Ivanka Mismanaged Food Program

Ivanka Mismanaged Food Program

Lines at food banks were long during the height of the COVID pandemic

Did Ivanka Mismanage Food Program?

“Of course,” she did, says investigative congressional committee

Ivanka is at the center of  another scandal involving fraud, incompetence, and mismanagement

By D. S. Mitchell

Numb To Outrage

I thought I was numb to the outrageous behavior of the Trump family, and those in their orbit, but I am not. Yesterday, I was perusing the internet, instead of doing what needed to be done. Anyway. . . I came across an article on ProPublica about the mishandling of the Food to Families Program from last spring and then the same story with updates popped up again in a Palmer Report article last week.

Pulling Back The Veil

Ivanka Trump, unveiled the program in May 2020.  According to congressional investigators, Ivanka spearheaded the idea to include the letter from her father in each of the boxes.  Private contractors were told by the USDA that the letter was mandatory. Food bank operators told congressional investigators the letter concerned them because it was politically biased.

The Dig Continues

I continued digging. I discovered that last week The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis,  published their report on the debacle. Sadly, the conclusion was that that former President Donald Trump’s administration, under the leadership of his daughter Ivanka, failed miserably at delivering food to families as promised.

Furthermore, the year long congressional investigation identified problems with the deliveries themselves; including food safety issues, spoiled food, failed deliveries, and uneven food distribution. Recipient organizations complained some contractors forced them to accept more food than they could distribute or store. That’s why, under the Trump administration, the Food to Families program was created. This program was supposed to get food into the hands and mouths of needy families. “Supposed to” are the keywords. It turns out, like, with everything else Trump & Associates touched, this program fell apart.

Whistle While You Work

ProPublica reports that the Farmers to Families Food Box program gave contracts to companies that had no relevant experience, and in many cases companies that lacked the necessary licenses for the contracts they applied for. Contractor applications were not adequately screened or vetted; nor did officials follow up on red flags in bid proposals. Money was foolishly wasted, grievously mishandled, probably stolen, and most assuredly misappropriated for political campaigning.


Why is that? To start with Ivanka was involved. According to new reporting  millions of dollars were misused and squandered. And much of the money went to bogus contracts being given to unqualified and inexperienced companies. There was little screening of said applications, according to the investigators. Some of the funds were also used to promote President Trump in various ways. Who would have guessed that? Remember that letter Ivanka Trump insisted be included in the food packages? The now infamous letter bragged about what a good job Daddy Trump was doing with the pandemic response. Democrats point out that the letter appears to violate the Hatch Act. No surprise there. I’d laugh if it wasn’t so predictable and so corruptly Trump.

Trump, A Dictionary, And An Idea

By D. S. Mitchell

Game Day

I know it is nearly July but it is another rainy day at the mountain, so I’ve got time to play some games. All I need to do, to get a break at Calamity Politics, is take it.  I’m not in the mood to be serious today. I had thought I was going to write an in-depth, thought-provoking, political post about the Iranian threat. However, I’ve changed my mind, for the moment anyway.

A New Game

As I opened the dictionary laying on the table, I got an idea for a new game. Wow. I just invented a new game. At least I think it’s a new idea. I believe I can write a spontaneous, weird and crazy story, using a well-known politician and his family as the centerpieces of that silliness. The idea is that I will use all the words on whatever dictionary page falls open, in the order the words appear on the two open pages.

So, here we go. My source is the “Everyday America English Dictionary”, Edited by Richard A. Spears, et al.  NTC (National Textbook Company) 1987.  Pages 130-131.

Daddy Knows Best

Donald Trump dropped the fountain pen on the desk, and asked, “What’s for dinner tonight?”

“Some form of fowl that Donald Jr, bagged when he was on safari in Texas,” Ivanka answered.

“You are a fox,” Big Daddy Trump gushed, leering suggestively.

“Stop it, Daddy.”

“Do you know what fraction of the federal budget is being spent on Jr.’s security detail?  Some reporter asked, and I had no idea.  Do you know?”

“Oh, Daddy, don’t worry about such stuff.  Just stamp it TOP SECRET,  and if that ‘fake news’ lady asks again, you just tell her it’s, classified.”

“Of course, of course. You’re right, sweetie.  I have more power in my twitter finger than ANYONE in the world!  Especially some ‘fake news’ reporter.”

“We should have that finger insured.  What if there’s a fracture?  It would be a disaster,” she said shaking her head in self-confirmation.

“Careful, Daddy, that glassware is very old and very, very fragile.  Michelle Obama called that glassware historic.”

“Historic?” he said with a twinkle in his eye.

Daddy, please, stop juggling the glassware.”

“Damn!  I don’t know why there’s no carpet in here?  You’d think, the designer would have figured out that somebody might drop something once in a while.  Bad design. Really, Bad.  Bad.”

“Daddy there’s a piece missing.  Do you see the last fragment somewhere?  Maybe we can get Melania to glue them back together.”

He bent down, picked up a large chunk of the broken glassware, and handed it to Ivanka.

