Forbes Is Not A Left-Wing Outlet

I’m sure the remaining members of the Trump cult dismiss every critical article about Mr. “He tells it like it is” (i.e., he’s  willing to be publicly as racist and sexist as I’ve wanted to be) as leftwing propaganda.

And I’m equally sure that the fringiest left-wingers dismiss all pro-market businesspeople as apologists for the plutocracy.

They’re both wrong.

For example, Forbes Magazine (hardly a socialist outlet) recently ran an article disapproving of one of the President’s many greedy scams:

On the day Donald Trump became president of the United States, while inauguration festivities were still in full swing, he officially launched his 2020 reelection campaign. Donations poured in from more than 50,000 people across the country. But according to the latest federal filings, Trump still has not donated a penny of his own, while his businesses continued to charge the campaign for hotels, food, rent and legal consulting. That means the richest president in American history has turned $1.1 million from donors across the country into revenue for himself.

A number of articles in the mainstream press had reported on similar grifting during the 2016 campaign. But for the 2020 campaign, the game-playing has become far bolder.

Leading up to the 2016 election, the president’s campaign paid an average of $2,700 in monthly Trump Tower rent for every person listed in campaign filings as receiving a “payroll” payment. The 2020 operation, by contrast, is shelling out an average of $6,300 in monthly rent for every such person.

Then there are the payments flowing into Trump Plaza LLC, a Trump-owned entity that has taken in $42,000 of campaign money since November 2017. Although federal filings list the purpose of those payments as “rent,” it is difficult to tell what the campaign is actually renting. Trump Plaza LLC controls a retail space, garage and two brownstones near Third Avenue in New York City. The retail space at Trump Plaza shows no signs of campaign activity, and a non-Trump company seems to sub-lease the garage from Trump Plaza LLC—leaving just the two brownstones. But they are not open to the public, making it difficult to see who the tenants are, and whether they include the president’s campaign.

Curious, Forbes staked out the buildings. Their reporter arrived at 7:15 a.m. on a November morning, and stayed for the next 14 hours. During that time, seven people went in and out. One refused to talk to the reporter, and the other six said they had seen no sign of the campaign in the buildings. (Neither had the man behind the front desk at Trump Plaza. “I’ve been here since the beginning,” he said. “If there was any kind of office rented out for campaigning or whatever, I would know about it.”)

From November 2017 to August 2018, the Trump campaign paid Trump Plaza LLC an average of $4,200 per month. The real estate website StreetEasy lists recent rentals in the building for $3,700 to $3,850 per month. Candidates are permitted to do business with their own companies only if they pay fair-market prices.

There are other campaign payments that raise suspicions. One month after Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election, the campaign paid the Trump Corporation, another one of the president’s companies, $90,000 in “legal consulting” expenses, according to federal records. It is not clear what legal services Trump’s company provided the campaign, or what rate it charged for the work. A spokesperson for the Trump Organization did not respond to requests for comment.

Expenditures benefitting the candidate personally rather than the campaign are, of course, illegal. The President brags that he knows everything, but he is painfully and all-too-obviously ignorant of campaign law. Or for that matter, any law.

I would like to remind those on the political far Right who still support Trump that Forbes is hardly a “liberal” outlet.

I would like to remind those on the political far left who lump all businesses and supporters of market economics together that Forbes is not alone; there are plenty of millionaires and billionaires who are appalled by Donald Trump.

Left and Right, we’re all just waiting for Congressional Republicans to remember that they were elected to serve the country, not their party.


  1. “there are plenty of millionaires and billionaires who are appalled by Donald Trump.”
    And pray tell “plenty” would be how many? And what are their names? And where can I send them a thank you note for their outstanding public declarations against Trump’s corruption and in defense of ethical government and business practices?

  2. Mr. Bloomberg also calls himself a “progressive” but that doesn’t make him one. Breaking campaign laws isn’t a right or left issue…it’s a legal issue.

    My understanding of the law is it is supposed to take over when a man’s conscience fails him. If we all had the same moral awareness, there would be no need for laws in society. We could agree and then shake hands.

    As it turns out, we don’t all have equal morals. In fact, some people don’t even have a conscience. We call them sociopaths. They don’t have a sense of right or wrong which also means they don’t feel guilty for lying or doing the morally wrong thing.

    Trump clearly falls into the sociopath category.

    And there are other billionaires who’ve made or inherited massive amounts of money who do have a conscience. They most certainly don’t like the Trump behaves daily because it gives the rest of them a bad name. Robert Mercer is a billionaire who gave Trump money for his campaign. Sheldon Adelson gave Trump money as well.


