The Trump Sucking Bottomless Money Pit

It may or may not be significant that this week I’ve begun seeing ads for Trump’s Westchester golk club in my Facebook feed. Coincidence? Or is this Trump squeezing every revenue source he’s got? Wikipedia says annual dues are $19,400 a year, which is kind of a budget buster for me, even though it’s a short drive from where I’m living. But he owes the state of New York $454 million, which is racking up an additional $87,502 a day in interest until he pays. He’s gonna have to sell a lot of golf club memberships to cover that. See also ‘Who’s going to do that?’: Trump faces hurdles in securing appeal bond for fraud case.

Update: Actually, the interest is more than $100,000 a day. CBS News this evening:

The judgment in his civil fraud trial was officially entered with the court today — $454,156,783.05 for him alone, plus Trump is now accruing over $100,000 of post-judgment interest each day. 

This is on top of the recent $83.3 million verdict against him in the E. Jean Carroll defamation trial.

Judge Arthur Engoron had already denied Trump’s request to delay the judgment for a month to give Trump more time. I’m beginning to think Trump is not going to be able to pay up without liquidating assests.

The Daily Beast has noticed that Trump may be playing fast and loose with campaign finance laws again. He’s stopped refunding most donations that are in excess of allowable limits. “On paper, Trump’s refund rate is virtually impossible. His campaign has not solved this persistent problem of overpayments. His donors are, in fact, breaking the donation limits—dozens and dozens of them, according to the notices that the FEC sent his campaign after every 2023 filing.”

Trump campaign treasurer Bradley Crate acknowledges the excessive donations. He states that the money has since been “returned” to an affiliated committee, which will be “reflected on a subsequent [campaign] report.”

Crate’s answer, it seems, is that the Trump campaign is forwarding the excessive amounts to other political accounts, potentially raising a host of other issues.

But Crate’s explanation, as written, doesn’t seem explicitly true—at least not at the moment.

According to FEC data, the 2024 Trump campaign has never reported sending any money to that affiliated committee, a joint fundraising committee (JFC) called “Trump Save America.” And that committee’s refund rate also appears low—a total $150,000 out of $129 million raised. By comparison, Haley’s JFC refunded roughly $115,000 while raising $20 million. (In 2022, Trump’s JFC returned $42,000, and just $2,500 the year before.)

You’ll need to read the whole article for the details, but it seens the Trump campaign is using creative accounting to just make the excess donations disappear, or at least they are no longer counted as excess donations. He seems to be trying to sneak them past the FEC as new donations.

In Wisconsin, the state ethics commission has asked that Donald Trump’s joint fundraising committee and some Wisconsin state politicians be prosecuted for campaign violation felonies for things done in relation to the 2022 midterms. Trump can’t even stay out of trouble when he’s not running.

And the Associated Press reports that Trump faces warning signs that his fundraising prowess may have limits in 2024 campaign.

Campaign finance reports released this week flashed bright warning lights, showing two key committees in his political operation raised an anemic $13.8 million in January while collectively spending more than they took in. A major driver of those costs was millions of dollars in legal fees from Trump’s myriad of court cases.

The latest numbers offer only a partial snapshot of the Trump operation’s finances because other branches won’t have to disclose their numbers until April. But Trump’s diminished cashflow presents an alarming picture of the overwhelming favorite to be the GOP’s presidential nominee, particularly to would-be donors who aren’t eager to subsidize Trump’s legal challenges.

Trump’s campaign is turning into the Bottomless Money Pit of campaigns. If he gets his way he’s going to drain the RNC of funds as well. Heh.

In other news: House Republicans have scrubbed the Biden impeachment website of all “evidence” obtained from the Russian operative Alexander Smirnov. Which leaves them with, um, nothing. The Biden impeachment effort has pretty much collapsed. There doesn’t appear to be anywhere close to enough votes to pass a bill of impeachment.

In more other news:  Republicans are scrambling to let America know they aren’t really opposed to In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Once again, it’s obvious none of these people ever thought out the real-world effects of “embryonic personhood.” Planned Parenthood explains:

A handful of state abortion bans define life as beginning at fertilization, though they don’t specifically target the process of IVF. Other states are attempting to pass legislation that would grant embryos, fetuses and fertilized eggs personhood rights and in some cases constitutional rights.

Such laws would “pose a concrete threat to the routine practice of IVF,” says Daar. The concern is that these laws deem a frozen embryo a human life and that doing things like genetic testing on it during the IVF process, or discarding it, could become illegal.

