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CSotD: Knowing a Guy

Everybody is jumping on the Manafort sentencing, and I like Stuart Carlson‘s take in large part because he doesn’t specify the offense that the defendant was convicted of.

We can assume, racists and classists that we are, that the fellow didn’t evade millions of dollars in taxes, but, unlike some cartoonists that compare a sentence for a seemingly less significant crime, Carlson doesn’t distract with an argument about what is the equivalent of what.

And I’d add that it’s not necessarily a racial disparity.

It’s also an issue of class, because too many underclass defendants of any race find themselves in court with a public defender who didn’t open the file until that morning, and who is likely to plead them to a lesser charge (though carrying more than four years) even if they didn’t do anything in the first place.

By keeping things vague, Carlson maintains focus on the central issue.

 

On the other hand, Clay Bennett managed to sidestep all those complexities with an analysis only a mother could love. Or a father. Someone who has a very small child in their orbit and knows the lightness, softness and absurd little squeak of that gavel.

I heard a radio newscaster yesterday say that Manafort had been sentenced by Judge T.S. Eliot. I assume he did not bang his gavel, but simply whimpered something about “a blameless life.”

And that it rang hollow.

 

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Adam Zyglis)

(Christopher Weyant)

The fire hose of stupid distractions keeps some boring things like the economy a bit under the surface, but a couple of cartoonists have noted the growth of our trade deficit.

The two cartoons are quite different, but both play upon the foolish, self-satisfied ignorance of Trump who does not seem to have wandered into the classroom during discussion of macroeconomics, foreign trade or much of anything related to either.

His demonstrated ignorance, for instance, of how the Fed works and its place in our overall economy is pretty frightening, not because you necessarily expect a president to come into office knowing all that, but because you expect him to recognize its importance and bring himself up to speed as soon as possible.

Which effort is inconsistent with “executive time.”

And if that gap in his understanding, and his indifference towards remedying it, were not enough, he keeps saying that China has been paying tariffs, which is a much more simpleminded misunderstanding of How Shit Works.

None of which would matter too much if it were just Cliff Claven piping up from the end of the bar with some nonsense on a topic he doesn’t understand, but this fatuous loudmouth has the power not simply to put his ignorance on display but to make it national policy.

Particularly when nobody in the GOP seems willing to admit that the Emperor is naked.

 

 

You can go down to Washington and petition the government for change, of course, but how effective you are may depend on where you’re coming from.

As David Horsey points out, it doesn’t hurt to be coming from Trump’s hotel, as any number of lobbyists, foreign and domestic, have demonstrated.

Granted, we have not seen objective proof that lavishing money on Trump properties provides any benefit, but it is enough to create the impression that it might.

The fact that the Trump International Hotel opened in DC a month before he was elected makes it impossible to compare bookings there before and after he became president, but it also makes it hard to expect that those used to a baksheesh system would not assume that system is installed here.

 

And it isn’t fair to ask a fish what it’s like to be wet, but, at the same time, as Drew Sheneman suggests, one could expect Ivanka to know that she grew up in a cocoon and that it is inappropriate for her to say  “I don’t think most Americans, in their heart, want to be given something. I’ve spent a lot of time traveling around this country over the last four years. People want to work for what they get.”

Just as it’s possible that spending hundreds of thousands of dollars at Trump properties won’t give you any advantage in dealing with him, it’s also possible that Ivanka and Jared are treated like any other White House employees.

Except that, once the people who approve security clearances advise against one for a random White House employee, it seems unlikely that there would be an order to provide it anyway.

 

Unless, as Tim Campbell suggests, perhaps the fix was in.

 

Though you don’t have to be an actual family member.

As Jimmy Margulies hints, fake IDs are sometimes a good way to get affordable domestic workers at those aforementioned Trump properties, so why would we quibble over the authenticity of credentials for much more important, better-paid White House employees?

So much of the Trump administration seems based on “I know a guy” that it seems silly to ask anyone there to live up to the standards the rest of us have to meet.

Or to express a helluva lot of surprise when it turns out that Paul Manafort knows a guy.

Which takes us back to the beginning of today’s blog.

 

Public Service Announcement, Dammit

There is currently a GoFundMe to help Gahan Wilson‘s family get him into a facility where his dementia can be properly treated. As I write this, it stands at $42,252 of a $100,000 goal.

If everyone who has been influenced by Wilson were to chip in a quarter, the fund would be massively oversubscribed.

 

Community Comments

Currently there are 3 Comments
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#1 Carl Laws
March/9/2019
@ 10:41 am

Of all the EC’s I’ve seen about the security clearance hoohah, Steve Sack’s is the only one that made me laugh out loud.

http://www.startribune.com/sack-cartoon-javanka/506791772/

#2 Mike Peterson
March/9/2019
@ 1:04 pm

I had pulled Sack’s cartoon for possible use but it didn’t fit the narrative and I was running out of space. But, yeah, it made me laugh.

#3 Robin B MacDonald
March/9/2019
@ 10:07 pm

I gave to help Gahan, as he sure gave to us.

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