Ivanka and Vodka, on the Rocks

Why had she stayed mute for so many days about the torment her father was inflicting on thousands of immigrant children? What will happen to her if Michael Cohen flips?

.. doomed never to return to her privileged perch as a Manhattan society darling?

.. “It’s really easy for someone whose sole job in the White House is women and children to issue a statement — even Melania did it,”

.. “It just shows how fake Ivanka is,” Fox continued. “She’s crafted this whole image of herself that’s not actually her. And the real her is cooler, slightly more interesting, funnier. She curses like a sailor. She partied a lot when she was younger. She flashed a hot dog vendor when she was in eighth grade. She chain-smoked. Which is so opposite of the image she put out there.

.. “What you’re seeing now is the unmasking. She can’t control the narrative anymore because she’s so inauthentic. It has really come back to bite her.”

.. as the echoes of sobbing children snatched from parents fleeing violence collided with images of a whining, pampered child-president bragging about his crowd size and his bank account, all while he callously used helpless kids as hostages to get his wall.

.. Her $39 Zara jacket read, “I Really Don’t Care. Do U?” And yet again, it wasn’t clear whom she was trolling — most likely, as her husband tweeted,

.. Which means the first lady is like her husband in one unfortunate respect: In times of national turmoil, she makes it about herself.

.. “She was infatuated with the Kennedys,” Fox said.

.. She tried to present her brand as luminous, caring and classy — a champion of women and children with a carefully curated image over the years on Instagram, in a blog and in books.

Amid the dark hailstorm of her father, Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, she sold herself as the sunny morning — the one who would temper her father’s retrogressive and sometimes wretched moves.

.. Introducing him at the 2016 Republican convention, Ivanka assured the crowd that he had “empathy and generosity,” as well as “kindness and compassion.”

.. it seemed like fan fiction.

.. a former top Trump administration official recently told me, “Donald Trump is the meanest man I’ve ever met.”

.. After her panic when he left her mother for Marla Maples — Ivanka worried she wouldn’t be able to keep the Trump name, and called him constantly — she spent her life fashioning herself, “Vertigo”-style, into his ideal.

.. no matter how hard Ivanka tried, Donald Trump thought she could be even more ideal. When she was a model, Fox writes, her father “suggested to friends that breast implants might help her along.

..  Maryanne Trump, Donald’s sister, urging him to talk Donald out of letting her get plastic surgery that young.

.. When his friend confronted him about it, he denied that she was getting implants. At the end of the call, he asked, ‘Why not, though?’”

.. Ivanka succeeded in being a Mini-Me. By 16, she trademarked her name with the intention of using it for everything from bras to brow liner to scrub masks. “There is a distinct genetic quality to Ivanka’s preternatural ability to self-promote,”

.. Ivanka ran into split-screen trouble with her gauzy and glam mommy-of-the-year Instagram posts during the refugee ban, the migrant crisis and the Palestinians dying at the Israeli border during her visit to the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

.. Her father is the all-consuming maw, what Fox calls “an infinite pit of need — a time-sucking vampire who fed off those around him to sustain his own vanity.”

.. Ivanka backed up the president’s fake narrative that it was Congress’s fault. When Daddy finally ended the pitiless policy that he imposed, she congratulated him on Twitter for white knighting it

.. The Trump family, of course, was seeing the problem as optics, not as a barbaric flouting of American values.

.. Donald and Ivanka are consumed with protecting their own brands. America’s? Not so much.

Cutting Taxes Is Hard. Trump Is Making It Harder.

President Trump said on Monday that he would oppose any effort to reduce the amount of pretax income that American workers can save in 401(k) retirement accounts, effectively killing an idea that Republicans were mulling as a way to help pay for a $1.5 trillion tax cut.

The directive, issued via Twitter, underscored a growing fear among Republicans and business lobbyists that Mr. Trump’s bully-pulpit whims could undermine the party’s best chance to pass the most sweeping rewrite of the tax code in decades.

.. Mr. Trump hosted House Republicans in the Rose Garden to celebrate passage of a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, only to call the same bill “mean” later.

