Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before

You might think Donald Trump would have had plenty of time to absorb the lessons of Watergate, but the president seems determined to follow a Nixonian path. It’s not exactly an obscure connection (and I’ve noted the similarities before), but the fact that my social media feeds are blowing up with the below New York Times front page indicates the more politically aware among us are seeing shades of Tricky Dick in Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Comey is no innocent. His eleventh hour chicanery may have tilted the election just enough to give Trump the keys to the White House. But he can at least be useful as a martyr in Trumpworld’s increasingly frenzied attempts to stop the mounting investigation into unsavory business connections, ties to Russia and inexplicable bulk spray tan purchases.

(Year Zero/Day One Hundred and Ten)

Daily Melange

I can’t stop thinking about Sean Spicer.

America’s newest patron saint of live-televised fuck-ups elevated his game to historic levels this week.

After incorrectly saying that Hitler did not use chemical weapons in WWII, President Trump’s thumb-headed mouth piece referred to a concentration camp as a “Holocaust center.”

I’ve wondered about the actual intelligence level of Spicer for some time now.

I get it.

Not everyone in the Trump Administration is stupid, but surely that doesn’t disqualify Spicer from being a few fries short of a happy meal.

This is a guy who’s used the height of two separate stacks of paper as a core talking point.

Remember his first interaction with the press?

It’s gotten to the point where one can easily argue that Spicer at the very least is grossly incompetent.

And I don’t want to hear about him being a diversion. Likening concentration camps to giant Nazi Targets with “Holocaust Center” in block letters emblazoned on the front of the building is so laughably absurd that I literally had to make sure I was not tripping acid before accepting what he said as reality.

Personally, I think Trump has kept Spicer around to appease GOP brass and not look weak by firing his administration’s senior media White House official.

There’s also the possibility that Spicey’s clung to the gig so long because his gaffes are distractive explosions across all platforms of media.

Remember when Neil Gorsuch was sworn in to the Supreme Court?

Will this outrage override the revelations regarding Paul Manafort?

Regardless, I think if you have to call Sheldon Adelson and try to apologize to the entire Jewish people, you are probably going to be fired.

My guess is Trump gives him the axe within the next week.

Heads are already rolling and you might as well cut ties and distance yourself from a guy who you already are concerned looks too much like Melissa McCarthy anyway.

I will miss those sketches though.

Then again, the spice must flow.

 

Can You Imagine A President With Ties To Organized Crime?

Well, yes. JFK. And the Bush family had some extremely shady connections, and — without making this a litany, it’s likely few get into the White House without unsavory associations.

Given this, it’s no shock Donald Trump has connections to the Russian mafia, or as he lovingly refereed to them in 2013, “the oligarchs”.

The president and his companies have been linked to at least 10 wealthy former Soviet businessmen with alleged ties to criminal organizations or money laundering.

Among them:

• A member of the firm that developed the Trump SoHo Hotel in New York is a twice-convicted felon who spent a year in prison for stabbing a man and later scouted for Trump investments in Russia.

•  An investor in the SoHo project was accused by Belgian authorities in 2011 in a $55 million money-laundering scheme.

• Three owners of Trump condos in Florida and Manhattan were accused in federal indictments of belonging to a Russian-American organized crime group and working for a major international crime boss based in Russia.

•  A former mayor from Kazakhstan was accused in a federal lawsuit filed in Los Angeles in 2014 of hiding millions of dollars looted from his city, some of which was spent on three Trump SoHo units.

•  A Ukrainian owner of two Trump condos in Florida was indicted in a money-laundering scheme involving a former prime minister of Ukraine.

We all probably know a few people who have broken the law (whether we know they’ve done this is a different story), but they’re by and large small fish. It’s appalling that Trump is hording so many of the world’s big fish. What about us plebes, Donald? How are we supposed to make connections with shady yet influential and unimaginably wealthy businessmen if you’re taking up so much of their time?

Frankly, I’m jealous. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to make good money. Where’s an alleged crimelord when you need one?

(Year Zero/Day Seventy-One)

SAD, But True

I hope you’re sitting down, because I’m about to deliver bad news with the gravity of an oncologist.

You’re not the president. I’m not the president. Not one of us in this whole wide world is president of the United States of America right now save Donald Trump.

“I guess, I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m president, and you’re not. You know.”

Donald Trump can spew forth all sorts of falsehoods because he’s president. He can ramble incoherently – and boy howdy does he, just read the full interview with Time’s Michael Scherer  – and the media will report it because he’s president. He can direct his lawyers to repeatedly harass a teen girl who made a website where you can make kittens can sock his face because… well, you get the idea.

The relationships between position and dignity, truth and power have always been fraught. But in our times, the two have rarely seemed so far apart.

(Year Zero/Day Sixty-Three)