Showing posts with label Trump. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trump. Show all posts

December 12, 2019

Where Trump's Orange Comes From

         Image result for trump orange


Last week, The Washington Post published a story about the experience of undocumented workers employed by the Trump Organization, both before and during his run for the presidency. It’s full of anecdotes of hypocrisy and raises important questions about immigration and underpaid labor. 
But buried many paragraphs into the narrative is a section detailing Trump’s unusually specific habits and requests, like requiring exactly 2.5 boxes of Tic Tacs in his bedroom at all times. Then came this sentence: “The same rule applied to the Bronx Colors-brand face makeup from Switzerland that Trump slathered on — two full containers, one-half full — even if it meant the housekeepers had to regularly bring new shirts from the pro shop because of the rust-colored stains on the collars.”
The story moves right along into the president’s penchant for Irish Spring soap, never pausing to consider the remarkable fact that we finally have concrete information about Trump’s face. This is information reporters have been trying to find for years.
It’s a fact that Trump’s face appears as an unnatural shade of orange. But it’s not at all clear how it got that way. One theory is that he uses a tanning bed, which Omarosa Manigault claimed in her book; the White House denied it. This idea is supported by the fact that the skin around his eyes looks lighter than the rest of his face, possibly because of the protective goggles one wears in a tanning bed. One official told The New York Times it was “good genes.” 
Last September, Trump complained about energy-efficient light bulbs (which his administration has tried to block) making him look orange to House Republicans at a policy retreat. Jason Kelly, a makeup artist who touched up Trump’s makeup during the Republican convention in 2016, thinks it is makeup on top of tanning. He told the paper, “When I see him, I see a line of oxidized bronzer around his hairline. The application is like a kindergartner did it.”
The current Post story doesn’t specify the exact product Trump allegedly used, but Bronx Colors, a Swiss brand, claimed it’s the Boosting Hydrating Concealer in orange. It even offered shoppers a special deal, splashing the Post’s story on its landing page: Buy anything on the site and get one of the orange tubes for free. It retails for €6.50, or about $7.22. The site has crashed multiple times since the story was published. 
While these are all heady revelations, there are still lots of questions. Is Bronx Colors just trolling us? Is it really just as simple as Trump smearing orange makeup all over his face? How did he even find this particular brand, which isn’t currently sold in the US? Since there’s nothing I love more than political beauty investigative reporting — like the mystery of Scott Pruitt’s fancy hotel lotion and how exactly Stephen Miller’s spray-on hair works — I attempted to find answers.

What are the Bronx Colors? 

Bronx Colors is an inexpensive Swiss makeup brand that was founded in 2015 by Werner Kaufmann. A Refinery 29 story about the brand from December 2016 called Kaufmann a “beauty vet with 30 years of skin-care experience under his belt.” His jobs prior to Bronx Colors aren’t listed on his LinkedIn page. 
Isabelle von Känel, the COO of Bronx Colors, cannot confirm that Donald Trump uses the brand’s orange concealer. “We are not sending him a product knowing that we are sending products to him, because there are different ways he can get it,” she says. Von Känel confirmed that she spoke to David Fahrenthold, one of the reporters who broke the story, who asked her the same question. He tweeted after the story broke that when he asked the housekeepers what makeup shade it was, one replied “Una Naranja Espinosa,” which roughly translates to “a scary orange.” Von Känel says, “They mentioned how [the housekeepers] described it and it can only be that one,” she says, meaning the orange concealer. 
The brand is currently only sold directly in a handful of European countries and the UK but has wider distribution in about 40 countries. I couldn’t get my hands on it myself, because it does not ship to the US. There are only a few products from the brand available on Amazon. 
Bronx Colors concealer in Orange BHCo6.
 Bronx Colors

