By The Associated Press - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 0 Comments
CHICAGO – An 87-year-old grandmother took on billionaire Donald Trump. And on Thursday, she…
CHICAGO – An 87-year-old grandmother took on billionaire Donald Trump. And on Thursday, she lost.
Jurors sided with the real estate mogul-turned-TV showman in a weeklong civil trial focused on Jacqueline Goldberg’s claim that Trump cheated her in a bait-and-switch scheme connected to condos in a Chicago skyscraper he built.
The federal jury in Chicago returned with a finding in Trump’s favour after deliberating for more than five hours over two days. Goldberg, of Evanston, had sought damages totalling around $6 million.
As the judge read the decision in court, Goldberg showed little emotion herself — though her attorney, Shelly Kulwin, slumped over and buried his head on a courtroom table.
By Manisha Krishnan - Friday, May 3, 2013 at 5:59 PM - 0 Comments
Jenna Talackova loves the spotlight.
The transgendered Vancouver beauty who made Donald Trump eat his words when she demanded the right to compete in the Miss Universe pageant will be starring in her own reality TV show this fall.
E! and Bell Media’s Brave New Girl (the show’s working title) will follow Talackova, 24, as she moves to Toronto to launch her modeling career. The eight-part, “unscripted” drama is set to begin filming this summer. ”It will be fun letting the world watch as I take the next steps in pursuing my dreams,” said Talackova in a media release.
Last year, the beauty queen made international headlines when she was banned from the Miss Universe competition because she was not a “naturally born” female.
After hiring celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred and gaining media attention, Trump, who owns the Miss Universe organization, reversed the decision.
By The Associated Press - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 9:07 AM - 0 Comments
LONDON – Britain’s Advertising Standards Agency has ruled that Donald Trump’s anti-wind farm advert…
LONDON – Britain’s Advertising Standards Agency has ruled that Donald Trump’s anti-wind farm advert should be withdrawn in its current form.
The independent advertising regulator said Wednesday that the ad from Trump International Gold Club Scotland is misleading and cannot be substantiated.
The ad warns that wind farms would hurt Scottish tourism and mar Scotland’s beauty. It features a photograph of a wind farm development overlooking a crowded highway in California.
Trump has been fighting the wind energy project, which he believes may mar the view from his luxury golf resort in Scotland.
The standards agency said the Trump resort had been told not to make claims that could not be proven and not to use “misleading imagery.”
By Lindsey Wiebe - Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 2:00 PM - 0 Comments
The hacks just keep on coming. Donald Trump’s Twitter stream briefly included a snippet…
The hacks just keep on coming. Donald Trump’s Twitter stream briefly included a snippet of Lil Wayne lyrics Thursday, a sign not of the business mogul and Twitter enthusiast’s appreciation for the tune, but of a hacker gaining control of his account, according to Trump.
The tweet, immortalized in screen captures: “These hoes think they classy, well that’s the class I’m skippen”
The lyrics were taken down a short time later and were followed up by a stern rebuttal from @realDonaldTrump, who claimed his account had been “seriously hacked.”
“We are looking for the perpetrators,” he wrote. No word on who “we” entails, or how the search will be conducted.
By The Associated Press - Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 10:54 PM - 0 Comments
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Trump Plaza, the Boardwalk centerpiece of Donald Trump’s onetime Atlantic City empire, was sold Thursday to a California company for $20 million in the cheapest of a series of bargain-basement deals for distressed gambling halls in the struggling New Jersey seaside resort.
The Meruelo Group of Downey, California, plans to close the deal by May 31. It is the lowest price ever paid for a casino in Atlantic City.
The company has not decided on a new name for the casino-resort, but said it will not continue to use the Trump name.
The Meruelo Group, which counts construction, engineering, real estate, food service and private equity among its businesses, also owns the Grand Sierra Resort and casino in Reno, Nevada.
“Trump Plaza is one of the world’s most recognized gaming resort destinations and is an integral part of the Atlantic City landscape,” said Alex Meruelo, founder and CEO of the Meruelo Group. “Our company is thrilled to have the opportunity to become the new owners of this property, and we are firmly committed toward establishing it as one of the elite destinations in Atlantic City and on the East Coast.”
Robert Griffin, CEO of Trump Entertainment Resorts, told The Associated Press the deal shows the Atlantic City market is still attractive to investors, given the right price.
By Emma Teitel - Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at 10:50 AM - 0 Comments
It only takes 140 characters to make a fool of someone. Exhibits A through H
Ann Coulter, conservative pundit
The professional firebrand made headlines after the final presidential debate in October when she tweeted this: “I highly approve of Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard.” President Obama didn’t seem to mind, but a Special Olympian with Down syndrome did. John Franklin Stephens, 30, asked for an apology to the special-needs community. “Come on Ms. Coulter,” he pleaded, “you aren’t shallow and you aren’t dumb.” She backtracked, saying it was just another word for “loser.”
