Sunday, February 19, 2017

Trump in His Element

Trump has spent the last three weekends at his private resort in Florida, Mar-a-Lago. Private resort. It used to cost $100,000 to join the club. As soon as he was elected president, he raised the fee to
$200,000, and apparently the filthy rich are fighting to get one of those memberships. (Of course, you peasants, there's no conflict of interest in charging the super-rich 200 grand for instant access, because as you should have learned by now, the president cannot have a conflict of interest. He told us that himself!)

Yes, Mar-a-Lago is all about the little guys out there who voted for Trump and whose constant adoration Trump needs, the way the rest of us need oxygen. That is, if you understand that little guys might mow the grass or clean the pool, but otherwise they're not going to get within a mile of that particular high-life.

Who does get to rub elbows? Billionaires like William I. Koch, owner of Oxbow Carbon, one of the world’s largest sellers of petroleum coke, who would also be a significant beneficiary of the Keystone XL pipeline, which Trump has graciously promised him.

High-octane lobbyist Kenneth M. Duberstein is a member. He served as White House chief of staff under President Ronald Reagan and now works as a corporate consultant and lobbyist for clients like the Alibaba Group, the Chinese internet company; Amgen and Pfizer, the pharmaceutical giants; and Dow Chemical and America’s Health Insurance Plans, which represents the nation’s largest health insurers. Duberstein got his access to Mar-a-Lago before the membership price doubled, so good on him!

Another member -- Christopher Ruddy -- is the chief executive of Newsmax Media, emphatically not fake news evidently, because Mr. Ruddy is a big donor to Trump, and his publication gleefully spreads the absolutely not-fake manure.

Another member is Janet Weiner, part owner and chief financial officer of the Rockstar energy drink company, which has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying federal officials to avoid tighter regulations on its products. Save that lobbying money, Janet, honey! Now you can just drop by Mr. Trump's table during dinner.

Trump's company benefits directly from every one of those memberships:
“Mar-a-Lago represents a commercialization of the presidency that has few if any precedents in American history,” said Jon Meacham, a presidential historian and Andrew Jackson biographer. “Presidents have always spent time with the affluent,” he added. “But a club where people pay you as president to spend time in his company is new. It is kind of amazing.”
Yeah. Keep telling yourself he's draining the swamp and helping the forgotten Joes of America.


little guys said...

How is this any different from what the clintons and other democrats do?

I remember hillary coming to Watauga County for a fundraiser at WestGlo and it was only $20K to get in.

Obviously she wanted to meet us "little guys"

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure a) it was a campaign fundraiser in 2008, and b) it was $2K, but since I don't have either sum, I could easily misremember that.

And while any point about money in politics is absolutely dead on and I totally agree, the spirit of the law has (until now) drawn a distinction between campaign contributions (which have restrictions on access and use) and paying a huge fee to an office holder privately in order to have access to said office holder every weekend.

little guy said...

More of the little guys support the President.