democracy.  No matter the spin put out by the Left or Right,  presidents are not dictators.  They don’t have absolute power.  Really, they don’t.  

      However, if the promise of absolute power is what you want, vote for Mr. Trump.  He will need to somehow secure the military, to take over in that way.  But…never say never. 

      • avatar crystalclear says:

        Thanks for responding, Mr. Wow.   Our congress and Commander-in-Chiefs have been circumventing the Constitution for decades.    And, I agree that CIC’s are not dictators but I believe Donald Trump would be an excellent negotiator because that is his forte.   He has been highly successful at doing just that.

        No, I won’t be voting for him but I do feel it is fair to point out his strengths.   In fact, soon it will be imperative that Americans do just that with the candidates lining up for 2012.   We cannot make another costly ($$$) mistake.

        Actually, Donald Trump disappoints me in the way he conducts himself when speaking.   Case in point recently was in Las Vegas.   The F-bomb will destroy him.  

        Our country desperately needs leadership.   We don’t have that now and to compound that by re-electing Obama in 2012, I fear,  will be devastating to our country.

        No, I don’t want a dictator anymore than you do.   I want another Ronald Reagan personality to unite the parties to join forces to make America solid again.   I have to admit when The Donald talks about China it puts a smile on my face.  

        Mr. Trump  eventually, perhaps sooner than later, will be his own worst enemy.

        • avatar Baby Snooks says:

          Our Constitutiion is not perfect.  The “balance of powers” really not so balanced as we’ve seen through the years with a Supreme Court that increasingly seems to believe it is “of the corporation, by the corporation, for the corporation” and a Congress that seem to have a “For Sale” sign permanently attached. Not to menition presidents who don”t know how to write VETO which if nothing else would send a message  to Congress from the people.  But then the presidents of late don’t seem to serve the people any more than Congress does.  And as some have found out, you cannot recall a member of Congress unless you do it at the polls. 

          As for Donald Trump’s rhetoric I would remind those who have forgotten that it is not that much different from Ronald Reagan’s.  Seems what is a rule in politics is talk about the higher ideals. But appeal to the lowest common denominator with the people.

          The electorate in this country doesn’t understand ideals. The electorate doesn’t really undersrtand much of anything given what has been running for office of late. And worse getting elected to office.

          Benjamin Franklin said we would last 200 years. And about 200 years later Ronald Reagan arrived in Washington. And, well, we went to hell in the proverbial hand basket.

          • avatar phyllis Doyle Pepe says:

            I am reminded here of something Learned Hand (one of the superior judges this country ever had) said: He feared, in an age of mass communication, that society could fall under “the power of the conglomerate conscience of a mass of Babbitts, whose intelligence we do not approve, and whose standards we may detest.” Nonetheless, he steadfastly believed that the democratic process was superior to any available alternative, and that almost any popular initiative was likely to be less dangerous than the consequences of its suppression. Hence––we put up with a whole lot of crap.
            Re: Reagan: He thought in terms of performance––he was the leading man, not the director or the producer; his was the starring role. Acting is what he did best.

          • avatar crystalclear says:

            My sincere thinking on 2012 is that we need Mike Huckabee to run for President.   He is absolutely Reaganesque.   He is down to earth, big personality, plays a musical instrument (tee hee) and has not wavered from his platform in many years.   He is a likeable guy and Americans need someone they can relate to.  I would add his Secretary of State as Newt Gingrich and Secretary of Defense would be John McCain.   His Vice Presidential nominee needs to be someone with foreign policy credentials….perhaps General Petraeus.

            Trump shot himself in both feet in Las Vegas and he is OUT as far as I am concerned.  

            Huckabee needs a solid Vice President with foreign policy experience and who better than General Petraeus.

            Bye Bye Trump.   Don’t let the door hit you in the a** when you leave!!

            I love this website!!!!    I’m free to be ME!!

          • avatar Mr. Wow says:

            Dear Crystal…honestly, I’d prefer not to have a president who tells me I am going to burn in Hell because I don’t believe Jesus Christ is the son of God.