Eat your words
Danielle Smith, Alberta Wildrose leader
The Wildrose Opposition leader was trying to do the right thing in October when she jumped on a Twitter follower’s suggestion that Alberta stop dumping tainted XL meat because the poor would appreciate truckloads of it. “I agree. We all know thorough cooking kills E. coli. What a waste. MT @lyechtel: Is there no way to cook it so it’s safe and feed the hungry?” The apology came shortly after. “I would have to say that if you can’t explain something in 140 characters, you shouldn’t try to talk about it on Twitter,” she told reporters. Continue…
By John Geddes - Friday, December 7, 2012 at 5:00 AM - 0 Comments
An amusingly oddball story this week pits Donald Trump against a Scottish farmer named Michael Forbes. The distinctively coiffed American tycoon is fuming over Forbes being named “Top Scot,” an annual prize sponsored by the distillers of Glenfiddich whisky, for his refusal to sell his little piece of Aberdeenshire property to Trump for a controversial golf course development.
By way of retribution, Trump is vowing never to sell any products from William Grant & Sons, the company that owns Glenfiddich, at his resorts. He calls the award “a terrible embarrassment to Scotland.” In fact, Scotland seems increasingly proud of Forbes. And that’s largely because of the way he is depicted in an acclaimed documentary called You’ve Been Trumped, which chronicles how, in making his golf course, Trump marred an environmentally sensitive seaside and clashed with local landowners.
The film’s British director is Anthony Baxter and its producer is Richard Phinney, who happens to be Canadian. (Full disclosure, he’s an old friend of mine.) I called Phinney at his home in Kingston, Ont. to ask about the latest burst of publicity, and some more serious issues.
By Emma Teitel - Thursday, April 12, 2012 at 4:12 PM - 0 Comments
There was a time, not so long ago, when Donald Trump demanded that Barack Obama surrender his birth certificate to the world to unequivocally prove his American citizenship. Now Trump, the co-sponsor of the Miss Universe pageant along with NBC, is being prevailed upon to produce a credential of his own—call it his little apprentice—to prove his bona fides as a Mister. The woman asking to see the proof in question is Gloria Allred, the celebrity feminist lawyer representing the only transgendered contestant in this year’s Miss Universe Canada competition: 23-year-old Jenna (nee Walter) Talackova of Vancouver. Last month Talackova was removed from the competition when organizers were informed that she failed to meet the “natural born woman” criterion in the pageant rulebook. Gloria Allred’s response was swift and simple: if Talackova had to show “hers” to qualify for the pageant, the Donald, as competition sponsor, should have to show “his” in the spirit of fair play.
Lucky for us, nobody showed anything. And Canadian law—which recognizes Talackova as an official female—melted Trump’s icy heart (the same one that has coldly quashed entrepreneurial dreams on television for the past eight years) long enough for him to re-instate the 23-year-old into the competition. The law, that is, and possibly an online petition drafted by Change.org, the social activism website which recently brought you campaigns like “Let Ernie and Bert get married on Sesame Street,” “Starbucks: stop using bugs to colour your strawberry-flavoured drinks,” and the somewhat lesser-known Canadian campaign, “Canadian government: address the Aeronautics Act, which may ban trans people from flying.”
By Gustavo Vieira - Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 8:10 AM - 0 Comments
Businessman blames ‘ugly’ wind farm off the Scottish coast for the delay
Celebrity businessman Donald Trump sure keeps himself in the news. Last year the billionaire flirted with a run for the Republican presidential nomination, and so fiercely contested President Barack Obama’s citizenship that the White House had to produce a presidential birth certificate to prove the man wrong. This year he was awarded an official Scottish coat of arms by the Scottish heraldic authority—after being slapped down for trying to use an unregistered one—while taking another jab at Obama, calling the administration’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline “disgraceful.” And he’s also announced that he’s about to pull the plug on a controversial $1.2-billion development in Scotland, because of what he calls an “ugly” offshore wind farm.
That seems to be Trump’s latest excuse for not finishing a project that, since 2005, he’s been trumpeting as the “world’s greatest golf course.” The resort was supposed to feature a five-star hotel and hundreds of holiday homes on a pristine area of sand dunes off the Scottish coast north of Aberdeen. Now, the wind farm proposed by a group of energy companies would install 11 wind turbines about 2.5 km off the coast where Trump’s golf resort is located. Trump says until Scottish authorities decide on the fate of the wind farm project, which is not expected to happen at least until May, he’s halting all future developments for the site, including a “super-luxury” clubhouse that, according to a local politician, looks like “a Victorian lunatic asylum.”
As recently as June, though, Trump said that it was the global economic crisis that was forcing him to postpone building part of the luxury resort, including a second course. Now Trump is saying that because of the wind farm, he won’t spend another penny on his megaproject, even after allegedly pouring $160 million into it (the first 18-hole course is scheduled to open in June with only a temporary clubhouse). It all sounds very dubious to the strongest opponents of Trump’s plans: local residents, politicians and environmentalists. “I definitely believe he wants to sell it,” says David Milne, who has rejected Trump’s offers for his property, adjacent to the golf course, for years. A Trump International spokesman says the resort is staying. But since the wind farm is expected to be approved, it’s unclear whose family coat of arms may ultimately fly over the resort—or however much of it sees the light of day.
