Trump Crime Cartel Open Thread: J-Kush, Real Estate Developer, Will SOLVE the Middle Eastern Puzzle

… and without Israel (i.e., Netahyahu) having to lift a finger, or give up an inch!

This is a middle-schooler’s game of Risk — or, more likely, one of those notorious NYC developer deals where Company A swaps two parking lots and the air rights over Parcel B to the city in return for a frontage easement on Parcel C that will allow Company D to build out, on the understanding that Company D will then invest a few mill in Company A’s overleveraged Rental Tower F. Of course Kushner has no idea what’s at risk here, and if he did, he’d assume it was somebody else’s problem to clean up after him.

For her new book Kushner Inc., journalist Vicky Ward interviewed some 220 people to better understand the roles of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump within the tumultuous White House. Ward found that the power couple is quite power hungry, demanding to travel free on the State Department’s dime and skirting around the “no’s” of former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson…

The White House envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, has denied the book’s details of the Middle East plan. Whether or not the final product looks like the draft described to Vicky Ward, Kushner’s peace proposal is expected sometime after Israel’s election scheduled on April 9. Last month, Trump’s senior advisor described his plan — in a typically vague statement — as “really about establishing borders and resolving final-status issues … The plan will have a broad economic impact, not only on Israel and the Palestinians, but on the entire region as well.”

From the extract at Amazon, Vicky Ward’s new Kushner, Inc: Greed.Ambition. Corruption.… does not look like a gripping read. But the details put out so far are, if nothing else, illuminating.



Trembling on the Verge Open Thread: Preznit Idle Hands

He can’t stand to be alone with his memories — or his lack of them. Professional (character) assassin Olivia Nuzzi, for NYMag, “Trump’s Phone Friends May Be More Important Than His Staff. So Who’s He Calling?”:

Trump abides by what I call the “Groucho Marx Law of Fraternization,” meaning anyone choosing to be near him is suspect while everyone else gets points simply for existing elsewhere. “He always kind of wants what he doesn’t completely have,” the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman once said. “You are never more valuable to Donald Trump than when you’re walking away from him.”

What explains this social idiosyncrasy? Obvious answers, like self-loathing, don’t quite feel complete. But whatever the psychological cause, the effect is manifest in at least one thing: his compulsive phone habits. His Rolodex is a Greatest Hits and Deep Cuts composed of mostly friends, associates, media figures, and tycoons. Although Trump is known to call senior members of his staff at all hours, his informal advisers share a common attribute: They’re not there and, therefore, they can’t be blamed when things are falling apart. Their praise sounds less sycophantic and, therefore, more compelling; the president seems to grant the calls coming from outside the White House an inherent credibility. They are also a welcome distraction, a link to his old life in Trump Tower, when concepts such as “executive time,” a term used by aides to make it seem like the president is doing something productive when he’s fucking around and calling TV-show hosts to gossip about ratings (a subject of intense interest for him, even now), were irrelevant…

One person who has received late-night calls from the president told me this: “If you’re Trump, the last thing you want is a moment of self-reflection. That’s why he’s constantly on the phone at night. Everybody’s afraid of themselves. People fear silence because they don’t want to hear voices. But Trump really fears that.



Hitting Bottom


Is that what we learned from the 2016 election? I thought we learned that Fox pumped up bullshit that hurt Democrats and hid anything that could hurt Trump. But I’m not getting a six figure check from them. Perhaps that would alter my perspective.








GOP Stupidity Open Thread: Erin Go Bragh to You Too, Ronna

By the end of 2019, the FEC will be asking O’Rourke to declare GOP gotchas like this as free in-kind support…



Confronting the Threat

We — and by “we,” I mean the world — have a problem: the global white supremacist movement and its capacity to commit horrific acts of violence. Here’s how the POTUS is handling it today:

Bring back @JudgeJeanine Pirro. The Radical Left Democrats, working closely with their beloved partner, the Fake News Media, is using every trick in the book to SILENCE a majority of our Country. They have all out campaigns against @FoxNews hosts who are doing too well. Fox …..

….must stay strong and fight back with vigor. Stop working soooo hard on being politically correct, which will only bring you down, and continue to fight for our Country. The losers all want what you have, don’t give it to them. Be strong & prosper, be weak & die! Stay true….

….to the people that got you there. Keep fighting for Tucker, and fight hard for @JudgeJeanine. Your competitors are jealous – they all want what you’ve got – NUMBER ONE. Don’t hand it to them on a silver platter. They can’t beat you, you can only beat yourselves!

Pirro was suspended or shit-canned because of her latest anti-Muslim rant, in which she said that since Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota wears a hijab, Omar is a follower of “sharia law,” which Pirro says is “antithetical to the U.S. Constitution.”

Carlson is under fire this week because of racist, sexist gibbering newly surfaced from old appearances on the “Bubba the Love Sponge” radio show. But Carlson has been busily mainstreaming white nationalist garbage for years from his perch at Fox News.

After the Christchurch massacre, Trump tweeted “warmest sympathy and best wishes” to New Zealand. He has uttered not a word of comfort to the Muslim community there or here.

No one who has been paying attention found that surprising since the source of Trump’s political power is the ability to gin up hate through racist, sexist, xenophobic demagoguery.

Still, since Trump got a shout-out in the terrorist’s manifesto, the Beltway press asked Trump directly if we have a white supremacy problem, and he said no.

ACTING Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney was trotted out on the Sunday shows to defend Trump’s inexcusable response. Here’s what he told Chris Wallace when asked why Trump wouldn’t just deliver a speech condemning white supremacy and anti-Muslim bigotry:

“The president is not a white supremacist. I’m not sure how many times we have to say that.”

Meanwhile, Trump was giving Fox News a pep talk on Twitter to make sure his favorite anti-Muslim bigots and “white genocide” conspiracy theorists don’t get fired. So there’s your answer, Mulvaney.

Now for something completely different: Pete Buttigieg’s beautiful letter to the Muslim community in South Bend after the New Zealand terrorist attack.

This is how a great leader speaks to a shaken community. And that’s how we’ll confront the rising threat of white supremacist violence if we ever recover from this deeply shameful episode in our national history — with unity, and with the decency of people like Pete Buttigieg.