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Opinion Blogs
One Man's Opinion: Good Call, BAD Idea
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One Man's Opinion: Good Call, BAD Idea

One Man's Opinion: Good Call, BAD Idea
Photo Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
DORAL, FLORIDA - AUGUST 27: A Trump National Doral sign is seen at the golf resort owned by U.S. President Donald Trump's company on August 27, 2019 in Doral, Florida. President Trump said the United States may host the next G7 gathering at the golf resort. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

One Man's Opinion: Good Call, BAD Idea

"I thought I was doing something very good for our Country by using Trump National Doral, in Miami, for hosting the G-7 leaders. It is big and grand, on hundreds of acres next to Miami International Airport, has tremendous ballrooms & meeting rooms and each delegation would have its own 50 to 70 unit building. Would set up better than other alternatives. I announced that I would be willing to do it at NO PROFIT or, if legally permissible, at ZERO COST to the USA. But as usual the Hostile Media & their Democratic Partners went CRAZY!" Tweeted by President Donald Trump over the past weekend in a rare back-tracking to withdraw plans to host the 2020 G-7 Summit at his Trump-owned Doral Golf Resort in Miami, Florida.

Reversing course and stopping a problematic no-bid contract worth several millions to any hotel or property, as well as a major reputation enhancement, is a good idea. Making the selection in the first place on many fronts, and particularly given his timing, was a very bad one. I will give the President credit however again, in that he is often a master of distraction. All this chatter and absorption of the 24-hour news cycle for a few days did shift to this story and away from the Ukraine, Kurds in North Syria and the impeachment inquiry. 

Though as the original G-7 site announcement came from at least still now Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney (as of this writing), it was also Mulvaney who let slip a boo-boo regarding the President's earlier phone call with the President of the Ukraine in the same briefing. I would not be taking bets on Mr. Mulvaney's long term job security. 

The Doral is a beautiful hotel, as is Mar-a-Lago, the Trump National Hotel in Washington, D.C. and many other Trump resorts, both foreign and domestic, but even if offered at cost, with no public bidding or public contracts from a private company, the revenue to the host property would be in the millions of dollars, as well as the additional global media exposure. The last then G-8 Summit on American soil was in June of 2004 at The Cloister on Sea Island, hosted by President George W. Bush.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
SAVANNAH, GA - JUNE 6: U.S. President George W. Bush (C) shakes hands as he arrives at Hunter Army Airfield June 6, 2004 in Savannah, Georgia. President Bush will host the 30th G8 Summit at Sea Island, Georgia. The summit brings together the leaders of the world's major industrial democracies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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One Man's Opinion: Good Call, BAD Idea

Photo Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
SAVANNAH, GA - JUNE 6: U.S. President George W. Bush (C) shakes hands as he arrives at Hunter Army Airfield June 6, 2004 in Savannah, Georgia. President Bush will host the 30th G8 Summit at Sea Island, Georgia. The summit brings together the leaders of the world's major industrial democracies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

That visit by the eight heads of state was deemed important enough to custom order a hand-made conference table utilizing old growth hardwoods and repurposed timber at a reported cost of nearly $100,000. If the table was that pricey, imagine the costs for security, catering and lodging. And presidents, prime ministers and the like typically travel with rather large posses, not to mention the several hundred news media outlets and reporters staged and present nearby. 

This President should be, and likely has already been made well aware of the downsides of his hotels doing business with foreign governments, as his private lawyers have been litigating multiple lawsuits siting the Domestic Emoluments Clause, which prohibits U.S. Presidents from directly or indirectly receiving income from foreign governments while in office. President Trump chose not to place his various enterprises in a blind-trust or to completely separate himself from his many business holdings. While his corporate and real estate holdings remain privately-owned and generally managed at present by his two sons, many acknowledge the President remains apprised of, if not directly engaged in the day to day affairs of various Trump enterprises. 

As candidate Trump, the entrepreneur often Tweeted and stated at campaign rallies that he might become the first President to actually make money on his campaign, as well as while being in office. The Trump 2020 re-election campaign theme is Promises Made, Promises Kept. It appears we may have two more of those to add to that list. 

At G-8 Summit 30, on Sea Island, an additional wrinkle was the passing of former President Ronald Reagan, and his funeral which occurred on June 9, on the second day of the summit, and caused several heads of state to extend their stays stateside. The Doral would pass muster on similar access to military installations, but so for that matter would the Eden Roc or the Fontainebleu Resorts in Miami Beach. And closer to D.C., both the Greenbrier in West Virginia, or the Homestead in Virginia, would also easily fit the bill, and have previously hosted foreign heads of state. 

If the Doral's selection had become reality, Congressional Democrats were all but stating that this action would have created its own separate Article of Impeachment, and even many of the Presidents typical allies and defenders on Capitol Hill were more than lightly critical of both the timing and the choice. 

Some supporters of this President have suggested that his likeness may later be added to the carvings on Mount Rushmore. Though his re-election may well still be possible, driven largely by the hard rush left by the most likely candidates still standing in the Democratic field, it would seem right now that he may be more strongly remembered for having too many thumbs instead. Two.