By Ken MacQueen, Nicholas Kohler, Jason Kirby and Nancy MacDonald - Monday, July 4, 2011 at 9:05 AM - 0 Comments
Michelle Obama visits Soweto, the world’s richest divorcée goes broke, and tennis’s grunting gals get called out
Hollywood’s high rollers
His day job is playing such film roles as Spiderman and Nick Carraway, in the upcoming Great Gatsby adaptation. But incredible as it may seem, Tobey Maguire’s hobby—high-stakes poker—may be even more lucrative than the silver screen. Maguire’s winnings, which could amount to as much as $30 to $40 million over three years, came to light in a lawsuit filed against the 35-year-old actor by a group of investors attempting to recoup money lost to Brad Ruderman, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for operating a $5.2-million Ponzi scheme. Ruderman lost much of the money playing Texas Hold ’em, including over $300,000 to Maguire, in an exclusive poker ring that drew players like Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. Now, Ruderman’s investors want some of that cash. DiCaprio, Affleck and Damon aren’t being sued, though. “Matt never won,” a whistle-blower said.
One for the lads
As contingencies go, this one was a doozy. David Hart, a 23-year-old Royal Marine killed by a bomb blast in Afghanistan last year, earmarked $160,000 from his life insurance policy for an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas for his best friends and their girlfriends—32 people in all. “In a letter, David said he had had a great life and had no regrets about anything,” one friend told a reporter. “He said, ‘Go and have a good time and spend all this money.’ ” He left a second portion to his family, and the rest to charity. Hart, who died a day short of his 24th birthday, had always dreamed of a Vegas weekend. When his pals return to England they will continue training for a 275-km bike ride to raise money for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust.
Stick with a bike
The 911 call to police in Caseville, Mich., went something like this: “Believe it or not, I just passed about a five-, six-year-old flying down the road with a red Pontiac Sunbird.” Actually, Chief Jamie Learman discovered that the driver, who stood on the floorboard of his stepfather’s car to see over the steering wheel, was a pyjama-clad seven-year-old. He hit speeds of 80 kph during a 32-km drive across Huron County, north of Detroit. Police gingerly boxed him in, stopping him without incident. “He was crying, and just kept saying he wanted to go to his dad’s,” Learman said. “That was pretty much it: he just wanted to go to his dad’s.”
Quit that racquet!
There are tasks where a grunt or two are justified. Piano moving or childbirth come to mind. But tennis? It’s all a bit much, says Ian Richie, head of the All England Lawn and Tennis Club. “Whether you are watching it on TV or here, people don’t particularly like it,” he told Britain’s Telegraph, with precisely the sort of understatement he’d like to see on Wimbledon’s grass courts. Jimmy Connors was a pioneering grunter back in the 1970s. Women then took it up with great enthusiasm. Maria Sharapova was recorded at 105 decibels in 2009—as loud as a car horn from three feet. Portugal’s Michelle Larcher de Brito and Serena Williams have also employed the tactic as a weapon of mass distraction. Richie has made his concerns known, but certain fans find the sound effects appealing. Former Wimbledon Champ Michael Stich accuses the women of trying to “sell sex.”
Think a weakness for sexy social networking, à la Anthony Weiner, is a purely American failing? Turns out the language of <3 knows no borders. Xie Zhiqiang, a health bureau official in the Chinese city of Liyang, set up an account with Weibo, a Twitter-like service in China, early this year believing it was a private chat tool. “Please marry me if there is a second life, so that we can live in romance until we are 100 years old,” he wrote to a married woman on the site before the pair were able to follow through on a planned tryst. Xie learned of the mistake after a reporter called about the exchange. “How can you view our messages on Weibo? It is impossible, isn’t it?” He has since been suspended from his job.
For more than a half-decade, she has been the face of Canadian women’s soccer—though perhaps never more so than now. Christine Sinclair wrote herself into the country’s sports lore for refusing to leave the field after her nose was broken in the opening game of the women’s World Cup at Berlin’s Olympiastadion. “You can’t play on,” Canada’s team doctor, Pietro Braina told her, trying to corral her onto the bench. But the Canadian captain turned, teary-eyed to Italian-born coach Carolina Morace who shrugged, palms up, and nodded to the field. Sinclair, of course, went on to score Canada’s lone goal, on a beautifully executed free kick in the dying minutes of the gutsy 2-1 loss—the first goal the two-time defending champion Germans have allowed since 2003. Sinclair, after having her nose resculpted by a German doctor, took to Twitter to opine on the new appendage: “amazing,” she wrote—joking, of course.
How to lose a billion dollars
It takes a lot to go from “the wealthiest divorcée in history” to bust in two decades—a lot of waste, that is. Patricia Kluge landed a $1-billion settlement when she split from media mogul John Kluge in 1990, only to blow the lot on parties for royalty, a 120-hectare estate in Virginia’s Blue Ridge mountains and a private winery. Kluge and her third husband, William Moses, have racked up $46 million in debt and ﬁled for bankruptcy last week. Her antiques, and her personal jewellery collection have already been auctioned off, and the Kluge winery was sold at auction—to none other than Donald Trump, her old friend, for $6.2 million. But Kluge isn’t the only one exiting the billionaire club. Research in Motion’s co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis lost their status after a sharp drop in RIM’s share price cut their personal net worth to around $800 million each, down from $1.8 billion in March.
