About the author

Joseph Natoli

Joseph Natoli

Joseph P Natoli is a retired college professor and author of numerous books on culture and politics.
He is a member of the editorial collective of BAD SUBJECTS, the oldest political online magazine on the web.
He writes regularly for a number of political and pop culture online magazines, including SENSES OF CINEMA, BRIGHT LIGHTS FILM JOURNAL, POPMATTERS, AMERICANA, DANDELION SALAD, GODOT, TRUTHOUT

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24 Comments

  1. 1

    Anthony Bernardo

    He’s actually already started the downfall by picking a fight with the Owl of the Senate. Trump can’t get anything done on his agenda without a hoot from the Owl. Even now, without the 800 bil savings in the repeal of O care, there can’t be any major tax overhaul without an expansion of the deficit, and the same is true with infrastructure spending. That’s three out of four main legs (wall/immigration) that won’t happen by the 2018 election. Then Trump is in a lose lose position. If the Rs hold the Senate, the Owl stays on as majority leader. If the Ds take the Senate, the entire agenda is gone. I doubt he’s thought it through that far. Regarding Korea, Trump may have put Kim between a rock and a hard place. If Kim attacks Guam, it’s all over for him. If Kim doesn’t attack Guam, he loses major face. Either way, Kim is done. I doubt that Trump understood this with his goading remarks, but maybe.

    1. 1.1

      Richard Ivans

      Trump can’t get anything done without Senate approval?
      Are these anything?
      -1- illegal border crossing down 70% since taking office

      -2- July unemployment rate was 4.3%, a 16 year low.

      -3- Stock market (ie, Joe’s 403(b) portfolio, mine too) is at a record high, extending an already long bull market even further, making Joe and me wealthier.

      -4- Israel is our friend again.

      -5- Saudi Arabia is our friend again.

      -6- Tension between Israel and Saudi Arabia is reduced, indicated by President Trump flying Air Force One directly from Saudi Arabia to Israel, the first direct flight *EVER*.

      -7- The war on “the JV Team” is going well. Where we had none, we now have some cooperation and coordination with Russia on that war.

      -8- President Trump spoke to 50+ Arab Muslim leaders about “Islamic extremism” and “Islamic terror” (words Obama never uttered). Immediately afterwards several Muslim nations, including Saudi Arabia, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar in an unprecedented protest against Qatar’s support of terrorism.

      http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-executive-orders-memorandum-proclamations-presidential-action-guide-2017-1/#executive-order-april-28-exploring-offshore-energy-prospects-4

    2. 1.2

      Anthony Bernardo

      Richard, border crossings were down before he took office. Has been down for years. Unemployment is fake news. Oh wait: this is real news because it’s Trumps unemployment. Forgot. Unemployment has been on a downward trend from the high of around 10% caused by bad economic policy, since 2010. It was around 4.6 when O left office. Hardly an accomplishment. Stock market was the longest bull market before Trump. Fortunately, he hasn’t screwed it up yet. The middle east is the middle east. Some day it will change. I myself think Netanyahu is not interested in a 2 state solution. Russia. Give me a break. Putin is laughing his ass off at his leash dog Trump and Trump doesn’t even realize it.

    3. 1.5

      Richard Ivans

      Anthony Bernardo,
      When unemployment went down during Obama, was that a good thing?

      But now that it is going down even further (which like the long bull market is more and more difficult to sustain) under President Trump that is not a good thing?

      https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000

    4. 1.6

      Richard Ivans

      Anthony Bernardo,
      Yeah, President Trump is Putin’s leash dog alright. LOL

      When Putin jerks his leash and orders him lower his head he does. LOL

      Yeah, President Trump has no idea how to handle dictators. He should have learned from the stellar performance of his predecessor….

      President Trump should have done a RESET WITH RUSSIA like Obama did. Reverse the missile defense system like Obama did.

      President Trump is a fool. He should treat dictators in Asia like Obama did. For example, how Obama treated the Emperor of Japan, son of Hirohito, the most brutal dictator ever in the long history of Asia.

    5. 1.7

      Richard Ivans

      DEADLY STUPID POSTURING
      May 2009 North Korea explodes a nuclear bomb
      Nov 2009 Obama on Asia apology tour, kowtowing to Hirohito’s son
      Feb 2013 North Korea explodes a nuclear bomb
      Jan 2016 North Korea explodes a nuclear bomb
      Sep 2016 North Korea explodes a nuclear bomb

      I wonder if Obama verbally apologized to Hirohito’s son for dropping atomic bombs on them. Or maybe the kowtow was apology enough.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nuclear_weapons_tests_of_North_Korea

    6. 1.8

      Richard Ivans

      Anthony Bernardo,
      You think maybe Kim Jong un saw that kowtow?

