Friday, October 28, 2016

'Toontime: It Is No Joke

credit Mike Luckovich

This election cycle, full of rudeness, scandal and distraction, is causing disquiet among 'Mericans because the dysfunction of their political system is so obvious to see.  US Person hopes that the lesson learned will be to begin the system's reform.  Proposition 59 in California is a very modest start, proposing to eliminate dark money from election campaigns made possible by the errant Citizens United  Supreme Court decision.  Beyond that, citizens must work to create a viable reform party that can challenge the major parties' duopoly.  Now some pundits blame the duopoly on the archaic voting systems 'Merica has been saddled with since its founding, namely single member districts and plurality voting.  They argue that it is a symptom, not a conspiracy.  But you do not have to wear a tin-hat to think the status quo is more than just a coincidence or a symptom.  Bernie Sanders tried to create a reform movement from within the Democratic Party, but soon discovered what other left-of-center candidates from Gary Hart, Jerry Brown to Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich confronted--the Money Power's intramural predominance.  This situation was engineered by the party's apparatchik in the aftermath of Mayor Daley's police riot at the Chicago Convention of 1968.  So that is why we are left with the narcissistic demagogue  on the right to carry the banner of making hay in Washington.  NOT.

credit: Matt Wuerker
BC Idonwanna sez:  Once again, white man speak from side of face!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

UNESCO Tells Bangladesh to Protect Tigers

The UN's world heritage body, UNESCO, reported that the poor nation of Bangladesh must stop a coal development project to protect the remaining tigers living in the Sundarbans, one of the last existing tiger habitats. The huge mangrove delta which straddles the Ganges, Irrawaddy and Brahmaputra Rivers is a protected world heritage site and home to an estimated 450 Bengal tigers [photos: AFP, AP] The Rampal coal power plant is located sixty-five kms to the north and would expose the delta to water pollution and acidic rain. The forest is already stressed by agricultural water use, and huge coal ships would ply the delta's waterways. Dredging to safely accommodate these ships would generate 32.1 million cubic meters of fill, further endangering the protected Irrawaddy and Ganges river dolphins. The government estimates a coal shipment a day would be required to supply the 1320MW plant. UNESCO recommended that the project be cancelled and relocated to a more suitable site. India is financing the Rampal project.

Thousands have marched against building the Rampal station, but the government remains unmoved.  Many Bangladeshis rely on the Sundarbans for their livelihood from fishing and honey gathering.  Some 40 million people are protected from the worse ravages of annual cyclones by the vast mangrove delta.  Despite its stand on international platforms in support of greenhouse gas reductions, the country is planning an aggressive development of its coal reserves for energy production.  It plans to install by 2030 15,000 MW of coal-powered generation increasing the share of coal powered generation from 1% to 50%; currently most of Bangladesh's electricity come from natural gas burning.  An activist called the Rampal project a "shallow idea of development which is based merely on growth, consumption driven, and energy obsessed. Bangladesh as a range nation has also pledged to help double the world's number of tigers by 2022.  Welcome to the ball game, Bangladesh.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

COTW: Health Care Costs Continue Climb

Despite the promises of the Current Occupant about cost reduction under the so-called Affordable Health Care Act (aka Obamacare) which US Person knew to be false because he capitulated to the insurance lobby by eliminating a competitive single-payer option, (aka socialized medicine) this chart from Forbes shows healthcare cost continue to climb in excess of inflation:

The ever-opportunistic Trump is now seizing on the issue of health care costs in the waning moments of his campaign to further undermine the slim lead of Hillary Clinton who is identified with the administration responsible for the ineffective health care kluge.  Health care in 'Merica is a problem that cannot be denied, and will only get worse over time.  It is time to bite the bullet and implement what other civilized societies have already achieved: socialized health care for all citizens.  This chart shows the the US far outspends other advanced societies for health care, yet it has worse health outcomes:

Trump promises to repeal Obamacare in his first hundred days in office. That is even less of a solution than the current mess. US Person is not in the business of telling people how to vote, but he does have a recommendation. Vote your conscience, and do not submit to a demonic dilemma presented to you by the Plutocracy, Inc.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Kigali Amendment Cuts Use of HFCs

One hundred ninety-seven countries attended the Kigali, Rwanda summit to amend the Montreal Protocol cutting the use of hydrofluorocarbons commonly used in refrigeration and that significantly contribute to global warming. HFCs are the fastest growing greenhouse gas, growing at a rate of 10% per year.  Miraculously on October 15, 2016 they agreed to phase out the use of these damaging chemicals after seven years of negotiations. Some legal experts say the amendment will require Senate ratification because the Montreal Protocol that went into effect in 1989 is legally binding on signatories.  That may prove problematical for the next Occupant unless control of the Senate flips to the other side of the aisle.  The amendment is expected to take effect on January 1. 2019.  India led the negotiations on this landmark international accord.

