Saturday, February 18, 2017

Trump Creates New "Swamp" At Mar-a-Lago

The story in the New York Times today about influential members of con man and grifter Donald "Rump" Trump's Mar-a-Lago club having input on Rump policies is more evidence of the casual corruption at the core of Rump's regime. Recently, fees to join the members-only club were doubled to $200,000, with $14,000 in annual dues, making it unlikely that any of Rump's rank-and-file deplorables would ever make it through the front gate. What's worse is that wealthy members have informal access to Rump when he visits the property (which is becoming every weekend), and the ability to chat him up on pet projects or pet peeves.
"Virtually overnight, Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s members-only Palm Beach, Fla., club, has been transformed into the part-time capital of American government, a so-called winter White House where Mr. Trump has entertained a foreign head of state, health care industry executives and other presidential guests.

But Mr. Trump’s gatherings at Mar-a-Lago — he arrived there on Friday afternoon, his third weekend visit in a row — have also created an arena for potential political influence rarely seen in American history: a kind of Washington steakhouse on steroids, situated in a sunny playground of the rich and powerful, where members and their guests enjoy a level of access that could elude even the best-connected of lobbyists [snip] 
One longtime member is Richard LeFrak, a fellow New York developer and one of Mr. Trump’s closest friends, who in turn has recruited some of his own friends to join. Jeff Greene, a Senate candidate in Florida in 2010, said he had joined at the urging of Mr. LeFrak. 
But Mar-a-Lago, where Mr. Trump’s old New York circle blurs easily into his presidency, is now a place where the president of the United States might seek guidance on a major government project the way another New Yorker might ask around for a good orthopedist.

When Mr. LeFrak paid a visit to Mr. Trump at Mar-a-Lago last weekend, he appeared a little startled when Mr. Trump, in a brief interlude during the conversation, told him that the Department of Homeland Security was quoting a price of more than $20 billion for the proposed border wall with Mexico.

'He said, would I consider doing it?
And then he suggested that the price that was being quoted in the media seemed absurdly high to him, Mr. LeFrak said."
(emphasis added)
We're certain that this type of crony capitalism will be a hallmark of Rump's regime, as he breaks down all norms for ethical behavior in the Presidency, and reverts back to his grifting /"dealmaking" habits learned over decades in the metaphorical brothel of New York real estate development. Just as he continues with his skirting the Constitution's emoluments clause, he'll skirt this, too, because he has no ethics, no shame or no sense of anything of value outside of himself and his bank account.

BONUS: It looks like Rump was inviting members of his Bedminster, NJ golf club to look in on the people he was interviewing for his Cabinet, much like you'd do in a zoo. You know that he wanted them to watch as he humiliated the cast-offs like Willard "Mittens" Romney and Snarly Carly Fiorina.

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