Donald Trump gazes into the mirror being held by someone or other, adoring himself for a few moments. Ah, my hair is perfect, he thinks.
Turning to his golden daughter-wife Ivanka, he asks, "Am I beautiful, darling?"
"Of course, Daddy," she says, "You are the most beautifulest daddy in the whole world. The biggest and the smartest and the bestest." She air-kisses the side of his bouffant.
Standing up abruptly, Trump brushes past the mirror holder and heads down the hall toward the Big Boardroom, a stream of great thoughts enhancing his passage.
I get the highest ratings, he congratulates himself. That Schwarzenegger thought he could host The Apprentice with his movie star pedigree, but he couldn't get the ratings like me. Now I got this Government Apprentice show going. I got the highest ratings ever. Nobody can take their eyes off me. Everybody wants to see me. I had the most people ever to view my inauguration. Damn that Park Service and its touched-up pictures. Leftovers from Obama, that's what they are, I should fire the lot of them.
He steps into the room where his contestants have gathered — businessmen, bankers, retired military men, even a medical doctor to compete for the ultimate prize. They stand and applaud as he surveys the vista. There are bottles of Trump water at every seat. Make America Great Again mugs sat at the coffee service. Trump products spread across the room.
Trump takes his seat with Steve Bannon, his chief strategist, to his right, and son-in-law Jared Kushner to his left. He speaks:
"I have sent you all out to burnish my brand, it is the biggest in the world but I want it to be even bigger. I want 110 percent of the world market. And what I don't have goes to Ivanka." He turns and smiles at his daughter standing nearby.
"Now it's time to see who has brought me more money and who will be fired. By the way Kellyanne, you have immunity this week. (A squeal of joy pops out of her mouth.) If you were closer I'd kiss your hand. You went above and beyond to sell Ivanka's line. I like that."
He surveys the room. A thought pops into his head. I just may have to fire her next week if she has another faux pas with the media, and I won't apologize for that, but for now she's OK. "Kellyanne," he says. "No more retweeting the white nationalists; leave that to me."
Kellyanne sucks her squeal back into her throat and seems to be choking on it. Trump scowls at the room.
"The rest of you should take note of the kind of help I get from Kellyanne. Remember, I got Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani standing in the wings just waiting for a chance here. It doesn't matter which position, look at Betsy here, she's secretary of education and she's never worked in a school. I make all the decisions. Your job is to build the brand." DeVos' smile lights up the room.
"I don't know what the hell is wrong with that Nordstrom, QVC, and all the others dropping her lines. They're all un-American. Everybody here should run out and buy some of Ivanka's stuff."
Almost as one they pull out their cellphones and tap out messages to their staffs.
Trump looks to the side, asking, "Am I right, Steve?"
"Yep," growls Bannon, tossing a top-dog look around the room.
"Good boy," says Trump.
The president stares out across the room thinking how great America is going to be as a subsidiary of his brand. Then they'll eat my steaks and drink my wine, he thinks. What the hell's the matter with Sears and Kmart cutting back on my products. Major mistake. No wonder those stores are failing. Yeah I should tweet that out. He reaches into his breast pocket to get out his phone. Everyone in the room cringes but Ivanka, who steps forward, takes his phone, and says, "I'll take care of this."
The president blinks a few times, then starts saying the things that he's thinking.
"Spicer, you're doing a pretty good job. Just remember to only say the words that I tell you to say. I don't know why that unfunny, low-rated Saturday Night Live has that woman playing you. I don't like it one bit. What are they suggesting?" Trump turns to face press secretary Spicer directly. "There's no funny stuff going on with you is there?"
Spicer fumbles with some papers in his hand as though they are an invisibility cloak. Sweat drips off the end of his nose.
Trump settles back in his seat. Glowing like a radiated pineapple, saying, "I don't know what this fake news going around that the intelligence agencies are holding back information from me. I'm intelligent. I've got a good mind. You know what? I'm gonna have those intelligence agencies investigated, all the leaks coming out of there. That's not intelligence. Steve, you get on that."
Kushner leans over and whispers in the president's ear.
"Now about this Russia bullshit. I don't own anything in Russia. I don't owe anybody in Russia, do I Jared?"
"See, I'm right. So we got to kill this Russia thing, it's damaging the brand."
National security adviser Michael Flynn suddenly found something very interesting on his cuticle.
"Now I could fire a bunch of you but I'm not. I appreciate the loyalty some of you have been showing. But there is one guy who has been making me look bad."
He points at Flynn. "You've got to keep your story straight. Now you have those liars in the media asking about what you said to Pence about that damned phone call with my Russian friends. I don't appreciate lying to Pence."
Trump reaches down and picks up a small gray-haired puppy that had crawled onto his lap, blows a kiss at it, and says, "It makes me look bad, doesn't it Pencie?" The dog yips as Trump sets it down on the floor and shoos it away with his foot. He sits up suddenly and points: "Michael Flynn, you're fired."
Trump then waves dismissively at the rest of the group. "That's all for today; now go make me some money."
In the last Stir It Up I wrote about bringing the economic pain to Trump and his enablers, which is just what the list at GrabYourWallet.org is about. According to info on the website, the "#GrabYourWallet boycott list has grown as a central resource for understanding how our own consumer purchases may have inadvertently supported the political rise of the Trump family." Use it often.
One more thing
I've got another word for the creative "alternative facts" that Kellyanne Conway brought up on NBC's Meet the Press. Let's just call that bullshit.
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