China and India, as developing economies in hot climates, are the leading producers of HFCs.  China agreed to cut its use by 85% over the baseline of 2020-22 by 2045.  India will reduce its use by 85% over a baseline established during 2024-26.  The negotiated arrangement will give these countries time to develop alternatives to a gas that is many times more powerful in trapping heat than carbon dioxide.  HFCs were created as a substitue for florocarbons found to be depleting Earth's ozone layer that protects it from harmful cosmic radiation.  The UN called the agreement the single largest contribution (estimated at 0.5 degree) towards meeting the world's goal of keeping average temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius agreed upon at the Paris climate summit last year.

Friday, October 21, 2016

'Toontime: When Hillary Goes Oz

credit: Sean Delonas
Wackydoodle sez: She's jus follerin' the yellow brick road!

The debates were so devoid of substantive content that US Person heard an eighteen year old adult complain he had anxiously waited to vote and this was all the choice he got. He commiserated and suggested the youngster light up a joint before he watched the next one.  It's more fun! Oh, US forgot, there were only three debates.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Florida Senator Denies Climate Change Despite Flooding

South Florida got hit with a "king tide" that inundated streets and this baseball stadium. [photo, credit: Ecowatch]  A king tide occurs when a full moon is aligned with the Earth and Sun.  Untreated sewage spewed from manholes in Jacksonville during Hurricane Mathew.  Yet the widespread proof of rising water did not stop Sen. Marco Rubio, once a presidential candidate, from doubting the existence of global warming at a senatorial debate with his challenger. As seawater levels rise due to melting polar caps and thermal expansion, king tides are now regular flooding events.  Doubting the reality of climate change is an accepted rhetorical tactic of the right-wing, similar to the one used by tobacco and oil companies to raise questions in the public mind and delay or prevent policy decisions that could adversely affect their sponsors' profit margins. In fact Rubio labeled Congressional investigation into what Exxon's knew about the climate effects of their products in the seventies "a left-wing attempt to demonize industries in America".  Several leading politicians including the New York state attorney general are advocating an investigation into Exxon's potential liability for concealing the global warming information in its possession.

More research published Monday shows that increased flooding along the nation's east coast is a certainty. Sandy sized flooding in New York City that occurred every 400 years will now occur every two decades.  During Hurricane Sandy the storm tide reached fourteen feet. The damage bill was enormous: $19 billion.  The Statute of Liberty and Ellis Island were closed for a year.  Since the 20th century began the sea level in New York harbor has risen by one foot, and according to researchers is likely to rise another 20 to 40 inches by the end of this century.

According to an official Florida report issued in 2010 it could cost the state $3 trillion to replace damaged infrastructure by 2030. Seventy-six million Floridians live on the coasts which are highly vulnerable to high water events, yet Rubio failed to meet with fifteen mayors who wanted to discuss with him the risks rising sea levels pose.  Should this man be returned to the Senate given his dangerous denial of reality?  US Person thinks NOT.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

COTW: Greater Yellowstone, America's Wild Heart

This chart of Yellowstone National Park shows what the actual boundaries of the protected area should be. Biologists know now that its resident large mammals utilize an entire ecosystem larger than the man-made boundary lines encompass. The migration of elk and buffalo and their closely associated predators are naturally related to an entire ecosystem enclosed with the dotted line. This is why US Person advocates expanding the Park's boundaries, or at least establishing adjacent buffer areas to allow for full habitat utilization by resident animals. {22.06.16}The Yellowstone ecosystem is still largely intact and deserves this added protection if man is to fulfill his duties as a careful steward of Earth's natural resources.