            Even if he says it while playing a bango. 
            Huckabee is  a big supporter of Israel.  Do the Jews understand his position?  He is a big supporter of Israel. The land, the symbolic birthplace of JC.  The Jews themselves?  They’ll burn along with Mr. Wow unless they convert. 

          • avatar Baby Snooks says:

            But we have no absolute “safeguard” against a Congress that seems intent on tossing out the Constitution which slowly ours seems intent on doing.  The British Constitution on the other hand gives the monarch the absolute power to defend the Crown and the Constitution and so the monarch may dismiss Parliament and call for new eledcdtiosn. Which is why the debate over the EU Constitution never went further than the debate. There is one Constitution. The British Consitution. And had Parliament decided to put it to a vote, Queen Elizabeth would have dismissed Parliament. And kept idismisssing it if need be. Some believe she should have used the threat to stop the dissolution of te hereditary House of Lords.  We learn as we go as I guess.   Our absolute safeguard is supposed to be the Supreme Court. But as we have learned through the yeasr it is not and it is just as corrupt as everythign else in Wahsington.  When sitting justices travel around the country doing “meet and greets” and opney discuss their political views, they no longer serve the Constitution they are supposed to defend.

            Hopey changey thingy. Same old, same old. The only thing that will save this country at this point is it collapse.

  8. avatar Mary says:

    Donald may be good at selling himself and getting things done, ( for himself) , there are many many succesful people who like him, get things done.  There is a big difference in getting things done for your company or your self worth and leading a country.  There are lots of things Donald didn’t get done however and went bankrupt over and then got himself out of trouble and into trouble with.  Lots of buildings with his name on them that he does not own or have control of.

    I believe Donald is a pretty smart dude that has a temperment that squashes his intelligience.

  9. avatar crystalclear says:

    I agree with what you said above.    My point is that is a a proactive personality.   I do believe if he were elected (which I feel certain he won’t be) he could convince the congress to get their act together and get something done instead of playing pure politics every day.

    Yes, several of Trump’s many businesses did go bankrupt during one of our down real estate markets, however, he brought them.   At least he has working experience.   President Obama had very little when he was elected and unfortunately it shows.

    Didn’t like Trump’s language out in Las Vegas….that was really not good for his possible run for office.

  10. avatar isa says:

    Interesting story, totally “in character” with the donald.  It was about him, his pocket, his publicity,  so why wouldn’t his ego be in tippy top extra forceful form?  It makes sense.  It must have been interesting for you Joni at the time to see the traditional, male, means justifies the ends, goal directed approach to gettting things done.  A recipe for success, yell at people, be furioius, make them feel like inferior idiots, and prove to them that as long as you want something badly, and have the means to make it happen it will happen.  For us women establishing ourselves in a man’s world, it can be instructional (?) 

    This is from a recent article I read,
    “One frustrated moderate Democratic senator asks to remain anonymous so he can speak freely about his legislative education. ‘I’m surprised at how much of our time is spent trying to divide up the spoils between various economic interests. I had no idea. I thought we’d be focused on civil liberties, on education policy, energy policy and so on,’ the senator says. ‘The fights down here can be put in two or three categories: The big greedy bastards against the big greedy bastards; the big greedy bastards against the little greedy bastards; and some cases even the other little greedy bastards against the other little greedy bastards.’”

    Wouldn’t the donald fit right in?  And we can easily guess which rank of “bastards” he would join. 

    On a lighter note, I have known women (and men) who use their more feminine strengths to get results.  They build relationships. They thrive on dialogue. They listen. They ask questions. They change their minds. They build consesus.  They draw on people’s strengths instead of intimidating.  They feel.  They use their gut or intuition-and maybe that is more your style too Joni-  Our current President, President Obama embodies many of these qualities, and this in the long run will serve us well, better than the donalds of this world “i got the jet, you get me what i want!”  Ego driven behavior can only get one – or as we are witnessing now – one country so far…. 

    • avatar isa says:

      This a disclaimer.  Since someone responded to me, I just reread my post and found a typo ‘furious’, (there might be more…).  So no spell check when we post still, and progressive lenses not working as well as I would like on computer, regardless of change in prescription.  So in the same way we can predict bipartisan wars in Washington, we can expect repeated typos from me.  Sorry.

