Maybe history doesn’t literally “repeat” itself, but it sure seems to toss a lot of shit into the recycling bin. And if you’re old enough, and you pay close enough attention, occasionally you’ll see a blast from the past whizzing by overhead, like Halley’s Comet.There has been something about this nitwit Trump cabal that has been nagging at me for a while now, like I’ve seen it before. But a couple of recent reports finally snapped it into focus for me.
As most of you already know, I was born, raised, and spent most of my life in and around Chicago. In Chicago, we didn’t know from swamps, anything muddy and smelly had been mucked out and paved over years ago. We had a different, more down to earth, Chicago phrase for public corruption. It was called a “cesspool.”
In the days of my youth, the 60’s and 70’s, and under the loving tutelage of Mayor Richard J Daley, who was also the Cook County Democratic Chairman, the Cook County Sheriff’s office was not just a cesspool, it was an entire sanitation department. On a good day, you needed a gas mask around the CCSD, on a bad day, the radio warned people with small children, or asthma, to stay indoors.
The Cook County Sheriff’s were tasked mostly with patrolling the large, “unincorporated” areas of Cook County, just outside of Chicago. These were lively places. They could also be dangerous places. Roadhouses were popular, taking advantage of the fact that there were no city laws in effect designating “closing times.” In most roadhouses, you could not only drink, you could also plunk down a $20 on the next Cubs game, and there were almost certainly a handful of young ladies with spare time on their hands, if you had spare cash, and a back room for privacy. The roadhouses, several of them “strip clubs,” taking advantage of no local morality laws, served Canadian hooch, and sold Canadian cigarettes, purchased from smugglers without having to pay those pesky taxes and import duties.
The Sheriff’s office patrolled those places, and they took their cut. They were almost like bouncers in uniforms at the roadhouses, and took their cut to look the other way. If you were stopped by a Cook County Sheriff for speeding, and you were white, you knew enough to wrap your license in a $20 before you handed it to the officer, and you went on your way with a warning. The deputy made the collections from the roadhouses and outlaw casinos, kept his cut, and passed it on to the captain. He kept his cut, and funneled the rest to the Sheriff.
Being elected Cook County Sheriff was a great retirement plan, but it came with a catch. A Sheriff couldn’t succeed himself. If you were elected, you were elected to a single 4 year term, and you were done. As a result, most Sheriff’s got in, got theirs, and got out. Everybody knew they were filthy, but they didn’t care, they had condo’s in Miami Beach for the winter.
It struck me like a closed fist yesterday, while watching Rachel Maddow inform me about the Qatari government creep bragging about bribing Michael Cohen, and Trump reversing himself about the Chinese phone company ZTE, days after China made a $500 million investment into a Trump project in Indonesia. These ass clowns are nothing more than a reincarnation of the Cook County Sheriff’s of the 60’s and 70’s.
Cohen selling access to Trump, Manafort selling the country to Deripaska, Flynn selling his soul to Qatar, Russia, and Turkey, Kushner hawking resident visas to Chinese investors, and his idiot old man trying to shake down Qatar and the UAE. And Trump and his y-chromosome mutant spawn getting patents and investments in resort properties from the Chinese, and bribes from foreign governments in the guise of rooms and parties at their hotels.All of that shit, all of the fancy schemes, the cover transactions? It all boils down to nothing more than countries and other unsavory’s wrapping a $20 around their license before handing it out the car window.
Like the robber baron Sheriffs of my youth, these bastards know that this is a one shot deal, and the clock is ticking. They can’t be bothered with misdirection, that takes too long. So instead, they hold out their hand, look up, and wait for the cash to fall into their palms. Like the Sheriff’s of my youth, they honestly don’t care if everybody in town knows they’re dirty, they’re getting exactly what they got into this for, and the hell with the rest of us.
Actually, I’m kind of bummed. Up until now, I had been having a grand old time, picking up the pieces, and trying to fit them into their proper slots, unravel the puzzle along with the investigators. Not anymore, the realization of what it all is ruined it for me. This isn’t “Ocean’s Eleven,” with a grand scheme concocted by a master criminal. It’s nothing more than an ordinary, everyday, garden variety shakedown. Being performed by a bunch of grimy, third rate thugs. The founding fathers would be so proud.