The Park was established in 1872 and its boundaries largely set to protect the geothermal features found in the collapsed caldera of an ancient shield volcano. Yellowstone was the first national park in the world; our national park system is now referred to the "Great American Idea".  Yellowstone's boundaries were later expanded somewhat to protect the headwaters of several park streams.  But even General Phillip Sheridan, the hero of western expansion, knew in 1882 that the Park was not big enough to protect the herds elk.  He advocated against stiff political resistance for expanding the Park; his efforts failed. To this day there are powerful economic interests that object to any expansion.  Conservationists argue that adding protected territory is needed to conform to the biological realities of the Yellowstone region.  In their landmark study of grizzly bears, the Craighead brothers documented the fact that bears roam five million acres of Yellowstone country, far more than the 2.2 million acres now protected.

In fact the term "ecosystem" came into widespread popular use because of the Craighead study. The great bear needs an entire functioning ecosystem with its myriad intertwined species of plant and animal life, to thrive. In turn, these species depend on the presence of a predator at the top of the food web. As an example of these complex relationships, wildlife biologists have determined that it is the return of the wolf to Yellowstone with man's help that is responsible for the rebirth of aspens, willows and cottonwood trees that were slowly disappearing from the landscape because the seventy year absence of wolves allowed herbivores to proliferate. These over grazed the young tree shoots literally to death.

The noted naturalist Aldo Leopold told us several decades ago that preserving remaining wild areas require the presence of predators. Yet we still fund government policies and agencies who do nothing except remove predators at the request of special interests. As Leopold, who was once one of the men entrusted with this misguided task, said I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters’ paradise.”  NOT. Incredibly states which border Yellowstone want to reintroduce trophy hunting for bear once the Yellowstone grizzly is de-listed from the Endangered Species Act. This is because trophy hunting represents revenue for the states of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. It is definitely not good biology since Yellowstone is now a genetic island, cut off from other scattered populations of bears in the Northern Rockies.  Hunting would only worsen the overall health of the species.

There are efforts on an official level such as the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee, to address the needs of animals living in America's wild heart, but it is enfeebled by bureaucratic in-fighting and jurisdictional disputes. The health of wildlife is now dependent on the existence of a few million acres of private land as the Park is increasingly engulfed by tourists eager to glimpse some of this continent's natural past.  Unless we develop the political will and change our distorted concept of stewardship we will loose what little is remains of our wild heritage.  No comprehensive strategy exists for dealing with recreation impacts, wildlife diseases, or human development eating away at the Park's boundaries. Yellowstone’s former chief scientist, spoke to the dangers of apathy: “I think we’re losing this place. Slowly. Incrementally. In a cumulative fashion. I call it sort of a creeping crisis.” In short, damn the ecosystem and politics as usual.

Essentially, Yellowstone is a living museum. We cannot replace it if it is lost. Yet we insist on "management" that requires wild creatures to conform to artificial restraints.  Every year a portion of the wild buffalo herd is slaughtered to make it "fit" within the Park. Every year wolves are killed because the prey on a cow that is subsidized and whose owner is compensated for the loss of property.  This is not management, it is a form of genocide. If we deprive wild animals of their rightful place, the museum will be left empty, and we will have to visit our local taxidermist to see what a cougar, wolf or bear resembled. We will have failed in our God-given duty to be good stewards of his bounty.

Monday, October 17, 2016

US Bombs Yemen Direct

After eighteen months of bombing Yemeni rebels indirectly by funding and fueling the Saudi Air Force, and conducting a deadly drone war against the  Houthis, the Pentagon finally got around to "taking the gloves off" last Thursday and launched cruise missiles from a US destroyer off Yemen's coast.  Of course the Pentagon had to have plausible deniability about its latest extension of the global war, so it dug up an excuse it has not used since the Gulf of Tonkin--"our ships were fired upon".  This attack comes just after a Saudi strike killed 140 people gathered for a funeral in Sana.  More than 4000 civilians have been killed in the air war.  The Pentagon's media flacks, when reporting the alleged incident of self-defense, failed to mention the Pentagon's long term support of Saudi operations in Yemen's civil war.  The Houthis categorically deny attacking the USS Mason. [photo, credit Reuters]  It is a sad day for America when extremist rebels have more credibility than the US government.  Iran, which backs the rebels, has sent its own warships to the area after the Mason attacked.