    For one, Trump just repaid them a hundredfold with his tax scam. One doesn’t need a conscience or a law degree to understand basic economics. 😉

    I’m glad ML posted the Norman Soloman article yesterday. It’s spot on and will hit the avid Rachel Maddow followers between the eyes. The power brokers pick the candidates and then their media markets him/her. That’s how it works in this country.

    We’ve demonstrated that there is no democracy or people power remaining in this country. Norms and markets are irrelevant. Political spectrums are meaningless.

    Our country is shaped like a corporate hierarchy for distributing power. True progressives operate outside of this hierarchy, not within it. At least until January 2019.

    The true colors of the Democratic National Party will be on display for everyone to see. And true progressives within the Democratic Party will also be on display.


  3. Forbes has been running very positive articles about Cannabis for two years now, which has lessened the partisanship of that issue, and I’ve seen articles from them taking a neutral position on other issues considered liberal/progressive. Maybe they are trying to talk truth? Hopefully, they are digging up skeletons that the Trumpers would rather remain hidden?

  4. We will never know the full amount of our tax dollars Trump and his family have collected to pay for trips to their Trump properties; just as we will never know the full amount of ill-gotten gains he has amassed ripping off tax-paying businesses who contracted to work for him. However and whenever – and IF ever – we can dump Trump; do not lose sight of the fact that as long as he lives he will collect our tax dollars as retirement for a former president. And we will continue paying our tax dollars providing Secret Service protection for him and his family.

    He has turned the American presidency into a one-man, tax-exempt corporation which, like SCOTUS, is an appointment for life!!!

    “Expenditures benefitting the candidate personally rather than the campaign are, of course, illegal. The President brags that he knows everything, but he is painfully and all-too-obviously ignorant of campaign law. Or for that matter, any law.”

    The above comments are entirely true; but this ignorant ass has outsmarted this country and his ignorance continues to fill his coffers with our tax dollars…with no end in sight.

  5. “Left and Right, we’re all just waiting for Congressional Republicans to remember that they were elected to serve the country, not their party.”

    Holding our breath for Republicans (or even some Democrats) to serve the country rather than their party and themselves would prove to be deadly.

  6. JoAnn,

    re your remark “He has turned the American presidency into a one-man, tax-exempt corporation which, like SCOTUS, is an appointment for life!!!”

    Perfect description!

  7. What’s really laughable is that he always has the cameras running when he gives back his paycheck. His supporters go wild over that. They don’t even think about the sweetheart deals he has for his companies and the millions he is raking in every month by charging the government for his stays and the stays of his Secret Service details at his clubs. That’s why he will never just resign. It’s simply too profitable a deal for him to walk out.

  8. Nancy; thank you!

    Peggy; would that be considered a charitable tax deduction…IF HE FILED TAXES?

  9. I know something of Forbes’s history and am not so quick to forgive. Their history is one of capitalist greed and mistreatment of labor run amok. It could be argued that they are still at base a foil for terminal capitalists and are still in the greed and mistreatment business in putting down Trump for fear that his bungling will create a socialist revolution that will wipe out their own interests. On the other hand, I will take whatever help I can get today in moving Trump back to his Trump Tower residence as soon as possible, so whatever Forbes’s motivation, I’ll take it.

    With the heat about to become intolerable when Nancy takes the gavel, Trump’s narcissistic brain may, figuratively speaking, explode, and with no Mattis for containment, problematic. We are already hearing his threats to close the southern border altogether and his suggestion that his base will revolt if he is impeached. Next we may hear him suggest martial law in order to contain the march of murderers and drug lords over the border. He is good at conjuring up non-existent problems in his narcissistic Otherworld and importing them and their solution in the world you and I inhabit.

    So what to do, or better stated, what not to do? This is no time to play the “Good German” and let this budding Adolph do as he pleases in destroying our democracy. It is time to remove him from government and send him back to his mom and pop real estate business where (as he says) he operates on other peoples’ money – not ours. We have had crooks in high office before (Grant, Nixon et al.), but never one so ignorant and arrogant as this one, so let’s show this president what tough is in the defense of our most valuable asset held in common and one of the last few things left worth dying for – our democracy.

  10. Truly, let’s all hold our breath: “Left and Right, we’re all just waiting for Congressional Republicans to remember that they were elected to serve the country, not their party.” I doubt this will ever happen as long as there are Congressional Republicans. They are too committed to the oligarchs and their money teats. Mitch McConnell is in his mid-70s and STILL wants to be re-elected for another six years beginning in 2020. Why? Because the Koch brothers want/need him in the Senate to do their bidding.