  11. avatar crystalclear says:

    isa, I cannot agree with your last paragraph.   In no way can any of President Obama’s shall we say “qualities” be good for our country long term.   I believe Obama has proven that he hasn’t one clue on how to lead a country much less put measures in place that will bring fiscal responsibility to our country.   In fact, he seems hell bent on bankrupting our country. 

    I do agree with some of your comments about Donald Trump.     However, often times in the spirit of competitiveness it can often be construed as greed.

    I was mortified at Donald Trump’s comments in Las Vegas.   As far as I am concerned he is under the bus now!   Self destructed right before our eyes.

  12. avatar phyllis Doyle Pepe says:

    “isa, I cannot agree with your last paragraph. In no way can any of President Obama’s shall we say “qualities” be good for our country long term. I believe Obama has proven that he hasn’t one clue on how to lead a country much less put measures in place that will bring fiscal responsibility to our country. In fact, he seems hell bent on bankrupting our country.”
    So says crystalclear: And so I ask her: Exactly what qualities of Obama’s are not good for our country? How has he proven he hasn’t a clue on how to lead a country plus put measures in place that prevents fiscal responsibility? And last, how is he bankrupting our country? When one makes these kinds of statements, one needs to follow up with the facts.

    • avatar crystalclear says:

      Yes, so says CrystalClear.   All anyone needs to do is stay current with our national debt, the shortfalls of ObamaCare to American taxpayers as the cost is unsustainable, unemployment numbers, devaluing of our dollar, and a housing market slow to perk, weakened foreign affairs and a President hell bent on re-election instead of staying in DC to do everything he can to bring two parties together for the good of our country.

      phyllis, there are many facts none of which I can provide links for on this site due to the nature of it not allowing links.     I voted for Obama in 2008 because I believed him when he campaigned.    Unfortunately he lacked leadership skills and gradually morphed into another George W. Bush.    Increasing our debt as quickly as he did without good results is a major concern for many Americans.   

      I had higher hopes for President Obama and he has let me down.    No Obama in 2012 for me.

      • avatar phyllis Doyle Pepe says:

        Thank you for responding. You didn’t answer the question about the qualities that Obama possesses that are harmful for this country. This is an important criteria for any president, and I am most interested in your answer.

        As for the rest, may I remind you that our national debt is in large part due to the previous administration. Our country, being in dire straits, needs money to get it going again and while that may up the debt, it will create jobs, get people back to work and put more revenue back into the system. Many of us wanted much more put back into into the system–-the stimulus was not large enough. Which party voted against extending the unemployment monies, which party voted for extending the Bush tax cuts and held democrats hostage until they succumbed.? As far as the housing market, one can hardly blame Obama and health care? It hasn’t even gotten off the ground, but some of the benefits can already be seen; some months ago medicare patients can now get a free wellness exam every year which should have been done at the get go: it’s called preventative medicine.

        Having said all that, there are many things I want to see changed and, like you, I am disappointed. But I understand that this is a system that is complicated and cumbersome and today, more than any time in history, our president’s plate is piled high. It does not help when we have looney tunes in congress that should be mucking out barns rather than pretending to govern.

        As far as foreign policy, Obama has /is doing an an exemplary job. I suggest you read the article in the latest New Yorker by Ryan Lizza on how the Arab Spring remade Obama’s foreign policy. It’s long, informative and well worth the read.

  13. avatar crystalclear says:

    Hi phyllis.   President Obama has not delivered confidence, fiscal responsibility, a budget, a sustainable healthcare plan all of which have not delivered confidence to the taxpayers.   That, in my opinion, is harmful for our country.   Now he is off campaigning for 2012 18 months before the election and I am not happy about that.   He is needed in Washington DC.   His presence needs to be there to show that he is concerned about the devaluing of the dollar and he also needs a clear financial plan to get our country out of debt.   His “spending habits” I believe are extremely harmful to our country.

