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Pay For Play? Consider Donald Trump’s Crony Cabinet

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Pay For Play? Consider Donald Trump’s Crony Cabinet

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Crony: Linda McMahon's family gave $5 million to Trump's foundation

Only Donald Trump would continue sponsoring campaign-style rallies, a full month after Election Day. And only Trump’s most fervent followers, the zealots who still show up to hear him gloat at those “thank you” events, would continue to chant “Drain the swamp!” at his command — when he is so obviously emptying that swamp into the White House swimming pool.

The bad joke of 2016 is that Trump routinely perpetrates every one of the offenses charged against Hillary Clinton, whether invented or plausible, yet escapes all the blaming and shaming that fell so heavily upon her. The starkest example is the contrast between the Clinton Foundation, an enormous force for good that was falsely accused of wrongdoing in countless stories, columns, and broadcasts, and the Trump Foundation, a vainglorious vehicle for tax evasion that has confessed to unlawful self-dealing and remains barred from doing business by authorities in its home state.

But it is the Clintons’ reputation that suffered damage, even as Trump and his family remain unscathed.

During the campaign, Trump shrieked “pay for play!” to defame the Clintons over and over again, without proof. But now he is doling out top positions in government to the patrons of his campaign, his businesses, and even his foundation. To Trump, a post in his cabinet is not a commitment of trust granted on behalf of the people, but a plum to bestow on any crony who once did him a favor.

The most wanton example is designated Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin, a political and financial opportunist who predicted months ago that if he raised enough campaign money, then Trump would reward him with precisely this powerful post. Imagine the outrage if Clinton had appointed someone like Mnuchin — a former top executive of Goldman Sachs who ruthlessly exploited government bailouts and crushed poor homeowners in the wake of the financial crisis — after he had raised millions of dollars for her campaign and predicted his payoff.

The hair on every pundit and anchor across America would simultaneously burst into flame.

But when those same media sages watch Trump appoint Mnuchin, they shrug and comment wryly on his Goldman pedigree. Trump senior adviser Steve Bannon is from Goldman as well, of course — and on December 9, Trump chose Gary Cohn, the Wall Street mammoth’s chief operating officer, to head the National Economic Council.

As someone observed, it’s as if Trump will be giving a speech to Goldman Sachs every time he addresses a White House meeting.

Another billionaire financial operator elevated by Trump is Wilbur Ross, a “vulture” capitalist who got to know the real estate mogul when Trump was going bust, bigly, in Atlantic City. It was Ross who gave him the most important boost of his business career. Rather than force him into a personal bankruptcy that would have destroyed his career (and saved us from his impending presidency), Ross persuaded the banks that owned Trump to let him survive.

That was a bad decision for many of Trump’s creditors, who saw their companies ruined, but years later turned out to be a good decision for Ross — who will soon wield influence over major policy decisions affecting trade and industry as Commerce secretary. Of course, Ross too made large donations to Trump’s campaign.

Then there’s Linda McMahon, the former wrestling executive and failed Republican Senatorial candidate from Connecticut just appointed by Trump to run the Small Business Administration. Promoting a fake sport may not qualify her to operate an important agency. And her family company has many embarrassing moments in its past, including the unlamented XFL. McMahon has no experience in government at all, but she does possess even more important credentials: She and husband Vince donated $5 million to the Trump Foundation between 2009 and 2014, and $6 million to a Trump SuperPAC this year.

Pay for play? Hillary Clinton never did anything nearly so brazen, as Senator, secretary of state, or candidate. But for the man who can get away with everything, his crony cabinet is only the beginning.

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Joe Conason

A highly experienced journalist, author and editor, Joe Conason is the editor-in-chief of The National Memo, founded in July 2011. He was formerly the executive editor of the New York Observer, where he wrote a popular political column for many years. His columns are distributed by Creators Syndicate and his reporting and writing have appeared in many publications around the world, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Nation, and Harpers.