    Trump is part of this mob of corruption. The hairball is unraveling daily as more evidence of the grifters comes to light. Simply put, the Trump family is a crime family that is grifting, and has always grifted, the people it encounters. They know no other way to exist. Look at the children to see how pervasive and “normal” it is for the Trumps to scam and grift.

    Until they are forcefully removed from the White House, the grift will continue at our expense. The world is also at great peril due to the international corruption with evil people in Russia and Saudi Arabia…to name but two.

  11. The 1% are perfectly happy with President Agent Orange and Pastor Pence. The 1% received a huge tax gift and there is an all out War on the Environment – Pollute and do not give a Hoot. The Wall Street-Security-Military-Industrial Complex must be pleased with the Billions of dollars showered on them by the Pentagon (A wholly owned subsidiary of the Defense Contractors).

    If the 1% has any qualms or uneasiness about President Agent Orange-Pastor Pence Regime, it is that the Regime shows us the the ugly money grubbing face of the Plutocracy and it’s immense power.

    The bottom line for the 1% is “The Bottom Line” profit. Profit over All is our National Motto, and you Proles would do well to never to forget it.

  12. Well as a ‘Left Winger’ I can only tell you – I have CNBC on almost all day in my office, and we are heavily invested in the market… I am as liberal as the day is long. I believe in a free market economy – what I take exception to is the fact that this nation was built upon a Democratic form of government – with a capital-based economy – NOT a Capitalist Dictatorship feigning Democracy… that is my gripe.

  13. He tells it like it is. Let’s examine that statement. First, the word “He” is wrong; it being doubtful that Trump is a full-fledged he, a man in full, especially having so unscrupulously dodged Vietnam.

    Second, in order to tell it like it is, one must be willing and able to see it like it is, which Trump is loath to do and in his shielded experience has not ever, even accidentally, seen anything like it actually is.

    Third, one must be able to use language accurately and precisely in order to tell it like it is, which is a skill Trump has never had, truly fears having and does not intend to have.

    In fact, the statement most failing to describe Trump is: He tells it like it is.

    He can’t even tell it like it might be (no well-voiced vision, no plan, no hope), because his command of the language is so poor.

    For the same reason, a babbled tongue, he can’t even tell it like it isn’t, which means he can’t even tell an accurate, concrete lie; to his credit, that ineptness gives him the escape he always uses – “That is not what I meant.”

  14. Nancy and Chuck, working for US and the U.S. will have new mantras to shout: LOCK THEM UP! and along comes Robert Mueller.
    Thanks to the Blue Wave, Trump will be drowned out next week with the refreshing celebrations of the swearing in and seating of the new Congresswomen and men in the New House of Representatives all eager to help to Save Our Ship.

  15. ” I would like to remind those on the political far left who lump all businesses and supporters of market economics together …”

    The political far left, certainly as reflected by those of us who comment on this blog, are not that naive or unsophisticated. None whose comments I read are anti-business per se or are opposed to a role for market economics, properly contained and regulated.

    What we are opposed to is the corruption of our political system by “capitalist dictatorship feigning democracy” (thanks Manuel).

    If I over generalize the “we” herein, I apologize to anyone offended.

  16. We’ve heard it said that Trump is a con man. We’ve also heard that Putin is a con man. I suggest that both statements are true and that each of them is the other con’s “In-and-In”.

    The In-and-In is a co-conspirator who is in on the con, but assumes the role of a bystander. The In-and-In invests whatever is needed into the scheme to add an appearance of legitimacy. This can reassure the victim, and give the con man greater control when the deal has been completed. In the cons of Trump and Putin, Putin vouches for Trump and Trump vouches for Putin. Putin makes a concession in Syria and Trump loosens holds on Russian money in western banks, and the potential victims of each con, as planned, gain confidence in both crooks.

    We’ve already witnessed the “Build-up” step and the “Pay-off steps of Trump’s con. The victim is given an opportunity to profit from a scheme (tax reduction). The Build-up and Pay-off encourages the victim’s greed, such that their rational judgment of the situation might be impaired. And boy-o-boy, the impairment of rational judgment spreads like the black death!

    We’ve seen the “Foundation” and the “Approach” steps unfold.

    The only step in the con that’s yet to play out is “The Hurrah”. The Hurrah is a sudden crisis or change of events that forces the victim (us, the American citizens) to act immediately. This is the point at which the con succeeds or fails. It is anyone’s guess what the hurrah will be, but I am sure it is going to be extremely dangerous or an actual event of monumental tragedy. It is at this sad moment that we will learn what the payoff is that Trump is after.

