My Two Cents on Donald Trump’s Affair with Stormy Daniels

OK, let’s talk about some really serious stuff.

Did Donald Trump have an affair with Stormy Daniels, as so many in the media have reported?

There are two questions here. Did Trump have an affair and was it with Stormy Daniels? As a former newspaper reporter, I’ve been intrigued as the media have been all over the map on these questions.

I’m reminded of when The Oregonian newspaper, in its initial reporting on the Neil Goldschmidt scandal, ran a story with the headline “Goldschmidt confesses ’70s affair with girl, 14”  in 2004? 

An affair? To say the least, a lot of people took heated exception to that portrayal of what happened. 

“Despite what you’ve read in the papers or seen on TV, former Portland mayor and eventual Oregon Gov. Neil Goldschmidt did not have an affair with a 14-year-old girl,” wrote the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.   “Yes, he took the girl into the basement rec room of her parents’ home repeatedly for sex. Yes, he came over to her house — conveniently situated in his own neighborhood — when he knew her parents would be away. And it was pretty easy for him to know that since her mother worked at city hall. 

And, yes, over a period of three years, this powerful man and family friend who would become Oregon’s premier politician also sexually abused his children’s baby sitter at a downtown hotel and even in the office of the mayor. But, no, this was definitely not an “affair. As Portland Tribune columnist Phil Stanford rightly wrote this week, “Slice it any way you want … it still comes out…statutory rape.”

Trump didn’t have an affair with pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels either. An affair is a romantic and emotionally intense relationship with someone other than your spouse or partner.

Trump had sex with Daniels. Once. Saying they had an affair is journalistic malpractice.

As the Washington Post reported in a widely watched 2018  interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” , Daniels described how she first met Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe in 2006 when she was 27 and he was 60. Trump invited her to have dinner at his hotel suite.  Believing that Trump could snag her a role on his television show, Daniels said she had sex with Trump that night. They met again the following year at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles. Trump, she recalled, spent the meeting watching “Shark Week” on television. They did not have sex, and Daniels said they never met again.

In other words, Trump did not have an affair with Stormy Daniels. They had intercourse, coitus, fornication, copulation, carnal knowledge……sex.

For that matter, Trump didn’t have sex with Stormy Daniels either.

Stormy Daniels doesn’t exist. That’s just the stage name of Stephanie Gregory Clifford, born on March 17, 1979 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The porn star told In Touch magazine she had “textbook generic” sex with Trump, after which Trump said, ‘I’m gonna call you, I’m gonna call you. I have to see you again. You’re amazing. We have to get you on The Apprentice.’”

It’s not clear to me why most of the media have persisted in referring to the woman involved in this contretemps as Stormy Daniels. I know that many porn stars use a stage name in order to retain anonymity, but there is no good reason why the media should promote awareness of her porn star stage name and there’s certainly no reason for the media to allow the woman in this case to hide behind a stage name to protect her privacy

Privacy, after all, is clearly the last thing she wants.

Don’t Make Oregon’s Failing Public Schools Even Worse

Even with Oregon’s public school students already suffering from abysmal scores on national reading and mathematics tests and one in five students failing to graduate from high school in four years, state politicians can’t seem to stop inserting themselves into school curriculum decisions.

State Senators James I. Manning Jr. and Deb Patterson​ want to add another labor-intensive, complicated and questionable instructional mandate on students and teachers.

SB 284, submitted by the two senators at the request of Oregon Educators for Climate Education, “a statewide group of educators working toward Oregon legislation that would integrate and infuse PK-12 climate change education across all core subject areas”, would:

  • Require each school district board to develop a written plan establishing a climate change instructional program for kindergarten through grade 12 no later than June 1, 2026. 
  • Require school districts to submit their plan to the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) for initial approval and then again every seven years.
  • Require ODE to develop and adopt a model plan in consultation with other state agencies and stakeholders, to develop academic content standards, and to approve and make available list of resources and materials that meet academic content standards.
  • Require the Superintendent of Public Instruction to withhold distributions from Student Investment Account from school districts that fail to develop and implement climate change instructional program.
  • Require that career and technical education funding from High School Graduation and College and Career Readiness Fund be spent on programs that support climate-focused sustainability career pathways. 

