The Biscayne Times

Jun 06th
Trump Keeps Making It Local PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jack King, BT Contributor   
November 2017

And a Grove ballot referendum is a disservice to voters

IPix_JackKing_11-17f you’re a regular reader of this column, you may remember that several months ago my esteemed editor asked me to not write so often about our ill-mannered president.

I could see his point. But only once in a lifetime (and thankfully so) does something like The Donald come along.

I mentioned my editor’s request in a subsequent column, and soon I had phone calls and mail -- one published -- imploring me to keep writing about President Carrothead. The concern seemed to be that we needed all the information available about him before he completely ruins the country. While I don’t think the idiot can ruin the country, I do believe he can do some serious short-term damage.

So it was back to writing about local issues. But then something wonderful (for me) happened. Trump’s mouth left his ZIP code and arrived in Florida, and he screwed up big time in our neighborhood. What luck -- and what sadness.

A local fellow, Sgt. La David Johnson, and three of his Army Special Forces buddies were killed in Niger. (Did you know we had 1000 troops in Niger, and could you find Niger on a map before this story broke?)

The Trumpster was cajoled by his staff to make a condolence call to Johnson’s widow. He called her, but he didn’t know that she was in a car with family and U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson of Miami Gardens. Turns out, Wilson is a close family friend and was a longtime mentor to the sergeant.

As usual, Trump made an ass of himself on the phone (which was on speaker), something he is very adept at doing. So when he found out that Representative Wilson had listened in and then went public with her ire, he sent his chief of staff, John Kelly, to attack Wilson personally. That’s when the Milorganate hit the fan.

Kelly accused her of boasting at a public dedication ceremony about how she finagled $20 million from Congress to build a new FBI building in Miramar in 2015. He called her a grandstander (a marine general calling someone else a grandstander?) and an empty barrel who makes a lot of noise but accomplishes nothing.

But here are the facts, as we’ve learned them: Wilson wasn’t even in Congress when the $20 million was appropriated. The Sun-Sentinel released a video of the event that refuted everything Kelly said. It was evident that either he has a pretty lousy memory or he did no homework. I guess he’s one of those Marines who’s never wrong. Still no word of an apology from him at press time.

The Kelly fiasco reminds me of the story of Dwight Eisenhower and George Patton in World War II. As the war got under way, Army Chief of Staff George Marshall and President Franklin Roosevelt were concerned that there was no one who could keep the Allied forces all fighting in the right direction. They looked through the generals from France, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and a lot more allied countries.

They looked at the thousands of possible soldiers who could manage the most insane coalition ever formed to defeat the greatest war machine in the history of the world. And who did they choose? Eisenhower. It turns out he had military, management, and public relations skills, something seldom seen the military. He even fired George Patton twice, and Patton was the best field commander he had, though a public relations nightmare when he wasn’t fighting.

I see a lot of that in John Kelly. He belongs in the retired cavalry horse farm. And I still can’t understand why someone like him would even work with Trump, the five-deferment, bone-spur draft dodger. Daddy’s money was working well.

• • •

On a slightly different note, but just as important locally, there’s a referendum on November 7 about whether to extend the lease of Monty’s Raw Bar and Marina in Coconut Grove. The owners’ main argument is that the place was seriously damaged in Hurricane Irma. Gee, I never heard that one before.

This referendum is a yes or no vote. You vote for or against extending the lease another 52 years. (The current lease expires in 2035.)

These issues come up every so often and they are generally crafted so you can only vote yes or no. There’s only one lessee, and those guys call all the shots. They either win the referendum and get lots more money, or they lose and still have the property for another 18 years.

What kind of a referendum is that? If the city wants to have a referendum, make it one where the electorate has some options. All the options have already been taken away by the city commission, so we either do it their way or not at all.

Grove residents would like you to vote no.


Feedback: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Art and Culture

ArtFeature_1Oliver Sanchez stays active with help from Artist Relief


Art Listings

Events Calendar


bigstock-Coronavirus-prevention-medical-353725838Sales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible


Picture Story

Pix_PictureStory_6-20A view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiami


Community Contacts