However, it was briefly sold here and got coverage on a few lifestyle sites, like Bustleand Allure. Ulta, the specialty beauty retailer, carried it online for several months, from late 2016 until sometime in 2017. Von Känel confirms that Ulta stocked the brand online as part of a trial run. It was also a sponsor for Lifetime’s American Beauty Star, a Project Runway-like show for hair and makeup that first ran in September 2017. The show, which was thrown together too quickly to sign on big makeup companies as sponsors, worked with a lot of lesser-known brands, according to a Beauty Independent story at the time. 
Bronx Colors never really caught on. Perhaps that was for the best. One YouTube review, with over 300,000 views, was a brutal takedown. In the words of one commenter: “I feel like it looks like poop.” Von Känel confirms the brand didn’t really market the product enough and that it “wasn’t ready” for the US market. She says they have been in talks with distributors and retailers, including Walmart, to bring the product here. 
Indeed, the Bronx-inspired promo copy echoes a slightly stilted and off-kilter view of the US that Euro brands sometimes have, describing the “northernmost district of New York City” where “the origins of hip-hop, breakdance and graffiti are pervasive and emphasize the urban lifestyle.” 
The products are pretty standard if you’ve spent any time around makeup. It has all the usual items, like eye shadow palettes, foundation, eyeliners, and yes, that orange concealer. The “o” in the Bronx is rendered as the female symbol. This gives me pause because knowing everything we know about Trump, would he use a product so blatantly marketed for women? Bronx Colors has three products specifically geared toward men, gendered via the male symbol; this concealer is not one of them.

Orange makeup isn’t meant to be worn alone

First, a quick detour. Orange makeup is a specialty item, but it’s not rare. It’s meant to be a color corrector. In fact, von Känel says the orange one is their bestselling concealer. Orange is opposite blue on the color wheel, which means it can theoretically neutralize blue tones in the skin, most commonly found under the eyes. Orange color correctors can also be helpful for evening out darker skin tones, according to Alexis Androulakis, a makeup artist and the founder of Fempower Beauty
“It’s never an on-its-own product. It’s a neutralizer and certainly most effective on the overall complexion for darker skin tones,” says Androulakis. Whether it’s used under the eyes to cover dark circles, or used on areas of hyperpigmented skin on those with olive skin or darker, it is meant to be buffed out so it’s not visible and so that a more natural skin-toned concealer or foundation can be placed on top. 
Von Känel wouldn’t comment on any political implications or whether this attention could be negative, but she did say, “If he really uses it… then I would say, ‘Okay, Mr. President, I think you are using it a little bit wrong.”
 When asked if she had any further opinions on Trump’s application process, assuming that orange concealer is the culprit, the makeup artist says, “He has a nickname for a reason. I’m just surprised in all these years he hasn’t consulted with an image consultant who can lead him down a different path.”  Donald Trump reportedly has rosacea, a condition that can cause a ruddiness in the skin. This is the best color corrected with green-tinted products; Bronx Colors has one in its lineup.  

How did Donald Trump learn about products like this? 

There is evidence from as early as 2012 that Trump was using orange-y makeup. One of the same workers featured in this week’s Post story, Sandra Diaz, was interviewed in a 2018 New York Times article: “That same year, she said, Mr. Trump had an outburst over some orange stains on the collar of his white golf shirt, which Ms. Diaz described as stubborn remnants of his makeup, which she had difficulty removing.”

Since the year in question was 2012, there’s no way that makeup could have been Bronx Colors, since it wasn’t around yet. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t find the brand at a later time. 
Nicole Bryl has been Melania Trump’s makeup artist since well before she became First Lady. Beryl has done makeup for celebs like Kathie Lee Gifford and Maria Menounos. She also kept a blog. 
In a 2016 post, she wrote, “Life these days can be exhilarating when words such as Trump. Makeup & Skincare are mentioned, especially during this 2016 campaign period...I have been asked this so many times through the years and I can honestly report that I know nothing about Mr. T’s hair and DO NOT and NEVER HAVE DONE HIS MAKEUP!” (Sic) over his face. And the sticking point for me in all this is: why Bronx Colors? It’s not exactly a household name. 
I searched for another avenue. Trump also had makeup applied for TV — with a much heavier hand — when he hosted The Apprentice. So I tried to track down some makeup artists from that era. According to the show’s IMDb page, Kathy Santiago was there from 2009 through 2017. A quick search confirms her specialty is men’s grooming. She would have had contact with him at a time when Bronx Colors was available in the US. Alas, she did not respond to requests for an interview. 
We know a little more about Trump’s grooming habits, but not enough, in my opinion. I’m hoping Fahrenthold has more details to reveal. I reached out to him, too, just in case, some important makeup tidbit got cut from the story. I’ll update if so. Feel free to email me at if you have any tips or intel.
Orange you glad you made it through this?

