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Melania: The unauthorized biography

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July 17, 1996, Novo Mesto, Slovenia

Melanija Knavs, as she was then known, was a pretty 26-year old girl working the streets of her native town. She’d been a “paid escort” for the past three years, determined to save up money so she could escape her drab, confining life in the provincial part of a poor country that Austrians, to the north, called “the Poland of Southeast Europe” and that Italians called “the Serbia of Eastern Europe.”

She still lived at home with her parents. Her father, Klaus, an auto mechanic, barely made enough money to keep the family alive. Her mother, Tanjia, spent most of her time drinking schnapps and resenting Klaus for not providing the first-class marriage she felt she deserved. Melanija, an only child, had spent most of her life daydreaming: she was a fairy princess in a golden coach, or a regal queen with a jeweled crown, or—her favorite fantasy—a famous runway fashionista, with her photograph of the cover of the world’s couture magazines.

But she needed money to get out of Novo Mesto and make it to the Big City: Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, headquarters of the LSN television network, the leading fashion magazine Balkan Style, and the discos and clubs where all the Beautiful People of Slovenia gathered. And, oh yes, Ljubljana also was where the rich industrialists looked for girls.

She had no doubt she’d get there, but first, there was a job to do! And so everyday, Melanija would put on her prettiest dress—the low-cut red silk one that showed off her cleavage, whose hem ended just above her hips. She’d wear her thigh-high faux-leather red lace-up boots with their five-inch heels, and rouge her cheeks and attach the false eyelashes to her lids, and then parade up and down the Glavni Trg, the fashionable avenue where the Central Hotel hosted many international businessmen looking for fun. Melanija had perfected “the walk,” the provocative sashay of street workers, a cross between her idol, Paulina Porizkova’s, sexy strut and Jessica Rabbit’s voluptuous wiggle.

Melanija’s first pimp was a young thug named Hercule, a two-bit hustler from Novo Mesto’s seamy east side, who made his tolars from petty thievery, blackmail and drug dealing, in addition to running women. Hercule was cute, with a lopsided grin and a headful of curly black hair. Melanija liked him: he’d convinced her to be an escort with promises of money and a Champagne lifestyle.

But after a few years, the promises wore thin. Melanija grew tired with entertaining fat foreign businessmen with bad breath and dirty underwear. She longed for something more. And she wasn’t getting any younger. Already, there were lines around her lips, and bags under her eyes from the late nights and drinking. Keeping her weight under control was a constant struggle.

One day she was reading Balkan Style, envying all the beautiful models on its pages and wondering what they had that she didn’t, when she came across an advertisement for something called Trump Model Management. It was a modeling agency in New York City, run by a businessman she’d never heard of, Donald Trump. The ad said that the agency was seeking Eastern European models. Melanija had a little portfolio consisting of posed photos and a short bio. She borrowed 13 tolars from Hercule for postage and sent the package to New York.

Imagine Melanija’s surprise when, a month later, she received a reply from Trump Model Management. Mr. Trump himself was interested; was there any possibility she could meet him at the agency’s headquarters on Eighth Avenue?

Melanija was thrilled, but she soon realized that she’d never be able to afford the money to fly to New York. It would cost at least 1,000 tolars, and in addition to that, she’d need a new wardrobe. She knew she couldn’t ask Hercule for the money: he’d beat her if he thought she was trying to get away. So Melanija swallowed her pride and went to her father, Klaus.

Klaus was dubious. “You want to go to New York to become a model?” he asked. “What makes you think you can succeed?”

“I know I can, Papa. I’m beautiful, and I have the body, but most of all, I have the ambition.”

Klaus gave her the money, despite his misgivings. And so, on Feb. 16, 1997, in a driving snowstorm, Melanija Knevs boarded a Slovenian Airlines flight for John F. Kennedy Airport, in New York City, for her appointment at Trump Model Management. She knew not what lay ahead, but she was sure of one thing: “I will do whatever it takes to succeed.”

