Sunday, January 22, 2017

TrumpWorld shows its true military colors: Let them eat (copycat) styrofoam cake


Or, when is what looks like a cake not a cake?

WaPo caption: President Trump, left, and Vice President Pence are helped by Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Babot as they cut a cake at the armed services ball. A slightly more accurate caption: This poor petty officer has been suckered into pretending to help cut a cake that isn't a cake, for the greater glory of a pair of raging sociopaths who may never in their entire miserable existences have told the truth about anything.

by Ken

This is such a grubby story that you know it must have to do with the brand-new Trump administration, which even as it's birthing is radiating out waves of grubbiness -- Making America Great Trump-style seems to require folks to soil themselves.

Given the particular electoral math of the 2016 presidential election, it's possible to look at a dozen or more contributing factors and declare any one of them "the one" that (circle one) hoisted-The-Donald-over-the-top-slash-sank-Hillary. And one of those, surely, is the attitude of the American military community,, which has gotten it into its collective head that Obama was anti-military and Trump is a military person's wet dream. In this story, though, a segment of the Trump "brain" trust unwittingly provided a far truer perspective on the new administration's likely attitude toward the military. (The "unwittingly" part may not be so accidental. By and large the only way we find out what's really on these people's minds is when they're being "unwitting.")

Which brings us to the story of "The Rip-Off of Duff's Cake."

Now Duff subsequently walked his pique back (see below), but in my book he was right (and then some) the first time: He should have been seriously ticked off by the blithe rip-off of his 2013 cake -- and maybe all the more so considering that the alleged Trumpcake isn't in fact a cake. As you can see from the photo up top, the inaugural fraudsters were pretending it was a cake, even suckering that poor Coast Guard petty officer into playing "cake"-cutter with our new president and vice president, two princes of phonyworld.

At this point, let's let the Washington Post's Amy B Wang and Tim Carman tell the story.
Amid the glitz of President Trump’s inaugural festivities, one item stood out in particular late Friday night: a spectacular nine-tier cake that the new president and Vice President Pence cut into with a sword.

To pastry chef Duff Goldman, the cake seemed a little too familiar — because it looked almost exactly like one he had made years earlier for Barack Obama’s second inauguration as president.

Just after midnight, the Food Network personality posted a side-by-side comparison of two cakes on his Twitter account.

On the left, Goldman wrote in the caption, was the cake he had created for the “Commander-in-Chief” inaugural ball in 2013. The one on the right was the cake that had just appeared at Trump’s “Salute to Our Armed Services” ball.

It appeared nearly identical to Goldman’s cake from four years ago, right down to the colors, the patriotic bunting, and the placement of several small silver stars and seals.

“I didn’t make it,” Goldman wrote about Trump’s cake, adding a suspicious thinking-face emoji at the end.
This is followed by a journalistically obligatory note: "Neither Goldman nor representatives from Trump’s transition and inauguration teams responded to requests for comment Saturday morning."

However, someone else was available for comment.
Tiffany MacIsaac, owner of Washington’s Buttercream Bakeshop, stepped forward to say she had been the one to create the much-talked-about cake.

She said that the order came in while she was out of town, and that the client had brought in a photo of the cake from Obama’s inauguration asking her to re-create it.

“They came to us a couple of weeks ago, which is pretty last minute, and said ‘We have a photo that we would like to replicate,’ ” MacIsaac told The Washington Post by phone. Her bakery tried to encourage the client to use the photo as “inspiration,” as they do with many others, she said.

“They said, ‘Nope, they want this exact cake. It’s perfect.’ And we said, great,” MacIsaac said. Neither she nor her spokeswoman revealed who placed the order. The “Salute to Our Troops” ball was one of three official presidential inaugural balls held Friday and open by invitation only to members of the military, veterans, first responders and their families.
Now you or I might wonder about the propriety of a cake-maker replicating somebody else's cake -- a cake that has been declared so "perfect" that the cake being asked for must be an "exact" replica. We'll come back to this in a moment. Let's note first that Tiffany MacIsaac views herself here as a businessperson of principle.
MacIsaac did not want to state her political affiliation, but said her bakery began planning how it would donate its proceeds from the Trump inaugural cake to charity. The baker and her staff chose the Human Rights Campaign, a nonprofit group that advocates for equal treatment of the LGBT community — and that has declared Trump “unfit for the presidency.”

“I’m a small-business owner and one of the things I’m very, very proud about is that I don’t discriminate,” MacIsaac said. “I would never turn someone away based on their age, their sex, their sexual orientation, their political views. It’s just not the way we operate.”
Well sure, why should the political affiliation of the cake-ripper-offers affect one's willingness to perform this commercial transaction? If, that is, one is a truly equal-opportunity fraudster.

Now comes the wrinkle, though:
MacIsaac said the attention caught her by surprise partly because, per the order, the Trump cake was intended to be more of a prop: All but a three-inch slice at the bottom was inedible. [Emphasis added. -- Ed.]

