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Posts Tagged ‘Mar-a-Lago’

Two days after signing a mammoth tax cut for the Trump family and ultra-wealthy Republican donors, our fake-president told friends at Mar-a-Lago “You all just got a lot richer.” Notice that he didn’t follow up by demanding they pass that largesse on to workers as higher wages, and to create new jobs or bring others back from overseas. That’s something you’d expect from a true populist, except you’d never find one at Mar-a-Lago. It certainly wouldn’t come from Donald Trump unless he was peddling the snake oil and Kool-Aid he’s famous for at a rally of true believers.

Speaking of Trump’s winter White House, the Washington Post reports that prices for tickets at Mar-a-Lago’s “very glam” New Year’s Eve party went up this year, another example of how the Grifter-in-Chief thinks nothing of lining his own pockets while president. [Trigger alert: Reading this article may induce vomiting.]

One guest and fan is quoted as saying: “Now he’s president, and he’s accomplished so much already.” That’s certainly true if you happen to be a white billionaire whose major worries are sagging skin; an evangelical Christian who sees the Trump administration as proof of God’s will; a gun owner convinced that even more firearms are the answer to epidemic levels of gun violence; a neo-Nazi or white supremacist thrilled that an ally now sits in the Oval Office; or someone who doesn’t know the difference between real journalism and state-run TV, aka Fox News.

More than two centuries ago, the French had an answer to the obscene wealth that royalty and the upper classes enjoyed. It was called the guillotine. I’d settle for a Democratic takeover of the Senate and House in 2018.

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Concluding a round of golf with Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, this weekend, President Trump had a forceful response to North Korea’s successful Sunday launch of an intermediate-range missile. “I said, ‘It won’t happen — the ‘so-called’ Pukguksong-2 wouldn’t go any farther than my par 4 golf drives and it didn’t,” the visibly angry president asserted. “My drive on the 7th hole went 350 yards, way beyond the distance that crooked, overrated, fake missile went.”

When it was pointed out to him that the South Korean military reported the rocket flew 310 miles before crashing into the Sea of Japan, Mr. Trump advised everyone to look at the big picture, 350 vs. 310, and not get bogged down in details. His stubborn insistence on an alternate reality provoked widespread outrage forcing both Vice-President Pence and senior advisor Kellyanne Conway to take to the airwaves in defense.

“Look, the President has a right to express his beliefs. That’s why the American public elected him,” said Pence on Meet the Press. Conway, in a contentious interview with Jake Tapper on State of the Union, questioned why the media was focusing on such an insignificant issue. “Why aren’t you talking about the 2 birdies he had, and the 4 gimme putts he gave the prime minister as a sign of support for Japan. We don’t hear any of that from the national media.”

Back at Mar-a-Lago, Trump tweeted he would make North Korea’s leader, whom he pointedly called “Kim Dong-un” pay dearly for his latest provocation, and that all options were on the table. In a hastily called follow-up news conference, press secretary Sean Spicer announced: (1) Additional sanctions would include a ban on U.S.-made golf balls and hair products; and (2) The immediate withdrawal of the Trump Organization, in which the president holds no management role, from a billion-dollar deal to develop a championship golf course and luxury condominiums just outside of Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital. “The president,” he said, “will always put our country’s interests before his family’s profits.”

Early reports from Pyongyang indicate that Kim Jong-un intends to retaliate by wearing knock-offs of Ivanka Trump shoes.

*****

UPDATE: Granted the above might rate a 10 on a scale of absurdity, but where does that place what actually happened at Mar-a-Lago this weekend after news about the North Korean missile test reached the president: between 6-7? He and the Japanese prime minister huddled with aides at their dinner table to discuss this sensitive diplomatic matter in full view of other Mar-a-Lago diners, and within easy earshot of waiters who were busy bringing entrées. News accounts suggest that numerous security protocols were violated including the use of flashlights on unsecured cell phones that were called into use due to the dim candlelight of the outdoor terrace.

One club member, Richard DeAgazio, posted photos on his FB page, and was both clearly wowed to be at “the center of the action,” and impressed by the president’s demeanor: “He chooses to be out on the terrace, with the members. It just shows that he’s a man of the people,” DeAgazio said. [Editor’s note: If by “people” you mean those who can afford a recently doubled initiation fee of $200,000.]

But maybe we shouldn’t be too hard on a president who’s been in office for less than a month. After all, what better place to deal with an international crisis than in a roomful of wealthy Floridians where the chances are high that a retired diplomat having dessert might be all-too-happy to lend assistance.

Nice to know too that Kool-Aid is one of the drinks served at Mar-a-Lago.

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Last week, I spoke with the head of Mar-a-Lago’s Catering Department under the pretext of holding a wedding reception there. I began by telling her I was a big fan of the president, and was excited by the prospect of celebrating my daughter’s marriage at his famous club. Even though I wasn’t a member, I asked, would it still be possible to reserve the main ballroom? “That won’t be a problem,” she replied. “What date did you have in mind?” “We’re pretty flexible,” I explained. “You must be booked months in advance already, given all the Trump supporters who’d love for a special family occasion to be blessed by the president’s brand.”

Before diving into details, I asked if any Muslims were on staff. “Why do you want to know this,” she responded. “Terrorism, of course. But if you do have Muslim employees, I’m sure each was subjected to the extreme vetting President Trump says is necessary to keep Americans safe.” “Mar-a-Lago doesn’t discriminate,” she announced with considerable irritation before hanging up on me.

It was good to hear that Islamophobia isn’t running as rampant on Florida’s Gold Coast as it is in the current White House. My only hope is that the catering head went on to tell her friends and colleagues about the nutcase she spoke to earlier. Maybe she even mentioned it to her boss who was down for the weekend entertaining the Japanese prime minister.

One question I’m sorry I never got to ask though: Are guests allowed to carry guns at the reception?

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