Since November 2006, he has served as editor of The Investigative Fund, a nonprofit journalism center, where he has assigned and edited dozens of award-winning articles and broadcasts. He is also the author of two New York Times bestselling books, The Hunting of the President (St. Martins Press, 2000) and Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth (St. Martins Press, 2003).

Currently he is working on a new book about former President Bill Clinton's life and work since leaving the White House in 2001. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, including MSNBC's Morning Joe, and lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

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59 Comments

  1. Dominick Vila December 11, 2016

    The fact that Trump is held to a different standard than all his opponents – Republicans and Democrat – were subjected to is no longer a subject of debate. It is an indisputable fact and his followers are more than happy – and proud to remind us of it. Whether it is the Trump Foundation, conflict of interest, or some of the most controversial Cabinet choices – and soon an even more controversial nomination to fill Scalia’s vacant seat in the SCOTUS (Giuliani) – Trump cannot be subjected to scrutiny, traditions, or even laws. He is on this planet to save humanity from itself. He is here to redefine morality, responsibility, decorum, and what is best for us mere mortals. Period. Full stop. We either accept it, or we will be crushed, the way he is crushing a lame media that has been relegated to nothing more than conveyors of Twits, already available to whomever wishes to learn what the Savior’s latest utterances are.
    The next four years are going to be the greatest lesson learned in U.S. history. Let’s hope Ivanka does not provide us with a sequel, or this is going to be a very long ride.

    Reply
    1. Bonissima 91910 December 11, 2016

      Quoting “”””Full stop. We either accept it, or we will be crushed, the way he is crushing a lame media that has been relegated to nothing more than conveyors of Twits, already available to whomever wishes to learn what the Savior’s latest utterances are. The next four years are going to be the greatest lesson learned in U.S. history. Let’s hope Ivanka does not provide us with a sequel, or this is going to be a very long ride.””””
      Not a very hopefull view from over here, eh? And a lesson indeed.

      1. Gail Ferraiolo December 11, 2016

        As a Christian I believe that Mr. Trump will do a far better job than killery any day! But let’s not forget God is on the throne and God put him there for a reason maybe to tell us that we shouldn’t put our trust in man but God! So it doesn’t really matter who is in the White House when God says it’s over and the government collapses called the deadly wound let’s see who will wait for the true Christ rather than the fake or antichrist which means instead of! I tell you not to shame you but to warn you! The antichrist will come in peace we will bring him down with truth!
        Satan and his angels will be kicked out of heaven to raise havoc on the earth! We don’t know the day nor the hour but we do know the season…
        May-Sept.
        Rev. Ch12:7-9 KJV
        Rev. Ch.12:12 KJV
        Have you not read!
        God is still on the throne!

        1. Gerry Francis December 11, 2016

          A Christian? And you voted for a man that belittles the handicapped, hurls insults at people that he doesn’t care for and talks about grabbing women like they were stuffed animals? You got some pair calling yourself a Christian.

          1. Lynda Groom December 11, 2016

            There are many types of Christians these days. Some who follow the teaching of the master….and those who just follow authority.

          2. dpaano December 12, 2016

            ….or those who follow idiots!

          3. idamag December 11, 2016

            It is impossible to be a Christian and support trump.

            “Politics

            There came a knock at God’s door,
            And the Son entered in.
            ‘Well, Son, what can I do for you?’
            “I fear people down on earth
            don’t love me as before.’
            His Father looked at him and asked,
            ‘What would you like to do?’
            ‘I want to go to earth
            and see who loves me true.’
            ‘Take the Book of Life to update.
            See who tries to have two masters.
            See who loves and see who hates.’
            When he came to say, ‘goodbye,’
            His Father’s eyes did blink.
            ‘Dressed thus, you, a hippie they will think.
            ‘They that love me, they will know me.
            They will choose me over party.’
            With that, he took his leave.
            When the son returned, the Father
            knew by His look,
            Many names chose the party
            and had been stricken from the book.”