“It’s just a Stryofoam cake. It’s not for eating,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting it to be seen on TV.”
Ooh, oh my. Well, I suppose this explains why Ms. MacIsaac was willing to replicate somebody else's cake. She was thinking, I guess, that it's not really a cake. So it's not really cake theft, I guess. And it's above Ms. MacIsaac's pay grade, I guess, to worry about whether the replica cake is going to be properly identified as what it is: an inedible replica of a cake designed and created as an actual cake by Duff Goldman and Charm City Cakes for the 2013 Obama inaugural festivities. No, she's just sticking to her principle of "never turn[ing] someone away based on their age, their sex, their sexual orientation, their political views." Because that's "just not the way we operate."
“Obviously, my intention was definitely not to upset him in any way,” MacIsaac said of Goldman, whom she does not know personally. “I just wish that it had not been presented the way that it was.”
At this point, for the benefit of readers who may not be familiar with Duff, let's continue with the Post-ies' gloss:
Goldman, who founded Charm City Cakes in Baltimore and Los Angeles, is known for his showstopping cake creations. From 2006 to 2011, the Food Network reality show “Ace of Cakes” followed Goldman as he ran his bakery and pulled out all the stops to construct elaborate cakes. These days, the celebrity pastry chef is better known to pint-size bakers as “Chef Duff” as one of the judges on the network’s “Kids Baking Championship.”
Now, as noted above, Duff subsequently walked his pique back, presumably once he realized that the ripped-off cake wasn't actually a cake.

Except, again, that while Duff's cake was appreciated enough to be required to be duplicated exactly, except for, you know, the cake aspect, it wasn't appreciated enough to be credited as what it was: a photo-op rip-off of his cake created for an administration that showed a good deal more respect for the military than these new fraudsters.

Happily, the journalistic ethos of the Post-ies prompts them to dig into the archives, a dig that's made easier by the fact that half of our 2017 Post team was on the job in 2013.
In 2013, Goldman told The Post’s Tim Carman he wanted Obama’s inaugural cake to be perfect.

“When you’re doing a cake like this, you know that everybody is going to be looking at it,” Goldman said. “It’s a lot of pressure. The more recognition you get for something that you do, the greater the pressure becomes, because more people are looking for a mistake. So you really gotta make sure your work is top-notch.”

Goldman described his cake for Obama to The Post in great detail then: The 5-foot-tall, 50-pound cake was meant to pay special homage to the nation’s armed forces, with seals of the five branches military. The different tiers would each be of different flavors, from red velvet to pumpkin-chocolate chip.

Though he expressed some anxiety about pulling off the cake in 2013, Goldman ultimately delivered on his vision.

“It was our honor to create this cake for last night’s Commander-in-Chief Ball — an experience we will never forget,” the Charm City Cakes Facebook page noted with a picture of the cake the day after Obama’s 2013 inauguration. (For the record, Obama has said he is more of a pie person.)
The 2017 Post-ies proceed with a riff on the theme: "Allegations of plagiarism are not new in Trump's nascent administration." No indeed, and if you're not instantly filling in the blank for yourself, by all means take this stroll down Recent Memory Lane with Amy and Tim.

However, it occurs to me that "plagiarism" isn't the operation being performed by the Trumpsters. In TrumpUniverse, after all, everything in the universe exists above all for its potential to contribute to The Donald's (a) enrichment and (b) glorification. Why, therefore, shouldn't Duff's 2013 cake be pressed into service? There's probably some extra chuckleworthiness in the fact that the actual cake was actually ordered and created to carry the message of the Obama administration's solidarity with our armed forces.

Hey, fuck those fuckers!

And I expect that the military people who imagine that the new president is their guy are also on the long list of fuckers to be fucked. Oh, it's looking like they're going to get their military buildup, meaning that while our scam-fighting, cutting-costs-to-the-bone president will actually target some unlucky recipients of U.S. military graft, in the process of making the country not one whit safer, lots of money will be pouring from taxpayers' pockets into fat-cat contractor coffers, it will be done POTUS's way -- with money flowing to the right people, the ones who know how to play this business president's game.

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At 2:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe it's one of god's little jokes that creativity is not meted out to control freaks, and oh, they so want to have some. Like a delicious cake they are not ever invited to eat.

At 3:19 PM, Anonymous Noah said...

Let them eat styrofoam!

At 8:00 AM, Blogger orangelion03 said...

It's as if he wants everything Pres Obama had. I wonder if that baker got paid for he fake cake? Maybe with a fake check.

At 3:32 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

Interesting question, O! It seems rather close to the event for an invoice to have been paid under normal circumstances, and as we know, payment by a Trump entity is anything-but-normal circumstances. If I were our Ms. Tiffany, (a) I would have insisted on payment upon delivery, and (b) failing that, I wouldn't be spending the money just yet!



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