Politics of Destruction

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

At the beginning of the week Rudy Giuliani revealed that Michael Cohen had a slush fund out of which he might have made payments to other women than Stormy Daniels with whom Donald Trump had affairs.  According to Hizzoner this was a common practice at law firms, including the firm where he was employed, and that cost him his job because the partners disagreed.  Giuliani is like O.J. Simpson, he was a failed mayor who was saved by 9/11 and now he’s doing everything he can to fuck up a second time.  In the meantime it came out that the money Cohen had received in his ‘Essential Consultants’ account was more than just a slush fund, but included millions of dollars in  payments from corporations like AT&T and Novartis that were trying to buy access to Trump.  Most intriguing is a $500,000 payment by Columbus Nova, an American investment firm whose biggest client is a company controlled by a Russian oligarch.  It opens up the possibility that Stormy was ultimately paid off with Russian money.  Still unclear is if Trump himself took a cut from the payments, but it definitely brings Cohen back into the Mueller probe.

As he announced during the campaign Trump pulled the US out of the Iran deal and reinstated sanctions, making the world a more dangerous place.  The effect of his decision is that the relationship between the US and European countries, which may also be hit by the sanctions, will deteriorate, to the delight of Putin, who will now have considerably more oil revenues, and that Israel will feel emboldened to bang the drums for a war with Iran.  The hostilities between Israel and Iranian troops in Syria have already begun.  Trump’s approach to the Iran deal was similar to his approach to Obamacare:  destroy without having a clue what comes next.  It complements the destruction of the environment and the US public education system already taking place in the Trump era, and if the president has his way freedom of the press might be next.  In advance of negotiations between Trump and Kim Jong-un North Korea released three American hostages, and Trump turned their arrival into a reality show that was mostly about himself, at some point even trumpeting that they had broken the all time TV viewership record for 3 AM.

Following the release of the hostages Trump announced that he would meet with Kim on June 12th in Singapore.  It is obvious that by that time a detailed agreement won’t have been negotiated, but Trump believes that he is most effective when he improvises, which is what worries the experts.  Kim’s father and grandfather have bamboozled American presidents who were a lot better prepared than Trump before, and the fear is that Kim will play the president like a fiddle.

In Trump’s shadow Melania Trump announced her ‘personal’ project to protect kids, among other things from the cyber bullying her husband excels in.  The first lady borrowed terminology from Michelle Obama and literature from an Obama initiative, so this might actually work.  To counter the project Jeff Sessions announced that parents and children would be separated at the Mexican border.

The Jewish joke ‘if Moshe shows up aunt Sarah’s funeral is spoiled for me’ got a new version when  John McCain made clear that he didn’t want Trump at his funeral and Orrin Hatch urged him to ‘invite’ the president.  There are things you cannot make up, and this is one of them.

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