        2. Sand_Cat December 11, 2016

          There are a lot of “Christians” like you about these days. You’d all be fighting over who drove the first spike in his second crucifixion if the poor man showed up now and preached the way he is reputed to have taught in his day. Wherever he is, he must be spinning more than Frank Luntz.
          But then, maybe you have a point: maybe Trump won because your god is stuck in the toilet (“on the throne”) with a bad case of diarrhea, nausea and vomiting brought on by contemplation of “Christians” like you, and the vicious and grossly dishonest campaign you rewarded with your votes.

        3. Independent1 December 11, 2016

          You call yourself a Christian and have the audacity to quote scripture when you claim the man who is closest to Satan’s image on earth will do a better job than Hillary?? What a pure joke you are!!!

        4. Bill Thompson December 12, 2016

          There is a certain psychopathy in your version of Christianity. In your version of Christianity, God is the all knowing, all seeing, all involved and the final actor. It implies that man does not have free will over his own destiny, it is all predetermined. It further demands that every action whether it be natural or man-made be the will of God. It demands that the most violent acts of nature are at the hand of God. For example a tsunami coming ashore and the most faithful servant of God holds their child as the child is ripped away battered, drowned and never found again. Not even the most mentally deranged criminals of our society could think of such the fate. Never mind act as a willing accomplice. You are a very very sick individual. You can pray to God until the cows come home, You can recite all the scripture you want. If there is a place in eternity for any of us you will not be there.

        5. dpaano December 12, 2016

          What’s being a Christian have to do with anything….seriously? Trump IS the antichrist, and if you can’t see that, then you are NOT a true Christian! God is on the throne all right….I’m sure you mean Trump because that’s what he seems to think he is!

          1. Gail Ferraiolo January 26, 2017

            No dear read your bible Satan is the antichrist Rev. ch.12:7-9 KJV Rev. 12:12 KJV the war is between good and evil Christ defeated Satan when he went to the cross! Now it’s Christ turn to defeat him once again and have the angel to lock him up in the bottomless pit. There will be a beast the first one is the government it will fail when it’s time for God to end things when the last baby is born in the flesh or maybe in the womb. It’s called the deadly wound and Satan will come to heal the deadly wound. Satan comes in peace in the book of Daniel Christ returns in anger knowing his children have been had worshipping the false Christ Satan is supernatural was made perfect in beauty and in wisdom in Ezekiel ch. 28 KJV Satan was created beautiful and has power to snap his fingers and lightening will come from the sky in the sight of man! Hope this helps you!

        6. TZToronto December 14, 2016

          He may be on the throne, but he’s clearly not paying much attention.

    2. sigrid28 December 14, 2016

      We are quick learners on this site–but not quick enough, apparently. When will Republicans like Ryan and McConnell realize that their domestic agendas mean nothing to Trump, who is all about crony capitalism and nepotistic goals, sweeping away the limits on his wealth and on the power grab he can get for his children, loading them up with as much money and power as possible, just like a plutocrat in a banana republic?

      1. Dominick Vila December 15, 2016

        It didn’t take Ryan and McConnell to learn their lessons. Ryan looks pitiful whenever he is near Trump, whose disdain for the Speaker is readily apparent.

        1. dpaano December 15, 2016

          And even McConnell is now questioning the Russian involvement in our election and asking for the investigation…..before, he didn’t want this, but he’s suddenly changed his mind!!! Interesting!

      2. dpaano March 13, 2017

        Let’s face it, both Ryan AND McConnell are idiots and will do ANYTHING they can to take down this government and Obamacare! This is NOT going to set well with the people of this nation, especially those who will lose much with Ryan’s Ryancare plan!

  2. greenlantern1 December 11, 2016

    Ever hear of the Hoover Institute?
    Herbert Hoover oversaw the Food For Belgium program.
    A relative of his, Margaret Hoover, directed the Hoover Institute.
    She also sat on a Belgian “education” panel.
    KICKBACK??