    How I wish he had pulled all of our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan a year ago!   I was happy that we did not jump into the issues surrounding Libya and Syria.   As for his foreign policy techniques, I find him to be weak in leadership.   I thought he needed to be more vocal about “why” the United States is no longer going to interfere in squabbles in the middle east.  Lack of leadership qualities I believe are harmful to our country.   Because Obama has not had an “endgame” to the issues in the Middle East I believe he has weakened our global respect.

    All of this to say that “inexperience” in leadership and running a country has had a negative effect overall in the past 2 1/2 years.   So, to say I am disappointed is an understatement.  He spent too much time on Obamacare and didn’t get it right.   Too many loose ends for my comfort zone, phyllis.   You may see things differently but in some ways I believe McCain would’ve been better.   At least Sarah Palin wouldn’t have been falling asleep during the President’s speeches laugh out loud!

    I have to laugh to keep from crying!    Your thoughts are welcome in rebuttal.

    • avatar Andromeda Jakes says:

      See my comment above crystalclear.  I just scrolled down.  You have never supported this President and that is crystalclear.

  14. avatar phyllis Doyle Pepe says:

    Your first sentence describes actions, not qualities. Here is something I wrote years ago and kept in my files:

    A factor that I think is important in the choice of a president in this
    election is Obama’s remarkable and apparently near-unanimous appeal
    abroad––an appeal the insular Republicans scorn––that would immediately help
    redeem our soiled international reputation. He has a striking, deep
    intelligence, and a gift for combining clarity and strong feeling in his
    writing and speeches; and he uses these qualities to expose and explain
    complexity rather than bury it under slogans. It is said that he lacks
    experience. On the contrary, he alone among prominent politicians has the
    experience that counts most in a threatening and interdependent world: the
    crucial experience of empathy. He has lived, and been poor, in both domestic
    and foreign worlds that few national politicians can even imagine. For me, I
    want a president who has the intelligence, clarity, and passion and can
    begin to change the mind-set of Americans who should understand that we are
    no longer lawgivers dictating to the world but partners who must accept
    compromise and risk as others do.

    I have not changed in this view. What has changed is my knowledge of the deep pockets our representatives have in accordance with the big guys––the corporate kingpins who try and run this country. Money literally talks.

    As far as your criticisms re: foreign policy, may I suggest again you read the New Yorker piece–––it may enlighten you.
    McCain lost his McCainishism a long time ago. He sold out, I’m afraid. When you talk of qualities, his were wanting. When he called his wife a fucking cunt in front of journalists during the campaign, that would have been, for me, if I was thinking of voting for him, a deal breaker. But you’re right: Sarah would never have dozed off, she’d have been winking at him the whole time.

    • avatar isa says:

      ” On the contrary, he alone among prominent politicians has the
      experience that counts most in a threatening and interdependent world: the
      crucial experience of empathy. He has lived, and been poor, in both domestic
      and foreign worlds that few national politicians can even imagine “.  As usual Phyllis you are most eloquent in your descriptions.  The above image you give of Obama, I feel, is most important.  In a “threatening (threatened I add) and interdependent world” the ability to have known and grown from experience cannot be underestimated.  His perspective is not, “I made it, so why can’t you?”, but rather, “I made it, and I understand why it is so hard for you to make it.”  As you said, empathy.  Experience can either make us more jaded and fearful or open our hearts further.  It’s our choice.

      • avatar crystalclear says:

        So, Isa and Phyllis, how is that “empathy” working for him?   I see President Obama differently.   I believe he has always felt that he was above those in his race, an elitist, and looks down on people of his race.   I see if in just the opposite direction.   Opening our hearts has our country on a road to a classic “nanny state.”    Nothing is changing for many minorities as they are born in third and fourth generations of living on the government.

        Something is radically wrong and it would behoove our country to find out what it is that is creating lack of personal responsibility.   I am a huge advocate for helping the poor by providing hope and education.   With our immigrant issues we have spent the bank on the back of the taxpayers and we have little in the way of positive results.

        So, do we continue on the road of throwing money at the immigrants and looking the other way with the three and four generations on welfare or do we insist on results from those who have the opportunity to dig themselves out but opt not to.

