Saturday, August 10, 2019

Rich, connected and soulless men. From the White House to Epstein's private island

Seriously, what kind of person pulls this act?

Dahlia Lithwick looked at that photo and other reports around this visit, and replied with a great essay in Slate. Here's a taste.
Trump is really only good at one thing: being on television. Any event that can be engineered to look like a scene from The Apprentice can be fudged to his advantage. Stadium rallies, press availability from inside the Oval Office, even canned speeches read from a teleprompter can be salvaged; so long as he is essentially only producing a simulacrum of presidenting, he can shift along. But reality confounds him. Take him out from behind the oceans of fawning MAGA hats and put him next to a real survivor of sexual violence, and all the grinning and preening tricks fail him. Put him next to actual heads of state discussing actual international policy, and he sulks and mopes. Oh, he can pull off the photo-op; this is a man made of photo-ops. But time and time again, when he is called on to deal with real people—not glassy superfans but genuine human beings whom he allegedly serves as president—he fails to meet the occasion. The consummate reality-TV president is unerringly confounded by reality.

It’s not simply that an injured baby had to be returned to a hospital so that a grinning president could throw a Fonzie-style thumbs-up for the Twitter fans—that’s gross, yes, but it misses the point. The point is that this president, who understands only ratings and adulation and crowd size and “getting credit,” is seemingly incapable of subordinating all that to the moment. This was a moment in which grieving Americans wanted nothing more than for him to show up and be with them. The “catastrophe,” with all due respect to the unparalleled wisdom of Scaramucci, is not that he failed to show the requisite “compassion” or “empathy” for the cameras. Neither Donald Trump, nor his wife, nor his handlers and enablers, will ever understand that the real catastrophe isn’t how he appeared on television or Twitter. The real catastrophe is that Americans are dead and dying and their president is mass-producing a television show about his presidency, with their personal tragedy as a set choice.

Trump cannot function in reality. He lives in a hall of mirrors with his made-for-TV family, as the national security apparatus, the national intelligence apparatus, the foreign service, and foreign policy detonate all around him. And on the rare occasion on which he is called to step out from behind the glass panopticon that he has built, he fails, spectacularly, because that which really matters can’t be tweeted or reduced to a campaign video.
And when you're someone like Donald Trump, who has been in sheltered circles his entire life and never had to work for anything, you lose touch with reality, and think that life is nothing but a game. And you think you can get away with anything, because everything is reduced to status and social comparison.

Which brings us to the list of wealthy, connected men that was released as part of the unsealing of 2,000 pages of information relating to a lawsuit of Jeffrey Epstein (who now is magically RIP today). Look at these sickos, who were named by Virginia Giuffre as part of claims that she was exploited by Epstein as a teenager.
They include: the late scientist Marvin Minsky, modeling scout Jean-Luc Brunel, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, 71, former Sen. George Mitchell, 85, Hyatt hotels magnate Tom Pritzker, 69, and prominent hedge fund manager Glenn Dubin, 62. Giuffre has previously identified Epstein’s lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, 80, and Prince Andrew, 59, as two of the people with whom she had sex.

All the men have issued denials, with some of them, including Dershowitz, insisting that they never met Giuffre. No charges have been filed against anyone other than Epstein, who was indicted last month in New York on two counts of sex trafficking. Epstein was found dead in Manhattan Correctional Center on Saturday. Unnamed officials have said the cause was suicide, but that has not been confirmed by the medical examiner.

Some of the testimony released Friday is difficult to read, as when one 15-year-old Swedish girl, shaking and crying in fear, told a butler who worked for two of Epstein’s closest friends that she had been taken to Epstein’s island in the Caribbean and ordered to have sex with him and others. The butler, in a sworn statement, said the girl, visibly traumatized, told him that Epstein and Maxwell had physically threatened to harm her and seized her passport to keep her on the island, according to the butler’s statement.

The houseman, Rinaldo Rizzo, worked for Dubin and his wife, Eva, a former Miss Sweden and founder of the Dubin Breast Center at Mount Sinai. Rizzo said that the girl was so distraught she couldn’t recall how she got back to the U.S. mainland but that it was Maxwell who returned her to the Dubin residence in New York.

The cache of court documents, part of the defamation case’s motion for summary judgment, also shows that in 2006, when the Palm Beach police were first investigating Epstein, he was being assisted by Maxwell as part of a pyramid-like scheme the pair operated to lure young girls from around Palm Beach County, focusing on schools, colleges and spas.
And yet, we have organized our economic system to give every advantage to THESE SOCIOPATHS over the last 40 years, and Epstein was one of the few people that might have finally been facing consequences for being such a sick pud. No wonder why these guys think they can do anything.

This guy may not have gone to Epstein's. But they're in the same Club.

Every day is seems like we get more examples of clueless, bad behavior by rich old men in connected elite circles. If that isn't a walking advertisement for a 90% tax on the rich and a new type of ruling class that comes from outside of the Club, I don't know what is.

1 comment:

  1. It IS, in fact, in the public interest to fairly tax these monied sociopaths out of a level of excess influence, a status they gained by purchasing and installing puppet-legislators in state governments and the Congress, puppets who in turn legislate economic benefits and advantages which disproportionately favor and enrich the already-rich.
    Such creatures actually must be dis-incentivized from indulging their obsessions about gaining more affluence, must always and ever be blocked from positions of power and influence, in recognition of their pathologies and anti-social proclivities (See: Koch, Walton and DeVos mutations of homo sapiens)
    Indeed, a mental fitness for public office test must become the uniform and minimum requirement for all public office holders, a recognition that sociopaths, psychopaths, narcissists and those with similar deficiencies are, constitutionally, innately, incapable of public service. (See: Walker, Vos, Sensenbrenner, Darling, and like-minded mutations of homo sapiens)