    Reply
  3. Bonissima 91910 December 11, 2016

    1.- Calling a spade a spade. Trump has a penis, and she does not. America is not ready to see a woman take the highest job of the country as America perceives significantly that a woman in power is the emasculation of the male. How pitifully insecure is the American male ego, and how totally ignorant, when their perspective is from the “job” their penis does rather than the intellect in their brain. I realize that NOT all American males are this imbecilic and egotistically insecure, but these elections surely demonstrated the magnitude. 2.- Many other countries that with American arrogance we consider inferior to ours have already surpassed us in evolution and social progress. 3.- Furthermore, with the enormous mental and emotional incapacities that Trump has, and since because of this he lives in a different reality, he is laughing at the nation with glee and mischief (4/5 y/o child), since this is the level of evolution he manifested time and time again, and Americans were too quick to overlook. 4.- Unfortunately, if the Electoral College acts without integrity and love of nation, and only execute on love of party, every American in the country and every citizen in the world will have to pay the consequences of this travesty of American elections for years to come.

    Reply
  4. ivory69690@yahoo.com December 11, 2016

    this is only the beginning DONNY DUMP (if you was to get to all his phone calls and if any emails or anything like that ) one im sure will see all type’s of dealings the DUMPSTER has with these clowns he puts in their jobs . the Exxon oil clown the DUMPSTER just gave him free airfare to fly around the world to make OIL deals (and those phone calls and email ) would show just how much kick backs the POS DONNY DUMP is getting the followers of his easy to be fooled for thy all are starting out brain dead anyways . there has to be a way the government can (and should be able too for the sake of the country ) check any and all dealings (even as far as the DUMPSTERS brain dead and washed clear and clean kids ) every thing DONNY DUMP dose should be known by the government . his job is to be President and not have other jobs beside that . all ready you have women saying and thinking why should I say I was sexual assaulted no one will believe me and it wont matter . (heck even when the DUMPSTER POS said and was caught on tape telling just how he did it . and the 12 women that came forward feel thy are lies thy said . what dose this do for all the other women in the country that get raped thy are afraid to say anything no one will believe them . the POS even pulled some of his B/S on under age teens walking in their dressing room as thy changes being naked . a child molester . and he admitted it on the tape he was caught on . never mind the bankrupts and all his con’s fraud’s and scamming all the people . and on top of that he is a racist . heck maybe people should get together and enlighten the other country of the world about this POS . and thy shouldn’t believe anything he says and shouldn’t deal with him . yes it might hurt the USA some . but not worse then DONNY DUMP will and already has . impeach the POS when the world dosent deal with the USA then the people can throw the trash out put the DUMPSTER POS where he belongs in the dumpster filled with B/S trash . better get him out the hole the DIRTY BUSH bury the country will be like a flower hole DONNY DUMP will bury the country deeper then the pipe line hole

    Reply
  5. Zengo December 11, 2016

    Can’t wait to hear the spin from the usual suspects

    Reply
    1. Thoughtopsy December 11, 2016

      They’re ignorant cowards… so they likely won’t post in here.
      Too many inconvenient facts.

  6. johninPCFL December 11, 2016

    Then there’s Pam Bondi (Florida AG), bought off for a measly $25k (I bet she wishes she’d held out for more!) and Greg Abbott in Texas, Mitch McConnell (tabled the CIA report in September showing that Russia was hacking for Trump) – his wife will be in his Cabinet. Should we just abandon the pretenses now and just start calling her Minister?
    Pruitt should have all those nasty fines for spilling oil and coal ash into rivers reduced to zero almost immediately, and pretty soon most of Appalachia will look like East Germany in 1970. Tillerson’s good buddy Putin secures the lines of control from Moscow into the WH.
    Sounds like the cast of the puppet show is firming up!

    Reply
    1. Independent1 December 11, 2016

      We can only hope the puppet show never gets to the stage.

  7. Eleanore Whitaker December 11, 2016

    Yeesh. Here I thought NJ (my state) had the record on pay to play that go so bad back in the 60s and 70s that the state had to pass law to prevent things like piggy backing government jobs for political cronies, handing out tons of tax cuts and subsidies to crony businesses ONLY and politicians so crooked that they literally broke laws without a care in the world that they’d get caught. Then, one of them did. Good Old Mayor Zirpolo. It was amazing. Everyone knew that his township was making back room deals with everyone from the mob owners of the garbage industy to literally taking bribes behind the scenes. Until he got caught having to explain how the link between on piece of legislation not only fattened his own wallet but managed to get him a nice mansion and all the trappings of wealth. You wonder why a Jersey gal like me can smell a crook from 10,000 paces?

