Posts Tagged ‘Ivanka Trump’

Letter From Miami 02 12 2017 Hygge while traveling

February 12, 2017

Around me, I am listening to a mélange of English, Spanish, Italian, French and German.

I am not in Claverack, NY but on the veranda of my hotel in Miami Beach, a cloudy morning having given way to clear blue skies with a gentle breeze blowing off the beach a short block away, sipping my third very good cappuccino of the day.

Waking just after seven, I have spent most of my morning here.  First, a light breakfast with my friend Nick Stuart, before he left for what is now a rainy New York, later, reading the New York Times on my new iPhone 7 Plus, much easier than on my old 5s.

Reading the news is a bemusing event these days.  It may just be me but it seems the Administrative Branch of our government is in disarray while the Legislative Branch appears as if it’s a group of old white men braying their success at owning the joint with the Judicial Branch holding the center of sanity.

There is a young man named Stephen Miller who is a Trumpian True Believer, architect of the Travel Ban and, before this, on the staff of Senator Jeff Sessions.  Previously known for his avalanches of ideological emails to fellow Congressional staffers, he is now close to and closely listened to by President Trump.  He is 31 and shaping policy.  We must watch him as he will be influential in the coming months, whatever your political persuasion.

Apparently, his secretive nature was part of the reason the Travel Ban wasn’t thoroughly vetted.

He made the rounds of the Sunday morning shows trumpeting the ways Trump will combat the unanimous decision of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to refuse to reinstate the ban.

When George Stephanopoulos asked him about the report that Michael Flynn discussed sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador before Flynn was sworn in as White House national security adviser, he had nothing to say, not having been given anything to say by the White House.

On NBC, Miller couldn’t comment on whether the President still had confidence in Flynn.  He also continues to assert there was mass voter fraud, causing Trump to lose the popular vote.  Saying so, doesn’t make it so, Mr. Miller.  If it is true, please show some evidence.  He states facts without proof, a great “gas lighting” technique.

Steve Bannon, Lord Vizier, is being scrutinized for a 2014 speech he gave at a Vatican Conference in which he referenced Julius Evola, darling of Italian Fascists.  It also appears Bannon, who is Catholic, is shimmying up to a group of Vatican insiders who believe Pope Francis is destroying the Church.

Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to President Trump, was herself “counseled” per Press Secretary Spicer because she encouraged people to go out and buy “Ivanka’s stuff,” from the White House Briefing Room. That crosses an ethical line, most people agree.  Perhaps not the President, who was unhappy with Spicer’s choice of the word “counselled.”

The Office of Government Ethics had its website melt down with complaints.

Ivanka has had her line dropped from Nordstrom’s because it was underperforming, which elicited a scolding tweet from the President, and then Nordstrom’s found its stock jumping 5%.

Apparently, Ivanka and Kellyanne have had words:  Kellyanne, don’t mention me or my products on television!

Poor Spicer.  He’s lost face with the President because Melissa McCarthy portrayed him on a SNL skit; the program is having its highest ratings in twenty years as a certain element in the country breathlessly waits for its next Trump skewer, though last night’s skit with Kellyanne Conway doing a “Fatal Attraction” on Jake Tapper caused me to grimace but SNL isn’t always known for its taste.

It is with unconscious competence I have chosen to be away now.  Claverack was pummeled with 12 inches of snow with another twelve about to batter it.  Hopefully, it will be over by the time I return.

Last night, I attended my friends’ party for the fifth anniversary of their art gallery, Williams – McCall, in South Beach.  Their chef was last seen providing the food for the Patriots at the Super Bowl.

So right now, I am going to finish this, do a bit more culling of emails and then head to the beach for a bit of sunbathing.  While I am not at home, this is traveling hygge.

 

Letter from Claverack 02 04 2017 Mine eyes dazzle…

February 5, 2017

It is Saturday night at the cottage.  “Swing Jazz” is playing on my Echo, the floodlights illuminate the creek and I am cozy in the cottage.  A load of dishes is in the dishwasher and I have spent the day, partially working, running a few errands.  Every week I try to buy some canned goods for the food pantry at the church and bring them in on Sunday.  That was one of today’s errands.

When I finish this, I will rehearse the readings for tomorrow as I am lector at Christ Church tomorrow.  It all feels very hygge. [Pronounced hoo-ga; the Danish word for living a cozy life.]  It seems the best time of all to be hygge, what with everything that is happening around us in dizzying array.

Honestly, right now, I am not sure who’s on first.  The refugee ban seems to have been lifted with the ban on immigrants from the seven predominantly Muslim countries.  Or is it?  I am doing my best to keep up and it’s hard.  Really hard…

I think President Trump hung up on the Australian Prime Minister.  Mine eyes dazzle.

And then President Trump told Putin that sanctions remain until he leaves Ukraine which is not what I think Putin was thinking would happen.  Putin did a few “provocative” actions in Ukraine this past week [thing what you can do with artillery] that ended badly for him.  The pro-Russian rebels were rebuffed by the Ukrainians.  And The Donald rebuked him.

Or perhaps it was Steve Bannon, who appears to be becoming the Lord Chancellor to King Donald.  Time Magazine has a frightening portrait of the man on its cover.  It is feared this is the man who is pulling the strings. Look here.