        Our system has failed us.   To suggest that we need to continue to provide more and more without fixing the failed system is a recipe for bankruptcy in our country.

        I feel your opinions are more than admirable.   I use to feel the same way.   One day I woke up and looked around and I met reality and saw that it usually comes down to a personal choice.   

        President Obama is gifted in that he is or shall I say “was” a good salesman.   Unfortunately it became clear that his heart is just not into the American people.   BTW, Obama was never raised “poor.”    I’m not sure where you got that information but it is wrong.   He went to one of two prestigious schools in Hawaii, Occidental and Columbia college and Harvard University.    According to Obama himself he paid off his college loans.  That’s far from a poor upbringing.  

        • avatar isa says:

          Some people call it lack of personal responsibility others define it as learned helpessness fostered by an environment that would rather see them disappear from the face of the earth.  It’s how you look at it.  I am not sure how poor Obama was while growing up.  If you want to find out how he felt as a young multiethnic, multiracial man going to prestigious colleges, all you have to do is ask any young man in a similar situation.  I bet they’ll tell you it’s an upstream battle, regardless of how bright or wealthy or handsome they are.  That is just the state of affairs for our young bright multiracial, multiethnic children, boys and men trying to make it in a white man’s world. As far as Obama looking down at his own kind.  Where did you get that from?  I have read economists criticizing Obama for not being “progressive” enough or enough of a revolutionary for minorities, but never did I come across a quote from a black person or minority representative saying that Obama looks down at his own kind.

          • avatar crystalclear says:

            isa, I don’t agree with your comments.   It is obvious you do not agree with mine.   We haven’t had a “white man’s world” as you expressed in decades.   In several decades the “white man’s world” by virtue of the numbers will turn into a “latino world” here in the United States.   I don’t believe in making excuses for any race as we have many “white” young people who find the same difficulties in getting somewhere in life.   Success is defined by the individual regardless of monetary status or race.  There are just as many struggling “white” children who face the same difficulties as other races.

            Barack Obama made good choices early in life and followed his chosen path.   He never wanted to be poor and he never wanted to be identified as an underachiever.  How do I know that?   I simply look at the man.   He will be the first to tell a young black, latino, white boy or girl that it is up to them to do the right thing.   All of the advantages are in front of them the same as they are for the all children who will require aid in further education.    I honestly feel odd using your choice of words like “white man’s world” but I am doing so in response to your comments.   No harm done it just feels odd to me because I don’t think in those terms.

            All of our opinions are important because in exchanging our thoughts we open the door to new ideas and ways of looking at life.


          • avatar isa says:

            Crystalclear, as uncomfortable as it makes us feel, we still very much live in a “white man’s world”.  You are right, as we have seen the US is becoming more and more multiracial, and hispanics will soon outnumber the caucasian population.  However, if we look at where the power is held in our society, monetarily and politically it is mainly by white males.  You only need to take a quick look at the number of CEOs of major corporations, banks.  Certanly, you will find the occasional woman or black or hispanic, for instance, but by and large it is mostly white males.  Women (black and white), black men, gays and minorities in general are still lagging behind.   We are getting there, it might be getting easier for some, but it is still an upstream battle.  Incidentally, under the Obama administration the number of women holding office has increased dramatically as compared to the previous administration. 
            It’s great “you don’t think in those terms”.  It is only natural and healthy to feel uncomfortable at the thought that we might be living in a racist or prejudiced society.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could all truly benefit from equal rights?

          • avatar crystalclear says:

            isa, well stated!   Good long term changes take time but I feel we are nearly there.   I would like to think that we elect the best people for the position regardless of race.   We have here in the United States some of the brightest people in the world IMO and it makes me comfortable knowing that we regard the man and the woman equally for positions of leadership.

            I do feel strongly that we have equal opportunity in our country.   It’s the “catching up” we see lagging but the direction we have been on for decades is an excellent path for all.