The Doc returns
After 12 years on the mound for the Toronto Blue Jays before he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies, star pitcher Roy Halladay is set, this week, to make his long-awaited return to the mound at Rogers Centre, where he earned both a reputation and a nickname. The two-time Cy Young winner, Toronto’s first pick at the ’95 draft, was set to pitch against the Jays last year, but security concerns around the G20 summit forced the series to be shifted to Philadelphia instead. “Doc,” as he’s known around the league, was calm before the game: “I feel like it’s any other start.”
Tears of joy
“Alec! Now we can get married!” Steve Martin tweeted to his Oscar co-host, after New York legalized gay marriage in the state. “Ok,” Alec Baldwin responded, “but if you play that efﬁng banjo after eleven o’clock…” Lady Gaga, meanwhile, was a bit more emotional: “I can’t stop crying,” said the staunch gay-rights activist. “We did it kids. The revolution is ours to fight.”
Life out of office
It was a good week for Gordon Campbell, who is off to London as Canada’s high commissioner to the U.K.; the plum posting comes with a chauffeur, a chef and an official residence in swank Mayfair. In London, the former B.C. premier, who always resisted the temptation to bash the feds, will further hone his diplomatic skills among royals and the global elite. Gilles Duceppe, an Ottawa basher par excellence, had a big week too, granting his first televised interview since the Bloc’s stunning collapse in the last federal election. Unless Quebecers choose sovereignty, they’ll be “eating gumbo” in 50 years, he told Radio-Canada. He went on to hint at a return to politics, likely at the helm of the PQ, which appears to be imploding, a mere two months after the Bloc. He may well return to helm a sovereignist party, but the better question may be whether anyone will still be interested in the idea.
No medal for the penguin?
Dozer, a three-year-old goldendoodle from Fulton, Md., now merits his own runner’s page on the Maryland Half Marathon website, after escaping his masters Sunday and running the race. He crossed the finish line at the 2:12:24 mark, limping and exhausted, and received a medal from organizers after they discovered he was running solo. Truth is, Dozer probably slipped into the run several miles into the event. Far more impressive is the emperor penguin who swam an astonishing 4,000 km from Antarctica to New Zealand. Happy Feet, as he was nicknamed, was operated on at the Wellington Zoo to remove the stick and pebbles he’d eaten on Peka Peka beach. A committee has been struck to decide whether he should be returned home.
Building ships, and political futures
After a week in Ottawa spent championing the province’s bid for part of an estimated $35 billion in federal shipbuilding contracts, B.C. premier Christy Clark returned home to announce a major investment in a new marine trade training facility on Vancouver Island, sweetening the pot. If successful, the contract, which could create thousands of new jobs and raise millions in spinoffs, could also help Clark in a possible fall election, which could come as early as September.
Returning the warm embrace
Michelle Obama was hailed as a queen in her first solo trip to Africa this week. There, the U.S. First Lady spoke passionately to students, danced with African youth, met with Nelson Mandela and even squeezed in a dinner with her gal-pal Oprah Winfrey, a queen in her own right.
By macleans.ca - Monday, May 16, 2011 at 1:39 PM - 6 Comments
Controversial businessman and reality TV star will not run for president
Donald Trump, the reality show star and businessman who was Republican voters’ top choice for the U.S. presidential nomination, announced today that he has decided not to run for President of the United States. He explained that he is doing this out of the goodness of his heart, due to the pleadings of network executives who can’t bear to see him leave The Apprentice: “After getting so many calls from NBC executives, I’ve decided that I will continue onward with The Apprentice. I will not be running for president, as much as I wanted to.” Trump, who built his newfound popularity as a candidate on his embrace of the “birther” issue, has seen his standing plummet since President Obama released his birth certificate.
By Luiza Ch. Savage - Monday, May 16, 2011 at 9:20 AM - 4 Comments
So far, the race for the Republican presidential nomination has been anything but
Republicans are united in their desire to oust President Barack Obama, but they are quite divided on how to proceed. Behind the headlines about the emerging presidential campaign, reality TV stars who might take part, and presidential birth certificates, there is internal party jostling over fundamental questions. After small-government activists helped Republicans take back the House of Representatives last November, they opened an internal debate over how far the party is willing to go to balance the books—and what political price it is willing to pay to get there. How much can Republicans cut government spending, like medical care for senior citizens and Social Security, and still remain electable? Can they cut Pentagon budgets without alienating foreign policy hawks? And are they willing to call a “truce” on social issues such as gay marriage and abortion to build broad coalitions to achieve fiscal reforms?
As congressional Republicans in Washington wrestle with the upcoming vote on raising the limit on the national debt and working out a federal budget, many of the biggest names among the presidential wannabes have been hanging back, watching. The result is a primary race that, by traditionally epic American standards, has been slow to get going. The empty stage has been filled by a cast of characters that can most charitably be described as eclectic. The first GOP candidates’ debate held last week in Greenville, S.C., included several candidates who want to legalize marijuana, the libertarian Texas congressman Ron Paul, who wants to audit the Federal Reserve, and Georgia pizza magnate Herman Cain, who boasted of never having been elected to anything.