November 14, 2019

Court Of Appeals Rules Against Trump Tax Returns, He Must Submit Them to Congress

 There are more than just a couple of years of income taxes



A U.S. appeals court opened the door for Congress to gain access to eight years of President Trump's tax records, setting the stage for a likely review by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit declined to re-visit an earlier rulingby a three-judge panel that allowed Congress to subpoena the president's tax records. The House Oversight and Reform Committee subpoenaed those records in March.
The divided three-judge panel ruled in October that the House had a legitimate legislative pursuit in seeking Trump's personal tax returns. The president's lawyers had asked that the full D.C. Circuit reconsider the case.
But Congress likely will not see those documents soon. The D.C Circuit already had said it would give the president seven days to file an appeal. Trump's outside legal counsel, Jay Sekulow, told NPR that he and his client "will be seeking review at the Supreme Court."
The president and his lawyers are also hoping to get the Supreme Court to block another, separate bid to get his tax returns. 
A grand jury in New York is seeking those documents as part of an investigation into allegations that the president paid hush money to two women through his former lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, prior to the 2016 election.
The D.C. Circuit voted 8-3 in favor of letting the earlier ruling stand. Seven of the eight judges were appointed by Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, both Democrats. The eighth was appointed by President George W. Bush, a Republican.
The three dissenting judges — those who sided with the president — were all Republican appointees. Two were appointed by Trump and the third by President George H.W. Bush.