Friday, October 14, 2016

COTW: Ticket to Ride

credit: Martyn Turner
Wackydoodle sez: Take a number and bring money!
If this election season teaches anything, it is that the American political process is nearly moribund. Even big money donors are saying Donald will damage their club permanently if it does not detach the loose cannon that is the billionaire hot-head.  What 'Mericans are left to elect is a life-long, career politician who is owned by the plutocracy and is so compromised she has trouble keeping track of her latest triangulation.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Rare Tree Frog Declared Extinct

'Toughie' the tree frog held captive in Atlanta's Botanical Garden was found dead in his enclosure last month. He was the last Rabbs' fringed tree frog (Ecnomiohyla rabborum) to die of two captive males; the species is now believed to be extinct. You can hear Toughie's last mating call here. This species of amphibian succumbed to a plague of chytrus fungus that has wiped out frogs in central Panama's cloud forests. Its web feet helped it to glide between tree trunks in the forest. Five frogs were captured by conservationists in the hope of starting a captive breeding program. Those hopes were disappointed when none of the frogs mated. The last female died in 2009. The frog was first identified in 2005 and formally described and named after conservationists George and Mary Rabb. It is still possible that Rabbs' lives on deep in the rain forests, but no calls have been heard in known locations since 2007. Toughie was estimated to be about twelve years old when he died. The botanical garden said their frog guest would be missed by staff and visitors.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

COTW: Corporations Richer, NOT People

Corporation profits reached an all time record high in the foruth quarter of 2014 of $1771.6 billion (St. Louis Fed) up from the record low of $14.4 billion in 1951.  As the charts show below this bounty is mostly due to low taxation, although corporatists will argue increased productivity is due to automation and computerization   Productivity has leveled off, and the increase is not reflected in the declining share of national wealth going to workers.  So while the candidates engage in character assassination (is Donald really a creep?) and deceit (is Hillary a bigger liar than her husband?) economic conditions just get worst for the vast majority of us who must work to earn their daily bread. For the rentiers who play the Wall Street casino from the inside, conditions could not be better.

Friday, October 07, 2016

'Toontime: Divided We Fail

credit: Michael Ramirez
BC Idonwanna sez:  Me sell you bridge, but broken now!

If you cannot bring yourself to vote for the status-quo and Crooked Hillary, or 'change' and Lewd Donald, you are not alone. The non-event that was the Vice Presidential debate certainly did not change anybody's mind. But the status quo did not get this way without the participation of both halves of the establishment duopoly. [video]  Repugnants have been in charge of the federal government for most of the last three decades. Tweet that, twits.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Paris Climate Agreement Reaches Approval Threshold

The United Nations announced that the necessary number of countries producing greenhouse gas emissions have formally signed the Paris Accord negotiated earlier this year.  It will go into effect on November 4th.  The agreement is flawed in that it does not have legally required goals, but since its targets are only aspirational, the Current Occupant was able to sign the agreement without Senate ratification. It would have surely died in the Senate since that chamber is filled with rabid climate change deniers.  Europe followed the lead of the United States and China putting the accord over the 55 nation threshold.  Seventy three nations have signed with Russia, Japan and Australia notably absent from consenting.  Candidate Trump has said he would take 'Merica out of the deal' if he occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The intent of the agreement is to prevent global average temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above their preindustrial levels.  This goal will require aggressive action from the participants.  One of Obama's key legislative implementations, cutting power plant emissions, is mired in litigation and will remain that way until at least 2018 when the divided Supreme Court lifts its stay on EPA's rule making.

In related news, a huge hurricane, Matthew, is approaching the Florida coast.  The massive storm has already killed at least eight hundred people in Haiti. The category 4-5 hurricane is already the longest-lived storm on record for the eastern Caribbean. Scientists have predicted for at least a decade that global warming will intensify storms.  The Governor has already told residents to evacuate coastal areas, warning that "this storm will kill you." Mathew is expected to arrive Friday morning.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

CITES Establishes Trade Ban for Pangolins

credit: NYT
The representatives at the CITES conference in Johannesburg, South Africa have agreed to a world-wide trade ban to protect the endangered animal.  TRAFFIC, the world organization that monitors illegal trade in species, welcomed the decision as very good news.  Pangolins are under threat from a thriving international black market that trades in their scales and meat.  But the ban does not insure the eight species of pangolin will survive since enforcement of the convention signed by 183 nations is non-existent or weak in some countries.  Pangolin hunting is already illegal in many of the member nations. It is the most trafficked animal in the world according to the IUCN.  Its meat can bring $150 a pound.

