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Interesting to see some background on top associates of the Trump White House, as reported in Craig Unger’s new book, “House of Trump. House of Putin.”

“By the 80s, attorney Patrick “Paddy” McGahn had become the new boss of Atlantic City, and with his brother state legislator Joseph McGahn, brought legalized gambling and Donald Trump to New Jersey. Trump, it turned out, was lucky to have them on his side.

“One of the first problems Trump encountered was that part of the land he wanted was owned by Salvatore “Salvie” Testa and Frank Narducci, Jr., two mafia hit men who worked for Atlantic City mob boss Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo and were known as the Young Executioners.

“Some of Trump’s acquaintances who were close to individuals associated with the New Jersey mafia proved to be valuable allies in the future.  Dan McGahn, the nephew of both Paddy and Joseph Mcgahn, later became White House counsel to the Trump Administration. In addition, White House counselor Kelly-Anne Conway, who also served as Trump’s campaign manager, is the grand daughter of Jimmy “the Brute” DiNatale, an associate of LIttle Nicky Scarfo.”

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Keep this in mind, in this era of the Chief Executive who says that “the media are the enemy of the people.”

This is the full quotation by legal and social reformer Jeremy Bentham (1748 – 1832):

“Publicity is the very soul of justice. It is the keenest spur to exertion, and the surest of all guards against improbity. It keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial.

In the darkness of secrecy, sinister interest and evil in every shape, have full swing. Only in proportion as publicity has place can any of the checks, applicable to judicial injustice, operate. Where there is no publicity there is no justice.”

I remember when reality TV shows were a novelty — unscripted (we thought) stuff like a peephole into life being lived. Trump’s original “Apprentice” was a fascinating look at rigorous challenges in which bright, determined young people would compete for a wonderful job. But then it turned into “Celebrity Apprentice,” wherein B-class theatrical types would do bad jokes and stumble through silly so-called challenges to win money for their charities. We tuned out, not only those televised insults to our intelligence, but to most reality shows on TV in which the real question was: who is grosser, the second-fiddle participants themselves or the disgusting worms they at.

Unfortunately, the “Celebrity Apprentice” phase of reality TV continues with the Trump administration, with it’s B-class President in the starring role, surrounded by a motley B-class assortment of lingering relatives and political hanger-ons.

But the disturbing, really anguishing dichotomy is that the “reality” on stage is not the inconsequential frivolity of those lousy TV shows, but the all-too-real reality of America on the world’s stage. I want to turn off this show, because it is as repulsive as the “Celebrity Apprentice” was compared to the original “Apprentice.” But I can’t find a channel on TV, except maybe the old comedy and talk shows of the 80-s and 90s, where I can avoid the self-destructive bad humor of the Trump administration, especially the bumbling inarticulateness of our B-class President himself. I can handle the world, but this Presidency is just too much B-class reality.

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