October 6, 2019

White Evangelicals Love Trump and They Know Why, Race and Political Power


By Anthea Butler

Liberals have a tendency to wring their hands at the strong support President Donald Trump — he of the three wives and multiple affairs, and a tendency to engage in exceedingly un-Christian-like behavior at the slightest provocation — continues to receive from the white evangelical community. White evangelical support for Donald Trump is still at 73 percent, and more than 80 percent of white evangelicals voted for him in 2016.
But focusing on the disconnect between Trump's personal actions and the moral aspects of their faith misses the issue that keeps their support firm: racism. Modern evangelicals' support for this president cannot be separated from the history of evangelicals' participation in and support for racist structures in America.
Evangelicals, in religious terminology, believe that Jesus Christ is the savior of humanity. They have a long history in America and include a number of different groups, including Baptists, Pentecostals, Methodists and nondenominational churches. After the schism among the Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians in the 1850s over slavery, conservative denominations like the Southern Baptists — who defended slavery through their readings of scripture — came into being. And because the primary schisms between northern and southern denominations was over the issues of slavery, in the pre- and post-Civil War years, African American Protestants formed their own denominations. 
Evangelical denominations formed from these splits in the South were usually comprised of people who had made money from slavery or supported it. After the Civil War, many were more likely to have supported the Ku Klux Klan and approved of (or participated in) lynching. The burning cross of the KKK, for instance, was a symbol of white Christian supremacy, designed both to put fear into the hearts of African Americans and to highlight the supposed Christian righteousness of the terrorist act.
During the civil rights movement, many white evangelicals either outright opposed Martin Luther King Jr. or, like Billy Graham, believed that racial harmony would only come about when the nation turned to God. in the 1970s, evangelicalism became synonymous with being "born again" and also against abortion and, with the rise of the Moral Majority in the late 1970s, they began to seek not only moral, but political power.
Ronald Reagan, who also counted evangelicals among his most vociferous supporters, started his presidential campaign on the platform of states’ rights from Philadelphia, Mississippi, where Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman were murdered by several Klansmen with the participation of local law enforcement in 1964, while attempting to register African Americans to vote. Decades later, the Rev. Jerry Falwell, the evangelical leader, opposed sanctions on South Africa's apartheid regime and insultedBishop Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Prize Peace winner, as a "phony." 
After 9/11, many evangelicals vilified Islam and created cottage industries and ministries promoting Islamophobia. And when Barack Obama was elected president, they regrouped, bought guns and became Tea Partiers who promoted fiscal responsibility and indulged in birtherism, promoted by no less than the son of Billy Graham, Franklin.
Still, evangelicals have worked to make a good show of repenting for racism. From the racial reconciliation meetings of the 1990s to today, they have dutifully declared racism a sin, and Southern Baptists have apologized again for their role in American slavery — most recently in 2018 via a document outlining their role
But statements are not enough. Proving how disconnected they are from their statements about atoning for the sin of racism, the 2019 Annual Convention of the Southern Baptists was opened with a gavel owned by John A. Broadus, a slaveholder, white supremacist and the founder of their seminary. In the meantime, the most visible Southern Baptist pastor, Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Dallas, recently said of Trump that “he does not judge people by the color of their skin, but whether or not they support him,” calling that "the definition of colorblind." (Jeffress is such a supporter of Trump that he regularly extols him on Fox News, and even wrote a special song for Trump’s Campaign, "Make America Great Again.")
So it's not surprising that white evangelicals supported the Muslim ban, are the least likely to accept refugees into the country (according to the Pew Foundation) and, though a slim majority oppose it, are the denomination most likely to support Trump's child separation policy. White evangelicals certainly are not concerned with white supremacy, because they are often white supremacists.
And Trump appeals to these evangelicals because of his focus on declension, decline, and destruction, which fits into evangelical beliefs about the end times. When Trump used the term “American carnage” in his inaugural address, evangelicals listened; they too, believed America is in decline. Their imagined powerlessness and the need for a strong authoritarian leader to protect them is at the root of their racial and social animus. Their persecution complex is a heady mix of their fear of “socialists,” Muslims, independent women, LGBT people, and immigration. Their feelings of fragility, despite positions of power, make them vote for people like Donald Trump — and morally suspect candidates like Roy Moore. Rhetoric, not morality, drives their voting habits. 
All of this has made a mockery of white evangelical protestations about morality and the family. Moral issues once drove white evangelical votes but, first when Obama was elected and then when the Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on same-sex marriage in June of 2015, what remained was their fear. Trump promised justices and a return to a time when they felt less fear, and he delivered, at least on the former. White evangelical fealty to him is firm. Evangelicals in America are not simply a religious group; they are a political group inexorably linked to the Republican Party.
Trump delivered evangelicals from the shame of losing, and they will back him again in 2020 to avoid losing again. So perhaps we should take evangelicals at their word that they will support Trump come hell or high water, rather than twisting ourselves into knots trying to figure out why.

September 28, 2019

The File on Trumps' Late McCarthy Lawyer ROY COHN Released By FBI

The FBI on Friday released nearly 750 pages of documents from the bureau’s file on controversial lawyer Roy Cohn, whose clients included President Donald Trump when Trump was a fledgling real estate mogul in New York City.

“Where’s my Roy Cohn?” Trump has been quoted lamenting when he was faced with political and legal pressures.

Cohn was at least the first of two personal lawyers for Trump to be disbarred. The second was Trump’s more recent attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, who gave porn star Stormy Daniels hush money to keep her quiet about an alleged sexual tryst with Trump.
GP: Donald Trump Roy Cohn Trump Tower Opening
GP: Donald Trump Roy Cohn Trump Tower Opening
Roy Cohn (L) and Donald Trump attend the Trump Tower opening in October 1983 at The Trump Tower in New York City.

(Sonia Moskowitz | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images)

The FBI on Friday released nearly 750 pages of documents from the bureau’s file on the late Roy Cohn, the controversial, hyper-aggressive lawyer whose high-profile clients included President Donald Trump when Trump was a fledgling real estate mogul in New York City.

“Where’s my Roy Cohn?” Trump has been quoted lamenting when he was faced with political and legal pressures.