Apparently, per reports, Kelly, the Secretary of Homeland Security, had to remind Steve Bannon, he only takes orders from the President when Bannon was bossing Kelly around.

Oh, just gosh…

Kellyanne Conway, the most skillful swinger of truths encountered this side of Paradise, is being skewered everywhere as she justified the travel ban by referring to the “Bowling Green Massacre.”  Well, a couple of men were arrested in Bowling Green for attempting to aid and abet terrorists but there was no “Bowling Green Massacre.”  She is saying she misspoke one word and is being eviscerated by “haters.”

Must say, mine eyes dazzle.

The king of Executive Orders, our Donald, is now issuing one that will roll back Dodd-Frank, the regulations that were to save us from another meltdown like 2008.  Carpe diem!

While most of me is horrified by the political spectacle around me, there is another part that is amused.  In a gallows humor sort of way, which is not a good way.  Most of the American public is not amused.  President Trump’s approval ratings aren’t good.

Well, who approves of chaos and confusion and flirting with unconstitutionality?

Ethicists are appalled at the flimsiness of Trump’s separation from his business interests.

And all of this is hurting his business interests and those of Ivanka.  Nordstrom’s has dropped the Ivanka Trump line.  In an earlier post, I mentioned I was at Lord & Taylor on 5th Avenue and there was no one in the Ivanka Trump section.  Last time I was there, there was no Ivanka Trump section to be found.  Poof! Gone.

And, frankly, I have grown a little fond of Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner.  It is rumored they weighed in with The Donald and prevented him from signing an Executive Order that would have stripped the LGBTQ community of rights they had received under the Obama Administration.

On the other hand, it is, I’m sure, not making Steve Bannon happy.  Nor is it making happy the evangelicals who supported Trump despite his raunchiness.

Me?  A gay man.  I’m pleased.  Woo! Saved for another day.

Truly, I’m just a little bit scared.  And a little bit amused.  And a whole lot unhappy.

So, now it is time to return to hygge.  I’ll make myself a martini and finish reading “The Romanovs,” a six hundred plus page book outlining the rise and fall of the world’s longest ruling dynasty.  That’s a saga and it didn’t end well, as we all know.

May all this end well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letter from Claverack 11 07 2016 God help us, it is almost over…

November 8, 2016

How could this not be a strange night?  Tomorrow we will be voting [if we haven’t already] for the next President of the United States.

This has been the wildest, most contentious, most upsetting campaign I have ever witnessed in my life.  It has been appalling.

Reading Steven Saylor’s mysteries set in ancient Rome, the democratic process then was even more horrible than now and maybe not by that much.

In some ways I have worked to insulate myself from the craziness.  Returning home from New York after a quick round trip, I came into the cottage, turned on the floods over the creek and reveled in my home and the beauty that surrounds it.  It is my anchor in this time of troubles.

While it is unbelievable to me, there is a path to victory for Trump.  On Sunday, I lit a candle at church, praying that path would not be found.

Soft jazz is playing as I write this, another comfort in all of this.

Because I am having cataract surgery on Wednesday, I may go to bed not knowing who will be President.  If that happens I will be afraid to open myself the next morning to the news.  In the past week or two I wrote to a Republican friend of mine that I was terrified Trump would become President.

I have not heard from her since…

Apparently, his team has found a way to control his access to Twitter and has “cut him off.”  No more Tweets from The Donald.

Several newspapers have reported that Ivanka Trump is attempting to distance herself from the campaign.  On my way to lunch at Sarabeth’s at Lord & Taylor, I passed the Ivanka Trump Collection.  No one there.

What I find horrible is that Trump’s supporters feel that even if loses, they win.  He has given legitimacy to their radical views.

We have always been a flawed republic and I am just praying that we get through this most flawed moment successfully.

In the meantime, the jazz plays and will continue to play no matter who wins.  No one will take that away from me in my lifetime.

Comey is, I suspect, on the coals after announcing today that the emails on Anthony Weiner’s computer amounted to nothing and so there will be no FBI movement against Hillary.  The Daily News trumpeted:  NOW you tell us.

The Dow jumped 371 points once Comey announced there was no reason to pursue Hillary Clinton.

I speculated that Comey is cooked, having lost the respect of nearly everyone.

Today, Janet Reno, the first female Attorney General, passed away.  Sadly, I had almost forgotten her, though she weathered all the storms of the Bill Clinton administration.

Oklahoma suffered an earthquake today, linked, perhaps, to fracking.

And, really, can I make a request of the universe?  Let’s end daylight saving time, okay.  I am sorry. It just doesn’t seem worth it.  I am discontented this year, as I am every season when it happens.  Is there really a reason for this?

In New Delhi, the air is terrible and schools are closed.  It is worse than Beijing.

As the Iraqis advance on Mosul they are finding mass graves with beheaded men and I have no idea how they justify their behavior.  But they do.

It is not late and I am tired.

I am tired of this election season which has worn me beyond all reason and it will be over tomorrow, after which will come the next rancorous season and I will be here.

Commenting.

Thank you for reading.

I am honored.