    7. 1.9

      Anthony Bernardo

      Ah, when your defense is an attack on O, I know blood has been drawn.

    8. 1.10

      Richard Ivans

      Anthony Bernardo,
      President Trump is a bad president because why again?

      I say unemployment is down under President Trump. You say..
      “Unemployment has been on a downward trend from the high of around 10% caused by bad economic policy, since 2010. ”

      That sounds like a slam on President Bush and praise for Obama. So when I point to President Trump your defense is an attack on Bush and comparison to Obama? LOL

      You want it both ways, don’t you?

      “blood has been drawn”?
      if you see some of mine then you surely must have seen your own.
      —————-
      btw, in case you didn’t catch my drift….. The reason for showing Obama kowtowing to the son of the Emperor that had Americans starved, raped, burned alive, decapitated, summarily shot and tortured, is to demonstrate that any problem we are seeing from the brutal dictator of North Korea didn’t start Jan 20.

    9. 1.11

      Anthony Bernardo

      Hey, I defended Obama by building up Obama. You defended Trump by knocking down Obama. I do see blood, but none of mine.

    10. 1.12

      Richard Ivans

      LOL
      You “defended Obama by building up Obama”??
      Try again, Anthony.

      I cited President Trump’s accomplishments.
      You responded, by trying to build up Obama while disparaging President Trump. Unsuccessfully I must say.

      1) “border crossings were down before he took office.”

      Besides being wrong, ***This is your attempt to build up Obama while knocking down President Trump.***

      2) “Unemployment has been on a downward trend from the high of around 10% caused by bad economic policy, since 2010.”

      Besides discounting that the lower you drive unemployment the harder it is to drive it even lower, ***This is your attempt to build up Obama while knocking down President Trump.***

      3) “Stock market was the longest bull market before Trump. Fortunately, he hasn’t screwed it up yet.”

      Besides discounting that the longer a bull market is sustained the harder it is to sustain it further, ***This is your attempt to build up Obama while knocking down President Trump.***
      ————
      AGAIN…
      Because you really didn’t catch my drift, I mentioned Obama and his relation to North Korea in order to understand the mess President Trump is having to deal with there. That mess was blamed on President Trump in Joe’s article:

      So here is my take again: ‘The reason for showing Obama kowtowing to the son of the Emperor that had Americans starved, raped, burned alive, decapitated, summarily shot and tortured, is to demonstrate that any problem we are seeing from the brutal dictator of North Korea didn’t start Jan 20.’

      Yeah, that’s a knock on Obama. A knock that has to be made to understand the North Korea situation, which Joe, not you, but Joe mentioned.
      ————
      Your comment in my #3 is a bit odd, a misunderstanding of market cycles. Bull markets don’t simply go up if the president “hasn’t screwed it up”

      Legendary investor Jim Rogers, June 2017:
      [We have a recession] “every four to seven years, since the beginning of the republic. Well, it’s been over eight since the last one.”
      ————
      Anthony,
      I’m waiting for your response to the #1-8 in my first comment. You know, the “can’t get anything done on his agenda without a hoot from the Owl.” thing. Those 1-8 are nothing? Cause if they are something then examine for blood. 🙂

      I’m also waiting for your response to this Politifact on illegal immigration. A bloody thing, to again use your metaphor.
      CLICK–> http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2017/apr/25/donald-trump/illegal-immigration-lowest-17-years-trump-said/

    11. 1.13

      Anthony Bernardo

      Richard, if you think anything will get done without House and Senate support, you’re as foolish as you leader.

    12. 1.14

      Richard Ivans

      Anthony Bernardo,
      Huh, well then it *is* a mystery how the President accomplished those 8 things I posted in my first comment. You said:

      ******
      “Trump can’t get anything done on his agenda without a hoot from the Owl”
      ******

      So I guess
      — the Owl gave the President the okay to sign 90 executive orders, eh?

      — the Owl got illegal border crossings down 70%

      — the Owl got July unemployment rate down to 4.3%, a 16 year low.

      — the Owl made Israel and Saudi Arabia our friends again.

      — the Owl gave President Trump permission to fly Air Force One directly from Saudi Arabia to Israel, in spite of no other plane in history doing that. You’re right, the Owl *is* powerful.

      But, I can’t understand how your Owl was able to persuade President Trump to speak frankly to 50+ Arab Muslim leaders about “Islamic extremism” and “Islamic terror”. How come your Owl didn’t make Obama do that?