“You’ve got two or three different things going on that at least explain why candidates are not lining up this year as they have in previous years,” says Bruce Buchanan, a specialist in presidential politics at the University of Texas at Austin. “One thing is, there is turbulence inside the Republican party that is nice [for potential candidates] to be able to avoid to a certain extent.” Meanwhile, the incumbent President is presiding over an improving economy, has just killed America’s worst enemy, and is expected to break fundraising records and run the country’s first billion-dollar campaign. “The big money donors are holding back and the big feet in the party are reluctant to launch a campaign they can’t finance,” adds Buchanan.
By Nancy Macdonald - Friday, May 13, 2011 at 11:15 AM - 0 Comments
Donald Trump gets sued, Rita Chretien is found alive, and Don Cherry is angry about something again
Compassion for bin Laden
Angela Merkel’s remark that she was “glad” Osama bin Laden had been killed sparked a firestorm of controversy in Germany. Hamburg judge Heinz Uthmann even filed a criminal complaint, alleging the German chancellor broke a law barring the “rewarding and approving of crimes”—in this case, bin Laden’s “homicide.” Politicians denounced her, and 64 per cent of Germans agreed: bin Laden’s death was “no reason to rejoice.” In L.A., however, even the Dalai Lama—compassion incarnate—said he had it coming. “If something is serious and it is necessary to take counter-measures, you have to take counter-measures,” said the Tibetan spiritual leader.
Mother’s day miracle
After 49 days alone in a Chevy Astro van on a logging road in remote Nevada, Rita Chretien was found barely conscious, but clinging to life. The 56-year-old Penticton, B.C., native and her husband, Albert, were stranded en route to Las Vegas on March 19; Albert, who left two days later to ﬁnd help, hasn’t been seen since. Rita’s faith, and a bit of trail mix, was all that kept her going until finally she was spotted by hunters on ATVs. “We were praying for a miracle and, boy, did we get one,” her son Raymond told reporters Sunday.
By John Parisella - Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 4:53 PM - 7 Comments
It was fitting that after a month of absolute and embarrassing silliness regarding Donald…
It was fitting that after a month of absolute and embarrassing silliness regarding Donald Trump’s birther campaign, President Obama would silence the conspiracy theorists with a gesture of presidential majesty—ending the search for the most wanted terrorist in the world, Osama bin Laden. Killing bin Laden, after having to make public the long version of his birth certificate to prove his legitimacy more than two years after his inauguration, seemed straight out of Hollywood. More importantly, however, it may have provided Americans with a moment of pause regarding the reason for the election of Barack Obama in the first place. Continue…
By Stephanie Findlay - Monday, May 2, 2011 at 10:45 AM - 0 Comments
He’s made a political about-face, but Trump still backs Canadian-style universal health care
When Donald Trump published The America We Deserve, a political manifesto of sorts in 2000, the business tycoon outlined a very un-Republican policy agenda, including much praise for how Canada deals with the sick. “We must have universal health care,” wrote Trump. “I’m a conservative on most issues but a liberal on this one. We should not hear so many stories of families ruined by health care expenses.” He continued, “Doctors might be paid less than they are now, as is the case in Canada, but they would be able to treat more patients because of the reduction in their paperwork.”
Along with the book, the host of Celebrity Apprentice, who now tops some polls as the leading Republican candidate for 2012, has made untold statements over the past decade that could discredit his bid, including frank critiques of George W. Bush and the Iraq war. He even donated to Barack Obama’s campaign. But he’s since made a political about-face. He’s taken up the birther cause, questioning Obama’s U.S. citizenship, backed the invasion of Iraq, and has reversed his stance on abortion—Trump is now pro-life.
So does The Donald still love Canadian-style universal health care? After all, he made his stance pretty clear back then: “The Canadian plan also helps Canadians live longer and healthier than Americans,” he wrote. “There are fewer medical lawsuits, less loss of labour to sickness, and lower costs to companies paying for the medical care of their employees.” Speaking to a crowd of Tea Partiers a couple weeks ago in Boca Raton, Fla., Trump said he’d “fight to get rid of Obamacare, which is a total disaster.” Though he didn’t say it, perhaps he has a made-in-Canada alternative in mind.
By John Parisella - Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 4:29 PM - 17 Comments
Donald Trump leaves no one indifferent. Call it ego or insatiable narcissism, but no…
Donald Trump leaves no one indifferent. Call it ego or insatiable narcissism, but no one outside the political ring can command this much attention. Not even a ranting Charlie Sheen.
Establishment GOP luminaries like Karl Rove, George F. Will and Charles Krauthammer have variously characterized Trump’s potential candidacy in a presidential election as a “joke” and “not serious.” More recently, in discussing Trump, conservative columnist David Brooks wrote that he admired his country’s tolerance for blowhards and crackpots. This was hardly an endorsement. Few experienced campaigners think he can win and many are out to prevent him from running. Yet some Republican operatives are facing up to the possibility Trump will make a go of it. Continue…
By John Parisella - Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 3:10 PM - 8 Comments
Over the past six months, an array of Republican hopefuls have shown interest in…
Over the past six months, an array of Republican hopefuls have shown interest in the party’s nomination, but outside of a couple of exploratory committees, none have declared. As a result, celebrity candidates such as Michele Bachmann and Donald Trump have filled the vacuum and are currently dominating the headlines, pushing more serious candidates into the background and making otherwise promising potential candidates hesitate about their prospects.
