Donald Trump doesn’t pay his bills, he just screws his creditors and everybody he comes in contact with. But now, with his tiny mitts on the levers of government, and the government shutdown now the longest in history, even the water bill at the White House is $5Mil behind. The comical image of the White House getting a utility turned off was raised at a recent meeting of the D.C. water board. WAMU:
“We received an email Wednesday, January 2, from an individual at the bureau of fiscal services at the treasury,” said Matthew Brown, chief financial officer at DC Water, speaking during the water authority’s first board meeting of the year. He went on to read from the email: the federal government would not be paying $5 million of its $16.5 million quarterly water bill.
“That brings up an interesting question,” responded DC Water board chairman Tommy Wells. “Is there a time from nonpayment when we cut someone’s water off?”
“1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, is that what you’re talking about?” asked another board member, to laughter.
Under D.C. law, the water authority may shut off water to a customer for nonpayment after 30 days. After 60 days, a lien can be placed on the property in question, until full payment is made. Residential customers are charged a 10 percent fee for late payment (plus a $100 shut-off fee if water service has been turned off).
I wish they would shut off Donnie’s water. Let him go down the street to his hotel and live there. Or, let him stay in the White House, to show his base what a big man he is, and sponge himself off with baby wipes, just to show those Democrats who’s boss. Right now, he’s supposedly jonesing to go down to Mar-a-Lago and play golf. He’s caught between a rock and a hard place. He doesn’t care about the wall, never has, except as a divisive talking point, like the birther conspiracy. But he’s committed himself to staying in D.C. and holding the fort until the Democrats capitulate, or else. Unfortunately, they’re not budging. So will he declare his national emergency, so he can go out and play? He was making a lot of noise about that again in McAllen, Texas, Thursday. Now, the word is that if Trump declares a state of national emergency that he’ll divert money already appropriated by Congress for relief to disaster-stricken states. New York Times:
Instead, Mr. Trump would use his authority to transfer funds to the wall that were appropriated by Congress for other purposes. Toward that end, the Army Corps of Engineers has been directed to study whether it can divert about $13.9 million in emergency aide set aside for Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas and California. And with the money secured, the president could drop his opposition to the appropriations bills whose passage would end the shutdown.
That would allow Mr. Trump to say he had never backed down from his fight with congressional Democrats or abandoned his pledge to build the wall even if the construction became tied up in legal challenges.
This plan comports perfectly with who and what Trump is, a con artist without a conscience. Here are a few opinions, pro and con.
...opposition has come from many Republican quarters. Some conservatives see it as an unacceptable extension of executive power. Kellyanne Conway, a White House aide, has said it would essentially give Congress a pass. Representative Mike Simpson, Republican of Idaho and a member of the House Appropriations Committee, said it was not clear to him that an emergency declaration would even lead to the prompt reopening of the government.
He called it “a bad escape hatch” that was “going to piss off a lot of members.”
Mr. Trump’s reluctance is also frustrating allies ginning him up to take action. “If it’s a crisis, treat it like a crisis,” Stephen K. Bannon, the former chief White House strategist, said in an interview. “His best option now is to declare a national security emergency and get on with it.”
This is all vintage Donald Trump. The inability to pay the White House water bill might be comical, but misappropriating funds meant for tragedy stricken Puerto Rico and California, and two other states, is unconscionable. But it’s not surprising in the least. Trump doesn’t grok tragedy. When he came out to California he kept referring to the fire-gutted city of Paradise as “Pleasure.” Jerry Brown, looking at the ground, let it go the first time. Then on the second malapropism, all present intoned, sounding exactly like a Greek chorus, “Paradise.”
It’s unlikely that the Founding Fathers were thinking about mental illness in a president when they wrote the constitution. Perhaps the drafters of the 25th Amendment weren’t thinking that way, either. But we are here and now with a guy who never succeeded at doing anything except licensing his own celebrity, at the helm. And while there are moments it’s funny as hell, this is an American tragedy and getting worse by the day.
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[cross-posted to PolitiZoom]