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  • Two Calhoun State Prison officers in Morgan, Georgia, were arrested for allegedly smuggling drugs and other items inside a popular microwavable sandwich. The two female officers were arrested Monday after a metal detector alerted investigators to about 112 grams of meth and tobacco inside a Pepperoni Pizza Hot Pocket, according to WALB. Officer Corlethia Lattimore was charged with drug trafficking and Imani Ferguson was charged with conspiracy and giving illegal substances to inmates. Both were charged with violation of oath of office. Calhoun County Sheriff Josh Hilton told WALB that there have been almost a dozen arrests in the last year of people trying to smuggle contraband into the prison.
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Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, also got into several sharp exchanges with Bloomberg, saying he doesn’t believe a billionaire should be allowed to “buy an election.” Former Vice President Joe Biden, who likewise went after Bloomberg and his wealth, also took a swipe at Sanders’ Medicare-for-all plan. “When you asked Bernie how much it cost last time he said...' We’ll find out,’” Biden quipped. “It costs over $35 trillion, let’s get real.” Here’s how the debate went: Live updates: Closing statements 11 p.m. ET Feb. 19, 2020: The debate ends as the candidates are asked to give closing statements. Klobuchar says it’s about heart and Trump doesn’t have one. She then asks people to go to her website. Bloomberg says people should go to his website, but he’s not asking for money. He says Trump isn’t doing the job – he’s not a manager, he can’t build teams. 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This is also a question about electability.”He says he will not release the women from the agreements.The audience boos.“I hope you heard what his defense was. I’ve been nice to some women,” Warren said. ‘I can’t go to Turbo Tax’ 9:40 p.m. ET Feb. 19, 2020: Bloomberg explains why he has not yet released his tax returns. It’s a massive job to do that, Bloomberg says, and the results will be in the thousands of pages, he said. “I can’t go to Turbo Tax,” he says. Stop and frisk 9:37 p.m. ET Feb. 19, 2020: Bloomberg explains his stop and frisk policy: “I thought my first responsibility was to give people the right to live,” he said, but “it got out of control.” “I’ve sat, I’ve apologized, I’ve asked for forgiveness,” Bloomberg said. “We stopped too many people.” Warren responded, “This really is about leadership and accountability,” she said. “It targeted communities of color; it targeted black and brown men from the beginning. 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Warren goes after Bloomberg saying there’s one candidate who has referred to women as “fat broad” and “horse-faced lesbians.” “No, I’m not talking about Donald Trump, I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.” “We are not going to win,” Warren said, “If we substitute one arrogant billionaire for another.” Klobuchar said she was happy to see Bloomberg on the stage until she saw a memo from Bloomberg’s campaign that suggested she get out of the race. Biden says, according to an NBC poll, he is the one who can beat Trump. “Look at your own poll,” he tells the moderators. Buttigieg says the nominee could end up being one of the “two most polarizing figures on this stage.” Then he suggests, “Let’s put someone forward who is actually a Democrat.” xxxx The debate is about to start 8:53 p.m. ET Feb. 19, 2020: The candidates are taking the stage now. Who’s Number One? 8:40 p.m. ET Feb. 19, 2020: Sanders is now the front-runner in the Democratic race for the presidential nomination, replacing Biden. He is holding around 30% support in national polls. However, the leader in primary results, which is what matters in gaining the nomination, is former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. He’s up by one delegate over Sanders. Steyer isn’t there, but his money is 8:31 p.m. ET Feb. 19, 2020: Tom Steyer is not on the debate stage tonight. The billionaire entrepreneur has spent upwards of $14 million on ad buys in Nevada and is on the Nevada ballot, but he did not get enough support in polls to make the stage. When will we know Nevada’s results? 8:25 p.m. ET Feb. 19, 2020: The Associated Press is reporting that Democrats will not commit to releasing Saturday’s Nevada caucuses results on Saturday. According to The AP, Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez said several factors, including early voting and potentially high turnout, could affect the tabulation and timing of results. In addition, Nevada, like Iowa, will be reporting three sets of data from the multistage caucus process. The rules 8:16 p.m. ET Feb. 19, 2020: The rules for the night will allow debaters one minute and 15 seconds for answering questions they are given by moderators, and 45 seconds for follow-up responses at the moderators’ discretion. In past debates, those rules have often gone straight out the window with people jumping in on their own and, at times, hijacking the stage Health issues 8:03 p.m. ET Feb. 19, 2020: Bloomberg’s and Sanders’ campaigns have been trading barbs today. Sanders’ press secretary claimed this morning on CNN that Bloomberg has had “several heart attacks.” Bloomberg’s campaign called her out, saying Bloomberg has never had a heart attack. 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  • Former Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Greg Robinson was arrested Tuesday and was being held in a Texas jail on drug distribution charges, authorities said Wednesday. Robinson, 27, who started 14 games for the Browns in 2019, was booked by the Drug Enforcement Administration on Tuesday, according to El Paso County jail records. Robinson was arrested at the Sierra Blanca border checkpoint near the U.S.-Mexico border, AL.com reported. Robinson faces a charge of possessing marijuana with intent to sell, ESPN reported. Robinson has played six seasons in the NFL. He was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft and was the first-round pick of the St. Louis Rams. He played collegiately at Auburn University. Robinson played the 2019 second season in Cleveland on a one-year contract, and the Browns already told his agent the lineman would not be re-signed by the Browns in 2020, according to cleveland.com. He will become a free agent March 18, the website reported.