The insectivore with a long, sticky tongue [photo] was once thought to be related to the anteater, but now genetic studies suggest it is more related to raccoons and giant pandas. They do not thrive in captivity, but if given specially prepared mashes of ants and termites, they can do well.  Pangolins rescued from the wild have their injuries treated--often severed limbs or dog bites--and are rehabilitated.  Then they are gradually re-introduced into the wild.  One hundred fourteen nations voted for the ban with Indonesia voting against and five abstentions, including China.  Conservationists want to focus now on getting individual countries to pass the necessary legislation to suppress the illegal trade.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Closer to Armeggedon

Contrary to our Current Nobel Peace Laureate's pledge to reduce the number of nuclear weapons threatening our existence, the United States is planning to spend nearly a trillion dollars upgrading its nuclear arsenal over the next thirty years.  The US and Russia control 93% of the world's stockpile of warheads;  China is a distant third with 260.  According to an international body that monitors nuclear armaments, the world is closer now to a confrontation involving the nuclear 'option'.  An example of increased tensions between East and West is shortly after the Russian re-annexation of Crimea, the US flew four unarmed B-52 Stratofortresses over the North Pole and North Sea in a show of strategic capability.  Each of the aging, but still effective bombers, can carry twenty nuclear cruise missiles each with a range of 1500 miles, more than enough to obliterate targets deep inside Russia.  More recently the US displayed its supersonic B-1 near the border of North Korea after that regime set off an underground nuclear test.

Although Russia has slightly more warheads than the United States--7290 to 7000--we have 140 more deployed warheads than Russia.  Deployed means the warheads are stationed on missiles or at bases with operational nuclear forces.  Many of these are located in Europe, where the basic war strategy is to counteract a massive Russian blitzkrieg with nuclear strikes.  Russia has seen fit to counteract Western aggressiveness towards it with its own strategic responses.  Russia has moved its advanced SA-23 Gladiator missile defense system into Syria [photo].  The Western coalition has the ability to launch missile attacks from neighboring NATO members and from ships in the Mediterranean and Red Seas*.  The US threatened a missile strike against Bashar Al-Assad after his forces attacked rebels with chemicals.  Russian missile brigades are practicing preemptive strikes in the Leningrad region that borders Estonia using short range Iskander missile systems.  NATO recently sent additional alliance troops into the Balkans as well as begun deploying a anti-missile shield in Poland and Romania which Russia strongly opposes.

Since the breakdown of the Syrian ceasefire and the termination of negotiations between the US and Russia, the opportunities for nuclear confrontation, mistaken or intentional, have increase several fold.  Neither of the candidates for the Current Occupant's office have express a willingness to establish a rapprochement with Russia by substituting cooperation for antagonism.  That's too bad for the rest of us, for our very existence depends upon it.

*Whatever technological advantage the US exploited in the last half of the previous century has rapidly eroded.  Russian fighter jets are recognized by third countries such as India as the best in the world.  Meanwhile the US struggles to develop the 'ultimate' fighter, the F-35 Lightening II, while incurring cost overruns and technical failures.  After being grounded for coolant line problems, the $200+ million lemon caught fire at Mountain Home AFB in Idaho.  An F-35A attached to the 61st Fighter Squadron was engaged in ground attack exercises. The cause of the incident is under investigation.  The coolant line problem previously grounded 15 joint strike fighters. Particles of insulation were found in the aircrafts' fuel tank during maintenance.  Spokesmen attributed the cause of that glitch to use of improper materials for coolant line insulation.    Because of the engine fire incident Lockheed Martin was required to review all aircraft under production to insure similar problems do not exist in other units.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Donald Trump's Silver Spoon in Dirty Deals

When 'the Donald' is not insulting Venezuelan beauty queens ("Miss Housekeeping") he is touting his business record as evidence of his ability to control a superpower armed with nuclear weapons of mass destruction on perpetual alert. What he and his deluded supporters refuse to account for is that his business record is marred by serial failures and questionable ethics. Fortunately for the majority of us who are forced to evaluate his acumen, Newsweek has published a summary of Trump's flawed business past. He is now a tycoon, no doubt, but he began his accumulation of personal wealth with a noticeable head start.