“If an early embryo is deemed a person for purposes of legal rights and protections, any action short of transfer to the uterus could be seen as violating its right to life under these new laws,” Daar says.

I understand that it’s standard procedure to genetically test the fertilized eggs before transfering them to a uturus, and the eggs that can’t be used are discarded. And do watch Tommy Tuberville being an idiot.

Speaking of not thinking things through, in Texas a woman with an ectopic pregnancy was denied treatment by a hospital. Another hospital was able to save her life, although barely, after the fallopian tube began to rupture.

(WiFi update: I’m not going to say my wifi problems are fixed, because if I say that the wifi gremlins will know and make it go off again. But I haven’t had any glitches so far today.)

23 thoughts on “The Trump Sucking Bottomless Money Pit

  1. maha,

    You have to sprinkle "Inter-tube WiFi Gremlins Be Gone" at least once a day.

    Or, next to your computer, you can purchase and set-up a "WiFi Gremlins Hotel: WiFi Gremlins check in, but they don't check-out!"

    tRUMP's daily interest is quite interesting.

    He'd need 4.5 new golf club members a day to keep pace with that interesting interest.

    But then, even saying he could do that, after a while, he'd be getting sued because a cry of "FORE" wouldn't be enough of a warning for people to move, because there'd be so many stupid MAGA golfers on the course that there'd be no chance to migrate away from the ball – and as a result, they couldn't do anything more than duck, and pray the ball hits some other moronic schmuck!

  2. It warms my heart to read about Republicans scrambling for cash. "If your enemy is drowning, toss him an anvil."


  3. "And do watch Tommy Tuberville being an idiot."

    You can see in that interview that Tuberville has about the equivalent IQ of a special needs 3rd grader. I'm not exaggerating, the man is just plain dull and unlike a special needs 3rd grader Tuberville aint getting any sharper anytime soon. In fact he'll be more ignorant tomorrow than he is today. How the magats manage to find these low IQ stooges to run for office is beyond me. But boy they sure do find them!

    • I think Tuberville is a horrible human being.  But I think that assuming he is an idiot might be a little risky.  I think he knows exactly what he's doing.  He knew what he was doing when he held up all of the military promotions. He knows what he is doing now when he supports the AL supreme court ruling on embryo person-hood. He's doing these things on purpose because he want the supposed "Christian Nationalist" theocracy to become a reality.  He really wants that. He sort of plays dumb, but the purpose of that is to hide his treachery. Just my opinion, and I don't really have an issue with you calling him out as stupid. But he remains a Senator and he will be there for a while and he will continue to do things that help a certain foreign adversary advance their asymmetrical warfare against the US. Tuberville is part of the "onward Christian soldiers" crusade to destroy our Constitutional Republic. Again, can't prove it, but that's my analysis.

      I recall hearing a story for which I can't vouch is true. Supposedly there was a somewhat old-ish man living in an apartment building in lower Manhattan. Whenever he would venture out to do an errand or get a meal, he was dressed scruffily, mumbled a lot and seemed deranged.  Turned out he was a fairly high up mafia capo. His act was just camouflage so that nobody in the neighborhood would suspect him of anything. Fools aren't always what they appear to be.  I judge by actions, not appearances.


      • "He knew what he was doing when he held up all of the military promotions"

        I’m not so sure. He's in the senate because the GQP put him there. They saw a man of low IQ with a famous name and a beloved following as the former Bama football coach. When he talks about the IVF ruling it's obvious he doesn't even know what the acronym stands for. He has no fucking clue what he is doing, he does what he is told. I watch that interview and other interviews and only two things could be happening, he's either an Oscar winning capable actor or he's just as dumb as a fence post.

        • FWIW, Uncle, I wasn't trying to say Tuberville's a genius.  I think he's nowhere near a smart operator, but I think he takes his direction from somewhere and sticks to it. And I think it's too easy to dismiss someone when you categorize him as an idiot.  His own native intelligence may have nothing to do with how dangerous he is.

          • Of course he's a fucking idiot and as a senator he's a dangourous idiot. It just has nothing to do with him, he's a vessel. like a cheap tee-vee televangilist, he's just playing the part. The facists behind him are orf course the real danger. I just think giving him one bit of credence beyond what he is (a fucking stooge) only helps him and the people who pull his strings. He's a fucking idiot, Stump is a fucking idiot, Eric ad Don Jr are fucking idiots, assigning some sort of elevated strategy to them is a mistake. They are working for Putin, they are stooges, Putin is the real evil here.

      • Whenever he would venture out to do an errand or get a meal, he was dressed scruffily, mumbled a lot and seemed deranged.  Turned out he was a fairly high up mafia capo.