    In Trump World, the ONLY people HE considers successful are billionaires. Money equals success. Not skill, talent or achievements. MONEY.

    Trump has more judges in his back pocket thanks to his sister, Judge Mary Ann Trump, who but to whisper a few sweet nothings into the ears of any judge Trump goes before and off he goes, innocent as a lamb.

    Now, he and his idiot Trump supporters want you to believe crony Pay to Play is for YOUR good. They want you to believe that Russian hackers hacking into our elections is not a big deal. YES it is a big deal. And now, even his Republicans are scared silly that the Russians will do the same to them with one word from Trump.

    Anyone who doesn’t obey Fuehrer Trump? He’ll get his Russian boys to hack into their emails. How sweet is the justice of revenge when it is meted out to men like Gowdy, Issa, Chaffetz and Cotton, who spent 2 years demanding Hillary’s emails. Now? Trump has but to get all the “goods” on any Republican he wants and he’ll do his CEO thing…point and delegate and they’ll get their “pink” slips.

    Reply
    1. idamag December 11, 2016

      Since the right wing takeover, the rules have changed. Even the moral fiber is different.

      1. Eleanore Whitaker December 12, 2016

        I watched the entire CSpan forum on abolishing the Electoral College. The forum was chaired by the House Judiciary Committee’s Ranking member, John Conyers (D-MI). What was interesting about the panel chosen was the panel members, 1 Yale Constitutional Law professors and 2 Nobel Prize winners, 2 Dems and 2 Republicans. Unlike Issa, Gowdy and Chaffetz’s investigations into Benghazi and EmailGate, the group was not intended to reflect “Party” in the way the Republicans are always wont to do.

        What was most interesting about the forum for those who missed it was that the idea of abolishing the Electoral College goes back to the 1750s. So, this is NOT the first time it has ever been considered.

        One scary fact that was reported by Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) was that the Electoral College upset had the effect of repealing parts of the laws that related to the freeing of the slaves. The other issue is that there now are several Pacific Coast states who want out of the US union if the Elections are rigged solely so that the Republicans can manipulate the Electoral College to effect a win.

        As Akhil Reed Amar, the Yale Constitutional Law professor stated, at present the Electoral College does NOT require any House or Senate approval to abolish it. It has always been in the hands of voters to establish clean and factual elections. He provided the Constitutional citations to support this as a Constitutional Law professor is expected to do.

        As to pay to play, this does tie in to the rigging of elections. The link is so obvious that most American voters barely notice it. It is only in this last screwed up election that Americans realize just how Citizens United bastardized our election process by allowing big money to overrule the one person, one vote rule peppered throughout the U.S. Constitution.

        You have right wingers who now love the idea of saying that the Russian hacking is “no bid deal.” Until you read your Constitution and realize that NO outside “influence” is allowed in elections.

        But the part of all of this I love most? Trump now has the right wing and Republicans right where he wants them…in the palm of his hand. All he has to do is the very thing they did to Hillary, hack into any Republican’s emails and computers to make them obey. Kind of nice for the GOP, don’t you think?

        Trump is the ultimate control freak. If they think he won’t use his typical CEO style hostage taking, they are dumber than donuts.

        1. idamag December 12, 2016

          This fiasco might lead to the break up of The United States of America.

          1. dpaano December 12, 2016

            Might???

          2. idamag December 13, 2016

            Looks very possible. The states will be broken up according to political party. I will be living in a foreign country. Then the Red States will start war on the Blue States to take them over.

          3. dpaano December 13, 2016

            And, you can bet that California, Oregon, and Washington will quickly break away from the U.S. and go their own way, much to the detriment of the southern states….the ones our tax monies go to support! And, when these different states all end up going bankrupt, who will they go crying to?