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Oh, The Places You’ll Go! (With Nepotism)


Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

(With Nepotism)

By Ross Turner

In The Moment

Nepotism is having a moment right now.  Arguably, this moment never ended, but it has found renewed vigor in the presidency of Donald J. Trump.  Nepotism simply means favoritism towards relatives, usually expressed by their appointment to unearned positions.  The word stems from the Latin nepos, meaning nephew, which during the Middles Ages became nepotismo in Italian. Nepotismo referred to the tendency of Popes and bishops to assign relatives to positions of power.  Since they took vows of chastity and had no sons of their own, these assignments often fell to nephews.  The word may be medieval, but the practice is as old as mankind.  We are biologically hardwired to favor our kin over strangers, but this doesn’t mean that family is always fit for the job.

The Nepos Scale

History is rife with examples of nepotism that highlight its often disastrous consequences.  From the formation and collapse of the Roman Empire, to countless mad kings lording over the realms of Europe, much bloodshed and tumult has occurred as a result of incompetent kin who never should have held power in the first place. Nonetheless, families can’t seem to help themselves and keep on appointing each other to run their businesses and countries (into the ground.)  So, in the spirit of family, let us survey the Trump clan and see how far nepotism has taken them.  To assist in our appraisals, I’ve developed a highly scientific metric called the “Nepos Scale.”  Zero nepos is billing your toddler for diapers; five nepos is promoting your toddler to Director of Operations.

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Part V: Behind The Curtain

Part V: Behind The Curtain

D. S. Mitchell

At the end of Part IV: Behind The Curtain, David Cay Johnston told the reading audience that he had never seen evidence that Donald Trump was now a billionaire, or ever has been a billionaire.   I have no idea, and actually I really could care less if Trump is a billionaire or just a multimillionaire. That shit’s all in his head, not mine. Kinda like the guy who buys the biggest most gaudy truck he can find, to make up for some secret deficiency.

What I do care about is the obvious, and quite serious conflict of interest issues.  Trump has provided no tax returns, he has not established a blind trust, or divested himself of his businesses.  There are many questions about his deals with Russian oligarchs and his ongoing effort during the 2016 campaign to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, working behind the scenes with his long time attorney, Michael Cohen.

One of the character flaws noted by personal friends of Trump and discussed earlier in this series, is Trump’s poor judgment when choosing partners and associates. I can’t help adding my opinion on this matter.  I think, in addition to poor judgment, Trump just does not give a damn, that’s right, I don’t think he cares. The president’s  choice of Jared Kushner to be his Senior Advisor is a perfect example.

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Part III: Behind The Curtain

Part III: Behind The Curtain

D. S. Mitchell

One thing we have learned over the years is that Donald Trump is very aware of perception, most notably, the size of his fortune. In a 2006 lawsuit Trump sued Timothy L. O’Brien, author of TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald, for $5 million in damages because O’Brien asserted that Trump was actually “worth somewhere between $150 million and $250 million.” This was after Trump had stated in the book that he was worth $6 billion.

Trump claimed that “low ball estimates of his wealth came from guys who have four hundred pound wives and were jealous of his success.” ***(“four hundred pound wives’ sounds eerily familiar. Remember that imaginary “four hundred pound hacker siting on his bed” Trump described during the debates? So, my first twisted thought is that if I hear the “400 pound” line come out of his mouth I will assume it is an outright lie.)

So, what is Trump really worth? We are now entering murky waters. In the O’Brien lawsuit Trump claimed that an unfavorable news story, article, comment, or book in this case, could “psychologically hurt me. I am a billionaire, not a perceived billionaire.”

Court records from that case, based on a Trump Organization financial statement placed his net worth at $3.5 billion, far less than the $6 billion Trump claimed to O’Brien during interviews for TrumpNation. That same year there were many other efforts to assess the size of Trump’s fortune.  North Fork Bank, now Capital One Bank, estimated his total worth to be $1.2 billion, while Deutsche Bank put the estimate at closer to $788 million in 2005.

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Ethics, No Worries

Ethics, No Worries

D. S. Mitchell

Dog Ownership

It was 10:00 in the morning before the rain stopped.  My dog, Lily, had become quite irritated with me by this time. I had refused to endure a downpour to take her for her ritual 7:30 am walk and instead had pushed her butt out the door to do her business in the yard.  These are the kind of things that start slowly, and before you know it, the dog is in charge. I should probably resume reruns of The Dog Whisperer.

Just The Headlines

Political news and world news are sharing a lot of media space today.  Please, humor me dear reader, as I write a couple of paragraphs for the Calamity Politics blog site for each breaking story, rather than focus on a specific topic of political investigation and analysis.

1.) Bill O’Reilly: Settlements payments totaling $13,000,000 paid over a decade were exposed this week. Those payments, disguised with some bookkeeping trickery kept the payments secret from the public, the FCC and Fox shareholders. The revelation cost Bill O’Reilly his job. A Murdock spokesman announced that Bill O’Reilly had been fired.

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