Schaden, meet Freude

Everything the Shitgibbon touches turns to…well, merde:

Late last year, in a Miami conference room, a consultant for President Trump’s company said business at his prized 643-room Doral resort was in sharp decline.

At Doral, which Trump has listed in federal disclosures as his biggest moneymaker hotel, room rates, banquets, golf and overall revenue were all down since 2015. In two years, the resort’s net operating income — a key figure, representing the amount left over after expenses are paid — had fallen by 69 percent.

But what about that Trump economic boom? Alas:

Even in a vigorous economy, the property was missing the Trump Organization’s internal business targets; for instance, the club expected to take in $85 million in revenue in 2017 but took in just $75 million.

And what could be the reason that a venerable, once-much-admired, landmark property would do so poorly?

“They are severely underperforming” other resorts in the area, tax consultant Jessica Vachiratevanurak told a Miami-Dade County official in a bid to lower the property’s tax bill. The reason, she said: “There is some negative connotation that is associated with the brand.”

I have never met Ms. Vachiratevarunak, but I already admire her greatly. That last line? Olympic-level shade.

The WaPo article linked above is full of similar delights:

On one recent weekday in Miami, the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort and Spa — a top competitor of Doral’s — was bustling with families eating dinner and children playing in the pool.

A few miles away, Trump’s Doral was shining, spotless and heavily branded. The Trump name was on chocolate bars ($5) and shot glasses ($10), and even on the paper inserts at the bottom of the bathroom wastebaskets.

But it was also much quieter.

Carl Goldstein — a retired butcher, visiting as part of a Passover tour group — had the lobby almost to himself.

It turns out that racism and viciousness drive away sponsors and guests? Whodathunkit?

TL:DR Incompetent grifter’s grift cracks.

This thread…it is open.

Image: Jan Steen, Dancing Peasants at an Inn1646








He Has Reached Rock Bottom, And Has Started To Dig*

In case you had any question as to just how skeevy — more, how fundamentally grotesque — was and is Roy Moore, here’s his reasoning on why sodomizing a child does not constitute “forcible rape”:

The Alabama Supreme Court had the opportunity to hear the case of one Eric Lemont Higdon, a man accused and convicted of two sodomy charges due to sexual assault against a four-year-old at Mama’s Place Christian Academy in Clay, Alabama.

 

Higdon had been convicted of both sex with a child under twelve years old, statutory rape, and of “first-degree sodomy by forcible compulsion” which requires that the victim face a threat, overt or implied, of  “serious physical injury.” That second forcible rape charge was overturned on appeal, and the question that Moore and his fellow state supreme court justices faced was whether that appellate decision was correct.  Almost all of the court had no problem working that one out:

Eight of the nine justices on the panel found that the appeals court had erred. Their legal logic was such that a 17-year-old’s sexual assault of a four-year-old was enough to produce in the mind of the four-year-old, an “implied threat of serious physical injury.”  The decision was reversed and remanded and Higdon’s conviction was reinstated.

Who dissented? That godly man Moore, of course:

“Because there was no evidence in this case of an implied threat of serious physical injury…or of an implied threat of death, Higdon cannot be convicted of sodomy in the first degree “by forcible compulsion.”

Four Years Old.

No implication of serious physical injury when a seventeen year old assaults a pre-schooler.  I wanted to put that last more bluntly, but I can’t. My stomach turns itself into a Klein bottle when I try.

What kind of man do you have to be to conceive of the scene between that youth and that little child and see no threat?

Roy Moore is not who we thought he was.  He’s much, much worse — and anyone who rises to his defense shares in his stain.

*From this time-honored list of British military fitness reports.  My favorite has always been “I would not breed from this Officer” — which, according to my uncle, a career man in the Royal Artillery, was known to refer to a fellow from a Guards regiment.  Posh don’t mean smart.

Image:  Diego Velasquez, Las Meninas1656-7.

This picture is not, perhaps, precisely on point with this post, but it knows the chords and is, in any case, a simply magnificent painting.








A Setback For Hobby Lobby’s Bible Museum

Hobby Lobby today agreed to forfeit thousands (yes, thousands) of cuneiform tablets and clay seals (bullae), along with 144 cylinder seals and $3 million dollars to the United States Government in a civil suit. The artifacts most likely were looted from Iraq and smuggled into the US as “tile samples” via the UAE. Removing artifacts from archaelogical sites removes them from their historical context and makes them largely unusable for understanding the past. The money from their sales often goes to organizations like ISIS.

According to the complaint and stipulated statement of facts filed with the court, in or around 2009, Hobby Lobby began to assemble a collection of historically significant manuscripts, antiquities and other cultural materials. In connection with this effort, Hobby Lobby’s president and a consultant traveled to the UAE in July 2010 to inspect a large number of cuneiform tablets and other antiquities being offered for sale (the “Artifacts”). Cuneiform is an ancient system of writing on clay tablets that was used in ancient Mesopotamia thousands of years ago.

In October 2010, an expert on cultural property law retained by Hobby Lobby warned the company that the acquisition of cultural property likely from Iraq, including cuneiform tablets and cylinder seals, carries a risk that such objects may have been looted from archaeological sites in Iraq. The expert also advised Hobby Lobby to review its collection of antiquities for any objects of Iraqi origin and to verify that their country of origin was properly declared at the time of importation into the United States. The expert warned Hobby Lobby that an improper declaration of country of origin for cultural property could lead to seizure and forfeiture of the artifacts by CBP.