        2. sigrid28 December 14, 2016

          I’m onboard with all of what you say and how you say it. I would only add another sickening dimension: I cannot verify but have heard/read more than once in reliable sources that Russia hacked the RNC and Republicans as well as Democrats, but did not use that material. It is, supposedly, available to Putin and his guys to use to blackmail Trump and his cronies in case they do not do as they are told.

          1. dpaano December 15, 2016

            Today’s newspaper said that the government security agencies have CONCLUSIVELY found evidence that Putin instigated all the hacking and sold the info to places like WikiLeaks because he had a vendetta against Hillary. This should be interesting….I wonder if this is going to do anything with the vote in the Electoral College. They are already asking for a security briefing on this subject before they vote……if this is totally proven, they could be accused of treason for voting Trump in as our president!!

      2. dpaano December 12, 2016

        What moral fiber? I don’t think there is any moral fiber any longer!

        1. idamag December 13, 2016

          Republican moral fiber = oxymoron.

      3. Daniel Jones December 17, 2016

        The moral fiber is the rope the voters got sold to hang themselves with.

    2. sigrid28 December 14, 2016

      I listened to one idiot Trump supporter from Wisconsin during Bernie’s townhall on MSNBC. He said that no one should have worried about Trump rounding up Muslims and registering them–even though he promised to do so–because everyone ought to know that Congress would never let Trump do that. So Chris Hayes says, “You mean you voted for Trump even though you knew he was lying?”

  8. hermadite December 11, 2016

    TRUMP’S WEEKLY LUNCHEONS AT
    THE ALGONQUIN
    by THE MONTHLY BEAST

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Newly appointed Press Secretary Monica Lewinsky has announced that President-For-Life Trump will hold weekly luncheons at the Algonquin Hotel, similar to those in the 1920’s with Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, George S. Kaufman and other luminary wits.

    The cost for an outsider is $100,000 and Jay Leno has been the first to make a reservation. For additional humor, George Carlin’s statue from Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum will be seated and wired for excerpts from his record albums.

    Due to a lockdown on
    press media, only rumors can be released. For example, when Mitt Romney visited President-For-Life
    Trump they allegedly discussed creating a NATIONAL DOG WARDEN, with Romney as
    Director and his new nickname, “Mutt.”

    Trump-For-Life
    Television is scheduled to program an hour special on Trump Tower, sponsored by
    Victoria’s Secret and Viagra, with Caitlyn Jenner and Anthony Weiner hosting.

    Reports of the
    Mexican Wall falling down are sheer speculation. It is only tilting, due to
    shoddy labor and cheap materials. Reconstruction is under way with sponsors,
    including A.T.&T., VERIZON, SONY, APPLE, VERSACE and DUTCH TRADING.

    Three additional
    stories are being planned for THE WHITE HOUSE, to accommodate overnight guests
    willing to pay $10,000 for this experience . Building funds will be supplied by
    THE SALVATION ARMY, generated from their enormous CAMP DAVID store.

    The SUGGESTION BOX on the White House fence has been
    discontinued. If you have any ideas on how to run the Government, please keep
    them to yourself. And try to have a nice day.

    Reply
    1. plc97477 December 13, 2016

      So you think there is a possibility that the media is going to remember what they are supposed to be doing. I certainly hope so. Not going to bet the farm on it though.

  9. dpaano December 12, 2016

    This article only goes to show the hypocrisy of the Trump administration. Apparently, what’s good for the Republican gander is NOT good for the Democrat goose! What totally amazes me is that his followers STILL don’t want to admit that their God lied to them. For some reason, they seem to think that everything that he does is going to be for their own good despite the comments to the contrary! Where are their brains? Have they been eaten by Faux News monsters? When are they going to WAKE UP and see the light! Apparently, by that time, it’ll be too late!

    Reply
    1. plc97477 December 13, 2016

      I have heard for many years about a zombie apocalypse. It is apparently here and faux noise is the zombie.