        • avatar isa says:

          Some people call it lack of personal responsibility others define it as learnt helplessness fostered by an environment that would rather see them disappear from the face of the earth.  It’s how you look at it.  I am not sure how poor Obama was while growing up.  If you want to find out how he felt as a young multiethnic, multiracial man going to prestigious colleges, all you have to do is ask any young man in a similar situation.  I bet they’ll tell you it’s an upstream battle, regardless of how bright or wealthy or handsome they are.  That is just the state of affairs for our young bright multiracial, multiethnic children, boys and men trying to make it in a white man’s world. As far as Obama looking down at his own kind.  Where did you get that from?  I have read economists criticizing Obama for not being “progressive” enough or enough of a revolutionary for minorities, but never did I come across a quote from a black person or minority representative saying that Obama looks down at his own kind.

          • avatar isa says:

            So this got posted 2x now.  I am so technologically challenged!  But…voila`…
             the 2nd one has the corrections.  Maybe the CM can get rid of the first one.  

          • avatar crystalclear says:

            isa, I didn’t intend to say that he looks down on his own race.   I apologize for making that statement because I honestly do not believe it to be true.   What a bad choice of words!     What I meant to say is that he doesn’t identify with his own race.   I hope you’ll accept my correction.   I don’t believe President Obama looks down on anyone.  I have liked him from day one and still admire him although I’m not happy with what is going on in DC.   I don’t believe he should’ve been elected President in 2008 knowing what I know now.   Another 8 years in Congress and he would’ve approached his presidency from a very different position IMO.   He simply needed more experience.   I can see that now.

            I’ll be proof-reading more in the future!  Seems here on wow you get one shot at a post ’cause once you hit submit there’s no bringing it back for review.

          • avatar isa says:

            Hi crystalclear, sure I accept your correction.  But what do you mean Obama does not identify with his own race?  Which race are you referring to?  He is biracial, white mom, black father.  And how do you know he does not identify with his racial roots?

          • avatar Anais P says:

            “He doesn’t identify with his own race.” What “race” is that? Race is an artificial social construct that people made up to justify slavery, anyway. It has no basis in reality. How about Obama identifies with THE HUMAN RACE? If anyone in this country doesn’t see race, it would probably be Obama, who had a white mother, a black father, an Indonesian stepfather and a half-Asian sister. It was heartening to me to see such a diverse family at the inauguration — though I am sure racists in this country were steaming!

          • avatar crystalclear says:

            isa, yesterday I was not at my best in articulating that statement and you have every right to question my comment.  

            The reason I think he doesn’t identify with his race is exactly as you stated.  Born biracial and raised in a “white” environment plus spending years in Indonesia.   He is unique, in my opinion, and I find that a positive.   I believe Obama relates on all levels of humanity and doesn’t fit a certain mold.  

            Ever have a day when you couldn’t put your thoughts in words that express how you feel?   That was me yesterday!    Thank you for hanging in there while we sorted this out.

            I believe that the path to success can be difficult for most people regardless of race, gender or upbringing.  

          • avatar isa says:

            yes I have had those moments you described.  Steven Tyler came out with a new book entitled, Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? I laughed when I saw it.  I can totally identify with that.  Have a great day!

          • avatar crystalclear says:

            Thanks, isa, and the same to you!  I had a bunch of “noise” in my head yesterday!   Had a wonderful day.  Maybe i was too relaxed!

  15. avatar crystalclear says:

    Extremely interesting reply, phyllis.   You wrote a glowing opinion of Barack Obama.   Thank you for the lead to an article/opinion piece on Obama’s foreign policy reputation.  I’ll go and visit that article.

    I am so disappointed in Obama that I cannot, in any way, defend him.   His popularity abroad is not good at the moment but perhaps at the time you wrote the above his popularity was excellent early in his term.   How I wish he had done things differently in the beginning as it has set the tone for criticism and will jeopardize his re-election.

    phyllis, I am happy there are still those who believe in Obama’s ability to lead our country in the right direction.   I, however, am not one of them.     thanks for sharing that with me.

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      Obama can’t be that bad given Queen Elizabeth has invited the Obamas to come “vist” again in May which given the “breach of protocol” the last time says quite a bit.