Tomorrow: Melanija meets the head of Trump Model Management


The New York Times November 23, 2024

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Following his re-election in 2020, Trump oversaw a drastic reorganization of the American government. His first move was to declare the U.S. House of Representatives, which Democrats had retained control of, “a threat to national security.” Under Executive Order 20-001, he ordered the House “dissolved, as of this moment,” and forbade its members from convening “on pain of imprisonment.” The Senate, which remained under Republican control, was permitted to convene; Senate Democrats immediately filed in Federal court for an injunction halting Trump’s order. They were joined by 26 Democratic states’ Attorneys-General. The Supreme Court, under rules of expedited order, considered the case, but, after only two hours of deliberation, ruled against the injunction, meaning that the House of Representatives remained shuttered. The vote was 5-4; the Chief Justice, writing for the majority, stated, “The President of the United States, under Article 2 of the Constitution, can do whatever he wants.”

Next, Trump increased the U.S. Marshals’ Service, which is overseen by the President, from 3,500 officers to more than 15,000. He then ordered them to arrest a number of public figures, whom he identified as “enemies of the State.” These figures included:

Nancy Pelosi

Adam Schiff

Mitt Romney

Jerry Nadler

John Bolton

Hillary Clinton

Amid objections by Senate Democrats and much of the media, Trump’s press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, announced that those detained “will be given fair trials, unlike the fake witch hunts they launched against an innocent President.” Courtroom trials were announced to commence in late May, in the well of the Senate Chamber, with Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas presiding.

At the trials, 27 defendants were summarily found guilty of “treason, misprision of treason, violations of the National Security Act of 1947, interference in a legitimate election, and conspiring with enemies of the U.S. government.” All were sentenced to death. In her statement to the Court following the verdicts, Hillary Clinton said:

I am not afraid of death. But I am afraid of the death of the American republic, to which I have devoted my life and my strength. I will mount the gallows—”

At that point, Justice Thomas gaveled loudly and ordered Clinton to “shut up, you goddamned traitor.” He was cheered by Republicans and booed by Democrats. One hundred U.S. Marshals, who had quietly gathered in the rear of the Senate Chamber, moved immediately to seize and detain the Democratic Senators, who numbered 48. They were taken to armed personnel carriers which were waiting just outside on the Delaware Avenue entrance to the Capitol Building. The vehicles were seen headed south, towards Virginia, but at this time, no one knows what happened to the Senators.

Trump addressed the nation that night, from the Oval Office. Commentators noticed a new framed photograph on his desk: Rush Limbaugh, who had died of cancer the previous year. Trump said, “We, the decent people of America, have now struck back at those who tried to murder America. Never again will these Demoncrat bacteria be in a position to take our beloved country hostage to their evil intents. God bless you all, and God bless America.”

In the aftermath of what became known as the Great Democratic Massacre of 2024, Trump ordered the State Houses of all Democratic-controlled states closed, and he threatened the nation’s 28 Democratic Governors with “detention, trial and retributive justice” if they attempted to govern. He dissolved several Cabinet departments: Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Labor, declaring them “obsolete.” He doubled the budgets of the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Justice, and declared war on Iran. Within one hour of that declaration, U.S. missiles dropped thermonuclear weapons on targets throughout the Islamic Republic. Protests from China, The Russian Federation, the European Union and dozens of small nations were ineffective. Trump, in a tweet, said, “We have lots more hydrogen bombs in our arsenal, in case anyone is interested.”

At the famous Mar-a-Lago Conference, in July, 2024, Trump hosted Russian President-for-Life Vladimir Putin, Chinese President-for-Life Xi Jinping, Turkish President-for-Life Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Israeli President-for-Life Benjamin Netanyahu. No protocol from the meeting was ever made public, but, within a month of its conclusion, Israel annexed the entire West Bank and announced a total blockade of the Gaza Strip; Russia completed its annexation of Ukraine and began the process of incorporating Moldava, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Belarus and Georgia; and China completed its takeover of the South China Sea, which it renamed “The Great Sea of the Chinese Communist People.” Trump announced that the U.S. was providing nuclear weapons “to the great people of Turkey and their great leader, President Erdogan.”  Turkey immediately annexed Syria. That September, in his annual speech to the United Nations, Trump said, “The United Nations was a good idea in its time, but its time has now gone.” Declaring the U.N. “an anachronism,” Trump ordered the world organization to vacate its real estate in Manhattan. “They can go anyplace they want to,” he said in a tweet, “as long as it’s not in our great country. Maybe Venezuela wants them, or some shithole country in Africa, I don’t know.”