      1. dpaano December 13, 2016

        I don’t understand HOW Trump can nominate so many unqualified individuals to government departments with the only qualifying point being how much money they paid into his campaign! It seems there should be some legal thing that can be done to stop him! It’s “pay-to-play” on steroids…..much like he and his ilk kept blaming Hillary of doing. What he’s doing is worse than anything she was blamed for!!

  10. Darsan54 December 12, 2016

    Apparently the difference between Clinton and Trump is that Hillary only looked like she was corrupt, while Donnie is ACTUALLY corrupt. So you have to be a real criminal to get elected.

    Reply
    1. dpaano December 13, 2016

      Clinton was only as corrupt as Trump and his GOP cronies, with their conspiracy theories and out and out lies, could make her! The Democratic party failed miserably in pointing out the many lies that Trump spouted during his campaign…..however, even when they did point the lies out, his followers only believed him anyway….it’s called “Stockholm Syndrome.” I even think that they were hypnotized by FAUX News….if you watch it long enough, you become immune to the truth and only believe what they tell you to believe!

      1. Daniel Jones December 17, 2016

        Oh, yes, Faux Noise and Breitbart, the Pravda of the Trump Administration.

  11. David December 13, 2016

    Suck it up, pussies!

    Reply
    1. Daniel Jones December 17, 2016

      It sucks, all right.

      David, as I doubt you respect history without a salacious story, please look up the _Meduse_. I’ll summarize the sordid mess, if you lack the time or inclination:

      After the Bourbon Reformation in the wake of Napoleon’s overthrow, the French monarchy shuffled appointments about with intent of rewarding Royalist loyalty and contributions at the expense of actual experience. This led to incompetent, corrupt, or flat out easily influenced people in positions of command, like Hughes Duroy de Chaumareys becoming captain of frigate trade, including the warship _Meduse_ (Medusa) even though he had hardly sailed in 20 years.

      On a trip to Saint Louis, the governor of Senegal wished to reach port as directly as possible, and de Chaumareys didn’t help matters in entrusting navigation to a philanthropic crony who had no actual naval experience.

      Running aground on a sandbar 50 miles off the coast of Mauritania, the captain refused to jettison any of the 14 three ton cannons, much less the gold in the cargo hold, so the ship settled into the sandbar.

      Various ideas to lighten the ship were floated, including a raft to hold the cargo. When the ship showed ominous signs of potentially breaking up, widespread panic led the captain to evacuate the ship immediately rather than use the lifeboats for two trips to Mauritania, thus 146 people were stuck on the woeful raft.

      When its utter unworthiness became clear, the high-ranking people on the rafts (de Chaumareys and the Governor of Senegal among them) cut the tow ropes, leaving the people on the raft to their fate.

      The raft had wildly small and inadequate supplies, and a goodly potion of it was wine instead of water. Rioting broke out between officers and passengers on one side and soldiers and sailors on the other. casualties from drunken violence, losses to storms, and ensuing starvation set in quickly, some of the survivors resorting to cannabilism. Toward the end, the 15 healthiest showed the weak and wounded overboard to drown. Even after rescue, five of those died during the trip to Saint-Louis. Meanwhile, the rafts had made it to Mauritania and most of those aboard made it back to Senegal.

      Why do I tell you this?

      The ship of state is the _Meduse_, and I assure all the Trump supporters and those seeking to ride this out; you’re on the raft.

      1. David December 18, 2016

        Daniel Jones —
        Well done with the story of the Meduse! Frankly, it has been many years ago that I read about that ill-fated cruise. I had forgotten it until you brought it back to mind. I admire your knowledge.
        I find it interesting that the name of the ship was the “Meduse” — French for “Medusa”. Perhaps the Gorgon it was named for was also called “Hillary”?
        Had she won the election, would our country be reliving the Donner-Reed event of 1846?

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    Reply
  13. TZToronto December 14, 2016

    The used-to-be-credible TV news outlets have abdicated their responsibility to investigate and report. There is no question that Trump is appointing incompetents to important positions in his administration, and those not totally incompetent are without scruples. No one with a shred of credibility is pointing out the obvious pay-to-play nature of these appointments, and the appointments are being treated as traditional cabinet appointments based on qualifications, not choices that feed personal agendas and who will immediately violate whatever oaths they take when they begin their disastrous reigns.