.. Mr. Trump “can shift on a dime, and he has many unformed policy positions,” said Representative Charlie Dent, Republican of Pennsylvania. “We have to worry about him shifting positions.”

.. Republicans are also discussing whether to raise the top income tax rate for top earners and jettisoning a proposal to eliminate the estate tax.

.. Reducing 401(k) contribution limits would force retirement savers to pay more in taxes today, as they sock away money, but less in the future, when they begin withdrawing retirement funds.

.. “Trump engages in fits and starts and then undermines his side’s negotiating positions half the time,”

.. “He doesn’t care about the details of tax reform, or Obamacare repeal and replace, and thus inserting himself into the negotiations has been largely counterproductive to date.”

.. What privately alarms even supporters of Mr. Trump’s on Capitol Hill is the possibility that he cannot stomach unpopular issues. Such supporters often point to President Ronald Reagan’s championing of the 1986 tax reform bill, which eliminated many business tax preferences, as a contrast to Mr. Trump’s recent actions.

That same dynamic could also be a benefit for industry groups, which may be able to rout a proposal by portraying a change as going against public sentiment.

.. Many observers in Washington say Mr. Trump has frequently promised more than he can deliver, again pointing to the health care debate, where he campaigned on a promise to provide better, lower-cost coverage to more Americans.

Others point to Mr. Trump’s promises on the budget, where he vowed to

  • reduce the federal deficit and
  • pay down the national debt, while
  • both cutting taxes and
  • leaving two major safety-net spending programs, Medicare and Social Security, untouched.

.. “the president has never met a hard choice he was willing to make.”

American workers will catch on to Trump’s con

If wage earners could turn all the warm words they have heard into dollars, they would be rich. But they never receive the rights or benefits that are supposed to come their way.

 .. In his campaign, President Trump promised the world to American workers, including a better and more generous health-care system. Having broken his health-care pledges, he now claims that he will live up to his vows on jobs and wages by — cutting corporate taxes.
.. It turns out he’s the same old trickle-down conservative, only meaner: He also preys upon racial feelings and anti-immigrant sentiment, which is often cast as part of his “populism.”
.. There is absolutely nothing new about Trump’s insistence that what’s good for corporations will be good for American workers.
.. Trump seems to think that if he goes after immigrants, picks fights about his border wall, regularly recites the words “law and order” and assails “political correctness,” workers won’t notice any of this.
..  it’s always safe to wager that, over time, American workers judge politicians by looking at their paychecks, their working conditions and the economic prospects of their families. Trump will discover the limits of his flimflam.

Cruella de Trump

It is a more sensitive matter for women because for centuries, they relied on their looks for economic security, and they continue to be judged more on physical traits and clothing choices.

.. When Trump called the House health care bill mean, he knows whereof he speaks. He’s the King of Mean. Pathetically, Trump mistakes cruelty for strength.

.. The 71-year-old president’s pathological inability to let go of slights; his strongman reflex to be the aggressor and bite back like a cornered animal, without regard for societal norms; his lack of self-awareness about the power he commands and the proportionality of his responses; his grotesque hunger for flattery and taste for Tony Soprano tactics;

his Pravda partnership with David Pecker, the head honcho at The National Enquirer, which has been giving Trump the Il Duce treatment while sliming his political opponents, the “Morning Joe” anchors and Megyn Kelly — these are all matters that should alarm men and women equally.

.. Trump is isolated in the White House, out of his milieu, unable to shape the story, forced to interact with people he doesn’t own.

.. Before he got to D.C., Trump was used to media that could be bought, sold and bartered with. He is not built for this hostile environment and it shows in his deteriorating psychological state.

.. Trump has always been obsessed with looks — his own, men’s and women’s. One of his favorite phrases is “Here’s the beauty of me.”

.. back in the ’90s Donald would hand out tubes of Rogaine to male executives and say the worst thing in the world is for a male executive to go bald.”

.. I gave Trump the benefit of the doubt after his comment on Megyn Kelly about “blood coming out of her wherever” when he claimed he meant her nose. But later, a longtime Trump associate told me that Trump had practiced that line before he said it on CNN and that it was meant to evoke an image of Kelly as hormonal.

.. you can never be sure of anything that comes out of this White House.

Except the cruelty.