Bachmann is the leading social conservative and Tea Party candidate, and is raking in the donations. As a result, she is a leading candidate in the all-important Iowa caucus and should be very competitive in the South Carolina primary. But the Republican leadership in Congress is growing uncomfortable with her prospects. Her controversial statements have made her a serious contender within the party base, but not with electorate outside the GOP.
Trump, on the other hand, is commanding national attention and has chosen the birth certificate issue as his means to confront Obama. In a short matter of weeks, Trump has taken the lead among Republican primary voters at 19 per cent. His pomposity, high profile, and penchant for publicity have made him a formidable challenger and one who will continue to capture headlines until he decides whether or not he’ll make a real run at the nomination.
The Republican establishment is obviously upset and concerned at the prospect of a Trump candidacy. Former George W. Bush operative Karl Rove, a leading fundraiser for the party, has shifted his criticism of Sarah Palin to Donald Trump calling him a “joke candidate.” Influential columnist George Will has also be very critical. Republicans who feel Obama is vulnerable and the White House is within reach are concerned by this turn of events.
But serious candidates such as Mitt Romney seem unable to break through the clutter. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels seems interested, but cannot compete against the Trump publicity juggernaut. Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota’s former governor, looks like a serious potential candidate but cannot make inroads in the media. Meantime, Trump is able to make it onto the news shows anytime he wishes and still has his weekly reality show.
The Obama campaign has benefited from what has become a political sideshow. Even though he may not be a candidate in the end, Trump is putting a damper on everyone else’s campaign. The GOP did well in 2010 at the mid-terms, but a presidential campaign must appeal to a wider range of the electorate. The angry rhetoric of Bachmann and the perceived silliness of Trump are distractions. If the Republicans hope to be competitive in 2012, they will have to get serious.
By macleans.ca - Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 3:52 PM - 13 Comments
Says it’s okay to say so because “I have a great relationship with the blacks”
Reality show host and Presidential candidate Donald Trump appeared on a radio show today and was asked about the overwhelming support of African-Americans for President Obama. Trump called it “frightening” that Obama is so popular with these voters, but not before explaining that his opinion counts because “I have a great relationship with the blacks.” Trump doesn’t usually talk about racial matters, being concerned with proving that Obama isn’t really a citizen; Joseph Farah, whose World Net Daily is the leading organ of so-called “birtherism,” told Politico that he and Trump have “been speaking quite a bit” and praised Trump for bringing the issue of Obama’s birth certificate into the mainstream.
By Jaime Weinman - Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 12:00 PM - 23 Comments
There’s never been a better time for a man with no political experience to audition for the world’s biggest job
Can Donald Trump be president of the United States? Snoop Dogg and the Situation from Jersey Shore think so, and when are they ever wrong? Last week, the billionaire took time from firing ex-stars like David Cassidy from Celebrity Apprentice and attended a televised “roast,” where many of the jokes from B-list celebrities were about his intention to throw his toupée into the ring for the Republican presidential nomination. “Trump says he’s gonna run for president in 2012,” said host Seth MacFarlane, “but if his plan for America is to fire everyone, he’s about two years too late.” If smarmy stars believe Trump’s running, so does Trump. He told the show Inside Edition that he’s “seriously thinking about doing it” after this season of The Apprentice ends in June; he’s also reportedly booked time that month in New Hampshire, an early primary state, to address its fabled “Politics and Eggs” lecture series.
Trump is encouraged in his ambitions by a website, shouldtrumprun.com, which was set up by his spokesman Michael Cohen and grabbed what Trump described as “500,000 names in a very short period of time.” Polls are looking good too: a Newsweek one shows him running almost even in matchups with President Barack Obama, while another (by NBC, which broadcasts his show) announced that his favourable rating is higher than the GOP’s top candidates, Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty. In the words of MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, “Who can beat Barack Obama? Donald Trump! Yeah, baby!”
Much of the mainstream media has chosen to treat his candidacy as a joke. Lamar Alexander, a Republican senator, told CNN that The Donald “has absolutely no chance of winning,” adding “I mean, he’s famous for being famous. He may be good in business but he’s not going to be president.” But maybe the supporters of the “serious” candidates don’t think Trump is such a big joke: after he appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February and said that Rep. Ron Paul has “zero chance of getting elected,” a Paul supporter from 2008 sprang into action and filed a Federal Election Commission complaint against Trump, charging that this “de facto candidate” was improperly spending money to jump-start his primary campaign in Iowa.
By John Parisella - Monday, March 14, 2011 at 4:51 PM - 21 Comments
Shouldn’t GOP hopefuls be rushing into the race by now?