Notwithstanding these warnings, in December 2010, Hobby Lobby executed an agreement to purchase over 5,500 Artifacts, comprised of cuneiform tablets and bricks, clay bullae and cylinder seals, for $1.6 million. The acquisition of the Artifacts was fraught with red flags. For example, Hobby Lobby received conflicting information where the Artifacts had been stored prior to the inspection in the UAE. Further, when the Artifacts were presented for inspection to Hobby Lobby’s president and consultant in July 2010, they were displayed informally. In addition, Hobby Lobby representatives had not met or communicated with the dealer who purportedly owned the Artifacts, nor did they pay him for the Artifacts. Rather, following instructions from another dealer, Hobby Lobby wired payment for the Artifacts to seven personal bank accounts held in the names of other individuals.

Hobby Lobby’s religion is so strong, though, that they can’t pay for insurance that would allow women to have contraceptives.

 








Immigrants Get the Job Done*

The AP reports that the Trump regime floated a proposal to activate 100K National Guard troops to round up undocumented immigrants.

The Trump administration is considering a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border, according to a draft memo obtained by The Associated Press.

The 11-page document calls for the unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana.

Four states that border on Mexico are included in the proposal — California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas — but it also encompasses seven states contiguous to those four — Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the AP report was “100 percent not true” and “irresponsible.” ”There is no effort at all to utilize the National Guard to round up unauthorized immigrants,” he said.

The denial issued by the slab of Spam with eyes that Melissa McCarthy occasionally impersonates on SNL isn’t very convincing since the Trump regime, from its titular head on down, lie all the time. And AP has a memo.

Valued commenter Ajabu had an idea for a response to the so-called president’s constant fear-mongering about immigrants: a photo array featuring select immigrants and “real Americans.” He edited a ton of photos that illustrate the foolishness of Trump’s “ooga-booga” act. Here’s a sample:

Dennis Hastert, Real American

Khizr Khan, Immigrant

Ted Kaczynski, Real American

Albert Einstein, Immigrant

I think I’ll make this a recurring feature until I run out of photos from the cache Ajabu sent, rather than just publishing the whole array in one fell swoop. Sadly, I’m confident we’ll have many more opportunities to respond to scaremongering on immigration in the coming months.

*Yes, I know this is a line from “Hamilton.” I’m still not joining your stupid cult! :)








Surprisingly, it’s the whining that’s hardest to bear…

Like virtually everyone who isn’t a Nazi frog, dimwitted MAGA-mark or Bible-humping hypocrite, I’m appalled by the terrible actions the Trump regime is taking in its first week, such as dismantling the ACA (effectively murdering tens of thousands of people yearly), the anti-science gag rules and data dumps, the anti-choice hysterics that will hamstring humanitarian aid delivery, the DAPL reversal, etc.

There’s also the blatant quid pro quo and grift — donors and family members put into jobs for which they’re not remotely qualified, and sleazy, corrupt James Comey gaining job security the day after he showed up at the White House to literally receive kisses and hugs from his Godfather as well as that bloated entity’s most meaningful compliment: “He’s become more famous than me!”

But the ceaseless whining and demands for validation are somehow even more galling than watching the country morph into a conniving cocksplat’s kleptocracy of the incompetent. Mouth of Shitgibbon Kellyanne Conway was on the grievance tour, first lamenting the unfair coverage of the Trump White House to impartial millionaire media figure / Trump-tuggie specialist Sean Hannity yesterday:

Hannity spoke to Trump counsel Kellyanne Conway about the press’ “presumptive negativity” toward the Trump administration, and how they plan on countering irresponsible and reckless reporting.

“It would be nice to see people show respect for the office of the president and its current occupant,” Conway said. “Give him a chance to do right by the American people.”

She said if reporters are being “political hacks,” then the Trump team has a right to call that out.

“This White House and the media are going to share joint custody of this nation for eight years,” Conway said. “We ought to be able to figure out how to co-parent and mutually coexist.”

Two things: first, the gelatinous orange shit-stain who launched his political career with a racist, crackpot campaign to hound a sitting president about his birth certificate doesn’t get to whine about respect for the fucking office and its current occupant. They need to just stop that shit right now.

Second thing: one can rightly say many terrible things about the people of the United States, but we are most definitely not the minor children born of an unholy hate-fuck between the Trump White House and the infotainment industry. It is at once insulting, alarming and unsurprising that the Trump people see us that way. We have much to do to disabuse them of that notion.

The Sore Winner Tour’s next stop was to Fox & Friends this morning, where Conway regaled that odious threesome with tales of how unfair the Women’s March was because it engaged in “diatribe” instead of “dialogue.” She said women’s concerns would be addressed in “due time.” She also pre-whined about the expected coverage of the upcoming annual “March for Life” event.

Again, two things: First, women are half the population of this country, and Conway’s boss is the most despised new president in the history of polling, in part due to his long and extremely well-documented history of being a slimy sexist creep. So “due time” is right fucking now.

Second, the annual fetus fetishists’ Parade of the Busybodies will be microscopic compared to the Women’s March — hell, even Trump’s pathetic inauguration crowd will exceed it. The coverage won’t be as extensive, but it will definitely be more than the event warrants.

To echo Kay in the morning thread, these people really need to get over their neediness and go about the business of running the country into the ground without the constant whining.

Just last night, Trump lied to a congressional delegation about losing the popular vote because of millions of “illegals” flooded the polls. Why can’t that repugnant orange snowflake accept that he lost the popular vote and move the fuck on already?

I could bear watching these venal, grasping assholes ruin the country if they’d just stop demanding my respect and love. They haven’t earned it. They don’t have it. They never will have it. They should just shut the fuck up about it. It’s pathological.