When his aspirations to be a film producer were not realized, the young Trump looked to his wealthy businessman father, Fred Trump [photo], to help him out. Armed with a degree in economics from the Wharton School of Business, he took advantage of his father's political connections in New York City, particularly with former Democratic Mayor, Abe Beame. Despite the leg-up, his first business deals were failures. The Swifton Village apartment complex in Cincinnati was sold for a small book profit, but in constant dollars, constituted a loss. His first produced play was a bomb on Broadway, closing after 96 performances. His dad helped out again, naming him beneficiary of a trust that gave him an annual income of $1.3 million for five years. While he cut a large profile in Manhattan as a scion of wealth, his father arranged financing for Donald Trump's first successful real estate development, the Grand Hyatt New York. The $70 million construction loan and line of credit for his son was a business favor to Fred Trump, who had brought much business to Chase Manhattan. The son of a truly successful father was a spendthrift who reported negative income for 1978 and 1979*. Fred Trump had to extend another line of credit of $7.5 million to his son in 1980. It was about then Donald picked another potentially lucrative industry, casinos.

The common understanding is that no one wins betting against the house, but that is exactly what millions of Americans do every year. In every casino game, including craps, the odds favor the casino differing only in the size of the built-in advantage. Casinos are lucrative businesses, not charities. After securing a parcel of land in Atlantic City, New Jersey on an inside tip, Trump was able to convince Harrah's Entertainment his casino plans would fly, so they spent $9.3 million promoting Trump's name in the casino industry to investors. But when the casino opened in 1984 it was named Harrah's at Trump Plaza. The ever-egotistical Trump was not satisfied with his diminished billing and bought a direct competitor, the Hilton Atlantic City Hotel, renaming it Trump Castle. Harrah's was aghast at the conflicting acquisition and soon sold its joint venture interest to Trump.

Seeming illogical business decisions by the budding gambling magnate continued. He financed his next project, the Taj Mahal, with junk bonds at an amazing 14% interest, that pushed the over-budget monstrosity to an astronomical cost. The casino would had to have generated $1.3 million a day, more than any other casino, ever. Not unexpectedly, the Taj Mahal collapsed beneath a mountain of debt. Profits at his other Atlantic City businesses plummeted $58 million in the first year, and pushed his debt for the three casinos to $1.2 billion. Things got decidedly worse when his top three casino managers were all killed in a helicopter crash in 1989. Trump had to take over day to day management of his Atlantic City operations while he blamed his deceased managers, not their untenable debt load, for the casinos' poor performance.

His next business disaster was the Eastern Air Line shuttle service. In typical style he trashed his competitor, Pan Am, insinuating at a lush opening event on Boston's Logan Airport they flew unsafe aircraft . He spent $1 million on each $4 million plane in the fleet updating them with luxury fixtures like mahogany veneer. He misjudged the market exceedingly--executives were only interested in reliability and low cost, not luxury. His shuttle never made a profit.

Fred Trump had to arrange underhanded loans to his son's failing casino operations because Donald was on the verge of default. The surreptitious, unreported loans of millions allowed Donald to make his huge interest payments. He later settled his regulatory violations with the New Jersey gaming commission for a $65,000 fine, but the irregular aid was too late. All three casinos ended up in bankruptcy court, his first of four bankruptcies. The total debt involved was about $3.4 billion. Trump was forced to resign as chief executive of the reorganized Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts in 2004.

Trump's failures, large and small, continued into the new century. And now for his next orgy of self-promotion, Trump is selling himself around the country in hopes of occupying its most exclusive piece of real estate, the White House. He may not be able to run a country, but that address would certainly sell a lot of snake oil. See Trump Mortgage, Trump University, Trump Vodka, Trump Steaks, Trump Tower Tampa, Trump Hollywood etc. And see the Newsweek article for more sordid details of Trump, Inc.

credit: Sheneman, Star-Ledger
*Trump reported a nearly $1 billion net operating loss in 1995 according to the NY Times due to his business mismanagement. This huge lost could allow him to pay 0 income tax for 18 years, three back and fifteen forward. He is now being audited by the IRS. While Trump claims his tax avoidance makes him a "genius", it also makes obvious he is fundamentally a scamming opportunist with no commitment to the commonweal.