Before he became president, when he was still governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton and his wife were accused of being involved in a shady real estate deal. The story was that Bill pressured bankers to make unsound loans and lawyer Hillary was behind the slippery legal work that provided the whole thing with a veneer of probriety.
Dubbed ‘Whitewater’, the investigation took years and while neither Bill nor Hillary were ever charged with anything, most of the other people involved in the saga were convicted of crimes.
My how times have changed. Donald Trump’s recent intervention to protect his Washington DC hotel from competition is already old news. In case you missed it, the story goes like this: The FBI’s building is near a Trump hotel. The building is very run down and the FBI needs more space, so it was planning to move. Once it moved, the land could have been redeveloped as a hotel, which would compete with Trump’s.
Trump intervened in the process and now the FBI is pursuing a much more expensive solution. It involves partially staying put so the land cannot be redeveloped into a hotel that competes with Trump’s.
The Whitewater investigation went on for more than 3 years. Trump’s FBI influence was a story for about 3 days. There aren’t any Russians or porn stars involved (so far) to keep it in the news.
Which is good for Trump, because his supporters, who stick with him through almost anything, might actually be bothered by this kind of petty corruption. Even better for Trump is that his opponents are pretty inept at keeping his petty-theft swampiness in the news.
Trump’s opponents need someone who has a demonstrated ability to keep a story in the news and press Trump’s buttons, someone like Stormy Daniels’ lawyer. Maybe they should hire Michael Avenatti to sue Trump. At a minimum, the visibility might kill the FBI deal, costing the Trump Organization a bunch of money.
It probably isn’t how Donald Trump intended to ‘drain the swamp’ but it appears to be working anyway. Six of Trump’s swampy supporters have been convicted of crimes and several others have been charged.
As one of the jurors in Paul Manafort’s recent trial told Fox News, “(Manafort) wouldn’t have gotten caught if they weren’t after President Trump.” She is probably right.
Which is the sad part about the whole thing. Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were cheating, crooked businessmen operating in full view of Washington for years and never charged with a crime. Why did it take an association with Trump to finally get the authorities to pay attention to their misdeeds?
We owe Donald Trump a big ‘Thank You’ and huzzah for flushing out his swamp dwelling supporters. I think the huzzah goes something like this: “Lock them up. Lock them up. Lock them up”
Businessmen Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen. Very close to Donald Trump. And how did that work out? The law came after them for corruption and the law won.
Congressmen Duncan Hunter and Chris Collins. Very close to Donald Trump – some of his earliest supporters. And how did that work out? The law came after them for corruption and is likely to win.
Cabinet members Tom Price and Scott Pruitt. Very close to Donald Trump. And how did that work out? The press came after them for corruption and the press won.
Anyone see a pattern here? You can be sure that people close to Trump do. If you are corrupt, being close to Trump puts an unwelcome spotlight on you. Even if you aren’t, you may not like being associated with all of the shady behavior around you. It’s getting increasingly dangerous to be part of the Trump universe.
A few days ago Donald Trump took to Twitter to defend his son, Don Jr. regarding a meeting with a Russian operative before the 2016 election. In doing so he contradicted his earlier tweets about the same meeting.
Maybe this is special counsel Robert Mueller’s real strategy. Get real close to Trump without actually touching him and wait for him to flinch. Mueller’s got Trump’s campaign manager, his personal lawyer, maybe his son (and son-in-law) and Trump gets nervous and tweets out something that basically says, “What I said earlier was a lie. Here’s the real story.”
It must be really agonizing for Trump to watch Mueller’s activities slowly play out, kind of a Chinese water torture. Tweeting may make Trump feel good, but I’m guessing Mueller feels even better.
Some people wonder – how can anyone deny climate change? It is so obvious that the weather is getting warmer. Don’t the deniers ever go outside?
Here’s a map that might explain it, at least in the United States. It shows the deviation from the temperatures of 20-40 years ago. Red means that temperatures are hotter now than they were and blue means cooler (ignore the big circle on California).
People living in the middle of the country – the bluish ‘flyover states’ – aren’t really feeling the heat.
Now look at this map of the 2016 US presidential election results. Red states in the middle of the country went for Donald Trump.
The second map is a pretty close inverse of the first one. So when people say they don’t believe it is getting warmer, if they live in the middle of the country they are right. They aren’t getting warmer. And by the time they do get warmer, it will be too late to do anything about climate change.
Donald Trump has it all: he’s rich, he’s famous, he’s tall and somewhat handsome and he has told us that he’s well-endowed.
So how come he couldn’t find an American woman to marry? It’s not quite an Eastern European mail order bride thing with him, but if there were a billionaire version, it might be.
Oh wait, one American woman married him. And we know how that turned out. She cheated on him.