I don’t know about you, but these days, I can’t get the song: “Come Fly With Me” out of my head. Sinatra really swings it as he takes you on a breezy romantic trip around the world. And it seems these days, that a whole bunch of the Don’s cabinet members have it on their play list.
Tom Price, our moral barometer for healthcare, spent nearly one million dollars ($400,000 in private charters and over $500,000 for military flights) of taxpayer’s money to fly just about everywhere but the moon, spreading the word that it was just a bunch of malarkey that people would lose their healthcare in the Republican Repeal and Replace debacle. He reassured everyone that the government really cared about them and that rumors of their imminent demise were exaggerated.
Did you know that the cost of military plane travel is $25,000 an hour? So that means if you fly from D.C. to England, you spent more money in 6 hours than 90% of the people in this country make in a year! Drain the swamp, baby!
When confronted about it, Price said he would pay back 11% of the $400,00, as he still had some extra cash from the dividends he earned from sketchy pharmaceutical and medical stocks he owned. Somehow that didn’t seem like a fair deal for the American people. That’s like going in to P.C. Richards, buying a $2,000 TV and asking the store if they would take $200 for it.
When the jig was up and the stench wafted up too close to The Don’s nose, Price had to take a nosedive and supposedly crashed in a swamp somewhere in the bayou. Turns out that what was most upsetting was the loss of all those frequent flyer miles he earned while ripping off the country. He was particular forlorn about the military miles, as those were triple bonus.
The president was not happy about it all, but managed to remind us that Price was a really good guy and that it was just very, very, very, bad optics. He said nothing about what Price did, as he really doesn’t mind his actions, just that he got caught. And if you remember, another fallen angel, Mike Flynn, was also a good guy with terrible optics. And so were some of the Neo-Nazi’s in Charlottesville. So many good guys egregiously misunderstood- just like The Don. I have a different word for them: Schmucks! A Schmuck is a bad guy, better yet an utterly contemptible human.
The list of the Schmucks who fly on the American people’s dime include our Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Stinky (oops, I mean Zinke), who is working diligently to protect our national monuments by figuring out how there can be more drilling for oil and natural gas in these protected and cherished places.
Stinky, chartered planes for a number of flights, including a $12,000 trip to Las Vegas to deliver a speech celebrating a new professional hockey team. Didn’t know hockey teams sought out inspirational speakers. His response to being questioned about this was that it was all a bunch of BS and he was allergic to the peanuts they give out in the economy seats.
Then there is Steve Mnuchin, the Secretary of Treasury (he’s the one behind the tax reform which gives 79% of the tax breaks to the wealthiest 1%), who asked for a military plane for his honeymoon with his wife. Luckily for the American people he got caught with his pants down before he got on the plane and had to skulk away with his tail between his legs. He did manage to swoop his wife off on a whimsical “let’s fly with me” moment and took a private plane to Fort Knox to see the Lunar eclipse.
Scott Pruitt, Director of the E.P.A. felt left out so he racked up $58,000 worth of expenses flying on private and military planes. He didn’t even go anywhere; he was just excited to add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
Also, while we are talking about egregious spending of taxpayer money, I must mention that Mr. Pruitt is spending nearly $25,000 on constructing a sound proof communications booth for himself. Makes you wonder what the hell he is communicating. Perhaps he is protecting himself from being a victim of the leakiest White House ever? Maybe he doesn’t want people to be privy to his unsavory stock deals with oil companies? Or maybe, he doesn’t want anyone to hear his moaning, groaning and panting when he engages in internet sex. Just hope he makes sure he knows how old his female (or male) partners are, as remember what happened to Anthony Weiner for sexting underage girls!
And then there are the Von Trump family Skiers who cost the tax payers $300,00 for their annual ski trip to Colorado from the flight, hotels and security detail needed. The Secret Service spent almost $50,000 on rental vehicles and ski equipment. Isn’t fun to think of the Secret Service on skis?
If this were a movie we would have to call it: “Schmucks on a Plane,” though the original title “Snakes on a Plane” would work, too. And we definitely want Samuel Jackson in this version, but more in a role he plays in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, where he wreaks havoc on those that have wronged him.
Seems The Don, great swamp drainer, can’t get a break. Everywhere he turns his people keep messing up. Each of them had the good fortune (really, no pun here; ok, yes a pun!) to take his basic training in: How to rip off people and get away with it. He told them that private planes were fine but to be careful with the “military option.” He just can’t believe how stupid they are, what a bunch of schmucks (schmuck can also means fool, too.)
But why we would be surprised by any of this abuse, as the culture of the “family” starts at the top. After all, The Don is selling the official presidential hat on his re-election campaign website and using the profits to pay for his lawyers, who he hired to defend him on his dealings with the Russians. He makes money everyday from his Washington Hotel where important world players come to cavort and seek favor with White House staffers with access to the president. His income from his golf courses is soaring and he has doubled the cost of the membership to Mar-a-Lago. And who knows what profits he is making from his relationships with foreign governments.
Drain the swamp, baby!