Water Cooler 4/1/16 Trump U Loses; Marines Scavaging Plane Parts; Man Gives Away $62 Billion (sort of)

Trump University has already lost one case.

Tarla Makaeff, who paid a total of about $60,000 to Trump University in one year, has sued Trump U and has already cost Trump nearly $800,000.

Makaeff attended a three-day “Fast Track to Foreclosure” workshop for $1,495 in 2008 and later enrolled in the “Trump Gold Elite” program for $34,995, spending a total of about $60,000 on seminars in a year, her attorneys say. In April 2010, she sued in San Diego federal court.

Makaeff didn’t imagine she would be subjected to criticism under the glare of a presidential campaign, her attorneys said. She was deposed four times for a total of nearly 16 hours and suffered anxiety about money after Trump sued her for defamation, seeking $1 million.

Makaeff eventually prevailed on the defamation claim, and a judge ordered Trump last year to pay $798,779 in her legal fees.

Trump’s tactic of counter-suing apparently did not pay off this time. Unfortunately for Makaeff, her health has deteriorated over the course of litigating with the Orange one, and she had to ask out of the trial. However, three other plaintiffs in her suit and the suits of two others will still move forward without her.

The suits are now heading toward trial, “possibly in August … and Trump appears on a list of defense witnesses who may testify”. Maybe he’s planning to have plenty of time in August with nothing better to do than sit in a San Diego courtroom.

Source: San Diego Union-Tribune


Marine aviation squadrons are salvaging aircraft parts from museums

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R – TX) has been hearing from Marines at US military bases who have had to scavenge for parts to keep planes running.

“I have heard firsthand from service members who have looked me in the eye and told of trying to cannibalize parts from a museum aircraft … getting aircraft that were sent to the boneyard in Arizona back and ready to fly missions, pilots flying well below the minimum number of hours required for minimal proficiency,” Thornberry said.

Lawmakers are livid about the fiscal shortfalls, even if their budget infighting in Congress is partly to blame.

At issue are military readiness accounts stretched thin by more than a decade of war and four years of defense penny pinching. Earlier this month, chiefs from each of the four services told lawmakers that those two stressors have led to belt-tightening headaches for units across the military, in some cases deferring long-term needs in favor of short-term solutions.

The Marines have had to complain to lawmakers recently about being under-resourced, and are concerned that at any given time right now only 60% of their aircraft are flyable.

Source: Military Times

America – the new favorite vacation destination of foreign spies?


Former Congressman Mike Rogers (R – Mich) told a Heritage Foundation gathering on Wednesday that foreign spies are in America in unprecedented numbers, and they are stealing everything in sight:

“There are more spies in the United States today from foreign nation states that at any time in our history — including the Cold War,” former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said in an address at the Heritage Foundation.

“And they’re stealing everything. If it’s not bolted down, it’s gone,” Rogers added. “And if it’s bolted down, give them about an hour — they’ll figure out how to get that, too.”
When asked for the source of his claim, Rogers appeared to credit American intelligence agencies.

“That’s what the intelligence business is designed to do, is determine that we have individuals here who are engaged in espionage activities,” he said.

“It’s massive, it’s huge. And the numbers are overwhelming.”

Rogers stated that Russia sends more professionally trained spies, and China uses folks who are “not necessarily trained intelligence agents and officers.”

Source: The Hill

Meet the third Apple Co-Founder who happily missed out on up to $62 Billion

Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and … Ron Wayne?

The signatures of all three men appear on Apple’s April 1, 1976, incorporation documents. They also appear on a document signed 12 days later, dissolving Wayne of his 10% stake.

Wayne, Apple’s lesser-known third co-founder, signed away his share of Apple for $800. Today, 10% of Apple is worth roughly $62 billion.


Stock dilution means Wayne’s original 10% wouldn’t be worth anywhere near $62 billion today, but it makes for an amazing thought – the man who walked away from $62 billion. Wayne says he’s happier though, because he ended up having a rewarding career making video games – which was his real joy. Plus, he didn’t want to end up with Steve Jobs’ “footprints on [his] head”:

“If I stayed at Apple I would have probably ended up the richest man in the cemetery.”

CNN Money

I don’t know. I’d probably still take the money.

Price tag to replace America’s electric grid with wind and solar? About $4.5 trillion. With lots of down-time.

For a dose of reality, consider master energy number-cruncher Vaclav Smil’s estimate of a cost approaching $2.5 trillion to build enough new wind and solar facilities in the United States to replace the 1,100 gigawatt (GW) generating capacity of our fossil-fueled electric system. And couple that colossal sum with another $2 trillion in capital assets now imbedded in fossil-fueled generating hardware and related infrastructure. With a national debt of $19 trillion that is increasing $2 trillion a year, an anemic economy and a shrinking middle class, how can taxpayers afford to subsidize such wasteful projects?

Without subsidies, renewable systems could find useful niches, but if they are deployed as a means of replacing fossil fuels, they simply won’t work. Just ask the almost 1 million households in Germany that no longer can afford electricity at rates three times higher than the average U.S. rate.


The Hill

North Korea and the nuke

Slideshow of the North Korea’s Nuclear Ambitions

If you ever wanted to see a picture of a million people standing at attention in perfect formation, Reuters has you covered.

Indian Steel-maker Tata has a deal too good to be true

For sale: Enormous pension fund with a loss-making steel company attached

The perfect gift for that hard-to-shop-for friend.

Trump Vodka – The Perfect Example of His Disastrous Business Practices

The Federalist’s main article this morning sums up his lifetime of business failures in one alcoholic beverage:

Thus, his foray into the premium spirits market was not a dedication to creating a quality product, it was as a “screw you” to one of his buddies. Ignoring that his friend crafted the Grey Goose recipe based on selecting a unique wheat form, and used practiced methods to craft his respected label, Donald sought to buy his way into the high-end vodka market.

–The Federalist

Picture Slideshow – Cruz and Fiorina drop in to famous Milwaukee burger spot

Carly and Ted stopped by Milwaukee’s famous burgers, beer, and Bloody Mary joint Sobelman’s a couple of days ago. Milwaukee Business Journal caught up with them and posted a photo slideshow. But they passed on Sobleman’s world-renowned giant Bloody Mary with a whole fried chicken sitting on top.


 This might be the end of the road for Bernie
If Nate Silver can’t find you those final 988 delegates you need hiding under the furniture, very few guys can.
Looks like the only people left between Hillary and the White House are a babbling psychotic orange man, a son of a mailman, and a guy who gave up on his Hollywood dreams because of a lack of looks and talent.

Have a Happy April Fools Day today folks! Just like Rand Paul. Well, not exactly like Rand Paul. It’s an open thread so have at it.


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