      Oops there I go again, mentioning Obama. Please excuse me. I’m only trying to understand how your Owl works. If nothing gets done without him then how did President Trump accomplish in 6 months what Obama didn’t in 8 years? The owl was sleeping for 8 years?

  2. 2

    Richard Ivans

    money is how we exchange labor.

    A teacher buys a car with money, not with teaching lessons.
    A farmer buys a tractor with money.

    Both the teacher and the farmer labor to get money they then use to buy cars and tractors.

    Money, the lust, the greed for money is nothing more than the lust for labor.

    Who doesn’t want to accumulate as much labor as possible with the least effort possible?

    Who sweeps their driveway with a toothbrush?

    Who looks at their 403(b) stock and bond portfolio balance and doesn’t care if it went down?

    Who doesn’t care if they pay $10 or $2 for a gallon of gasoline?

    ——————-
    It’s always the other guy who is greedy.

  3. 3

    Richard Ivans

    Trump’s End?

    Joe,
    President Trump isn’t even 7 months into his presidency and already you’re writing about his end.

    Well, that’s not really correct. You and others have been writing about his end for 9 months, since last November.
    ————–
    THE ELECTION IS OVER, THE END ISN’T FOR YEARS
    Get over it. President Trump was elected by a significant margin. America wanted him to be our president. He beat out a couple dozen other people to win. It wasn’t a fringe group of crackpots that wanted Trump to be our president. It wasn’t some people who didn’t know what they were voting for. Donald Trump had been in American news for over 30 years. Before being elected, Obama, Clinton, and Carter had been in the news for maybe 1/4 as long.
    —————
    WE GOT WHAT WE WANTED
    President Trump ran on securing the border, fighting terrorism, cutting excessive regulations, downsizing government, eliminating dumb spending programs, strong military, and making our economy strong. In less than 7 months he has made significant progress in those areas. Exactly what he was elected to do.
    —————
    ATTACK THE PERSON WHEN YOU CAN’T THE POLICIES
    Equating our President to Kim Jong Un? Robert Mugabe?

    Both those guys are socialists. President Trump is a capitalist.
    Mugabe and Jong Un aren’t crafty businessmen, they didn’t create and own multi-billion dollar international conglomerates. They spent almost all their lives in politics.

    Both those guys got to power with fraudulent elections. Jong Un and Mugabe got into power because people like Donna Brazile, CNN, Hillary, Podesta, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the DNC leadership cheated for them. President Trump got into power in spite of those people.

    Both Mugabe and Jong Un are big government guys, expanding government’s reach into people’s lives. President Trump is an opposite here too.
    ————–
    DEMEANOR
    That’s how we judge a leader? By demeanor?
    Andrew Jackson isn’t on the 20 because of his demeanor.
    George Washington isn’t on the 1 because of his.

    Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson aren’t the greatest heavy weights of all times because of demeanor.

    When you can’t knock a fellow’s accomplishments then you go after his demeanor. That’s why Ali was The Louisville Lip and an arrogant n—. That’s why Andrew Jackson and Teddy Roosevelt were labeled unfit for office, because of demeanor.

    That’s also why our President, creator, owner and manager of a multi-billion dollar conglomerate, successful in many fields, employer of tens of thousands of men and women of all colors, creating products and services bought by millions, year after year, here and abroad, is labeled…
    — bankrupt
    — racist
    — unable to handle complex tasks
    — not trustworthy
    — ignorant of social graces
    — ignorant of government
    — ignorant of foreign affairs
    — just plain ignorant

    http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/political-cartoon-depicts-president-andrew-jackson-sitting-news-photo/517354664?esource=SEO_GIS_CDN_Redirect#political-cartoon-depicts-president-andrew-jackson-sitting-stunned-as-picture-id517354664

  4. 4

    Anthony Bernardo

    Trump was given the business by his father. It was worth 200 mil at the time. Had he put the money in an index fund he would be worth about the same as Forbes estimates his current net worth, not the bs number Trump puts out. He’s a total con man, and a schmuck.

  5. 5

    Richard Ivans

    Anthony Bernardo,
    Nice try. President Trump wasn’t given 200 million. That was the value of his father’s business on his death, a business that Donald Trump had been running successfully for 8 years while his father’s health failed.

    That 200 million was split up among Donald and his siblings, after taxes.
    —————-
    NEWSFLASH:
    Lots of sons and daughters get millions from their parents. Very very few turn that money into multi-billion dollar international conglomerates employing tens of thousands. Not just creating, but owning and managing that conglomerate, composed of over 500 businesses, year after year.
    ———————
    Anthony,
    You didn’t do the math. Instead you simply believed an I-HATE-TRUMP blog site that told you President Trump is a lousy businessman, turning $200,000,000 into *only* $3,500,000,000.