Cohn was famous — and infamous — for his work for Sen. Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin in the 1950s investigating suspected infiltration by communists in U.S. government agencies, as well as his role prosecuting Soviet spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were executed for stealing American atomic secrets.

In the Rosenberg case, Cohn later admitted to conversations with the trial judge outside of the presence of the Rosenberg lawyers — a serious ethical breach by both Cohn and the judge.

The Big Apple bon vivant Cohn also was an associate of the admitted Republican dirty trickster Roger Stone, another Trump ally.

Stone currently is under indictment for lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing justice, charges related to his alleged efforts to get WikiLeaks to release emails stolen from Democrats during the 2016 presidential campaign. He has pleaded not guilty in that case.

The release of the FBI’s Cohn files comes on the heels of a new documentary that uses Trump’s quote “Where’s my Roy Cohn?” as its title.

The vast majority of the FBI files include details of an investigation into Cohn for perjury, conspiracy and obstruction of justice in connection with a grand jury probe of an alleged $50,000 bribe Cohn paid the then-chief assistant U.S. attorney in Manhattan to keep several stock swindlers from being indicted in 1959.

Cohn was found not guilty after a trial in that case in 1964.

A number of the files were sent directly to J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI’s director at the time, and reflect the bureau’s painstaking efforts to acquire information about trips by Cohn to Las Vegas in 1959, and other evidence, in connection with the bribery case.

One memo that was sent in July 1962 to both Hoover and then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy details the claim by a source of the FBI’s Las Vegas office.

The source said that gamblers in that city, worried about “extreme pressure” being applied by the federal government on the Nevada gambling industry, had approached the Justice Department’s criminal division chief “to determine whether he would ‘trade Las Vegas’ for ‘Roy Cohn.’”

The Justice Department’s division chief “flatly rejected” that approach, the source told the FBI.

A small part of the files released Friday include a letter that Cohn sent Hoover in 1969 when Cohn was being prosecuted on other federal criminal charges, for which he ultimately was acquitted.

Cohn’s clients after his acquittal included Trump, media mogul Rupert Murdoch, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, and Carmine Galante and “Fat Tony” Salerno, suspected Mafia chieftains. He also numbered among his celebrity friends President Ronald Reagan’s wife, Nancy.

“Trump introduced himself to Cohn, who was sitting at a nearby table, and sought advice: How should he and his father respond to Justice Department allegations that their company had systematically discriminated against black people seeking housing?”″ The Post reported.

“My view tells them to go to hell,” Cohn said, according to the Post. “And fight the thing in court.”

Cohn eventually filed a $100 million countersuit against the Justice Department for its allegations against Trump’s company. After that suit failed, Trump settled the Justice Department’s claims out of court.

Cohn died in 1986 from complications of AIDS, less than two months after being disbarred for professional ethics violations.

Despite years of using rumors about the homosexuality of his foes to smear them, Cohn himself was gay. He claimed until his death that he had liver disease, not AIDS.

Cohn’s closeted sexuality, ruthlessness against alleged communists and role as a bete noire of the left in the United States led to him being featured as a prominent character in Tony Kushner’s landmark play, “Angels in America.” Al Pacino portrayed Cohn in the HBO adaptation of that drama.

NBC archive footage shows Trump partying with Jeffrey Epstein in 1992
Cohn was one of two personal lawyers for Trump to be disbarred, in his case for a range of misconduct.

The second was Trump’s more recent attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, who is serving a three-year federal prison term for crimes that include ones related to a hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about an alleged sexual tryst with Trump in the mid-2000s.

Trump denies having sex with Daniels or with another woman, Playboy model Karen McDougal, who received another hush money payout before the 2016 election that was facilitated by Cohen.

Earlier this week, a relative of Cohn’s wrote a column for Politico Magazine entitled “I’m Roy Cohn’s Cousin. He Would Have Detested Trump’s Russia Fawning.”

“My cousin Roy Marcus Cohn—counsel to Senator Joe McCarthy, consigliere to Mafia bosses, mentor to Donald Trump—had almost no principles,” the column by David Marcus said.