Meanwhile, state Rep. David Gomberg, D-Lincoln City, introduced  House Bill 2905 that would add to existing requirements for Oregon’s schools to teach about BIPOC, LGBTQ, immigrant communities and others by requiring that schools “Ensure that the academic content standards for history, geography, economics and civics include sufficient instruction on the histories, contributions and perspectives of individuals who…are of Jewish descent.” The bill has already cleared the House awaits Senate action.

SB 284’s climate change mandate would come on top of a K–12 Native American curriculum for all Oregon public schools created after passage of SB 13, a Tribal History/Shared History initiative, in 2017. The initiative has developed more than 45 lesson plans for grades four, eight, and ten across multiple content areas. The Oregon Department of Education’s Office of Indian Education (ODE/OIE) launched the first phase of implementation in these grade levels During the 2020/21 academic year. 

It’s all fine and good to want Oregon’s K-12 public school students to be up to speed on topics of the day, but adding more costly and time-consuming mandates when even the basic curriculum isn’t being effectively delivered is a recipe for failure. 

And the legislature doesn’t have a particularly good track record with earlier curriculum changes it has imposed. 

Legislation requiring that all Oregon school districts teach about the Holocaust beginning with the 2020-2021 school year is a case in point.

Claire Sarnowski, a freshman at Lake Oswego’s Lakeridge High School, came up with the idea of mandating Holocaust instruction after hearing Holocaust survivor Alter Wiener tell his story. Sarnowski approached state Sen. Rob Wagner, who agreed to introduce a bill.

It all sounded so simple and straightforward at the outset, but the final legislation was a classic example of mission creep.

The legislation went far beyond mandating that students be taught about the Holocaust.  Employing the coercive power of government, teachers are now required to address a slew of social justice topics: the immorality of mass violence; respect for cultural diversity; the obligation to combat wrongdoing through resistance, including protest; and the value of restorative justice.

You can be sure that any mandated climate change curriculum would morph into similar broad terrain and impose even more demands on Oregon’s already overburdened teachers and students.

Oregon’s Failing Public Schools: Where’s The Outrage?

Pander to the pronoun police? Check.

Enforce diversity, equity and inclusion justice? You betcha.

Suspend a requirement for an essential skills test in math, reading and writing to graduate from high school through the 2022-2023 school year? You got it.

Accept that nearly one of every five Oregon high school students don’t graduate in four years? Uh huh.

Increase the number of teachers employed in Oregon’s public schools to an all-time high even as the number of enrolled students drops precipitously to its lowest level in nearly two decades? Yup.

Ensure math and reading proficiency? Not so much.

Oregon’s public schools are turning too many students into functional illiterates and math morons.

Results from the recently administered National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reveal that a depressingly small percentage of Oregon students in grades 4 and 8 tested at a proficient level or higher in mathematics and reading in 2022. 

The mathematics and reading comprehension assessments are given every two years to students at grades 4 and 8. The tests break results into four categories: below basic, basic, proficient, and advanced. Students performing at or above the NAEP Proficient level on NAEP assessments demonstrate solid academic performance and competency over challenging subject matter.


Grade 4

The percentage of students in Oregon who performed at or above the NAEP Proficient level: 29%

The percentage of students in Oregon who performed below the NAEP Basic level: 34%

Grade 8 

The percentage of students in Oregon who performed at or above the NAEP Proficient level: 22%

The percentage of students in Oregon who performed below the NAEP Basic level: 43%


Grade 4

The percentage of students in Oregon who performed at or above the NAEP Proficient level: 28%

The percentage of students in Oregon who performed below the NAEP Basic level: 44% 

Grade 8

The percentage of students in Oregon who performed at or above the NAEP Proficient level: 28%

The percentage of students in Oregon who performed below the NAEP Basic level: 33% 

Where is the shock and anger?

Two Peas In A Pod

“In 2016, I declared, ‘I am your voice,’” Donald Trump said Saturday night at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). “Today, I add: I am your warrior. I am your justice. And for those who have been wronged and betrayed: I am your retribution” 

Donald Trump, March 4, 2023

“I am making superhuman efforts to educate this people. When they have learnt to obey, they will believe what I tell them.”

“Let us have a dagger between our teeth, a bomb in our hand, and an infinite scorn in our hearts.” 

“The truth is that men are tired of liberty.” 

Benito Mussolini

What Media Coverage of Portland’s Walmart Closures Has Missed

In late February, Walmart announced it would be closing a batch of its US stores, including its two stores in Portland, OR at 4200 82nd Ave. SE and 1123 N Hayden Meadows on March 24, 2022. Dr. Multiple media have subsequently reported on the Portland closures, initially focusing on the loss of employee’s jobs and the company’s assertion that the closures were due to “several factors,” including profitability concerns.

The 82nd Ave. store will close to the public on 3/24/2023. All 379 employees at the facility will be terminated effective June 02, 2023. The Hayden Meadows store will close to the public on 3/24/2023. All 201 employees at the facility will be terminated effective June 02, 2023. 

On March 4, a Twitter contributor, Evan Watson, observed that the tone of media coverage began to shift when Fox Business put out a story headlined, Walmart to shutter Portland locations just months after CEO’s warnings on crime.

Fox said a Walmart spokesperson told Fox News Digital “…there is no single cause for why a store closes. We consider many factors, including current and projected financial performance, location, population, customer needs, and the proximity of other nearby stores when making these difficult decisions.”

But Fox chose to also highlight that the closure announcements for the Portland stores and multiple others across the country came “…just a few months after the Walmart CEO warned stores could close and prices could increase in light of sky-high retail crimes affecting stores across the country.”

“Theft is an issue. It’s higher than what it has historically been,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in December on CNBC, Fox reported. “He added that “prices will be higher and/or stores will close” if authorities don’t crack down on prosecuting shoplifting crimes.”

Fox went on to note that Walmart’s announcement came after other Portland stores had closed, citing crime as a reason, including a Nike store that shut down following rampant shoplifting incidents and a Cracker Barrel that shut down with employees citing security issues. Fox reported one store that shut down in November 2022, Rains PDX, had posted a note on the shop’s doors after a string of break-ins saying, “Our city is in peril. Small businesses (and large) cannot sustain doing business, in our city’s current state. We have no protection, or recourse, against the criminal behavior that goes unpunished.”

The crime connection to the Portland Walmart closure was then also picked up on The NY Post. Yahoo and local TV stations affiliated with KPTV.

Next up was Texas Gov. Greg Abbot, no doubt stimulated by the crime connection, who jumped into the fray with a tweet: “All Portland Walmart stores to close in late March. This is what happens when cities refuse to enforce the rule of law. It allows the mob to take over…”

This spurred Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler to put in his two cents, Tweeting, “Governor Abbott, are the dozens of Walmart stores that have closed in Texas in recent years all communities that “refuse to enforce the rule of law?” The retail industry is changing and retail theft is a national issue.”

And of course. dozens of people responded to Wheeler’s Tweet.

What no media mentioned, however, is the diversity of Walmart’s workforce affected by the closures or the impact of the closures on Walmart’s customers, most of whom are the lower-income Portlanders progressive political leaders always claim to be so concerned about.

I don’t have a breakdown of the workforce at the two Portland stores, but a recent analysis of Walmart’s total workforce showed that 56were women, with 42% of those are part of management and 42% of the total workforce were people of color, with 31% of them part of management.

The only saving grace for these workers is that the hiring environment is strong. Weekly jobless claims have remained near or below the 2019 prepandemic average of about 220,000 for several months, even in the face of job cuts at larger employers in white-collar industries, particularly in technology, finance and real estate.  In other words, it is still a tight labor market, so laid-off Walmart workers may have less difficulty finding work. That could change, however, as the Federal Reserve continues its aggressive effort to fight inflation and there are signs that the job market’s extreme tightness might be easing.

As for shoppers’ income, analyses by Business Insider, Kantar Media; and Statista show that, although more higher income Americans have been gravitating to Walmart groceries and other items in the current inflationary environment, more than a quarter of Walmart shoppers have an annual income of $25,000 or less and the next quarter have an annual income of just $25,000 – $49,900. 

Walmart Shoppers by Income

$25,000 or less: 26.1%

$25,000 to 49,900:  26.8%

$50,000 to 74,900:  18.3%

$75,000 to 99,900:  11%

$100,000 or more: 17.4%

Why do lower income Americans shop at Walmart? Because generally they save more of their hard-earned dollars there, particularly on generics and Walmart’s store brands. 

 “…in general, most shoppers will find that groceries at Walmart can cost less overall, even for higher-end brands that will cost significantly more elsewhere, which means if you’re on a tighter budget, grocery shopping at Walmart can help you ensure your dollar goes further,” says Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst at

And the savings can be significant. 

A November 2022 Consumers’ Checkbook review of spending at Washington area grocery chains and stores concluded that a family that spends $250 per week at the supermarket, could save $2,080 per year by shopping at Walmart versus an all-store average. 

In other words, the loss of these two Walmart stores is a bigger blow to Portland than the media has been saying. Politicians need to make note of that. 

The Ritz-Carlton Residences in Portland: A Towering Mistake

“If you’re blue, and you don’t know where to go to
Why don’t you go where fashion sits? Puttin’ on the ritz”

Can you think of anything more incongruous than the Ritz and Stumptown?

Like a diamond in the rough, The Ritz-Carlton Residences Portland at 550 S.W. 10th Ave. are set to open for occupancy in July 2023. 

Owners of the 138 residential condominiums on floors 21-35 atop The Ritz-Carlton, Portland will enjoy magnificent views as the $600 million building becomes a landmark in a dynamic Pacific Northwest city, the developers exult. 

Keller Williams Realty Professionals is already marketing 39 of the individual condos at prices ranging from $1,1000,000 for a one bedroom 2 bath 1,105 sq. ft unit to $8,999,000 for a 3 bedroom 4 bathroom 3,256 sq. ft unit. Principal and interest on the mortgage, plus property taxes and condo fees, could translate to an $8000 a month expense for the 1 bedroom.

“We are seeing interest from folks that have made businesses in other cities that are spending more time in Portland,” he said, “and they want to be here. They like the lifestyle of Portland and the quality of life that we have here,” Brian Owendoff, owner’s representative for the tower, told KGW-TV in March. 

Is he serious? Is “…the quality of life that we have here…” in Portland going to be a magnet for well-heeled luxury-seeking sophisticates?

In 1992, journalist and urban critic Philip Langdon marveled at how “this courteous, well-kept city of 453,000, and especially its downtown, has become a paragon of healthy urban development.” Nobody’s saying that now. 

With Ineffectual government at all levels, property crime more than double the national average, motor vehicle thefts through the roof. (More than 11,000 vehicles were stolen in 2022, up from 6,500 in 2019; and it’s not just individuals being hit. International Auto Sales on Southeast 82nd Avenue in Portland has had twenty two vehicles stolen in just two years, costing near a quarter million in damages.), homeless encampments sprouting like weeds, used hypodermic needles littering the sidewalks and parks (In 2022, crews collected 176,962 used needles in the 213 block Downtown Enhanced Service area), open air drug markets, routine store break-ins, routine homeless camp fires (Portland Fire & Rescue responded to more than a thousand tent or tarp-related fires during 2021-2022), gun violence, homicides (2022 was a particularly bloody year for Portland, with homicides climbing from 36 in 2019 to 97 in 2022 – a record), bicycle thefts galore (More than 1,000 bikes are reported stolen in the city each year, according to Willamette Week), public urination and defecation,  Portland is far from the magnet it once was.

Businesses in the Ritz-Carlton area are already up in arms over Multnomah County’s new Behavioral Health Resource Center on S.W. Park Ave. between Oak and Harvey Milk Streets. Willamette Week recently reported business owners are asking the county to do more to keep the neighborhood free from what some of the center’s clients are bringing, including threats of violence and drug use. Painting a bleak picture of the situation, the businesses are frustrated to no end and question how the Ritz-Carlton will be able to attract customers to its $518 a night and up hotel rooms. 

Polls conducted in 2022 showed only 11% of voters thought Portland was heading in the right direction — a steep drop from 76% in 2000.

With highlights  like a vegan strip club,  a museum for vacuums and the world’s largest Naked Bike Ride, Portland is also far from a ritzy kind of place offering a comfortable milieu for high-end sophisticates.

There’s a reason why an outpost of the upscale Saks Fifth Avenue  at Portland’s much-heralded Pioneer Place Mall abruptly closed in 2010 and was replaced by Off Fifth at Bridgeport Village in the suburbs, a discount venue that offers closeouts, clearance items and private-label goods. “Saks didn’t quite fit in with our fleece and flip-flops,” Kathleen Healey, senior associate broker with Urban Works, told The Oregonian. 

That’s another way of saying Portland has a reputation for being kind of quirky, dismissive of pretense, leery of brazen displays of wealth. Drenched in wetness and lefty idealism, where people wait till the “Walk “ sign lights up even if no cars are coming, it is hardly a haven for moneyed showoffs or a welcoming place for a Ritz-Carlton.

Like with Saks Fifth Avenue, the prognosis isn’t promising.

There just aren’t enough of Slim Aaron’s beautiful people in Portland

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It’s Time for Tina Kotek and the Democratic Party of Oregon to Pay The Piper

“A man is known by the company he keeps,” wrote Aesop. So’s a woman.

In their pursuit of power, Tina Kotek and the Democratic Party of Oregon chose to keep company with Nishad Singh, the 27-year-old wunderkind director of engineering at FTX, the disgraced and now bankrupt crypto company.

They welcomed Singh’s 2022 $500,000 contribution to the party’s campaign coffers. 

But the wheels of justice have turned since Singh made the contribution. 

On Feb. 28, Singh pleaded guilty to six criminal counts, including conspiring to commit securities and commodities fraud, during a hearing in federal court in Manhattan. 

He also pleaded guilty to defrauding the U.S. in a campaign-finance scheme in which he made illegal donations to political-action committees and candidates using funds from disgraced cyypto manager Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto hedge fund Alameda Research. Singh has also allegedly taken part in a straw donor scheme to funnel money to left-leaning candidates and causes Bankman-Fried didn’t want connected to his own name, according to the Wall Street Journal.

John Ray III, the new boss of the bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, wants the $500,000 back. 

I asked the party whether it intended to do so, but got no response. 

Campaign finance records with the Oregon Secretary of State show the Democratic Party of Oregon has been merrily spending money, $166,424.05 so far in 2023, but none of it has been a refund to FTX. That has left the party’s account with  just $37,128.95, down substantially from the $691,532 it had on hand as of Nov. 28, 2022.

Frankly, it looks like the party is deliberately trying to avoid building a balance sufficient to repay Singh’s donation. It may also be hoping time will diminish the public pressure to return Singh’s donation.

Oregonians shouldn’t let Kotek and the Democratic Party of Oregon off the hook. It’s time for them to pay the piper.