You would expect someone to have declared their intention to run for the 2012 Republican nomination by now. After all, in recent election cycles, the campaigning began shortly after the mid terms. For instance, Barack Obama announced in February 2007—and he wasn’t even the the first. It is strange that no one on the Republican side appears to be feeling the wind in his or her back in this cycle. With the economy recovering slowly and Obama’s approval ratings split nearly straight down the middle, shouldn’t Republicans be feeling like he is vulnerable? And if that’s not the case, then what, exactly, is happening? Continue…
By Scott Feschuk - Monday, March 7, 2011 at 9:55 AM - 1 Comment
These are tough times for a dictator. Scott Feschuk understands—and he’s here to help.
Are you an embattled dictator? If so, this must be a confusing time. Before determining your next move, consult this list of Frequently Asked Questions.
I was looking out my palace window and it’s weird: I don’t remember inviting 200,000 people for dinner. What gives?
Across North Africa and the Arab world, people are rising up against decades of authoritarian rule. This is great news for everyone who cherishes freedom, democracy and the sight of Anderson Cooper getting punched in the head. It is bad news for you.
I gave my people a subsistence-level existence and the best years of my megalomania. And all I got in return was absolute power, an opulent lifestyle and a menagerie of hybrid animals like this giraffopotamus.
Yet if you were to gun down your citizens as they come together in peaceful protest, you’d be the one held accountable in the International Criminal Court. Life is puzzling.
Can a speech to the nation turn things around?
Are you sure it’s sufficiently long and rambling? Maybe try working in some sock puppets. To retain power, you need to convince viewers you’re insane enough to brutally torture both dissidents and the limits of human patience.
It seems like just yesterday I was violently coercing my people to adore me. How do I know whom I can still trust?
You must be vigilant. Your food taster—did he get shifty-eyed when he said your pan-seared giraffopotamus was delicious? Is it normal for your valet to come to work holding a Molotov cocktail? Has your body double taken to pointing at your limo and mouthing the words: “The real guy’s in that one, okay?”
What if I try to resist the uprising?
You’re going to face sanctions and strong rebukes from Western leaders. Some may even go so far as to stop supplying you with weapons. Sure, many of these same countries once appeased or even befriended you. But they’re done now and they’re cutting you loose. The same thing happened to Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Andrew McCarthy in Hollywood.
I’m not sure I get that last reference.
He starred in a popular movie where he pretended a dead guy was—you know what, it doesn’t matter. Just understand that there are also dangers to giving in to public demands. As one of Moammar Gadhafi’s sons put it: “The people—you give this, then you get asked for that, you know?” He’s right. You start giving people basic rights and pretty soon they’re going to be demanding things like an economy. Where will it end?
Anything I shouldn’t do?
Don’t shut off the Internet. It’s better to make the Web even more irresistible. Maybe create a viral video that cuts you into hilarious outtakes from Black Swan. That way, people will never go outside. Little-known fact: the president of Tunisia would still be in power today if his grandmother knew how to rap.
How do I know it’s time to go into exile?
Every tyrant is different. Some like to exit with the dignity of a brisk walk. Others prefer to wait and flee at a pace better suited to the Benny Hill theme music. Either way, take comfort: there will always be a place for ruthless autocrats who refuse to be held to account. Someone has to coach college football.
Being a despot is all I know. What am I supposed to do with my life now?
Think of this as an opportunity. Sure, dictatoring has been a blast, but there are other adventures out there for aggressive A-type personalities who hate their fellow man. For instance, you can work as a golf course marshal. And the way things are going, we may soon have enough ousted autocrats to make the best season yet of The Apprentice.
Trump: The challenge was to sell ice cream sundaes on the street in the middle of winter. Moammar, what was your strategy?
Gadhafi: I give free sprinkles to lure in customers. Then I shoot them.
Trump: You’re fired! Those sprinkles cost me four bucks.
How am I going to survive in the real world? I don’t even know how much a loaf of bread costs.
Bread is free. Just announce your current location and a fresh loaf will be delivered right away by a mob of your citizens.
By Ken MacQueen, Colby Cosh and Maclean's staff - Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 10:23 AM - 0 Comments
The Donald for prez in 2012?
Leave it to Bieber—or else
Surprise Best New Artist winner Esperanza Spalding discovered the downside to beating out a shoo-in at the Grammys. The jazz singer’s voluminous hair did little to endear her to vengeful Justin Bieber fans, who edited her Wikipedia page to paint a curious picture: her middle name is Justin—no, Quesadilla; she is (to paraphrase) mentally challenged, and she should die in a hole. The Bieb was more gracious, congratulating his rival warmly when he ran into her backstage. Still, Spalding may have more in common with a Canadian act that fared better that night: Arcade Fire. She sang at Barack Obama’s White House, while the Montreal indie darlings played shows for his presidential campaign.
Hair today, who knows tomorrow
Donald Trump electrified the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, speculating in a surprise appearance about a Republican run for the presidency. “We need a competitive person,” Trump told a divided audience. “If I run and if I win, this country will be respected again.” The real estate mogul laid out an anti-gun-control, anti-Obamacare stance, adding a pro-life element that has only recently become a feature of his political bloviations. He also provoked supporters of conservatives’ perennial favourite, libertarian congressman Ron Paul, by remarking that “Paul cannot get elected. Sorry.” Trump says he will make his final decision on whether to run in June.
