It’s bad enough that Donald Trump has hijacked our nation’s Independence Day celebration.
Taking a cue from dictators the world over, Trump has demanded tanks be on hand for the extravaganza and is insisting on giving a speech — which will in no way be politicized, because, gosh, wouldn’t that be wildly inappropriate?
And then there was the bit about giving all the best seats to Republicans, including Republican donors and other insiders. (Then again, Democrats are treasonous weasels who refuse to kiss the ring on the sacred Vienna sausage fingers of Der Furor. So why should they get to bask in the eternal beatific vision of The Greatest President Ever?)
So what’s the cherry on the top of this shit sundae?
Oh, you guessed it. The Trump administration is “diverting” (i.e., stealing) $2.5 million from the National Park Service — money that had been earmarked for improvements to our, uh, national parks — in order to help cover the costs of Trump’s personal Potemkin party.
Trump administration officials have consistently refused to say how much taxpayers will have to pay for the expanded celebration on the Mall this year, which the president has dubbed “Salute to America.” The two individuals, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, confirmed the transfer of the Park Service funds Tuesday.
The diversion of the park fees represents just a fraction of the extra costs the government faces as a result the event, which also includes expansive displays of military hardware, flyovers by an array of jets including Air Force One, the deployment of tanks on the Mall and an extended pyrotechnics display. By comparison, according to former Park Service deputy director Denis P. Galvin, the entire Fourth of July celebration on the Mall typically costs the agency about $2 million.
Let’s call this what it is — a campaign event … and ipecac for anyone outside the Trump Circle of Trust — which happens to be most of us.
I won’t be watching this gauche train wreck, but apparently I’ll be paying for it. And so, it seems, will be visitors to our beloved national parks.
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