Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Random thoughts about Paul, Donald, Melania, George, (George? Yes, George!) lawyers, pardons, and raincoats — not necessarily in that order

Raincoat Exegesis may become a whole new a field 
for scholars of psychiatry, fashion arts history, and 
anthropological symbolism

But first, let’s talk about Paul. 

Paul Manafort, that is. This week he won the praises of Donald Trump for not ratting out — what a surprise! — Donald Trump.
“I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family,” the increasingly panicky president tweeted on August 22. “‘Justice” took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to ‘break’ - make up stories in order to get a ‘deal.’ Such respect for a brave man!”
If I were an Old Testament Daniel, I’d translate this tweet as handwriting on the wall, quite literally another “Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin.” If I read the Google and Quora explanations correctly, and I’m too lazy to check this out more deeply right now, this all has to do with “Aramaic names of measures of currency.”  The root “Mene” goes back to the verb meaning “to count.” “Tekel” pertains to shekels,  and somehow or other the last word seems to indicate “Thy kingdom is divided.”

In other words, this is a clear signal from Donald to Paul that if he keeps his mouth shut he will be richly rewarded. Theoretically this could be in currency. However, given how tight-fisted Donald appears to be with his own personal shekels, my guess is that at best he’d deposit twenty bucks in Manfort’s prison canteen account, and at that, twenty bucks illegally borrowed from his re-election campaign.

So instead I’ll interpret the reward as a full presidential pardon. “Keep it zipped and I’ll spring you,” seems to be the Trumpster’s coded promise. As for the divided kingdom, that one’s easy. In my opinion it almost certainly means, “And if pardoning you means ripping the United States apart, too damn bad.”

However,  if I were Paul Manafort, I would remember that The Trumpster doesn’t always pay his debts. Or keep his promises. Manafort may be weighing the rest of his life behind bars against Donald Trump’s word. I know which side of the scale I’d put my money on. Do I need to spell out the rest? Okay, I will. If I were Paul Manafort, I’d take a deep breath and then sing a lengthy aria. We’ll have to wait to see whether Paul comes to his senses. 

  *   *

Political raincoats?

Until very recently, a raincoat was pretty much a raincoat. It could be cheap. It could be expensive. It could be fancy. It could be plain. But the one thing it wasn’t likely ever to be was political.

No more, thanks to Melania Trump. Back in June, on her way to visit a Texas detention center for small children ripped from their parents arms and imprisoned in cages by her husband’s administration, she wore a $39 hooded rain jacket from the designer Zara, the modestly priced Spanish fashion designer.

“I DON’T CARE DO U” was written in what appears to be white paint on the back of the jacket. 

The chatterati of course went haywire, reading her rain coat like a sloppy mess of tea leaves in a fortune teller's parlor. Did it mean she didn’t care about the government-abused kids she was visiting? Did it mean she was doing this only because she was forced to by her husband? Was it an act of defiance equivalent to flipping Donald the bird? Was it simple mindlessness? Was it a well-thought-out distraction from the plight of the children? And where did she get the jacket?

Most of the papers I read failed to credit Zara. It took a reporter from NPR to follow up on that, which in and of itself is a reason to whip out your check book right now and send a little something, or maybe a big something, to that non-profit radio network. 

As for What She Meant By That, I’m going with the flipping-Donald-the-bird crowd. We know she already has her own bed. And her own bedroom. Where she gets her own sex is a question that I’d just as soon leave for another day. 

But then why does she stay married to the man? Can you spell p-r-e-n-u-p-t-i-a-l? My guess is she'd get zilch, or at least zilch in comparison to the Trumpster’s wealth, if she leaves him. On the other hand, he’s seventy-plus years old, overweight, and ingests enough cholesterol each day to gridlock in a horse’s aorta. 

I suspect, that she suspects (and I suspect it, too), that one morning, like Rumpstileskin, Trump will stamp his foot in a wild rage, blow a cardiovascular gasket, or maybe a dozen, and then disappear through the floor of the oval office.  In which case (assuming the law of their home state of New York rules) she is entitled to a third of however many, or few, millions he has. Plus the "marital abode." Or perhaps several of them.

I’d suggest hanging in there, Melania. Wouldn’t U?


George and me and Donald and Equinunk.

Okay, a bit of history is in order here. Personal history.

Back when I was a ‘tween, my parents sent me to a boys summer camp called Camp Equinunk. I just checked, and to my amazement, it’s still in business

There were eight, or was it ten of us kids in each “bunk,” along with two counselors. There was an older, mature counsellor named “George” and a younger less mature one (name since forgotten) who was hardly older than we were.

George, the older more mature one, was 24 years old. He had just graduated from law school. He was casting about for a career. He was considering interviewing for the FBI, but not sure he wanted to join an organization where the induction rigamarole included carrying a pocket handkerchief so  that just before you entered the Director’s office to shake hands with J. Edgar Hoover, you could wipe your hand dry. (Hoover, like the Trumpster, had a horror of germs and of shaking clammy hands.)

George also had a new wife, a cute, petite woman named Billie, who worked across the lake at Equinunk’s sister camp, Camp Blue Ridge. The camp was even kind enough to provide a room where they could shack up on their days off, which left the junior counselor alone with us, free to tell us stories about his sexual exploits that would have horrified our parents (and today's feminists.) 

I lost track of George after that. And since I never really watched The Apprentice,  I wasn’t aware, until an idle evening of Internet surfing, that George's career led him not to the FBI, but to Donald Trump.

Two years ago, at the age of 88, George Ross was still a die-hard Trump loyalist.

All the same, I do wish somebody from Robert Mueller’s team  would invite George Ross in for a chat. I do suspect that this 90-year-old knows something useful. And, if he were to weigh loyalty to his former boss against loyalty to his nation, who knows what an honorable man like George Ross might say? Moreover, imagine a trial where some of the evidence is not gleaned from somebody found guilty of a felony. Go for it, Bob!

1 comment:

Now Am Found! said...

taxes! let's see the orange ferret wearing treason weasel tax returns