        That was Vinny the chin. You've got to hand it to him for his creative effort even if it didn't work.

  4. I'm disappointed that the USSC did nothing on either of the Trump cases. I expect the USSC to rule first that the states can't disqualify federal candidates. It will be interesting how they write it up. But if the stats don't, it begs the question – who does?  If CO was not following an "approved" procedure, do tell us who, how, and when Tremp's status is to be resolved. 

    Turning down CO is intended to soften the blow. I don't think the USSC will hear the case on absolute immunity. I think the rulings are inevitable but I am not sure on what timetable.

    The E. Jean Carroll verdict was formalized on Feb. 8. That started a thirty-day clock to pay or put up a bond to appeal. By my calculations, the due date is March 10, The NY civil award is due (I think) around March 25. Any bank would be crazy to but up over a half-billion without collateral. I'm not sure anyone knows if and how the NY properties are encumbered. If I was a bank, I wouldn't take Trump's word that Trump owns Trump Tower – "free and clear. Trust me." The bank has to expect that Trump will eventually lose and unless some other cash becomes suddenly available, the bank will take ownership and possession. But there are costs in liquidating. Also, Trump is in no position to haggle. So I'd expect the bank to require a billion in assets based on the bank's valuation, for the combined bonds which look like 600K to me. 

    There's the prospect that Trump will go to his friends in Saudi Arabia or Russia for the funds. But that much money can't move that fast unnoticed. Nor will it stay secret. But Trump has to put up in 30 days or the appeal option(s) evaporate. 

    Trump will try to soak the RNC. They've been doing a lousy job of fund-raising. But all the money Trump draws from the RNC is unavailable for senate campaigns. 

    The ruling on IVF is no accident. The fetus people know Trump is putting together a brilliant compromise – a federal 16-week "compromise." Trump could give a rat's fuzzy behind about abortion – he nominated justices he knew would bust Roe. That was the price Trump paid for support of the "Christian Nationalists." Since then, Trump discovered that the blowback is a liability. So he's going to double-cross the fetus people (partway) and run on a "compromise" that will win back the suburban moms. 

    Problem: striking down Roe was not the final thing on the Christmas list of the Fetus people. It was the first. They're going after birth control, IVF, same-sex marriage, any and all variations of non-binary sexual relations. They want to shut down medical science in HS sex education. The fetus people are just getting started. Trump is gonna betray them and they won't turn the other cheek. This will be war.

    I suspect the House will just leave the investigation open rather than admit it failed. Biden needs to run on the failed impeachment – rub Trump's nose in it. 

  5. Hi Doug,
    In part of my IT career, I worked with surety underwriters. While it is not required by law, any competent surety company will have competent surety underwriters and general standards and guidelines around accepting risks. I found this online:
    "The surety bond company essentially puts a lien on the real estate until the bond is exonerated (finished).  Once the surety bond is exonerated, the surety bond company will file a “Full Reconveyance” which effectively dissolves the lien.There are many risk considerations to contemplate when using real estate as collateral.  For example, who owns the property?  What is the value of the property?  How much equity is in the property?  Are there first loans?  Second loans?  Is the property in a Trust?  Are their legal encumbrances related to the property?  The answers to all of these questions, and more, will determine the viability of using real estate as collateral."

    So if TFG says he want to use one of his properties as collateral, the surety company will only accept the amount of free and clear interest he owns in the property.

    I think the bottom line here is that TFG is now a mark for any party, domestic or foreign, that wants to "own" him. He doesn't want to liquidate properties, as those are the only way he can pull off his continuing roll-over-the-balloon-loans ponzi scheme that he lives off of. He cares far more about having lots of assets than he does about avoiding being owned. He'll do favors for anyone.

  6. Re: the rambling incoherence he "delivered" in Nashville; wow, he's obviously cut back on the cost of a speechwriter.

  7. Warren Buffett, who is older than Biden by the way, and has a cult whose followers are much better off than Trump's groupies, recently fingered the flaw in Trump's business plan.  Trump's empire was built on leverage, which is a mistake.  He borrowed too much money.  He did much of that by fraud, as the recent New York ruling found.  Massive fraud over a number of years.  Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen went to jail for perjury over the number of phone calls he made to Russia on the plan for a Moscow Trump hotel.   He testified to three, while the evidence showed ten.  

    Given Buffer was correct, as he normally is, this Russian Hotel was to be built on borrowed money, as were the two Trump Hotel's built in Turkey.  These loans came from somewhere, and the properties would become collateral for those loans.