      The real problem with Obama is the Republican Congress. Which is the same problem as the Democratic Congress. He says “I want.”  They say “the oligarchy and its lobbyists want.” They pass bills. He just signs them. He needs to learn to read, say no, and use the pen to write VETO on the bills that Congress sends him. Alas, that won’t happen.  He seems to like the idea of retirement via Kennbunkport and the magic cash camels the Bushes give the adopted sons. So they can ride the deserts of the Persian Gulf in style. Collecting all the loot they can and tossing it in the sidebags as they go.

      Maybe Queen Elizabeth is going to have a “fireside chat ” of her own. The way Daddy Bush and Jeb did.  And explain the Bushes to Obama. Someone needs to.

      • avatar crystalclear says:

        I like you, Baby Snooks.   You always seem to deliver dry humor which I find entertaining.  You are A-Ok in my book.

        • avatar Baby Snooks says:

          We’ve been had as they say.  All the politicians float in on different boats but when we send them to Washington they all end up at the same dock. On K Street. 

          It’s a shame you can’t write in dead people on the ballots in the primaries. I would love to write in “Leona Hemlsley” on the ballot if Donald Trump is on it.

  16. avatar Bella Mia says:

    Obama’s housing was a catastrophe. He presided over a slum, and his friend Rezko was a slum landlord. Donald worked with government to implement eminent domain for his casinos. I don’t like government behaving like that. Donald loved it. Donald makes the trains run on time by getting things done. He’s promised to put China in it’s place, and India, but I’m afraid we’re too far gone. Soros promised to destroy the dollar – and it’s working. Just like he destroyed the currency in the UK. The big hedge funds are betting against the dollar – we are doomed.

    Here’s the Diana Sawyer piece on the slums under Obama’s jurisdiction and his close friend, Tony Rezko who helped him buy his house.

    • avatar crystalclear says:

      Bella Mia, what you have stated is 100% accurate.

    • avatar Anais P says:

      Obama did not “preside over a slum.” What a slanderous charge! He bought a house adjacent to a piece of property that Rezko’s WIFE bought on the same day. Even the woman who represented the Illinois voters for ethics groups was quoted in the video which link you posted as saying it was a problem with timing and sensitivity more than anything. Did you even watch the video? Obama was never charged with anything; however, DONALD TRUMP was charged by the federal government with not complying with the Fair Housing Act. But that’s a technique of the right: turn charges against a right-wing person into blame for a left-winger, whether true or not. Now even Michele Bachmann is blaming an “Obama teleprompter” for her own stupidity in saying events during the Revolutionary War took place in New Hampshire, when they took place in Massachusetts. However, under President Obama, justice for 9/11 FINALLY took place yesterday when bin Laden was killed, eight  years to the DAY Bush said “Mission accomplished,” when it wasn’t until today. Well done, Mr. President!

  17. avatar Lourdes says:

    What a sweet little story about this warm-hearted man! It should definitely be included in the next edition of “Chicken Soup for the Soul”. Scrooge would certainly enjoy it…

    • avatar Anais P says:

      Well said, Lourdes. You pinpointed that this little order of The Donald’s ruined more than a few folks’ Christmas celebrations. But that’s of little matter to the people on this thread who admire The Donald’s ability to “get things done.” They don’t care about the “little people,” and neither does The Donald.

  18. avatar rick gould says:

    That people think sending a 747 to pickup 2,000 books delivered by employees brought in to work over the holidays is “gittin’ it done” is exactly whats wrong with this country today. Exactly how much do you think that ego trip cost?

    Perhaps when Trump is the next president (I just threw up in my mouth a little), he can publish his autobiography and use AirForce One to deliver copies to bookstores around the country who are running out!


  19. avatar MH says:

    he is self centered, misogynistic, mean spirited, a liar, and simply not a nice human.
    Look at all the philanthropic things he has done over the years with his vast fortune he likes to talk about…..oh wait he doesn’t do anything nice for anyone else.

    If he runs and wins we are a sad dumb lot to allow it to happen. I will be moving north to Canada.
    hey, at least i’d have health care.