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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Don’t cry for me, Mar-a-Lago


Alas, there will be sadness and regret both in the White House and in Palm Beach on New Years Eve. Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney confirmed the news on Friday on “Fox and Friends” that due to the government shutdown President Trump won’t be attending the festivities honoring him at his glitzy Palm Beach, Florida White House, Mar-a-Lago.

Presumably whoever bought tickets will get their money back and deprive Trump of another opportunity to cash in some more on his presidency. The fatcats hoping to rub elbows with Donald and Melania will have to scramble to find other parties to attend where the women can show off their new designer dresses.

It is doubtful that Donald Trump will actually shed a tear over missing the event since he probably hasn’t actually cried since he was a baby and his mommy took his binky away.

Melania may actually shed a tear or two because she won’t be able to be the belle of the ball in whatever expensive outfit she hoped to wear.

If you’ve been in a vegetative state for the past two years here’s what you need to know to get yourself up to date. Mar-a-Lago is a gold leaf embossed mansion and golf club owned by the President of the United States, a former reality show host on a show called “The Apprentice.” This was a successful NBC show which probably was responsible for fabricating Trump’s image as a business genius and enabling him to become president. However, it was just revealed by the show’s producer Mark Burnett that the show was as big a fraud as he was:

“He (Trump) had just gone through I don’t know how many bankruptcies. But we made him out to be the most important person in the world. It was like making the court jester the king.” Bill Pruitt, a producer on the show, said, “We walked through the offices and saw chipped furniture. We saw a crumbling empire at every turn. Our job was to make it seem otherwise.”

Although Trump immediately proved himself to be an ideal character for reality television, producers had to do a lot of editing work to make him seem coherent. “He wouldn’t read a script — he stumbled over the words and got the enunciation all wrong,” Katherine Walker, a producer on the show, said. “But off the cuff he delivered the kind of zesty banter that is the lifeblood of reality television.” Although editors “cleaned it up so that he was his best self,” Walker is convinced “Donald thinks that he was never edited.”

Mar-a-Lago is sometimes called the Winter White House, which ought to be dubbed simply the White House, leaving the historic building on Pennsylvania Avenue to be called the auxiliary White House. I can’t find a current count of the number of days he has spent at Mar-a-Lago since becoming president. As of April this year the count was 17 for 2018. On December 26, 2017 Business Insider reported that Trump spent more than a 3rd of his presidency at his properties and a 4th at his golf clubs.

In the warmer weather when Florida is too hot for presidential golfing he typically takes Air Force One and Marine One to transverse the 177 miles to the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.  On one occasion when Trump “went back to Washington after his weekend away that he said ‘saves the country money’. In comparison to staying in Manhattan, that is true. Bedminster Mayor Steven Parker said the security costs for Trump to come to the town every weekend is about $300,000, according to But securing Trump Tower costs about $308,000 a day.”  (Ref.)

The New York Times reported in February 2017 that the “club’s nearly 500 paying members include dozens of real estate developers, Wall Street financiers, energy executives and others whose businesses could be affected by Mr. Trump’s policies,” including “at least three” who are under consideration for ambassadorships.

In July, 2017 Judge Katherine Polk Failla of Federal District Court in Manhattan ordered the Trump administration to release by September the “records of presidential visitors at Mar-a-Lago” that are subject to the open records law. From what I can tell nothing has changed since this article was published in the NY Times on Sept. 15, 2017: “Trump Declines to Release List of His Mar-a-Lago Visitors.

The Justice Department, in a statement it sent to CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) who sued to get the names, said it had decided not to release the names of everyone visiting with the president at Mar-a-Lago, arguing that many of the records are not covered by the law.

Mar-a-Lago is where Trump consulted with his unofficial VA advisors, Marvel Entertainment chairman Perlmutter and two other Mar-a-Lago members. You may recall that following the launch of an investigation by congressional Democrats into cronyism at the agency, a lawsuit by a veteran’s group sued to block the trio of non-veteran advisors who reportedly influenced a VA contract and other policies. (Ref.)

Here’s my tweaked version of Don’t Cry for Me Argentina (real lyrics) which was written and composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Tim Rice while they were researching the life of Argentinian leader Eva Peron for the musical “Evita.”  The song is sung both at the opening and near the end of the show, initially as the spirit of the dead Eva exhorting the people of Argentina not to mourn her, and finally during Eva’s speech from the balcony of the Casa Rosada.

And as for fortune, and as for fame I invited them in,
Though it seems to the world they were all I desired
Are they illusions?
Are they not the solutions they promised to be?
The answer was here all the time,
I love me and you love me

Don’t cry for me Mar-a-Lago

“Don’t Cry For Me, Agentina,” Patti LaPonne, Final Broadway performance of Evita and Madonna’s movie version


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