  17. Thank you Sheila,

    The fact that Forbes magazine is been doing this kind of reporting, given their traditional ideological stance, shows just how much Trump and everything connected with him reeks of corruption. The contamination is so foul that even people and media organizations that would tend to turn a blind eye to the peccadilloes of Republican government cannot hold their noses any longer and remain true to their mainstream conservative principles.

    It may be, in the end,7 these people as opposed to progressives, who seem held bent right now and splitting the Democratic Party, and the traditional sources of opposition to a Republican Administration that may end up saving us as strange is that may seem. Trump and his behavior is so appalling to these people with a good case in point that George F Will became a turncoat because he just couldn’t take it anymore. I think we are closely approaching the point in time, a tipping point where people that can really do things to stop this scourge are going to act because, regardless of their ideological stances and their political affiliations, they still put country first and really mean it.

    My only hope is that, while this process is still in its germination stage, Trump doesn’t do anything else on impulse that directly endangers the safety and security of the country while this groundswell is building. In fact, I pray about this each and every day because I love my country, I want those that I care about to remain safe, and I prefer to see the world not go to hell in a handbasket because of this maniac and that it’s blamed on the good old U.S. of A.

  18. Gerald mentioned that Trump’s base may revolt if he is impeached. Aren’t they already revolting?

    Trump would have had no interest in the presidency if he couldn’t treat it like a profit center. Thanks to his gift for scoping out the number of abysmally ignorant people who reside in in America, and the apparent suspension of the Emoluments Clause, things are moving along swimmingly. Even when Pelosi finishes emasculating him, he will take solace in his upwardly mobile tax return.

  19. We are all multiple things. We are members of various groups and we are individuals. We all find it easy to ascribe groups with descriptors that may or may not be true and if they are their description is at best a generality or a trend.

    There are very wealthy people who spend large parts of their wealth benefiting others. Bill and Melinda Gates come to mind. Nick Hanauer, Warren Buffet. Their gathering of wealth didn’t hurt anyone and their giving back helped many.

    So Trump isn’t evil because he’s wealthy nor is his legitimate wealth because of any doing of his own. He’s Fred Trump’s son. That’s not a majority position.

    As we try to rebuild the country back to it’s functional roots we have keep in mind that primary among those roots was a country that was united into a cohesive whole of all kinds of groups. We knew how to make that work then, we must learn again how.

    Trump is a guttersnipe. Always has been and always will be. It’s all he was taught and all that he’s known and all that he’s been. We need to treat him as an individual and hold him accountable for what can be proven in court as crime. We need to do that in a way that doesn’t throw the national unity baby out with the bath water.

  20. I have long felt Trump’s candidacy was a way to promote the Trump brand and make money. One campaign event after another was scheduled at Trump properties with campaign contributions paying for Trump wine, Trump vodka, Trump steaks, Trump’s over-priced hats, and more. With his candidacy and even his Presidency, his greed has been on public display. Membership fees at Mar-A-Lago doubled, and Trump visits very often to market it. The costs of drinks, food, and accommodations increased at his Washington, D.C. hotel near the White House where his own Cabinet felt the need to be visible often even when so many other less expensive and highly comfortable venues were closer to their offices.

    Trump sees himself as the rainmaker for more and more money. There is no more visible perch from which to do so than President of the United States. It saves the cost of advertising. Unfortunately for Trump, it also invites microscopic attention to unethical and illegal practices.

  21. Sorry, but I need to include my rant –
    This “extreme right” and “extreme left” idea of “balance” is a myth.
    Using the football field scale, most of America would have been placed nearer to the 50 yard line with Democrats on one side and Republicans on the other (and much crossing of the line – conservative Dems and Rockefeller Republicans). Both party’s rejected people below the 20 yard line (Barry Goldwater rejected the John Birch Society).

    That isn’t today. Since Nixon’s Southern Strategy, the Republicans have been moving closer and closer to their end zone with racist whistle calls becoming overt racism, anti-New Deal, Ayn Randians, homophobes, xenophobes and out and out pro-rape culture proponents.

    Today’s field has a Republican group near the end zone, but NO corresponding faction on the Democrats side. The only equivalent might have been SDS or the Weathermen, but (1) Democrats never embraced either group and (2) I don’t think they exist anymore.

    Being an FDR Democrat now qualifies as being “far left”. Read FDR’s Second Bill of Rights and compare it with “far left” Bernie Sanders’ policy positions. There is NO “extreme left”, except in Republican talking points. There is an “extreme right” and they have captured a once honorable political party.

    The more we assert this “balance”, the more we normalize the situation. I would prefer that the bigots feel too shamed to openly express their views. Social norms are good. Love thy neighbor would be a good one to aim for.

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