    All of this works fine until you cannot pay the interest.  When you can't things start falling fast.  If Trump's bankers included Russians, the collection agents would, one could guess, have Russian methods of persuasion.  Best then for Trump to use all his strings to keep them off his back.  Is Ukraine part of the collateral?  It kind of looks that way at this point.  Trump and political cronies do seem to be acting that way.  

    LaPierre must pay millions for his excesses at the NRA.  He too has a history with Russia and right-wing politics.  A bad grade from the NRA was political poison in many districts for any politician.  One has to be a fool to think Russia has not exploited that angle, and LaPierre had some extravagant tastes and now a criminal record to go with it.  

    So many dots to connect, but at least we have Clarence Thomas.  He would never let anyone buy influence, would he?  Why is the SCOTUS acting so slowly?  Are we dealing with too many that are too big to fail?  

    So, they were building the case for Biden's impeachment using lies from a Russian agent now back in jail.   You get the impression Putin does not want Joe Biden to continue as president in a big way.  

    When you connect enough dots you start getting a crude picture as I recall.  This one is starting to get really ugly and almost obscene.  I think I better quit connecting now.



  8. I rediscovered the great Paul Waldman, formerly of the Wapo, writing on substack. Here's a treat:

    Trump’s shameless grasping for every piece of silver he can get his hands on can distract from the reality of just what an extraordinary swindler he has been for his entire career. When he starts hawking gold-colored clown shoes for $399 (“The Never Surrender sneakers are your rally cry in shoe form,” the promo copy states), the immediate reaction is that this is just one more pathetic attempt to squeeze a few dollars from gullible fans whose willingness to pay for any piece of junk with “Trump” written on it seems almost limitless. Which is true. But his QVC-worthy licensing deals, comical though they may be, are less important than his long history of outright scams and cons.

    It still amazes me that almost no one ever brings up the fact that when his father Fred was nearing the end of his life, he and Donald designed and executed what must surely stand as one of the largest tax fraud schemes in history; as the New York Times revealed with carefully documented evidence, they created a complex system of shell companies and phony transactions that enabled them to evade over half a billion dollars in taxes. Unfortunately, the statute of limitations had run out by the time the fraud was revealed.

    Then there’s the way he refused to pay hundreds of small businesses for goods and services they provided him, effectively stealing from people who didn’t have the resources to fight back. Or Trump University (for which he had to pay $25 million to his victims). Or the bogus “foundation” that was forced to shut down after what the state attorney general called “a shocking pattern of illegality.” Or the vitamin pyramid scheme, the telecom pyramid scheme, the exploitation of foreign models as illegal immigrant labor, the other undocumented labor he has used, the violations of securities law, or the way he did business with the mob and eastern European kleptocrats.

    In short, Trump’s long record of sleaze placed him in a class all his own even before he set out to subvert our national institutions. The most famous con artists, like Charles Ponzi and his descendant Bernie Madoff, often had one big scam that defined their careers and legacy. Trump, in contrast, is distinguished by the variety and sheer volume of his scams.

    In an effort to make himself seem like a victim and bind his cultists to his fate, Trump always claims that “they” are coming for “you” once they’re done with him, and his multiple criminal and civil trials are the proof. To which we should respond: You’re damn right. If you commit fraud, if you abscond with classified documents and refuse to return them, if you try to overthrow our democracy, then yes, we will come after you…

  9. The "experts", according to CNN, view the delay on a ruling regarding the DC J6 case as bad news for Trump. Why? The best guess is that they will not grant Trump a stay which would continue to hold the trial. Someone (guess who) is writing a dissent to the majority who simply said no. Again it's guesswork, and not mine, that the absolute immunity defense will also be rejected. Whether the Supremes decide to hear the case or not is irrelevant if the stay is lifted. The outcome is not legally complicated. Trump is not a king. I doubt the Supremes will hear the case. 

    Willis may be in trouble. There may be records of Wade's travel thru his cell phone that indicate they started an affair BEFORE they began working on the Trump case. That puts both of them in a perjury trap. All of this has NOTHING to do with the RICO charges but it still effectively delays and possibly derails the GA prosecution.

    • "There may be records of Wade's travel thru his cell phone that indicate they started an affair BEFORE"

      What I read is that the lawyers what brought the case against Willis have cell phone ping data which indicates that Wade's phone pinged off one of two cell phone towers that were near Willis then home. That is hardly evidence that they were sleeping together, they lived in the city, if that's all they got, then that's all they got.

  10. Sanctifying frozen embryos while denying the existence of global warming…

    "Ye shall be known by thine limitless illogical contradictions." – Two Corinthians


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