Monday, December 17, 2018

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Donald has been watching too many mobster movies.  You really have to wonder about his choice of language in going after Cohen -- the fixer turned flipper.  Trump isn't alone in conjuring up 1930s gangsterspeak, as the news media reports on the sinking Trump administration as they would a crumbling mafia dynasty.

You can recast the scene above with Trump as Cagney, Melania and Ivanka as the two women, and Michael Cohen as the "rat" hiding in the closet.  Mueller and the FBI come barging in before Trump gets the chance to pull the trigger.  This seems to be the way we view the White House these days.

It's not just the Russian ties or his shady financial deals, Trump is in over his bulging eyeballs with a wide variety of questionable activities and is having an especially hard time shaking himself clean.  He may be immune from New York City indicting him over tax fraud, but that doesn't mean the district attorney can't go after his children, who share in his real estate empire.  That however won't stop the Democrats from probing the mounting allegations being leveled against him, which may ultimately lead to impeachment hearings.

The latest target is his inauguration.  You might remember he raised more than any other incoming president for the event but had very little to show for it.  Partly because all the A-list stars he imagined anointing him in song chose not to come.  Most of the money appears to have been laundered through his properties, namely his newly restored Trump Hotel in Washington, which used to be the Old Post Office Building.  Visiting guests paid top dollar for the event, the lion's share appearing to go to Trump himself, or at least his family.

Russian and Saudi officials were among the many visiting dignitaries who got front row seats for his swearing in.  It was pretty clear who paid for Trump's presidency from beginning to end, and now they all want Trump to own up to his end of the bargain.  For Putin and his fellow Russian oligarchs, it is the repeal of the Magnitsky Act, which froze assets and imposed sanctions on individuals who violated human rights.  The act was named after Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a Russian prison.  The Act would also allow the US Congress to freeze assets and impose sanctions on Saudi officials tied to the Khashoggi murder.  So, it's something Saudi Arabia would like to see repealed as well, given the Crowned Prince, aka the Notorious MBS, has been tied to the murder.

Vlad and MBS are counting on Donald to use the full extent of his presidential powers to block the actions of Congress, especially now that things are heating up with the Democrats coming to town in January.  Vlad is also upset that this Maria Butina thing might blow up in his face, as she too is flipping in return for a lesser sentence.

Russia and Saudi Arabia have been influence peddlers in Washington for years, as they try to get US lawmakers to look the other way when it comes to their dirty deeds.  It's not just Trump but a whole host of other politicians that have accepted money from Russian oligarchs and Saudi royals.  This is why Republicans have gone out of their way to block probes, as many within their own party would be implicated, even a few Democrats too.

The House of Saud has been in this business the longest, with ties that stretch back decades, but in particular cozied up to both Bush administrations, claiming they could bring peace to the Middle East.  They got away with it until all hell broke loose in Yemen.  Saudi Arabia tried to pass the blame onto Iran, a convenient fall guy, but when their planes took out a Yemeni school bus earlier this year, it was no longer so easy to look the other way.  Everyone is now questioning our relationship to Saudi Arabia, even the feral Lindsey Graham, who Trump thought he had on a leash.

Lindsey has always been a rabid Russophobe, even if he is one of the politicians tied to a gang of Russian oligarchs who have been peddling influence in Washington.  He's particularly miffed over how we botched Syria and let Russia win in the country, a dispute that stretches back to the Obama administration.  Lindsey expected Trump to be tougher on Russia, but has seen the Kremlin use the White House as a doormat, with hardly a peep from Trump in regard to the nefarious acts taking place in the war-ravaged country.

Yemen is every bit as bad as Syria if not worse, but for years politicians looked the other way because Saudi Arabia was regarded as a loyal ally and the only Arab country strong enough to resist Iranian imperial ambitions.  But, our relationship with Saudi Arabia blew up on numerous fronts, most recently the heinous murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, one of Time's persons of the year, which looked like something out of Narcos.

Turkey has long been upset by how they are being left out of the picture and used the death to put themselves back into the center of Middle Eastern politics.  After all, Turkey has a sizable stake in Syria and Iraq and wants the US to recognize its efforts.   They are the ones who exposed the Khashoggi murder for the whole world to see, giving Saudi Arabia a black eye.

Trump is just not adept at handling so many egos bigger than his own.  Putin, MBS, Erdogan are all pressing him, and needless to say the man of very low IQ is sagging under the weight of all this pressure.  You can see his shoulders slump and his head dip below six feet, so that Melania now stands taller than him in high heels.  Awful for a man who once boasted of being 6 feet 3 inches tall.

Confidence in him has eroded to the point even his most faithful media followers are turning on him.  Never fear, he still has the backing of Rick Santorum and Susan Collins, who shamed themselves recently on CNN, offering up tepid defenses for Trump's payouts to starlets.  How low has the Great Lady of Maine sunk to be doing the bidding of the Trump White House?  We already knew that Rick Santorum was a sellout.  This is one of the few cases, where Trump actually traded up from hacks like Ann Coulter and Tucker Carlson to Collins and Santorum.  Just the same, the two were slammed for their hypocrisy.

Trump must be really wishing he never was President.  This has all become way too hard!  He can take some solace from a Texas federal judge declaring Obamacare unconstitutional, but it is doubtful this decision will hold up.  In the meantime, he has to try to figure out how to keep Robert Mueller at bay and what to do with that rat in the closet, as the whole world appears to be closing in on him.

1 comment:

  1. Dirty Donald sure is a laughable POS.

    Yeah, I well remember as a kid growing up in Brooklyn when we used the expression "dirty rat" to describe our enemies. But dirty Donny hasn't evolved from using that type of terminology. The guy is laughable.