    Reply
    1. dpaano December 14, 2016

      How bad does it have to get before his followers realize that he lied to them? I find it HARD to believe that they can’t see the hypocrisy that is showing so blatantly, especially in his cabinet nominations!!

      1. TZToronto December 14, 2016

        Totally agree. And whatever happened to that beautiful, tremendous wall? Shouldn’t Trump be working on lining up the contractors to build it ASAP? Maybe he is, but the potential contractors don’t want to sign on for fear that they’ll never get paid. Or maybe Trump can’t find enough U.S.-sourced steel to build it. Or maybe the wall is like prosecuting Hillary. Trump’s worshippers tend to have short memories and will forgive any broken promises. There are always Obama and Hillary to blame for Trump’s failures.

        1. dpaano December 15, 2016

          The main problem with the wall is that I doubt Congress will approve the billions of dollars that it’ll cost. Additionally, there are places on the border where you could NOT put a wall (like, for instance, down the center of the Rio Grande River), and there are mountain areas where it would be impossible to build a wall, etc. There are also some ranchers that do NOT want the wall on their land, and it would HAVE to be on their land since we couldn’t build it on Mexican soil. I know the State of California has said they would put it to a vote should Trump want to build the wall on California’s border, and you can guarantee that we’d be against it! We already have a fence that doesn’t work, and unless they bury the wall foundation several feet below the land so that the Mexicans can’t tunnel under it, the wall would just be another waste of taxpayer money! Trust me, if the Mexicans want to come into the U.S., they will find a way to do it despite any stupid wall!
          I think, eventually, that his followers are going to see that he conned them and that he has NO intention of keeping many of the promises he made to them. First of all, many of them are not possible due to the constitutionality of them; secondly, the Congress is NOT going to just willy nilly hand him the keys to the bank vault and let him spend stupidly (we hope); and thirdly, some of the things he promised are absolutely NOT possible. You can’t put people back to work in assembly lines that are no longer there or have become robotic in nature. At least Hillary had said she was going to go to Congress and ask for monies to help retrain these types of people, but apparently, they didn’t hear that or didn’t WANT to hear it. Her idea was MUCH better than his false promises with no ideas how to back them up!

    2. sigrid28 December 15, 2016

      What amazes me even more than the fact that Trump settled on pay-to-play nominees is that Republicans in the Senate are lining up to confirm them. I can understand how it hasn’t yet dawned on information-challenged voters in the Republican base that they have been bamboozled, but for senators in the House to hold their noses and vote for these CROTs (cronies of Trump, for those who do not speak French) represents a new low for the Republican party. These nominees signal that Trump is determined to line his pockets and those of his pals, set up his dynasty, and do as Putin says. Trump has no taste for the Republican agenda of privatizing Medicare and Social Security: He and his cronies want to monetize the gains of the soaring stock market for themselves, as quickly as possible. Why the rush? Trump and his pals have to grab up all of the capital in the world that is tied to fossil fuels while they still can, before climate change catches up with their insatiable avarice.

      1. dpaano December 15, 2016

        From what I’ve read, the confirmation committee is going to vet these individuals like no tomorrow! Plus, since most of them have never dealt with a confirmation hearing, they might have a hard time getting through one. Also, all we need is 3 Republicans to vote with the Democrats to override any confirmations that make it through the committee. I understand that there are several of the nominees that are not sitting well with even the Republicans in Congress; i.e., McCain, etc. With McCain voting some of these idiots down, all we need is 2 more intelligent, moderate Republicans on our side! You never know…..

        1. Kate Beall March 10, 2017

          How’d that work out?

          1. dpaano March 13, 2017

            With a Republican Congress in place, you do what you can and hope for the best. They’re doing the best they can to stop or hold back on some of the nominations.

  14. Thoughtopsy December 16, 2016

    As predicted the trolls all avoid this story.
    Too many inconvenient facts.

    Reply
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