So, that happened. When it comes to spending your hard-earned dollars on education, you have many choices. Like, culinary school. Or clown college. Perhaps there is even a clown culinary school, who knows?
But if presumptive GOP nominee and flatulent kleptocrat Donald Trump has his way, you'll take your money to "Trump University," which, as recently unsealed documents in an ongoing lawsuit involving the alleged institution of higher learning reveal, was nothing more than a grotesque predatory hustle -- one that Trump hopes to revive. Before you get rooked, please listen to this week's "So That Happened" podcast.
We can't stress enough just how sleazy "Trump University" is. In The Huffington Post's deep dive into Trump U.'s "playbook," we found that the entire enterprise isn't really set up as an institution that reveals the secrets to making a fortune in real estate as much as it's meant to be a gory boiler room for vultures bent on convincing financially at-risk applicants to part with money for vastly overpriced products. Steeped in grift, Trump's minions encouraged unsuspecting marks to run up huge credit card balances, all while promising certain returns on a Trump University education.
Many of the people who ran this con are now publicly admitting that this was a swindle from pillar to post. And many of the students whose praiseworthy testimony is being used by Trump's lawyers to defend this fraud factory have recanted their positive reviews. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman calls Trump University "a fraud from beginning to end."
But Trump is dreaming of continuing to reel in suckers for this crooked deal, even as he assumes the mantle of GOP standard-bearer:
With regard to Trump's uncertainty over the future name of this sham college, here's something worth noting:
Also worth noting? It's a huge, huge scam. If there's anyone out there who really has an interest in matriculating at Donald Trump's Hogwarts for Flim-Flam, please heed our advice and steer clear.
Elsewhere on this week’s podcast: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has published new rules that would govern the payday lending industry, in the hopes that new oversight will lead to fewer people falling victim to the industry's predations. Alexis Goldstein from Americans For Financial Reform joins us to evaluate whether the bureau's recommendations have real teeth.
Meanwhile, in New Jersey, we've had the first child born in the continental United States with Zika virus-related microcephaly. This largely symbolic event gives us another opportunity to examine the halting and insufficient way Congress has thus far approached the threat of a widespread Zika outbreak and the increasingly desperate warnings from public health professionals about the costs of inaction.
Finally, the lead water crisis in Flint, Michigan, did grievous harm to the public's trust in institutions that badly failed in their mission. But there's lately been a new twist in the tale: An organization called Water Defense -- associated with actor Mark Ruffalo -- has been stoking fears in Flint about further dangers in the water supply, fears that scientists who have been working in the area say are entirely unfounded.
“So, That Happened” is hosted by Jason Linkins, Zach Carter and Arthur Delaney. Joining them this week: Alexis Goldstein from Americans For Financial Reform, as well as Huffington Post reporters Laura Bassett, Igor Bobic, and Sam Stein.
This podcast was produced, edited and engineered by Christine Conetta.