U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced, on the day before Thanksgiving, the cancellation of the 2024 Presidential election. “There is no need to burden U.S. taxpayers with such a frivolous waste of time. We all know that President Donald Trump is going to be re-elected in a landslide, so why bother to have an election?” The next day, the President’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, issued a statement: “My father, our great President Trump, issues this promise to the American people: His third term will be his final one. However, our country will remain in capable hands: my husband, Jared Kushner, and I will become co-Presidents on Jan. 21, 2029, upon the completion of my father’s third term. I wish everyone a happy and healthy new year! God bless President Trump!


TOP SECRET – PRESIDENTIAL TRANSCRIPTS RE: JOHN BOLTON

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President’s Daily Schedule

9:45 a.m. – meet with Director Secret Service

The President: Um, Phil, I need you to do me a favor, though.

Director SS: What’s that, Mister President?

The President: Well, this guy, John Bolton—a real bad one, trouble, if you know what I mean—I need for you to arrange for him to have an “accident.”

Director SS: Not sure what you’re driving at, Sir.

The President: You know, an accident: car crash, fall out of a window, something like that. I’m sure you’ve arranged for such things before.

Director SS: Mister President, the Secret Service isn’t in the assassination business.

* * *

10:15 a.m. – meet with Director, Central Intelligence Agency

The President: Um, Louis, we kill people, don’t we?

Director CIA: When we have to, yes, Mister President.

The President: I mean, like we killed Soleimani, right?

Director CIA: Indeed we did, Sir. On your orders.

The President: Right. Well, I’m ordering you to kill someone else.

Director CIA: Certainly, Mister President. Might I ask whom?

The President: This John Bolton. He’s trouble. Bigtime trouble. A threat to national security.

Director CIA: Actually, sir, that’s factually incorrect. He’s been a loyal American all of his life.

The President: Look, Louis, I know things about him you don’t.

Director CIA: I doubt that, Mister President.

The President: Anyhow, I need for you to kill him.

Director CIA: Sir, the CIA isn’t in the business of assassinating your political enemies. I respectfully decline, sir.

* * *

10:45 a.m. – Meet with top advisor, Jared Kushner

The President: Well, Jar, how’s it hanging?

JK: Good, sir. How are you?

The President: Look, lemme ask you something. You must have run into some mafia types when you were a developer in New York, right?

JK: Well, sir, there were people who were rumored to be associated with the mob. But I never really knew.

The President: Well, do you think you could find me a hit man?

JK: A hit man, sir?

The President: Yeah. There’s a little business I need taken care of.

JK: And that is–?

The President: Bolton. He’s out of control. Bad news. I can’t get any of my official government people to take care of him, so I want you to find me a mafia assassin. You know, a couple bullets right between his eyes—ka-pow! That would solve the problem.

JK: I dunno, sir. I’d have to talk that over with Ivanka.

The President: No, you don’t. Let’s leave her out of it, okay? Need to know! So, can you dig up, you know, someone who “paints houses”?

JK: Um, can we put that on hold for a while, sir? I have to bring peace to the Middle East first.

* * *

11:15 a.m. – meet with Vice President Mike Pence

The President: Mikey, Mikey, how’s my favorite evangelical today?

The Vice President: Very well, sir, glory be to God.

The President: Ah yes, God. My favorite deity. Say, Mike, you must know a lot of true believers.

The Vice President: Yes, sir, if by “true believers” you mean men and women who would do anything for Christ.

The President: Well, that’s what I’m driving at. I need someone who will do “anything.”

The Vice President: “He who would follow Me must be prepared to give up his own life, to become Mine.” That’s John, chapter 24, verse 12, sir—as you know.

