Never underestimate the nihilism of the American public. Or the passive spectatorship.

The New York Times editorializes:

There were opportunities to stop [Trump], early on. Possessed of a crack team of researchers, the Republican Party did not turn its resources on investigating this man’s record of falsehoods and business failures. When struggling families worry that their children’s American dream will be obscured behind a mountain of college debt, even a passing reference to the scam that is Trump University would surely have resonated many months ago.

Yes, now that people are truly desperate, they can’t say enough about Trump University. (Here at University Diaries, we’ve been writing about that peculiar institution since 2010. ) People want that school to be the key to the scummy scammy Trump gestalt and therefore – once this resonates – a significant part of his downfall. Here’s why this is false reasoning.

For more than a decade a firestorm of fraud involving hundreds of taxpayer-supported for-profit universities has raged freely throughout this country. Since very few Americans seem to care, and since there’s huge money for politicians from the for-profit school industry (an industry in which Goldman Sachs has a huge investment), almost nothing of significance has been done to regulate or shut down the scam. Even the fact that accreditors for these schools are almost all former executives at the same schools gets a rise out of exactly no one.

This is an incomparably more destructive scandal than Trump’s little academic foray into sucker-scamming, but no one cares. If Americans are content to let the rigged, filthy, for-profit schools continue to bankrupt them and make Goldman rich, what makes you think they’re any less content to ignore Trump University? In a vast landscape of corruption, Americans maybe have time to notice, say, massive athletics organizations like the NFL (America’s FIFA); but even there they don’t care. They’re spectators, not social activists. There are games to be watched.

*********************

All institutions, starting with all government institutions, are corrupt as far as many of Trump’s supporters are concerned (this is an attitude now known to all as Tea Party Nihilism), and at least Trump is defiantly, amusingly, attractively, even flamboyantly, corrupt. At least he is, in the words of Florida’s current governor, “fun to watch.”

We can say of Trump what John Ashbery said of avant-garde art:

Most reckless things are beautiful in some way, and recklessness is what makes experimental art beautiful, just as religions are beautiful because of the strong possibilities that they are founded on nothing… [Take Pollock, and Rothko:] Does their work amount to anything? There’s a possibility that it doesn’t although I believe in it and want it to exist.

Trump gestures recklessly toward nihilism (“founded on nothing”) or toward a New Wave, or toward both. Millions of Americans find this beautiful.

**********************

Like Chauncy Gardner, Americans like to watch. In particular, we like to watch us being us. You don’t get any more us than Donald Trump. Americans instinctively recognize that he is radically of their moment, radically of their time, and they feel comfortable with him as a candidate. Little Trump U will have no effect on that.

Song of the Lustful Haredi…

… who has inspired a lawsuit from Renee Rabinowitz.

***********************

WALK AWAY, RENEE

And when I see the breasts that point my way
The sluts I’m forced to pass by every day

Just walk away, Renee
You won’t see me foul myself near your filth
The empty seating over there will do for you
Apostate Jew

From deep inside the vomit I’m forced to spew
From deep inside the vomit triggered by you

Just walk away, Renee
You won’t see me foul myself next to you
Now as my lust beats down upon my weary eyes
Crush her, it cries

Your breasts and hips inside a plane upon a seat
Still find a way to haunt me with their heat

Just walk away, Renee
You won’t see me foul myself by your side
The empty seating over there will do for you
Apostate Jew

Political Discourse in Britain…

… getting brutal.

chaDORable…

… new app alerts Iranian women to the proximity of the morality police. Know hope.

“A California judge who ruled in favor of the plaintiffs compared Trump University to infamous con man Bernie Madoff, writing ‘victims of con artists often sing the praises of their victimizers until the moment they realize they have been fleeced.’”

Could Republican voters be the next awakened fleecees?

***************

In other Trump/university news: A foreign university has already revoked a Trump honorary degree. Now an American university – Lehigh – has begun talking about the whole honoring Trump thing.

The professor initiating discussion about the Trump degree at Lehigh University specializes in draining away gunk in order to stabilize environments.

Outsider Art at Dortmund University

Fascinating ongoing performance art installation at Dortmund University, where a non-denominational “silent” room has been transformed by a group of students into a Muslim prayer room, with extensive directives mandating the segregation and veiling of women.

Note, in this image, how students have turned on its side a mural depicting trees in sunlight, and re-purposed it into a woman-hiding partition.

*******************

SILENCE = HADITH (UD‘s title) isn’t really installation art. It began as an “experiment,” in the words of a university spokeswoman, in providing a neutral quiet space for students who might want to sit in peace a bit amid the “stresses of university life.”

