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Monday, July 17, 2017

The Douche Doesn't Fall Far From the Bag

It can't be easy to be a president's close relative. Most of the time, they are considered off limits, and when they are criticized decent people cry fowl, such as when Rush Limbaugh called Chelsea Clinton, then a teenager, ugly. But there have been a few presidential relatives who have earned their brickbats, such as Billy Carter and Roger Clinton. Now we have perhaps the stupidest presidential relative of all time, Donald Trump Jr.

Everything wrong about Junior can be seen in this picture. Anyone who would purposely kill an elephant for sport is someone I don't want to know, and then to take the tail as a trophy seems even worse. Is he going to frame it? Turn it into a whip to use on Russian prostitutes? Who knows. All I know is that when his time comes, I hope he's being stomped by an elephant.

But what makes Junior really stupid is the scandal now erupting about a meeting he took with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign, in which he was seeking dirt on Hillary Clinton. Also in the meeting was Paul Manafort, the extremely shady ex-Trump campaign manager, and Junior's brother-in-law Jared Kushner, whose most impressive feat seems to have been marrying well. According to an email trail, this lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, was representing the Russian government, and was not acting as an independent Russian citizen. Soooo, what we have here is an American citizen, three of them, seeking aid from a foreign government in an attempt to electioneer.

The talk after this revelation, which Junior confessed to (his dad says he was being "transparent") was whether this was illegal, good politics, or just stupid. The President says anyone would take this meeting, because it was good politics. Except that's patently false, as most people would go directly to the FBI. Junior's reaction was "I love it." Unfortunately, he got no information. Does that matter? If you rob a bank but get no money is that illegal? The best quote about this was, if you spend an hour casting a line into the water, but catch no fish, weren't you still fishing?

Was it illegal? Yes, if you interpret that Junior, Kushner, and Manafort were part of the campaign. Manafort certainly was. Take a look at statute 52 U.S.C. 30121, 36 U.S.C. 510, which states that: "A foreign national shall not, directly or indirectly, make a contribution or a donation of money or other thing of value, or expressly or impliedly promise to make a contribution or a donation, in connection with any Federal, State, or local election." If you interpret that "other thing of value" is damning information against a candidate, then clearly the Russian lawyer is guilty (note that the words "impliedly promise" are in there, so it doesn't matter if she had anything or not). But what about Moe, Larry, and Curly? "No person shall knowingly solicit, accept, or receive from a foreign national any contribution or donation prohibited by paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section."

If this is not limited to financial contributions, which I don't think it does, then they are all guilty of receiving, or attempting to receive, information that would contribute to their campaign.

This is going to drag on for months, I suspect. The Fox-Right is saying who cares, after spending months denying that it ever happened. The old "what did he know and when did he know it" that dogged Nixon will now dog Trump, as the meeting happened with two of his relatives and a campaign manager in an office a floor below him. As much as Sean Hannity and Trump himself try to wish it away, it won't go away.

But what has come out of this is a hilarious set of memes and parodies. I've heard the rumor that Junior is considered the Fredo of the family (the memorable Godfather character played by John Cazale who finally erupts at Michael, "I'm smart!"). A meme on Facebook had Steve Bannon carrying out the same execution as in the film, on a fishing boat. Junior, with his brother Eric, also bear an unsettling resemblance to cartoon idiots Beavis and Butthead, and even more disturbingly, to Saddam Hussein's sons Uday and Qusay--not a physical resemblance, but one of filial privilege. Their father is already someone who was born on third base and thought he hit a triple. I can't imagine what these two bozos believe.

We can only hope that all three of these men go to jail for breaking this law, but the odds are against it. But was there a moment when the President, not the brightest bulb on the chandelier, got his eldest son in a room alone and laid him, saying something like, "What were you thinking?" Oh, to be able to see or hear that and treasure the irony.

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