“He smeared Jews even though he was Jewish. He tarred Democrats even though he was a Democrat. He persecuted gay people even though he was gay. Yet throughout his life, he held fast to one certainty: Russia and America were enemies,” Marcus wrote.

“Roy often told me the Kremlin blamed the U.S. for Russia’s failure to prosper, so Russian leaders were bent on destroying our democracy. If Roy had lived another 30 years, I’m sure he’d be pleased to learn that his protégé was elected president. But I am equally sure Roy would be appalled by Trump’s obsequious devotion to ex-KGB officer Vladimir Putin.”

— Additional reporting by CNBC’s Kevin Breuninger.

May 31, 2019

Trump Admin and The State Of South Carolina Sued Over Gay Couple Turned Away By Foster Agency

                           Image result for south carolina against gay foster care


  • ABC News
    Advocacy groups on Thursday sued the Trump administration and state of South Carolina on behalf of a same-sex, married couple after a Christian ministry allegedly denied them from participating in its federally funded foster care program.  
    The American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal filed the lawsuit, citing a decision by the administration’s Health and Human Services to waive an anti-discrimination rule for the South Carolina ministry.
    The ministry – Miracle Hill Ministries of Greenville, South Carolina – has said it always worked exclusively with couples that share its Christian faith.
    The lawsuit comes as the Trump administration weighs a request by the Texas attorney general to roll back Obama-era regulations that prohibit foster care providers fromdiscriminating against parents based on religion or sexual orientation.
    The couple at the center of the lawsuit, Brandy Welch and Eden Rogers, called the experience of being turned away by Miracle Hill Ministries “hurtful and insulting.”
    “Faith is a part of our family life, so it is hurtful and insulting to us that Miracle Hill’s religious view of what a family must look like deprives foster children of a nurturing, supportive home,” the couple, who have been married for three years, said in a statement.
    The Trump administration has taken several steps to expand legal protections for groups and individuals on religious grounds such as announcing protections for health care workers who object to various services based on personal beliefs.
    At this year's National Prayer Day service, President Donald Trump said he was committing his administration to "preserve the central role of faith-based adoption and foster care agencies to care for vulnerable children while following their deeply held beliefs."
     "As far as the broad picture, what we hope happens is that organizations aren't allowed to discriminate based on religion, especially when they're receiving federal funding, and that category of people that are allowed to foster represents the ... different types of children that need fostering," Welch told ABC News. "Right now, they're only allowing people in this certain small little box to foster, and I don't really believe that all the children fit into that small little box either. So I think a fair representation would be better."

    Image result for south carolina against gay foster care

     Days before President Barack Obama left office, he expanded anti-discrimination rules for federally backed foster care providers to include religion and sexual orientation. The issue arose for Miracle Hill when a Jewish woman was turned away by the agency because Miracle Hill insisted that it had always worked only with Christians that shared its faith.
    Miracle Hill appealed to the state governor, who secured a federal waiver for the rule by the Department of Health and Human Services. This allowed the organization to deny placement of children with anyone who violates its religious beliefs while still accepting money from federally funded state child welfare agencies.
    In a statement, Lambda Legal and the ACLU said the state and the federal waiver “enabled taxpayer-funded foster care agencies to use religious criteria to exclude families based on their faith and sexual orientation.”
    “By allowing Miracle Hill to discriminate against this couple, the government is not only favoring certain religious beliefs over others but is also placing those beliefs above what is in the best interest of children in foster care,” said Currey Cook, counsel and director of youth at Lambda Legal’s Out-Of-Home Care Project.
    After Miracle Hill was granted its religious waiver, the Texas attorney general asked the administration to repeal the rule or at least exempt the entire state from the policy.
    In a Dec. 17, 2018, letter to HHS, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton claimed that a rule violates a law that protects organizations from acting against their religious beliefs.
    In response to the Texas request, an HHS spokesman said the request by Texas remains under consideration and that the administration “does not generally comment on the details of pending requests that are not public.”

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