The President: What I’m thinking is someone a little unstable. Someone who knows how to handle a gun.

The Vice President: I know many fine men who have been born again and who belong to the NRA, sir.

The President: That’s great, Mike. Can you set me up with a meeting?

The Vice President: Well, I’d need a little more information. What sort of task did you have in mind?

The President: To be frank, I want someone who will kill John Bolton.

The Vice President: Really, sir? Your former National Security Advisor?

The President: Yup.

The Vice President: Hmmm. I’m sure it could be arranged. But would it be right?

The President: Yes, it would be right, because I say so. And I’m entitled to do anything I want.

The Vice President: Yes you are, sir. All right, I’ll put in a call to Rev. Graham and see what we can do. Thank you sir.

The President: Thank you, Mike. And God bless!

The Vice President: And God bless you, sir. [extends hand for handshake, leaves]

The President [to his secretary]: Mary, bring in a bottle of hand sanitizer, will you? Oh, and tell Melania I’ll be coming back for lunch. A bucket of McDonald’s, 2 Carl’s Junior Cheeseburgers, and a Giant Gulp.


A conversation between Schumer and McConnell

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McConnell: We demand that Hunter Biden testify.

Schumer: Why? He had nothing to do with this.

McConnell: Well, maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. We won’t know until we cross-examine him under oath.

Schumer: That inane reasoning could apply to everyone on earth.

McConnell: We reserve the right to call everyone on earth as witnesses.

Schumer: That’s completely psychotic. You’re just trying to distract attention from the overwhelming evidence of Trump’s crimes.

McConnell: Look! [waves shiny object up and down, back and forth]. Woo-ee! Looky here! Looky-looky.

Schumer: Won’t work, Moscow Mitch.

[Suddenly McConnell’s top aide comes running in] Leader McConnell, you have a phone call from Russia!

McConnell: Let me have that. [takes call from aide] Hello? Who is this? Vladimir? Hi, Vlad, what’s up?

Putin: We love what you are doing, Mr. Leader Mitch. Everybody in Russia love you. If you stop like USA, you come Moscow, me give you good job.

McConnell: Why, that’s darned nice of you, Vladimir.

Putin: Thank you. Please to give my regard to esteemed President Trump. Tell him pee tape safe in my hands.

McConnell: Good to know, Vladimir. Say, you couldn’t possibly send me a copy of it, could you?

Putin: Sure. Easy. On way! Dasvidanya!

McConnell: Peace out, Vladmir! [turns back to Schumer] So, you’re gonna agree to subpoena Hunter Biden, right?

Schumer: Wrong.

McConnell: Then no deal! No witnesses!

[enter Susan Collins]

Collins: Mr. Leader, I’m getting flack from my people. They’re demanding that we allow witnesses.

McConnell: Tell them we’ll bring in Hunter Biden.

Collins: Actually, Mr. Leader, they want to hear from Bolton.

McConnell: Bolton, Schmolton, who cares about that mustache?

Collins: Mainers are a fair people, Mr. Leader. They expect witnesses to be called in a trial.

McConnell: I’ve never been to Maine and I never want to go. You get a lot of snow up there, don’t you?

Collins: Yes, Mr. Leader. But about Bolton: What can I tell my people?

McConnell: Tell ‘em you have two words for them, and they ain’t “Merry Christmas.” That’s what I tell the American people!

Collins: Thank you, Mr. Leader. [exits]

[Enter Lisa Murkowski]

Murkowski: Mr. Leader, I’m getting slammed in the Alaskan press. They want witnesses to be called, beginning with Bolton. What should I tell them?

McConnell: Tell them we’ll bring in Bolton. Michael Bolton.

Murkowski: That washed-up old singer? Nobody cares about him. They want to hear from John Bolton!

McConnell? Why? All he has to offer is the truth. We don’t care about the truth. In fact, we want to cover up the truth. If I bring Michael Bolton in to sing, the liberal media will have a field day. They’ll forget all about impeachment. We’ll also get Ted Nugent in. And Marie Osmond: she can sing the Star Spangled Banner.

Murkowski: I don’t think that will satisfy Alaskans, Mr. Leader. They want to hear from real witnesses.

McConnell: Goldang it, Hunter Biden is a real witness.

[enter Jesus]

Jesus: Mitchell, Hunter Biden is irrelevant to this case. Everybody knows it. I know it. My father knows it.

McConnell: Who asked you?

Jesus: It’s my duty to weigh in.

McConnell: The Trump administration is doing fine without you, Mr. Christ. I suggest you butt out.

Jesus: All right. But don’t be surprised if, when you call me in the future, I don’t come.

McConnell: Fine by me.

[Jesus disappears. Enter Chief Justice Roberts]

Roberts: Mr. Leader, I’m inclined to allow witnesses, beginning with Mr. Bolton.

McConnell: Hunter Biden! Hunter Biden! Hunter Biden!

Roberts: Really, Mr. Leader, Hunter Biden has nothing to do with the charges brought against the president.

McConnell: Maybe I’ll bring charges against you, Mr. Loves-Gay-Marriage Justice!

Roberts: I voted my conscience.

McConnell: What does conscience have to do with it? The evangelicals hate gays.

Roberts; I’m not evangelical.

McConnell: Well, neither am I, but I do kiss their asses. After all, I have a re-election campaign coming up, and the evangelicals are big in Kentucky.

Roberts: I understand, but I don’t have to run for anything. I have a lifetime appointment.

Schumer: Mitch, I’ve caucused with my Democrats, and we’ve agreed to a compromise: You allow Bolton to testify, and we’ll allow Hunter Biden.

McConnell: Sorry, that was the old deal. I have a new one.

Schumer: What’s that?

McConnell: We bring in Hunter Biden, and Joe Biden, and Hillary, and Obama, and Pencil Neck Liddle Adam Schiff.

Schumer: And Democrats get–?

McConnell: Bupkus.

[cut to Trump tweet]

Trump tweet: Moscow Crooked Chuck Schumer is a Russian troll! Lock him up!

[Trump rally] LOCK SCHUMER UP! JAIL KILLARY! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

Trump [smiling] I love my people!


Leaked! A secret conversation between Trump and Mick Mulvaney

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[Mulvaney is Trump’s Acting Chief of Staff. They’re in the Oval Office of the White House.]

Mulvaney: The thing is, Mr. President, there are international treaties that prohibit the deliberate destruction of cultural sites in warfare.

Trump: Depends how you define a “cultural site,” doesn’t it, Matt?

Mulvaney: Mick, sir. My first name is Mick.

Trump: Whatever. But look, Kellyanne came up with a list of things I can bomb in Iran. I want you to take a look at it and tell me what you think.

Mulvaney [studying the list]: I can’t read this very well, sir. Her handwriting is so bad.

Trump: Yeah, well, penmanship isn’t one of Kellyanne’s strengths. She’s an intellectual.

Mulvaney: Okay, so she has the Golestan Palace. Mr. President, that’s one of Iran’s holiest sites. It was built in the 16th century and is where the Khans lived. The Shah of Iran was coronated there.

Trump: Kind of like the Trump Tower of Tehran, eh? Well, let’s keep it on the list. Boom! Gone! I have a big military, don’t I, Milt?

Mulvaney: Mick, sir. Yes, you have the world’s biggest military, Mr. President.

Trump: So what else is on Kellyanne’s list?

Mulvaney: Well, she also has Pasargadae. That’s a U.N. World Heritage Site, sir.

Trump: What is it, some kind of theme park like Disney World?

Mulvaney: No, sir, it’s actually an archeological site where Cyrus the great built his capital, in the sixth century BCE.

Trump: What’s BCE?

Mulvaney: “Before the common era,” sir. Before Christ.

Trump: Then why don’t they say “before Christ”?

Mulvaney: I don’t know, sir.

Trump: I think my good friend, Franklin Graham, would be offended by that.

