Alms For The Roger Stone? Alms For The Roger Stone?
Roger Stone, his wife would like you to know, is broke. And he is not dealing with it well. Once in khaki suits, gee, he looked swell, full of that yankee-doodle-dee-dum, but now no one calls him Al anymore and he has to stand on a street corner singing "Brother Can You Spare A Dime?"
Yesterday, the conservative but also kind of Never Trumper site The Bulwark revealed the details of a grifty "fundraising" plea sent out by Stone's wife Nydia, begging supporters to give money to the Stones in order to help them keep up the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.
It was titled "I am embarrassed to write this."
"Dear Friend," begins the missive. "My husband and I have an urgent new problem and we need your help. I told my husband I was going to write you, one of his most valued supporters. I am embarrassed to write this, but I must."
"Mrs. Roger Stone" tells a tale of woe: FBI agents swooping in on them at the crack of dawn to arrest her husband, a subsequent "fake news" feeding frenzy causing friends and fans to abandon the Stones.
"He laid off all our consultants, contractors and employees, and we have 'pulled in our belts' like so many Americans in 'tight times,'" she wrote, sounding for all the world like a plucky working-class patriot, not the wife of a man who made and lost his fortune lying in the service of power.
She should have been more embarrassed.
It's pretty interesting that someone who has made his living for so many years helping to elect people to office who hate the poor is now in the position of no longer being a rich person. And that he and his wife would extend this plea to what is very likely a group of non-rich people without fundraisers for own their basic living expenses, who will very likely donate whatever they can scrape up to this grifty ass couple. These are, of course, the same kind of people who are sick and tired of all the poor, lazy "takers" on welfare.
I'll let Pitiful Pearl over here continue:
Nydia Stone, seemingly unaware that the Mueller probe has ended and thus a "flip" from Roger wouldn't mean beans, assures her readers that Stone remains tragically committed to bite the bullet himself rather than betray her readers' favorite president: "My husband has refused to change his not-guilty plea and insists on fighting for exoneration. He will never bear false witness against the President, never."
Of course, any Stone missive, even a plea to underwrite a legal fight, needs a little extra flair. So she assures her readers that "We are not asking for a donation—but an ADVANCE, repaid by our pledge to do our best to contribute a like amount to what you give to a charitable organization when this is all over… We should only need help in the seven months before my husband's trial, when I know in my heart he will be exonerated and we can get back on our feet."
Here, by the way, are the amounts they are looking for. One of the buttons is for a $15,000 donation.
$15,000! Imagine asking strangers to just give you $15,000! While, again, being the kind of person who helps elect the kind of people who go around whining about all the poor people getting crab legs with EBT cards at the supermarket!
I am dead.
This fund is separate, the reader should note, from Stone's legal defense fund, which was launched months ago with a goal of raising $2 million to underwrite Roger's legal woes. The Stone Family Support Fund, by contrast, is purportedly set up "to help pay for our rent, food, medical expenses, insurance, gasoline, and the most basic of living expenses."
"I can assure you that every penny is dedicated strictly to our basic no frills living expenses as we face the greatest challenge of our lives and at the same time prepare for my husband's trial," Mrs. Stone wrote.
Oh, I'm sure. Though I'm guessing that the Stones have a far different idea of what is "no frills living" than you are I might. It is fair to assume that Roger Stone and his wife have never been poor people before, so they are probably unaccustomed to how to even begin to function without piles and piles of cash.
Well, I, a veteran hustler, am here to help them lift themselves up by their bootstraps, or, at least, teach them how to be thrifty, a thing I am very good at. I come from a long line of people known to say "Guess how much? FIVE DOLLARS." as a brag.
The first thing they're going to want to do is look for jobs. Maybe not jobs like they are used to having, but the kind of jobs that millions of other Americans who are not super rich have. Conservatives have long said that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the kind of wages these jobs pay, so this should not pose a problem for them. Surely, they can find something in the service industry.
Then, because Roger Stone is over the age of 65, he can apply for Medicare and Social Security. He should actually be able to get around $50-$60,000 a year in Social Security, on account of him having been a rich person. That is already a completely normal amount of money to live on, especially if your medical care is covered by Medicare and you don't have kids.
If, after that, they still need money, they can do some gigs on the side. I happen to know that one can make upwards of $200 a pop dressing up as cartoon characters and singing at children's birthday parties (though we are not going to discuss how). They can check out Craigslist for a variety of opportunities. They can hustle pub trivia, which is a thing I did a lot when I was on unemployment. Hell, they can sign up for unemployment. They can do paid focus groups. They can drive for Lyft or Uber.
Oh, and hey! Stone, despite having very little taste in my own opinion, is clearly very fond of fashion. He could grab some gigs as a personal stylist for tacky people. Which there are a lot of in Florida! I've done it, it's weird, but it pays cash money.
The next thing will be to start selling all of their designer duds and jewelry on Poshmark or eBay. In fact, given that they are in South Florida, there is a huge market for consignment clothing (people who own vintage stores across the country go on buying trips to South Beach), and they could just go to a store and sell things. That might be even easier.
They can also get free haircuts by letting hair stylists use them to audition for jobs at salons. They can eat ramen a few times a week. Buy a canister of chocolate or vanilla protein powder and have a shake instead of a meal at least once a day. Wash your face with olive oil. Borrow someone's BJ's Wholesale Club or Costco card and get some giant things of peanut butter and jelly and other cheaper foods that will last them for a while. Get a second hand bike or walk or get a bus pass so they don't have to pay for gasoline. Get rid of cable and get an HD antenna or get a Roku or whatever and use other people's passwords for everything. Clip coupons. Buy necessities at the Dollar Store, groceries at Aldi and whatever else at the Family Dollar. Go to flea markets. Also, according to my Dad, they advertise phones in the back of AARP magazine that are like $19 a month.
They can make it through seven months of living like normal people who are not rich. A whole lot of people have to do this their whole entire lives. LARGELY BECAUSE OF PEOPLE HE WORKED TO ELECT.
Alas, they will probably have to do exactly none of this, because all of Roger Stone's big fans who really hate socialism and would never give money to actual poor people will send him money so that he and his wife can continue to live like rich people. AMERICA.
And now, this is your open thread! Hosted by my personal favorite version of the song "Brother Can You Spare A Dime." Cause we're festive.
Abbey Brother can you spare a dime hq www.youtube.com
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse