Florida asset protection for homestead, insurance, and annuities (why Democrats can’t sue Donald Trump into poverty)

On recent trips to the San Francisco Bay Area and Boston, friends who are Democrats spoke gleefully about the prospect of Donald Trump being reduced to poverty via lawsuits. While this might be straightforward in California or Maskachusetts, stripping a Floridian of all of his/her/zir/their wealth is more challenging.

Florida law shields insurance policies and annuity contracts from creditors. Statute 222.13, for example:

Whenever any person residing in the state shall die leaving insurance on his or her life, the said insurance shall inure exclusively to the benefit of the person for whose use and benefit such insurance is designated in the policy, and the proceeds thereof shall be exempt from the claims of creditors of the insured unless the insurance policy or a valid assignment thereof provides otherwise. Notwithstanding the foregoing, whenever the insurance, by designation or otherwise, is payable to the insured or to the insured’s estate or to his or her executors, administrators, or assigns, the insurance proceeds shall become a part of the insured’s estate for all purposes and shall be administered by the personal representative of the estate of the insured in accordance with the probate laws of the state in like manner as other assets of the insured’s estate.

That would seem to protect only the family of an insured after his/her/zir/their death. But then there is 222.14:

Exemption of cash surrender value of life insurance policies and annuity contracts from legal process.—The cash surrender values of life insurance policies issued upon the lives of citizens or residents of the state and the proceeds of annuity contracts issued to citizens or residents of the state, upon whatever form, shall not in any case be liable to attachment, garnishment or legal process in favor of any creditor of the person whose life is so insured or of any creditor of the person who is the beneficiary of such annuity contract, unless the insurance policy or annuity contract was effected for the benefit of such creditor.

Donald Trump could take an unlimited percentage of his wealth and stuff it into a whole life policy and then Florida state law might protect him from, for example, Democrats in New York.

How about 20-acre Mar-a-Lago, worth either $18 million or “hundreds of millions” depending on when you tuned into CNN. It looks like the house and central 1/2 acre of land (maybe this isn’t even the entire house?) can be protected from creditors as long as it it Donald Trump’s primary residence. This is based on the Florida Constitution:

Separately, for those who want to remember the good old Trump days… the U.S. Mint’s Donald Trump medal:

It looks as though they’ve captured the godlike powers that Democrats ascribe to Mr. Trump, e.g., immortality. Age might tarnish this medal, but never the Donald himself!

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Mar-a-Lago and the Palm Event

Despite not being a member of the Palm Beach elite or even elite-adjacent, I managed to bust into Mar-a-Lago recently for an annual event that benefits a local children’s charity, A Place of Hope. Why would anyone want to go to Mar-a-Lago? It’s a National Historic Landmark and important as an example of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. The centrality of this style of architecture to South Florida is explained in Bubble in the Sun book: even those with the best information can’t predict a crash and, in fact, our neighborhood within Abacoa is all Spanish Colonial Revival.

The most hated man in America appeared midway through the event to welcome the guests, praise the organization, praise the musical and theatrical talent, etc. Donald Trump was gracious and did not mention politics nor did he talk about himself. He had no teleprompter. Only a small percentage of the guests mentioned Donald Trump or seemed to have the November election on their minds, but there were exceptions. In the It’s Not a Cult Category:

(Is the “most hated man” appellation accurate? Far more people hate Trump than, for example, Jose Antonio Ibarra (the migrant arrested for the murder of Laken Riley).)

The Mar-a-Lago staff put on a copious buffet. I asked about a dozen of the workers how they liked working there and all were positive, with the exception of a seasonal worker from South Africa who was neutral.

Sadly, we didn’t get to go into the original main house, but some of the architectural details were interesting nonetheless:

What did people drive to the event? Ferrari was a common choice:

More unusual Ferraris were selected for display closer to the house rather than simply parked in the back yard. The silver Enzo below might be worth $4 million. (Remember that Democrats agreed that all of Mar-a-Lago was worth $18 million at his trial in New York, though now CNN’s experts say that it is worth “hundreds of millions”.)

For my friends who are Porsche fans, though it was much more an event for Ferrari nerds:

Rolls-Royce was well-represented. They love their colors:

People wouldn’t think less of you if you showed up in a humble Ford:

I had some difficulty connecting with the local Honda Odyssey owner’s club at the event, but it was a pleasant crowd of people and one in which trust prevails. I managed to lose my valet parking ticket and was able to pick up my car without being asked to prove my identity or association with the car (I knew where it was in the parking lot because I’d been taking photos).

Speaking of cars and Florida, I’ve had to replaced all four tires and the battery recently on the 3-year-old Odyssey. The summer-all-the-time weather is tough on both tires and batteries, apparently.

Related (on the subject of elites in and around Palm Beach)…

(This is the official airport management Twitter account.)

And regarding the challenge of maintenance:

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Americans with no reputations get paid tens of millions for harm to those non-existent reputations

“Trump slammed with $83M verdict for repeatedly defaming advice columnist E. Jean Carroll” (New York Post):

The jury verdict was broken down into $65 million meant to punish Trump, $11 million to help Carroll rebuild her reputation and another $7.3 million to compensate her for her pain and suffering.

The plaintiff won $5 million in a previous lawsuit against the hated Trump. She’s 80 years old, 13 years beyond Social Security full retirement age. Has she lost out on job opportunities because Trump said that she was a liar? I hadn’t ever heard of her until she put herself into the public eye as a New York department store rape victim (the first jury actually did conclude that she was lying about having been raped).

A somewhat similar case… “Rudy Giuliani must pay $148 million to 2 Georgia election workers he defamed, jury decides” (CBS):

Two election workers had reputations worth more $33 million., apparently, because they could lose $33 million in actual damages to those reputations. And then they suffered more emotional distress than if they’d been run over by a car and paralyzed or if they’d actually been killed.

Americans who had no public reputation will now be some of the richest people on Planet Earth due to compensation for damage to those non-existent reputations. This is a shocking resource allocation result in what is a mostly planned economy!

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Donald Trump is the best of the worst of us

Although I thought that he needed a more optimistic and unrealistic message for Americans if he were to have any hope of prevailing in a general election, I am shocked that Ron DeSantis is now out:

Republicans are objectively terrible human beings and even the best Republican is inferior to the worst Democrat. Nonetheless, there are approximately 100 million Republicans in the U.S. (population 336 million plus, perhaps, another 10-20 million uncounted undocumented), 74 million of whom turned out to vote for Mr. Deplorable in 2020.

If Nikki Haley continues to underperform, are we forced to conclude that Donald Trump is the best person out of 100 million Americans? That’s sobering!

Is it now time to stop paying attention to Election 2024? Trump couldn’t beat the aging fossil Biden and the sexual opportunist Harris in 2020. Given that Americans are now drunk on student loan forgiveness, weekly abortion care, and other cornerstones of Biden/Harris policy, how could Trump possibly prevail? Is the path to victory Joe Biden dropping dead from old age between now and November and Trump runs against Kamala Harris?

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Who can explain Donald Trump’s popularity in the current election?

Iowa Republicans love Donald Trump, it seems, slightly more than two seemingly far more plausible candidates combined (Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis). Who can explain to me why this incredibly old guy is more successful with voters than Haley and DeSantis?

In some poll data from Iowa, it looks as though oldsters are the ones who love Trump. Just as here in Florida, it is the young people who love DeSantis the most:

Trump had a few successes before coronapanic overwhelmed his younger self, but what exactly did he accomplish that so many Republicans want him back?

(I haven’t been following the debates, etc., too carefully. Has anything happened that should alter my opinion that, though DeSantis is more aligned with my smaller-government political philosophy Haley is more likely to win a general election? (Americans overall seem to want a planned economy.))

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Our democracy has been saved or further threatened by the Colorado Supreme Court?

The Colorado Supreme Court, all of whose members “were appointed by Democratic governors”, has voted for protect our democracy by restricting the group of candidates from which Coloradans can choose in the 2024 Presidential elections.

Although I’m sure that this was well-intentioned, could the result be to threaten our democracy instead? I continue to reject the poll numbers that suggest that Donald Trump is a stronger candidate than Nikki Haley (my favorite Republican for the past few years, though that is arguably like being a dwarf among midgets) or Ron DeSantis (a great governor who needs a softer and more optimistic tone if he’s going to go higher, in my opinion). If Trump is banished from politics by an impartial group of 7 Democrat appointees, mightn’t that actually help democracy-ending Republicans by eliminating a candidate who would lose a general election?

From Quality of Life in Denver (2019)…

What do people read in Denver? I visited the Tattered Cover, an old-school downtown bookstore, to find out. “For the sisters, misters, and binary resisters”:

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Joe Biden takes Idi Amin’s advice to President Nixon?

How’s the “show me the man and I’ll show you the crime” prosecution of Donald Trump going? I’ve been out in the Mountain West and can’t keep up with all of the legal attacks.

I’m reminded of my 2007 blog post, Idi Amin’s advice to Richard Nixon:

[Idi] Amin sent a letter to Richard Nixon during the Watergate crisis: “When the stability of a nation is in danger, the only solution is, unfortunately, to imprison the leaders of the opposition.”

Democrats knew that Donald Trump deserved to be in prison at least as far back as 2016. Has anything new emerged that is convincing to Republicans or is it still a question of a former president’s right to keep his/her/zir/their papers?

Speaking of insurrectionists, here’s a suspicious character who may have participated in the January 6 insurrection… a golden retriever in Kanab, Utah exercising his Second Amendment rights (carrying bullets in his collar):

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Now that E. Jean Carroll has won $5 million, what stops hundreds of other plaintiffs from mining out Donald Trump?

New York Democrats opened the hunting season on Donald Trump on November 24, 2022 (CNN describes how the law was changed to open a one-year window with no statute of limitations for sexual assault) and E. Jean Carroll has now won $5 million despite no precise memory of when the life-changing attack occurred and no evidence that she and her defendant were ever in a store at the same time (New York Post).

The judge allowed multiple other survivors to testify about what they suffered at the hands of Donald Trump. What stops additional plaintiffs from coming forward, calling the survivors that E. Jean Carroll called at her trial and also E. Jean Carroll herself, and winning $millions? How tough is it to say “I also was at Bergdorf Goodman at some point in the mid-1990s, plus or minus 5 years, and was attacked by Donald Trump”?

Reid Hoffman, the LinkedIn founder who funded Ms. Carroll’s lawsuit, could himself claim to have been raped, for example. From the NYT:

To make the testimony more credible to a jury of nine Democrats, a plaintiff could assemble some friends and/or family members to testify that the survivor told them about the rape 30 years ago (plus or minus 5 years).


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Billboards for Palm Beach from MoveOn

Here’s a Facebook ad that MoveOn paid to show me… “Will you chip in now to help put up billboards outside Mar-a-Lago … “. If I give them enough money, they’ll construct an Interstate highway-style billboard right outside Donald Trump’s bedroom:

The linked-to page asks for monthly donations of $400 or more (“Individual contributions will be allocated as follows: $5,000 per calendar year to a bank account that operates as a Federal PAC, and the remainder to the Non-Contribution Account of the PAC.”) and says, “Chip in monthly to help put up billboards outside Mar-a-Lago and widen the Trump-Fox News rift.”

This sounds like a great way to spend $5,000 per year, but it is a little confusing given that the national historic landmark Mar-a-Lago is in Palm Beach, Florida, which is not famous for having a lot of billboards or other commercial signs. Palm Beach County flatly prohibits billboards and other “off-site signs” in its unincorporated areas, though perhaps a town or city could permit them. (Some pre-1988 billboards were grandfathered in by the county.)

Here’s Google StreetView:

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New York Times coverage of Donald Trump indictment

The New York Times informs us that humanity faces an “existential crisis” and/or “existential threat” due to climate change (2014 example regarding a New York politician). We also face an “existential threat” from coronavirus (NYT Editorial Board, May 24, 2020). Finally, there is the imminent threat of nuclear war (NYT, Oct. 5, 2022).

With humans potentially going extinct from climate change or COVID-19 and/or being killed millions at a time via nuclear weapons, what is today’s most important news? “porn star” occurs twice in the follow screen shot and “hush money” once. From the front page text, in other words, we learn that a sex worker allegedly got paid for having sex and then not talking about it.

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