Mulvaney: Yes, sir. But you see, sir, you can’t destroy Pasargadae. It would be like the Iranians destroying Washington.

Trump: Let them try, Muff, let them try. Boom! I’ll just drop a couple bunker busters on Khamenei.

Mulvaney: Mick, sir. Thing is, Mr. President, the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict was signed by most of the world’s nations, including us, in 1954. It specifically says “The High Contracting Parties undertake to ensure the immunity of cultural property under special protection by refraining, from the time of entry in the International Register, from any act of hostility directed against such property and, except for the cases provided for in paragraph 5 of Article 8, from any use of such property or its surroundings for military purposes.”

Trump: Aha! So there’s an exception! What’s that paragraph 5 Article 8?

Mulvaney: It says, “If any cultural property mentioned in paragraph 1 of the present Article is situated near an important military objective as defined in the said paragraph, it may nevertheless be placed under special protection if the High Contracting Party asking for that protection undertakes, in the event of armed conflict, to make no use of the objective and particularly, in the case of a port, railway station or aerodrome, to divert all traffic there from. In that event, such diversion shall be prepared in time of peace.”

Trump: So if a cultural site is near, say, a nuclear enrichment plant, I can still bomb it?

Mulvaney: No, sir, just the opposite. If Iran says it’s protected, then you have to respect that.

Trump: Look, Mitt, I need another opinion. Kellyanne!

[Enter Kellyanne Conway]

Kellyanne: Yes, Mr. President?

Trump: Mitt here says I can’t bomb anything in Iran because everything is a cultural site.

Mulvaney: It’s Mick, sir, not Mitt.

Kellyanne: That’s fake news, sir. Iran has no cultural sites.

Mulvaney: That’s not true, Kellyanne! Who told you that?

Kellyanne: Vice President Pence. He said Iran is a fake country.

Mulvaney: Mr. President, you’re getting bad advice! Iran is a real country! They’re in the United Nations!

Trump: Pence!

[Enter Mike Pence]

Trump: Dick, let’s pray.

Pence: Mike, sir. All right, let’s get down on our knees. [Everyone kneels] ‘Almighty God, please bless your Instrument, Donald Trump, the President of the United States, whom you sent to the American people to cut taxes on billionaires and persecute queers.’

Kellyanne: Amen!

Trump: [rises, dusts off pants]: Okay, Pence, now what’s this I hear about Iran being a fake country?

Pence: It’s true, sir. Ask Franklin Graham.

Trump: [to Kellyanne]: Get Franklin on my phone.

[Kellyanne makes a phone call. Hands the phone to Trump]

Trump: Franklin? Is that you? I’m putting you on speaker phone.

Franklin Graham: Yes sir, Mr. President, it’s me.

Trump: Where are you? I hear a woman’s voice—are you with a woman?

Franklin Graham: No, Mr. President, I’m just alone here in my chapel, praying.

Trump: Look, Pence tells me you told him Iran is a fake country. Is that true?

Franklin Graham: Well, it depends how to define “country,” Mr. President. For example, take The Grand Duchy of Fenwick.

Trump: What’s that?

Franklin Graham: It was a country that declared war on the U.S. but it wasn’t a real country, it was a fake country in the movie, The Mouse That Roared.

Trump: How could a fake country declare war on a real country?

Franklin Graham: Exactly, sir. My whole point.

Trump: All right, Melvin, I’m ordering you to bomb all the fake cultural sites in that fake country, Iran.

Mulvaney: Mick, sir. I’ll give the order to Esper.

Trump: Who’s that?

Mulvaney: Mark Esper, your Secretary of Defense.

Trump: Right, right…okay, everybody, get out. And send in the chief of my Secret Service detail.

[Everybody exits the Oval Office. A big, burly man enters.]

Trump: Ralphie, get me a porn star. I don’t care which one. In fact, make it two.

Secret Service agent: It’s Roger, sir. At once, sir. The usual place—the Lincoln Bedroom?

Trump: Yes. And order up a couple buckets of KFC and some Nachos.

Sercret Service agent: Yes, Mr. President!

FINIS


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