By D. Allan Kerr
It’s safe to say President Baby Huey’s self-proclaimed genius for deal-making has been somewhat exaggerated.
Apparently the former head of failed Trump University thought he could make up new rules with America’s trading partners and they would meekly concede. I guess things sometimes work that way when you’re playing with house money.
But this isn’t the world of New York/New Jersey real estate.
Baby Huey is practically pushing Canada, Mexico and the European Union into the welcoming arms of China. Europe is already China’s biggest trading partner, and China is Europe’s second-biggest – behind the United States.
The namesake of the failed Trump Vodka could wind up getting outplayed at his own game, and it wouldn’t be the first time. He could be setting himself up for another Vera Coking beatdown like the one he received on his home court back in the 1990s.
Vera Coking was an elderly widow who lived in a three-story home in Atlantic City, adjacent to a casino Baby Huey was building. The failed owner of Trump Steaks wanted to tear down Vera’s house to make room for his casino’s limousines.
Vera didn’t want to sell. She had purchased the house with her late husband in 1961 as a summer retreat, and more than 30 years later it was her home.
Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione had tried to buy the house earlier for his own failed casino, but she turned him down as well.
So Baby Huey, the businessman whose company filed bankruptcy at least four times in a 20-year period, sought to take her house thru eminent domain. He got the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Authority to condemn the widow’s home so Baby Huey could have a place to park his limos.
Vera took them to court, as did a couple of neighboring business owners.
According to media reports, Vera was quite a pistol. An Italian-born, five-foot-three mother of six, she once called Baby Huey “a maggot, a cockroach and a crumb.” And when the case went to the New Jersey Superior Court, she came out the winner.
“The primary interest served here is a private rather than a public one and, as such, the actions cannot be justified under the law,” Judge Robert Williams said in his 1998 ruling.
And Vera got in one last parting shot afterward.
“If Trump’s thinking I’m gonna die tomorrow, he’s having himself a pipe dream,” she told the New York Daily News after the decision. “I’m gonna be here for a long, long time. I’ll stay just to see he’s not getting my house.”
Vera remained in her home for about a dozen more years, until in her advancing age she reportedly relocated to California to live near family. As far as I know she still lives there, now in her 90s.
Baby Huey’s casino wound up shutting down as yet another failed business venture, and the guy who led the United States Football League to its utter destruction in the 1980s eventually retreated from Atlantic City altogether.
Now Baby Huey is lurching onto the global stage thinking he can do as he pleases, just as he did in Atlantic City years ago. He apparently lacks the humility to learn from his mistakes, and he may get smacked down yet again.
Just this week China and the European Union agreed to work together to update trade rules related to technology policy. If the U.S. leaves a vacuum for China to fill, you’ll see additional cooperation like this while we’re watching from the sidelines.
“It is not in the interests of the United States to just be playing defense and creating a Fortress America while the EU, China, and others play offense and attempt to set the rules of the game for the next century,” China economy expert Scott Kennedy told the Associated Press recently.
This is while Baby Huey, a serial draft dodger during the Vietnam War, also talks of eventually withdrawing U.S. troops from South Korea. China would love this of course – we would be ceding that whole corner of the planet to our only real competitor as a world power.
I tell you, for China – as well as Russia – Baby Huey is the gift that keeps on giving.
And you know, if you’re someone who thinks the US of A doesn’t need anyone else and should just stand on its own anyway, that’s great. But then don’t turn around and in the next breath brag of America being the leader of the free world and the defender of democracy. You cannot have it both ways.
Fun fact: You know how we all (grudgingly in some cases) tend to think of New York City as being the center of the universe, if only one city can boast such an honor? The Big Apple has a population of about 8.5 million people in what would be described as the “city proper.”
The city proper of Chongqing, China, is home to more than 30 million people. Shanghai has a population of more than 24 million, and Beijing has 21.5 million.
The United States has more than 325 million people. Pretty good right? China has more than 1.4 billion. So basically, take the entire population of the U.S., add a billion more people, then top it off with another 100 million for good measure.
The point is, if we piss off our partners enough so they’re willing to work with China, it’s pretty likely the world’s most populated country can play ball without us.
One last thing – as Baby Huey accuses businesses like Harley-Davidson of not being patient enough to wait out his tariff gamble, ask yourself this:
How much is his business putting at risk in the game?
D. Allan Kerr can’t help but admire the way Vladimir Putin has orchestrated this humiliating American chapter.
(July 1, 2018)
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