Sunday Evening Open Thread: Never Stop Running All the Cons

Really beginning to think that Josh Marshall, at TPM, is right about Trump’s finances:

Maybe he can’t divest because he’s too underwater to do so or more likely he’s too dependent on current and expanding cash flow to divest or even turn the reins over to someone else…

According to his spokesman, Trump sold all of his stock back in June, a portfolio which his disclosures suggest was worth as much as $38 million. Trump told Matt Lauer that he sold the stock because he was confident he’d win and “would have a tremendous … conflict of interest owning all of these different companies” while serving as President…

But consider this. During the primaries Donald Trump loaned his campaign roughly $50 million. Over the course of the spring, as it became increasingly likely he’d be the nominee, that loan became increasingly conspicuous. Donors were wary of donating big money because they didn’t want him to use it to pay himself back for that loan. Many suggested that he might not actually be able to part with that money. It became a big issue and Trump refused to forgive the loans.

It was only in June that Trump finally gave in and forgave the loan; this was confirmed in the June FEC disclosure that came out in late July… The most obvious explanation is that forgiving that debt from his campaign required him — through whatever mix of contingencies — to free up more cash, either for the campaign or personal expenses or perhaps to have a certain amount of cash on hand because of terms of other debts. It does not seem plausible at all that the timing is coincidental.

Perhaps Trump simply doesn’t feel like he can trust anyone else to keep the whole shambling enterprise afloat. More plausibly, and consistent with Trump’s history over the last couple decades, Trump’s business is dependent on an ever expanding number of deals not just to grow but to stay afloat at all. It is certainly plausible that if Trump simply sold off his company in toto, he’d be in debt. Maybe there wouldn’t be anything left to put in a blind trust…

As a number of business reporters have been pointing out, Trump’s a big fan of resource-dependent extractive industries. Perhaps he just considers himself a fellow extractive industrialist… with us marks as his all-too-renewable resource.








Open Thread: Our Failed Media Experiment, (Up)Chuck Todd Edition

I first became aware of the rumors of a break between Comey’s FBI and the CIA when ex-CIA guy Evan McMullin stepped in to challenge Trump. How about you guys?








Late Night Open Thread: Same As It Ever Was, But Louder

No more pretense, no more dogwhistles, just the bully’s boasts.








Open Thread: No Bread for the Mobs, But Plenty of Circus

All together now: YOU DID THIS, REPUBLICANS!

Look at it this way: The B-roll when President-Asterisk is informed of the latest successful terrorist act on American soil will be much more eyeball-grabbing than that crappy ‘My Pet Goat’ footage…








Early Morning Open Thread: Man-Baby Symbol of the Year

But you can’t say Time‘s choice is “not normal” — the magazine has always had a predilection for showy authoritarians…