The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Photo by Joe in DC/ CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If all goes according to plan, someone will have the honor of blowing up the crumbling remains of the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. It could be you. Atlantic City, which loves Trump not, is taking bids on who may push the button.

"This will be done remotely and can be done anywhere in the world as well as close to the Plaza as we can safely get you there!" the auctioneer Bodnar's promises.

The scheduled date is Jan. 29, nine days after Trump will have left office. Proceeds go to the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City.

Before there was a President Trump, there was a casino mogul Trump. Most voters apparently didn't find Trump a good enough president to award him another term. But Wall Street saw him as a flat-out disaster in the casino business. Trump drove his casino empire into six bankruptcies. His investors lost $1.5 billion.

Many of the losers were the little people who had swallowed Trump's patter about his having magical powers to create wealth that they could share. Trump duped them into buying $140 million in Trump casino stock at a time when two of the properties had already gone bust. That was 1995. By 2005, the investors had lost 90 cents out of every dollar they poured into his failing casinos.

As 2020 draws to a close, Trump is running another scam, again directed at his most ardent admirers. He and his family are urging them to send him checks to fund lawsuits challenging the election results. The small print says that the money can be spent elsewhere, and it would not shock Trump observers to learn that elsewhere includes his pockets.

The president's team has raised $250 million since the election, presumably from those who believe the election was stolen. The appeals are pretty basic, such as one asserting that if you fork over cash, the Great One may, just may, see your humble name.

At whom should critics wave fingers: Trump or the people he habitually scams? The answer is neither. Scams are not necessarily illegal. Some of Trump's marks may derive pleasure from sending him money. That's worth something. And cults do create a strong sense of community, another source of psychic rewards.

Are the rest of us supposed to get angry that much of the so-called Trump base won't wear masks, won't socially distance and are, therefore, spreading disease to their families, friends and themselves? It's tragic that they are killing innocents. Others, however, can protect themselves by giving the maskless mobs a wide berth.

A related issue is the coronavirus vaccine. Trump has been smearing science and downplaying the virus threat. And he's contributed to anti-vaxxer nonsense in the past. That helps explain a Kaiser Family Foundation poll that finds 71 percent of Americans ready to be vaccinated but only 42 percent of Republicans.

The odd thing is that Trump could be winning applause for helping get this vaccine out in record time. But sometimes even Trump can't escape his hall of funny mirrors. And, as usual, the harm will fall disproportionately on followers who buy his stories.

During the 2016 campaign, Trump promised a "terrific" replacement for the Affordable Care Act. He never produced one. Meanwhile, he's been backing a lawsuit before the Supreme Court that would kill the whole thing.

Before that, there was Trump University. Sued for fraud, a court ordered it to pay $25 million to the victims.

It takes talent to con one's fervent fans and keep 'em coming back for more. You can't deny Trump this: He's got it.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Donald Trump
Youtube Screenshot

Allies of former President Donald Trump have advised members of the Republican Party to cool down their inflammatory rhetoric toward the United States Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation following the execution of a search warrant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida on Monday.

Trump supporters, right-wing pundits, and lawmakers have been whipped into a frenzy over what Trump called a "raid" by federal agents in pursuit of classified documents removed from the White House during Trump's departure from office.

Keep reading... Show less

Former President Donald Trump

Youtube Screenshot

On August 20, 2022, Donald Trump will have been gone from the White House for 19 months. But Trump, unlike other former presidents, hasn’t disappeared from the headlines by any means — and on Monday, August 8, the most prominent topic on cable news was the FBI executing a search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in South Florida. Countless Republicans, from Fox News hosts to Trump himself, have been furiously railing against the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). And in an article published by Politico on August 11, reporters Kyle Cheney and Meridith McGraw describe the atmosphere of “paranoia” and suspicion that has become even worse in Trumpworld since the search.

“A wave of concern and even paranoia is gripping parts of Trumpworld as federal investigators tighten their grip on the former president and his inner circle,” Cheney and McGraw explain. “In the wake of news that the FBI agents executed a court-authorized search warrant at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, Trump’s allies and aides have begun buzzing about a host of potential explanations and worries. Among those being bandied about is that the search was a pretext to fish for other incriminating evidence, that the FBI doctored evidence to support its search warrant — and then planted some incriminating materials and recording devices at Mar-a-Lago for good measure — and even that the timing of the search was meant to be a historical echo of the day President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974.”

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}