The experiment has gone poorly. Since the room’s inauguration in 2012 there’s been a running battle between the university and a group of Muslim students who persistently dress it up as their own. Then when female students go there for a little down time and are ordered to put on a veil and hide behind a wall – and this is just UD talking but those sound more like stressors than de-stressors – the students complain to the administration and things get more stressful still.

So Tranquillity Base has been abandoned.

VP Pick, President Trump.

Pussy-free zone.

When the filter method fails…

… you get a lot of milling.

Really well-written article about President Trump. And who knew that …

About half of Republicans favor higher taxes on the rich

*********************

Many pithy sentences, such as this one:

Running for office as an exercise in ego gratification may not be as good a thing as running as a serious candidate with good ideas, but it’s much better than running as a serious candidate with bad ideas.

And plenty of low-key humor (read the whole thing). Scathing Online Schoolmarm loves writing like this.

The $55,000 Anecdote

These speeches, I bet, are largely just a string of anecdotes by Clinton.

Figure around fifteen minutes at the beginning for greetings, jokes, thank yous. That leaves forty-five minutes worth of speech. Which (if my math is correct, which it never is) means Hillary Clinton told four to five anecdotes at roughly $55,000 apiece.

Bartleby 2016

Hillary: A Story of Wall Street

Will you share the transcripts of the speeches you gave to Goldman Sachs?

I would prefer not to.

No I wouldn’t. And ol’ Bern wouldn’t either.

What point does this Washington Post writer think he’s making when – in the voice of Hillary Clinton saying what she should have said about the now-notorious Goldman Sachs speeches – he has her say this?

And the money? Yeah, it’s hard to turn down that kind of money [$675,000 for three speeches]. So I go, I talk for an hour about the complex challenges America faces in an ever-changing world, blah blah blah, do the grip-and-grin and get a six-figure check. You would too, if you could.

I know it’s an article of faith on Wall Street that everyone is gnawingly infinitely grotesquely life-destroyingly greedy. Another word for people who are gnawingly infinitely grotesquely life-destroyingly greedy is psychopaths, and indeed large numbers of Wall Street people are psychopaths or almost-psychopaths. “[Goldman Sachs wants to hire] people who think ‘I’m greedy, I want to be a billionaire.’ That was viewed as a really good thing.”

If a deeply disreputable bank offered to fly you first class to some location where you were wined and dined and then asked to mouth cynical bullshit about a country whose problems are actually worth taking seriously… And then if that bank pressed hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars into your hands for doing that, for mouthing that bullshit … And then if the bank flew you back first class to the destination of your choice… Would you do it?

Franchement, you couldn’t pay me to swim with vampire squids. Their destructive greed and arrogance disgusts me (and inspires Andy Borowitz), and, as the current presidential campaign suggests, I’m not alone.

You will never catch Bernie Sanders standing in a room as a paid guest of a bank under investigation for ripping billions off pensioners and investors, addressing the audience in the first-person plural.

When mainstream political pundits, like this Washington Post guy, assume we’re all as psychopathically greedy as – well, as he is… And as this observer is… When he makes the same claim that all apologists for America’s culture of wealth inequality make (The rest of us have no considered moral position on this behavior and in fact are simply jealous; every one of us would behave the way psychopathically greedy people behave if we had the opportunity.), he might as well be giving money to the Sanders campaign. Because all he does is make decent Americans angrier.

*************

There is something disgusting about the spectacle of someone who was already wealthy far beyond the imagining of ordinary Americans continuing to accept what she claims were unsuccessful attempts to bribe her, even as she was on the eve of launching a presidential campaign supposedly dedicated to protecting the interests of those ordinary Americans against the depredations of the very masters of the universe funneling millions of dollars into her personal bank account.

**************

Notes on greed.

**************

A bargain at twice the price!

Clinton actually undercharged Goldman Sachs, since she was paid $9,000 less than her average fee.

Friends & Family rate.

Final Nail in Bush’s Coffin.

The notorious John Thrasher, head of one of America’s most corrupt universities, has endorsed him.

Smoothing Bernie’s Way to the Nomination

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton struggled Wednesday night to answer a question about why she took more than $600,000 in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs in one year.

“Well, I don’t know. That’s what they offered,” she said…

******************

In the olden days (2008), Harvard president Larry Summers made do with $135,000 for his speech in front of Goldman Sachs.

When questions were raised, during his subsequent government service, about some of his many hugely paid financial sector stand-ups, Summers donated a sliver of the money to charity.

Well, the founder of Trump University certainly knows all about …

fraud.

So UD is sure he’ll make a compelling case against Cruz.

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