    So I’ll do the math for you. The I-HATE-TRUMP pimple faced blogger in his mommy’s basement didn’t, or he lied to you.
    ———————
    DONALD TRUMP PERFORMANCE
    $3.5 billion / $200 million = 17.5 (16.5 fold increase)

    So if Donald Trump inherited *ALL* of his father’s wealth (cause his father hated his other children and grandchildren, leaving them ZERO), and if Donald Trump didn’t pay any death taxes, ie ZERO death tax…

    …then starting with $200 million he realized a 1,650% increase in his money since his father’s death in 1999.

    So what kind of interest gets a fella a 16.5-fold increase on his money over 18 years?

    Using this site: http://www.mathportal.org/calculators/financial-calculators/compound-interest-calculator.php

    ..we find that 17.2% growth gets you that 16.5-fold increase.
    $200 million compounded at 17.2% over 18 years turns into $3.5 billion.
    ———————
    INDEX FUND PERFORMANCE
    So let’s see what an index fund would produce over that same period. The most widely used US Market index is the S&P 500. Using this site: https://dqydj.com/sp-500-return-calculator/

    we plug in June 1999 (when Fred Trump died) and July 2017. We find the S&P 500 grew at an annual rate of 5.35% (dividends reinvested, NO TAXES PAID) over the same period that Donald Trump grew *ALL* of his father’s estate at 17.2%.

    I’ll bet now you wished you’d invested in Donald Trump in 1999 instead of an S&P500 index fund. No?

    17.2% > 5.4%

    Remember, those figures assume Fred Trump left no money to his other children and grandchildren, and that no death taxes were due, and that your S&P500 index fund generated no taxable income, nor capital gains tax when the fund readjusted it’s holdings.
    ———————-
    THE LESSON HERE
    This is why you have to stop mindlessly reading and following the I-HATE-TRUMP crowd (bloggers and mainstream media), or any other biased hateful mobs on the Internet. Lies are created and repeated again and again, at the speed of light.

  6. 6

    Richard Ivans

    During the Republican debates Marco Rubio jabbed at Donald Trump saying he inherited $100 million from his father. Turning $100 million into $3.5 billion requires a 21.8% annual increase.

    21.8% > 5.4%

  7. 7

    Anthony Bernardo

    The 100 million was on his death in 1999. That adds to the 200 million business the father gave him, not split, in 1970s. The Dow was 1000 ish in 1980. It was 18000 ish when he won. 18 X 200 equals 3.6 bil. Plus add the 100 mil compounded. The Dow index would have been just as good. I know you love alt. facts.

  8. 8

    Richard Ivans

    Anthony Bernardo,
    “alt facts”?
    That’s funny…
    I cite sources of my “facts”.
    You cite none.
    Then you criticize me for alt facts. lol

    You sure you weren’t getting *your* facts from OccupyDemocrats? Your scenario sounds an awful lot like OD’s. Except you picked the Dow, a not-so-frequent index, seldom used in index funds.

    CLICK–> http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2015/dec/09/occupy-democrats/occupy-democrats-say-simple-investment-trumps-fath/
    —————————-
    Okay, maybe you didn’t get your facts from OD.
    Tell us where you did get them.
    Because this site disagrees with you. They talk about money, responsibility, and work Donald Trump got from and gave to his father over the years:
    CLICK—> http://www.politifact.com/florida/article/2016/mar/07/did-donald-trump-inherit-100-million/
    ————————————
    THOUGHT EXPERIMENT: Assume your father gives you a lawn mover worth $30, and $10 to mow his lawn for 8 years. Then years later, after your father is long gone, your net worth is $200. Does that mean you are a no-good-for-nothing loser, and the only reason you have $200 is because of your daddy?

    Donald Trump worked for 8 years running his father’s business. Did he lose money or make money for his father? I don’t know. I do know that he was making money during most all of the other 30+ years he was in business.
    ———————————–
    Don’t forget to tell us where you got your facts, Anthony.

    1. 8.1

      Anthony Bernardo

      Actually, I went to a history of DT on Wiki. Who is occupy democrats?

    2. 8.2

      Richard Ivans

      Cite what you found on the wiki, Anthony.
      Whose going to just simply believe that somewhere buried in a wiki you found that Donald Trump was given $200 million in the 1970s and $100 million in 1999?

      I smell blood. I just searched for “Dow” in the wikipedia page on Donald Trump. I got nothing. You sure you got your Trump inheritance Dow facts from the wiki on DT?
      ————–
      Read that Politifact article I posted above if you truly don’t know who OccupyDemocrats is.

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