A Few Bucks Here; A Few Bucks There

My guess is that we will never know the full extent of Trump’s thefts from the American people. If you are not viewing this administration as an organized criminal enterprise you are being deceived. Pilferage with immunity is relatively easy when you control the courts (the ultimate being the Senate), cops (in this case the Attorney General) and the witnesses (the most potentially damning being Executive branch employees). Today I will provide but a few examples most revealed very recently. Let’s explore.

A team of Washington Post reporters, headed by Pulitzer Prize winner David Farenthold, recently unveiled a nifty little scam Trump ran when he brought Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on board. In no other administration, Republican or Democratic, could someone as unqualified as Mnuchin been named Treasury Secretary. Mnuchin loves to boast of his Wall Street experience. All I ask is that you read Dark Towers to discover that Mnuchin was not exactly highly regarded on Wall Street. Then he made a ton of money as a “foreclosure king” in the wake of the Great Recession. In any event when Mnuchin moved to Washington with Trump he initially took up residence in the Trump Hotel for a few weeks. During that period of time the Secret Service rented a room adjacent to his suite at a cost of over $33,000 to the American taxpayers. Not a bad deal for Trump: higher a sycophant who has to remain loyal and make a few “kickback’ bucks in the process. To add to the sweetness of the deal it didn’t cost Trump or Mnuchin a dime.

Trump has long been an expert at spending other people’s money, not his own. Look back at the Donald J. Trump Foundation and you will find lots of spending that benefitted Trump and his ego but years upon years where he never put a dime of his own money into the foundation.

Now he is making a new move along the lines of that illusion. Senior citizens (a demographic Trump needs to show up at the polls in large numbers in November) are largely going to receive their stimulus via check instead of direct deposit (like they have been receiving their social security pension for years and in many cases decades). The checks will be complete with Donald Trump’s name even though he is neither an authorized signature on the account nor is it his money. The enabling legislation required that recipients also receive a letter verifying their eligibility and the amount they are due. Unfortunately the legislation did not stipulate under whose signature it would go out. Low and behold the letters bear the bold signature of one Donald J. Trump. While Trump didn’t put a nickel in his pockets off this one he reaped a huge benefit because he received in some cases two free advertising opportunities and many will assume the money came from him when in fact it came from the Unites States Treasury. In fact if you were going to credit a single elected official the closest to deserving is Nancy Pelosi. By the way, the Trump pleasing gyrations of his sycophants caused delays and cost the taxpayers additional money.

Trump made two interesting moves over the weekend, while the timing is suspect to many it is clear to me; Trump wanted to bury the news as much as possible. On Friday the White House announced that Dr. Anthony Fauci would be unavailable to testify before a House sub-committee of the House Appropriations Committee next week. The official reason given was that his presence would be “Counterproductive” during the pandemic. Obviously the strategy to defend against Coronagate is the same one Trump successfully used during Ukrainegate – suppress evidence and obstruct justice whenever possible.

Friday night Trump suddenly decided to nominate a permanent Inspector General for HHS. Christi Grimm became the Acting IG at HHS in January. Her predecessor was also an acting IG who vacated the office by retiring. That begs the question, why the sudden rush? (We already know the answer to the question of why the interesting timing.) It seems Grimm committed the ultimate unpardonable sin in the Trump era – she told the truth. Her office recently released a report that she defended stating that there is a shortage of PPE and testing materials. A good administrator would have made moves to solve the problem. A wannabe Don whacks the messenger. You connect those dots.

I’m getting long winded again so I’ll conclude with one final story; the “Kushner airlift”. It seems the Boy Blunder, Senior Advisor to the president and first son-in-law Jared Kushner orchestrated an airlift of PPE via FedEx planes (why not military?) to the United States. The supplies were then turned over to private concerns including McKesson Corp. and Cardinal Health. They in turn are required to sell half of the supply to federal government designated hospitals. There are no known constraints on either pricing or who the other half is sold to. This deal doesn’t pass the smell test on several levels and if you believe that neither Trump nor Kushner got their beaks’ wet I suggest you feed those hungry unicorns on your front lawn.

I was one of the rare liberals who supported Gerald Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon. Nixon was a choirboy compared to Trump. When this is over some very high level people must be imprisoned or we can kiss anything resembling honest government goodbye.

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One thought on “A Few Bucks Here; A Few Bucks There”

  1. I got my check in the mail (not direct deposit). But I didn’t get an accompanying letter from Donny.

    Yep, ya got me all riled up again, Larry. Grrrrrrrrr!

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