You can’t go home
When former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf announced he was returning from a self-imposed exile to possibly run for office, he faced a Catch-22: he’d either suffer an assassination attempt by al-Qaeda or arrest for treason. Now there’s another obstacle: a warrant for his arrest in connection with the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. On Saturday, a Pakistani court said an investigation revealed Musharraf did not provide adequate protection for the former PM in 2007 as she campaigned against him for the presidency. Musharraf, who denies any involvement, allegedly knew of plans to kill her but failed to alert authorities. Bhutto, of course, was killed by al-Qaeda weeks after her own return following years in self-imposed exile.
By Kate Lunau - Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 2:00 PM - 0 Comments
Strong, silent types can make great leaders, too
Take one look at Donald Trump, the bombastic chief executive officer of the Trump Organization—whose famous catchphrase, honed on his reality show The Apprentice, is “You’re fired!”—and a person might think that, in the field of business, only outgoing personality types can reach the top. Introverts (who tend to be a bit more quiet and observant) typically have a harder time rising through the ranks, but a new study shows that these strong, silent types can make great leaders, too. Introverts, it seems, are better at leading more extroverted workers.
In the study, to appear in the Academy of Management Journal, three U.S. professors looked at a national pizza delivery chain, surveying store managers and workers about their personality traits (descriptive terms like “bold,” “talkative,” “reserved,” and others were applied). Then they compared the results to each store’s profitability, finding that introverted store managers earned high profits when their team members were more proactive. Extroverted leaders did best with a more passive team. In a second study, they asked groups of college students to join in a T-shirt folding contest, observing whether leaders were receptive to a suggestion of how to fold faster. Those with a more introverted style were more likely to adopt the faster method.
“It’s good news for introverts,” says Francesca Gino, associate professor at Harvard Business School and one of the authors of the paper, since they “seem to do better than extroverted leaders when they’re dealing with followers that are more proactive.” Introverts, she says, are “more likely to listen to the ideas suggested, and more receptive to them.” It’s a lesson for all leaders, Gino adds, who can adjust management styles according to their team.
By macleans.ca - Friday, May 14, 2010 at 8:00 AM - 2 Comments
Prince Harry takes ﬂight, Very enterprising and Will we see less of Oprah’s fans?
Prince Harry takes ﬂight
The Apache attack helicopter is a nasty piece of weaponry, bristling with rockets, a 30-mm machine gun and 16 Hellfire missiles. It may soon be in the hands of a member of the British Royal Family. Last week, Prince Harry got his wings from the colonel in chief of the Army Air Corps, who happens to be his father, Prince Charles. Harry also received the Peter Adams Trophy for the student showing the best tactical ability. That, and the decision of Air Corps brass to train him on the challenging Apache—an assignment awarded the top two per cent of the class—show the army has considerable faith in the 25-year-old prince. Next up, eight months of intense training and perhaps a ticket back to Afghanistan. “There is still a huge mountain for me to climb if I am to pass the Apache training course,” he said.
Will we see less of Oprah’s fans?
The latest issue of Oprah Winfrey’s magazine, O, has Victoria dermatologist Dr. Mark Lupin’s phone ringing off the hook. Lupin is one of a handful of Canadian doctors offering the UltraShape treatment, a “non-invasive” technique that uses ultrasound waves to break up fat cells beneath the skin. UltraShape is cleared for use in 57 countries, but it has yet to receive FDA approval in the U.S. Patients feel “just a slight tingly sensation,” Lupin told O magazine. The treated fat cells are burned as calories or eliminated from the body as waste.
By Scott Feschuk - Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 9:40 AM - 0 Comments
And it’s my last chance to convince some fool of my Five Surefire Ideas for getting me there
Like anyone beyond 40 who has a mortgage, car payments and an investment portfolio heavily weighted toward sofa-cushion change, I am coming to grips with the fact I may never be rich. This is a shame because I’ve spent most of my life planning what I’d do as a man of unfathomable wealth and influence. In all honesty I think I’d be pretty good at it, and not just because I have a natural affinity for talking down to foreigners. Wash the Bentley, Miguel—not the driveway.
As one who since 1996 has insisted on riding in the backseat of his Corolla while holding a jar of Grey Poupon, I know exactly where I’d live as a rich man (a summer home in Tuscany, and winters on the moon). I know exactly what I’d spend my money on (caviar and revenge). And I know exactly which person I’d speak in (the third). Bottom line: Scott Feschuk believes Scott Feschuk is ready to be very wealthy.
Lest you think me selfish, I’d be generous enough to give a small portion of my vast fortune to philanthropic pursuits. But I’d be petty enough to give it to the charity that agrees to name the most stuff after me. Sure, my millions could help cure cancer, but instead please join me at the grand opening of the gleaming new Scott M. Feschuk Centres for Lactose Intolerance.
Alas, at my age it’s time to give up on implausible long shots, like winning the lottery or me working hard. Instead, this may be my last chance to convince someone of tremendous resources and limited due diligence to buy into one of my Five Surefire Ideas for Making Me Obscenely Rich. Continue…